Self optimization

Posted by Alyssa Polaris on

I’ve spent a lot of time lately caught up in trifling matters of the domestic and personal nature prompted by poor planning, and while I’m defensive about the minutiae of my sacrosanct interests (read: work), sometimes to the point of pretension, there is really no need to be absorbed by it in other areas of my life.

So, in the means of general optimization, I have come up with a new regimen of self care, and I’m making it public for the purpose of accountability

1. Sleep

As much as is necessary.

This is the one aspect of my life I have never managed to succeed at.
If you follow me on Twitter, where this topic is often referenced more than in any other place that holds my virtual existence, then you already know I experience major issues with sleep.

For as long as I can remember I have been afflicted with a severe case of DSPS (delayed sleep phase syndrome), an invisible disability that makes me unable to fall asleep at a socially acceptable bedtime. This in turn creates a delay in waking times, which interferes with work, school, and other common morning routines and obligations. I’ve spent many a day exhausted, trying to keep up with my well-rested partner/friends on adventures and excursions I shouldn’t have agreed on without first considering my own rest and recovery.

I’ve heard words of frustration from the mouths of teachers, employers, family members, peers, and associates, “lazy”, “irresponsible”, “unreliable”, “selfish” being the most common ones.
My desire to participate in the collective routine of sleep and wake times overrules self preservation most of the time with pretty awful consequences for my health. My soul wants to do what my flesh simply cannot.

So I bid to forget convention, to sleep when languor strikes, and to rise when the flesh has recovered enough. To start the day spirited regardless of the position of the sun or the number on the clock. To say no to any and every invitation that threatens with action before noon.


2. Nutrition

Pleasure is very important to me. I'm one of those people who do not eat because of hunger, but because I seek satisfaction. A dangerous condition that has me consuming a questionable diet. I am the heaviest I’ve ever been in my life and also prediabetic. Proper nutrition would unquestionably help retard the degeneration of my dumb human body.

Sadly, I absolutely detest cooking and for most of my adult life I’ve been pretty lost when it comes to it. The whole meal planning is abhorrent. Not only do I have to eat everyday, I have to do it multiple times a day, and with all the things I take care of in a day, there just isn’t extra space in my mind to think of the whats and hows, let alone finding the time for the actual act.

Being able to have tasty and healthy meals at home is a privilege I didn't have growing up because my parents worked until stupid o’clock to make sure we had food in the cupboard. They were too busy making sure we had something to eat, not really having the capacity to be worried about how much sugar and saturated fat was in those microwave dinners we had every night.

There is no epiphany here. If I want to nourish my body, I’m going to have to find the time to cook. I’ll be sulky and this might be my origin story to become the supervillain we always knew I would become, but at least I won’t feel like crap every waking moment. Is it worth it? Only time will tell. I’ll keep you posted.


3. Excercise

Unlike the last mark, this has nothing to do with bettering my health. Back in 2013 and until 2015 I used to run 5k everyday, no excuses, I ran in the rain, on the weekends, on holidays, on my birthday, and I loved it so much.

I am fortunate enough to live in a place that is surrounded by woods. My runs amongst trees and along the lake weren’t really exercise to me, they were a form of meditation. There is something otherworldly about being alone with your thoughts while your body is experiencing discomfort.

I want to have that experience again. 

4. Work

I aim for higher self-respect and I think I can achieve this by engaging in behaviors consistent with my beliefs and values.

So here is where I promise to work passionately, thoroughly, incessantly. To take on as many projects as possible, fit as many accomplishments as possible in my day. Failed enterprises are in the end triumphs of effort and training, they're included in my achievement poll.

5. Play

“Child who does not play is not a child, but the man who does not play has lost forever the child who lived within him and who he will miss terribly” 
― Pablo Neruda

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