Progress and Peace

Without progress, stagnation births failure.

Might be a big jump, but though we are in a better place compared to where we were a century ago as a generation, there is still the shared feeling that we are not good enough yet. Happiness arises with the ability to see progress. Were we to accomplish what we feel makes the perfect society, there would be new desires to improve it further, stemming from our new perspective. It’s not perfection we strive for, but the feeling of accomplishment, which is what makes video games so satisfying with the instant feedback, for example.

These ideas have passed through my usual thoughts throughout the past few weeks that I’ve been silent on here. I have been working a monotonous job, so accustomed to the routine of it I received a raise for my excellent performance. Because of the demand the lawsuits have placed on our bank account, there’s no celebration, no change in routine. The way that court cases take a break in between every labored step also creates the feeling of stagnation. “How’s the court case going?” we’re asked, and just like most other court things, it just doesn’t seem to be going anywhere yet. The next step is like a hailstorm on a sunny day. It just appears out of nowhere and wreaks havoc on the peace you thought you had without you having known how to prepare. When that time comes, I might look back on this phase longingly.

As it is now, I’ve been battling depression. I usually avoid those words, because I know that I’m dealing with it very well and that others who use those words struggle to perform basic tasks. I am blessed, and I dedicate my attention to shifting the angle of my perspective. Rather than remind myself constantly that this feeling will be changed by a storm, I change it myself by doing tasks that make me feel like I am preparing. I knit for our Etsy store, telling myself that it will somehow contribute to the family, that it’s another means of income to help cover the court costs. I know better though. I’ve made one sale that probably only covered the cost of ‘shelf space’ in posting all the other products on the store. Eventually that realization trumped seedless hope, and I started knitting for myself so I could appreciate the time I spend. All the knitting is impacting the dexterity in my joints and my vision, so I became depressed about that method failing me.

I started to watch animes for the first time in years, craving plot and distraction. I started with Samurai Flamenco, which I had never heard of before. I don’t know that anyone would appreciate it as much as I did. It can be so off-the-wall, and completely change from episode to episode, but that humored me.

Immediately after I watched Aldnoah.Zero, which I had also never heard of. I described it to Edward, and his response was that it sounded hoaky. I probably enjoyed it so much because of the characters. The villain is utterly lovable, and was my favorite character before I found out he would be the villain. I wonder if I relate with him because I grew up feeling like I didn’t belong anywhere, but refused to let myself be overcome with bitterness, despite. I also liked that in the first few episodes, the characters’ performance in school became relevant to where they would be assigned during the war. One doesn’t actively go through school thinking that their grades are going to have such an influence on their future, despite what their told, so this was rewarding.

Why animes, anyway? They’re unrealistic about the capabilities of human beings and for some reason that makes me aspire to be my best. I don’t know how to explain the way that I make that connection, but watching Aldnoah.Zero, combined with some annoying health issues that arose recently, inspired me to get back in shape. Weird jump, I know.

I found a routine that will help me compensate for the sedentary job I have. I am embarrassed that such a light exercise is so taxing for me, but I am proud that my shame is not holding me back, and I have been keeping up with it every day since I discovered it and have seen improvement. (It has only been a week, so it is a big deal to me that I already notice my health and physique improving.) The most rewarding part of my routine is that I feel like I am making progress on improving myself. That and the endorphins released in physical exertion have greatly improved my overall mood. I have a tendency to get fixated and am a little addicted to exercising like I used to be, and that makes me happy.

There, I think you’re pretty much caught up. Thanks for sticking with me, reader.


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