Stop the Beatings

It will probably surprise no one here, subjected as you have been to my random brain-drops for years, but the thing that made the most difference to me in Jordan Peterson’s 12 rules was the rule that said: Treat yourself as though you were someone you love, for whose well being you’re wholly responsible.

I don’t think I’m alone in that. A lot of us born in or after the middle of the last century were so disgusted by the message of hedonism and self-centeredness of the times, that we ran the other way, at least where it pertains to ourselves.

Never to anyone else, of course, but for ourselves, many of us lived by the rule of “The beatings will continue till morale improves.” And when body or brain or soul broke, we just saw it as an excuse to kick ourselves harder and call ourselves names.

It never occurred to me this was a bad thing, until I read that rule in Peterson’s book. After all, being self-absorbed, self-loving and self-indulgent are bad, right? No one wants to do that!

Except there’s a difference between self indulgence and treating oneself as though she were the despised red-headed step child. And I’m an adult and should have noticed it.

Like this: There is a difference between demanding a feat of pure effort from yourself every once in a while, and not letting yourself take a breath, not letting yourself show weakness, being terrified of not succeeding at something. Thinking that if you fail it’s all your fault and you done it. Beating yourself up at every failure, and hating yourself for not being perfect, or for being (merely) human.

So, that rule from Peterson was a blinding revelation, and it probably shouldn’t be. I’m still incredibly afraid of being overindulgent and spoiling myself to the detriment of others or of my work. But I try to remember to take my meds and try not to hate myself when I fail.

But there are levels to this rabbit hole.

I might have mentioned I was put on a sleep schedule. This came about because I was talking to older son, and he said that if you only sleep less than 7 hours a night for a stretch of time, it’s suicide on the installment plan. And I stared at him.

Look, I haven’t slept more than (and often not) six hours a night for over thirty years, and before that I wasn’t particularly good at it, either.

I never thought it did you any harm. Just never did. I mean. I thought sleeping eight hours was for the weak and the indulgent.

So I got yelled at — when do the kids start yelling at you on the regular? Because lately both of them periodically look at me like I grew a second evil head, and then the yelling commences. Usually loving yelling and all, but really — and put on a “sleep hygiene” schedule, that involves no electronics two hours before bed and light blocking curtains and… I kind of failed yesterday because I was fighting a cover, but REALLY, it seems to help? More than I expected.

I got the sarcastic “No sh*t” for that, and I suspect a lecture on not living on coffee and whatever I find when I’m hungry (which is often stuff like popcorn which I shouldn’t be having, period) and probably a right smart telling off about proper exercise. He says I should try to run the body according to the owner’s manual.

But I’m serious. I always thought you didn’t need eight hours of sleep, that sleeping that long was a sign of weakness.

And we all know about the debacle last year, when I was determined not to ask for help, though we had to move earlier than I expected. And then a bunch of you put me in a corner and yelled at me, and I’m glad you did. For one, it gave me the courage to try a yearly blog fundraiser, which I promise to keep up, even if the idea of asking for pay for my daily work still seems odd.

Okay, I decided to post this, because I think there are others (Coff. Crossover) among us who have similar issues.

We treat ourselves like rented mules and demand superhuman feats of all too human bodies and minds.

Or, put it another way, if you wouldn’t demand it of anyone else, you shouldn’t demand it of yourself.

If you wouldn’t think anyone else is a “mooch” for asking for money help in a pinch, much less for asking to be paid, why would you think that of yourself?

And no, taking care of yourself isn’t self-indulgent. Yes we’ve all heard about people who think “Self-care” is trips to Paris or $500 pairs of shoes. And you know what? If you can afford it, you can do that too. You’re not a medieval monk.

BUT you shouldn’t indulge yourself to the point of financial straits, no. Let’s not be stupid.

However, treating yourself as a human being who needs food, rest, and sometimes, through no fault of your own, a helping hand is not self-indulgent.

And you should cut yourself some slack on “less than perfect”, not blame yourself when you get sick, and generally … well, try to treat yourself as someone you love and whom you’d like not to die of tiredness.

And if you have a gift… Well, Peterson says that creatives who don’t create die. Either physically or mentally, either fast or slow, but they die. So, that too, is not self indulgence.

And staying healthy enough to create is essential.

Stop beating yourself, berating yourself and hating yourself and then demanding top performance.

You’re not a rented mule.

No one is asking you to indulge in extravagant self-love, but give yourself a chance, okay? The rest of us will thank you.

286 thoughts on “Stop the Beatings

  1. grin It’s a really hard rule to learn, and to keep applying. You keep trying, I’ll keep trying – and if you’ll forgive me occasionally yelling at you, I will absolutely forgive you yelling at me like I’m a recalcitrant cat.

    Speaking of which, I need to get offline and go get a new pillbox, so everything is in one place. Because yelling at myself for being forgetful on the set is Not Helping, so I should treat myself like someone I care for and help me along by getting a little thing that’ll help.

    If I drive with the windows sown, maybe that’ll help with the “get ten minutes of daylight every day” – that one wasn’t Jordan Peterson, but it was from another source that is a very practical, factual, “feed yourself correctly, exercise with care, sleep hygiene is critical, and get some damned daylight every day. Humans aren’t cave fish, it’s important for mental and physical health.”

    I’d be a lot less grumpy if it wasn’t so clearly correct and makes my life so much better that I have to acknowledge I need to put all this time and effort in taking care of the broken body I got left, and trying to build it up for tackling all the years ahead.

        1. Is there something going around? Because me, too – stayed up baking chocolate chip cookies for the barbecue tonight.

            1. Yeah. And we’re in Illinois, though blessedly away from Chicago. Working at a really cool volunteer effort. But the team is VERY social, and it’s taking some getting used to.
              Re, “something getting closer,” a friend who is definitely on the other side of the political divide is thinking, “have a refuge ready,” thoughts. He may be worried about hordes of Trump supporters, but he’s still having the basic premonition.

              1. -Waves-
                Hi, neighbor-ish! Although I’ve personally fled over the Mississippi to freedom, family and farm still bring me back. Regarding social, I thought I was an introvert, until I was introduced (because how else do introverts meet?) to my now wife. We’re looking for new volunteer opportunities after the move, and I keep looking over my shoulder for that rough beast slouching over the horizon.

            2. Beware the bias of the mature. As we age, most people demonstrably lose some ability to accept change, and are increasingly discomfoted by it. Some show dramatic intolerance gains.

              I have an extraordinary tolerance for chaos, and also to pull successes from it. In a disaster, folks turn to me. I flourish.

              But I see how just about everyone else is uncomfortable or worse.

              And I see that even I am leaning a bit more towards “order” nowadays.

              So yes, rake the sand around the rock, but don’t let the footprints hack you off.

            3. I’m not sure if I’m feeling that yet, or if my emotional state right now is just the start of college – my present is largely comprised of three things:

              Epic/dark trailer/movie music. (Epic versions of The Godfather theme, Secession Studios on YouTube… on loop. Whenever I’m in my dorm room.)
              Smiling grimly at my laptop, and vowing to CRUSH this semester’s classes beneath my heel. I’m going to WIN school. (No, I don’t want my classmates to fail. Why on earth would I want that? It’s the schoolwork I’m going to war against. And it will rue the day it thought to challenge me.)
              Dragging myself away from the laptop and textbooks to go do the social thing.

              “Okay, self, you need to go out to this event with your hall now.”

              “But I have schoolwork to do!”

              “Nothing due today. Nothing due tomorrow, even. Go out and meet people.”

              “But it’s cutting into my work time!”

              “You don’t NEED to work right now. What you NEED is friends.”

              “Remind me why I need those, again?”

              stern look at self

              “Ugh, fine.”

              1. I think that’s a conversation we’ve all had with ourselves and that some Huns have among themselves. 😉

                1. Somehow I knew you’d find this comment and make one along the lines that you did, Ian! 🙂

              2. “I don’t wanna be social, I wanna play dead!”

                “You need Real People™ or you start getting stranger and not in a good way.”

                “But I’m an introvert! Day Job’s good enough, right?”

                “I said Real People™.”

                SIIIIIGGGGHHHHHHHH slouches out to make connections and be friendly and sociable

                1. I’m lucky I have such a large family; I don’t think I could make connections otherwise.

                1. BS: Film Production and Content Development (which is probably going to be swapped out for BFA: Film Production and Content Development, which allows for more specialization in the field). Being very much a story-making person, with some skill in character creation to match, I thought there could be very lucrative positions in the near future making good movies/TV shows. (And writing books, but that’s more on the side.)

                  I want to create beautiful art. My artistic style is story-writing. And I think I speak for many people – both here and throughout America – when I say that I am tired of Hollywood’s constant sequels/remakings, dull characters, and political agendas.

                  We will have to see whether or not I can actually do better. I choose to believe that I can.

                  1. Good luck from all of us creatives here! If that’s what you’re going for Draven would be a great Hun to talk to given his background.

          1. I went to bed last night after getting 120 words on the WIP.

            Because I realized I could stay up until 2am trying to get the words out after that, or I could go to bed and try again today.

            It’s now today, and I may be regretting this choice, because the empty page ahead is still empty and accusing. But at least I was rested for weightlifting, and that’s no small thing.

            1. Maybe I’m just contrary, but I mock the empty page. It can sit there and be empty all it wants, I’ve got other stuff to do. I’ll get back to that empty page when I am -damn- good and ready, when it is begging me to write stuff on it.

              “Fine! STAY EMPTY, smart ass! See how you like that!” Then I go do one of the other ten thousand things that always seem to need doing around here. [muted swearing and kicking]

              As you can see, I am not motivated by deadlines. ~:D I learned that about myself a very long time ago, thankfully. I only deal in what I’ve got in inventory, as it were. No special orders, just what you see on the shelf.

              1. I know what I need to do to fix the empty page – first I have to visualize the entire area, then I have to block out the team’s movements through it, and the adversary’s movements, and the fight.
                Once the visuals and the movements are established, which will necessitate what commands along the way, then I can write it. Right up until what was planned goes FUBAR and I end up with the chaos that always results in the fog of war…

                And then I get to repeat the steps above.

                Visualizing things from nebulous to specific is harder than it seems.

                  1. I haven’t done a diorama. But I have printed out the topo map, marked it up, and taken it to dinner for the guys to wargame attacking a terrorist camp. Which they did with gusto. Given we had multiple services (and multiple countries, and multiple conflicts) of experience, the results were enthusiastic, combative, and rather like drinking from a firehose. I ended up using a Rhodesian fireforce tactic.

                    The rest, thankfully, have been combined to a rough sketch and one subject matter expert. Which probably disappoints the rest of the guys. Huh. Maybe I’ll sketch it out and ask them Saturday. And stand back with a pad for notes.

          2. I will tell you what. I’m aware of several significant changes in people’s buying habits this year, and changes in the Canadian medical community where nothing ever changes.

            Yes, there is something going around. What it is exactly I really don’t know, but things that have been the same for 40 years are changing overnight. Nobody in particular is forcing this, people are simply changing their behavior. There are examples all over the place. None of it particularly informative, unfortunately.

            I think we all feel -something- and frankly I know a lot of people that it is making them twitchy. I’m cranky as a bear with a sore head, and if I stay up late it only makes it worse. If I obsessively rake through all the blogs like I used to, I’m a basket case. Can’t barely make coffee.

            So tonight I’ll watch Stavros make handplanes until 11 and then crash.

            1. Any examples? I’m employed in the industry (backend data analyst), but I am pretty oblivious.

              1. Examples? Housing, trucking, healthcare. Three pillars of the Canadian economy are disintegrating right now, today.

                Over the next year or so we may very well see the Canadian medicare system fail completely and become de-facto fee for service again. Nobody in the media is saying that, but it’s happening. The whole thing is coming apart like a cheap suit, and your grandmother ain’t going to get her broken hip fixed if it keeps going like this.

                Housing, there isn’t any. No one is buying, because the average home is over $1 million bucks in every city in Canada and banks have stopped writing mortgages that high. No one is selling, because they have to get a million bucks to clear the mortgage that they already have. Rents are increasing exponentially, because everybody who has a house for rent has to crack that mortgage nut every month.

                At 2% the mortgage on your million dollar property is ~$1,600 a month. At 4% it is ~$3,300. The Canadian government jacked the interest rate from 2% to 4% in a couple of months, with more to come. Last year, 2021, average rent was ~$1,800. Now it’s $3,500 and heading up fast. How long do you think that’s going to last?

                The government of Canada owes a TRILLION dollars. There are ~30 million people in Canada. That’s 33 thousand each that we all owe, every man, woman, child and two-spirited-dragonkin who identifies as a fluffy pillow. The INTEREST on that debt just doubled, with more to come. Will we go broke first or will the government?

                The truckers have already rioted and had the army called out against them. They blocked Ottawa for a month, from February to March. Supply-chain is fraying, to say the least. What happens when trucks stop delivering to Costco?

                I could go on, and on. But that’s enough, right? You can fill in the blanks yourself.

          3. Over did things a bit, got too much of a self care hole, and the bad headache half the night made sleep pretty interesting.

      1. Some days I’m a sybaritic cat! Or a cat with the zoomies!
        Or a derp cat.

        Today… today is a day I’m not getting housework done. Or housework. I should stop waffling on which side of the door I want to be on and just go do it.

          1. There are days, I’ve found, when I’m really, truly lazy, and then there are days when I SAY I’m lazy but I’m actually tired or not feeling well. Learning to distinguish which has been the work of years, and I still catch myself saying “I’m feeling lazy today” when I actually just don’t feel well.
            It comes of growing up with a disgustingly industrious father who was hardly ever sick, and worked through it when he was (even when he really shouldn’t have).

        1. If the image cheers you up…Our literal cat was doing a literal door-waffle today. Complete with luxuriant barrel-rolls to show off the belly that none of us are allowed to touch on pain of OW.

          Our porch is shaded by a mimosa tree. Which is why several mimosa leaves came off in my hand when I bent to pet the cat. Which is why one (1) mimosa leaf, approximately 1/5 the size of a dime, fell from my hand and drifted down to land on her butt. Which is why she squalled like all hell and part of New Jersey and leaped inside in a panic.

          At least she’s inside?

        2. I’m a Texas Flat Cat. Got all Day Job’s work done, rehearsed from 1840-2130 last night, then answered work e-mails, up at 0500. I got myself ice cream for dinner, because it’s been the kind of week where I need something to encourage me to finish that work before I come home. Now I brain dead until tomorrow AM. Because I have two books to edit before September 10. And a concert this weekend.

          rolls on back, plays dead

            1. I hope that I’m wrong, but I fear that a Texas Flat Cat is similar to an armadillo.

              Q: Why did the chicken cross the road?
              A: Because the armadillo bet $50 that it couldn’t be done.

              1. You’re behind the times. Since 2020, the correct answer is:

                Q: Why did the chicken cross the road?
                A: To avoid somebody not wearing a mask.

                Idiots have done that. Practically ran across the road because I was walking on the sidewalk without a mask.

                If one of them had been hit by a car… wow, ultimate irony meets Darwin Award. Yep, I would have laughed. That level of stupid deserves to be laughed at.
                A good Zombie Apocalypse novel is at least as believable as anything we’ve heard out of the ‘Publick Health Authoriteez’ over the last three years.

                1. The last year or two has been a Zombie Apocalypse novel with the zombies in charge of the world’s governments.

    1. I need to get offline and go get a new pillbox

      looks at line

      looks at author

      looks at line again

      looks at author again

      You know I’m not actually sure which kind of “pillbox” we are talking about here.

      1. Do you suffer from incipient tyranny, keeping you up at night? Frequent trips to the range?
        Ask your range master if prescription MorDakka is right for you. Now available in easy-open dispensers. Ask about our 30-day bulk supply.

        MorDakka(TM) is not right for everyone. Not all problems respond to MorDakka. Side effects may include permanent grins, sneers from Europeans, itchy trigger finger, and temporary hearing loss.

        MorDakka. Isn’t it time you started living free again?

        1. Is MorDakka the ‘new-and-improved’ version of DakkaDakkaDakka? ~:D

          I always like that one better than PewPew. More authoritative, y’know?

            1. How to know you’re church is to connected? When the kids hide a ton of phones and pagers in the priest’s office as a prank, and he says it was relaxing. Reminded him of liturgy…

        2. Oooh, I’ll buy! Who needs a prescription, anyway?

          On a slightly subject-related note, did anyone else have a project in middle school/high school where they had to do a presentation on an element? And turn that project into a plutonium advertisement selling a slow and painful demise for one’s enemies? For the low, low price of $149.99?

          Or was that just me?

          P.S. Being in a homeschool co-op program with a class who’d known me for years, and with whom I spent 6-7 hours locked in a room once a week (there was one class, just multiple subjects), I got laughs rather than an immediate trip to the Principal and year-long visits with a school counselor. God bless my Mom and Dad for not throwing me into public school, goodness knows how I would have turned out.

              1. “But I don’t want to go among mad people,” Alice remarked.
                “Oh, you can’t help that,” said the Cat: “we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.”
                “How do you know I’m mad?” said Alice.
                “You must be,” said the Cat, “or you wouldn’t have come here.”

                  1. I don’t think I’m supposed to share that kind of information… after all, y’all ain’t even asked my daddy’s permission to court me yet!

                    (But seriously, I don’t think I’ve had occasion to pun that badly yet… or maybe once. Dunno, I have trouble remembering things I don’t specifically make a note of. See my folders upon folders in Dropbox of story ideas and only one finished novel. (Which, upon re-reading, is awful. And not even in terms of misspellings and punctuation, which I could fix in a heartbeat. My frelling plot needs resuscitation. And the novel in question is a 200+ page document, so the time it would take to dive in and fix everything is… ugh.))

          1. Evy, is that you?

            More seriously, I am 99% sure you are NOT from our home school co-op, and 100% sure this is something a whole half of our students would attempt (ONE of you may have plutonium). After all, they had Duckin’ Donuts, for when you need coffee and donuts and a fallout shelter at the same time, as a fake ad last spring.

              1. She was our only young lady graduate last year, the others all boys. We get weird clumps like that.

                I know you aren’t her because wrong college, but that was just the sort of thing she’d have done.

          2. Somehow I survived public school (small and rural probably helped), despite things like criticizing the active shooter training (“You see, any shooter worth his salt is going to do it like this…”)

            1. Oooh, goodness. I can only imagine how that might have gone over somewhere like New York. (Although I can agree with the sentiment. There are complaints in my family when someone in a movie doesn’t hold to proper trigger discipline.)

              It might be a mercy that most ‘active shooters’ probably aren’t ‘worth their salt.’ Of course, if they were, they might not end up active shooters, so that would definitely be better.

          3. That sounds like my youngest brother and his Minecraft machines, that alternated between breaking servers, and terrifying the other players.

            And never intentionally either. It was always something like generating compact power. The optimal water turbine that brought the server down when it was turned on. Or the automated cooked chicken engine that also had a side effect of glitching burning chickens through the walls…

            1. I have a feeling that kid could be a brilliant engineer one day. My little brother finds ways of spreading TNT over the entire landscape. After that – yeah, glitches galore in computers without the processing power to handle whole WORLDS becoming dust and ash.

              (I have some small objections to the way Minecraft was designed. Setting animals on fire produces cooked meat? Much faster and cheaper than going through the trouble of putting them in a furnace with coal? I don’t like being cruel to animals, even if they are only digital simulations, but that seems like an awfully tempting hack… At least killing villagers doesn’t get you any useful loot, whereas trading with them and protecting them from Pillagers does.)

              1. It gets better. Animals also increase in height when they grow from juvenile to adult, so you can actually position a lava blade at a height it will cook the adults without touching the chicks. So if you set up an egg tosser under a lava blade such that the chicks end up under it, when they grow it will automatically cook them, and the clocked chicken will drop to the ground, so setting all this up right over a hopper will funnel cooked chicken wherever you want it to go.

                That was one he did when he was in college. I’m told one of his roommates, I believe the one who was going into law enforcement, started asking him if he was under a lot of stress at the time…

                Now he does things like doing 3D prints of Tardis Prime and other assorted acts of random.

                1. I’m told one of his roommates, I believe the one who was going into law enforcement, started asking him if he was under a lot of stress at the time…

                  Some people have no appreciation for the efficient….

          4. Must. Keep. Evil. Chuckle. Quiet. (I don’t want to disturb the dog, and $SPOUSE has a normal streak at times…)

      2. gives you an insouciantly feline stare What?

        Everyone else here does have their major and minor landmarks of the neighborhood properly ranged, right?

        And everyone else here has at least one neighbor they’ve bartered with in which precious metals like brass and lead were the medium of exchange, right?

  2. You’re not a rented mule.

    It’s very possible that we’d treat a “rented mule” better than we treat ourselves.

    After all, we wouldn’t want the owner of the mule to get annoyed at us. [Crazy Grin]

    Take care and yes I don’t sleep enough at times. 😦

  3. Human if you are.
    Minotaur (or Dragon, or…) if you must.
    But sometimes, it’s all one can ox of oneself. ♉
    Alright, alright. I go lie down now.

    1. Just don’t make an ox of yourself.

      I may not be a rented mule, but I have been called an a**. No, of course I’m not stubborn, why would you ask that?

      1. I’d think Orvan would be more concerned about “Making A Steer Of Himself”. 😈

      1. By name, perhaps, but consider the line:
        Minotaur (or Dragon, or…) if you must.
        which leaves things open to all.

        Besides, slow ox as I am,I do NOT to try to tell you and yours what they should do.
        Why someone might do something silly like tell you drink, as if you needed instruction.
        Or even something sillier, like telling you NOT to.

  4. This is something I struggle with. Staying up to 2AM doom-scrolling is a recipe for depression. Generally when I cut it out and go to bed properly I do much better.

    Getting off the treadmill is tough. One thing I do that works is only watching fluffy anime at night. No Netflix/Prime/Disney, no network TV, just Crunchyroll.

    In the morning, no blogs. Not even ATH or MGC. Sit and write, or go back and edit, for at least an hour before venturing out to the interwebz. Cutting back news blogs helped me a lot, these days I only have four that I visit.

    Those two things help a lot. YMMV.

    1. Getting off the treadmill? That’s easy! I have a walking treadmill desk I use when I do social media. Sure, it makes it a little harder to head videos and podcasts, but it makes it easier to get off social media, because my legs get tired!

      No, right now I have problems getting on the treadmill to make myself go do some visibility stuff on farcebook. I can put it off for another week…

  5. I’d like to drop off a suggestion from experience here. I was having sleep issues for quite some time, mostly a matter of lying awake for an hour or more before finally drifting off, and received the advice to avoid screens before bedtime. So, computer off an hour before bed … two hours before bed … eventually I ended up turning off the computer at freaking SUNDOWN, but the insomnia still struck unpredictably. UNTIL I retired and moved to the free state of Florida, where I found the single best optical shop I’ve ever patronized (having worn thick glasses since the age of 4, so that’s saying something). The optician offered the option of a blue-light filter on my new progressive lenses (the only progressive element of my life, to be sure!), but heck, I didn’t need that. After all, it’s perfectly normal for one’s eyes to ache at the end of the day … the optician’s mere expression spoke volumes, and I bought the blue-light filter. Insomnia attacks have diminished from 2 or 3 a week to 1 or 2 a month.
    Of course, if you already use said filter and it doesn’t help, then please forgive my presumption and ignore this comment. Oh, yeah, and everything is better in Florida than in New York except museums and theater — and I don’t care about those anymore.

      1. Apparently a lot of people would give that optician that expression.

        It’s apparently common for Lesser Overconfident Opticians to not diagnose freaking obvious astigmatism, or to assume that it’s totally okay for someone to walk around his whole life with untreated astigmatism. (I was watching an astigmatism video, and the comments section was somewhat depressing.) So eventually these people run into an optician who actually treats them, and then they realize it’s not normal for eyes to hurt a lot.

      2. Having great difficulty trying to log in to leave a comment as the little black “Log in” box is totally obscuring the WP icon and I can’t outsmart it. sigh. Anyway, leaving my comment below.

        I have had Flux installed on my computer for years now. By day my background color and folders are all blue, but by late evening they have turned to slate grey, and the white pages have softened to a pinkish cream color – very soothing. I also have the light level on both Kindles set about 30%-40%, and the page color is cream.

        I try to turn off the computer by midnite, and no later than 1:00 a.m. for sure, unless there are severe storms headed our way that I monitor. I read on the Kindles after that, at the dining room table with only one light on, until close to 3:00 a.m. Definitely sleepy by that time. 😉


      1. Harrumph. Most of theater nowadays belongs in a museum, one dedicated to cautionary displays of cultural decline. So there.

    1. I saw a production in New York that has been on tour, and to be honest, I didn’t see much difference in the quality. So, yeah, Broadway is nice, but now they have Broadway quality on tour for some of the more popular offerings, and there are other places. (I adore the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, which does more than Shakespeare. But it definitely does Shakespeare, even the marginal ones—and at least one of those garnered an astonished review from the local paper of “this is dreck, but they made it good.”)

  6. ‘when do the kids start yelling at you’ – In my experience when they are old enough to look at you not as just a parent but as a fellow human. Mine started when we all went with the grandkids to a big amusement park on a hot summer day. They kept telling me to drink water and rest in the shade. I guess they of thought me as an old man and I suppose I am although I don’t feel like one.

      1. Inside, I have the heart and soul of a 12 year old.

        Unfortunately, my knees and other joints keep reminding me that we’re actually in our forties.

            1. DON’T scare me.
              My dad thinks he’s being reassuring, too, “You’re not old till 80. And not REALLY old till 89. What are you complaining about?” SIGH.

                1. Great grandad always seemed to think the old guys were just a decade or so ahead of him. In his triple digits, too. At 99, he was still keeping a “garden” larger than the floor plan of some multi-million dollar mansions I’ve been in.

                2. Johnny Carson once quipped that “old” is “15 years older than you“. So if you’re 15, 30 is old. If you’re 50, 65 is old. And so forth.

                  1. I’m still a teenager (last year of that, though), but in my head ‘old’ in other people is ‘white beard/hair.’ For me, ‘old’ feels like ’21’ – don’t talk to me about coming of age at 18, I’ll know I’m on my own when I’m legally allowed to get drunk whenever I want. (Not that I will, unless the me at 21 is drastically different from the me at 19. Maybe once or twice among loving family, so that I learn to recognize the signs. But I hate feeling out of control.)

                    1. I get clearer headed when I’m drunk. I also get very, very, sick. It doesn’t take much. That might be why. Happened twice. First time didn’t know I was drinking. Two or 3 sips and I was dizzy, so left. Got home and was sick, for 3 days. (Mid-’70s, so may or may not have been slipped something. Had it been ’90s to now, would 100% believe something had been slipped in.) Again, early ’80s … One (1) whine flip (7up/Sprite, with little wine), and I was throwing up (married by then and hubby was with me, no shenanigans). I have more tolerance now, but not from practice. I get light headed and sleepy easy, and fast. Still clear headed, just not getting sick. I can have a glass or two of wine, or single (fruit) margarita with a full meal. I won’t drive if I’ve had any.

                    2. I’ve been drinking since a zillion years, and it really is no big deal to drink a glass (or occasionally two). Or not. Doesn’t really matter. If it matters, you’re drinking with the wrong people.

                      Never drink because somebody orders you to drink. Same for drinking games.
                      Never drink anything that tastes so bad that you don’t want to sip it. Life is too short for cheap cruddy alcohol. Even/especially if it’s free.
                      Make friends with brewers and vintners (or go on tasting tours), and figure out what tastes of alcohol that you actually like. Drink that.

                      (I liked whiskey and wine for a decade before my tongue decided that beer was also okay. And I still tend to like stouts and ales and despise IPAs and lagers. I always liked mead and cider, but cider has undesirable aftereffects on my head. The older I get, the broader my tastes get. But I like what I like.)

                      It’s cheaper to buy the bottle and drink at home, than to drink overpriced stuff at an overpriced bar. (It’s okay if you are supporting a good bar or restaurant, but you just have to know that’s what you’re doing.)
                      In these sad times, watch your drink like you’re in the cantina at Mos Eisley. Nobody wants to star in a true crime show as the victim. (I have never had that problem, or known anybody who did; but if you’re not drunk in the first place, it’s easier to avoid.)

              1. My father says old age starts 10 years past wherever he is, so I’m fine till I’m 99.

        1. When I was 16, the advice “Be kind to your knees; you’ll miss them when they’re gone” was funny.

          I’m not laughing anymore.

      2. The running joke when I turned 40 (a long time ago 🙂 ) was my wife couldn’t decide if I was 5 8 year olds or 8 5 year olds. Sadly I’m 61 this year and that’s a prime so unless I want to be 61 1 year olds I’m stuck…

        1. You don’t have to use just one divisor. For example, Joe Biden seems to be channeling 38 2-year-olds plus a 3-year-old.

          Candidate Joe Biden, August 2020: “We have assembled the most extensive, comprehensive and inclusive voter fraud organization in the history of American politics.”
          Minutes later: “What do you mean, I wasn’t supposed to say that?”

        1. That which does not kill me…
          Leaves me with a dark sense of humour and a collection of unhealthy coping mechanisms.

          I have learned, and am still learning, healthier coping mechanisms and processing through such that I don’t need them anymore. But the sense of humour stubbornly remains as black and acid as my favourite mechanic’s break room coffee.

      3. My self image is of a 35 year old. Dashing and handsome, too.

        I’m 57. It’s a bit of a shock.

          1. Or:

            “I need to see your ID”

            Blink. “I don’t look over 21?”

            “No. So I can see if you qualify for the senor discounts.”


        1. Sometimes I fell like I am only 12.
          Other times 17, or 21. Occasionally 27. Sometime 49 (“only 10 years older than Jack Benny”).
          And other times, I give up counting and just wonder where the centuries went.

      4. Sometimes it feels like I haven’t left my 20s mentally and it helps that I’m probably in the best physical shape I’ve ever been since losing all that weight – pretty sure some kids in that range can’t pull off 10 mile walks like I can! Then I start feeling aches and pains and it does remind me that 40 is just around the corner for me and closing in fast…

  7. I haven’t finished reading this yet, but when Jesus told us to “Love your neighbors as yourselves,” it wasn’t an invitation to hate your neighbor.

  8. Since I retired, my sleep routine has settled down (mostly) to somewhere between 7 and 8 hours of sleep each night. Usually between 9:30 and 10:00 I log off the computer and spend the rest of the time till 11:00 reading (on a tablet with the Kindle app, so not screen-free). At 11 I go brush my teeth and read in bed (an actual book) until I get sleepy, usually about 11:30. My bedside lamp is an adjustable LED, and I keep it on the least-blue setting. Then I sleep (except for trips to the bathroom – damned prostate) till sometime between 7:00 and 8:00.

    I let the mornings start slowly, too. First feed the cat (he insists), then spend 20 – 30 minutes building part of a model airplane. Exercise often follows that (not always, but maybe 3 – 4 days per week), and then I sit down at the computer to start reading blogs, webcomics, and such.

    By setting a fixed bedtime, and letting myself wake up whenever it happens, I figure I’m getting whatever amount of sleep my body wants.

    1. Same here. Only it is the dog that insists on being fed twice a day. First thing in the morning after her potty break. Cats have kibble 24/7. Son feeds them “good” food at 5:30 AM on weekdays (just before heading to work).

  9. I don’t buy 8 hours sleep as a rule. I do buy listening to one’s self, checking and finding what works best for each individual, some 6 some 8 and I’ve known a few that needed 10 in the sack to function at their best.

    Folks used to say old folks need less sleep. Being what many would consider an old folk now (Even though, just like you, Sarah, I’m 20 inside, but on the outside I’m 83, for at least another month and a bit.), my experience is old(er) bones, old(er) bladders, muscle spasms, etc. tend to wake us earlier, even if we do actually need more sleep. I’m still working on understanding, balancing changing sleep needs vs interruptions beyond my control, maybe be the time I hit a hundred I’ll get it right.

    Take care of yourself Sarah, & the rest of youse guys do so as well!

    1. A curious thing, I’ve run into a number of people arguing that, prior to widespread artificial lighting, people typically slept in two four hour chunks. One from about sun down to 10pm, and another from 2 am to about 6am sunrise.

      I do remember in college how I’d go to sleep the moment I got back to the dorm, sleep several hours, and spend a few hours awake doing stuff at night, before going back to bed, and that’s probably the best sleep I can recall getting.

      Currently, if I sleep more than about five hours at a stretch, I wake up very stiff and very desiccated. Maybe I need to figure out how to do 4/4/4 sleep blocks?

        1. Ah HA, so I am a medieval jester/healer! Though that’s been worded a little differently by those who have hurled that description at me.

        2. Up through American colonial times, is what I’ve read. I suspect it’s a northern latitudes adaptation; I’ve never heard of it from anything other than European civilization.

          I grew up in Alaska, so to this day it doesn’t really matter if it’s light or dark out when I go to bed or get up, I can generally sleep just fine. The only exception is if I’m being sedentary and can see the sun going down, which knocks me right out. So since most of Europe is between the latitudes of Philadelphia and Anchorage, in the winter that big Go To Sleep Now signal would come pretty early, before most people were really ready for deep sleep. So they would naturally obey the signal, sleep for a bit, then get up for a while and then go back to sleep again for the deep sleep part of the night.

        3. I’ve heard of that, but it never really made much sense except in This Modern Age of cheap, bright artificial lighting. In an Age of (olive) oil lamps, candles, and rushlights… being up and active for hours each night in darkness doesn’t make much sense when those are all expensive in terms of money or effort (and one is the other, for most).

          1. As I heard it, that’s when people would light a (single) candle to read for a bit, or leave the lights off and get busy, IYKWIMAITYD. Not get up and do chores or whatever.

      1. In the past 50 years I have slept 8+ hrs without waking twice. Every other night is 4 hours, short wakey and 4 hours more. Unless some demon of wakefulness takes hold. This way preceded current male plumbing demands. I’m not dead yet.

      2. My body likes that. Unfortunately, I have found no schedule it likes that includes being awake between 8 AM and one PM–except for five minutes ay the behest of my bladder.

      3. There was a study done on this, where they removed all artificial light from sun down to sun up and all the couples eventually shifted into a 3-5 hour sleep block with a 1-2 hour break, then another 3-5 hour block. Also, all the couples were pregnant at the end of the study….

      4. It’s bs. No, truly, it’s bs. Yes, there’s a first sleep, second sleep, but that’s complex and connected to how the night was divided, not with hours awake in the middle.
        <Lived in society without artificial light for vast chunks of growing up. No one did this.

        1. Oh. Huh. I never got all the way through the book about it and thought the idea was “people would wake up and maybe go pee, interact with their spouse, or just think a bit and then go back to sleep instead of waking up and freaking out that it meant they weren’t going to get enough sleep.”

        2. That wouldn’t surprise me either. And it wouldn’t surprise me to find out its one of those some people are like that and other people aren’t.

          I’ve kind of at that point when if someone tells me that studies show something, I’ll test it locally if I can, but that’s about as far as I’ll trust it.

    2. Yes, it’s called “biphasic sleep”, and you can find lots of articles about it online. Apparently lots of studies done of journals and other writings from olden times show that it was pretty much the standard sleeping pattern, before electric lighting became common.

        1. One of the articles I read about it referred to a study of journals kept by colonial and Revolutionary War era Americans, where the practice was recorded quite often. shrugs For myself, I did go through a period in my 20s and 30s where it wasn’t unusual for me to wake up after 3 or 4 hours of sleep, go and sit at the computer for an hour or two, then go back to bed for 3 or 4 more hours of sleep. I haven’t done that in years though. Now, in my late 50s, I’ll often wake up in the middle of the night but after a quick bathroom visit it’s straight back to bed and more sleep.

          1. Looking at their sample seems like it would be rather important– I know that there’s a thing where people wake up at like three AM and stare at the ceiling for what feels like an eternity, but that’s not normal…which might be why folks wrote it down, actually.

  10. I was raised by parents who tried to discipline and punish me into being responsibly normal. (I wasn’t diagnosed as being on the Autism spectrum until I was over 50.) Some of their methods were emotionally abusive, and so vicious verbal self-punishment every time I failed at something I was supposed to do became a habit. Then one day the thought came to mind “you wouldn’t talk like that (cruel, hateful stuff) to anyone else, so why are you doing it to yourself?” Oh. I wouldn’t. And maybe I shouldn’t.
    What? You can’t flog yourself into perfection? It isn’t healthy? Self-correction and self-abuse aren’t the same thing? Whodathunkit?

    1. It never freaking stops, does it? There’s always some helpful soul telling you to straighten up and fly right. After 50 it gets pretty old.

      I’m 65, I called a halt some years ago. I don’t try to adjust myself or other people anymore, I just do it wrong and don’t care. “Yep, I’m wrong and kinda weird. At least I’m not ugly, Karen.”

      1. Other people have mostly given up on me. There are certain advantages to being a hermit. But there are things I still want to do and accomplish, if I could just figure out how to get out of my own way. I mean, some days I get too busy to feed myself, but nobody else is going to do it…

        1. Yep. You have to stoke the furnace, take out the trash, blah blah blah. Hermiting can time consuming, but at least it isn’t other people wasting your time with their pointless badgering.

          OTOH, there is a certain enjoyment to be had in inflicting oneself on defenseless normies in the retail sector. I can get a whole week’s worth of social interaction telling stupid jokes to the helpless gas station attendant.

          Vengeance is mine. >:D

    2. What? You can’t flog yourself into perfection? It isn’t healthy? Self-correction and self-abuse aren’t the same thing? Whodathunkit?

      Eh… sound like something those pansy-ass damn kids these days would come up with. Morale will never improve unless the beatings continue.

      1. kids these days
        As one (ok, former) of those kids, may I interest you in a participation trophy?
        After all, it doesn’t matter if you beat yourself up completely non-productively, as long as you tried really hard (said with tongue firmly in cheek. It may be stuck there. Send help.)

        1. Hello, this is Cheek Clearing Services. What seems to be the problem?


          Floor Manager: “Why do you even bother asking anymore? You know it’ll be sarcasm again. Just tell them to watch some cute kitten videos. We’ve got a dozen people waiting on your line, step up the pace!”

          Me: sighs “Have you talked to -”

          Floor Manager: “Yes, I’ve talked to HR. And to the Financial Department, and to Management, and to the frelling President. We don’t have the resources to hire anyone else in this economy. Just get these done.”

          “Sir, yes, sir!” gets back on line “Could I recommend some puppy videos, Mr… Taciturn? Oh, hey, didn’t realize that was you! Gosh, we haven’t talked since yesterday. How’s the family?”

    3. I’ve sort-of been there. It’s not exactly a secret at this point that my now-former stepfather brought his 25 years in the Army, including being a Vietnam veteran, into how he treated me when I was a kid. There was no physical abuse, my grandfather would have ensured he took a permanent walk in the woods around our old house if he had, but the mental abuse, well… I still haven’t worked through all of that and sometimes it feels like what progress I have made is just an illusion.

  11. Contemplating posting something depressing like, “That’s all very well and good when you have to other people to pick up your slack, but some of us only have ourselves to rely on and if we don’t do it (whatever it is) it doesn’t get done.”

    But that’s… not really relevant to the point of the post.

    And I suppose that beating one’s self up for not properly taking care of ones own self is right out. ^_^

    1. Yeah, the “it sucks, but SOMEONE has to do it” is different in kind from “I suck because I can’t do 300% of what is humanly possible” stuff that folks do to themselves– much less “I am the only one who can even try to do it, and I sometimes fail” beating self up.

  12. Treat yourself as though you were someone you love, for whose well being you’re wholly responsible.

    But… I don’t wanna lay around the house half-naked, attempting to eat wooden blocks (or anything else I can grab), when I’m not eating or being cuddled!

    …OK part of that would be alright, if husband did the cuddling, BUT STILL!

      1. I have mommy brain!
        That’s what I do when I’m taking care of current #HasNoRequirementsToTakeCareOfSelf!
        :snickering madly:

  13. My body and brain want to wake up as it gets dark. I have to get up and do stuff around dawn (kids in school).

    My brain adapts to different sleep schedules fine, but my body hates me worse for doing this than it already hated me. It does not want the sleep schedule life forces, and won’t let me go to sleep when I should. Not even when I turn screens off and get a paper book one to two hours before bed.

      1. The dark makes me want to wake UP. I’ve tried at different times of the day–and dark makes me start getting more energy and start really waking up.

        My body’s just…really weird. And hateful.

        1. Maybe you can nap with a light on? I know that long warm sunny afternoons often make me sleepy. Maybe you are a natural basker instead of a natural crawl-into-the-burrow sort of person.

  14. I once went into my doctor’s office and told her I didn’t know what was wrong with me. I was tired all the time. When she asked how much sleep I was getting, I told her 4-5 hours, same as always. She looked at me like I was insane. Saying it aloud made me realize how stupid I was.

    1. Obligatory Mitch Hedburg: I haven’t slept for three weeks. Because that would be too long.

      Given how long I can take to fall asleep, I’ve sometimes wondered if I’m more suited to hibernating – since I’m here, may as well get my money’s worth.

    2. Er. That was about my normal when I was working 14-18 hr days. At least two different times. Make that three. Or four, maybe, if you split one of them into two jobs. Saturday I’d sleep about eight to ten hours. Every other Saturday, I think, except when I worked weekends.

      I didn’t really notice anything wrong either, for the longest time.

  15. If someone else talked to me the way I talk to myself, I’d go Will Smith on their ass. And I’ve never hit anybody in my life.

    I have the self-loathing death spiral down to an internalized art form. I hate myself (not just certain things about me, me), which makes me too depressed to find the energy to do anything about it, which makes me hate myself more because I’m “lazy,” which makes me less likely to care about fixing it, which makes me hate myself more, which makes me feel even worse because now I feel like I’m being selfish and self-centered…yadda yadda yadda.

    Funny thing is, I have no idea where it came from. Yes, my parents pushed me HARD to get good grades because they thought I was some kind of Sooper Genius (not the Wile E. Coyote kind, either) but they were not abusive in the least…at worst a little distant at times, but I always knew they loved me. Problem is they never pushed me at anything else so I grew up isolated, socially awkward, physically inept, and in general, well, Odd.

    Maybe it’s just brainweasels, I dunno. But I made my own way in life through my 20s and into my 30s for so long that when I married Shesellsseashells, I literally didn’t know how to react when she did something nice for me. It’s been 21+ years and honestly, I still don’t. I’ll rag her endlessly to take better care of herself and then turn right around and not take care of myself.

    Brainweasels suck. They may give some of us Odds our dubious superpowers, but Lord, the side effects.

      1. That opens the door to the brainweasel who beats you up for listening in the first place…..

        They’re weaselly

        1. It’s weasels, all the way down… ~:D

          I know a trick. When the liars are lying in your ear, take note of your surroundings. You’ll immediately see that none of the crap they’re shrieking at you is happening. There is -nothing- happening. Just you.

          This trick is called Be Here Now. Lots of people call it lots of different things, like ‘mindfulness’ etc. Like most of this spiritual stuff, it is painfully obvious once you strip away all the woo-woo.
          Situational awareness. Plain and simple.

    1. “Why didn’t I . . . I need to do this . . . I should have gotten this done . . . I’m a horrible . . . The e-mail is about a pending lawsuit because I’m so horrible and . . .” Yep. I’m a fake, I screwed up so bad that the Boss is going to have to fire me, I should never have bought that book . . .

      Brainweasels are right b-stards, they are.

      1. Rob Henderson, whom I’ve recommended here before, had a great comment that seems to capture some of our discontent. He was on a trip to Hanoi: “Hanging out with people you’re supposed to feel sorry for, who are fundamentally more content, happy, and generous than American elites, makes it hard not to wonder if we (the American elites) are the ones missing the point of life.”

    2. I will say, at least for me, it’s a lot harder to get in the self-hating spiral when I have adequate level of Vitamin D in my system.

      … which was really weird to notice, when I noticed it.

    3. Eh. I get that. I’m a pretty horrible person. Me being horrible to me, well, that’s not that important. Stuff to do, things to fix, that sort of thing is important.

      The way I look at it, if I can put off being horrible by doing those other things, I can use procrastination to avoid depression and all that crap. Sometimes those negative personality traits can be useful!

  16. Ah yes… sleep – Falling into the sweet arms of Morpheus and perchance to dream – a worthy and noble goal. For several years I worked shifts which made my day begin at midnight sometimes and sleep was, while often not difficult it was interesting.

    Treating oneself with respect and providing your mind and body with the proper service intervals is necessary and really can’t be shortchanged without (sometimes dire) impact. I tried to get the rookies I had to understand that with or without the cape you had to sometimes just admit being human and rest.

    So, being odd, when I drift off to dreamland I often am thinking of strange things or have a song running faintly in the background of my mind and lately it’s been Moody Blues…
    Breath deep
    The gathering gloom
    Watch lights fade
    From every room

    Eh… don’t know why but there it is. My goal is to sleep like my little dog – at the drop of a hat and secure in life.

    1. I tend to think of falling asleep quickly as something one does when at least a bit sleep-deprived, and assume if I sleep enough and regularly, it will always require an extra hour of trying to fall asleep on top of the actual sleep. I’m not sure if this is accurate or if the wait… wait… wait came of being a kid.

  17. Yah. The best way I found out of that self-loathing death spiral was to find something to work on. I picked a dream project that is way too big for one person so I could concentrate on that as a distraction from my own hopeless inadequacy. At least, If I felt inadequate at that, I had an excuse. And there was the comforting illusion of progress at learning New Things, even if nobody else can see it.

  18. One of the common prods in AA derived 12 step groups is “have you been to the dentist lately” mostly meaning “are you making yourself responsible for getting somebody else to the dentist while neglecting yourself”.
    None of my business but what’s the problem with popcorn? Jerry, pbuh, used popcorn with Pam butter flavor spray in large quantities – to the point he would shower with his keyboards (rotated in use as necessary)

  19. It goes without saying in the spiritual and holistic medical community that you cannot love others fully until you love yourself…That also motivates you to behave like someone you would love, and make changes if necessary…

  20. I have never known anyone whose behavior was improved by self-hatred or self-contempt.

  21. Something’s in the air. The last main-series Familiar book has a sub-plot of “if you don’t rest and let other people help you, Bad Things tend to happen.” [Glowers at Lone Hunter, who has enough frequent flyer mileage from his guilt trips to fly first class from Dallas/Ft.Worth to Frankfurt and back. That boy . . . ]

    1. My current WIP just had a different Petersonism: one of the battle-worn guys gently but firmly explaining to the new kid that you have to learn to be a monster, because until you know how dangerous you can be, you won’t respect yourself, and you won’t demand others respect you, either.

      The whole “self-care” bit is ahead. I just know it. Not before the firefight, though.

      1. Ah, no, not before the firefight. That’s HollyWierd, or someone writing a parody (Deadpool would do it). Or Mel Brooks doing a war movie . . . giggles madly in kitty

        1. imagines Mel Brooks doing a war movie

          Oh, my. Oh, I want to write that. Can you imagine?

  22. I like that last rule, create or die. After writing my last book, Escape From the Future and Other Stories, and having it flat line after a couple weeks, I just decided that I would not write for a good long while, just promote the 12 books I’ve written, good books all. And so I tried that. It worked for a month or so, then I started picking up my guitar. I started messing around with lyrics. And I wrote one and a half songs so far. I have lyrics and stories crowding into my brain. But the publishing biz, at least for me, ’cause I do it all on my own, except for the covers and the layout, is a bit like being stuck on the proverbial desert island (I like that analogy ’cause I’m a loner), writing down tales, and putting them in bottles and tossing them into the waves. They seem to have mostly sank in the Great Sargasso Sea of Amazonia, sank down onto the soft mucky bottom alongside the decaying skeletons of whales and sea monsters. That’s okay. I’m not about to take the gas pipe or get the four covid shots I owe the gubmint. No. Oh… I gave away one of my books, gave away about 1500 copies. Yeah, I know… 1300 of those are in peoples’ Kindle readers and they won’t get around to reading them for another 17 years. But, some folks read them and I did had a little flurry of activity, some nibbles at my other books. I’m about to give away another book, very timely, about the possible 2nd American civil war getting going. We’ll see what that triggers. And then a friend is having a big cluster-sale, and I’ll be making some of my books available for cheap. That’s what I’ve come to. But… I never give up, so I’ll try this way for a while. I’ve tried asking for help from establishment ‘conservatives,’ but they believe in, “I got mine, you get yours,’ and ‘nobody gave me a hand,’ which I don’t believe.

    So, sorry to toot my horn here for a little bit. That was triggered by Peterson’s advice, the first one you mentioned, I had to try and buck myself up a little. Yeah, I think I’ll watch a movie tonight, maybe have a couple beers and a shot of some nice whiskey. Later…

  23. No, but i’d find it perfectly reasonable if you took some self care trips to usaian holy sites as ‘research’, or something.

    1. One of the interesting quirks of my recent conference trip was driving by a bunch of famous place names I had known of for a long time but never been close to. Whether Roanoke (railroads), or America’s Greatest City, etc, etc.

      Weirdest was seeing a town named after CV-2 U.S.S. Lexington.

  24. This was definitely a must-read for me after these past few weeks of work crap and old anxieties coming back to haunt me from something that ultimately worked out for the best but still hurt (and having so many Not Helpful types outside the Huns was another problem). Hopefully this weekend will be what I need to recharge. Though if Murphy would find someone else to bug while I’m winding down some major things that would be nice…

    1. Start a project to have someone else build a rocket sled track. Murphy is attracted to rocket sled tracks. After all, that is where he got his start.

  25. Number two son nagged me until I got back into the gym. Every, bloody, day. Now, about four months on, I’ve lost 20 lbs, in the best shape in Years, and feeling remarkably well. That last took me by surprise, I feel genuinely well both physically and mentally. it’s been really good for the black dog. Now I’m scrum coach for a really good rugby club and looking good, feeling good, and moving good.

    Sometimes the children are wise.

      1. I’m starting to prioritize the exercise since I feel so much better after.

        The rugby club was an unexpected benefit of number two son getting me fit enough to keep up — more or less, I’ll be 60 in a month and I managed to do an amazing amount of damage to myself when I was younger. First match tomorrow, I’ll be teaching them the old songs. Nice bunch of normal guys.

          1. It makes a lot of difference. I can tell just on my current three-day-a-week schedule. I’m probably going to have to yank it up to five days a week because I need to get myself into trim.

          2. Do. Start by walking. Then put a brick in a backpack and walk with that. After a bit add another brick and so on. Up to about 20% of your body weight You’ll get the same level of exercise, and burn the same number of calories, as jogging without all the stress on your body. It’s called rucking. I do it once a week now as part of my routine. I listen to podcasts and books while I’m walking. When I’m on the treadmill, I listen to marching music, it’s done wonders for my German.

            I’m 60 in a month and hadn’t exercised in years. Up to the age of about 30, I was in very good shape, until stopped playing ball, but I stayed in reasonable condition into my late 40’s. Then I fell apart.

            1. I’ve been thinking about getting a nice chainmail hauberk for the purpose of well distributed weight whilst walking. Honest and truly, that’s my reasoning 🙂

              1. Seems perfectly understandable to me. Remind me to show you my letter openers, if we ever meet in person…

                Yes, they’re letter openers. What sort of young woman do you take me for? Yes, they’re about a foot long from pommel to tip. I don’t see your point.

                1. Thinking more about it, the idea of a stainless steel hauberk does seem more practical than a backpack in Florida, better airflow. As for your letter openers, do they have enough taper to open chain links?

                  1. Unfortunately, I doubt it. They’re pretty dull. I picked up an easy hand-held sharpener from a knife shop, but I’m still a little unsure how to use it to get the letter openers from dull, but pointy, and capable of opening a latter to will actually hold an edge fine enough to shave with.

                    1. Your letter openers are probably not made out of steel suitable for holding a sharp edge, and certainly are not hardened or tempered for it. Letter openers are supposed to be dull, because sharp knives do a lousy job of opening envelopes.

                      You could grind the edges down until you could cut yourself (or somebody else) but you will never get a fine edge on them. If that’s what you want, get real knives.

                      Just a few hundred years ago, every proper lady carried a dagger. And knew how to use it.
                      Count Vordarian: “What? You’re a Betan! You can’t do—“

              1. Be careful about that. Some of my back damage is probably from hauling 50+ pounds of bound journals a mile and a quarter up and down hill to my apartment. When I weighed 130 Lb. Using a backpack without a hip/waist strap. (I have congenital problems with my back, but that episode did not help things.)

                1. Abso-tively use a good waist/hip belt with any significant ruck load. The weight of the load should be on one’s hips, not shoulders and back.

                  Also, heavy on the bottom and weight centered. Pad/pack to avoid shifting.

                  Don’t go cheap on backpacks. A failed pack in the field can be life threatening. (So know how to rig a travois.) The pack is a “buy once, cry once” item. “Cheap” just delays “correct”.

              2. K, this will look/sound a little stupid, but… if you have a bunch of books, look at those kinda silly grandma shopping roller carts.

                1. I took a look at some of the rolling teacher carts. Kind of like that. Basically a box on wheels with a handle you can extend to a little above waist height. Parents were concerned about the space it’d take up in a classroom, and the feasibility of rolling it around on grass. In my case, backpacks don’t seem to be too bad – there’s a bus constantly circulating campus, and classes haven’t yet required that I bring all my textbooks. All I have to pack are notebooks, pencils, and my Bible (for the Bible survey classes). Anything else I do in my dorm room.

                  1. As long as you’re aware of the issues, good!

                    I spent several days in high school with back cramps because I’d rather pack my books than bother with a poorly secured locker.

                    1. I was fine, until a library book went missing and I knew the locker was not secured, and I’d be responsible for anything 1) in it, or 2) taken from it.

                      Stopped using my locker after that, and had No Sense Of Proportion for checking out books.

                  2. We got son a rolling backpack. Especially for middle school where they didn’t have lockers (did, but were in homeroom and only accessible there, stupid, stupid, planning). HS the pack empty fit in his locker. Lot easier dealing with school bus. HS junior and senor year, his car trunk was his locker (benefit of not enough lockers).

                  3. That cart has tiny wheels. Find the equivalent garden/shopping cart with at least 8 inch wheels. Better off paved paths.

              3. Look up GoRuck. They make shit that works. And it’s all stuff made by guys who needed their shit to keep them alive. It’s not cheap. But it’s good.
                Get good boots. Distribute weight in the ruck. And then learn how to fight, and fight to kill, not fight to fight.

                1. Look up GoRuck.

                  I just did. I get the feeling that their rucksacks are designed for the purpose of carrying ruck plates so you can go walking around with heavy weights on your back.

                  Which is fine, but a $50 backpack from Target and a sandbag would do the same thing and be a lot cheaper. If I’m going to spend >$200 on a backpack I’d want something like the Ibex-25 from Vanquest that would be useful for camping or as a BOB.

                  1. And that’s what they are. There are certain features that good for Selection, etc, but they are good for everything, the GR1 etc are excellent 3day packs

    1. As of a few weeks ago, I hit my goal for last year: rack pulling the weight I wish I was.
      I may yet make this year’s goal: rack pulling the weight I actually am.

      Today, though, I finally experienced the rite of passage for female weightlifters: I popped the seams in the armpit. (Women’s shirts are not make for significant upper body muscle. Lift in one that’s getting a little small because of significant muscle buildup in pecs, lats, delts, biceps, and triceps, and first it gets tight in the sleeves, and then it pops at the weakest seam.)

      So I have now carefully deployed a seam ripper… wait, no, couldn’t find mine. Grabbed a hand-forged damascus knife my Calmer Half gave me as an anniversary present and used it as a seam ripper to remove the sleeves to make an impromptu tank top.

      Fittingly, the shirt has a line drawing of a feline all curled up, with:
      I don’t want to adult today.
      I don’t even want to human.
      Today, I want to cat.

        1. I have a size 8 bust and size 14 shoulders and arms. I just got a new dress, and already the sleeves are snug. SIGH. There’s an Irish laundress in my ancestry, somewhere. (On the other paw, I can carry two 25 lb sacks of cat litter to the car unassisted, one over each shoulder. The kid checking me out at the Palais du Pet boggled.)

          1. It astonishes the guys at HD or Lowes that I don’t need help with loading. Same with pants, though. Waist, no problem. Calves, I need to go up at least one size. Anything that fits my calves means I seriously need a belt. Even boot cut often is too snug. I can wrap both hands around one calf and the fingers won’t meet.

            Have you considered buying dresses you can alter to use laces under the arms? As long as the shoulders fit you can adjust the rest.

            1. I don’t mind the chest being loose, especially for Day Job. We’re supposed to dress like adults, and modestly, so a little slack in the chest is a Good Thing. I tend to wear neo-Victorian styles with snug cuffs and collars, and looser sleeves. Or more modern business attire, again with a little slack in the bust and a waistcoat and/or jacket. The side-laced bodice would be a bit much for every-day. (Although the teacher who does Ren-Fest every year would be asking to borrow it. 🙂 )

              1. I was thinking more of laced sleeves, but the other works. That’s the focus of most old clothes, come to think of it. Everything adjustable to various body types.

  26. I have never been a morning person. I can force myself to get up and function, but that is very much not the same thing. I’ve been told more than once, ‘well, become a morning person.’ That’s not how any of this works. I worked for the TSA for a year (I was desperate for a steady job and needed the money) so I got up at a ridiculous hour of the morning to drive to the airport and look through the luggage of people doing the 4.30 or 5 am flights. Trying to go to bed at 6-7 pm was hard as all heck for me.

    I realized, after much consideration, that this is because my brain, regardless of the amount of sleep, kicks into gear around 3.30 pm. It kicks into high gear around 6/7 pm. In college, I had unavoidable 7 am labs, so I went ahead and scheduled all my classes for before noon, if I could manage it. I’d go to class, take my notes, come home and go to sleep. around five, I’d wake up, do my share of the apt chores, do my homework and studying, then I’d sit in front of my computer and play silly games or write silly stories until 2/3 in the morning. (had more than one roommate who complained: Your keyboard is too loud!!) Then I’d go to bed and repeat all this the next day.

    Given the least bit of opportunity, I revert to staying up until 2-3, sleeping until 11/noon. I’m just sad that I haven’t yet found a white collar office manager willing to let me keep those sorts of hours at a steady job.

    I read about a sleep study where they they took away all ways to know what time it was and just let people sleep when they wanted and wake and do stuff when they wanted. It turned out that while the average of those in the study was a 24 hour cycle, there were definite outliers. Some people were optimized for a 20 hour day, some as much as a 32 hour day. I haven’t had a chance to really test it, but I suspect that I’m actually optimized for a 28-29 hour day. I normally sleep longer, but I can stay awake longer, too.

  27. Yup. I need this. I once read a webcomic set on a space station, with a little background sign in one panel reading “Have you earned your air today?” Took me several days to realize it was supposed to be funny…

  28. “He says I should try to run the body according to the owner’s manual.”

    I think Kenny Chesney presents the case rather well… 😉

  29. he said that if you only sleep less than 7 hours a night for a stretch of time, it’s suicide on the installment plan

    And it has to be actual sleep, with 4 – 6 different stages. Going to bed and “sleeping for 10 hours” doesn’t count if you are awake for 4 or more hours regularly. Did my system teach me that lesson. Hard. If one finds themselves hurting, when not exercising, or even when exercising, because it is a different kind of hurting. Not dreaming. Not just not remembering not dreaming. Not dreaming. Trust me if you aren’t when finally back to proper sleep schedule you’ll notice you hadn’t been dreaming. Other symptoms can be weight gain, even if you are eating next to nothing (why can’t it be weight loss for a change?) All this is what happened to me. I’m still up an accumulated 45 – 60 minutes each night (dang bladders, mine and the dog’s, and heat), but I am sleeping at least 7 hours each night, and I am dreaming (weight not coming of easily, but what else is new?).

  30. I really needed to hear this.

    I’ve read the book but totally missed this bit, at least as it pertains to me.

    I have been working on taking better care of myself but I’ve been feeling very guilty about it. I’ve only started to take my health seriously because I don’t want to be a burden to others.

    But maybe I deserve to be as healthy as possible just for me.

  31. 1-“The beatings will resume when morale improves”…well, I know some people for that would be an ideal target goal
    (No comment if that is me, but let’s say that there are some kinks that if the right ladies were involved, maybe.)
    2-I look at how I treat myself sometimes, and I’m appalled. Sleep is an option (when I was younger after I left home, 4-5 hours was my norm-I just didn’t like to sleep), self-care requires me to think about people I know who have serious issues that they never took care of, that I have to drive myself as a part of my ADD/anxiety/paranoia pyramid to get out of my comfort zone and get things done. This makes me angry and frustrated and anxious, and people can tell, and this makes me more anxious and paranoid and frustrated, and we go around and around the mulberry bush.

    I’m not sure if this was also due to being in the convention community as I was when I was younger, because God knows that some of the absolutely most petty and brutal mean girl games happened there. I was there when the furry community started to fully embrace and then jump off a cliff with the gay petting hookup lifestyle. I left two different cons because the people there were probably PUFF-applicable insane (one of which I should have left after they bounced a check on me when I was running their publications department).

    And, these people, in theory, are my peers.

    I’m having to remind myself to take good care of myself.

    It’s hard.

    But I also know that I don’t want to wind up with any number of issues.

      1. I’m going to assume the reference is to Larry Correia’s Monster Hunter International term, Perpetual Unearthly Forces Fund, which is drawn upon to pay bounties for the death of various monsters. Basically the people they were dealing with were inhuman bastiches.

  32. Country LIfe Vlog is pretty much the best YouTube channel in Azerbaijan… but yeah, they just did a video making fruit leather from scratch, and then rolling it into little rose shapes.

    I now want to get a bunch of fruit rollups and roll them up into little rose shapes.

  33. “Peterson says that creatives who don’t create die. Either physically or mentally, either fast or slow, but they die. So, that too, is not self indulgence.”

    Writing comments on blog posts is creative too, right?

  34. I give thanks several time a week for Jordan Peterson. I need to do it twice a day. (Even though I’ll probably never follow his best advice.)

  35. So, I kept nodding off reading this, so I figured I’d best go get more sleep. took two hits, but got 8½ hours. Woke a bit sore, pinned by the kittens.

  36. Since my little set to a couple years back I’ve had a fitness trainer in twice a week to work on my mobility, balance, and general health. She allows as how I’ve shown considerable improvement.
    Stayed up a bit late last night finishing a beta read and copy edit for a mutual friend of ours, sent it off via e-mail to the opposite end of the Earth, and bless his heart I found a very nice thank you e-mail this morning, later than normal as I slept in to compensate. Doing a one off in a genre totally outside his wheelhouse, and very nicely done I must say.
    Speaking of which, I heard an ugly rumor that Bowl of Red might be done or at least enough for a look see. Not begging or whining you understand, just curious.

  37. Your son’s wrong on one premise.

    We don’t come with an operator’s manual; at least not one from the original manufacturer.

    Some of us have a lab book with experiments of what seems to work, and what doesn’t seem to work. Like all lab books, it doesn’t contain everything, and what it does contain is getting constantly revised. Use with caution.

    Some of us have a box of loose papers and notes that our parents and friends gave us, and what we figured out on our own. Possibly more extensive than the lab books, but not very organized. Also, much more painful to acquire. A lot of it wrong. Also, much of it we have no idea why the notes were put in there, or under what circumstances, or how they apply. Use with caution.

    And then there are some of us who don’t even have a book. We hopped into the driver’s seat when the door was open and the engine running, stomped on the gas, and took off for the ride of our lives. We don’t know where we’re going. We barely know how to put fuel in it. We have no idea what to do for routine maintenance, much less when stuff breaks. We complain about it all the time, yet rarely do anything to fix it. Caution? What’s that?

    1. I figured out what the red lines on the dial mean, but what’s the yellow arc about?

      *It’s the “exceed only in very smooth air with one hand on the throttle ready to slow down ASAP if the plane comes anywhere close to turbulence. Or you might shed a wing or two” range. On some planes.

  38. I finally remembered the doggerel I grew up hearing from distant relatives:
    “Nature takes five
    Custom takes seven,
    Laziness nine,
    And wickedness eleven.”

    Which explains why I still go until I collapse, which happens only about four times a year if I’m lucky. (I think my friends were planning an intervention back in May, before I fled the CONUS for three weeks.)

    1. Good grief.

      I think the official advice about little kids for the past forty years has been something like twelve hours. (Mine do not do this. Mom says she couldn’t ever get me to sleep that long consistently either.)

        1. See, that sounds much more reasonable and plausible than either twelve or (even for adults) five.

        2. Mine tend to do eight-ish hours of actually asleep at night, and then half an hour to three hours (depending on other factors, including “how hard are they fighting falling asleep”– harder fighting, longer nap, less sleep at night) in teh afternoon.

    2. A problem I’ve found is define “sleeping.”

      (this goes double for the “how long do kids sleep” thing)

      On one end you have folks who fall asleep as soon as their head hits the pillow, or close enough, and then wake up when they get up.

      On the other you have “K, I went to bed at 8, that means that at 8 I wrapped up what I was working on, went around and checked the doors, made tomorrow’s coffee, made sure there was lunch for tomorrow thawing, checked on the kids, got my clothes out for tomorrow, did my bedtime routine and went to bed, where it took roughly a half hour plus to fall asleep if I was being good and didn’t remember something I had to get done.”

  39. When I were a young’un I took a Air Force high altitude course — cos I was a soaring pilot. They made it real simple, and said that early, deep sleep was about resting the body, and late, REM sleep was about resting the brain.

    That’s when I started sleeping a full 8 hours a night.

      1. bats at the string on the nose
        On my bucket list! I shall yet join you on the really quiet motorless planes!

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