Self-help for me, but not for thee

One of the things I’ve wrestled with for years decades is my addictive, easily distracted personality. When I was in university it was video games and marijuana. I dabbled in other drugs (I hesitate to say they were ‘harder’), but dope was really the main part of it.

When I was in Japan for the first time, and out of the range of a weed dealer, I fell back onto my tobacco habit. That stayed with me until I finally gave it up age 36. That’s a long time to be putting poison like that into my system.

Of course, I’ve always had the more mainstream addictions: alcohol and food. And that sweet tooth I just can’t seem to get rid of.

But one addiction I picked up in 2000 is the one I want to chip away today.

Strictly speaking, it’s two addictions: the Internet and U.S. politics.

I was working for the Daily Yomiuri during the 2000 elections, and it was an exciting time. There’s nothing quite like U.S. politics, you know, to really get the blood boiling.

So, I started reading blogs, ended up subscribing to a whole bunch of them on Google Reader. Now I spend the early-morning commute catching up on all the blog posts from the evening before in the U.S.

It’s a time-waster. That hour I spend commuting is an hour I could spend doing practically anything else more likely to benefit me in the end. I could read novels or nonfiction books, to get ideas that might spur me to write a book. (Yes, I still have that dream…)

I could listen to Japanese language podcasts.

I don’t have to read all that politics bullshit.

So, I need to cut down. But how?

More on that in future posts, I hope.

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