This week’s Reuben’s Wednesday is not on a Wednesday! (my gosh 🙂 ) But without further ado, let’s continue from where we left off…
Disregarding the advice of my parents, friends, and family to take care of myself, I landed up in a recovery ward, where I found myself frazzled, burnt-out, and unstable… all because I decided to push one boundary too far. I had to give up midway on almost all of the projects that I undertook, say goodbye to a million on-the-whim friendships that I made, and go into fulltime retreat in order to continue my recovery. My self-confidence and esteem was shattered, and it took months to get back on my feet again.
Thankfully, that was a couple of years ago.
These days, I subscribe to the idea of pushing boundaries within boundaries. Because in the end, we are all fragile creatures and we need to know where we can go, and where we cannot. And for those places where we can go, we must go in as deep as possible, to explore as wide as we possibly could.
But then, there will be places where, for the sake of our own sanity and health, and perhaps that of those we love and care about too, we cannot, and should not venture too far into. We need to learn the self-control that tells us to jam on the breaks before things start to go awry, before the universe breaks apart and we get eaten up by something nasty in a cave deep under.
In essence, we must push our boundaries all the way but within sound limits. And therein lies the same spirit of complex contradiction that underscores all acts of maturity. So back to the story, in order to regain my sanity, I decided to establish some boundaries. Whenever I abode by them, my life would tend to be on track. Whenever I abandoned them, my life would rail off track. I’m not saying that now I’m an addict to structure, but all I’m saying is that there are some fundamentals that we should not violate too much or too often, although we can (and should!) let ourselves go once in awhile.
That being said, there is a very applicable saying, that paraphrased, goes like this: young men learn the rules, but wise men know where and when to break them. While the focus of this maxim is more on the breaking of said rules, or boundaries, it is also true that one must know which rules cannot be broken, which is often in certain circumstance. And more importantly, we must learn which rules are best left unbroken. A melody plays most beautifully on a stable chord progression, much as how the complexity and beautiful fractal divergences in communities emerge out of a solid economic bedrock. Everything in life has moments of variation supported by structures of stability, and some cannot be broken, some can be amended, while others must give way to change for progress to happen.
I am not yet wise, with too few years under my belt, but this I know: to learn the nature of these boundaries will yield great fruit. And before I get too darn pretentious with my choice of words, here is a humble experiment that I’ve started, and I’ll like to share.
Now I won’t be sharing everything because my private life is private and I plan to keep it that way (for now hurhurhur), but as an exercise on setting boundaries, here are some of the more important ones that I plan to stick to.
1. Sleep: Have at least 8 hours of restful sleep every day.
2. Morning routine: Perform morning exercise, brush teeth, have breakfast and shower.
3. Exercise: Hit 3 body parts a week, cycle to the train station when possible, and have sufficient time to recover
I know that I don’t have a thousand followers yet, or even a hundred, or even *gulp* 10 (okay maybe I do have around 10 followers), but the act of posting something on a public blog inspires accountability. So before I start on my 7-day accountability series (yes! I actually have content planned for this month as promised), I need to be accountable first: to myself, and to my present and future audience.
So I’ll update you guys on my progress. Ciao!