No Substitution

Ok. Getting back on track, there is no such thing as presto-chango. There is habit breaking, weaning, paring, elimination and hopeful non-replacement. Budget, body, mind; substitutions are as plentiful as the problems we leave behind.

I have completely convinced my minimalism-desiring self I do not need anything. Except for new tires, or a rim, or not; still working on that. Four different businesses; four different diagnosis. As soon as I find one untried business that comes up with a plausible reason that corresponds to any one of the others, I may be able to do something about the perpetual low-air tire light.

In the meantime, as empowering as it is to say “no” to instant material gratification, I have moved directly into substitution. The new move isn’t a positive one, either. In fact, it may be more detrimental. I have deeper, longer arguments with myself over my replacement gratifier: deals.  The struggle is more constant than ever. Most email and post advertisements are easily disqualified, deleted. The ones that tempt are the “deals” sponsored through sites offering deep discounts. Advance commitment is the new barbed selling lure.

For example, there’s a new frozen yogurt spot that popped up near my regular market, that hasn’t actually been my regular market for very long. The new grocer won out over my previous market mostly by convenience. Closure of the store nearest me, numerous construction projects on the way to the other two sort-of-close-by, much better produce offerings and a cash-for-schools incentive that donates 10% of my purchase total to a program that will assist a friend’s child in taking a school-sponsored marching band trip abroad this coming winter, also played into the decision.

Ok, Getting back on track, I’ve been successfully avoiding that yogurt establishment, so far, using the carrot method. I drive by to pick up fruit and yogurt and mile and promise myself when I hit my next goal, 4.6 pounds away, I will indulge. I’m pretty sure I won’t succumb even then, because that would be monstrously counterproductive.

Then along comes an offer: $6.00 will get me $10.00 in frozen yogurt. I don’t need $10.00 in frozen yogurt. I also don’t really need $6.00 in frozen yogurt. However, if my finally-made-it-to-my-next-goal treat is going to cost approximately $4.00 anyway, it makes economical sense to go for the coupon commitment. The coupon will likely require an accomplice; preferably one who advance commit and will split the difference.

It’s ok to snicker at that idea. I know it’s ridiculous. The chances of me waiting to reach my next goal, which could be a month or more, are pretty slim. Which is what I am still trying to be: slim. So, I throw up my hands, close  my browser and decide I’ll decide tomorrow.

Hopefully, the almost irresistible offer will have expired. I’ll be disappointed, but fiscally and healthily responsible.

There’s no substitution for that.

Quote for the Week:

substitutions are as plentiful as problems

Enjoy this Week’s Discovery Links:

Retrain Your Brain: http://www.forbes.com/sites/carriekerpen/2014/05/13/seven-ways-to-retrain-your-brain-for-a-happier-existence/

Retrain Your Brain: http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-8647/5-ways-to-retrain-your-brain-into-a-positive-powerhouse.html

Retrain Your Brain: http://www.cnn.com/2011/HEALTH/08/04/ep.brain.crave.cohen/

 

 

Crush

Crush sucks up a lot of my daily life.

Most late afternoons, my perpetual lists and lists of lists are updated, reworked; feasible within normal limits of someone who has no other circumstance or person requiring energy divergence. Daily, I corral 4 or 5 must-do’s, herding them to the top of the list. There are always a few wishful thinking “If-I-Feel-Like-It’s” further down. Eventually, the IFLI’s rotate into prominence, and other not-so-urgents take their place. The harder things and the piddily things slide up and down; the regular things are the ones I remain committed to.

Post-work early evenings, an hour’s worth of unlisteds begin. Walking comes first, if possible. Postbox mail retrieval, plant watering, clothes changing, disassembling my lunch box, dinner, dirty dishes, assembling lunch, cat tending, prepping clothes for the next workday; all rote. Then, the decisions begin.

Some days the mail purposely remains unread. Nothing-to-handle piles itself up on the sideboard. Seeing it sitting there is a stressor semi-easily re-categorized as semi-ignorable. On the days when action is required, I clump the must-handles together, and rifle and toss the rest. Unless it’s a magazine; then, it piles itself on the coffee table for another someday. Under the handle it once rule if I am holding a bill, I want to pay it, file it, and be done with it. I take myself upstairs and wait for the computer boot, all the while staring at my list.

A problematic get it-out-of-the-way temperament derails me. Payment secured or scheduled, logic dictates continuity; other acts must follow. I update my register, review the budget, log expenditures in EPS.* As long as I am sitting at the computer, I might as well delve into the weight of main and multiple email accounts, checking for more required payments and due date reminders hiding between notifications: Twitter, Linked-In, Facebook, Word Press, Sparkpeople, MyPoints, E-Reader, Kohl’s, Pet Supplies Plus, Current, Vermont Country Store, FTD, The Grommet, Living Social, Groupon, Bed Bath & Beyond, Target, Sears. AT&T, Verizon, Zingerman’s, Costco, Kroger, Daytrotter, MeetUp, Snapfish, Omaha Steaks, Live Nation, Amazon, Expedia, Women’s Ministry, Crafty Kids, Brad’s Deals, What on Earth.  Click, delete. Click, delete. Occasionally, just delete. Unless MyPoints has a click-thru, or if I haven’t logged my nutrition or exercise into SparkPeople, or if an email actually looks save-for-a-later-date interesting. Coupons don’t get deleted either. Discounts should never be sneezed at.

Down to 601 unread emails, I’ve been sitting for another hour now. If I haven’t already taken my evening walk, by this point, I’m not likely to.  I log out of my inbox and the news pops up. All sorts of things distract me; horrific, entertaining, intelligent, dumb. Unlimited information streams nurture fears of missing important pieces of the world. Cruising creates another time crush, which I eventually abandon out of boredom. Before kicking off the internet, I convince myself I should make sure I’m not missing a Facebook birthday. I should play moves in my current 30 Words with Friends games in the interest of promoting myself as being responsive, polite player, and for the added benefit of possibly making another move later.

Glancing at the list, I bite my lip and sigh. Not enough time for that, not enough concentration for that, not enough enthusiasm for that, before I do that I have to do this. Between overwhelm and laziness, I succumb, self-offering certain possibilities for tomorrow.

On these strangely justifiable late weekday evenings, the mindlessness of Candy Crush is enthusiastically welcomed. It’s a wind down experience; a blanking, mind-numbing, pre-retiring near-necessity. After using all 5 immediately available plays, I smooth into another crush. This one involves cookies and pastries that thankfully don’t resemble reality. When those plays have dwindled, I flip back to the first crush, and back to the second crush, and back to the first crush. Until the next energy deposit is 20 minutes away and I have cruised past a decent bedtime for a responsible adult.

Somewhere in between, sometimes, some things get done. I’m not sure that the reason I don’t do these things is because I don’t want to do them. They’re on the list because I want to do them. I have plenty of time; not enough incentive. Plenty of responsibilities; not enough reasons for resistance.

First thing amid the disappointment of morning, the list is reappears. Contemplation, evaluation, reprioritization, recommitment: re-ordered as attainable tasks I aim to accomplish, today. I set the bar again, prepared to leap past it, though I fully expect the crush.

 

Quote for the Week:

The remedy for responsibility is candy crush

Enjoy this week’s Discovery Links

Crushing Demographics: http://www.mnn.com/money/sustainable-business-practices/blogs/candy-crush-saga-addiction-is-worth-millions

Hedonic Adaptation – No Pay for Play: http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=science+of+brain+waves+during+acndy+crush&qpvt=science+of+brain+waves+during+acndy+crush&FORM=VDRE#view=detail&mid=3292BD8E7F5DD384DD333292BD8E7F5DD384DD33

Non-Addictive Stress Relief Games: http://stress.about.com/od/funandgames/tp/games.htm

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PS. EPS = Every Penny Spent, spreadsheet of where the money goes, and goes, and goes…

PSS. I don’t pay to play, never will.