Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Courageous Mortality

If I reflect on my metal well-being, I see I am in pretty good shape.  I probably suffer a lot less than many, and for the most part I am a pretty up-beat guy.  But there is this weird thing I experience now and then that is not pleasant: I get this weird feeling of dread when I go to bed and I am in that weird state of not quite dreaming yet but not quite awake. 

Often times it is some sort of existential freak-out.  The idea of not existing someday just randomly seems terrifying.  However, it is short lived.  Usually it is just like "uhg, here we go again, freaking out about dying someday" and then I just finally conk out after dealing with it.

I'd say this has been going on and off for about 10 years or so.  I have mentioned it to friends but since it is so brief I find it more annoying than anything else--so I have just dealt with it instead of reaching out for real help (shrink, antidepressants, etc).  However, I recently had a random idea of what might be going on:

I am actually freaking out about another day going by.

Instead of directly fearing mortality like I originally thought, I am actually finding going to sleep symbolic of time elapsing, and that is what I am fearing.  It is an indirect fear of mortality--and at a time when my mind is in sort of a weir transitional state.

Humans, like any other animal, were built to fear in order to avoid dying.  But unlike other animals, being human means that we understand our own inevitable mortality.   So a very important lifeskill to learn is to accept this or at least deal with it in some way so you can live a fun, joyful life without always being afraid.

I don't know the skills I need to obtain to conquer this instance of the human condition, but understanding it at a deeper level I think is a step in the right direction.

Why I Blog

Funny that after all of these years, I still think about this blog now and then--especially when ideas for posts crop up.  Then inevitably I get distracted by something else and time continues to go by without doing any writing.  And here we are, several years later.  So before I write about any of the ideas I have been considering blogging about, I will make a statement that could just help me get back into it:

I am blogging for myself, not for other people.  However, other people might find my posts entertaining or useful.

If I have this (by definition!) selfish mentality, maybe it will help me post more frequently.  Maybe it will remove the pressure of only writing on-topic items with perfect grammar that will build up a following.  Maybe it will reinforce that blogging is something useful for me--whether it is making little posts to remind myself things, reflecting over something that is technically interesting, or just free-writing for the pure fun of it.

As I was proof reading this above paragraphs I thought of another statement that might help:

Blogging is better for me than social media.

I have been focusing on being healthier for the past several months; and part of that is trying to avoid zoning out while scrolling through social media and news on the couch while the time just ticks by.  Replacing the zoning with meditation and getting into Zen Buddhism has helped, but I think blogging could also be a solid alternative as well.

So with that said... I will give this another shot with a new perspective.