Oh Look!! Another “Year In Review” Blog!!

Well, the year is done, and the inevitable “Year in Review”, and “New Year, New You” posts are coming. I have a blog (that I occasionally write in), so I figured I would jump in and contribute.

A bit over a year ago, I was in a rough place. Thanks to COVID I had been sitting around for months, waiting for my trade training to begin, and all the waiting had taken a toll on my mental health. This year has been quite a bit better. I was (finally) called for my training, and got my permanent posting. My “50 year plan” is spinning up to speed. (I’m officially IN my 50th year.) Things are, generally speaking, looking much better.

I think the reason for that is two fold:

1) I made a plan
2) I realized something important, after making that plan.

If you think about it, plans are inherently positive things. You look out into the future, and decide to do something. This implies that you will be there in the future, and capable of doing said activity. These are positive things! Its possible that people react differently than I do to plans, but making plans had an enormous benefit to me. It added structure to my life, at a time when there was very little.

Of course plans need to be realistic. I’ve benefited greatly from whole seminars on planning in previous careers, and over the past few years I’ve spent a great deal of time in self analysis, so my plans often get vetted heavily before implementation. Many plans in my life have resulted in disappointment due to them being unrealistic, which has had some seriously negative results to my self confidence, and mental health.

Plans can be hugely beneficial, when done correctly; but they can be hugely detrimental as well. Plan carefully!

And don’t quit!! Plans need to be modified. As the military saying goes: “No plan survives contact with the enemy”. Though perhaps Leonard Snart from The Flash says it better:

This is obviously meant to be humorous, but there is an element of truth to it as well. Though I think that “throw away the plan” means change the plan, not abandon the plan altogether. Alter it so it works, don’t give up!!

A plan, though, is only as good as your implementation of that plan, which leads to my realization….

My realization was pretty brutal, yet incredibly obvious. Something we all know, but perhaps fail to understand:

No one is coming to save me.

People can help. People can help a lot, but in the end it is entirely up to me.

My depression has always resulted in a massive lack of motivation. My worst days were always days where I just sat around doing nothing more than struggling to find something to watch on Netflix. I came up with a list though, designed to counter that lack of motivation. They’re little things that take very little time to do.

Putting away or cleaning “one thing” means *literally* one thing! Small victories add up quick! “Exercising your brain” means learn something, and “exercising a skill” is doing something you want to get better at. (Whether you’re good at it already or not.)

The real purpose behind my list is to function as a reminder to save myself, no one else is gonna do it for me. I realized that my mental health, discipline, and motivation, were a lot like a muscle. Resting them is important, but eventually you need to rehabilitate them. That is what the list does for me: rehab my mental strength.

Few people want to clean, but 10 seconds of cleaning is easy. I can do that while the next episode of “The Witcher” loads! If I can muster the discipline to clean for 10 seconds, eventually that will turn into 20 seconds, then 20 minutes, and eventually I’ll work up the motivation and discipline I need to do the things I have been ignoring, and get on to the things I do wanna do, without the weight of all those undone things pressing on me.

The take away is that I could not just sit around and wait to get better, I needed to take action…..

…..and you do too. Whatever struggle you are dealing with right now, don’t ignore it. Don’t wait for it to get better. By all means, rest; but once your rested you need to take action.

No one is coming to save you! Save yourself!