* For those following along in the US, non-urgent MRIs have a waiting list of about 6 months. I'm ok with this - I'm making room for people like my Mum who really need them and if I wanted one sooner I could pay and get one straight away. I'm out of pocket just over $200 for the audiologist and specialist visits which I won't get back because I'm not insured. From here on it's free. If I need surgery, that's free. If I need a hearing aid I will have to buy it because I'm not deaf enough for it to be considered a disability. They cost from $1200.
Yesterday marked one month without smoking. In that time I've only wanted to smoke maybe twice, both times being when I was at home, late at night. I reckon the habit part is much harder than the addiction part to get over, especially if you're like me and prone to habitual behaviours as a means of self-soothing.
However! Revelation - just make new habitual behaviours! Ta DA!
Yesterday was day three of Sort Your Relationship With Food Out Month. I cooked on Sunday (udon noodles, vegies, chicken sweet and sour thingy which was tastier than it sounds) and again yesterday. Last night I cooked a beef stir fry thing with whatever vegies were in the fridge and some bean salad from a tin and added pasta and tomato and basil sauce. And the beans went really well with the tomato and I'm rather good at beef, and my family are making a point of giving me positive feedback about this cooking thing. Which is nice. I've also been eating three meals a day. And since I get home hungry, I figure there's no reason why I can't replace my traditional 'scoff everything in sight' habit with 'prepare and eat a proper meal'. It means at the moment we're eating a bit earlier than most (5:30ish) but I'm ok with that - I figure eventually it'll stretch back to a more normal time, right?
And it's working similarly to how the giving up smoking did - my self talk is going kind of like "OK so you managed three days, you can manage another." And I noticed last night that instead of feeling yucky and guilty and blobby after having scarfed a large pile of unhealthy food, I felt good about myself and lighter and more awake, and thus spent the evening coding 100 of the Anonymous responses for moral shocks, identity statements, collective identity indicators, and perceived threats, blame and solutions as part of injustice framing.
What I'm finding is that moral shocks are actually quite rare as a motivator for people to become anonymous, but the injustice framing is quite common. Here I have to check back against the public framing done by Anonymous to see what frame alignment is going on - signs of this include people going "I used to think X but now I think Y" where Y aligns with the Anonymous frame. I'm currently reading an article that picks apart frame alignment and I can already see where quite a lot of it is going on.
But the threat/blame/solution thing is quite interesting - this little triad is a fairly common method for movements to garner support - identify a perceived threat, identify parties or situations that are to blame, then offer a solution for which the movement will work. This works particularly well in injustice framing and injustice framing is what I'm seeing from a lot of the respondents. Many of them are wanting to fight the injustices created by the oligarchy of those in power. The threats are identified as everything from loss of free speech to starvation of children (yes even in the US but many frame it as a global problem), while an elite few live off everyone else. The guilty parties are identified as governments and corporations for the most part.
But here's where it seems to fall over. The respondents are short on solutions, apart from the far-too-broad "Bring down capitalism" or "This must be stopped" type ones. From what I have seen, the Anonymous injustice framing is also short on solutions. Some people have specific ideas, but so far I've come across few that would be practical and accessible to everyone. "Move to the wop wops and buy a gun" is just not possible for everyone. Nor is "Feel my vibrations and let us move to a higher plane together."
The What Is The Plan organisers claim to have a plan but have not revealed it yet. So what we have here is a forum of 82,000 people all seeing injustice and threats and blame, without a direction to point their motivation in. I fear that if there's not a direction within the next few weeks, a lot of that motivation will fizzle. My research so far indicates that what Anonymous needs if it wants to be successful as a legitimate movement is a solutions-focused approach and some concrete ideas on how to go about implementing those solutions. The operations are all very well, but what solution do they work towards?
If it's raising awareness then this needs to be made clearer. If it's taking individual control of the means of production (as someone sensibly suggested to me the other day - not as revolution but as microprotest), then there needs to be a plan to go about that. And people are not going to wait around in a heightened state of motivation for a plan to be revealed in a few months.
So my learned advice to Anonymous/WhatIsThePlan is "Get on with it. Now. If you have a plan, implement it."
But I would say that, because delayed gratification isn't my strong point.
Gosh, off on a tangent we go! Anyway, I don't know how long it takes to cement a habit, but three days in I'm feeling pretty motivated. And the nut thing did help, especially when I found lightly-salted cashews (instead of OMG have some cashews with your salt like they mostly are) to keep on my desk and munch with my lunch.
Next step in the Transformation of Tats - start skating again.