I often feel like I need something to look forward to get through things. I used to get really depressed during exam period in undergrad. To get through all the monotonous studying I’d pick a TV show to look forward to. If I did some good solid studying during the day, I’d stop and watch the TV show at night. I was lucky my folks had enough channels that there was always something interesting on.
I’ve noticed that as I’ve gotten older, my daily tasks have gotten bigger and bigger. Three weeks of solid studying for exams is tough by most standards, but now, getting out of bed is hard, going to work is hard, making a meal is hard. Things that I took for granted before have become daunting tasks that I need to have a reason for doing. Most of the time I rely on logic to get things done. I get out of bed because nothing will get done otherwise. I go to work because I want to finish my Ph.D. I make meals because I’ll feel sick if I don’t eat. Logic doesn’t give me much pleasure though.
My basket of rewards has gotten smaller over the years too. TV shows no longer interest me very much and they don’t feel like much of a reward after a daunting task. For a while, I was putting money aside. For everyday that I participated in and didn’t hide, I’d put a little bit of money away. Eventually I’d have enough to buy myself something I wanted. That worked until I started my Ph.D. Now there is no money.
Lately I’ve turned to sweets as a reward. I get one of those giant cupcakes I mentioned in an earlier post once a week. They are only a few bucks or if things are too tight, I can persuade myself to bake. But now, not only am I gaining weight, but once a week isn’t quite enough. I need a new reward. I’ve thought about trying drawing as a reward, but I already use that as an outlet for stress and a way to recharge my batteries. I can’t really deny myself my drawing time if I don’t participate in life for some reason. Any suggestions?
What do you look forward to? What do you use to treat yourself? Or to bribe yourself to get moving?