5:20:1 experiment and the power of timers and rewards

12018.07.21 Saturday

9:45am – [Hammock’s Cruel Sparks] Writing now because I won’t feel like it tonight after work, and I’d rather do other stuff tomorrow morning.

{After one sentence, I get bored and suddenly switch from writing to trying to create a simply animation}

~50 minutes later

10:37am – UGGGGHHHH I JUST wanted to do a screen recording of this stupid animation I put together and the dumb recording app on my computer is not working. I feel dumb getting upset at stuff like this, but it’s stupid stuff like this when I run into an issue I wasn’t expecting where I end up taking MUCH longer than I thought that sets me back emotionally. Just feels like I’m wasting so much time.

But then I figured out something with PowerPoint that enables me to export a video.

I think one of the things I’d really like to get into is animation / video editing stuff. I feel like I’m 15 years behind though. {Feelings of regret and self-hate flood everywhere}


There is the damn stupid animation from powerpoint. I have SO much learn. 😦

Bit by bit day by day.


Back to the original damn purpose of this post.

For the past twodays I’ve been working with this 5:20:1 rule. I do 5 minutes of whatever – usually a quick writing session where I’m venting stuff. Maybe check the news. Then, for 20 minutes, I do work. I can turn on music or a podcast, but it needs to be something related cleaning my apartment, organizing files, paying bills, etc. After and hour, the ‘1’ then I take a longer break. I dunno, maybe 15 minutes? Then I do it all over again, until I reach the reward period. The reward period. This is the time at the end of the day, when I can just do whatever.

{When my mind/inner child knows the work WILL end at some point
it can DO WORK}

5 minute break / 20 minute work / X 3 / 15 minute break / X 2

reward period

{One day later}

As always, I meant to write more. But I have 8 minutes to finish this up and publish. Maybe I should spent more time on these throughout the week.

Overcome with my usual feeling of deep regret – I wish I started all of this sooner. Regret is one of my biggest enemies.

Good things:

  • The 5:20 / reward thing really has shown success. Because I have been keeping things relatively clean for the past couple days, in just ONE 20 minute session I was able to wash a couple dishes, clean my cat’s litter box, make my bed, clean the bathroom, and sweep.
  • I got completely ready to meet someone, BEFORE my usual rush period.
  • I went to bed when I felt tired – IMAGINE THAT

Grateful for:

  • Breaths – I can’t do deep breaths right away. Because I associate deep breaths with being calm. And most times I don’t feel calm. So I start with short, quick, ‘huffy’ breaths. And those usually quickly are able to move into deeper breaths that actually feel like I’m letting some anxiety go.

Hope you all have good weekends and weeks.


Good job -> good self-worth? Chicken or egg?

I’ve started writing to the sound of Jonsi’s Grow Till Tall for the past two posts. I don’t know why turning this song on assists me with writing, but it feels like an invitation. I’m sure I will tire of it, but everyone should listen to Jonsi every once in a while.

Well here is a milestone – the first time I’ve put out a post in a consecutive week. I have been thinking about writing all week. A good sign? And writing this post is what got me out of bed, somewhat sleep deprived – I went to bed around 3am, got up at 9am with a bit of a hangover and here I am. I even knew I had to write now instead of later because I won’t have time – this is some high level thinking going on for me (slight sarcasm, although it is kind of a biggish deal for me – have to celebrate the small stuff right?)

I hate going onto WordPress. I dread it. I think I dread this feeling of being disappointed? What if no one looked at my post at all? Or worse, what if they did and hated it? I’ve just gotta get over that.

But thank you to the 9 visitors of last week, and an especially big thank you to MovieBabble and definingyellow for the likes.

Eventually I’d like to actually plan out what I am going to write about and maybe center around some kind of topic, but right now, I’m just going to write…now.

Another difficultish week. I have huge issues of self-esteem in connection to what I do for a living. Right now I have a job I thought I would never have. I have two jobs now, one full-time (which is the one I kind of hate). The other is actually kind of a saving grace. That’s the one, even though I only do it about 5 hours per week, is the one people kind of latch onto (if I tell people about my main one at all because I am so embarrassed to, although I am getting more and more bold (and possibly just more curious about reactions) to tell people). I wish I could just tell it on here, and someday I think I will, but right now I am just kind of paranoid.

But when I do finally leave that place – hoohoo boy will there be a post or two. I could do a whole blog about this experience.

So am I taking steps to leave this job if it is “the source” of my shame? Kind of, not really. Any kind of activity where I could be rejected or possibly fail gives me incredible anxiety, and then I just participate in some kind of distraction. Is writing just a distraction? Yes, but at least… I dunno… it certainly feels different than watching endless YouTube videos until I have to haphazardly rush to get ready for said terrible job, taking a shower while trying to making a hand brew coffee, and then, once on the road, cursing myself and my life, trying to find a satisfactory existential answer to how I and everything in this world came to be this way both from a theist and atheist perspective. That goes on for the next 8.5 hours, give or take a bit of a podcast here or there.

Job. Self-worth. What you do with your life. Self esteem. Hey stranger friend of my friend Mary-Sue, nice to meet you. Oh you’re a graphic designer? An engineer? In med school? Cool. This is what I do for a living. Cheers. What are you drinking? Oh, by the way, I’m stuck in a holding pattern of blaming my poor life decisions on my  upbringing / life circumstances instead of trying to take some responsibility and just getting myself where I want to be. Want to dance?

Ah but it’s the other way around dummy. Good self-worth is what brings a good job. Right, I forgot it was that simple.

What is a “good job”? What is self worth?

And why not just get a fucking better job? Why do I feel so stuck?

Every time I bring myself to try and update my resume, write a cover letter, or apply to a job I hit a wall. My anxiety overflows.

I have been putting around the idea of living on my own in another country. The only way I could do that is by teaching English. That doesn’t sound too terrible (teaching English), but I’ve never done it. And the real terror is, would I fall apart, feeling truly alone, unable to meet with the few friends I have, or would I feel energized? I traveled abroad alone – a first for me – a few months ago and it was incredible. I’ve never been truly on my own before. I’ve always been surrounded by people, and especially growing up, by those who were always telling me to do things instead of developing my own imitative and interests.

Good self-worth -> Good job?

Address anxiety and low self-worth -> ability to apply to job -> good job

Address anxiety. Hey that’s a good name for a blog. You know, because ‘address’ can mean two different things? And it’s got the alliteration thing going for it? I could go further.

SOC (stream of consciousness time). Read at your own peril or just skip.

Low self-worth. I am not worthy. I don’t deserve attention. I can only get attention if I am accomplished. If I can tell Mary-Sue’s accomplished friend that I, too, am accomplished. Otherwise I get a, huh, you’re not interesting – next. You’re not interesting. What is interesting? You hold my attention and interest. What you DO holds my attention and interest. Why? The ability for fame / money? Job X has the potential for money / fame – that’s why engineer is more interesting than non-engineer. Your personality is not enough. Your character is not enough. Your interests are not enough. It’s what you do with your life. If you don’t do X, then what are you? Shame. Worthlessness. Can’t sell myself.

I was talking with a friend last night and I divulged to him that the only thing I really want is for my father to want to have a conversation with me. My fantasy is for my father to call me and ask if I want to have a drink, and then we go and talk, and he just listens to me while I talk about stuff, stupid or no. This is one of the fundamental forces that drives my sense of worthlessness. Good job = good attention from others = good attention from my father and maybe he would have stayed. I was too fucking boring and that’s why.

UGH. Here I am stumbling along. My thoughts are a messish, but I don’t care. I care about output / habit developing right now. Right now this is pretty unpolished stuff, but I’m doing the output. My goal is 1/week, every Sunday I guess. Maybe if I had several categories or pages within my blog my entries could be a little more focused (eg. the page that deals with anxiety / self worth, the page that deals with my thoughts on politics – oh god – the page where I share some fiction writing – double oh god. And I don’t know why I share the stream of conscious stuff, or why I feel like I have to regurgitate and document EVERY thought I have right at that moment – the half scientist / psychologist in me thinks if I reveal some of the inner workings, I’ll see more of the source, and be better able to help myself. I don’t know.

Curry powder – makes everything tastes better.
Random deep conversations with friends.
An old friend calling out of the blue.

Thanks for reading.

Hope your next week goes well. MBM

Weekly entry

Sunday, July 1, 2018 8:58 PM

Feeling worthless again. Has been a very hard couple weeks.

Why does life feel like this constant struggle?

Sitting in my car before going back into my apartment and for a second I got a feeling about what it might be like to just feel at peace with life.

It was gone as so as I entered into my apartment. I have a roommate that I am close with, but they are often out, and when I enter alone, a wave of depression hits me.

But then again, when I’m alone and being productive and my roommate returns, suddenly I can’t focus as well anymore.

Does anyone experience this as well? Specifically the wave of depression upon entering back into your home? Sometimes I hate returning to my apartment. Why? I hate being alone? There are many times where I love being alone. But… I am definitely looking for a partner. Or at least I want a partner.

Gah I’m struggling to write, now, but I need to just keep writing. I want to find my voice. Eventually the idea is that I’ll stop apologizing for my writing and my feelings and settle into a sense of identity.

And that’s just it – so many successful people have this solid, stable sense of identity – of how they act around people, of what they do for a living, of what they do in their free time, of what they are working toward in life.

I don’t have any of that – the stability that is. I am always wondering about how I should act, what I should do. Maybe I am not so alone in this. Maybe I’m just jealous of those who have always known what they’ve wanted to do, or at least have stable careers, incomes, parents.

Ok I know I’m in complaining mode now, but I don’t care. I have this compulsion to just regurgitate whatever I’m feeling. We are in FMV mode – find my voice mode – right now. I do want to become a better writer. Best way to do that is to write. A number of people have told me to tell my story, and that I have a lot to say [eye roll] … [eye roll at the eye roll]. I’d like to do that. I would.

Do I want “fame” or anonymity? I think a lot of us have craved fame, but it comes at such a big cost of privacy. I want to be able to just explore and observe the world without wondering when I am going to be interrupted next.

Write and read. That’s what I need to do. Feels like there’s no time for any of it. That I’m just stuck in my terrible job. But hey, I’m writing here now instead of watching some mind-numbing thing on YouTube or playing a videogame.

Hate myself. But I don’t. Ugh. I feel like I have the beginning stages of schizophrenia sometimes. I hear my thoughts way too clearly, all the time.

I could rename this blog “cringeworthy”. Uggghhhh. There is nobility in the effort though. When will I be able to point to something and say, “Yes! That – that is not cringeworthy – that is worth sharing”? I don’t know. Why do I share these stream of conscious rants? Because I need a witness to my life. Some kind of witness. Maybe it’s related to the biological urge to reproduce / create and pass of genes / information – is the urge to reproduce in its essence DNAs “desire” for immortality? It knows that its host will eventually die and that it must survive somehow? Is me writing this and sending it off some form of wanting to be immortal? To somehow survive my death, regardless of how? Or is it just for attention (which could be argued is also related to reproduction?).

I don’t know. It doesn’t matter.

My goal is to try and get a post out at least every 2 weeks. Maybe eventually 1/week. I want to develop a habit of writing / publishing. And I do feel slightly better.

Recapping my last post, there was no engagement, ha, but that’s ok. The post was all over the place. I’m resigned to the fact that for the next few posts (and who knows, maybe this entire blog) will simply be an awkward cringeish stream of conscious that I will never read again and hope someone burns after I die.

Just one human trying to survive. Just trying to find a sense of peace and purpose. I find glimpses – not everything is doom and gloom. Some good things:

Free outdoor concerts | finishing a section of a language program | icepops on a hot summer day | running into friends | clean laundry | good coffee | a small bit of activism | family

Ok, until next time. MBM

Is the world doomed or can we save it?

6/18/2018 6:52:57 PM


[Grow Till Tall -Jónsi]

Taking another crack at this.

I enjoy writing, but I feel like it can be missing a lot. I wish I could add pictures, illustration, video, music.

Have lots of feelings and ideas, and writing / reading can only do so much.

I have a few personal projects. What kind of personal projects are you all trying to accomplish?

Being better about practicing an instrument or a language or cooking?

Getting a degree?

Raising a kid / family?

I am trying to love myself and my life more. For a long time, I have been in a dark place. Have felt very alone at times.

At the core of it though is a sense of worthlessness. That I have nothing of value to bring to the table. Which means, if I ever do become a subject of conversation for whatever reason, I’ll be met with pity, derision, bafflement, or perhaps the worst – complete disinterest. For whatever reason… I am hard-wired to think about how I will present myself to others. Or how I will fit in with others. I can’t seem to stop thinking about how other people will think about me.

[Hengilás -Jónsi]

While I know I ‘shouldn’t’ care about this, I do. This is part of who I am – wondering about what others are thinking. Wondering how every little action, word, expression, reaction, nonaction is being interpreted, if at all, and why. How are all these reactions changing my relationship with the current person I am talking to, if at all? It’s like I am constantly aware of the relationship and watching a constantly progressing line graph – with every good joke or interaction I make, the line rises. With every bad, the line falls.

So rather than berating myself for caring about what others think so much – as yes, I am working on developing my own sense of self regard – that is absolutely priceless and indispensable, but for me to have the goal of stopping carry what others think about entirely or even to a tiny fraction of my day is just not worth my energy right now. What is worth my energy is figuring out how to channel this proclivity.

[Festival -Sigur Rós]

I love discussion. I am bad at it, haha. But I love it. I love analyzing discussions and seeing the flow of logic. Again – I think I am bad at it. I am an ok writer. Not great. I tend to ramble. My thoughts are scattered. I hate being critiqued. But… like before, I can’t seem to stop thinking about discussions and the flow of energy, logic. Has someone been persuaded? Is there merit to what is being said? What drives someone to stick their neck out there and state an opinion or reaction anyway?

Maybe (more rambling) I just enjoy collaboration?

I want to collaborate and explore topics together.

One thing I love are book clubs – even though I’ve only discussed one book in a book club in my adult life, not including college. The process of picking things apart. Seeing the merit. Giving others the benefit of the doubt that their perspective is valid. Seeking understanding and learning instead of bristling at different viewpoints. Respectful dialogue.

Where am I going with all of this?

[Youth – Daughter]

  • How do we love ourselves in the face of feeling absolutely worthless? Why do we feel worthless in the first place?
  • What are some holistic approaches to addressing the different kinds of depression / social isolation / addiction that draws upon the best research? What are some of the cause of these?
  • How do we make the world better? (with the implied question of – the world is in need of betterment / how is the world need of betterment?

These are the questions I’m thinking about right now – I welcome dialogue and your own questions. Maybe we can try and explore this together so we are not so alone with our questions and feelings.

And sure… I could start a discussion club with real live people… in some ways I am already taking steps toward that because of a new group I am beginning to dabble in.

[Ether -We Are All Astronauts]

But writing is also a creative and expressive process. I enjoy the aloneness of writing, but also the wonderment of… who else is watching / feeling this (feeling my same feelings, asking my same questions) from across the gulf of time and space / the internet?

Critical me: “You know, I bet what you just wrote has been written a million times on a blog. Aka, you’re unoriginal. No one is going to want to read this. People will have seen this a million times before. Aka don’t publish this. You also haven’t edited it at all. Aka it’s bad. Just don’t do this. Don’t do this.

Response: Yeah… some of what you say may be right. But… I know you’re also coming from a place of fear / protection – you just don’t want me to be hurt. What’s the worst that can happen? I get a bunch of comments criticizing me? Ok. Say it happens. Was it worth it? I enjoyed this process. I am curious about exploring this process more. I am curious about the equation of:

I put time / effort into expressing myself in some way -> I put it out there as a question to begin a dialogue / collaboration with others -> I wait and see the results.

[M83 – Un Nouveau Soleil (audio)]

At least I tried something?

And the theories of probability / physics know I’ve been trying for a really long time. At least I’ve got that – my heart is in the right place, even if it is blindfolded in a dark room, bumping into wall to wall, making more trouble for itself.

Will I just make more trouble for myself? Eh.

Let’s just take a dive. At least I’ll say I tried. The point is that I’m trying to be true to who I am:

I need to express, question, wonder. I am fascinated by what others think. I want to make the world a better place. I want to help others who are going through similar feelings of worthlessness, isolation, despair. I want to grapple with the many social / economic / political / religious / environmental issues. Is there a way to save the world, or is the world doomed?

I guess let’s start with that:

Is there a way to save the world or is the world doomed?

I would love to hear from you in the comments and start a discussion. Feel free to comment on anything else you found interesting in this post. Thanks for reading.

Best wishes going forward and until next time.


6/18/2018 7:30:49 PM