Long post alert, I hope you find it helpful / interesting.
To start, I would like to say thank you to everyone who has read, laughed, rolled their eyes, trolled, or enjoyed any of the Intellectual Nebula posts this year. This is year two of my first LCC project / creative outlet. It has been fun continuing to write, attempting to be funny, playing with social media accounts, and growing my photography skills. As we wrap up 2020, here are some thoughts on my year and what’s to come in 2020.
I am big on being self-aware and holding yourself accountable. Multiple times a year I try and take a step back and look at different ways to improve myself. (Side Note) – I realize how extra the Intellectual Nebula stuff is, especially the DaLEO stuff, it’s part of the schtick and I enjoy it. Anyways, as I look back at 2020 and ahead to 2021, there are some things I am proud of, and there are some things that need to change.
I don’t need to pat myself on the back for the things I am proud of, but I think acknowledging that this year wasn’t a failure is important. To me, the biggest miss for me this year was in the way I treated myself both physically and mentally. I am sharing this because I think it may help others like me that are going through similar issues and it’s also therapeutic for me to write it. I am not looking for pity, sympathy, or anything like that so, chill.
This year provided me an abundance of extra time through the pandemic. All the time I spent commuting to and staying late at the office was given back to me. I also received time back from the amount of traveling and hours that a typical hockey season takes. Some of this extra time was rightfully invested into family time and projects that many of you saw on social media. That time was rightfully spent, and the reward was there. Where I fell short is instituting the discipline needed when staying home most of the time in order to maintain my health both emotionally and physically.
I am not going to go into details, because I am sensitive to folks who have certain struggles, or who are recovering from them. I don’t want this blog to be a trigger. I myself have shared some of those struggles publicly. What I want to talk about is discipline. Discipline isn’t my New Year’s Resolution, because it’s not for this year. It’s a commitment to accountability to myself to be the best I can be. When I say that, I mean in all aspects of my life: work, family, faith, mental health, and physical health.
When COVID first shut everything down, I was extremely motivated. I told myself I would be a beacon of light. I would be motivated, I would lead the way on how to make the most of a difficult situation. Over time however, I started to show myself “grace”. Grace when it came to how I was fueling, or not fueling my body appropriately. Grace when it came to my level of activity compared to couch time. Grace when it came to engaging in things that brought me joy. Instead, that grace turned into an attitude of distraction and comfort in order to “get through” things.
I like to think about things for a while before doing something. I am not naturally a “spur of the moment” type of guy. Everyone knows I like a good plan and to stick to it and that good plans have time allotted for “spur of the moment” type stuff. The notion of discipline and the change I need in my life has been kicked around in my brain for weeks now, if not months (my brain is a silly place). I have followed a couple of different people who have made changes for the better and stuck with them. The key or central theme that these people have focused on is the idea of comfort. This struck a cord with me, because that’s the trap I often fall into when stressed. It is HARD to be uncomfortable, but many things that are worth it in life require work and require you to be uncomfortable. That feeling of progress, uncomfortable progress is a feeling I am looking to welcome back into my life.
For those visual people, this is the logic that was in my head:
This is the updated logic that I am currently instituting moving forward in my life. Does this mean I expect myself to be perfect? No. But, when I am not perfect, rather than distracting myself with easy “comfortable” activities that don’t align to my goals, I am committing to being disciplined to pick activities that contribute instead of distract.
Overall, I just want everyone in my network to know I care about them and hope everyone has a Safe and Happy New Year this year. I may or may not be super transparent about my journey (I haven’t decided). I do believe in this world of perfection and social media image, that it’s important to be real and be a resource. I have many friends who have been impacted in many different ways through the pandemic. If you ever need a resource or someone to talk to, drop me a line, or as the kids say: slide into those DMs. We all have our own personal challenges and struggles and it’s important to know you’re not alone.
If you’re still reading, be sure to like the blog (on social media and on the website).
Get excited, I have some good ideas for 2021! Also, if there are topics or things you would like to see in 2021 from me, photography, or even from DaLEO (follow @RaphikeyDaLEO on Twitter and Instagram), let me know!