I’ve figured out why I recently went from sixty to zero so quickly, and I think explaining this will serve to illustrate some relevant aspects of Aeolitalk.
I recently started working nights. It’s physical work, but only part-time all in all not too strenuous. However, I still have to adjust my sleep schedule, which means that I’m running at about 50-70 percent capacity at the best of times (and I suspect that even once I’m adapted to nocturnal life, this will never be above 80-90 percent).
Good sleep is absolutely essential for recharging willpower. This is why I recommend going to sleep immediately after work if at all possible. Unless you’re already running a surplus of energy, you can’t do anything proactive or productive right after spending all of that willpower at work. You’ll be stuck in a scarcity mindset, fit only for browsing YouTube and other reactive, dopamine-seeking behaviors.
The most productive thing you can aspire to in this state is to avoid further negative behaviors by meditating, taking a walk, or maybe just staring at a wall.
I was having a great time for the first week because my parents were out and I didn’t have to interact with anybody at work, which for introverts often requires spending willpower. So I’d wake up with 60 percent willpower, do my productive shit, and go to work with 10 percent energy and coast on autopilot. Then I’d get back home with maybe 5 percent still in the tank, having spend the difference on resisting the siren song of an aisle full of Pop-Tarts for eight hours.
But when my parents got back, frustrations mounted immediately. I will preface this by saying I love my parents. They are nice people and they love me as much as you can love a 28-year-old schizoid son who’s a chronically depressed virgin with 65K in student loans, no friends, and no immediate prospects. All that said, they are not reasonable people.
For instance, my dad is offended by the fact that I sleep during the day. You can point out to him that I work during the night- that he had, in fact, vehemently insisted that I do so- and he won’t be swayed. “That doesn’t mean he can’t get up at a reasonable time.” (Yes, actually, it does.) On weekends I’ll wake up to the sound of my mom stopping him coming into my room at 9 AM. “Nobody his age should still be asleep this late in the day,” he says, despite the fact that I’d gone to sleep just an hour earlier.
Like I said though, he’s a nice person. When I wake up around 5 PM, he will often ask me if I want a beer. I think he’s just reached an age where he can’t mentally adapt anymore. So it’s not my parents’ fault that they can’t be reasoned with, but that doesn’t mean it’s not frustrating to wake up to a stream of bizarre demands. Constant frustrations are like friction, hence why they produce the energy-conservation mode known as depression, and why the lack thereof is one of the five pillars of happiness.
So that’s why my momentum has dropped off a cliff recently. Doesn’t mean I can’t adapt and try something different (this magic brain has to be good for something). Just means it’s going to be harder and take longer, and require a little creativity, of which I have loads to spare.