Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Aug 1, 4am. Sleepless

It’s 4:12 in the morning and I can’t sleep. I’m supposed to leave for work in less than four hours. I can’t sleep and I’m not sure why.

I’ve had a persistent sadness sticking with me for the last few days that I can’t seem to shake. This isn’t much of a surprise. It’s almost always been that I don’t shake these things, I just have to let them run their course.

Part of what has kept me up is having the song “Impossible Germany” by Wilco stuck in my head. It’s a wonderful, mellow, rainy-day song that’s kind of sad and pensive but still has an amazing guitar solo. I think the song is so sticky right now because of this sadness.

A few weeks ago I got the opportunity to see the fact that someone that I’ve cared deeply about cultivates the absolute worst aspects of my personality. Ten years ago I hung out with Julie and the Unhappy Club to feel a little less alone. I didn’t realize it at the time but if I had stopped imposing the belief on myself that I was alone I wouldn’t have needed the Unhappy Club. I had plenty of friends at arm’s reach and could have had as many as I wanted. I guess the self-isolation was a natural product of the depression I wasn’t dealing with. In that situation, clumping with like minded people is a survival instinct. I’m trying to figure out why things that happened ten years ago are bothering me so much. The best answer I can come up with is that it that the cognitive dissonance in overturning ten year old beliefs is pretty massive. It all makes me feel very stupid and small.

I spent a lot of effort as a teenager desensitizing myself to trivialities. Part of the depression is that even trivial things become huge and overwhelming if the timing is off. One thing I took away from reading some Zen writings as a teenager is that little things are little and ultimately the meanings and values of everything are only in your head. The clothes dryer chews a hole in your shirt: it’s just a piece of clothing and not worth getting upset over. Sadly, this way of thinking has gotten twisted around for me. For example, cleaning out the cat’s litter box is no big deal… not something to make a fuss about. However, for me the part that seems insignificant is the importance of doing it, not the labor. I have a hard time with simple things that don’t mean a great deal in the larger scheme of things. I need to find a way to get my priorities under control.

Hopefully David Allen is right and having captured these somewhat random thoughts in a trusted system will purge them from my mind. I have my own thoughts as to why this kind of thing works from reading GTD but that’s another topic.

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