Monday, May 29, 2006

Remember to Let in Life


Woohoo! Blogger has an Adsense option, so I don't have to transfer the_lex-topia over to a Soulcast blog. Nice concept to try revolutionizing the Web, Google, but the author interface need some more work and features.

I really like the tag option they have there, though.

Still, it will save me a good amount of time and effort transferring things over there. It will also save you readers from any further confusion that the aborted transfer may have caused.



Yesterday, I spent way too much time and energy playing a Texas Hold'em game on my computer. There's just something about card, strategy and tactical games that suck me in. I guess a regular ol' action video game would do something similar. If I lose, I just keep on trying and keep on trying until I win.

Unfortunately, most particularly for a game like poker, figuring out a good strategy takes more than just repeated efforts. This tact especially doesn't work when (a) you get stuck on one way to do things or, after that, (b) you can't come up with new ways to try winning. It does help to realize that (a) doesn't work, though.

But yeah, I spent plenty of wasted hours playing that Texas Hold'em game to no avail.


I eventually got tired of the game and grew tired, so I had some grub and went to bed. As I lay there, I thought about this propensity for getting obsessive about these types of games. Before the move back in Massachusetts, I had faced the same issue, so I knew it was something of a regular problem. Especially since the problem continues to persist after getting medicated for ADHD.

Last night, though, I came up with a new way to approach the issue. Falling into a cycle of obsession then feeling guilty for the obsession but continuing on the path of this obsession had become something of a normal course of events in Massachusetts. This cycle doesn't do anything constructive for me but falling into it last night keyed into a possible psychological explanation for it.

I started reading Fear of Intimacy by Robert W. Firestone and Joyce Catlett back in the hotel before moving into this great apartment. Fireston and Catlett argue that in our infancy and youth, to defend ourselves against the emotional pain of rejection, most of us programmed ourselves with habits, thinking patterns and behaviors that helped us then but have become maladaptive as we grow up and leave our childhood homes.

So maybe, just maybe, this obsessiveness and single-mindedness with card, tactical and strategy games has roots in my own defenses against the pain of rejection. I haven't really thought much beyond that point, simply because when I enter the zone, I get very irrational and have to expend a lot of energy to pull myself away from it.

If anything, I guess I use these games as some form of escapism, but I can't say that I know what I want to escape other than the whole rejection thing. I took up playing the game yesterday because I figured it would work as a good diversion from small spaces between times that the fiancee needed me for installing an air conditioner.

Fear of boredom, maybe? Last week, I had that realization about the need for stimulation, but not getting stimulated doesn't strike me as a form of rejection. Even though boredom does lead me to thought patterns that can annoy me as I become obsessed about things I can't get to at the moment or about times in the past when I did face rejection of sorts. . .and annoyingly, my mind has a way of trying to solve problems with reason that can't really get solved by reason, especially when I don't have all the pertinent information. . .so obsessing about some stupid game can provide less pain than an interaction with someone in the past who had rejected me. I can keep trying new things with a game, at least.

Don't know if that's the real reason, but I had resolved that I needed to get away from the computer, the job search and all that important stuff every once in awhile. That idea comes somewhat from Job Hunting for Dummies by Max Messmer. He said that "becoming an expert in something" helps manage stress during a job search. I don't think he means become an absolute expert on something to the point of writing articles, becoming a consultant, making it a job or anything to that extent, but pick up some books and magazines about a topic and become well versed in it.

Then I decided to make a point to read something I enjoy or something for my bachelor's project (which I do enjoy. . .) for at least an hour or two or hopefully every couple hours while doing important stuff, get away from my desk to read, take a walk, maybe watch some TV, spend time with the fiancee or the kittens or do whatever strikes my fancy.

I've only just gotten on this here computer late in the evening at around 7:30 or so. Most of the day I spent reading, a couple chapters in the Illinois Manual for Safe Driving (have to take a written test and maybe drive on the roads when I apply for the IL license), Volume III of the Neil Gaiman Sandman graphic novels, Dream Country and a chapter from Fear of Intimacy. I also had some conversation with the fiancee and played with the kittens.

Have to admit, it made for a very enjoyable day. The day passed much more leisurely and enjoyably as compared to speeding by like it does while working for someone else, while job searching, while obsessing over a stupid game or while just plain doing silly errands and such.

Maybe I entered some kind of meditative state while reading the way I did, even though I wouldn't say the Illinois driving manual is exactly lulling into a trance, more into sleep. . ..

But yeah, I really need to make a point of reading and spending more time with people important to me rather than getting stuck in maladaptive obsessive cycles or doing Productive things that need to get done (and yes, I meant to capitalize "productive.")


+ Objective and the Job Search

+ The degree of my powerlessness in the world, with needing an income, food and other things just to survive and getting all those things gets in the way of either taking up some kind of political activism or some kind of freelance writing career to inform the public


+ The importance of palliative expressions and actions in our lives, especially for people who decide to follow some degree of strict principles (even though, after watching The DaVinci Code and thoughts about evil people in the world, how valid are palliative expressions in different situations?)

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