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The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men

February 1, 2013

I started this semester with the goal of structuring my life in such a way that I would live in a more fulfilled way. I was going to eat right, work out, work on this blog, go to bed on time and get my homework done. I did well the first week. I was well-rested, well-adjusted, organized. If I had kept up the schedule, I would have become sickeningly wholesome and started wearing a polo shirt and getting a crew cut. Fortunately, I did not become sickeningly wholesome.

Instead, my carefully scheduled life merely fell to pieces.

That is a bit of an exaggeration. I am doing much better at being responsible this semester than the last. However, my “perfect” regimen of living didn’t quite work out for me. It was not just that the schedule had intrinsic problems–it was that too often I was lazy, uncommitted and unmotivated. I started eating bad food, spent too much time looking at random stuff on the internet, and left off blogging. I felt like I had lost my good habits almost as soon as I had found them.

There are two lessons that I learned from this. First, there is only a certain amount of control that is healthy to have over life. There is nothing wrong with wanting to be responsible and take good care of yourself and your time. But there is a kind of controlling, systematizing effort that is unhealthy–when you try to take control of your life and play God, when you are totally inflexible. This kind of life is the one that shies away from danger, risk, and anything that is not part of “the plan,” or “the system.” A person who falls into this trap will eventually end up being an embittered, self-centered person.

Second, you cannot let your failures stop you. I have had a hard time regularly writing on this blog. The solution is not to whine about it. Instead, the solution is to get back up and continue writing on this blog. If life knocks you down, get back up and keep on going. You cannot go on re-living the mistakes of the past or dreaming about how you are going to change things in the future. Take care of today’s problems today.

Current Listenings: Middling Cyclone by Neko Case, Strange Mercy by St. Vincent, Ten Stories by mewithoutYou

4 Comments leave one →
  1. February 2, 2013 1:01 am

    Love it. Thanks for your thoughts once again. And your Record article was great. You got some writing talent.

  2. through a glass darkly permalink
    February 2, 2013 1:04 am

    Oh come on, Nick, today can’t’ve been THAT bad. You got me to go the President’s Ball with you, didn’t you?

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