I think that I am a relatively disciplined and responsible person, but doesn’t that sound lame? I go to bed at 11:30 at night and wake up at 6:45 in the morning. The seven hours and fifteen minutes I give to sleep are necessary for me. I do not like the way I feel when I have not had enough sleep and when I am groggy I am unable to perform to the best of my ability. Last night I was asked if I ever stay up late when I have to work the next day and whether I do this because I care so much about my job. The answer is no, I never stay up later than around eight hours before I need to functional and alert the next day. I don’t do this because I care about my job, I do this because I take pride in doing good work. I have tried to stay true to the idea that if I am unable to do something to the best of my ability then I should not be doing it.

This, I think, is the foundation of my efforts at organization and discipline. The more I control the minutiae of my life, the more fulfilled I feel. I am by no means obsessive-compulsive, I make plenty of messes, I just hate looking at them. I am always fighting procrastination. If I leave dishes in the sink for over an hour after I done eating, I start worrying about it. I don’t like leaving things unfinished. If every job is completed, or at least organized, I feel quite satisfied in leaving it behind and directing my full attention to the next thing that confronts me.

I also worry that without strong discipline, I could lose all control. When I like something I don’t like half measures, I get involved in it. I haven’t and probably won’t ever use drugs and I don’t drink very often because I am afraid of what might happen if I release my discipline. When I seem quite detached with a new person, activity, or whatever, it is because I am judging whether or not this new thing is something that is worth investing some part of my soul in. This method might be a bit strange, but it protects me from myself and from the possible hurt that a hasty decision might result in. A bit selfish I suppose.

As strange as this sounds, my discipline allows me greater freedom, I can now do things spontaneously. If a friend calls, I can typically take off and hang out. Unfortunately, most of my friends around here don’t have jobs and are night owls. I haven’t hung out with them since my new job has started because they aren’t ready to hang out until I am heading to bed. And when I leave someone’s house because I have to go home and get some sleep, I always feel like a loser. Maybe I care too much about coming home to an apartment where everything is pretty much in place, maybe I care too much about making sure I can pay off my debts as quickly as possible, maybe I care too much about doing excellent work, maybe I should relax and not worry so much about responsibility.

I just find it hard to be enthusiastic about what is in front of me if I have other things to do.

7 thoughts on “Discipline

  1. If you have any friends you make you feel like an asshole for going to bed when you want to then they really aren’t your friends at all.

    The reason why you get slack for it is because people are very jealous. They really wish they had a job with 40+ hours and a nice paycheck to reward their efforts in the end. They wish they had a reason to go to bed at a decent hour. They wish they needed to be strict with themselves or had any discipline.

    Enjoy the seven and a half hours of sleep and the boredom you sometimes feel in the middle of the day when you think you have nothing to do. Enjoy having a few dishes to wash and only you to pick up after. Why? I would explain it but its not something to explain its something to live. Its life. Don’t beat yourself up because your “friends” want you to stay up longer with them. Be happy they WANT to see you so much.

    I apologize for asking that question of you. In my own defense I will say I asked it innocently. I just wanted to know if you make exceptions. I know you’ve stayed later with me, but I’ve never seen you do it with a group and I wanted to know- thats all. I do not think little of you, contrary to your belief, for going to bed earlier than the rest of us. You’ve actually rubbed your philosophy off on me a great deal and I’ve been making it to bed earlier.

    However, I don’t think I’ve been a good influence on you. I push the time you stay with me, I pout when you have to go, and overall probably made you feel like doing your dishes over seeing me the most ludacrous idea. Do what makes you happy Adam. I am the one who is a loser for bringing such a journal entry out of you. I’ll maybe see ya when I get my act together.

  2. this entry isn’t meant to be read as a criticism of anyone including you or myself. its just another instance of me laying out my thoughts and examining them. its a good thing. i felt the same way in college when i would go to sleep before everyone else, so it is nothing new.

    the question was perfectly fine to ask, don’t beat yourself up over it or think you were what ‘brought it out of me.’ i’ve always got stuff like this stewing. it just bubbles to the top now and then. i hash things out here before i ever talk about them. so be calm, and for the love of pete, don’t think you caused this. you just asked the right question at the right time to bring out something i’ve been vaguely wondering about for the last 5 years or so.

  3. Insomnia is not fun. As long as you can compartmentalize your stress you can make it. I’ve come to the point now where my brian checks out at quitting time and doesn’t really check back in until I walk in the office door. I think I’d go nutty if I brought even the smallest amount of work home with me. It’s not that I don’t want to do a good job, it’s just I value my (lack of)sanity.

  4. See, I *wish* I had that discipline. I’m all about routine, which is unfortunately not the same thing at all (so even if I go to bed at 11pm as well, it’s not because I made myself) I am also the king of the deadline. It left to my own devices, with no deadline whatsoever, anything that I want to accomplish, unless it’s with every fiber of my being, won’t get done. I feel good about myself afterwards, once it is done, but it always takes forever to get there.

  5. Good for you Harv. Perhaps I possessed ANY self-discipline at all, I wouldn’t have flunked out of school. See, it’s all good.

  6. What till insomnia knocks on your door – Your still to you young for this affliction – but just something you should be aware of…

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