Operation Achieve Anything: Day Two-Hundred-Ninety-Two, Dateline 10-19-2018

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Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.
— Thomas A. Edison

Good morning crickets. Welcome to day number two-hundred-ninety-two of Operation Achieve Anything. Last night I realized that I really need to learn how to relax. I know I am often on here talking about taking it easy on days that I was hoping to be productive. Meanwhile, these “easy going” days never take place until after I’m done with four hours worth of blogging and, more likely than not, several hours as my paid work as well. My problem is, even when I do take one of my little “breaks” I’m still continually running through what needs to be done in my head, so there’s not actually relaxation going on.

This is why, whenever I say, “I really needed last night,” I’m usually referring to the nights where I’ve given in to old way to go on a booze bender that blocks my ability to retain any thoughts. Granted, I don’t fully blackout like I used to but I definitely check out from anything to do with work. This is actually an interesting development because it used to be the case that I felt I couldn’t write as well without using booze as a crutch. This is probably why it’s taken me as long as it has to get to this level of being able to wrangle my words.

However, over the past couple of weeks started on the night that I learned that my dog was on her last days, I started ending my evening with her on the couch instead of easing into my evening of slumber while still sitting at my computer. Though I was playing games and what not, that games that I like are more strategy based allowing me to set and forget my turns while casually still sneaking in some behind-the-scenes work on the blog, making the winding down aspect of my efforts not valid at all. While spending the last days with her, I learned the importance of stepping away from my workspace to officially end my day.

I think it also helps that, going even further back to when I was bedridden for a couple of months due to my most recent battle with sciatica. I was already close to the biggest that I’ve ever been going into the injury that made me even more physically inactive, so all of the sitting while healing led me to hit my maximum weight for years. Not only was I extra heavy but, I was still struggling to get around because the sciatica pains have still yet to entirely go away this time.

Since then, I’m been doing my 10,000 steps a day Fitbit walking, while also attempting the Keto diet. I’m now down twenty-five pounds from the increase in activity and focused diet, but I’m also on several supplements that, placebo or not, really seem to be helping to calm my mind. This has led me to sleep over six hours a day as opposed to four, which probably helps to settle the stress even more. Though I’ll probably never get to the point where I stop overthinking things, I do think I’m getting to the point where at least at the end of the day, I’ll be able to fully allow my sketch sometime to just relax.

Again, I have yet to miss a deadline in years, any time that I talk about not being able to get to what I wanted, I’m always talking about extracurricular work or a future project where I get antsy and want to jump the gun to start. I also have to remind myself that, even though I’ve been writing screenplays for decades, I’m still pretty new when it comes to writing using standard prose and am even newer when it comes to publishing and promoting my work. With this in mind, I don’t have to keep beating myself up for not having already figured it all out by now.

In fact, I’m happy where I am as far as my workload goes and would be living my dreams if I could just figure out this whole income thing. I think this is another reason that I am so hell-bent on working every waking moment until I can figure this out. If I do get to the point where I am living my dreams most of the time freed from ditching the day job would leave more time for me to be me and truly find a balance between work and play. Until then, that balance will never come as long any outside entity has control over any part of my day as the boss.

This sort of plays into yesterday’s assignment where I was supposed to explore the quote of the day about how you may not be able to change your destiny overnight, you can change the direction to get there at any time. I think this blog and the decades that I’ve devoted to writing is a sign of how I agree with this concept since my focus to figure out a way to making a living with my words has yet to change, but I do change my approach whenever I feel the need to.

I like to joke that this is because my grandfather was a Mason leading me to be able to see long-term strategies and when to make adjustments in my effort to take over the world, but that would have meant that the old man would have had to talk to me to share these secretive ways. My grandpa was actually pretty fun when he wasn’t creeping me out with his lecherous ways toward women, but like with everyone else in my family, at least when it comes to me, he wasn’t all that big on sharing about himself or talking about anything personal.

He is probably to credit/blame for my obsession/need to create challenges in an effort to even attempt to achieve anything. When we were kids, any time spent with my dad’s side of the family was time spent filled with challenges, whether we’re talking board games, or just seeing who could hold a breath mint in their mouth the longest without allowing it to dissolve. Yes, this did give an illusion of interactive involvement, but really these were always just distractions to kill time since we were more focused on the challenge than one another, fulfilling the adult’s desire to keep us kids from acting up.

Though I think this approach would be great for those who are genuinely close, looking back, I’d rather hear stories the way that I did while hanging out with my mom’s side of the family. This is why I feel like I know them more, even though they have their own set of flaws just like the rest of families throughout the world. Again, when I complain, I’m not saying that these people were terrible, but they did hand down some heirloom traits of avoidance and denial that I’ve spent my entire life working through.

I know this may sound like I’m wondering way off topic, but hopefully, this paragraph will put the pieces together. Alright, now let me try to explain how what I just wrote actual has to do with the task from yesterday. With my dad’s side of the family always seeming calm, secretive, and obsessed with games, mixed with my mom’s more vocal but volatile family, with the fear of drunk grandpa led to a lot of passing of the blame, I had to navigate the madness while also trying to stay under the radar. I think this is what has always allowed me to develop problem-solving skill on the fly.

For example, while playing a game of Risk with my mom’s side of the family, it would always start out fun, but inevitably the enabling side of the family would lead to a lot of competitive festering. I was the youngest and the comic relief, but everyone else was passive-aggressively competitive, which always would lead to straight up aggression when people would get past the point of hiding their frustrations. One cousin would think that everyone was teaming up, which would drive my sister crazy because his pouting would then cause people to go easy on him. All the while, I would be plotting the various ways that I could attack from as many angles to make progress without seeming to have a clear path.

I won a lot of games this way, but more importantly, it taught me not to remain on a sinking ship, or at least move to dry spots to stay safe as long as I can while plotting my great escape. That should tie everything together from yesterday, now let me quickly share that assignment from today where I’m supposed to actively seek out a new opportunity by the end of the day instead of just waiting for one to arrive.

Since I’ve already said so much, I’m going to go ahead and finish this right here and save any other hints toward my outlook on the subject will have to wait for tomorrow’s post. Until then, it’s now time of me to sign off as usual by saying, good day and good luck to you and all of your projects.

Talk to you soon.

Sincerely,

The Wicker Breaker

P.S. Below are links to my novel, which I plan to promote as part of Operation Achieve Anything, as well as a link to where you can buy the book that is providing the structure to this project in case you would like to purchase it in order to play along.

Matt Bunker

I started out with a goal of becoming a paid screenwriter. I had no interest in any other aspect of filmmaking. I received and scholarship to The Vancouver Film School's Writing for Film and Television program where I graduated in 2005. I fell in love with being on set during my first non-school produced short, . I loved being around all the creative people, seeing people having fun while working. The whole liking your job was a new world to me, so I decided to give it a shot. I volunteered for any project I could, doing what ever was needed. The set was my Film School this time. While working as a PA on a feature I was informed that the DP wanted the three tallest PAs to help out in the grip and electric department. That is when I found the department that felt like the best fit for me while I continued to write.