Motivation 10/25/20

Thoughts by Richard Bleil

The pile of clothes is sitting in a laundry bag to my right. At least they’re clean, but they sit, increasingly wrinkled, waiting to be folded. On the floor are dirty clothes awaiting the bag to be folded and put away.

My surroundings often reflect my inner state, modified by my need to be professional. As a professor, I cannot stand in front of a classroom in clothing that needs to be washed. Wrinkled, maybe, although I put a lot of faith in “wrinkle-free” to work out the wrinkles between putting them on and walking into class.

My motivation is shot. I guess it’s not a surprise; my regular readers know that I’ve been through a lot this past year. The funny thing about stress is that it tends to build without your recognition. It creeps up on you, until suddenly you find yourself irrationally upset at a level that is not typical for something that, when you reflect, you realize is rather insignificant. Or, like me a few minutes ago, you find yourself weeping at a silly romantic comedy.

Stress is any change, and I have a boatload of it. I remember a survey in high school on stress. As I run through some of them in my mind, I realize how many in which I am currently embroiled. Loss of my father, stress with my family, moving, buying a new house and so much more. I feel like I’m okay, but my surroundings tell a different story.

So, what do we do when it seems as if there is nothing left? How do we break depression, a lack of motivation? I have a habit of impulse buying when I’m blue, and I’ve been doing a great job of that. But the problem with impulse buying is that you gather stuff, but it doesn’t address those things that are bringing you down. I recently purchased a motorcycle, and I find myself buying a lot of gear to go with it. So far, it’s been largely safety gear, but it’s purchases nonetheless. This particular purchase might be a good thing, though, since I’ve also started a class on how to ride since I’ve never been on a motorcycle before. This forces me to learn something new, and just riding a motorcycle involves an incredible amount of coordination and thought. If riding isn’t for me, or if it turns out to be a hobby that’s too expensive for me, at least I can sell my bike and get most of my money back for it.

In a few weeks, I should be closing on my new house. Largely empty, this will mean plenty of work to clean it up and move in, but unfortunately, it, too, will mean a lot of purchases. In my downward spiral for the past few years, I’ve lost pretty much all of my furniture, so yes, I’ll need a bed, and a couch, and maybe a few more items. On the plus side, I’ve come to realize that I can live pretty minimalist lifestyle.

I think I need a plan. I need to find things to fill my down time, so I have less time to dwell on what brings me down. As it turns out, this new house has a lot of space, so there is room for an office, a workshop and basically anything else I might want to do. While I’m off, I intend to do work to keep my mind active. This includes a computer modeling research project idea, and maybe it’s time for me to write another book. Since starting this blog, I’ve actually written a series of short stories, so maybe I’ll use that as a jump start on a short story collection. They need to be polished, of that there is no doubt, but it might be a fun book.

Unfortunately, my motorcycle safety course has been postponed due to weather, so I have plenty of time to put my laundry away and work on catching up with grading for the college. Plus, I wanted to write two blogs tonight, and two tomorrow, so I’ll try to write either two or three blog posts tomorrow to get a little bit ahead.

It’s terrible feeling unmotivated and depressed. It’s difficult even finding the motivation to become motivated and looking at a messy room contributes to the depression that has led to the messy room. It is such a vicious cycle. If you’re locked into it (as I know I have friends who are), you’re not alone. I’m right there with you.

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