The Road Goes Ever On

Discussion in 'Ages 30-39' started by Eternity, Oct 9, 2013.

  1. Eternity

    Eternity Patience

    Day one. Insert random excuse here.

    It seems that as I begin to get Fridays under control, Saturdays become a problem. They're long, and the risk of boredom is high. Since I went for the long walk early yesterday, I couldn't do that in the evening. It's also hard to stay outside and work for too long since it's freezing all the time. I know that I can dress for it, but it's almost June and I really don't want to wear winter clothes anymore.

    Next weekend is a long one and I need to come up with a plan for it. I really hope it'll be possible to go for a bike ride or two, because they're very beneficial. They let the mind relax, and they can easily take 2-4 hours.

    What about today? Sundays have rarely been a problem, but with the shift I have to be careful. I'm not sure if I'm going to dig for roots anymore, but I may just to pass time. Other than that I think I'm going to clean the bike, chop more wood, and go for a run.

    I think with some minor adjustments, I'll be able to get through an entire weekend.
    BoughtWithBlood likes this.
  2. Good to see you’re analyzing what went wrong and learning from it. It seems you are encountering troubles resisting when you’re inside? What could help you to when you are inside and you can’t go outside for a while? Any hobbies like writing, painting, reading, etc. You could do to fill time and get your mind off porn? Did you also identify any triggers?

    Stay sharp and I believe you’ll be able to get saturday under your control as well.
  3. Eternity

    Eternity Patience

    Day zero, sigh. Right now I just wish to forget about this day.

    After lunch it looked promising for a bike ride, but I waited a bit and was going to chop some wood. What then? Rain right after I start. I got so frustrated that I went for PMO. After I fell asleep, and when I woke up it looked good for a bike ride again. But as I'm about to head out, strong winds again. It just seemed like the weather had been against me all day. I still went for it, but it was so cold that I had to cancel and turn back after 10k. I took a shower, had dinner and went out to get my daily steps.

    I want to end this day in a nice way, at least. I've made a fire and I'm listening to the LotR soundtrack as I write this.

    @BoughtWithBlood Yes, inside often equals idle and thoughts get to roam freely. What brings on most relapses is fantasy, so it doesn't have to be a physical trigger. The only indoors hobby I got is gaming, but I haven't felt like playing recently. Perhaps I could watch more documentaries. I could definitely read, too. I think 15 years of MMOs have made me always want something to do, so it is difficult to keep interest in other things for very long.

  4. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    If you're interested in cycling, there are two really good books by David Millar, Racing Through the Dark and The Racer. I also liked Domestique by Charly Wegelius.

    I thought about one of the books by Millar (I think the second one) when I read the first part of your post. He described how he and a training partner (don't remember the name) studied several weather forecast until they found one that predicted bad weather. So they used that as an excuse to cancel training. You on the other hand were motivated to get some miles in and were only stopped by actual bad weather. I hope there'll be some nice weather for you, soon.

    Last week, when I felt stressed from work, I listened to the LOTR soundtrack, too. And it immediately put a smile on my face.
  5. Eternity

    Eternity Patience

    Day one, again. Third day for the same album so it's time to move on. Worked on firewood when I got home for 2 hours, and now my back hurts from it because I haven't done that for a while. But it's all good, alongside the headache it should help me fall asleep tonight.

    @-Luke- I'm not that interested in the actual racing part of cycling (but maybe these books offer more,) so I've considered getting Mark Beaumont's books about his world/continental rides. The upcoming weekend should be better - it can't be much worse. If it still is, I'll just have to wear more of the winter kit. I just didn't expect it to be that cold so I went without a cap, but my ears nearly froze. And I guess I'm too stubborn to give up an idea easily.

    The soundtracks are magical, and considering how much they help I should listen more often. Khazad-Dûm in the dark is such a wonderful experience. I long for warm summer nights when I can sit in the dusk with the soundtracks on in the background. It should be ethereal...
  6. Living

    Living Well-Known Member

    I think that getting interested in things is something that can be cultivated. It might take a bit of time, but in my experience it really enriches your life. I have always been a book enthousiast, but since I cut back on my phone use I started reading even more and it just gets better and better:) I also love the LOTR soundtracks by the way. I occasionally play solo table top games with a fantasy theme and most of the time I play the LOTR soundtrack while doing so. It just adds something to the game:)

    Sorry to hear about the slips by the way. I think I read somewhere that it's easier to slip after we accomplished something we are proud of. I think it was in The Willpower Instinct. My girlfriend always jokes about it because although I think it's a great book I haven't finished...thus far willpower...I think the idea is that we give into things as a reward for our accomplishing. I don't know, but that might play in role in saturday becoming the new friday. Might be something to consider.
  7. Eternity

    Eternity Patience

    Day two. I went for a long bike ride once I got home, the one I planned to ride last time. It was probably too long for a mid-week ride. I think it's better to stay around the hour and go harder, to make better use of the time, and save the leisure rides for the weekends. I should do an FTP test soon, to see just how much room there is to improve. I'm pretty tired now so sleeping won't be a problem. I tested to darken the room last night, but I can't tell whether it makes a difference. I've never had trouble falling asleep when it's bright outside, but I wonder if it affects sleep quality. Seeing how there are sleep monitors for domestic use these days, it may be interesting to pick up one.

    Well, I've finally reached the end of the first album journey. I've been looking forward to the last one as I think it's a very good one.

    @Living Agreed, and maybe watching different documentaries will give me insight into new things. I used to read way more than I am now, I suppose I burned out a bit reading the entire Wheel of Time. It took me several years, sometimes at a really sluggish pace. It may be good to read something that is easy to read, and I think I got the very book. I just need to finish Return of the King. I think something I could do is to set up a proper reading spot. I got an armchair upstairs, that together with a blanket or two could work.

    It probably is. It also boosts the ego, making one overconfident. It's definitely been a way to reward myself after a week's work. If I need a reward, I should find something else. I just don't know what yet.
    Living and BoughtWithBlood like this.
  8. Eternity

    Eternity Patience

    Day three. Following up on yesterday's post, I know that I prefer to sleep without curtains. It's nice to wake up and look out on the new day, and also to watch the stars and the moon in winter.

    I'm off for 5 days now, which could spell trouble. I won't be at home tomorrow night, though. My current plan for urges is to take a nap, but also not to feel so stressed about getting work done. It's fine to take it easy; just enjoying the day doesn't make me a bad or lazy person.
  9. Eternity

    Eternity Patience

    Day four. The anger and irritation of the last few days is calming down. I went for a long walk first thing in the morning, and saw several animals and birds. I sometimes wish I knew anything about birds and could recognize the more common ones. I saw a couple of larger ones, possibly buzzards. It's impressive to see them glide through the air.

    I think a daily dose of LOTR music will also help me feel calmer. I don't think the power of music should be underestimated for me.
    -Luke-, Gil79 and BoughtWithBlood like this.
  10. Happy to hear the anger and irritation is starting to wear off and you’re feeling more calm. Music can be great indeed. I love taking a walk through nature with some calm music in my ears.
  11. Living

    Living Well-Known Member

    Good to see things are calming down. Often I have the biggest problem with the first couple of days. This is something you will need to push through, perhaps even white knuckeling it, but after 10 days or so in my experience things often become a lot more managable.

    In my opinion there is absolutely nothing wrong with reading things that are easy to read. In my twenties I read a whole lot of difficult stuff to relax after reading scientific publications during the day...yeah, that didn't really work:) At that age I had this I idea that I had to read those things, but often it was a real drag. These days I often read childrens or young adult novels or just some light reading (as in Terry Pratchett;)). Occasionally I still read the more daunting stuff, but in order to keep things relaxed I alternate it with a bit more simple stuff. And when it comes to fantasy: I think there is often a lot more fantasy in novels for children than there is novels for a mature public. In my opinion (and yes, saying that in the lion's den did take some of my nerve) The Hobbit > The Lord of the Rings.

    As for the birds: one thing I have learned since I bought my binoculars a couple of weeks ago is how quickly you'll learn when you are actually seeing and hearing birds. Just get a decent handbook or chart and/or find out what kind of birds should be in your area. Perhaps you could print your own small catalogue of the birds you can expect there. Another thing that might help is an app called BirdNet on which you record a piece of birdsong and then have it analyzed in seconds. I find the results pretty solid and it's a good way to determine a bird you see (as long as it sings ofcourse) or what kind of birds are in your area. I haven't managed to tackle birds of prey myself, they are all kind of brown with brown:)

    Edit: there actually is a really nice book from Swedish illustrator and ornothologist Lars Jonsson called Winterbirds. While it, as the title suggests, focuses on winterbirds it's nice start to get to know some birds in your area. And the drawings are magnificient!
    Last edited: May 22, 2020
    Gil79 likes this.
  12. Eternity

    Eternity Patience

    Day... one. Turned out that being away actually worked against me. I had more time to fantasize, but now I know. I shouldn't go away during the crucial early stage. At least I think I'm getting more consistent.

    I need to go shopping today, which I don't look forward to. I overslept and missed the chance of early morning shopping, so now I have to deal with lots of people. It may not be terrible around 2PM, so we'll see.

    The weather seems to be mainly rainy this weekend, which means no cycling. I should work on something, but I'm not sure what yet. If I get urges due to boredom, I'm going to use the nap strategy.

    @BoughtWithBlood I used to do that a lot, but these days I prefer nature's own music. Sometimes it's nice to have music, though, to boost the experience.

    @Living I'm so close to two weeks, where it does indeed get easier. I feel like I'm almost there, but falling down the ladder at the final steps. I just have to keep trying until I get there.

    I'd almost go as far as saying that if you don't enjoy what you read (if for leisure,) it's not worth reading. The tricky thing I've found, though, is that some books only get good after you've completed them. So I usually finish everything regardless. I get what you mean, it's much more easier to imagine the scenes in The Hobbit. The reason I hold LOTR so high is that I read them at an age where it affected me greatly. It very much became my holy scripture.

    I still think the bird interest has to be there, and sure, I wonder what visitors I get to my garden. I've recently had starlings on the lawn, which is nice. They're beautiful birds, I think. I'll see where this takes me, eventually I may need guides and these are good tips. I'm actually slightly interested in taking up photography again, it's been many years but I still think I know some of the basics. I may purchase a new lens with better zoom so that I can more easily take photos of birds.
  13. Shady

    Shady Member

    Try to keep the shopping to when you get the urges. It'll be a good distraction.
  14. Living

    Living Well-Known Member

    In that innitial stage it really helps me to go one day at a time. Every day counts, even every hour counts. Going from day 2 to day 3 is a much bigger thing than going from day 95 to 96. And also think about the days when you did get through. Those first days might a bit harder too, but it's also a matter of insecurity. At least to me. When you have had slips repeatedly it's not that strange that you get uncertain about the next couple of days. But you have done this before, perhaps even the day before. Sure, days differ from one another, but you have gone through similar days in the past and there is just no reason why you can't do that again.

    Lol, I actually think there are more than enough reasons to hold LOTR very high. When you consider Tolkien's idea to create a mythology for England I think LOTR is such an important book and also when you look at the astonishing things he does with language. In many senses there is no book like LOTR. But strictly as a story: yeah, I do prefer The Hobbit. As for the books not being worth reading: I agree, but like you said that's not always so black and white. I guess these days I do prefer books that I enjoy throughout, though there are exceptions. For example I love old classics and some of those can be just a bit too slow at times for someone that is used to modern media.

    Also agree on the starlings. Being a quite common bird I have really overlooked them for years, but when you give them a second glance they really are magnificient birds. Especially in winter. The photography thing is a good idea. I'm not very good at it myself, but my girlfriend is. Last year I bought a second hand 70-300 mm lens for wildlife photography and while I'm just still starting to get the hang of it I really enjoy it. It's a great way to engage with nature:)
    Shady likes this.
  15. Eternity

    Eternity Patience

    Late day zero... These extended weekends are killers. The loneliness and boredom make it ten times harder. Well, I can only press on. Hopefully I've had my "fun" for this weekend, and can have a clean day tomorrow so that I don't have to return to work in a zombie state. I got plenty of things I need to do tomorrow which will help. The question is whether I can survive the rest of the night. I had a long nap earlier today that may interfere. Sleep is completely out of control recently, so I think the best I can do is to get up early tomorrow to "reset."

    I have at least been keeping up with my daily steps. I find that it's starting to take less effort after beginning to complete them even on weekends. I think I'm getting in better basic shape, even though I don't run much these days.

    True, anything would be a good distraction. I think in my case it's also a matter of choosing an activity over PMO.

    @Living Perhaps I should view each day as an achievement, rather than some warm-up before the "real" recovery can begin. Each clean day is a step forward. It's also true that there's no reason why I can't do this. I've done much better in the past. I just need the motivation and conviction.

    To me, like I said, it's way more than just a book. I think it's very much thanks to Tolkien that I have this love for nature - a love for all that is green. I didn't mind most of those books you had to read in English class. As long as the story was good, at least.

    Me neither, I'm a complete amateur. I can take a photo, but I can't compose a photo. But for me, it's more about documenting. I'd like to take some more dusk/dawn pictures, so I should practice. Long ago I used to go photo the sunrise at a big lake. I got some good results and I didn't even have a tripod at that time. As for zoom lenses, I'm torn between all-purpose super zooms like 18-400, or more proper lenses like 150-600. My voice of reason is telling me to go for the latter, but they're both out of reach right now anyway.
    Last edited: May 24, 2020
    Living and Shady like this.
  16. Shady

    Shady Member

    Talk to a friend. Don't let yourself be lonely for a second.
  17. Living

    Living Well-Known Member

    Perhaps you should:) I understand what you mean by 'real' recovery, but I don't think that's the best way to look at it. It doesn't matter if things aren't right right now: your life is worth spending in a way you value just the same. What you want in life matters each and every single day, no matter how you feel. If you see this as a warm-up you will take things less seriously and that makes it all the more likely to give in. Maybe we should not even call this recovery. The further I get into this the more I start to see that in the end this is 'just' about enriching your life.

    And yes, you can do this, because you have done so!

    I can understand that you want lenses like that:) You can get just so much closer with a good zoom. I first got to improve the steadiness of my hand though, before I'm going to try those. I like to just shoot on the go and when things get a bit more dim I'm really having trouble with the long shutter times. And yes, lenses can be really expensive. I actually was willing to go up to 250 euro for a lens, but the camerastore my girlfriend always goes to adviced me to buy a Tamron instead of a Nikor, which saved me quite a bit. I got the lens for just 99 euro:)
  18. Eternity

    Eternity Patience

    Late day one. If only all days were like this! I've been busy all day with shopping, mowing, cycling and then I just got back from collecting the rest of the daily steps. Evening walks are great since smells are improved. I nearly ran into a badger, but fortunately it seemed more interesting in searching for food than me.

    I also made an important phone call which is something that terrifies me. But I can do it if I absolutely must.

    It's a warm evening, so I may risk sleeping with a partially open window. But since the birds are awfully loud in the morning and begin before 3AM I will open one on the opposite side of the house. Hopefully some fresh air will still reach me.

    If I had friends... I don't really have anyone to talk to. I got good online friends, but they're often busy.

    This is what I need to live by. It shouldn't matter if it's day one or five hundred, I should be doing what I want regardless. I did today, and it was good.

    Yeah, it's hard without a tripod. Even with those gorilla types it's not like point and shoot. What I tend to do if I plan on using the camera if it's dark, is to just bring the tripod and wait. I don't photo animals (yet) though, so that's much easier. I should also remember to bring a light - one time when I went out to photo a moor I almost didn't make it back. Got some very cool and mysterious shots, at least.
    And yeah, I haven't bought any of Nikon's own. Tamron or Sigma work just as well for me (maybe it's different if you're a pro - but then you may not have to buy your own lenses.)
    Last edited: May 25, 2020
    Living likes this.
  19. Shady

    Shady Member

    No problem. We're here for you.

    We're all in this together.
    Eternity and -Luke- like this.
  20. Living

    Living Well-Known Member

    That might explain the lack of hedgehogs. Badgers love hedgehogs. I've never seen one though, would really love to!

    You know, you're a nice guy. And I genuinely mean that. There is no reason in the world why you should not have friends. Having social anxiety, I understand that friends not always come that easy, but having a couple of people in your life that you can spend time with can really enrich your life. If this is something you do value this might be something to work on. Research shows over and over again how important social connection is for how you feel. And those do not have to be like the thorough friendships you read about in books or see in films, just having a nice time with someone you connect with is all there is. Then again, I understand this is not the easiest time to make new acquintances. I know you consider joining a cycle club, but that Covid-19 is in the way.

    -Luke- likes this.

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