Eye doc insisted on moving to shatter-proof lenses. Between that material and my prescription no metal frame could handle the width of lens I need. So here we are with the matte plastic. Don’t worry, I’ll get us a pack of PBR for band practice later.
The world around you is out of your control. The facts that govern your life are mostly out of your control. The actions you take are often in response to motivations and needs that are largely out of your control.
What you do control is the story you tell yourself about what it means. You can always choose to paint a picture you believe in.
The evil empire is rising all around, you can see yourself as the rebel waiting for a chance to make a difference.
Falling behind at work looks exactly the same as a restructuring of priorities.
Recovery and exhaustion both look an awful lot like sleep.
Food can be either fuel or a leisure activity.
If you don’t like the facts, give them a different story then ask yourself what’s on the next page.
My mind fights with itself a lot. It’s like playing both colors in chess. Your move as white, then on the other side of the board you counter it with the same ferocity as black. You always win and you always lose.
Sometimes it’s what gives me my advantage. I see a lots of sides to an argument. I’m willing to change my mind quickly. Once I know the answer I go one step further to see if I’m wrong. It helps me when learning and teaching.
Many days it becomes problematic. The war wages and my body can’t keep up. I’m thinking and thinking meanwhile the tension in my shoulders, my teeth start grinding, and I can’t type on the keyboard without my wrists burning.
That’s when I know it’s not about the problem anymore. It’s not about anything that’s wrong with work, with home, with life. It’s just a spiral that my mind has created. It’s worth trying to reset.
Riding a bike
Writing (with a pen and paper)
Speaking out loud (preferably with a friend)
All these are my best bets to help the reset take hold. They are also some of the hardest things to convince myself to do. Caffeine and food almost always make it worse but they are almost always my first reaction.
I am always uneasy about what I should and should not say on the internet. There is so much I want to let out. So much I want to yell. There are also so many nice things that I think would only be ruined by letting the internet touch them.
This evening I saw a quote regarding that subject, but from long before the internet.
Travel and tell no one, live a true love story and tell no one, live happily and tell no one, people ruin beautiful things. Kahlil Gibran
Maybe that should be the default.
What I will share is this: you can’t opt-out forever. If you try to stay silent the world will find some way to make you open up. And if you’re not practiced in the discourse required of you, you are a lot less likely to feel great about the process. Self-moderation is much better than self-censorship.
Choose something to share, make your case, and stand by it. It doesn’t have to be published to the world: it can be with your colleagues, your school, your family. But don’t let all your thoughts be your own; just the private ones.
When my wife asked what I wanted for Father’s Day, I asked for a date night. She made it happen and it was lovely. We went to Great Flood for beer and board games. Amber won almost all the games as we’ve all come to expect.
I’m incredibly proud of her, and watching her complete such a big event really makes the last few months’ work and focus worthwhile.
Recently I’ve been thinking about life more and more in terms of segments. The first segment of this year was Ber’s half-marathon. Our family’s #1 priority since the new year was Ber’s training for this event, and we were all on board with that. It’s not the only thing we did, but it was the most important thing.
At work I tend to think in segments book-ended by meetups. My team just went to Washington DC and I’m now looking at the work I’ll be doing between now and the Grand Meetup in September.
What seems appealing about this outlook is that it’s okay for big goals, because a segment is necessarily a large chunk of time. 14 weeks is a lot of time to get better at running. 5 months is a lot of time to get good work done. So even if every step forward is a small one, over the course of a segment you are certainly closer to your goal.