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Project Try “Everything”? More like Try “Very Little So Far”
The inevitable post of excuses about how much harder this is than I expected
Project Try Everything isn’t going all that well. I have new subscribers from early December that have yet to see a post! At the pace this has been moving lately, it’s going to take six years to complete, rather than a couple of years like I imagined originally.
When I started this thing, the big idea was to (publicly):
Explore all of the diagnostic possibilities that might explain my illness.
Extract treatment options from that, and prioritize them.
Start working my through them systematically.
In either months, I have produced 10 newsletter posts explaining the situation in various ways. I’ve summarized the diagnostic possibilities, and preemptively dismissed a couple (e.g. “it’s not the stress”). But I have barely even begun step one of this project, let alone the trying part.
I have almost literally “tried nothing” so far, just a handful of opportunistic little experiments. So what seems to be the problem?
I am waaay worse than I was, and it’s just harder to do stuff now
I’ve felt nasty for eight years now, but rarely so bad that it directly interfered with sitting at a desk, thinking, and cleverly banging on a keyboard.
Until now. There’s a “new normal,” and it ain’t a good normal. You wouldn’t like it. It’s super uncomfortable. 0 out of 10, do not recommend.
The old normal wasn’t great either of course, but it was much less actively hostile than this, and it was also mostly fairly stable for many years. There were nastier patches, but they usually lasted only a few days, and never more than a few weeks at the worst. Until now.
Shortly after starting this newsletter, ambient levels of malaise and diffuse pain — like flu aches — started to climb. They did that steadily through the summer. I truly expected things to settle back down to the “old normal” after I finally retired from ultimate in mid-August. Instead, they sustained through the fall… and then got worse again, pushing into unprecedented severity and persistence.
A “new normal” was born.
And that new normal is making everything harder. It’s harder to live, harder to work.
Thanks for reading Project Try Everything!
What else seems to be the problem?
It’s never just one thing, is it? There have been other issues.
Could have been the procrastination. I excel at avoiding top priorities by focusing on the next most important chores (“structured procrastination”). For example, I also excel at Excel…
Might have been the spreadsheet. I knew it was a bit premature to start my experiments until I had established some baselines and good logging habits, but I may have transitioned into using that as an excuse for not getting on with the Real Work of this project.
Could have been the performing. I have probably given a little too much energy to doing this for you, dear reader. I may have gotten a bit too fixated on making this a good newsletter rather than doing the writing I need to do to work through the issues for my own sake.
Might have been the overwhelm. Just bumping up the priority of all basic fitness and self-care regimens seems to have taken absolutely all of the time I didn’t even really have to begin with. If was “spread too thin” for the last few years (and I really have been), then what’s this? Just broken? Seriously, I have about a week’s worth of “daily” tasks I’m supposed to do every day. It’s ridiculous! “Life balance” is a privilege few of us can afford.
(Could have been the whiskey, might have been the gin… I just read all those lyrics. There's some stuff about cutting down trees and people having conversations with cats. Weird.)
And it didn’t help that the fall was chock-a-block with major distractions and hassles and miscellaneous life chaos including COVID striking my family, and quite a bit more besides. It has been a difficult winter even without my own health getting worse, and it ain’t over yet.
Failure is more than just an “option”, but I will fight on
Failure might be almost inevitable, but I’m not giving up yet. It’s an uphill battle, with new challenges I hoped I would never face, but I will slog on.
More regular posting will be resuming, and I will finally get on with trying, if not “everything,” at least something. Thanks to all of you for your patience and your interest — and there are more of you than I ever imagined. ❤️