“Don’t think of introversion as something that needs to be cured… Spend your free time the way you like, not the way you think you’re supposed to.”– Susan Cain
About two months have passed since I quarantined myself at home. I actually almost got used to it already. And this time, I feel like sharing a bit of my thoughts during this quarantine. For my personal being, there’s quite a lot of improvement, so it’s also a good thing I guess.
That does not mean I hope this pandemic would last forever though. Lots of people are not so lucky and have to fight for their lives. I can only say, keep fighting, because even these kind of times will end, not so soon but I believe it will. For you guys who are lucky enough to be still healthy, stay inside and work on yourselves.
So yeah, the new standard in this two months: No dates. No hang outs. No commuting to office. Not going anywhere. For the sake of eluding the virus and not to spread the virus around the neighbourhood. I thought I could not, when I felt like exploding in the third week of quarantine.
My commuting to the office usually takes 1 hour. Going back home takes 2 hours.
That’s 3 hours a day spent on the road every day. Three precious hours spent inside a vehicle. Three hours of waiting, maybe reading mangas, or playing mobile games.
Then suddenly, I got that 3 hours back. At first, it was a nice change of pace. 3 hours of extra rest at home, maybe for playing the unplayed games in stock, or maybe for doing something productive like starting a side hustle again. I choose the first option: rest.
Yay, extra 3 hours! But…
I chose to sleep more, now almost consistently 7-8 hours of a good night’s sleep every day. Feels refreshed, not having to rise up very early to catch the early bus. I have more time to exercise and getting stronger physically. Then I start working remotely. After work, I would read a book for at least 30 minutes, probably more if it’s interesting. Then, I have my 2 hours going home time, available.
For the first couple of weeks, I don’t really know what to do in the extra 2 hours I suddenly have. I played some computer games like Nier:Automata (100% completion, y’all!), also binged the game at weekends.
But, when the game ends, I feel empty. Is it because the game was too good? Or maybe I don’t want it to end? Maybe subconsciously, I feel like I can use the time to do something better? Or probably, I am afraid of not improving and getting left out?
What should I do then? I want to be productive. Playing computer games do not give me the satisfaction. It does not fill me with joy anymore.
At this point, I’ve seriously been thinking of getting a side hustle, as a programmer. But, that would mean more responsibility on finishing the work. It also could sabotage my new commitment of living in balance. I don’t want to be a slave of work. More money, but less sleep, and not healthy. Been there, done that. And it was not even a side hustle. And I will never fall to that trap again.
So, side hustling is out of the option.
Internet marketing? Not my style. Or rather, I don’t have the confidence to sell, yet.
What about online shop? Nah, I am too lazy to stock items in my house, and doing the packaging and stuff. Oh, the customer service also, customers always win. Not prepared to do that.
And then, a coworker in my office is scheduled to bring a public seminar. On the day he talks about his topic, as I watch him, I got an inspiration.
I realised I love to learn something new. About some skills necessary on my current full-time job. About improving my physical body strength. About knowing and mastering myself. I am curious, I want to know more. I don’t like not knowing.
So, I need a medium to channel this desire. What could it be?
Teaching? Not confident about it yet. I feel I lack the knowledge to do it.
Starting a YouTube Channel? Haha. I’m too handsome for it.
Maybe blogging? Yeah, finally I decided to start a blog, after around two weeks of contemplation. If you read my first post and bio, I pretty much told the story already.
But somehow, I just realised then I might have a talent in writing. I did not have much trouble in writing my reports in my thesis. I kinda like writing tutorials for my peers to understand on how to do something, especially about operating, installing, or programming computers.
So, I decided to give it a try, this blogging thing. I decide to write about programming tutorials, or maybe ideas, and some rants. This post is one of my rants.
But then, another problem appears. I was not really sure I can keep this up consistently. I have a history of not faithful to some things. Put it simply, it’s like this: When I feel like doing something is already a chore, I know at that point I must stop, unless it gives me a good benefit in the long run.
I might feel bad because I know I’m already quite used to it, but I have to do it. When I think about it on that time, I got inspired again by this word: used to it. Or, my current favourite word: habit.
Being Aware in Habit Creation
A month after I broke up with my ex-girlfriend half a year ago, I decided to work myself to have a sexier body. It’s not like I never thought about this before. I did. It’s just that it only lasted 3 months, because of the classic excuses: No time, too much work, my exercise streak is gone, ex-girlfriend was tired and more important, bla bla bla~
But at that time, I feel like trying something different. I need a system that will not be broken in any circumstances, time, and places. I need to make working out a new habit.
So, I started with 1 push-up on day 1. Then 2 on the second day. Then 3 on the third day. It continues until 200, on day 100-ish on April 2nd, 2020. At some point, adding one a day became too easy, so I add two a day. On the last days, I add 5 until 200. I did it, I had successfully created a habit of exercising.
Not only that, I added some other exercises while I rest between the push-up sets. Around 50, I started to add planks. Around 100, started to add squats. Around 150, added more abs exercises. At 200, as a reward, I bought myself a pull-up bar. I also added progressions on my push-ups: from normal, wide, diamond, staggered, decline, and archer.
Now at the middle of May, my daily routine includes at least 100 resp of push-up variations, 5 minutes of plank variations, 30+ (and still keep rising) reps of pull-ups, at least 50 reps of squat variations, and at least 50 reps of ab variation exercises. Plus, I do a morning run every 2 or 3 days in my active rest day.
Looking back now, in just 5 months, I managed to begin with 1 push-up and adding one each day, to a rather punishing exercise routine. Wow. I keep doing it even though I don’t feel like it. Tricked my brain just pushing up and then you are done. But when my body is triggered to exercise, I can do it until I finish my routine.
That, is the power of a habit. You keep doing it, even though you don’t feel like it, even though it is tiring or possibly, boring.
Then I tried this habit-making process with something else: reading a book. I committed to read at least a book in a month. But, actually, I can manage two. Not much improvement like the physical exercise, but I still can keep the habit of reading every day. In May 2020, I have read 10 books already, more than the books I read in the past 6 years.
Alright, two new great habits now in my mental portfolio. Back to my worries in not able being consistent at blogging, I was reminded of my mental portfolio. I did it already. I have the ability to make a new habit. I just have to apply it on my blogging. The habit of adding a content in my blog every day. And at least one new post every week.
Because of that, I’m now confident that I also can maintain this blog. I enjoy writing after all.
Yeah, I guess I just wanted to share what happened to me, and take the load off my chest. I intended to write this post as an introduction for my next post. But, my fingers kept on typing. So, it became a new post on its own.
The next post will be about what I know about habits, more technical stuff on how I manage to do the things I have told you about in this post. Please look forward to it!
Live your code and code your life!
“To keep the body in good health is a duty, otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.”– Buddha
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