quick post, slow lane

On my drive to work in the morning, when traffic is starting to get bad, I’ve noticed that I’ve developed a habit of tracking my progress relative to the cars in the next lane. I think I’ve always had a tendency to read other people’s number plates (being the compulsive reader that I am), but it was just out of interest to see what words or phrases I could come up with, or to see what personalised plates people had.

But in the mornings, after I enter the freeway, I commit a few number plates to my short-term memory, and try to figure out if my usual lane is faster, or if I should switch (and then switch back when needed). Often it’s a bit of leap-frog, and I think the overall difference is not significant enough to warrant manoeuvring through traffic when so many other cars are already jumping between lanes. Sometimes I think that I should have changed lanes, but sometimes I’m quite glad I didn’t.

In recent weeks, when I notice that I’m doing this progress tracking, I stop myself and wonder why I do it. Is it just my competitive side coming out? Is it my need to analyse everything, perhaps with the intent of making my commute more efficient? Or am I just trying to make this repetitive trip more interesting?

Sometimes when I get to these questions, I stop looking at the number plates of other cars, and I just tell myself that I’ll get to work around the same time either way — just relax and enjoy the ride.

sleep results – April

Since today is the first day of May, I have now had thirty nights of sleep through April, so I suppose it’s time for a recap on the never-ending struggle to fix my sleep.

I haven’t posted a recap for February or March because I went on holidays at the end of February and didn’t get a chance to look at that month’s data; and since I was not at work during most of March, I thought all of that data would be terribly skewed and show a falsely positive result.

Anyway, a quick glance over the February data shows that it was much the same as January, with several nights of inadequate and/or poor quality sleep. As such, I don’t think it would add much value to my study. Besides, I really can’t be bothered entering all that data and properly analysing it.

In the first two weeks of March, I was consistently sleeping at least 7.5 hours each night (often more), so I stopped recording my sleeping hours and scores because I figured it would just end up as a flat line of very uninteresting data.

In April things were kind of back to normal in the sense that I was back at work every week, so I resumed recording from then. Sure, I could have included the last week or so of March, but I was readjusting to not being on holidays, and I figured that it was better to just exclude it.

Well, anyway, enough preamble. Let’s get to my April results. Continue reading

perceptions and illusions

Over this last week or so, I’ve been reading Eckhart Tolle’s book A New Earth. I bought it at the Lifeline Bookfest last week-end. It’s kind of funny because I wasn’t looking for it at all. I was browsing through the paperback fiction tables, being incredibly picky because I have an incredible backlog of books from previous Bookfests that I still need to get through …and then suddenly I saw this book.

Possibly the only reason I know about this book at all is because a friend from work told me about it, and he highly recommended it. Initially, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to buy it or not: it’s in good condition, but a $5 price-tag is kind of a bit much by Bookfest standards; and although it was recommended by someone I know and respect, I wasn’t sure if I’d get much out of reading it – spiritual / self-help books aren’t really my thing…

Continue reading

bite size

Anyone who has ever had a meal with me will surely know that I am a slow eater. I know very few people who eat as slowly as I do (maybe only one other person? or two?) Recent conversations, over the last few weeks, have led me to wonder about the origins of this quirk, and to really analyse my penchant for slow eating.

Often I hear people say that eating slowly is a good thing because it gives yourself time to realise when you’re full, and hence not overeat. This might be well and true, but I don’t consciously eat slowly – it’s not a purposeful decision that I’ve made in order to attain some sort of benefit. In fact, I generally feel like I actually eat at a reasonable pace, and perhaps everyone else just eats too quickly, causing me to become an outlier on this bell-curve, and making it seem like I eat really slowly.

Continue reading

non-specific apathy

From time to time, I find that I am struck with what I’ve termed “non-specific apathy”, which is exactly what it sounds like: a general unexplained feeling of non-feeling.

I suppose it’s kind of close to a melancholy sort of feeling, but it’s not quite as sad. This non-specific apathy is, however, bad for motivation because if you’re feeling apathetic, nothing really matters, right?

I don’t think it happens to me often, but, apparently, when it does strike, it can be quite obvious to others.

Ok, so this is kind of entering into new territory because I don’t tend to write overly personal things on this blog, but, like I always say, this is my blog and I’ll write what I want.

Over the years, I’ve come to learn that I’m supposedly quite good at concealing my stress and worry about a lot of things. I cannot tell you how many people have told me, throughout high school, uni and work, that I never (or rarely) seem to be stressed out, and/or that I seem to be a very happy/enthusiastic person.

The latter observation is actually quite accurate because I do have a tendency of approaching new tasks/challenges with enthusiasm and alacrity. The former observation is possibly also reasonably accurate, but I’m not sure to what extent it’s a conscious/subconscious effort to appear cool, calm and collected.

I suppose, then, that when I stray from this composed visage, it might, for those who know me well enough, be obvious enough.

(Side note: If you’ve happened to notice that, in these last few months – specifically, since the start of this year – I’m using a lot more commas in my writing, it’s almost certainly because I’ve been reading Charles Dickens’ David Copperfield; and the bookish amongst us all know that Dickens is renowned for his long sentences, which, of course, cannot be constructed without a healthy sprinkling of commas and other punctuation marks.)

However, part of me does wonder if, on some level, I don’t actually try to conceal this apathy at all, and would actually prefer that it was noticed. But, I mean, if it’s a general apathy, why would I care who knows and who doesn’t? Sometimes I wonder if it’s a kind of quiet cry of distress, or maybe a silent call for help. Maybe it’s some weird self-preservation strategy for when I’m feeling emotionally overloaded. Yeah, that sounds plausible… I’ll go with that.