No Backsliding November

Good afternoon everyone!

I have seen many, many trends in regards to the approach of November. The two most popular ones in the internet community are “No Shave November” and “No Nut November.”

As for No Shave November, it’s very straightforward. You put your razor and shaving cream in a drawer and don’t fool with it for a month. It’s a fun time for men, such as myself, to see what it would look like to have a little facial hair grow for a month. It’s no big deal for males that have beards, but it’s a bigger deal for men like me that don’t really grow fantastic beards. Mine would be patchy at best. I’d have a strong neck beard and a decent mustache, but that’s about it! I’m not sure it would all connect! Am I participating in this challenge? Heavens no! I’ve tried before and I usually cave after 14 days. I’ll lay in bed, either watching television or reading a book, and my face will itch me.

So what in the hell is “No Nut November?” Well, this trend sounds like a creation of our beloved Internet culture doesn’t it? A lot of the younger readers will know exactly what it is. For those of you that do not know, allow me to explain real quick. So the whole idea of No Nut November stems from men that have a knack for watching pornography. The idea is that they try to put that hobby of theirs aside for thirty days. On the surface level, it’s a great idea. It’s a good platform to get you out of a toxic habit, but usually once December hits, they are back at the same ol’ routine. Remember my mantra of “Goals are bullshit. Establish a system.”? Good example right there.

As for myself, I am a new graduate of the Sober October club. At the end of September, I finished my supply of beer and I saw some videos on my YouTube algorithm. It was Joe Rogan (I tend to watch his clips time to time, limited doses mind you!) and naturally I had to watch him talk about doing Sober October. The idea of that month is to quit a habit such as drinking alcohol, doing drugs, consuming caffeine or sugar, or other things that might come to mind.

The reason I’m bringing up Joe Rogan is the fact that once his video was completed, this video below popped up on my suggested videos. I’ve watched “Getting Sober…Again” on various occasions in the past, especially when I stopped drinking between Memorial Day and the Fourth of July just to do a self-audit and figure out some of the kinks in my brain that were not allowing me to be the most optimal version of myself. Give it a watch real quick if you wish. If not, scroll down and I’ll give you the summary and why it’s relevant to this piece of writing.

So the idea of this challenge is to ultimately observe the 21/90 rule. It takes 21 days to form a habit and then it takes 90 days for it to become a lifestyle. If you time this challenge just right, you’re already 90 days clean from whatever you choose when New Year’s Day hits. Usually when people make those self-improvement New Year’s Resolutions, they’re pinned to a wall. This idea has the opposite effect by giving you tremendous life changing momentum. As for me, I’m going to pick a resolution and set up a new system. Something achievable and desirable, I’m just not sure what it will be at the present time.

I will take a break and let you all know that I am in one of the best states mentally that I have been in quite some time. We are talking years and years. I’ve had tremendous battles with self-doubt, depression, anxiety, negativity, and other things. Who hasn’t really? This goes back to the environment our culture has fostered with this technology. A weird paradox of being more connected than ever before; however, we are more socially divided and isolated to where we want to fit in, instead of embracing our unique personas.

I really do think alcohol was a major catalyst behind this, operating under the hood. I’m not here preaching about going sober and not drinking. Everybody is different. Some people wish to drink to their heart’s content and that’s absolutely fine. You don’t have to be any different around me or hide anything. I’ve got enough self-control now that I’m fine being the way I am. Also, I’ve read health articles that say a glass of red wine or perhaps 1-2 beers an evening is just fine. It gives you a chiller mood and takes some stress off your heart and mind. It’s fine and I’m not preachy, I am just sharing my personal journey and why these old habits do not work for me anymore.

With this current mindset, I wanted to do something special for November. I don’t have a desire to grow a beard or masturbate so I don’t have to worry about those first two challenges! Instead, I wanted to make one tailored to me. In fact, you can join in.

We’re going to call this No Backsliding November.

The idea is that you just keep moving forward in the personal progress you have made. This advice extends to myself as I type up this article I’ve been working on for two dang days now. Just take advantage of the momentum you have already established. For those of you that haven’t really made a self-improvement push lately, take this month and just make each day better for you and those around you than the previous day. At least start kicking some ideas around your head to tackle for 2022. Personally, I’d like to shed some pounds, maybe some of you have the same idea. Perhaps, other people might want to work on mastering those emotions better in the workplace as well as at home. Also, you could maybe try to slow things down and let everyone else enjoy the fast paced rat race going nowhere.

The universe was not designed for this pace. Whatever you choose to believe in spiritually, I think it’s agreed that whatever force you see creating this universe, did it slowly and methodically. That’s where perfection really comes into play.

With the idea of this article being presented, I’d like to share with you all some new things I’ve been doing in my spare time.

Before I was a teenager, the last time I was clear minded and not guided under the hood by various vices, I did three main things.

I liked to play video games, I liked to read voraciously. Thirdly, I liked to let my imagination run wild and entertain any whim that popped into my head. Years down the road, my inner critic would always suppress that third aspect of my younger self.

I still play games, but I have been controlling the time I’ve put in. I’ve started to have a lot of fun passing the controller to my wife and letting her explore games and just sitting down with no other distractions, helping her play. She has been playing a game called Life is Strange and I really am considering typing a review of that game. It is so unique and it is a game I should have played years ago. I’ve rarely seen a story so captivating that keeps you guessing.

As for reading, I’ve mostly been reading two books. Every day, I’ll read a chapter of either book, some days I read one and other days, I read the other.

The first book is The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale. He was a pastor from the 1950s-1960s. He wrote this book during that time period and he entertains a lot of concepts I see in the New Age movement regarding affirmations, cutting out negativity, slowing down to smell the roses, connect with your spiritual self, and etc. I’m about halfway through with it. His book has a basis in Christianity to where he gives you some Bible verses to affirm yourself. However, you can easily apply these concepts on a surface level and still see positive results.

One example is that when I go outside to let my youngest dog use the bathroom before work, I always tell myself it is going to be a great day. We are going to handle whatever work throws our way and we are going to take it one task at a time and handle it with grace and precision.

It’s kept me in a great mood and given me ideas to help keep myself organized. It was a great book to have by my side, it’s been a great tool to help with negativity and not letting those thoughts fester. They still pop up sometimes, and I still have some episodes. Don’t get me wrong about that. I can easily say though that those events are cut down in half, easily, and all of them are now less severe and lingering.

The second book I have started is Dune by Frank Herbert. I’ve talked to quite a few people about this book and I have gotten just as many praises as dislikes. It’s interesting in that regard. So I’m a sci-fi guy so I had to check out the new movie. I thought it was great. I can see what people mean about the story but sometimes the presentation can make or break a story. I don’t like movies that end halfway, especially when you can go buy the source material and get the whole story. Plus, I had some questions about the lore that I’ve been letting the book answer. I’m only about 4 “chapters” into this story and the most recent film adaptation has done a great job staying true to the novel. I think I am more impressed how they got this universe established in two and a half hours, whereas Frank Herbert wrote pages upon pages getting this story set up.

Lastly, I have started letting my imagination run wild once again. I have started to entertain all sorts of whims. One example I can shoehorn is the fact that I wanted to type up a new entry for this blog. I had no idea what I was going to say until I started typing. All that I knew, was that “I want to write a new entry today.”

Other times, I’ll want to go do some yard work outside and clean up some of our fence row. Another example is that I am currently thinking about unboxing some of my stuff that has been in containers since we’ve moved and start filling in some of the walls of this office of mine and give it some more more decor.

Instead of allowing my subconscious to keep denying my random whims and thoughts, I just ignore it and jump on these opportunities. It really does feel like time has slowed itself for me, in terms of day to day. I guess that’s a side effect of having a clearer conscious.

All in all, things are great. I’m just going to take things one thing at a time in terms of today’s topic.

Before I click the “Publish” button, I do want to say that I will pick up writing on here a bit more. I want to just post something every day. When I’m not typing up posts for you all, I might go find a writing prompt or pull some quotes from this gigantic quote book that I like to read from time to time.

It’s safe to say though that I do need to make some edits to what this blog is all about. The slogan right now is Gaming, Lifestyle, and More. I’ll be honest with you all real quick. The gaming stuff does not get much traffic and like wise, I have to force myself to write those more than I do with these personal entries about lifestyle. People seem to like it more and I really think we will double down in this direction for the time being. I enjoy writing it more anyway! I will type up some gaming stuff from time to time, especially in regards to this Life is Strange game my wife has been playing.

Until next everyone, I encourage No Backsliding November. Keep one foot forward and have a great day!

~Shane

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