One of the hardest parts about being your own boss is that sometimes you have to crack the whip (I came up with that phrase a while ago so if you've heard it before I apologize, I also apologize for the inevitable future when you hear it again, I have some, likely misplaced, pride in the conciseness of that sentiment).
I also apologize for the run on sentence. To all my former teachers, you tried.
Moving on. That challenge is especially true when one has a penchant for lethargy (I shall not apologize for attempting a pretty way to say lazy). One of my biggest shortcomings is that if I begin to slip I usually end up in a tailspin. I understand that is something of a mish mash of analogies but that is often how it feels. One day I'm getting up early, exercising, structuring my day, advancing in life, when some unforeseeable challenge pops up and I can't do an element of my routine. No big deal.
Then a week later it is three in the morning I've got a beer going and I'm about to level up in a video game for the third time in a night.
I have tried a myriad of strategies for combatting this weakness but nothing seems to stick. The only thing that works even at all is to never miss anything ever, which is all but impossible because, you know, life.
That leads to my newest theory, dare I say breakthrough? Based on my extensive experience and education in the field of mental health and the habits of productivity (if you missed that sarcasm our relationship is likely to be littered with awkward silences and hurt feelings) I have developed a new strategy. I call it the "Hard Reset."
If anyone has seen "The IT Crowd" you will be familiar with their lackluster catch phrase; "have you tried turning it off and on again." Since that is a relatively risky maneuver to perform in its truest form as it applies to humans I have figured out the next best thing.
It begins at the top of the proverbial hill, or as close to it as possible. If a day or two has gone by and my "to do" list has remained progressively more undone I initiate the reset. Generally speaking it is simple.
First thing to do is stay up all night.
While everyone that knows anything about health and well being catches their breath or rolls in their grave I'll continue.
I allow myself to do anything I'd like through the beginning of the night, from video games, TV, books, even having drinks (though staying away from, erm, OVER indulgence).
Around two or three in the morning I stop imbibing and have a cup of coffee or some chocolate espresso beans. Then shift to a TV show or movie. I find it next to impossible to sleep while a TV is on so I don't run the risk many do of drifting off. I'm still awake and engaged but I'm not wrangling theoretical physics. After that, and I think this is the key part, I go for a run at the time I'd LIKE to begin my day regularly. Post run I check/make my to do list and ensure it is not massively grueling and then start my day. The goal is to not nap or sleep until a (theoretically reasonable) hour the following night.
I haven't tried it yet but I'm starting one now, I'll let you know how it goes.
I can't believe it is already Sunday again. Not like things "flew" by per se but I feel like I just sat down to write last week. Not sure I am cut out for a self imposed schedule. Luckily a few interesting things happened this week. As Governor Mills tentatively begins laying out a path for the "re-opening" of the state people are actively becoming more opinionated on the path forward. It seems in some ways that for at least a while we found a certain solidarity in fear. There were of course outliers who scoffed at precautions but it did feel that as a whole there was a united front. As the initial shock wears off, and people start to go stir crazy as the weather improves, that front shows its first signs of fracture. For myself I feel curious as much as anything. There is a lot of talk about things "returning to normal" and I'm not convinced that isn't overly optimistic. Not in some melodramatic way about the fundamental structure of society changing necessarily but I wonder if there will be little leftovers from this shared experience. I wonder if handshakes will begin to fade away as a common greeting. I wonder if some people will take to always wearing masks. I wonder if we will take to standing six feet apart.
I admit that all of those things raise in me a little twinge of sadness. We need to be safe, we need to be smart, we need to listen to the people who know more than we do, we also need closeness. We need community, we need friends we can see regularly. We need to be able to smile at our neighbors. As we balance being smart with being social I hope a reality manifests that allows us to be both.