January 25th 2022 (Stoic Boot Camp challenge version)

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The calls are coming from inside the house.

Which is why your challenge today is to take a step towards becoming kinder to yourself. Your challenge is to identify a destructive thought pattern to break this year, and to commit to the work of saying, nope, we don’t do that anymore.

The “Nope we don’t do that anymore” is a quote from Taylor Swift’s Netflix Documentary Miss Americana where Miss Swift talks about how one unflattering photo can send her into a spiral of self harm and doubt. We have all been there. Or have we?

Is this a problem that I have?

To a degree, we all have a running commentary in our heads that is (or that the very least can be) self critical. For example, the New Year New You challenge actually ended yesterday and yet here I am writing about task #13 of 21. Am I self critical of my inability to get into a proper daily blogging habit? Yes. Am I self critical of my time management? Yes. My fear based procrastination? Yes. The fact I have gotten old (and look it)? Yes.

Is this a bad thing?

I mean, if I was not self critical of these “faults” would I take the time and energy to pursue bettering myself? Wouldn’t I rather be playing Mass Effect Legendary Edition on the PlayStation 5 this morning and nobody… and I mean literally not one single person outside myself, would be any the wiser? So why do this?

Is It Fear?

Fear. Is that why I do it? As Pink Floyd says.

Tired of lying in the sunshine staying home to watch the rain.
You are young and life is long and there is time to kill today.
And then one day you find ten years have got behind you.
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun.

There is a fear that once I give up, I will never be able to start again.

Run, rabbit run.
Dig that hole, forget the sun,
And when at last the work is done
Don’t sit down it’s time to dig another one

I don’t want to be that person again. I don’t want to fail again and find myself homeless and friendless and without a future. I don’t want to have to rebuild everything from scratch again. I don’t think I have it in me.


I think we have lost the plot…, and that is okay.

As I step away from the ironic ledge of self-reflection. [I am literally embracing a philosophy that is about not fearing anything, including losing one’s own life (Memento Mori) as a result of my fear of losing what I currently have]. Let me embrace the relative comfort of the task at hand. Is there any self talk I do that is both harmful and (my emphasis not the tasks) not reality based?

Yes. I am over critical of myself about my ability to maintain friendships and romantic relationships. After all, I am coming off a successful sixteen year relationship. (Yes, it ended in widowhood, but that is how successful marriages end.) Why would I not recognize this? Use this as at least a piece of evidence that I am not a complete fuck up in this department. So I will remind myself that I am capable of being loved and I am capable of loving another. I feel better already.

We are going to revisit this whole fear of failure and loss motivates you, right?

Yes. But not today Satan. As Taylor Swift would say.

And I can’t breathe without you, but I have to
Breathe without you but I have to

It’s 2 AM, feeling like I just lost a friend
Hope you know it’s not easy, easy for me
It’s 2 AM, feeling like I just lost a friend
Hope you know this ain’t easy, easy for me

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