Day 637: Be Silly

Walking around with my wife yesterday and heard “Hot Blooded”, which with my wife turned into an entire song about Boat Chicken on the walk home:

Boat Chicken, chicken on the sea
He’s the captain of the Sloop John B,
He’s got a first mate and that first mate is me,
Boat Chicken! Boat Chicken! 

By the time we got home, it had extended to Cooked Chicken (internal temperature, 163) and eventually Zombie Boat Chicken. There was a discussion of international waters and boat raves, and then his cousin Rave Chicken.

It’s important to be silly. Especially when you’re busy. When you don’t have a lot of time to relax, a bit of periodic silliness can inject some extra relaxation into routine things, like walking around with your wife.

Exercise has been a bit of a disaster this week, but I feel like I’m caught up on sleep and ready to start next week afresh.


Day 533: Should I relax? Should I be more productive?


The problem with knowing a lot of people that get a lot done in life is that you feel compelled to get a lot done in life. So a bit of news first: I have a hammock now! I put up a post in the back yard over the weekend, I now have a post and a tree and a hammock and some S-hooks and it is a GODDAMN DELIGHT.

But I spent a chunk of time yesterday in the hammock, feeling great and yet this morning, it’s back to arrgh I could have gotten so much done.

There’s no solve here. It’s not a question I can resolve in a podcast. But it’s an important one!


Day 362: Sleep!

With the whole reboot coming on January 1, I’ve been really enjoying… sleep. It’s kind of a question of “am I building bad habits or storing up sleep energy”? I choose to believe “storing up sleep energy.”

Truth be told, I’m kind of enjoying the down time between Christmas and New Year’s now that I’m committed to just being lazy for a bit. I’m rarely lazy. Then the obvious mental rejoinder is … or are you always kinda lazy?

No matter how hard I work, I’ll never quite feel like I’m working hard enough. And when I relax, I fret about whether I’m relaxing “right”. This is why I’m starting to see the value of those kinds of vacations I used to think were dumb. Cruises. Beach vacations. Things where you’re literally forced to do nothing. Doing nothing because you don’t have a choice might be a winning solution for me. It gives you permission to do nothing!

A couple more days of leaning into laziness. I’ve done well with a year of sobriety, and this is the reward: a few days of nothin’. The work starts again on January 1, yeah?

Day 357: Relaxing and Guilt

It’s (a) Sunday and (b) Christmas Eve’s Day. If there’s one day a year that literally demands hanging out in one’s sweatpants and doing nothing of import, this is pretty much it.

And yet — one of the joys being me — I will be feeling acute guilt at some point today. Either for relaxing when I could be doing something. Or doing something when I should be relaxing. Or not relaxing by doing the right thing.

I’m a mess, folks.

So my goal for today is to eat well (which wasn’t done yesterday — not a ton of terrible food, but a lot of it), and just… chill the eff out, you know? Try not to worry too much about what I’m doing and just relax and enjoy the day. Calm the chatter.




Day 203: Minor Distractions

Doing the video game music show has been an interesting education. But I think I’ll be ready to let it go at the end of the summer. I’ve learned a bunch of stuff and met great people. At the end of the day, though, it’s not a core interest for me. I don’t make music, and I don’t have time to play a lot of games. In fact, games are qualifying more and more as minor distractions.

There’s an old saw that one in ten Americans read books, and one in ten Canadians write them. I don’t think that’s true, but I definitely sympathize with the “don’t just consume, create” mentality.

I keep getting caught up in minor distractions, though. It’s hard to separate what’s “necessary leisure” with what’s “wasting time”. If I kill 30 minutes playing an iPhone game, is that depressurization I need? Or just a pointless distraction?

One of the things about games is it, well, gamifies all this stuff. If I were playing the game of my life, there’d be gauges. I’d be able to Tamagotchi myself. When my stress gauge is at eighty percent, give myself two units of game. When my productivity gauge is at twenty percent, allocate eight work units.

But we obviously don’t work like that. It’s not easy to Tamagotchi your life when you yourself are the virtual pet.

Minor distractions and major needs often conflict.

I enjoy minor distractions while I’m being distracted, but finishing a day without feeling like I’ve moved something forward distresses me. So there’s a constant tension between “relax and live your life” and “you are going to die someday.” It makes minor relaxation hard.

A more disciplined person might be able to allocate things better. 1.2 hours of allocated fun from 8:12 to 9:26 a.m. this morning. But that’s just not how I’m wired. Should it be? Is this something I should be striving for?