Day 286: Never Drink Late Coffee

The one-two punch of drinking coffee after dinner (dumb) and some pretty junky stuff at work (annoying) have led to a truly brutal night. So I’m rocking about five hours of sleep right now, and looking at a full day due to a pretty big volunteer responsibility this afternoon.

Have you ever signed on for something because it needed to be done, and regretted it? That’s where I’m at. A big, tedious chunk of volunteerism that I just don’t want to do. But needed doing. And nobody else was doing it.

I can feel some fraying around the edges when it comes to the volunteer work these days. Not that I don’t like doing it, but frustration at other people for not stepping up. Which… it’s hard to figure out what’s fair to feel. Everyone’s got their own lives. They’ve got their own stresses. But at least as far as the radio stuff goes, it feels like there’s dozens of people who are only in it for the fun bit, and about eight that are really there to do the work. I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t frustrating.

What to do about that is something else entirely. I’m not sure there is anything. I can control my own volunteerism, and the volunteers, collectively, get the organization they deserve. So if I have to dial back for my own mental health, and nobody else steps up… that’s not really on me. I’ve done my bit.

A few fantasies over the last few days of taking six months of doing nothing — no courses, no volunteer work. Just my job and goofing off, watching movies, playing games. Probably worth investigating.


Day 176: Back To It

Staycation over! I marked my last day by eating wayyyy to much sugar, and wound up sleeping really badly. So kind of a rocky start, but I’m getting back to it feeling pretty good. I’m proud of getting the kitchen island done, complete with a bit of a re-org in there yesterday.

I’m looking forward to getting back to just the job for a while. Additional responsibilities are getting shelved, and I’m working not to suddenly take on a bunch more stuff. So… just the job will be kind of nice for a while.

I haven’t done daily weight or meal planning in a while, too. I’m a bit scared of getting back to it. But I’m also a bit excited to be getting back to it. Maybe it’s just the moka pot, but I’m pretty jazzed.

Comedy is still important, especially now that I’m back to it.

I listened to so much Questions for Lennon during my staycation that I kind of burned out on it. But I’m thrilled to find out that the Frantics are sifting through their entire CBC archives from the ’80s to condense all their material down to a new podcast, which started in January.  So that’ll keep me going for a while.

Tinkering with the new side thing continues, but this week on weeknights, focus is 100% going to be on getting my second show for the radio station done (tonight), then working on songs I still owe people from way back. Again, I think the caffeine is helping right now, but in general, I’m feeling confident. Which is nice.

My goals are set in terms of weight loss, I have the equipment I need to exercise, and I have the willpower restored. I feel good! Now it’s just a matter of maintaining that moving forward. And calling a doctor about my wonky knee.

Day Eighty-One: Slow Starts

Some mornings are obviously better than others. With an extended cold snap and what feels like some sort of slow-burn cold, it’s all slow starts; it’s hard to get up.

Today was the worst in a while — bed until 5:30, then kind of just languishing until 6:00 when my wife got up. Kind of the mental excuse that she wanted instruction on the rower. But we both knew what was up: a slow start.

To her, and my, credit, I did wind up exercising, and trying a circuit training thing she’s been doing for a while. Not exactly a full workout, but something.

Slow starts and coffee

I know it was a slow morning — and that I’m probably a bit sick — because I didn’t want coffee. Usually, I’m keen to get to caffeine. Hey, a rhyme! Today, though, I was just drag-assing and didn’t even want to get to coffee. That’s abnormal.

Anyway — I didn’t want to exercise, at all, but once I forced myself into some activity, I felt better. I guess slow starts are better than no starts. “Better than a kick in the teeth,” as my grandfather would say.

I guess the lesson here is “exercise”, and a call-back to “run anyway” from a little while back. The problem with motivation, is it’s easy to motivate yourself when you’re motivated. Those mornings when you’re stuck in slow starts and just can’t moving is a giant motivation hurdle.

At any rate, I’m up and going now… a little behind schedule, but moving.

Day Thirty-Four: Precaffeination

Precaffination is, if it needs defining, the state I’m in before coffee in the morning.

I know there are funny posters with Garfield looking like he’s coming off a heroin bender, and mugs with hilarious sayings on them, but it’s really not that bad. I usually feel pretty okay pre-coffee. Coffee is for after exercise, and on non-exercise days, coffee is for… when I get to coffee.

Awake, precaffeination routine, morning dip, caffeine.

That’s the pattern. Coffee isn’t a first-thing thing, for me. The precaffeination routine is exercise, pack a lunch, eat my breakfast, and make coffee concurrently. Coffee is something that works best an hour or two into the day, when I start to hit a kind of early-workday dip. Two or three cups of coffee through the morning, nothing in the afternoon or I can’t sleep at night.

My espresso machine broke a while ago, which I now take to be kind of a mixed bag, because I loved it, and it was how I could afford espresso. But I was also probably drinking too much espresso. And financially, the moka pot and/or French press make pretty good coffee using a lot fewer grounds per… dose? Unit? Whatever you call a thing of coffee ranging from a shot to a mug.

I’ve tried to be a tea guy many times. I’m not a tea guy.

Caffeine: The Okay Drug

While we’re woolgathering, it seems like the number of okay drugs has shrunk a bit since I was a kid; nicotine used to be socially acceptable — you could smoke in movie theatres when I was a child, which seems balls-out insane now. People are certainly more tuned in to the problems with alcohol these days.

My Okay Drugs are caffeine, and sugar, and I kind of feel like sugar’s day is coming. Deservedly so, for things like high fructose corn syrup, which by all accounts is an unholy food chimera. As I said a few days ago, you gotta have some bad habits or you don’t feel like a whole person.