1 week ago for day 179, 2020 with 422 words.

The Broad Middle of Discomfort

Today is Saturday and thus another day where S and I traipse up and down our mountainous countryside. It had rained yesterday and then warmed up today. The forests were damp, fresh and pleasant. It almost felt like taking a bath in lush, green air.

Walking up the mountain is still uncomfortable for me. I don't get entirely out of breath, and I don't have to stop, but I can't chitchat while I walk up either.

It's uncomfortable.

Somehow, though, I just ignore the discomfort. I don't pay it any mind, it's there, but it doesn't bother me much. I have a similar way of dealing with the weather (it was hot and humid) and with most other things that physically bother me.

It seems that the most significant difference for me lies between "no discomfort" and "slight discomfort". Once I am uncomfortable, I may as well be more uncomfortable. My enjoyment of or frustration with a situation does not correlate with the intensity of my discomfort. Unless, of course, I am critically uncomfortable - i.e. broke my leg, sprained my ankle, can not bear the situation.

Discomfort rarely reaches critical levels during everyday activities for me. That doesn't mean I am always well. It's just that unless I am extremely unwell, I just sort of muddle through.

This has become very useful for learning new things. It also helps me get better at doing hard things, especially since the feeling of accomplishment is always rewarding.

I also suspect this dynamic plays a critical role in how momentum works for me. Once I am doing "one useful thing" and thus am slightly uncomfortable (i.e. not propped up in bed reading), I may as well do many useful things and be tolerably more uncomfortable. Once I am already meditating, I may as well go ahead and do a bit of yoga. Once I am already making dinner, I may as well do the dishes while I am at it.

Once I am already studying for my accounting thing, I may as well take a look at the maths homework, too.

I never noticed this before, but I have used this phenomenon to my advantage a lot over the years. I use it to trick myself into doing things. I start with something small that gets me from "no discomfort" to "a tiny bit of discomfort", and from there, suddenly, the whole broad middle of discomfort opens up for me to play with.


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By Fiene

Trying to make this writing thing stick. Medium: https://medium.com/@letterwings Twitter: @Fiene_P

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