I may be overcomplicating this, but I feel like I need a little help. Deeply deeply lazy, unambitious, unfit and often just feel super-klutzy. All of this is getting to me. horrifically self-indulgent long post to follow, but would greatly appreciate the bluntest of advice.
posted by lethologues to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (13 answers total) 27 users marked this as a favorite
It has recently dawned on me that I've had a steadily more worrying pattern of wasting time, especially on the internet since about 2007. maybe even earlier. I'm 21 now, and was 16 then. I used to spend a lot of time on a small forum when I got home from school, looked at links, did little else. I hardly ever did homework or studied much. I did read a fair bit, but that went off the radar too, except for occasional bursts. Then when I was preparing to apply to university, started getting hooked on another forum. University applications and college (i'm from the UK, so senior years of high school) didn't turn out as well as they could have. Took a gap year, meant to find a job and read loads - which I kind of succeeded with, for a while, in that I applied for a few things and read a few of the books I wanted to, but still spent maybe 6 hours a day just on the internet.
Then I got talking to the girl who would be my first and so far only girlfriend, it eventually became an LDR, but our general schedules fit so that it would basically involve me being on Skype to her from about 6pm to 3am every day for at pretty much a good few months. Neither of us had the most demanding social life at the time. I think she's also similar to me in what I'm trying to say here, but in less drastic a way.
this pattern kept repeating itself, even at university. When I didn't have concrete plans to meet friends or go out, I'd waste it on the internet. Often just reading articles and wikipedia trails, but in such a buzz of skim-reading that I could never instantly recall much of it. I have probably finished a grand total of 5 of the books prescribed on the reading list for my degree. I am coasting along fine, through a mixture of last-minute deadline-crises and being vaguely intelligent.
I'm now at the point where I don't think it's a stretch to say that, if we just shoehorn 'socialising' into a 'weekends' slot, then most of my weekday evenings from about 5ish to sleeptime for the last 3 years have been spent doing nothing much on the internet.
This also means that I basically cannot remember the last time I gave anything a sustained effort. This goes way back. GCSEs and A-levels were generally coasted through, the former more than the latter, and I did okay enough to go to a fairly well-to-do university in the UK. Now though, there are essays that I would tinker over in my head but never concretely plan, and when it came to crunch time I think I had a basic anxiety-inducing thing of 'don't want to try this in case it fails' mentality, which in its worst stages meant I handed in first-class essays but often two days after the deadline, which basically means I handed in a mediocre essay once the grades are adjusted.
I know that on its most basic level, this is as simple as me just repeatedly breaking myself out of a habit of laziness and complacency i've been forming for nearly ten years as far as I can tell. I was one of those kids who at a very young age was always just told I was smart, but let it get to my head and basically have nothing resembling a work ethic now. at all.
And I think this zombie-like state of instant gratification i get from the internet also means that I haven't really developed any healthy sustained interests or hobbies that make me feel like I know what I want to do with my life for the next few years after I leave university. I'm currently on an exchange year in Berlin, and this year was meant to be hwen I made a change and tried to get a clearer start on that, but nothing's really changed. I go out to meet friends more, so I guess I waste less time on the internet, but as an example, I woke up nearly 13 hours ago. In that time I've had breakfast, had a big late-lunch early dinner thing, watched some episodes of tv. Anything else is just.. general filler. it's often stuff like reading essayish things from LARB while looking up new music, but it is also just as equally aimlessly clicking through facebook, not knowing what i'm doing. just to be clear though, I have pretty much never successfully gone through with 'Let's not waste any more time and just do the [general work] due in for tomorrow!' while at home.
I kind of looked down on doing sports as the preserve of 'jock kids' when i grew up, and it basically means that i am quite unfit right now (I could manage maybe an 8 minute jog before having to stop, I'd guess) and also have hideous co-ordination with most things. it sounds trivial, but after a while it gets tiring being 'that guy' who's laughably bad at stuff that like pool, minigolf, bowling, ice-skating, anything remotely like that. just like, man. I've made attempts at starting a running routine or forcing myself to get better at swimming (had a previous thread on that, hasn't worked out well for me so far - it is quite embarrassing to go into a pool and not be able to co-ordinate the required arm, leg and breathing stuff) as a sort of symbolic thing of 'YEAH, be more organised and tidy and productive' but it's never lasted.
as a contrary example, recently I had to go on a family holiday to India. at one point, we were in a rural village where I knew nobody to hang out with, had no internet, and nobody who'd want to call me or anything. Just a bedbound grandmother, my parents doing errands, and a lot of farm animals. I'd packed a good few books that I'd been planning to read. In that quiet ten days, I read 3 books and about 500 pages of another novel I'd bought about 2 years before but kept telling myself I'd read and never did. Pretty much one of the only periods of time where I felt like I spent my spare time how I wanted to.
I think I'm basically incapable of delaying gratification. I remember hearing about that study conducted with marshmallow-rewards and little kids, and finding out that those who were successful in delaying gratification and waiting for the extra marshmallow generally 'did better' at life than their 'EAT IT NOW' counterparts.
I know this entire thing is incredibly self-indulgent, but I guess i'm looking to hear from someone from MeFi who's been at a point of just being hopelessly lazy and unproductive and turned it around. it's just that, for someone as obnoxiously lazy and unmotivated as i am, none of the things that it affects has reached a great crisis point - I just keep adapting and coasting through, which makes me feel like everything would just be so much more rewarding and deserving of self-respect if I actually developed a good responsible work ethic.
So, really sorry for all that. But any advice or general thoughts would be great.