Day 833: Rainy Day Nerd-Out

It’s supposed to rain today! I’m kind of excited about that, because it’s a late-up Sunday, I’ve had my breakfast, I’m hoping to go for a bit of a run, walk my wife to work at noon for a 12-hour shift, pick up the groceries and then Computer My Face Off all afternoon.

The key here is get the exercise in as soon as I’m done typing this, and move on to be practical for the rest of the morning and afternoon — considering reintroducing the pomodoro timer to my computer life. I’d like to move the book forward by about 500-1000 words, and also do some work on a side hustle I’ve had planned for a while and keep walking up to, then backing away from.

Day 832: Tummy Troubles?

I woke up this morning with a legit belly ache; I’m not sure what that was all about, but after water, exercise and some coffee I seem to be back on track. Pushing through the day has powered me into feeling better, so hopefully that’s it for weird stomach stuff.

“Simplify” seems to be falling gradually into the pile of ideas that’s good in theory but doesn’t really work for me in practice; I think I’m just a magpie at heart, and it’s hard to cleanly separate some of what I do as a hobby from housework — cooking is key among those things.

Book focus is becoming key, though, and I’m getting excited about writing, which is a nice feeling. After this I’ll probably grab a bit of coffee, put 30 minutes into the book, and then it’s off for radio.

Day 831: Dedicated writing time

I’ve got the desire to write the book; I can sort of see the outcome in my mind. The two issues are (a) I’m exhausted after work every day and “write a book” is not exactly my top priority, and (b) I don’t like what I’m writing, particularly.

It’s the damndest thing. I’m a good writer, normally, and I’m I think a better editor — good at setting and maintaining a tone, good at finding a voice and sticking to it. This, though, it’s eluding me.

I think the only sane responses to the above are

(a) You’re committed to the Master’s now, dummy, so you’re going to be writing whether you like it or not, and this is like Rocky at the Philly Museum of Art — I gotta run these steps to get ready for the main event.

(b) Think less, write more. Get out of my own head and stop trying to be clever; just get the words on the (electronic) page.

I also don’t like writing in my office, which is weird. I literally just stopped typing to move my monitors back six inches to see if that helps. This isn’t an environment that I feel relaxes me, which is kind of indicative of a relationship with this office that maybe I need to look at.


1:45 a.m.! 1:45! That’s when they started this morning. I don’t know what’s got a bee in the cats’ respective bonnets, but they’ve been at it — bugging me, jumping on and off the bed, tussling and yowling — since 1:45.

To my credit, I got up, did some very intense exercise (running steps at the arena a few blocks away — not a ton but the first time in a while, so 10 minutes left me worried about my chest exploding), showered, and now I’m goin’ BACK TO BED.

Without kitties.

Key point being I got up and DID ALL THE THINGS, instead of just hitting snooze and sleeping in. So very proud I am of me, even if I’m not so keen on cat ownership right now.

Day 829: Virtual Rottweiler

I genuinely tried the Virtual Rottweiler method last night before bed, and golly, it worked — I hadn’t done my checklist, didn’t feel like doing my checklist, and then visualized a slavering dog bred for murder. If I had to do the checklist or fight that dog, what would I do?

First of all, I’d never fight a dog! Dogs are great.

Second, I realized that the checklist was entirely accomplishable and even though I lowballed the planking and had a pretty short instrument practice segment, but I checklisted, by golly.

I’m still ruminating on the “simplify” thing, and had a delightful lunch with a friend last Friday where he extolled the virtues of being a magpie and made a pretty great case for it. Hm.

Day 828: Routines work and yet…

I still didn’t do my checklist last night! I was tired, and just wanted to read in bed, and even the 15 minutes of checklist stuff seemed insurmountable. This doesn’t affect the logging streak (Day Three), but it does bum me out a little.

I coulda done it! I coulda just powered through.

And it’s not a big deal as a one-off, but when I’m trying to come back from a break, and I know that routines are what works for me, it’s hard to justify breaking from the perfectly functional routine.

An interesting mental challenge is “what if I had no choice?”. I ran 6+ km this morning; at the 2k mark I wanted to turn around, but I forced myself to do the extra km out, which then made me run the extra 1k back. 6k!

It’s a weird thought, but maybe I need a mental Lee Ermey or Freddy Krueger to remove choice from the equation. If there were a person with a gun, or a rottweiler, or something saying DO THE CHECKLIST last night, I certainly could have done it. I chose not to do it, but I was 100% capable.

I know the routine works, and I know I’m physically capable of doing it. How do I force myself to… do it?

Day 827: Routines Work

Picking up a thread from last week — multiple threads, actually. The routine is the only way for this to work for me. There are people who can live tremendously flexible lives and still get exercise in, eat right, etc. I’ve met them! Conferences and work trips and such from the old job. They’ve got this innate dedication that helps them prioritize the Right Things regardless of time-and-place curveballs.

I do not have that.

The pattern for me is “get on the routine, everything works great, then stop, and when you get back on the routine, it has all gone to hell,which is… it is what it is, I guess. I have lots of gifts, so I’m not going to get hung up on the lack of that one.

I think the reason I get so intellectually attracted to the ‘simplicity’ narratives that you see in Drug Nightmare documentaries, monks, samurai, etc., is that routine is pretty baked into those things. Oddly enough the military has no pull for me, probably because I like the idea of routine but I really don’t like being told what to do or think.

Back on the routine, obviously, and yo’ing back down the bad side of the yo…

Day 826: Sunday Funday

Nothin’ but food projects and tinkering all day, baby!

The tiniest gallery is back up, after getting some passive-aggressive Facebook requests to change the operating hours to “permanently closed.” The door is still janky, but whatcha gonna do.

Making spiced nuts for snacks, veggie broth, my wife is on the candle beat, and I’m about to do a load of laundry.

I upgraded my Plex server and fixed an “arch-independent ELF magic” error.

Good plans for food for the day/week, and some rowing later this morning to keep my hand in the exercise thing.

Good Sunday!

Day 825: Saturday Day!

S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y! Day! Off to do radio momentarily, but it’s a glorious normal weekend: no time out of town, no road trips, no big shops, just cracking away at chores and food stuff. Getting the Tiniest Gallery setting up again.

That’s… it, really? I gotta run to get ready for radio. Still thinking about the whole “simplify” thing.

Day 824: Up late, out of sequence!

Hello again, insomnia! We’ve had an entente but I see you’re back and ready to tussle.

Another “early insomnia” night last night; poor sleep and up late now trying to get it together. I’m knocking this out so I can go exercise, but I’m not thrilled about the moving-things-around part.

I kinda wish I’d kept track of insomnia back when I was drinking… it’d be interesting to see, in the distant rear-view mirror, whether drinking was something I was doing to attempt to self-medicate for that, somehow.