Saturday, September 3, 2022.
Today I didn't want to take Adderall because I woke up at 2PM. I had stayed up very late, finally nodding off around 830AM. I noted as I wrote in my sleep journal that I was having having trouble completing thoughts before they faded away. I could feel it happening as I was writing in the journal by hand; as I wrote each sentence word-by-word, I could feel the initiating thought behind it fading until I brought my attention back by looking at what I was writing. It was interesting how automatic the handwriting process was, independent from the thinking. Was it that the manual act of moving a pen was interrupting my ability to think if I concerned myself with the quality of the letterforms? Or has it always been this way?
Writing may help me think just because it makes the words permanent so I can reread them and REACT to them as I am writing, keeping the thought from fading away. Though I've written about this before, it was interesting to experience it while I was in the "brainfog" state.
After going through my brainstim routine of showering, getting dressed, "not planning", eating a small quantity of fruit, and plunking myself down at the computer, I noted that the brainfog was not going away. I felt tired still and it was hard to finish thoughts. Only through writing or reacting to other writing via Discord was working; I was not in a mode where I could be synthesizing new things or initiating action on chores.
I tested a theory that maybe I just needed MORE brainstim, so I decided to do a random window shopping trip. The reasoning: if my brain craves dopamine to start functioning, novelty and curiosity are pretty good at waking it up, so maybe looking at a lot of stuff would help.
So, I visited Marshalls, Sierra Outpost, and Home Goods (all owned by the same corporation) and found the experience a bit depressing as it reminded me of how much low quality commodity goods are manufactured every year. I stopped into a "The Paper Store" store and noted the same issue with its merchandise...a lot of commodity items of questionable utility manufactured to appeal to people with disposable income. I did note, however, that Home Goods did seem to carry a variety of full length mirrors that cycle in-out through the week, but I needed to first clear-out the living room to pick one that would work in the space.
At this point, I still wasn't feeling energized and started to feel a deflated. The last time I had tried this, the various thoughts I'd had about consumerism and living room decor were the same but the result had been curiosity, not depression.
A friend on Discord suggested that maybe all I needed some water and fresh air, so I plotted a course to Target to find some cold sparkling water at a reasonable price (note: sparkling water is never reasonably priced) but ended up going to the food court to get an egg roll to review. I noted that I felt better after having an interaction with someone, so maybe that's the thing. I then went to my usual Starbucks on the way home and ordered at the counter. This wasn't as energizing as I hoped, but as I sat down I noted that I felt much more comfortable being in this place than I had out in the shopping plazas. I think that the interactions where I felt "accepted as normal" were the ones that made me felt better, with positive interactions having a better effect. I also noted that I was highly self-conscious of my appearance and that I was being perceived as male, and this was adding a huge amount of mental processing.
Maybe what I'm energized isn't new things at all, but new things as they relate to people. Previously, I was energized by window shopping, but I was connecting what I was seeing with positive interactions I've had with people or expected to have as a result of it. That suggests that my brainstim activities need to have a personal relationship context to be effective...maybe?
In addition to the personal context, I think there are problem solving contexts that are also energizing; in this case, the foundation is having a question that I'm asking myself. And I know for myself that the questions are best when they're in the form of helping someone personally solve something together.
The takeaway: identifying the personal relationship as a foundation for all my brainstim window shopping excursions might be ta requirement. I am much more emotionally-driven (which is not the same as being "emotional") than I perhaps realized.
Oh, there were two serendipitous NPR programs I caught; these weekend shopping trips are good for catching up on All Things Considered and other programming, so I should consider more day trips as part of the brainstim activities!
A story from Marjorie Tahbone on reawakening to her culture through acquiring a traditional face tatoo.
It wasn't a terribly productive day, but in the end it wasn't bad. When I got home I actually fell asleep at the computer at 8PM and woke-up feeling refreshed at 1045PM. I grudgingly opened up this journal entry, but as I reconstructed the day I started to feel excited about working on my knowledge base work.
I may be underestimating how useful the DAILY JOURNAL WRITING is. Each entry really is helping to ground myself in purpose and action. The new blog system too is helping me build a network of knowledge for the first time, and I am starting to see the bigger patterns because of it. This might be another example of how personal relationships are the driving motivator; I am imagining how useful that a future post/product will come out of doing this activity and the immediacy of sharing feels like a deferred reward I can get into.
I'm going to try to get some decent sleep tonight and see if my brain is more energized tomorrow. There are hard synthesis tasks on my mental to-do list that I want to tackle. The first one of the summer was getting this blogging system working on dsriseah.com, and I think it's probably in a good-enough state now to try something new and hard that isn't related to this. There are a lot of improvements I'd like to make, but I'd like to change to a different kind of "hard" that isn't related to writing computer software. I just wrote that down on an index card to look at tomorrow.