Running. With Gremlins.

running-black and white

6:00 am. 60º F. Light breeze. A Runner’s paradise. I’m out the door.

Mood Check: On a continuum of Bliss on the right and Rage on the left, the needle is twitching left of center.

It is said that, today, we live in a secular society, believing in worldly, non-religious, non-spiritual “things.” Just look at me. Every morning when I step on the scale…no matter what caloric catastrophe I engaged in the day before, I believe our Taylor 7506 Digital Scale is going to deliver.  This morning, was just another morning.  My cup runneth over. With belief.

A deep breath. A pause. One step up. Then the other. The digital read-out comes to life. Gremlins scurrying around with their algorithms. They’re flicking in a range from 208.5 to 207.8 and back. Why do you think they flick in a range? They didn’t use to flick in a range. Belly jiggling, so they can’t lock on? My eyes get large. They settle on 208.3. DAMN IT.

Ten pounds up in less than 60 days. If God was Good…If God was Great, this wouldn’t be so damn difficult. I’m drowning in temptation. Cereal. Danishes. Fruit and Cheese filled croissants. Ice cream. Pasta. And that was just yesterday. It’s raining on me.

And by now, you know what comes next: PENANCE. [Read more...]

I’m convincing my brain through a constant firehose of content of one thing

firefighter-work-busy-multitasking

Excerpts from a post by Michael Lopp @ Rands in Repose titled “Busy is an Addiction. The Dubious Value of Being Busy:

After decades of following this protocol, I’m certain of what I’m doing – I’m building mental momentum. I’m convincing my brain through a constant firehose of content of one thing: We are going to be super busy today – it’s going to be awesome. How about a hit of the good stuff? Now, I can rationalize this morning preparation as gathering context and mentally preparing for the day but what I’m really doing is overclocking my brain. This is why I’m drinking coffee. I want to make sure by the time I hit the office, I’m working at 112%, I’m walking fast in the hallways of the office with a smile on my face, I am ready to fully crush this day. What I am really describing is a chemical addiction to the endorphins produced by my body that are supposed to reward productivity, but I have figured out how to force their creation via my advanced state of busy…

Admit it, if you’ve been a leader for while, it’s a source of pride that you’re booked all day – you’re important – you’re so… busy.

What I am describing is how I’ve lived years of my life. I’ve replaced the concrete act of building with a vast array of abstract tasks and acts that I believe are strategically important to the team, the product, and the company, but I’ve also learned to constantly question the motivation being the busy: Am I doing this because it’s actually important? Or because I like the rush with being busy?


Don’t miss the entire post @ “Busy is an Addiction


Image Source: RAF

Running. Because I can’t stop.

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Wednesday: 2 am. A knife stabbing the muscle in the right calf. I’m gripping the iron railing on the headboard. And pointing my toes. (Susan’s remedy. I’ve always thought it was Bullsh*t, yet here I am pointing my toes.) I’m writhing in pain. Cramp. Zeke awakens, rolls over and starts licking my face, I’ll save you Dad! Dog mung-mouth-sleep-breath — I’m snorting ammonia. The bed is rolling like a stormy sea – yet, Susan is not moved. She stirs, but doesn’t wake. The entire team carries Lebron off the floor with his leg-cramps, and I don’t even get a: “Are you ok?” Where’s the empathy here people?

Thursday: 3 pm. Work meeting. Same leg. Same calf. Pitch fork stab. Cramp. I’m gripping the arms of the chair. Eyes are gushing water. I drop my head to take notes to avoid eye contact. Meeting ends. I walk up the stairs alone, limping, and heaving. Hydration? Vitamin deficiency? Sleep deprivation? Hunger?

Saturday: 4 am. Feelin’ large. I step on the scale. NO! Just.Can’t.Be. NFW! I strip off t-shirt and underwear – - I might be carrying extra poundage in my shorts. I get back on the scale – it wobbles – and falls 0.2 lbs. Pathetic! I move to the mirror. I see a six-inch scratch from the belly button to the jelly roll part, with a puff of dried blood accumulation on the handle. A tattoo from my wrestling match with Zeke. Or another sign? I check my notes. April 19th, is the last time I ran. 49 days ago. Can that even be possible? I check my weight tracker:

[Read more...]

Yet our useless fascination goes on

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In this age of the quantified self, we measure how many hours we slept, steps we took, calories we burned. Yet we know nothing about ourselves. We spend more time checking-in to our stats than our souls. Our experience is mined for data but not depth. We have all these numbers to improve now, but no idea how to dial back the numbness.

Life doesn’t have to be a spreadsheet, yet our useless fascination goes on. We spend more time shopping, in considering the thread-count of our sheets before purchase, than we do soul-searching, that beautiful art of thinking about the quality and purpose of our lives.

We are addicted to the constant digital stream, often peering gape-mouthed into the sordid details of other people’s lives; in the process we have checked-out of reality, neglecting our own life so pregnant with potential and meaning.

If we are to measure and monitor and improve anything, let it be our presence and character, a mindfulness for who we are and how we are experiencing and relating with the world. Have I been true to myself? Have I lived vibrantly today? Have I loved openly today? Have I made a difference today? Let us check in to ourselves in these ways; for, in the end, these are the only measures that matter.

Brendon Burchard


Notes:

Yup, nailed it

chocolate-chip-cookie

“Read in the context of (John) Updike’s…life…is a highly personal and revealing self-assessment. It underscores a sad paradox: although he could anatomize his own failings with perfect clarity, he seemed incapable of changing how he behaved.”

~ Adam Begley, Updike

 


Image Source: The Novice Chef Blog

Related Posts:

Like me. Like ME. LIKE ME DAMN IT.

do-you-like-me-2

Bruce FeilerFor the Love of Being ‘Liked’ – For Some Social-Media Users, an Anxiety From Approval Seeking:

Walking through an airport newsstand this year, I noticed a novelty…I quickly snapped a photo and sent out a tweet to my modest list of followers…Then I waited for the love. I checked the response before passing through security. Nothing. I glanced again while waiting for the plane. Still nothing. I looked again before we took off. Nobody cared. My little attempt to pass a lonely hour in an airport with some friendly interaction had turned into the opposite: a brutal cold shower of social isolation.

We are deep enough into the social-media era to begin to recognize certain patterns among its users. Foremost among them is a mass anxiety of approval seeking and popularity tracking that seems far more suited to a high school prom than a high-functioning society…

…it all begins to seem a bit, well, desperate.

…Time for a rewrite, Mr. Shakespeare. This above all: to thine others be true.

…“In a lot of ways, the addictive part is in the anticipation,”

…”I noticed I get in this puppet situation,” she said. “I get bored, and there’s something compelling about being able to put something online, and all of a sudden there’s instant gratification of ‘They like me!’

…Maybe Warhol needs a rewrite, too: Today, everybody can be famous for 15 retweets.

…A growing body of research indicates how deeply our brains are wired to seek social approval.

Read full (and excellent) article at For the Love of Being ‘Liked’


Notes:

Related Posts:

Running. With AAA.

photography,black and white,tire,flat tire,
Yahoo Weather Update:
57º F. Humidity 97%. Visibility 4 miles. Areas of dense morning fog. Mist.

Mist. And Ambivalence rains. Mind says yes. Body says rest.

I gear up.
Red and Black shoes. Black running pants. Red top.
Red. Rhino. Run.
I’m out the door.

The Mind whirrs back to Wednesday.  We’re in the car on our bi-annual trek to pick up Eric at College.  It’s a 10 to 14 hour drive and we’re standing in wall-to-wall traffic on the GW Bridge. We’re tracking to the wrong end of the range and the horse has just left the barn.

We clear the bridge and I’m barreling down the NJ turnpike.  72 mph. OK, 78 mph. Making up time.

The Warning light flashes on dash. “LOW TIRE PRESSURE.”  Followed by a PHSSSSSST. And then, a WUMP. WUMP. WUMP. WUMP. (Blood rushes to head. Why is it so hot in the car? Tension fills the cabin. Co-Pilot has seen the Captain manage the unexpected. It’s not pretty.)

I pull the car over to the shoulder. (I come from a long lineage of handymen. DNA somehow skipped me. My fix-it depth consists of bangin’ on the Alt-CTL-DEL key.)

Susan calls AAA. ETA is 30 minutes. (30 minutes to show up. 15-20 minutes to put on the provisional. 90 minutes to 3 hours to find a service station to replace tire. Estimated 2.5 – 4 hour delay. Mood darkens. Migraine thundering on queue.)

AAA arrives. I get out of the car to car to greet him. He gives me a hand signal to stay off the highway. His lips mouthing “too dangerous.” A Semi passes by and kicks up a wind gust. Diesel exhaust fills my lungs.

[Read more...]

Our Drug of Choice

hope,addiction,life,quotes


Source: Nick Miller 


Driving. With my alcohol.

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4:40 am.
I’m rumbling down I-95.
Dave Matthews is blaring through the speakers. And has been joining me on the morning ride all week.

You’ve been off. Haven’t found your rhythm. It’s back. You’re burning it from both ends.  The adrenaline – - it’s pumpin’.

I look down at the gas gauge. And then to the estimate of the mileage remaining. Annoyed at the interruption. Need to stop. Better stop. I pull over to the Mobile station.

I’m listening to the clicks on the pump.  And find myself drifting off.  There’s mist coming from my nose, rising up, and then disappearing into the darkness. I breathe in deeply. Exhale through the nose. And watch the show again. Magic. A Miracle. My morning moment of meditation.  And like the wisp of air, Pessoa’s disquiet rushes to fill the stillness.

You’re more comfortable moving. You find peace in motion.  Yet, you know it ain’t peace.

It’s hanging on my bulletin board in the office: “business is the art of getting people to where they need to be faster than they would get there without you.”  A Hugh McLeod illustration.  A Big red hand with index finger pointing up – #1.  There it is. Your strength. Your core competence. The transference of your disquiet to others.  Pushing the pace.  Injecting your adrenaline. More. Better. FASTER.
[Read more...]

The space, the gaps, the pauses, the silence – had all but disappeared

photography,black and white,umbrella,street

“In her new book THRIVE, Arianna Huffington takes a long hard look at how we define success and what it costs us: our health, our relationships, our peace of mind. We measure ourselves by action and production, competition and power: the more, the more, the more, the better. Sleep? Overrated. Stress? A fact of life. Besides, that’s what vices are for: addiction, like depression, is on the rise, as we fight constant burnout and struggle to cope.

It’s go, go, go and do, do, do. Every conversation I had seemed to eventually come around to the same dilemmas we are all facing – the stress of overbusyness, overworking, overconnecting on social media, and underconnecting with ourselves and each other. The space, the gaps, the pauses, the silence – those things that allow us to regenerate and recharge – had all but disappeared in my own life and in the lives of so many I knew.

We’re not cut out for this.

We weren’t made for this.

~ Justine Musk, The Art of Redefining Success (+ Why We Need to)


Image Credit: Eduardo Bluz via Elinka

A Digital Detox Test: The 7 Day Digital Diet

Digital-detox-social-media

And, could I do it? Read the outcome of Patrick Leger’s test @ A Digital Detox Test: Unplug Twitter and Facebook. Put Off Email and Smartphone.

“So for one week in January… I unplugged…I disconnected during a regular workweek and, in lieu of tropical seclusion, enjoyed the subfreezing and proximal isle of Manhattan…I determined I would spend no more than 15 minutes in it each session and sign in just once over the weekend. I’d use the phone only from home and would wait until noon to turn it on. I would not initiate any text exchanges, and if I received a message, I would respond as tersely as possible or call the person back. I could not go on the Internet at all unless it was crucial, and certainly not on social media. No streaming or live TV, only DVDs. Handwritten calendar. And music only at home…”

In search of the Holy Grail

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When I played, I was in an unrelenting search for a new driver, convinced that it would straighten out the vicious slices and softly land my ball on the Bermuda grass 300 yards down the fairway.  Did I find the Holy Grail? No. I quit the game. There’s perseverance for you.

Similarly, I search for a pen.  Not just any pen.  A Pen that would take me on a magic carpet ride to beautiful cursive, to decorative calligraphy, or perhaps to a less ambitious outcome, a product just neat and legible.

I have tried them all.
Ballpoints. Rollerballs. And Fountain Pens.
Nibs that are paper thin, standard and broad.
Pens that are cheap. Mid-grade. And expensive.
And I search.

So, last night, when I came across “The Best Pen“, my heartbeat slowed, I put my cookie down, and my eyes hungrily devoured the review.  I may have found the Holy Grail. [Read more...]

SMWI*: Calories Burned Per Hour

healthiest sites on internet-funny


*SMSI = Saturday Morning Workout Inspiration

Source: Ben Greenman

That’s me. And me. And me. And me.

reading,read,addiction,books


But NOT Biblioclast (Sacrilegious!), Biblioklept/Bibliolestes (Blasphemous!), Bibliopole (Rarely and with anxiety), Biblioriptos (No!  Set them down gently, carefully, cautiously).


Source: Thank you Mme Scherzo via Amanda Patterson

Yup, about right.

food, meal, craving, I'm full, eating, food addiction, can't stop, funny, true, psychology

And,

“Eating Season (Nov 5th to Jan 1): My Holiday Preemptive Diet Plan vs. Probable Reality” [Read more...]

He’s read 6,128 books…

Joe-Queenan, The-Wall-Street-Journal, ColumnistHe’s Joe Queenan, a columnist at The Wall Street Journal.  He started reading when he was 7 years old.  Fifty-five years later, he has read 6,128 books.  He “hopes to get through another 2,137 books before he dies.”

He often “reads dozens of books simultaneously.”  “(He) starts a book in 1978 and finishes it 34 years later.” 

He states that “a case can be made that people who read a preposterous number of books are not playing with a full deck.  I prefer to think of us as dissatisfied customers.  If you have read 6,000 books in your lifetime, or even 600, it’s probably because at some level you find ‘reality’ a bit of a disappointment.”

[Read more...]

Crave Ice cream? Like no other man. Addicted? Not!

Craving an ice cream fix - Food Addiction - New York Times Magazine

Join me in taking the NY Times Magazine Quiz: Are You Addicted to Food?

Part A: Answer 0 for never; 1 for once a month; 2 for two to four times a month; 3 for two to three times a week; and 4 for more than 4 times a week.

  1. I find myself consuming certain foods even though I am no longer hungry.  (DK Score: 4.  Actually 4×4=16, if we are asked to uphold a Monk-level integrity standard here.  I could eat ice cream 3 meals a day.)
  2. I feel sluggish or fatigued from overeating.  (DK Score: 2.  Shocking actually.  I think I have built up a gorging stamina.)
  3. I have had physical withdrawal symptoms like agitation and anxiety when I cut down on certain foods (not including caffeinated drinks). (DK Score: Hmmmm. What if your normal condition is being agitated and anxious?  Let’s split the baby here and give me a 2.)
  4. My behavior with respect to food and eating causes me significant distress. (DK Score: 1. I’m should get “negative” points here.  Eating actually brings me incredible joy and peace.  That is, until my pants begin to snug up.  Then we’re talking sirens.)

[Read more...]

The first step toward enlightenment?

Source: teachingliteracy

Are you an Internet Addict?

OK.  Time to fess up.  Are you one of the eight?

  • “Internet addiction affects one in eight Americans.”
  • “Studies have shown that addicts (to internet) have 10%-20% surface area brain damage.”
  • “2012 Survey of American Women found that 34% check their smartphone before getting out of bed, 21% wake up in the middle of the night to check Facebook, 27% check Facebook while on the toilet.”
  • “Students who tried to disconnect for 24 hours: It felt like some sort of withdrawal; I most likely have an addiction; I really panicked; Media is my drug.”
    See infographic below for additional statistics and information:

[Read more...]