Good Brain

March 19, 2015

Coding Note: Everything has imploded for no reason (well, obviously there IS a reason and I just don't understand it). So, if you're seeing this, it means something went right and I'm one step closer to being a better problem-solving coder. It means I...W.I.N.

So, there's this thing I do where I like to think I'm busy and I'm actually not. What my brain deludes itself into thinking is that my lack of time has nothing to do with the amount of baby elephant 'articles' I can click on in an amazing amount of time, but rather a completely booked schedule which requires rest in the form of vices. What makes me think I am so in need of this absurd amount of internet/TV/happy hour time and whatisgoingonhere?

Seriously, though. This is all I want for myself.

I was sent this article today that goes into the biological difference between positive ways of spending time, like reading, learning, massages, meditation, etc, and the others things, like gaming, shopping,the internet, and, oh, narcotics. It details how the 'empty' activities lead to the release of dopamine, which affects our brain's reward and pleasure centers (news? not really). But our poor, trained brain thinks we're doing well! Good brain. Similarly, however, oxytocin, seratonin, and GABA molecules (respectively bonding, confidence, and calming) are released in the processes of the other more productive and positive activities. It's science that we get more from doing better!

The big take-away is that we are all, in scientific fact, just a bunch of loafs who wear Cheeto crumbles and remote controls in place of business suits. We can all be a little more aware of our biological tendency towards a false sense of accomplishment, however, and start filling our lives with the super foods of activities.

I think we all already know that those devoid sources of time fillage are not just empty space (with a litttttle bit of that feeling like you just did heroin...). Whatever...we KNOW they fill us with hunger that eventually leads to a suffocating, ulcerated anxiety. I feel like I've emerged, withered and gasping, but I have started to patch those holes with fulfillment. The new things aren't exactly accomplishing worldwide change (case in point: this blog), but they are a healthier replacement for the sugars of time-wasting.

It's easy to get lost in thinking about how difficult it is to keep up with the level of fabulousness I know I can sustain with so much to do and seemingly so little time or money to do it. Aren't we all just banging our heads against our vertical succulent gardens made from repurposed wood wondering why we can't afford that vintage Japanese-scarf-inspired cotton blouse from MadeWell (it isn't sustainable?!)? Or maybe that's just me...But it all comes down very simply to using my time better! To add to that, I have let the emptiness take me to very lonely places, honestly wondering what the point of doing anything is. It seems so simple now, but it's been a long struggle complicated by the confusion of anxiety and apathy.

Lately, I spend my days focused on growth and meaning and it's working pretty well. For now. Anxieties are muted in the beauty of outdoors and challenges of programming tasks goodlord. I'm cooking (sssometimes...ask anyone else and they may disagree), running, trying to be better about calling back, crafting when I get ideas, reading, and always eyeballing vacation ideas. Time is limited! Use it or lose it! Again, I'll add the disclaimer that I'm just as lost as anyone, but, for now, life is good. I'm...oh dear god, I'm going to say it... "high on life."


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