Adjusting Slowly

The adjustment to working and going to college full time is progressing slowly. This week I got ahead of myself finishing all required assignments a day early. As the holiday season approaches and the COVID-19 numbers climb, work can be stressful at times but I’m managing. The one take away from all this is I must take at least a day away for myself.

English composition and quantitative analysis mathematics classes aren’t difficult; they are just time consuming. I’m narrowing down my persuasive essay in English to discuss how the development of artificial intelligence benefits society and counterarguments of its determent to society. Mathematics is one of my strong subjects. But I have to remind myself to slow down. Just like in programming, if you miss something (a negative to a positive, wrong calculations, etc.) the whole problem just fails miserably. During the week, I find myself thinking about nothing else than these two subjects.

I’m sure you’ve heard with the pandemic Walmart is expanding their Black Friday specials over a period of weeks. Also as the holidays approach, we’re getting a massive amount of product delivered almost on a daily basis. In order for me to get through the night I have to remind myself, “Go in, work your eight hours and clock out.”

As one can imagine sometimes I find myself not taking care of myself. Of course I’m going to lose some hours of sleep on a daily basis with college. Other times, I can’t remember if I’ve eaten, paid bills or done other daily living activities. For me, that is a red flag, “Danger, Will Robinson, danger!”

With the remaining four weeks of college classes and holiday season it’s best, I believe, to take at least one day to reset. With Mondays and Tuesdays off, last week I allocated Monday as a “me” day. I didn’t invest any time in my college courses. I literally turned my phone off for the day. I made sure I ate, bathed and got my house in order. It was quite effective. Tuesday I was ready to dive into coursework completing a day early this week.

That’s going to be the plan unless something unexpected comes up. Technically you can’t catch up on sleep but I’m woke up refreshed. Let’s get this eight hours done, so I can relax! Bring it on!

A Step in the Right Direction

Last weekend I put myself through an emotional roller coaster. I was overwhelmed with three areas of my life: college, work, and myself. At times I didn’t know up from down, nor down from up. There were times I didn’t know if I was going to survive; I almost gave up. Yet, when I took the time needed to take a look at myself, trusting in the process, I woke up refreshed taking a step in the right direction.

First, there was this overwhelming feeling of loneliness. Since I work overnights, I don’t have a lot of contact with my support network. Yet, I forgot the most important thing – the connection with a Higher Power.

I became so enmeshed with time constraints I began to cut things out. Since most of my free time has been studying, reading, writing, and solving complex mathematical problems, I just skipped right past it or didn’t read it at all. That includes the daily posts I put up here. Yet, when I slowed myself down, took a deep breath, something changed. The connection with my Higher Power was rekindled.

Acceptance is the answer to all my problems today. When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing, or situation—some fact of my life—unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing, or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment.Nothing, absolutely nothing, happens in God’s world by mistake. Until I could accept my alcoholism, I could not stay sober; unless I accept life completely on life’s terms, I cannot be happy. I need to concentrate not so much on what needs to be changed in the world as on what needs to be changed in me and in my attitudes.

p. 417, Acceptance is the Answer, Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous

The above is one of my favorite quotes. At times I forget to remind myself of it. It wasn’t until I started writing this entry; this quote came to mind. That one little paragraph says so much. The most powerful message, for me, is the very last sentence, “I need to concentrate not so much on what needs to be changed in the world as what needs to be changed in me and my attitudes.

Ever heard of Rule #62 – “Don’t take your life [yourself] so damn seriously!“. It’s another good one. When I think back and read what was going on, especially with school, it appears to be a form of perfectionism. That is common in many addicts; the desire to be perfect all the time or an OCD everything must adhere to their specifications. While I do want to do well in school, it doesn’t mean I have to jeopardize my health and sanity for an A. Just like high school, no one is going to ask what I got in my college algebra class when I apply for a job – or they shouldn’t! It doesn’t matter. Perhaps use the same principle I try to at work every day – do the best with what you learn and leave the rest.

Even today I wasn’t as frantic about getting everything done. I could (but avoid) turning things in late for courses with a 10% penalty. I just reviewed last week’s grades, which I passed with all A’s. I got a 95% on my MAT136 assignment, but now the instructor says I could go back and re-do those I got wrong for a better score. WTF? Why?

If I remember to keep these points a top priority in my life, perhaps I won’t sink into that dark abyss. At least it’s a step in the right direction. I’m at peace again.

Lifestyle Changes

Yesterday, the only urges I had to smoke were at home. During the drive and at work I didn’t think about it at all. But the struggle continues . . .

Right now, the first thing in the morning or during my morning routine, is the time when urges are the greatest. Like people say, “Find something else to do with your hands. Change things around. Do something different.”

A fitness program is something I would like to start for 2017. For now, I’m going to do some weight lifting, just right and left curls for now. I feel like there isn’t time to do anything after I wake up. I’m to respectful to my neighbors to do anything in the middle of the night when I get home. I have thought about a Planet Fitness membership. When I come home, I can simply pop in there for an hour or two a day. Then again, I’m moving.

Didn’t I say this is the year of NO EXCUSES. Okay, working on it. I’ll figure something out.

The latest issue is the hole in my exhaust on my car. It’s horrible. Right now I don’t have the money; I haven’t even forked over rent yet. I already slipped by two Tioga County Sheriffs yesterday on the way to work. With the holiday over, perhaps their presence (and that of NYS Troopers) will diminish. I know that its only a fix it ticket but I don’t need the trouble.

I still worry that the alternate side parking ticket that I fought with the City of Binghamton to get a court day is all screwed up. I haven’t received a court date so I don’t know if it’s been written off or I should continue waiting. That’s another issue that I don’t want to stir waters in.

Made first work rant entry private . . . Honestly, I need to make a decision to stay or leave. The gut tells me to leave respectfully, thus I should do it rather sooner than later. Still chewing on it.

Another issue that I struggle with is “not enough time”. For instance, in a 24 hour day, I work 8 hours, travel time is 3 hours, I sleep an average of 7 hours which is a total of 19 hours already gone. I can account for two hours after I get home and go to bed, three hours in the morning before I go to work. I just don’t have time to really accomplish anything. My next day off isn’t until Friday. The last couple of days, my body tells me that I didn’t get enough sleep. Last night I actually went to bed early. I felt like I went to sleep almost as soon as my head hit the pillow. I woke up in a terrible mood, as if I hadn’t sleep at all. Since I get home at around 12:30 a.m., I try to go to bed sometime between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m. In the morning I typically wake up at 10 a.m. Okay, let’s just be honest with myself. This whole schedule things is really f**k’d up. I need to seriously consider this when thinking about staying at my job or not and/or moving now sooner than later.

I need to relieve some tension (life weights), take a shower and get ready for work . . .