Saturday, October 09, 2004

The great dull-edge challenge

Now that I have a chance to spend more time doing arty stuff, I've been having trouble finding the motivation. Not a new problem, but one I've decided I'm going to try to solve this time. So I thought back to the days when I was writing a lot of music in my late 20s/early 30s. What was I doing then that I'm doing differently now? That's a complicated question, but an inescapable factor was the fact that I didn't do much drinking at home during that time. Certainly, I would pound a few when I was out with friends or at band rehearsal. But I rarely had beer or wine at home. So I've decided to knock off drinking at home.

Now, I didn't drink that much, rarely more than 2-3 glasses of wine or 2-3 bottles of beer. But I've been doing that every single night. And since I've been showing signs of being mildly depressed -- not interested in things I used to be interested in, not a lot of energy, general apathy, just kind of "existing" -- I figured a good approach would be to maybe knock off the depressants. Duh!

Currently, I'm in day three of no drinking, and it seems my energy level is already up. The last couple of days, I've spent the afternoons finally getting the house in order. I mounted a coat rack on the wall by the door, mopped and scrubbed the floors, and just generally tidied and organized the living room/kitchen area. That's not big stuff, but it's stuff that I've been meaning to do for several weeks and just haven't "gotten around" to even though I've been home all day with plenty of opportunity.

Today I went to a local department store (the mighty Fred Meyer) and got an entry way table in which we can store our dog walking/poopy bag/grungy out-and-about paraphernalia. Again, something I've been meaning to do for weeks but now suddenly had the energy to accomplish.

It will be very interesting to see how this pans out. It would put me pretty square into the "straight edge" camp, a philosophy of no alcohol, no tobacco, no casual sex (no problem there, happily). Hard-core straight edge types tend to also eschew meat products and caffeine, the goal being a unencumbered and unfiltered awareness of one's own body and mind. I don't know how far I'll take it, but so far, the great "dull edge" challenge is promising. At the very least, we're saving a lot of money.

If it works out, I might have to see how a more hard-core approach works. I've already reduced my caffeine intake to half of what it was, and I may eliminate that entirely as well, because it really affects my biorhythms. Too much coffee makes me ready to take on the world one moment, and then a half-hour later, ready to take a nap.

I know Lisa would like me to do the vegetarian thing, and I'm pretty much a "meat reductionist" as it is. But I don't have a big problem with eating meat. After all, in the wild, most animals end their lives in the mouth of a predator. It's just that our societal standard is meat with every meal. Meat abuse, as it were. I kind of compromise with a meaty meal once a week or so, but I insist that it's free range, rather than raised in a cage in a factory someplace being pumped full of chemicals. We Americans just eat too much meat, and junky meat at that; in fact, we eat too much junky stuff, period.

Anyway, so far so good. I like that I've actually got energy throughout the day, and that I seem to have a bit more discipline about actually doing things rather than just think about doing them. Other benefits may become apparent as I go along. We'll see!


liz said...

Don't you have to shave your head and wear braces to be peoperly straight-edge? And listen to--I don't know--Seven Seconds or something?

I can't believe how many people forget that alcohol *is* a depressant, and don't realize that's a big reason why they're not supposed to drink on antidepressants.

liz said...

Darnit, "properly".

Andrew said...

Well, I DID wear braces (those are teeth straighteners, Limey, not "suspenders") for about three years. Seven Seconds is good, but I prefer the "Mother of All Straight Edge Bands", Minor Threat, and also Fugazi.

Truth be told, however, I've been listening to PDX's classical music station when Iv'e been doing my chores.o Except last Sunday when I put on the Clash's "Give 'Em Enough Rope."

I guess I only listen to music that was composed between 1700 and 1985.