What Do You Do When You Stop Running?

I haven’t been writing much recently because I have found my life to be almost too boring to talk about let alone put in the physical effort to write it out. When my friends ask “how are you doing?” I’ve been trying to put on a smile and say “awesome” or “amazing” and gargle out a few sentence about why it life is awesome/amazing when asked. My friends aren’t bull shit so they call me on the lack of passion. I say stuff, they hear it, think what they think and the conversations move on.

My thoughts on the matter are as follows:

I have a tendency to be narcissistic. All of the blogs I’ve written about toxic people and those kinds of things come from a place of experience, experiences that I don’t need to repeat anymore. I’ve been a real dick to a lot of people. I haven’t been the pacifist observer I’m capable of being because I make myself the center of everything and trying to control the crap out of the things I don’t like. I am sure there are reasons why I do this but they don’t matter much to someone I’ve just made feel guilty for something they didn’t even do.

The controlling tendencies remain, but I feel them now. I know the buttons to push and I know when I’m about to push one of them MOST of the time. The awareness that I’m about to push a button is very important to me because I don’t like being a dick. Creating an emotion within someone can have a positive impact, fear of dying can motivate someone to correct some diet issues, but given that I don’t have any control over the exact emotional response I trigger, there are too many unknowns for me to continue to do it to people without telling them I’m doing it. Manipulating other people is a problem I have had for a long time and I’m happy to be able to identify when I’m doing it. I’ll get my way a lot less often but maybe I’ll get some different life experiences….

Goals and dreams are fine, a man needs a purpose, but you need to be certain that you are trying to make real a dream that is actually yours. If you’re working towards something you don’t actually want, achieving it isn’t going to be very satisfying. This wasn’t a problem when it came to me riding too much to make sure I was this image of optimal health – worst case I run myself into the ground – it’s a huge issue when dealing with relationships because they involve someone else. The problem is that you end up saying and doing things that don’t match-up with your intentions. This creates a lot of anxiety and dissonance within the both people; it causes suffering without a positive end goal. So I’ve let go of the relationship dream / goals I had and have shifted my focus onto money and career objectives because I KNOW I need them in my future and I know I can control my efforts in achieving them.

For most of my adult life I have been experienced a constant low level of anxiety. It is so much a part of me that I search for things to think about to justify feeling it; it’s only recently that Des pointed out to me that I tend to feel something and then look for a cause. This is something about all humans. In most instances, the feeling comes before the reason. The truth may be that I am anxious and have unconsciously found chronically stressful life situations to displace the thought that my fight or flight response is on a hair trigger.

The only relationships that fail are those with or between narcissists. They don’t work because a narcissist thinks in terms of me, myself and me. The other person is a thing that serves a purpose. When the needs are being met everything is fine NOT because the two people are getting along but because the narcissist is getting their way. Once that stops happening, the controlling and abusive nonsense begins. Being a partner to a narcissist is a lot like being a robot. Your role is to do whatever they need done, usually preemptively and without prior coaching, and to take their ridicule for not doing the right thing for as long as they need to spew it out, and listen to it again anytime they feel like reliving their disappointment in you. I’ve served up enough of this sh!t to know that it doesn’t help anyone in the long run and it only gets the other person to modify their behavior and rarely impacts their nature.

Close the loops that hold you in the past. This summer was the culmination of my adult life so far. I was able to see who I was, who I wanted to be, what I had been doing, why I had been doing it, and what I needed change in order to move my life towards what I know I want. These realizations answered a lot of questions I had about myself and framed a lot of my actions in a way that makes complete sense, allowing me to stop thinking about them. With each loop I closed, I gained a little more mental energy which I put towards the panel business, something that represents my future. As the past gets put away the future gets brighter because you’re putting more energy towards it. However, open loops still remain that sap energy. If you really want to move into the future, create a big goal and start closing the loops of your past. It’s insane how they bleed you out.

I only have so much nervous energy to devote to stuff. It doesn’t matter what it is you want to do, think or move, it requires mental effort, and there is a finite amount of it available. Once it is used up, you slow down dramatically and need to rest and recover. It stands to reason that a long bike ride will have an impact on my ability to think later in the day. It was less obvious that a long stressful thinking session will have an impact on my bike ride later in the day. It does, and it tends not to be as positive an impact as physical exercise has on thinking. It’s also true and even less obvious that unconscious thinking will drain your nervous energy reserves. It makes sense why I’m a little flatter now, the work on the panels is new so it’s a little stressful. To learn it most effectively I’ve been immerse in it, which tends to prime my unconscious brain to work on solutions and advance my understanding, which takes energy.

Maybe it was my face. With my teeth moving and the spacers prevent me from closing my mouth completely there is nothing to force my jaw out of alignment. When the jaw sits naturally there is very little tooth contact on the left. That means a life-time of my mouth closing in a way that isn’t lined up. No matter how small the deviation, it’s going to have an impact on muscles, bones, fascia, and nerves in that area. Being both an eater and a talker, my jaw has opened and closed millions of times. Millions of reps, each one tracking just a little bit to the left. I’ll accept that we can normalize dis-function, I can’t accept that normalized dis-function to be equal to proper bio-mechanical function. I’m open to the possibility that much of my recent flatness has something to do with the improved soft tissue environment in my face, head and neck.