Let’s try something new for today’s post! I have a handful of drafts on my computer since I started this blog site. I’m racking my brain on what to write that would still align with the intentions I set for this website.
Many things in my life were once sources of happiness. They were also my escape mechanisms from my dull stagnant reality.
Sometimes, what was useful and our only means to cope with life have to be let go of. Especially when over time it no longer makes us progress. They already served their purpose. Sayonara.
Sometimes, I’m still being consumed by regrets like I wish I spent more time studying Math and Science. I could have gotten to the top universities when I haven’t spent so much time playing Need for Speed and Diablo in high school.
Then I reckon, if I spend so much time regretting what things I could have accomplished and what I could’ve avoided doing, won’t I regret regretting that later?
Instead of focusing on what’s done, I am trying to shift my focus to what I gained from my past actions.
Here are the top 3 things I stopped doing (almost) in order to improve my whole being:
1. Watching fiction movies and reading fiction books
To be honest, this started because I got into anime 6 years ago. I slowly lost interest in fiction movies because watching anime has become more enjoyable. I still love the art and expression fiction films provide to me but at some point in my life, I just realized I am watching too many of them, fantasizing I wish I could do it too, when in fact I could focus on my own life!
I could have kept it in moderation but it’s badly in my nature to go for something all at once and fiction movies and books altered the way I looked at reality.
Over time, I just no longer want to live in those films and novels anymore. Documentaries and non-fiction books mostly about practicing mindfulness have become more appealing to me because of the value they add to my life.
I still watch movies only when selected people in my life invite me and I want to accompany them. Building relationships and maintaining them with people that give value to my life is important even when I have to watch a weird surreal movie that has a herd of sheep, twisted tomatoes at a funeral. (I don’t recommend that movie)
I also still have several non-fiction books in my room that have yet to be finished. To be honest, I don’t know if I’ll ever pick them up. I always say I want to before getting rid of them. For now, they can enjoy sitting in the storage boxes.
2. Drinking alcoholic beverage
At least in my country, people drink alcoholic beverages for recreation as long as you’re of legal age or your girlfriend or wife doesn’t rant about it.
I had my first sip of wine in primary school during Christmas or New Year. I remember feeling like a posh young lady since my aunt called it “ladies drink.”
A lot of people say they like drinking because they like the taste of it, or it’s their escape from day-to-day circumstances. Whereas in my case, I liked the taste of flavored beer with 3% alcohol in it. It tasted sweet and bitter.
The problem in drinking alcoholic beverages in my experience is that when I go to occasions as an adult, everybody somehow expects you to drink, and the worst case, they force you to drink even after refusing.
I get that we only live once (YOLO DUH?!) but if I’d do something for fun, I want it to be aligned with what I care about the most and that is having fun without external stimulation and without costing my health and most especially not so because I would feel accepted.
3. Caring too much
Well, this is a bit difficult but I try not to care too much about the things that don’t benefit my life anymore. It could be people who are probably in my circle but don’t uplift me. It could be the sad tragic events all over many places.
That’s not being indifferent. I just became selective of my battles. I do care but to some extent. And if I care about saving hungry people, I won’t rant about how politicians are not supporting poor people on social media. I will get my ass off, buy bread outside and distribute it to homeless people. That at least is what I could do without draining my energy.
Caring too much without actions is toxic. I used to give a lot of F about things that didn’t matter in the end. As Mark Manson author of the book The Subtle of Art of Not Giving a F*ck said:
“Our most radical changes in perspective often happen at the tail end of our worst moments. It’s only when we feel intense pain that we’re willing to look at our values and question why they seem to be failing us. We need some sort of existential crisis to take an objective look at how we’ve been deriving meaning in our life, and then consider changing course.”
My whole being was on the line because of caring too much. It was my crisis. And when it finally hit me, that is being in chronic pain for so long, I had to change my course.
(I honestly can’t recall that part in the book. I just googled this excerpt. I usually quote what I like from a book but I finished this one by listening to its audiobook. I just realized reading is different from listening and why am I trying to explain unnecessary things! I think it’s because I want to be honest or maybe I want to make a point that I actually read these books before quoting them. facepalm Here I am giving too many f’s again!)
I recommend cutting back on these three things I mentioned. Although, you still do you and I hope that we all make decisions with the best intentions without hurting ourselves or other creatures.
In the end, we all learn from our mishaps and this is how we grow and become better people!
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