I started a spreadsheet last week where I track the things I do every day to keep myself healthy and sane. More accurately: to cultivate good habits and pinch off bad ones.
Other people call this sort of thing “self-care” but I have spent fortyish years taking great care of myself, my self doesn’t need care really. I call it Don’t Break the Chain.
I got the idea long ago from an interview with Jerry Seinfeld. He had a calendar on his office wall. On every day when he wrote a new joke, he’d write an X through that day on the calendar. He was trying to see how many days he could go in a row, writing new jokes. A chain of jokes. If Seinfeld took a day off, he’d break the joke chain & have to start all over. Kind of like those 243 days without a safety incident signs you have at work, if you work at the kind of job where people have unsafe incidents.
I have seven chains. Every day I (try to):
- Lift weights or other crosstraining
- Ride my bike up one of a certain list of hills
- Produce 2 deliverables at work
- Take direct political action
- No Twitter (AT ALL)
- No news at work
- No Facebook at work
Now, I’ve only been keeping this a week but my longest chain is “No Twitter” (6 links). “No Twitter” is very strict BTW. I don’t even look at Twitter. I can’t even see embedded tweets. I have Twitter in my 1Blocker filter. “No Facebook at work” is pathetic, only one link long. I can barely go a waking hour without FB.
Today was a terrible day, chain-breaking-wise. If I hadn’t paid a visit to Senator Wyden’s office, I would have broken every chain.
A longer blog post has been lurking in my head, about how Donald Trump has made me a better person (I mostly quit drinking! I go to church! I telephone my elected representatives! I give SO MUCH MONEY to charity! I sleep 7 hours a night! I spend more time with my family!) It’s like: I am trying to hone myself into a nonstop fascism-resisting machine. This is constitutionally difficult for a middle-aged introvertish non-joiner.
Ah well I guess I just wrote that blog post didn’t I?