Day 703: Gotta find that mojo!

I was just texting my wife: my mojo ain’t back! Even after a vacation. Even after 72 hours of completely unplugging. Still ain’t found the mojo again.

Her recommendation, which I agree with: simplify, simplify, simplify. It’s time to set a firm date to stop my major volunteer gig — it’s been something I’ve been working on for about two years, and frankly I think it’s been a good job but needs to be handed off/back to the organization to grow or not.

I think the unplugging thing was… good. That was the most myself I’ve felt in a while, and I’ve gone a bit media-glutton since the break. There’s an equilibrium there that I should seek for sure.

So this is the to-do list: set a meeting to establish a retreat strategy from the major volunteer gig (this is something I’ve done before with the canoe club). Delete Netflix from my devices (done!). Get down to three podcasts a week. Put away devices when I get home for the evening and/or use with timed intent.

At work, get back in the good habit of planning my time more. Look at blocking out a work schedule that lets me focus on things at specific times.

I don’t know if this will get the mojo back wholly, but it’s a good start. I’m a candle-burner, but too many ends burning for too long is never good in the long term.

Day 501: On Track to 1000

All right! 500 episodes in, 500 days sober, 500 days with at least a mental commitment to exercise and better eating. Even if I haven’t fulfilled it all the time.

My wife, correctly, thinks I spend too much time on other people’s stuff. She’s right. So I haven’t really ever looped back and looked hard at data from the 500 days. I haven’t re-read these blog posts, except to look up specific things. I don’t spend much time going back over food logs or trackers.

If I did, I bet I’d see some interesting stuff. But there’s a lot of other things in the world that need doing, and I feel compelled to help people with those things. I find other people’s stuff more interesting than my stuff in a lot of ways.

I’m trying to scale back, though. I feel well set up for the next 500 days. Yes, I need to spend some time on this project and less on other projects for other people and groups; that’s something I’m slowly working toward.

For now, though, I feel good. Sobriety is rock solid, and I’m riding high on good food and exercise habits. Sleep’s even been okay. Gotta record this and spend some time with the foster, and then off to work.

Day 204: Raining!

It is pouring outside today. Slight bullet dodge in that it’s not a running day — 12k yesterday, and just rowing indoors today. But it bolloxes my plans to get the weeding done outside with my day off.

So it’s back to the side hustle; setting all that up. It’s turning out to be a chunk of work. That’s not a complaint; it’s a good exercise to get my HTML/CSS warmed up again. And good to know workflow for when it gets going.

While I’d rather it weren’t raining, I’m kinda glad it is. The indoors-work is necessary and welcome.

And who am I kidding? I’m’a play a pile of video games, too.

After some soul-searching over the weekend, I’m definitely wrapping the video game show after the summer… it’s fun, but not core to my skills or my goals.

And I’m (again) back on daily food logging after another weekend of being floppy about it. As mentioned a few days ago, I think I’m in a period of “cycling through” good habits — I’m getting lots done, but all the things are too many things.

Day 147: Nerd Commitments

It’s a beautiful day outside. And I feel like I’m stuck in the L’il Rascals trope of being in the classroom. Because I have nerd commitments. My new show is underway, I have a great interview to edit, but it needs editing. Which means I need to edit it. Here. At the computer. Indoors.

It’s going to take a couple hours, and when I’m done, I’ll have a tight 22-25 minutes of interview. Share that with the subject, get tracks, drop the tracks in, and Bob’s your uncle. It’s a good system.

But I want to be outsiiiiiiiiiiiide. Nerd commitments. I also need to work on the songs I promised people back in March.

The songs aren’t on a deadline, but the show certainly is. So I gotta do it. And I enjoy doing it.

But I don’t wanna.

I want to be outside gardening (which I normally don’t like), or at least puttering — not inside computer-stuffing. But nerd commitments have been made and have to be honoured.

Nerd commitments first, canoeing later.

I promised myself (and my wife) to get out on the water this afternoon, so I need to get this done. Make breakfast, buckle down, and nerd until noon. Then lunch, and then an afternoon of canoeing (and also, y’know, outdoor work and stuff. Tonight: Logan!

There’s lots to look forward to, I just need to knuckle into getting my chores out of the way, so to speak. And I enjoy working on the show! I just need to work on the show so I can get a clear conscience to get out on the water.

So: record this, make breakfast, and then hit the editing hard for a couple hours. Then an afternoon of fun.

I’m in my forties, and still having a “dessert first” problem with time scheduling. Shouldn’t I be an adult by now? Good lord.


Day 141: Goofin’ Off on Victoria Day

It’s Victoria Day! That’s a Commonwealth thing. And as I like to say to those who aren’t in the Commonwealth, “if you’re not spending Victoria Day goofing off, then she died on that beach in Normandy for nothing.” Goofin’ off rules on statutory holidays.

I’m kidding, of course. Queen Victoria died on that beach in Normandy for our freedoms. 

So I’m late with the podcast today, and am hiving the day off for maybe an hour of useful work, and most of the day for goofin’ off; this includes:

  • Finishing Bioshock Infinite;
  • Watching some Mr. Robot, which I’m just getting into now;
  • Working outside on the dig up and mulch project (part of the hour of ‘real work’)
  • Finishing our Cat Wagon (part of the hour of ‘real work’)
  • Playing board games with my wife;
  • Varied food projects;
  • Working on my other podcast, which is up and running but needs a promotional plan.

Some of that sounds more like goofin’ off than other things, but it’s all things I enjoy doing, which is the important bit.

Goofin’ off is what days off are for.

Point being, it’s almost 11 a.m. and I’m just getting around to this because this should be a day for slacking. My weekends get pretty eaten up by “stuff I gotta get done,” so I don’t want my bona fide holiday to be “stuff I gotta get done” as well.

So here I go! Slacking off (mostly) for a day. Huzzah!

Day 137: How I’m Remembered

All right. I’ve taken on an extra project at work over the last year. It’s cross-sectional, which means I’m kind of repping our department. It’s also been a lot more work than advertised. And my role is one that involves a lot of output at crunch times, with a lot of input from other players. Dealing with that has driven something home for me in terms of how I’m dealing with others. Thinking about how I’m remembered after the fact.

So the recurring situation has been Stuff Happens, and then it all kind of tumbles down to fast required actions to make sense of it on my end. Which has been making me… testy. I don’t mind self-directed work. Or teamwork. Or taking ownership for my mistakes. But it’s been a LOT of compensating for structural deficiencies and dropped balls for the last week. Which is in turn affecting my actual work.

So I’m striving to always remember when dealing with this stuff that how I deal with the stuff is how I’m remembered.

People might remember what I did. But who I was is how I’m remembered.

It’s nuts, but it’s true. Relationships stick more than facts, most of the time. When I think back to past jobs, I don’t remember a lot of the specifics of the work, but I remember what it was like to work with people. I know who I’d trust and who I’d hire based on those feelings.

Obviously, the work matters. But how I’m remembered as more to do with how I roll with the punches and get stuff done, than the details of the stuff.

This has also been absolutely pants on the sobriety front. Big days for this project have been the closest I’ve gotten since January on the “I want a DRINK” front. Not enough to tip me over, but it’s been interesting to see that the hankering is still there, waiting for stress to trigger it.

Good thing I have stress eating to see me through! Ha ha ha sob.

Day 136: Practice

So it turns out I’m really bad at softball. I mean, I’m not surprised by this news. But you always go into these things thinking “maybe I’ve got a undiscovered knack for this!” and hoping that you might turn out to be pretty gifted. So practice is the question on my mind today.

I’m not gifted.

I’m… ungifted. Anti-gifted. What’s the opposite of a gift? I’m indebted.

The good news, on the sobriety front, is that it doesn’t seem to be a “beer after the game” group. So no new social pressures to go hang out with drinking people and have awkward conversations. Hooray!

The other good news is that of the dozen of us, maybe two are good players, another two are halfway competent or naturally gifted, and more than half of us are also kludges. So I’m not, like, the mascot. And we all have a pretty good time. Lots of laughter.

But yes, one of the takeaways is that my softball skills are not on point. Softball, as it turns out, has a mercy rule: eight runs ends a team’s at-bat. So we only lost, er, by 48-5. I hit the ball each time I was at bat! There’s something.

To practice or not to practice?

I took this on as a Tuesday evening commitment only. But after our performance last night, a few of us want to get together to practice. Lunchtimes, maybe after work on Fridays. Throw the ball around. Bat. That stuff.

And I’m now in the conflict of I’m doing something and I’m bad at it and I want to be good at it, versus I have too much on my plate as it is. 

I’m probably making this all heavier than it needs to be. A less neurotic person would say “do it when you feel like it.” That’s probably good advice. But that’s not how I’m wired — I have to plan and commit, or it probably won’t happen.

It’s not a question I’m going to answer right now, but it’s on my mind today.

Day 135: Softball and routines

Have you ever signed on for something that you almost immediately had misgivings about? I’m up for the first game for our workplace softball team tonight. And I’m a bit anxious.

A bit anxious about the softball. I’m… not good. I’m in reasonably good shape, despite being overweight. But it’s kind of “distance running” good shape, not “athletic feats” good shape. If you know what I mean. So while the softball league is super casual and supposed to be fun, social anxiety does drive a fear of embarrassment there.

A bit anxious about sobriety. Again, not so much. I’ve got it in the bag, I think. I’m comfortable telling people I’m not drinking. My workmates are cool. But it’s going to be another drinking factor in my life. And while I’m okay with not drinking when others are, surrounding myself with it is not great.

Mostly about sleep. The games theoretically run from 7 to 8:30, which means I’ll be home by 9-9:30, asleep by 10. That’s still enough time to get seven hours before a 5 a.m. wake-up to run. But it’s still a late night for me. It’s going to be hard to stay on the checklist and maintenance.

If you can’t get out of it, get into it.

That’s something I picked up from the Happier podcast, back when I was listening to it. It’s good advice. I’ve signed up for softball, and while I have reservations, I’m going to be the softest softballer that ever balled a softball. There’s a whole lot wrong with that sentence.

But I signed up for it. And I signed up to be part of a team. And a team of people I work with. So it’s incumbent on me to give it my all, and if I have concerns, leave them, well, off the field.

So: softball tonight! I will softball. I will be the softballiest.