a book progressed fresh unedited written daily
read as I wrote extra chapter topics the whole scroll
about now and a hundred different things days1-19
days20-39 days40-59 days60-79 days80-99 day1
unconscious original unreviewed unrefined timely
the book is done
read from the beginning or read as I wrote
not sure where to start?
I am a normal bloke with variations in my situation and my physical body which make me in some ways less usual. I won’t go so far as to say un-normal but maybe I am. My guess is that this description might also be one you could give about yourself.
A number of things happened yesterday, some which seemed like I had no control over and others which it seemed like I had a lot of control over. It was, outwardly and inwardly just a day. It was Bastille Day, the day of French independence. I do not know much about how the French celebrate/ honor/ remember their independence day; I guess it’s a lot like those of use from the USA celebrate ours: a holiday for many, higher wages for those who work, picnics, family, fireworks. Maybe some overeating and overdrinking. I could easily check a search engine and find out. I am a tiny bit embarrassed I do not know. Fifty-eight years on the planet and I never thought much about it. I’ve known and remembered that it was Bastille Day since I was about fourteen. I was told about it in French class, a class taught by a woman from Belgium whose daughter was and is a friend of mine. I felt special in knowing about it. But have never, it seems, cared to know much about it. Interesting. Rather than doing five minutes of “research” now, however, I have something to do first. To write you.
I say I am writing to you because if you are reading this, I am writing to you. To you; and, I hope, for you. That is, I hope you get useful and good things from reading this journal. A journal which I intend to write for one hundred days. Not exactly climbing Mount Everest or putting on five putting on five pounds of muscle or making fifty grand. Something more modest. A daily journal where I start out where I am. Where I set out on where I want to go.
One hundred days is less than a third of a year. I have passed through entire blocks of a hundred days in which I could tell you about nothing specific that happened in them. I mean, I could guess, or try to find out from old calendars, paper or electronic. But to come up with what happened during a hundred days say a decade or year or twenty-three years ago: that would be tough. I find I do not remember periods. I do remember moments. I may not be able to tell you exact time, day, or place, but I can remember moments. If I think about a moment, I am often led to also think about others. You might call it daydreaming. You might be right. For me, remembering a moment, like when a friend of mine more than a handful of years ago now, while I was in the front passenger seat of her car, told me life was moments, that was the joy and hope she got from it, what could be experienced/ was experienced in a moment, was how she understood life to be. Was the best, the most, one could expect from life. The sun was shining, we were riding on an undulating road, really nice California suburbia on our left, protected wildland and a singular mountain on our right.
I have thought about her thought, about that moment, more than a few times, more that a few moments, in my life. It was/ is (I do not know if she still holds it) a life-philosphy, a life-understanding please do not think otherwise. It was a way of looking on life that she had come to. One she had observed, decided on, told herself, believed. The life she then lived. A life recognizing/ believing that there would be special moments in her and to enjoy, experience, live for those moments when they came; realizing, as she explained in the car that day, that they would undoubtedly pass.
I myself believe periods of greater joy, of hours, days, maybe even weeks or months are possible. I recall (dimly) experiencing such times. Maybe I think I recall them, want to recall them, and remember them so. No, I think they did happen. I hope they occurred. I want them to occur. I want hours, days, weeks, and months of undergirding joy.
Anyway, back to the moment.
Yesterday, the day of Jake independence from others and circumstance domineering my life not yet realized, was not a horrible day. It certainly had good in it. But it was not a great day. Not my best one. At my day job, where I work in customer service, I had two difficult customers who would not play by the rules because the rules, the company policies, did not suit them. Clearly both were used to getting their way. Both stayed nearly an hour pressing, pressing, pressing their cases. To me, to managers, to other managers higher up or more suited to what they want. The first one left without getting what she wanted. The second, in the end, got her way. Said she thought she might as well ask. She did much, much more than ask. She pressed and pressed, “nicely,” and with a smile, never raised her voice. But she kept pressing to talk to someone else until she got it. I am not going to judge and it is not my place to judge my managers’ decisions. I just didn’t like the whole back and forth. All the time it took in my life for those decisions to be made. Made by the customers to keep pressing; made by the mangers to in the last case to fold. Moments. It took a lot of moments in my life to work through, to go through, those discussions. I know I was being paid. I was not paid enough. My managers might/ probably disagree; certainly the company as a whole does, or else they would pay me more. My point, my thought, though is not there. It is in that a whole bunch of time was spent doing things I would rather not. The time spent was not, is not ever, the company’s time. It is always my time. My life, my moments. The company rents or leases my services and presence; they do not own me or my time.
Moments. Life is made up of moments in the sense of a collection of time. A collection of experiences. My friend is right on in that sense. My goal is not to have golden moments happen on an infrequent or only occasional basis but on a regular and habitual basis. I do not want life being the infrequent crumb droppings of a begrudging God; I want life being, specifically my life being, one in while I inhabit more of the moments of my life doing things more enjoyable or more lasting or more ultimately beneficial and sometimes being all three.
I’m on page three on my computer already of writing and it’s 5:53am. I don’t have work at my day job today (no offense to it but hurrah!) and could in theory keep writing. All day, really, if I want to. Except for grocery shopping and other errands and morning exercises for my lower back, eating, etc. Instead, I am going to put boundaries and limits, my own policies and rules, about the writing I am doing in this daily journal.
Here’s the plan:
-I’m allowing myself contractions. It’s a casual-but-I-hope meaningful piece of work I am writing. Not a text book.
-I write every day for a hundred days. One day’s writing (on this project) almost done.
-I will try to limit myself to one or two pages on successive days.
-Over the next few days, I’ll define specific goals for me to accomplish over the time period. If you don’t aim for something, you’re sure to hit it.
-I will not allow myself but the very lightest of editing. I have a habit of wanting things to be “perfect” (as if there is ever anything stably perfect in the long run). As if I were writing for the ages. Ha! As if. When you get down to it, I am, of course, writing for me. I mean, I am writing for you, the you who I hope reads this; and I am at the same time, and perhaps more fully, writing for me. It may turn out I am the only one to read this. If so, that is enough. I am enough.
-My plan is to write once; then, after the hundred days, come back and read the book once, correcting only necessary and glaring errors in grammar. Not all ideas (many ideas?) will be fleshed-out. Some of the days/ passages may be rough. I’m leaving them that way. The writing will reflect the day.
That’s about it except for the more to come. I hope you have a good day.
I often find the second time of doing something, the second day, the harder. Day one had excitement and newness about it; Day 2 asks the questions am I really going to do/ go through this? and will anyone care?
I care. I awoke at 4am so I would have time to write before my day job. (I keep saying day job because I also have another job, other work: that of LukeyoutheU. Also, the job and work of living.) Fortunately, I also have a shift that starts later on this particular, at 8am rather than 7. For those of you quick at math, that has given me an entire extra hour. I’m in that hour now.
Goals. I am reluctant to accept those imposed upon me by others, unless I agree with them; I like and sometimes even enjoy the ones I give myself. I have found, over the decades, from the intermittent attention I’ve given to such things, that my greatest successes have usually come from not telling anyone my goals. From telling them, sometimes, to others but only after the fact. If I announce them publicly, even when I am the one who set them, I feel that they are what I am being told to do rather than what I want to do. I want to do what I want to do. It is my life after all. I really do not want to be the plaything of others.
Goals. Concrete is good because the wiggle room is little. I can be a wiggler. I do not particularly want to be a wiggler but I have been one. Sometimes. Working on reducing my wiggling to the absolutely necessary rather than the merely convenient.
Goals. If you don’t aim at something you’re sure to hit it.
-to write every day for the next ninety-eight on this project, moment.
-to not eat at In-n-Out for at least the next 100 days.
In-n-Out is a California staple. It is a beloved burger and fry shot. The people working there are always helpful and nice; customers can see into the kitchen and all the people bustling around on their behalf; the restaurants are always clean; the stores are all arranged essentially (exactly?) the same, so that no matter where an In-n-Out is, you know how it looks and is arranged on the inside.
Besides that: the burgers are good. The options are few (they really pretty much just sell burgers, fries, shakes, and sodas); if you are in the know, you can order fries in the red or to have your burger cooked animal style.
I love treating myself to a number 2.
a cheeseburger, tomato, sauce (I ask for no onion)
a soda (a fountain soda that you fix)
It’s simple, reliably tasty, and always the same. Comfort food maximus.
Therein lies the problem. At least for me. I go there not for my health but for my comfort. It was two days ago that I last went. I had originally planned on going straight home after my day job. But my day job had pockets of unusual (and unnecessary, in my opinion) stress. I responded decently but not brilliantly during them. I again thought how I was not paid enough. Driving down the freeway, on my way home, I talked myself into stopping by the old In-n-Out. If I went a way home that took a little longer, was a little out of my usual way, I would go pass on. Only, as you guess, I did not pass by it this time. I went in.
There is nothing wrong with a burger and fries. Unless you’re a vegan or vegetarian or for any other reason thing eating cow meat is wrong. Then it is wrong to have one. Because you think so. A burger and fries, that combination of savory and salty tastes wonderful.
I find the memory of the taste is better than the actual taste itself but that’s something to talk about another time.
A burger, fries, and a soda are not so good for me, not for me personally, however. They are not catastrophic. But they do not aid me in where I tell myself I want to go.
On this day, as I have for the past two times I’ve stopped by and eaten at this In-n-Out in the past two (!) weeks, I also ordered a chocolate shake. Yes, a shake in addition to the soda.
“You’ll be wanting the shake instead of the coke－” the polite and efficient cashier asked me when I made my order. I had my chance but I did not take it.
“No, I’ll have the shake and the soda.” Who was I showing off to? Why did I want to show off? How in the world was this showing off, that I could supposedly handle all the added sugar?
Who was this kid to tell me I couldn’t have both, pay for both, consume both, the chocolate shake and the soda?
I act like a knucklehead sometimes. This was one of those occasions.
Nothing wrong with a shake, nothing wrong with a soda. In many, most (?) cases. But my eating them was working against the goals I had.
I note that I dutifully drank all the shake and all a soda and another half a soda as well. Not only that, but I ate not only the original fry order but went back and got another.
“Fries in the red, please.”
They are quick in delivering fries-only orders. I just waited at the counter after ordering.
So: not only did I have
-the protein of which is fatty with the bad kind of fat, saturated fat
-the bun of which is highly processed (tasty, but processed) add carbs but not fiber
-a Coke for the first found, half a Dr. Pepper for the second; nothing but flavored sugar. I might as well be pouring white sugar down my throat
-not one serving, but two; potatoes, being high in oxalates, are no so good for me as I have had an oxalate kidney stone before, and do not want another
a chocolate shake
-they are small and not very chocolatey but still I suffered through it, sucking it through the straw until it make that gurgling noise which says no more; the shakes at Coldstone Creamery (I happen to know) are much more chocolatey and in my book better); more sugar down the throat
The food was tasty. It was reasonably priced. I had the money. No one was waiting for me at home. I had the time. Had had a bit of a bad day at work. Felt I deserved it. Was happy not to fix my own meal for a change.
But eating it was satisfying the immediate goal of feeling good and the additional one of treating myself. Stopping at In-n-Out, doubling down on my added sugar intake with both 1.5 sodas and a shake, increasing my risk of a future kidney stone, having a high-calorie but not super nutritious meal, were not working towards my long term goals but against them.
Feeling good for the moment but taking away from feeling better, living more healthily and happily, in the future.
That’s why I have to stop eating at In-n-Out. I can’t seem to help myself, moderate my behavior, once I’m in there. I could have gotten the burger protein style (no bun), milk instead of a soda, no shake, one fries. Instead, I doubled down. If I was going to In-n-Out, and I did, I was going to go whole hog. And I did. Oink oink.
-more muscle, less fat
-limited, low, maybe no added sugar. I tiptoed into pre-diabetes in the last half year and do not want to go further. In fact, I want to pull back. My stopping at In-n-Out did not help.
It can be easy for me to make decisions in my better moments. It is easy. It’s when I’m not feeling good that I break down.
-do what I can to put myself into situations where I feel good
-learn and better manage the times (and there will inevitably be times) when I do not feel so good.
You would think that at fifty-eight I would have this under control by now. You would be wrong.
Still I have hope for today, and tomorrow.
No In-n-Out for the next ninety-eight days. Let’s see where that takes me. Us.
I’m off to my day job.
Today, as the title above so cleverly describes, is haircut day. It is, for me, in this period of time, a long-awaited day. I have been wanting to get one for three weeks but today is the first day the stars aligned
There are certain factors I feel the need to assemble for me to get my haircut: a haircutter I trust to do a good job (stylist is too grand a word in this case); their availability; a good price; close location; first-appointment availability; no other day job or personal commitments at time. Today, for the first time in three weeks, everything is a go.
From the time Covid19 first hit, I grew my hair. I would let it grow as long as shoulder-length before I’d get it trimmed. It was an experiment with a different look. I received a number of comments over those months/ years, some of them complimentary. I liked saving money and time by not needing to go and get my haircut; I liked having the different experience of having long hair. Feeling it on my neck, running my hand through it.
I also found out the work that long hair takes. I’d thoroughly clean it about once a week; the shower drain became nearly blocked, the strands refusing to allow the water to pass. It took a lot longer than short hair to dry. As far as styling there was not much to be done. Long hair was hot and bothersome in the summer. But, by far, the thing that bugged me the most about long hair was that I would find it everywhere. Long, sometimes curled worms of it would be seemingly everywhere. I am someone who likes things neat. It was my bound duty to pick up every hair whenever I saw it. I felt like everywhere I turned more hair. Somewhere I heard we lose about a hundred hairs a day and I believe it. I shudder to think of the ones I did not see, that could potentially clog my vacuum.
Of course, at least of course for me, if the hair had produced the desired effect (hoards of compliments) or affect (building in me boundless inner self confidence), I might have kept it. The thing was: long hair did not look good on me. I wanted it to make me different, brave, strong, sexy. Instead, the best I got was the first, different. And different I can be, am, without it.
On the phone with a friend from LA one day, I sent him a pic of my new style. He said he thought long hair aged me. I looked at the photo. I agreed. Within a week (when the stars aligned) I got it chopped off. Back to short hair for me.
It was a sobering and paradoxically light-hearted decision. Sobering because I realized I would likely never have long hair again ever in my life; sobering because I had long wanted before to try it and now had, only to find it no good for me. Other guys can carry it off. Not me. Light-hearted because, whew, I would no longer need to pick up the squirrelly worms all day long. And also resolved. I now knew I had only versions of short hair for my future. Sometimes fewer choices is a good thing.
You may be wondering how, since I don’t want long hair, I stood having hair grow past its cutting time. It’s a little secret called scissors. I found if I just cut the hair from over my ears, I felt okay with its growing. I cleared the area twice in the past two weeks.
There is a bigger thought, a greater layer to this thinking: why bother with how I look, with how my hair is cut and (again, probably too grand a word) styled? No one at my day work would say a thing pretty much whatever I did or did not do with it. (An advantage of not having a high-paying job.) I bother because how I look can and does affect how other people treat me. I would rather be treated well than poorly. If/ when I look as good as I reasonably can, people respond to me in more friendly and accommodating ways than when I dress sloppily.
This may not, for whatever reason, be your experience. It has been mine. Maybe it has been mine for long enough, often enough, at least I perceived it as such enough times, that it has become what I believe. What I unconsciously accept and act on as truth.
Maybe I perceive that people respond to me better when I take care of my physical appearance, ascribe to expected social norms, and that that perception is the difference not their actions and attitudes themselves.
I do not know. I don’t know know know. Where does my perception end, the results of my actions end?
Climinging out of the rabbit hole: short hair works for me. Today I am getting it cut.
Also on today’s agenda: not going to In-n-Out. Also, writing and editing the LukeyoutheU website. Time to get that done, or at least ready more.
Peace out. Not sure exactly what that means.
The haircut was a brilliant success. I had called the day before to confirm the hair- cutter-I-wanted’s schedule; the shop does not take appointments but rather has a cue online so I arrived before it opened; was the first in line; got it and out with a cut I like. I am appreciative of the work my stylist does and in her kind manner in doing so.
Once home, a shower and double-hair wash to clear out all the excess hair. Once I’d started on my beauty (good luck to me) routine, I kept doing, and cut off other excess hair including in my ears. This may be too much info. My point in writing it that once I’m on a theme, there are many times I continue it. Getting haircut→ taking care of my overall appearance.
Likewise, my 100 day abstention from In-n-Out (96 days to go) has also, thus far, led to other not-great-for-me abstentions: I passed by a too-familiar Del Taco and Donut King en route to the hair cuttery. Did not go in them or order from them. Or, even, look at them. No In-n-Out→ also not going to other fast foods. (For yesterday, at least.)
I’m not saying I’m every day going to look my best; I’m not saying that I’m never going to a fast food restaurant ever again in my life. I am saying that getting my hair cut and deciding, committing, to not going to In-n-Out tend, for me, to have spillover positive effects. If I commit to too much, I have noticed I frequently fail, and sometimes fail big. If I commit to the specific, a specific, it tends to help me across like categories.
It’s a directional thing, this life, a process; not so much a one-and-done.
Processes, like the earth spinning, the cycle of oxygen creation and use on it, are a continual, continuous, necessary, truer picture of life than the idea that any thought, action, thing, idea, is wholly separate and independent from another. Everything is connected. If that is too much for you to take in, which it usually is for me, just realized the connections/ interconnections that you can.
For me, getting a haircut is about taking care of myself physically; doing the best that I can with the physical body and other resources I have got; showing the world that I care about myself and, by extension, them, as they are the ones that get to/ have to look at me when I’m in their sight.
The better (I think) I look, the better I feel; the better I feel, the better I think other people treat, take care of, respect me. Do they take better care of me because I look (in my own eyes) better or because I am emanating a better, more positive vibe?
I don’t know. It doesn’t, in the end, matter. Both? When I look good, I feel good, I am treated, forgive the English, good.
That’s been my observation and practice over these nearly sixty years. You will have your own.
I also yesterday, after my daily writing, haircut, self-care, home maintenance, paying bills, decided, on a lark, to catch a movie. A showing starting twenty minutes after I looked meant I had time to get there, buy popcorn, and be seated during the previews, before the movie itself began. I like buying my ticket online and just before the movie starts: that way, I can see how crowded the theater is. If it’s too crowded, I will not then go. I have too often sat near others either speaking during the movie about the action occurring (no way!, watch out, you’ve got to be kidding me!), commentary that I do not want to hear as I am experiencing the movie, commentary which pulls from my own experience into theirs; or eating so noisily, or sloppily, as to be off-putting. No thank you.
Many people go to the movies with others; I very much prefer to go to the movies alone. I do, contrarily, appreciate it when there are others in the same theater as I am. I like the general oohs and aahs that occur with an audience present, the felling of being-in-this-together. I just do not want anyone with five seats or two rows.
The movie that I saw yesterday was an action flick, part of an ongoing, decades-long series, that I had been wanting to see. It did not disappoint. Lots of action but more importantly a decent, solid (as solid as such imaginary things can be) plot.
I think about movies, I enjoy movies, I enjoy thinking about movies and will get to that, including some whys, possibly tomorrow. Let’s see what the today and tonight bring first. I will say this, a thought new to me: we talk about film, cinema, motion pictures as movies because movies are made up of many images passing in some orderly fashion one after another to tell a story. The emphasis is on their, on the movies, that they are that which is moving. But is it not also we who do the moving also? To get to the viewing space, to focus our eyes and ears on the images and sounds before us. It is the viewer who is synchronizing ourselves with the movie in front of us that allows us to receive the movie. Movies move and so do we.
Of course, we’re all moving, continuously, even if we’re sitting still. We’re moving even though it does not feel like we are: we are on a spinning globe and move with it. We’re also moving internally, our lungs pulling in and pushing out air, our hearts pushing around a racetrack blood, our minds considering whatever they are, even if it is nothing, because even nothing is a thing.
I’m glad you’re on this adventure. I hope you are too.
Yesterday I suggested that it was not only a movie that was appearing to move but also we viewers who were moving also, synching to the movie. I wonder if that’s not the same that we do to anything/ anyone we resonate with. Synch to it; become a part of it; give-and-take with it/ them.
Wayback among my earlier lives (back when I was in my earliest twenties) I worked as a Christian youth worker with prep school kids in Manhattan. That was a long time ago. One of the things my coworker would talk about is low-content shared experience: she was talking about the time she and a student would see a movie together. The movie gave them a story in common that neither had (seemingly) direct involvement with but could then talk about. It was like neutral territory.
I would now consider movies not low-content but pop-culturally influencing content. Movies always have within them a story, perhaps a few. A story, stories, always carry within them a point, points of view. Implicitly. They cannot but. In the movie theater, typically in comfortable seats, often with high salt and/ or high sugar foods, surrounded by the sounds of others engaged in their lives and situations, talking about them, showing them to you in larger proportion, bigger size, than you’d normally see, up there on the big screen, filling a disproportionate portion of your eyes’ view; you have willinging and typically excitedly placed yourself open and wanting to take in what is dished out. No wonder movies are for many, most?, engrossing experiences.
A story is played out, pushed forward, willing suspense of disbelief is made, money has been handed over to feel and see what someone else, the writer, producer, director, actor, each of the other support people, thinks.
The viewer has thrown themself into a position where they are open. Where they want to be taken away from who they usually tell themselves they are to imagine, inhabit, become an observer, or participant, in someone else’s story. Experiencing the participation with someones’ elses minds.
I love movies. Not all of them, of course; perhaps not even many or most of them. But those that are well thought-out/ designed/ crafted, that have a point of view intriguing to me or at least novel to me, wow. They expand the experience of my life.
Right now, this past decade or so, I have been, even more than before, drawn to science fiction and science fantasy. I appreciate them because, in showing me the strange and alien, the non-usually physically experienced in my everyday world, they get me past my hands-on experience to ideas. Ideas and themes of what-could-be.
And is that not where we always are? I think we tend to think that what is is permanent, lasting, solid, true, real. But was is permanent, lasting, true, real is the change, the motion, that we personally, socially, communally, physically, whole-worldly are always going through. We are always moving, traveling, from the what is to the what could be which becomes the what is and serves a lifting-off place for the next could be.
Now I get ready for and go to my day job. And what could be
07-20-23 5:16am PDST
I face one as I write you today: I want to get in my back exercises before I go to my day job, and there are other personal duties to perform before as well. I could push off the exercises until I get home from that work; but what good what that do. The benefit of the exercises is to put my body into great working order for the day. I have also committed to writing daily. There are other projects, namely LyU and expanding (starting) my muscle-building exercise routine, that I want to do after I’m back from my day work. I will do them all. Today’s writing will be brief. I’m facing deadlines, as you have surmised, ones of my own making; and I have other ones due at the job.
I had not known definition two until reading it just now but I had thought about the formation of the word deadlines. I presumed it came from dead and line. A figurative or physical line past which one would die. I did not imagine it came from such a literal place. In my life, I have experienced a life where deadlines are frequently moving targets; they change if need or opportunity arise. A “true” deadline, I had thought, did not really exist—a line if crossed where one would be dead. I sit corrected. An escaping prisoner who was liable to be shot could become a dead easily enough.
I set myself deadlines frequently. Often, I do not meet them. I do not tell you this with pride. I imagine myself the king of my domain, the master of my ship, the controller of my destiny, that my word is law, at the very least, to me. I am often shown by result that I am wrong. Life, in the form of weather, other people, my mood, new information, being tired, often intercedes. It would not always (often?) have been good, I later realize, for that particular deadline to have been met.
An example is me getting done what needed to be done personally earlier (considering the schedule of the day ahead, looking at emails, ablutions, weighing myself and recording it and associated stats) and knowing I wanted to get in my back exercises, make my breaks’ meal and snacks, apply sun screen, get dressed, after writing. If I had decided to storm ahead with my deadline to get writing by such and such a time (4:40am) I would have missed
In conclusion (because time is drawing short, not because my argument is shot proof) deadlines I find very useful when they are. Sometimes being shot does not mean one is necessarily caused to die. What we do and the way we do them makes differences not only in our experience but in the results. There will be a dead line at the end, one in which the “shot” does kill us memento mori. Isn’t it cool to work towards something, and sometimes under pressure? Pressure sometimes produces diamonds.
After the most modest of efforts today, I find myself in an even worse time crunch this morning. Yesterday, I cut down my back exercises down to their bare minimum. I performed one set of each for the lowest recommended period of time, and the fifteen seconds I did each were fast seconds, if you know what I mean.
And I had a pretty good day. In other words, it all worked out fine.
Still, I dislike being in a rush for fear that it necessitates doing something or everything poorly. The resolution I have come to on this is that sometimes it does. Sometimes external pressure, be it time or another (social, economic, political, etc) has coerced me into freaking out and performing less well than I know I might, being, feeling less well; and sometimes it brings me, assists me to getting to a place, to acting and doing what I intend well. Sometimes the pressure has brought brings diamonds. But not always.
Internal pressure, the pressure that I apply to myself, some would probably argue is the only actual pressure. I am not convinced. Internal, self-applied force, need, urgency, importance is often a factor, that I grant you. But it comes down in my mind to this: external, internal, though they can and often, even usefully are, identified as separate are both part of the same. An expression of life. One pushes more strongly, makes itself most know to or even the focus of one’s consciousness; but the other is still existent, and lurking, being, working in the often-maybe-usually stronger part of the whole that we are, our unconsciousness.
There is always external and internal pressure; there is alway pressure; there are always things going on inside and outside of us that have effects on us. Ships, houseboats on the river, the sea, of life. Held up by the pressure of the structure on the water as long as there are no holes. I guess the lesson in that analogy is to remain whole.
Sometimes one course of action, sometimes another is the better way to go. I do not now the full ramifications of my thoughts and actions; all I can work with (and it is no small amount) is what I think I know. What I think at the time is the better course. The smarter and more loving action, decision to make and carry out. As I move forward, or at least continue to move, that becomes the past, and I look for the better in it.
I wonder if this will make any sense once I read the hundred days over and lightly edit. If, then, it will make any sense to anyone but me. I do not know. What I do know is that I go forward, trying, doing my best as I can in the moment.
I have enough time to do my back exercises for longer, probably better, today.
I’m starting late today because I allowed myself to sleep in. As it turned out, my body awoke before my normal wake-up time; I was, fortunately, able to go to sleep again, eventually waking up forty-five minutes after my usual hello, baby, it’s daylight time. So I started the day later, which pushed back my usual morning routine. Without a deadline in front of me, I did each of my back exercises (there are fifteen, thirteen prescribed by the physical therapist, two more I added) for longer and more of them. I feel good. Better than when I do the short version of them? Not sure. But still good. My routine includes a bunch more things than the back exercises but they take up, in their longer form, the most of the the time.
Here comes TMI (too much information): today I chose to wear my The Flash underwear. I want to get a whole heck of a lot of things done. I realize I can move in possibly no way as quickly as he can; I can evidence the core of his power, however. I can do what needs to be done fully/ well in each of the steps of my day. He goes supersonic and pushes aside bullets so they don’t hit people; I can make sure the emails and texts that need to be and I want to return are done in a timely manner. That could mean today. It could mean another. If the latter, I put it on my calendar.
Time, on the whole, I try to pay attention to. I do not like to be late. Being late without a warranted cause and habitually I consider unnecessary and rude. It is, to me, an opportunity missed. When people set a time to meet and do something, it allows both parties, individually, to consciously and unconsciously prepare, be ready, for the coming together. It allows both all the time between the making of the appointment, and the keeping of it, to: gather, consciously and unconsciously, information, facts, and experience; for both parties to be ready for the blessed event. The event of two people, two minds, two histories and experiences, two beings to further their relationship and expand their knowledge. And/ or their fun.
I have friends, dear friends among them, who do not think or live this way. They believe the best time to be together is when it happens. When it feels good to them individually, the time on the clock not important. I think they are missing out, that they are not taking advantage of humankind’s greatest inventions (time, specifically the measurement, standardization of our marking of it), that they are serving their own purposes and feelings not so much the other person’s. They, likely, consider me rigid and, possibly, old fashioned. They might argue that they want to be their best, their most when we meet and the only measure they have of them is their feelings or circumstance at the time. I think I understand their perspective. I happen to disagree.
Arranging a time to meet with them is a bit of a crapshoot (a back-alley game of chance). Sometimes, both of us are in good moods whenever it happens, glad to be hanging out together. If the other person, in deference to my desires, works hard to meet at the agreed time, sometimes meeting it, other times not, it is clear, they sometimes make it clear, they have worked hard to try to please me. It is obvious that appointment keeping is, on their part, an effort. If the other person operates as they usually do, as the whim/ situation/ circumstance/ their feelings/ their spirit directs them regardless of the minutes or hours on the clock, I am usually put out. Bugged. I arrange my day around the time schedule/ appointments I have made; I organize and work towards those times together. I look forward to them. When someone shows up late, at any old time, I feel put out. My time, I have been dishonored. So I think.
The practical result of these variances of beliefs/ understandings about time is that I love them still (and, seemingly, they me); we do not get together as often as we might. Doing so requires both parties to work against their belief about how the better life works. I applaud and encourage them to do what they believe best, of course. They are seeking to live life fully as they understand it. So am, do, I. It just means that we are not often in the same worlds.
It’s kind of sad, meaning, I feel sad about the situation. But in the economy of life, perhaps it is the better thing. Better for them and better for me. Better for them because they are doing, living, as they think/ feel best, and experiencing the fruits that come from that. Better for me because I sometimes place too many of my expectations on people, something I do not have the right, authority, or ability to do. Better for me because it allows me to remain in friendship with them; to enjoy being with them when our stars align; to work on my life, on LukeyoutheU. I experience the fruits of my beliefs.
I did not expect today’s writing to go as it has.
The anniversary of my father’s birthday was yesterday. We would have been 89 but his time passed some years ago. His time physically on this earth passed but memories of him remain and invigorate.
One such memory is his joy in paying bills. He loved paying bills. He would literally rub his hands together in his excitement of it. He figured it this way: he had received or would soon receive the goods and services which he was about to pay for. He was the one who decided to purchase them in the first place (except for taxes, which he was for some reason not a big fan of. Strange, in my thinking, because of all the good taxes did for him. I am not being sarcastic).
He delighted in paying bills because he had the money to pay them. He and my mother, and, later, he and my stepmother, made sufficient money to pay their bills and a bit more besides. They worked hard and long in the business they had begun, maintained, and grew; and reaped solid rewards. They treated their employees fairly and respectfully; the people who worked for them did at least as well and in some ways better than those performing the same duties in like businesses.
Much more a practical than philosophical man, I never talked with my dad about his role, the role he had created, in the social and economic world in which he lived. Talking about things theoretically was just not his thing.
He also delighted in paying bills, I theorize, because he liked being part of a system that worked. One that, at least, worked from his perspective. You receive this, you pay that.
I appreciate very much his attitude. I also enjoy paying bills though I have not yet reached his almost glee. I hope to. I write only one or two checks a month but check my various balances at least, I’d say, once daily if not two or three times. I do find satisfaction in having credit card balances of zero when I can get them to that. I do enjoy have some bucks in the bank.
I do not know if he would think of things in the way I’m about to describe them or not. He might or might not agree with my ideas. Regardless, I think about buying for goods and services as a fortunate action I am able to do. I am glad for the work that has gone into thinking of, designing, financing, material resource procuring, manufacturing, transporting, presenting, selling a t-shirt that I like. A lot goes into a t-shirt. Many of the products that you and I buy have had tens of people working on them, involved in getting that product to you. It is great to benefit from their work and expertise. If I like the final product enough to buy it, I should certainly pay for it.
Money is like blood, the channels goods and services go through like veins: for their best operation there needs to be flow. The willingness and work that is necessary like the beating of a heart. I receive blood not to keep it forever, not to hoard it away, but to give and pay back and pay forward. To help sustain the human system which helps me is so many, many ways.
As before mentioned, my dad did not particularly enjoy paying taxes. He did pay his taxes, let me make it clear, fully and faithfully but not joyfully as he paid his other bills. I was often struck by this incongruity. A sizable portion of my dad’s customers received, in one form or another, financial assistance from the government. Which then allowed those customers the funds to buy the services and goods my father sold. The financial assistance they received came from the taxes he paid. Taxes, including the taxes of many others, helped support my dad’s business. His income. Without the financial assistance his customers received, my dad would not have done as nearly as well. We are all part of a system. That system certainly can be improved, needs to be improved, is not perfect; that system includes not only government but businesses large, small, and gigantic; not everyone has the same ability but all (I think) should have a decent if modest life regardless of their ability. That means those who gain the most from the system, those with the most, should pay by far the most in percentage and actual amounts in taxes. That’s how I make sense of things. That makes sense to me.
In the biggest picture: we all take (breath, food, the accumulated knowledge and work of the generations before us). It is smart for all of us to give. And be happy to do so. To be happily willing to pay because we have received far more, receive this day, today, more, than we could ever have earned ourselves alone, or repay.
I’m off, after expedited back exercises, to my day job.
My schedule today allowed me some flexibility and I took advantage of it. I have already worked a couple hours on the LukeyoutheU website this morning, opting to follow my enthusiasm. Not that I’m unenthused by this project.
I’m back! is true but not the subject of this morning’s writing. Instead, the subject is my back, that is, the rear surface of my body from my shoulders to my hips and, in particular, the spine, muscles, and ligaments therein. My earlier writing, really the sitting I did while writing, has brought back a too-frequent ailment: an aching lower back. Even now, after just this last sentence, I had to stand up and stretch. Boy that felt good. But only temporarily so.
To alleviate the pain, to ameliorate the situation, I went to physical therapy. The helpful therapist gave me twice daily exercises to complete. I do them once a day. Or, should I say, I do them nearly every day; and have not gotten to them yet today. The longer in the day I wait to do them, the less likely I am to do at all. On a logarithmic scale. At say noon, chances are even that I will not do them. By three or four, forget it. I decide I’ll do them the following day.
There’s a line in Joni Mitchell’s song Big Yellow Taxi that goes you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone and that for sure is my case regarding prolonged sitting and my back. I would at time spend two, three, more hours sitting in one stretch (but without a stretch haha) without getting up. Often I was working on the LyU website or LyU writing; sometimes I was surfing the net or playing other games. An hour, two, more would pass like <insert here the snapping of my fingers>.
No longer. An hour in I feel it. An uncomfortable ache usually accompanied by an onset of weariness. I have to get up. To stand up and tall. Eight months, six months ago it became unbearable. Pretty much acute. I could move but only stiffly; it hurt much of the time no matter what actions I took or didn’t. I got the referral from a doctor to join the world of PT. The therapist gave me exercises. My back felt better. I was careful in what I did, lifted. I went back to check in and got additional exercises. What I had done daily before and new ones. My back felt better still. Feels good, usually, has no pain. Except when I don’t do my exercises. Except when I sit for too long (twenty-five minutes?) without standing up. Stretching. Today, I have done neither my exercises nor enough standing up and moving. My back is letting me know it.
Without a fully working back you are in tough shape, or, at least, I am in tough shape. So many things I want to do I cannot. Sit for a long time, for one. Carry heavy objects, for another. Fell young and independent, for a third.
Physical Therapy has made all the difference. I now usually feel no aching, no pain. Only when I do not take care of my back. It is letting itself be known/ remembered/ cared for by me.
The thing is I want to work on the website, I want to sit at the keyboard and write. Maybe I should get a standing desk? Now I’m under the clock. On a deadline.
About this situation, about these developments, about this frequently-part-of-getting-older I want to complain. I want to moan. I have been tempted to give up my dreams, goals, calling.
But I’m too smart for that. I have been in similar situations before in my not-brief life, situations where a body part had failed, broken, made itself known, worked on them, and come back full, better. Come back either to such a full recovery that I consciously think of the issue no more; or made the lifestyle changes necessary to mitigate or remove the issue. Examples: infections between my big and second toe, left foot; knees strained/ sprained from over-lifting weights; childhood degenerative hip bone disease; crooked teeth. You get the picture.
I expect adjusting to my lower pain sensitivity will continue the need for specific exercises and habits. Maybe for the rest of my life.
Here is why and how that is good. Here is why and how I am going to make my lower back situation good.
I do not need/ want to be always at my desk typing. I’m not a slow typist though I certainly could use increased speed. But I would, in the past, spend hours and hours writing, typing, editing, retyping, typing again. I am not going to live forever. If I am fortunate, I have forty more years. I’ve heard from two people in their eighties that they wished they were again in their sixties (because of their slower and current-possibly-life-lasting physical conditions). That gives me maybe twenty-five more active years. All this as long as I do not contract a debilitating disease or have an accident. That nothing else befalls me which would truncate my life. I want/ need to, am going to write; typing, not dictating, not hand-writing, not video-creating is the most efficient/ better way for me to write; I need to sit (maybe stand) to do it.
The solution: type less. That probably does not mean my writing production will go down. In fact, I need and want to write-by-way-of-typing more! I have many books I want to write. So the amount of creative, first-though writing will increase. The area where I can reduce my typing, need to reduce my typing, is in editing. I will not be able to go over and over and over again each piece or most pieces or maybe any piece. I’ll have to, will, become a bit more succinct, and certainly clearer, about what I intend to write before writing it. And become a better typist. Fewer errors. Which means paying more attention. Learning tighter skills.
I think I can do these things, take these actions. I think I can, which is the lifting-off place for I can, which is the rocket which when launched becomes I am, which as done takes me to places wanted and new.
Oh this is not a flawless practice. There will be accidents and explosions, days when writing will not be done. There will probably be Apollo 1 and Challenger disasters. But I will be back here and writing, regardless. The will becomes the way. I will be until I am not, and at that time I won’t be doing anything else either.
SO my lower back pain is good. It’s causing me to move forward, to not dilly-dally, to improve my craft and skill. To write better from the get-go. To become more efficient. To be more bold and brave as my editing often dilutes the strengths of my originals.
That’s making lemonade out of lemons. (Which requires a ton of sugar, by the way, something not so great for long term health in its added forms.)
But there is another level, another factor, another desire which my lower back pain is pushing, pulling me towards: getting back to exercising. Not only getting back to exercising but learning to exercise better than I have ever before. That’s where I’m headed.
As someone approaching sixty (!), it may be/ is unusual for someone to think about building more muscles, about becoming more healthy. But that’s where I am. What I am doing. Having now usually set aside time daily for back exercises, I am introducing other muscle and flexibility exercises. Learning them from reputable guides.
My back, which at first set me back, has now become a springboard to not only let me get back, but to step quickly, to pull me forward. It the two specific areas of my life that I have most wanted to advance in: my writing and my health. I’m not regularly making desserts (a nod to sugary lemonade); I’m daily eating more nutritious meals.
To be clear, I don’t expect to be “perfect” in this or any endeavor. There will be days when I won’t. Yesterday, yikes! If you saw what I ate…
But that was one afternoon. The trend is still going forward.
One more thing about backs: when I think abstractly of a back, of a spine, I associate it with having a strong back, being strong. I also associate it with standing tall, having confidence. My lower back situation has helped me to be more conscious of my back. To slouch less; to stand more upright; to pull my stomach in.
Also, to stand up for myself. Whatever I writer is not going to be perfect. Parts might, if I’m lucky, get close. But, overall, someone, perhaps many, are going to find faults. I’m going to see in rereading how I would write things this way now. Better. Regardless of others, or my future and past self, though, my lower back is helping to remind me to do what I can when I can. And to know that is good. Maybe not as theoretically good as I can. But good enough. Good enough so I can go on writing and thinking more; adding, I hope and intend, more good.
You guessed it: I’m off to do my back exercises.
It was with a sense of wonder and a giggle of joy that an old friend of mine, way back in our college days, would pick out the lint from my belly button. Inexplicably, it would gather; intermittently she’d ask about it and want to pick it out. It was, they were, the gathered lint and her delight in picking them out, funny things. I imagined that my innie belly button, behaving like a sea anemone, gathered the fibers from my shirts and clump them together for some purpose? For the fun of it? I am still not sure that I understand why/ how. My belly hairs tentacles?
Possibly/ probably because I trim I no longer have hairs in my button. We, also, live far away from one another. We see each other only rarely. Maybe the lint will have returned when we again in person meet.
Last week, the earphone jack on my iPhone stopped working. It had become progressively temperamental in the months before; I had had to twist the jack to establish contact for phone conversations and music listening. It had gotten to the point where I first confirmed I could hear through the wired earbuds music before I phoned. I assumed if I could hear so could the person on the other end of the line. That was not always the case. Sometimes I could hear them but they could not hear me. I was reminded of bad phone connections, people saying loudly can you hear me? as depicted in old movies. It was a bother to me and to those with whom I spoke. I will say that they were gracious about it.
Last week, as I said before, the jack stopped working. I use my iPhone for many, many more purpores than only making phone calls, phone calls are but a small percentage, but if the phone aspect of it did not work than the whole iPhone was essentially worthless to me. It would be time to buy another. The phone I have now, a 6Splus, is the third I have had of the same model. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it; but, more than that, I like it. I am used to it. I want a button on the bottom in the middle to push. I do not want facial ID. I own it whole. It and its predecessors have been my faithful companions for seven years. I have spent more time during those years interacting with it than any other piece of machinery or furniture except my bed. I am often asleep when I’m on my bed. I hope not the same when on my iPhone. Though scrolling records might prove otherwise. I have interacted with it perhaps, and this is a bit scary to think of, more than with all the people I have interacted during the same period of time. If that ain’t a revelation.
I was resigned but ready to get a new iPhone if necessary. Had looked at the current models. Knew that my current phone would soon not be able to accept software updates. Did not look forward to the effort in deciding on a new one, expense, changeover, learning new habits of swiping, getting air buds or jerry-rigging a wired earbuds workaround. But that’s life. Sometimes, you gotta roll with it. Work it around in your mind until you find a way to see the change as in your favor.
Then, on a facetime with my family, using said 6Splus iPhone, wired earbuds after I confirmed I could hear and be heard, my brother suggested what I, honestly, had thought of earlier that day: maybe it's lint. Maybe lint has gotten in there, just as lint had about a year ago made its way into the power cord plugin. Same situation there: unreliable connection making me confirm the battery was being recharged and replugging it in, sometimes again and again, until it was. Same concerns with getting a new iPhone as with potential ear jack failure.
It was lint that time; and it was lint, again, this. The repair guys got it cleaned out in a few minutes. Neither, for the power or the ear buds jacks, charged me.
What’s this got to do with life? Well, at the least, it’s a part of it. Life has lots and lots of little things, some medium, and a variable number of large in it. That’s my experience, anyway. Lint is a small thing but in the right and wrong place its placement and existence can make a big difference. The lint in my belly button allowed a playful and somewhat intimate connection with my friend; the lint in my iPhone blocked the clarity of communication I want with my friends and family. Lint. Debris brought about from the usual, normal, barely-thought-about practice of wearing clothes. Little tiny pieces, wear, that break off and collect. Then causes problems when it's collected enough. Like food scraps down a kitchen drain pipe.
07-25-23 7:19amPDST according to my phone
Not checking into a hotel, or a restaurant…well, perhaps the latter. How is my decision/ declaration regarding In-n-Out going? Have I eaten there in the past eleven days, have I succumbed?
I am happy to report that no, I have not. I have once in that time been tempted. Last Friday, Fridays being days I have perhaps often eaten at a certain In-n-Out that could be, depending on how I went, on my way home from my day job, I was tempted. I thought about it, briefly, as I drove down the freeway towards home. I decided to get off an earlier exit and remove the temptation. It worked. I have barely thought about In-n-Out since.
Lest you think my victory complete and easy, alas, it has not been so. I have not eaten at an In-n-Out in the past week and a half. I have eaten, and not tiny portions, at a Taco Bell; had peanut M&Ms, Doritos, and Kettle Brand chips on my last break Sunday; yesterday had a package of Sour Patch Kids and a medium unbuttered (but still oil-cooked) popcorn at an 8:50am matinee, a Del Taco meal #1 (two tacos with the crimmings, small fries, medium Coke, followed by a large chocolate shake from Cold Stone Creamery. The Del Taco and Cold Stone definitely taking me out of my way as I made those detours on my way home.
So I have not entirely been an angel when it comes to healthy eating. The other days, I did fine; lost some weight; according to my scale, dropped my metabolic age by a year on Tuesday morning. Before my Tuesday morning and early afternoon pig out.
Why am I concerned, so concerned, about me diet? Because my youth, when I could and did eat just about anything that I wanted, without (at least then) much obvious effects, is over. Because I have had an oxalate kidney stone (the most common type of kidney stone, of which there are four varieties) and do not want another. The pain of passing it is seared into my memory but perhaps not so powerfully as to get me to adjust my eating all the time time. What I eat makes a difference. Fries are to be avoided; they are relatively high in oxalates. You know what is extremely high in oxalates? Spinach. I used to eat it by the handful, straight out of the bag. Thinking I was doing myself Popeye good. Instead, I was forming that stone.
My other main dietary concern, besides general weight gain, is added sugar. The Coke was good and the chocolate shake was super tasty in going down but introduced a lot of sugar. Too much. I tiptoed into prediabetes by .1% during my last annual exam. It’s not where I want to stay. It’s not something I want to increase. I’ve known and know those with diabetes. It’s no laughing or easy matter.
Nonetheless, I ate it all, yesterday between 9am and 1pm, simultaneously relishing the tastes, and my impudence (so there, doctors, nurses, health, I’m going to do what I damn well please) and being aware I was, in the intermediate and long runs, doing myself no favors. Possibly doing myself great harm.
One meal, one day of bad, sugar-filled, high saturated fat, high bad carbs, high sodium food is not likely to kill me. It may not have a lasting detrimental effect. (It did add almost a pound and take away a metabolic year.) But it’s not a practice that is likely to get me where I want. I want to get down to a certain body fat and then add muscle; I want to live happy and healthy, cognitively fully able and aware, get ready for this one, until I am a hundred. Sixty is soon here; seventy and eighty not far behind. I have to act now and be lucky to get to what I want. No one is going to do it for me. (Nor should they.) My job, my opportunity, my chance is to alter my environment to reduce and remove temptation. I’ve tried often, so very often, to “muscle my way” through the temptors but they have often gotten their ways with me. A better plan is to avoid them and to employ my time with other and better rewarding activities.
I also hope that by writing these specifics and plans here I will further encourage myself to act in my better interest. Nothing like public accountability. Maybe it will work if used along with my other tools.
My health, I am told by my doctor, is decent, perhaps even good, and here comes the kicker, for my age. I do not want to be “healthy” according to my age. When measured against others my age. I see so many of those my age not looking great. Not in good health. My doctor sees sick people all day almost every day. I had better be in “good” health compared to those he sees, his reference group. A reference group of, forgive me for saying it, self-indulgent people. I do not want to be in okay health for my age. I want to be in good health for someone in his forties. Someone who is thirty.
This may be an impossible dream. It is an impossible dream if I flat out accept it as impossible. There are situations in my past where the unlikely, the unlikely and good, did occur in my life. In every time I can think of, I was an active participant in making my life better; and my better-for-me actions usually started with the thought that I could be better, get better. No matter what others said, or “normal” people did or lived or experienced. I am not so much concerned about average or other people's experiences as I am concerned about mine. Can’t try or do much about theirs; I can affect mine. What am I doing to improve my life, the lives of those around me, and in particular those I love, what I am doing to improve my society, life, the world, dare even I add, the future? Not much. Usually, I am not doing much. I am doing some, though. I am thinking, acting, considering, deciding, committing, executing. Executing as in killing a bad habit and other bad habits, executing as in carrying out what I have set myself to carry out.
LukeyoutheU is my principal way. Also, haha, my principled way.
Look at the time! I’ve got to dash. Speed, back exercise super fast, and my day job ahead.
I do not like the word routine. I have seen the value of routines; I have somewhat elaborate ones for myself, particularly the one I use in the morning where this has to follow that in order for me to get done all that I want to get done (being aware of and deciding my day’s commitments and goals, things I want to get done today, people I want to talk with, morning ablutions, skin care process, looking at good as I can, measurements of physical progress like weighing myself and recording the stats including estimated metabolic age, writing moment daily, preparing lunch, doing my back exercises, more skin care and hair routine, driving to my day job, leaving in a specific window for the lightest and best traffic, arriving early so I can take my time once there to arrive on time with a settled and looking, feeling composed. That’s the shorter version.) Then there are the routines I employ at work to get my various tasks there done. And the checkins with those with whom I work.
I do not like the word routine because it makes me think of normal, usual, dull. All things I do not want to experience all the time and think of as what my life is about it. First do this, then do that. Boring. I have tried to train my unconscious to rake care of my boring tasks so I can think of things while my body is performing them. Try as I might, however, my unconscious typically forgets things. Today, it forgot to get up when the alarms actually sounded. I fell back asleep at 4:00am not waking until 5am. That squishes everything in my morning routine and forces me to skip some of it. No back exercises for me today, at least not this morning. The chances that I’ll do them later, when I get back from my job: I give myself about 3%.
The thing about routines, however, is that they work. For them to work well, I have to design and monitor and tweak them, and I do. Multiple steps that in most cases are the best to occur in a certain order. Undress and weigh myself immediately after getting back from the bathroom, putting the night clothes back in their drawer while then removing todays undergarments, including unrolling the socks, placing them on top of today’s pants out ready to go. It’s all far too tedious to mention. Thank you and I’m sorry for example’s sake that you had to read it. These are the facts of life, as far as I understand it, and necessary.
Routines carried out well get things done. Get things done that I want to get done. Like writing moment. Right now I am looking at the clock. My time is running short, I’m concerned about getting everything done, done well, getting a little anxious about it all and meanwhile another minute has passed. All because I did not get up when the alarm bells rungeth.
Two things essential to get out before I go:
Routines, that is, the building of one thing after another, one thing at a time and well, are, I believe, the best way to optimize and optimalize one’e experience. Optimize, it seems to me, at least these days, is usually used to mean to make the most money; and that’s what I want to do, who is kidding who. I want to write books which people, many people, find useful and good; and, in the process, make money to support a good life for me. I want to have enough money to live safely and healthily, to have a home of my own, money in the bank in case of emergencies. I want to have money I can freely give to others that I see are in need as I feel so inclined. I want to invest in myself and in others and in causes and people I think are helping humanity forward. To pretend I do not want to make money from my writing efforts would be less than fully true. Money is like language. You need both to operate well in this modern world.
Optimalization is a word I made up to describe what I also want to do: to encourage others, to encourage myself, to act not only for money or even primarily for money but for optimal life. Optimal for me and for others and for others who will future be. I want to optimize and optimalize.
The other thing essential is that the word routine is a heavy one for me, and not heavy in a good way. It drags me down. I know I need routines. I know they are the best steps I can take to get me to where I want to go. How can I help myself to take them?
How about using the amazing power we have of reframing, of renaming. Instead of routines I am going to do multiphasic processes. Go mutliphasic. Get it? Multi-phases actions (rountines) that I take to get me where I want to go. If I think of them that way, in makes them sciencey or, really, science fictiony. Like shooting phasers. That’s a way I can get behind the idea.
A coworker at my day job is leaving in two weeks, a boss of mine let slip, and, I have to say, I am crying no tears. The person is pleasant enough, when they want to be, and participates/ works enough, when they want to. But there is a lot of behind-the-scenes standing around that I have seen from them; a good deal of not using their brain which is remarkably able in the areas of their lives that they want to be.
(I have got to say that though I am used to using he/ she pronouns; was educated to use them at my various school; trained to use them through familiarity with their use by my society; have found they quite useful to use; and still will, probably, in many circumstances use them as the better option; the option/ newfound societal/ young people’s way of using the plurals they and them instead of the more descriptive if gender-fixed and binary he and she does come into good use at times. One such time as now. By not identifying the coworker’s in question presumed and, in their case, decided gender, they are given more anonymity. I feel more free to talk of the situation; the use of gender-neutral pronouns lets/ causes you to assign my coworker a gender, or not. Did you think of a like-example in your life, that person likely of a binary gender, or did you assign a gender, saying that those of a gender always or more often operate in this way?
The way I am talking about is habitually half-commitment. Habitually only working/ doing/ being when others are watching/ measuring them. You.
You may consider that I am overstating the case and I might be. Nonetheless, please consider it: that if we are going to do something, act on behalf of ourselves (which we always are, even if we try to duck the responsibility) and on the behalf of others, it makes sense, to me at least, that we use all of our abilities. Abilites of decision, action, productive activity, at least while we are being paid for our service. As a general rule. There may be at times, possibly frequent times, extenuating circumstances. But as a general rule: work with what you’ve got to the best of what you’ve got. Because others want it and you’ll be more likely to receive their praise and rewards, yes; but, mostly, because you only live once. I only live once.
It makes sense to me that we each, I try to, live fully. As fully as I can because I only get so many days, weeks, months, years, decades in this life. Why not experience them, gain from them, use them to the full?
I did not get to my physical therapy (back exercises) yesterday in the morning because I did not wake up early enough (make the time), in the evening because I did not feel like it (have the mental toughness to get off ass, as it were, do them). I did feel stiffer during the day and at the end of it. This morning, at the least, I have time to do some of them. Tomorrow, I will make time to do them all.
Yesterday was a most excellent usual day. In other words, I would like to have experiences like yesterday usually. My work at my day job went very well and I was appreciated for it. Rather than crashing, and taking a nap (don’t get me wrong: I love naps and think they are mighty useful and needed at times), rather than rolling into, allowing myself to be taken away by, a favorite TV show or movie, I kept rolling. I had wanted to rearrange some furniture in my room in the hopes that a new piece of exercise equipment could be accommodated. I succeeded.
That’s the thing about yesterday: it wasn’t a monumental day, particularly a milestone day. It was a good, solid, brick-by-brick, steel-girder-by-steel-girder building day. I worked, as it were, both exteriorly (for my day job) and interiorly (for me). But both are part of the same.
Let me explain.
The same that both are part of are my day job and my other work. The day job is where I am working primarily for other people; my other work, which is the rest of my life, is where I am working primarily for myself. The operative word here is primarily. Even when I am primarily working for an organization I do not control, such as the case of my day job, I am also working for me. The experiences I have, and make, the skills I learn and employ, also improve me. Train me. Build me. Help me by giving me additional form in my life. Necessitate me working well with others, being attuned to where they are emotionally, what they are doing physically. I am working for the shareholders of the company I work for as well as my bosses. I am also, at the same time, working for me. I am maintaining or building (or allowing to become weaker) my skills, my enthusiasm, my being.
The other work I have is the work I decide to do when I am not actively working for others. That work, for me, certainly includes LukeyoutheU (which I love, most days, and which I soldier on, others); it includes tasks I want to get done to keep, maintain, and improve my personal situation. Sometimes, watching a movie is my best move. Sometimes, it is all I can do. Better than alternative actions/ inactions.
At my day job, yesterday I worked on my normal duties and then some. The some was the organization of the front desk. I had for the few shifts prior, amongst my other duies, been reorganizing what goes where, arranged by function. I grouped supplies with tasks. Yesterday morning I was ready to check in with my bosses to see if they approved my arrangement. They did. They thanked me and voiced their appreciation a few times. It felt great. I love feeling great. I’ll take feeling great in pretty much any circumstance, including, certainly, my day job. Good job!
Yesterday afternoon, after that work was complete, I picked up at my mailbox a piece of equipment meant to strengthen my legs. The equipment itself is small but requires a counterbalancing weight/ structure. Most people, possibly just about everyone else uses a door. For a couple of reasons, I don't want to do that. Instead I am using a large piece of furniture. To make the furniture work, I had to move a shelf out of the way. Which meant, of course, moving everything on the shelf. I suppose I could have just moved it over. But moving the shelf to make way for room using the equipment which depends on the weight of the furniture opened up design and space-rearranging possibilities. Four hours later I was done.
I have got to say I am happy with the result. The change increased the visual space in the room, reminded me of everything on the shelf, and the table that had to be moved as a result; let me clean, rearrange, decide, and even throw out a couple of expired items. It looks like I want it to look. It, the newly arranged space, serves the roles I want it to serve.
Clearly these activities, preparing for exercise, the moving, the room re-arranging, have to do with me and my personal experience in life. What is often, in my experience, what often seems to be forgotten, is that outside of one’s day job is affected by the rest of your life. Feeling better outside of a job can often help you feel at least okay on the job. My exercising more will help my mood and performance at work. My home re-arranging and my work re-arranging both benefit from the mental models of wise use that I create and use in doing them.
What I am trying to say is that it’s all one life. I have one life; you have one life. We live them wherever we are, whatever we are doing. What you do in one part (say, at your day job) has an effect on the other (when you are not at your day job); and vice versa.
What I experienced, what I helped to create/ created yesterday was a wave. A wave (to stretch the analogy) which I then rode. I rode and worked it and kept it going at my day job; and continued riding it, working it, and keeping it going at home. It made for a great day. I felt like I had accomplished a lot. I did.
I realize that not every day can be a summoning and riding day. Not every day is good for a surf. But more can be. At least, I can more. I think it likely, dear reader, that you can, too. Creating the wave, riding the wave, takes active participation. Active awareness and work. And can and often does arrive to joy. The joy of life, of adding to it, and to the universe.
I rode the day before yesterday’s wave through the first part of yesterday. Then, as the waves we see do, if crashed. Things flowed great then they did not, not as much. I was indecisive about what I should do: complete my back exercises or follow the plan as I had previously laid it out, and go to the grocery store soon after it opened at eight. The problem with doing my back exercises fully was that they would take half an hour more; the problem with going later to the store was that more people would be there later and I like to get in and out.
Add a wrinkle: I ordered a few items to be picked up from another store, this one offering free drive up delivery (I drive up, they deliver). An order takes two hours to process; I did not order it early enough to assure that it would be ready once I finished grocery shopping. I decided to risk that it would be ready; which gave me the rationale I needed (the excuse) to do the rest of my back exercises later. As it turned out (as I let happen), I did not do them later. The chance I give myself of doing my back exercise after noon is about three percent.
Driving to the grocery store I like, in the store’s parking lot, to avoid as many speed bumps as possible. I was able to drive across the mostly empty lot. My decision to go early paid off, I thought. I was in and out of the store quickly. Bought the last bag they had of something I especially wanted. Back in the car, I checked my phone and saw my order was ready at the other store. Score!
I had earlier that morning decided to get my car washed and planned on doing it the next day, which would be today, after I finished my day job. That way the car would dry on my highway drive home. Yesterday, though, after the grocery store, I changed my mind. I went to a car wash that could be on the route between the grocery and the general goods store if I went a mile or out of my way. I like to get things done; I wanted to ride the wave. So I got my car wash. On the way into its parking lot, people were holding up signs and waving. I was set on my now second car wash plan. I paid them no attention.
Driving out of the wash, my car now scrubbed, clean, and wet, I saw more signs and people. The owner’s profit in doing the wash was spit in half that day with the organization represented by the sign holders and wavers. I am usually a big fan of charity benefits. Not this time. This organization needs no more money and should not, in my opinion, be funded as much as it already is. It would be better for all, I think, if it received less money. And here I had added my support to it.
I should have read the signs. A topic for another day.
The order pickup at the general goods store went without a hitch. I decided, even with my not-yet (and, as it turned out, never) completed day’s back exercises; even with my showing support for an organization I do not want to show support, that I was still riding the wave. I could do no wrong.
Two minor car issues had been bugging me for weeks: a tiny touch-up needed and promised by a body shop, and visit to my car’s dealership in hopes of getting a falling-down driver sun visor fixed. The visor stays up when folded closed but will not stay up when in use, folded open: it hangs down halfway. I have to bend down my head, literally, to see the colors of traffic lights. I like to get things done and thought: today’s the day. I had had trouble with both shops in making appointments. With more planning and patience on my part, I could have. I decided instead to try my luck and just show up. Neither shop is particularly close to my house or on the way to anywhere else I usually go; still, I went. It was Saturday morning and I thought they might be busy; but, hey, I was still on the wave: maybe they had such good operations they could accommodate me.
I decided not to risk how long the repairs might take so I went home and put away my groceries which included refrigerated and frozen items. Good move!
I could then, of course, just stayed at home. Doing something useful, such as, I don’t know, my back exercises. Working on LukeyoutheU. Even, if I had wanted, I could have relaxed, watched something streaming or on DVD. (No day job that day.)
But no. I was determined to ride the wave. What a charmed life I lead! Everything goes my way, all the time. (Everything does go my way, it does go your way, in the very biggest picture, but that’s another topic for another day.) I thought how marvelous is, how marvelous when, I go waltzing to the auto body and dealership and they magically, quickly, efficiently, take my car in and do the work I want.
But no. Neither could.
I wasn’t thinking; I was chasing the emotion of the wave. Wanting it, the high, to continue. Wanting it to last and last.
The first did not have the personnel; the dealership did not have the personnel or facilities as the customers with appointments had first priority. And there were a lot of them. The place was packed. What was I thinking? Why was I screwing around with the system they have in place? If I had worked with their system I could have worked, it would have worked, with mine. I’d have been home doing things useful. Things rewarding. Instead, I set myself up for denial. Wasted the gas. Flushed away the time.
I drove home. Or, should I say, I drove towards home.
Along the way, I thought about what I might eat. I’d had a protein drink and some berries, that or the drink with a banana my usual breakfast; now it was time for lunch. I was a bit hungry. I had food at home. Perfectly good food. Food I’d chosen that was tasty and wise (nutricious). But I thought of the fast foods I pass along the way. I don’t know if there was even one I’d go to that was truly, without detour, along the way. I knew I could not go to an In-n-Out. I had promised, promised to myself, promised on paper (well, computer screen), had written down that I would not go for a hundred days. The nearest one was quite out of the way, anyway. But you know what is near my house. Not on the way but only a mile away. Taco Bell!
And damned if I didn’t drive right by my house, if I wasn’t fifty feet from my home, with its food waiting including the bag I’d been lucky enough to buy. I drove past it, knowing what I was doing, saying my myself I wanted time someplace else but home, someplace outside (outside but in my car, mind you, eating while parked in a parking lot). Yup, I drove to Taco Bell. Not only had two chalupas and a hard taco but a large soda too.
Watched kids advertising one of the only other organizations I also do not want to support standing holding signs (but not waving) on the sidewalk while I ate. Prompting their fundraising car wash, a different one. If that don’t beat all.
I crashed from wave. I would have been smart to bounce.
or better yet, fly. The thought came to yesterday, at the very end of my writing: instead of just bouncing after the crash of a wave (and I’m pretty sure all waves eventually crash, or dissipated, cannot be ridden/ don’t have the power to be ridden forever), why not fly? Why take an analogy, a certain mental picture comparing our mental lives with the physical world, and keep it earth-bound? Is my mind earth-bound? It may be, according to the measurements of some, or many; it may have to be as I have never left the earth’s atmosphere. But even flying is working with air and winds and gravity, all earth things.
Rather than go way out there in my thoughts, let me return. Instead of just thinking about bouncing, which is already a physically unlikely scenario after riding a wave, typically one would stop or crash, why stop at a bounce? A bounce is me bouncing back from the end of the wave, of riding that wave I rode two days ago. Reacting to being crashed into the “solid ground.” The ground of not feeling as jubilant, not at happy, not as flowing with the universe. The auto body shop didn’t have the people to do the touch up I needed that morning; the auto dealership could not fit me in. I felt a bit deflated. I am not, I was shone once again, the king of the world, able to do what I want, when I want, that the water would part for me because I chose to walk through them. That realization, or, much better put, my choice of that understanding of my situation, I allowed it to cause me to be bummed. I had a crash; thought and talked yesterday about wanting a bounce.
As you know, I playing into that crash, thinking it bad that that was how I felt. I sought to pacify, coddle, chemically and psychologically uplift myself. I wanted a bounce. I wanted to feel better through eating immediately-gratifying-but-not-nutritional-or-weight-reducing food. That action worked; but only for a short while, while I still chewed. Then the feeling left. I felt deflated. Like a deflated balloon. No such bounce there. It went away entirely probably about when the effect of the soda’s caffeine petered out.
Ridiculously attentive readers may have noticed I addressed the chemical portion of my feelings but not the psychological. There was a play of “haha, brain, world, God, I am going to do what I want to do. I am going to drive right by my house and not stop; I am going to go to Taco Bell and have what I want and you’re not going to stop me. Haha. I am going to get away with this.
The thrill of defiance, of sticking it to the forces that “would keep me down,” was an undercurrent of my play, I can’t deny. And I did feel triumphant, and powerful, for a short time. But the feeling passed. Was of my past.
How am I going to bounce back from this? I thought. Like I always have. Which was, well, to bounce. To turn from what I had been doing, forgiving myself for doing it, and trying to find that wave to ride again.
What if, this had not occurred to me before, what if, I realized yesterday, that instead of trying to bounce, instead of trying to bounce back, have that mental picture, mental concept in my mind, what if I instead changed the framework. It was I who made the pictures of riding a wave, of bouncing after it crashed, two mental pictures themselves, in the first place.
That’s when I said: instead of bouncing after the wave (the wave and the image of a wave I like very much, find descriptive of how I felt), why not fly?
It is a dream, in a way, this life thing. More than a dream, yes. But also a dream. In a dream, in my dreams, anyway, I can sometimes alter an image to more reflect what I want. Change the course of the story. So after the wave crashed instead of bouncing I could choose to fly. That is, I could choose to ride the wave until the wave came near to its end; then take off, float above the situation, levitate, see the situation, appreciate that I was on the wave, and decide to look for another. By floating to it. Or doing something else.
I hope this makes sense when I read it again. When you read it. One way or another, it shows how I was thinking/ how i think.
Bouncing is reacting habitually to the action and gravity of being crashed, of being thrown ashore. Flying is changing the framework, working with the feeling before it gets to the crash. Bouncing is letting things happen, allowing emotions alone to control my life experience. Flying allows the feelings to be experienced and have their time, almost the whole of the time that the wave lasts, and then taking off, looking from above, with the perspective of distance from the emotions to decide to fly (do) something else. Bouncing is reaction to the physical situation and have my course decided for a while by the bounce. Flying is changing the process from emotion→reaction to emotion→deciding→acting.
I had a chance yesterday to try out this new mental paradigm. (New to me, anyway. New to the world, to human experience? Those things I do not know.) I was, unusually for me especially since the era of Covid, at a mall. I was there deciding if I was going to make a long-considered purchased. I had wanted to buy this thing for months. Actually, a couple of years. It was not, in the scheme of life, a large purchase but it was more than the cost of a meal at a nice restaurant. It possibly committed me to future expenses as well.
All signs were good for me to maybe take the leap. (Another mental picture. Not going there now.) I had gotten most of my questions answered about the product. I had been actively ruminating on the idea of buying it, playing through all the known ramifications, for a week. The benefits seemed to more than outweigh the costs. I found a parking spot in a jam-packed parking lot, under cover, easily enough. The salesperson had his eyes on me immediately when I walked into his space and offered his assistance. I felt good emotionally and rationally about the whole thing. I asked more questions and most of them were answered. Enough of them. I tried a sample of the product. All good. I was on a wave. Love that feeling, that knowing. What to live that feeling, that knowing. I committed. I bought the product. The salesperson seemed happy too.
So far, so good. Loving the wave. Let’s ride!
As I was in the mall already, I thought about what I had enjoyably done there before and what I might want to do then. Ah, the food court! There is a vendor I’ve liked, food I don’t often eat, in the court. As I walk there, I’m thinking: boy, this is going to taste good. It’s not going to cost much money. I rarely eat this. I wonder how many calories it has. It’s tasty, that’s for sure. Yum. Is it nutritious? Do I really want to eat it? Do I need to eat it?
All the time, I’m walking towards the court. I was on the first floor; it’s a big mall. I thought the court was over this way. I knew it was on the second floor. Which escalator to take? I walked one way and doubled back; I took a corridor to my right, thought, oh, right, it’s over here. Found a way up. Got to the court. Packed, I tell you, packed with people on this Sunday night. Got to a hundred feet of my favorite vendor’s stand. Decided, nah, I don’t need to eat here. Walked away. Threaded my way through the crowds out the mall and to my car. Driving its one-way lane, I was directed to the covered parking lot’s extremity. Plenty of open parking spots here. Drove out, and home.
Where I made myself a delicious mac and cheese with boldly spicy tuna. No crash. Flight.
I’m writing these without reading what I wrote the day before. This decision is either brilliant, or foolish, or somewhere in between. Likely it’s the latter. Some days, increasingly more ofr my days, are full of activity, consideration, waiting, doing, using. So much so that I can lose the bead of the day before’s entry. We were talking about riding the wave, thinking not to crash but to bounce when that wave came to its end; if we can imagine a bounce, why not fly?
There is an aphorism, a perhaps hackneyed-but-still-useful saying, that goes free as a bird. The implied desire of the sayer is to be free, without obligation to earthly (read: mundane) activities. The idea is to be above it all, to not have worries, to be able to go where one wants when one wants. To fly like a bird, singing your little birdsong, be carefree, doing whatever the mood strikes you.
There’s a problem with the analogy. From a human’s perspective, paying attention only to the life of the bird that the viewer sees it, the outside viewer imagines that the bird’s life is free because it can fly. Wouldn't it be nice to be able to leave everything behind and jump up into the sky and fly? In other words, wouldn’t my life, my life as a human, be better if it were different and without responsibilities?
Let’s consider not how we wish things to be but as the whole of what they are. That bird is not free. That bird is scrapping around the best that it can to find food and survive.
Almost all the birds I have ever seen, especially the littler ones, appear always on the move, with their eyes searching for food. They go from here to there, hopping on the ground (not so easily able to walk), without hands, to bend down and peck at, bite at, food. Little bits of food. They don’t have hands to carry their food. They either eat the food, then and there, or take it back to their nest to feed others.
If I’ve got any of this wrong, please, ornithologists, tell me. LukeyoutheU.com/comment
They need to eat frequently/ all the time because living and flying take a good deal of energy. They have no convenience stores to buy their food from. (Do any convenience stores anywhere sell bird food? Maybe those by public duck ponds?). No containers to store food in, no shelves to place cardboard boxes and cans of it. No refrigerators or freezers for long term storage.
To be free like a bird is to be free to frequently/ constantly searching for your next bite of food.
About the idea that being able to fly necessarily makes one free, free as a bird, you may be forgetting that flight takes energy, time, and effort. It is not free. It is work. It may be joyful and sometimes possibly exhilarating work but it is still work.
The act of flying is not for free. The birds have to have first dared to fly, survived their first attempts, then practiced. When they’re flying about, I’m talking mostly about the little ones here, they are liable to be another, bigger bird’s food. Even bigger birds will attack and kill other, bigger birds for the meal.
There are other considerations. The birds have to be in decent shape to fly; gravity still plays a role; wind currents, storms, gusts of wind can come up. The bird is free to fly when the flying can be done. Birds are not free to fly all the times they want to.
I guess what I’m getting to: there ain’t nothing that’s free. Things that seem freeing and easy to us, like flying around like a bird, come at a cost. Instead of lamenting and complaining about it, that there is always a cost, be glad you have what you need to pay.
Yesterday, I had two major chores I wanted to get done: to get a small part replaced and a noise checked out on my car at an auto dealership; and to get some blood drawn for checkup medical tests. I had an appointment for the first and was given a suggested time for the second. Yesterday was a free day for me, a day when I “could have done anything.” I’m smarter than living only for the day, though; and want to be prepared for, and if possible prevent, future issues by dealing with them when they are small and their courses relatively easy to change. I was free but I’m going to go out on a limb here and say I’m smarter than the average bird. I was/ am free to invest/ plan/ prepare/ organize/ accomplish. Each and all of those activities cost me. They cost me time, energy, resources. Boy did they cost me time. I was three and a half hours at the dealership; two and a half hours waiting for the tests. I used some of the time while waiting wisely; other hours I frittered away. I was “free” but there is always a cost. In these cases, costs I felt worth paying.
I do not want to be free as a bird. A bird’s life sucks. It probably has times of exhilaration in flight but even that probably gets old since they do it all the time. A bird’s life is short; its opportunities, limited. I’m going to guess that it cannot imagine being anything but a bird. We humans can imagine being a bird. I’d like to fly and I can: on an airplane, and in my mind.
The driver’s side sun visor was replaced so that now it doesn’t fall half-down when used, blocking my view of traffic lights; the noise turned out to be caused by zero lube (!) in a part in the passenger side back brake. Sure glad I got those two safety issues solved. The results of the blood test were universally good except one; that high reading may be due to my being dehydrated at the time. Thanks for asking.
My job is to work towards the good use of my life. The good use of my life for my sake, for the sake of others in my immediate sphere, for the sake of the world as a whole including most of its other species. You may how I zoomed out from the tiny (my life is big for me, but tiny in scale to the world, infinitesimal in scale to the universe) to the quite big (including not only people but also most other species on the planet). We’re all a part of the small, medium, large, gigantic, colossal, gargantuan, immense universe, whether we consciously (or unconsciously) recognize the fact of not. We are a part of life, and Life, to at least some degree, while we are alive.
The word job usually has to do with making money; the Google dictionary defines it as “a paid position of regular employment.” Paid refers to money, in its usual sense. But I wonder, stretching its meaning (breaking its meaning?), if we couldn’t realize that we are always in the process of getting paid. The sun throws out tremendous heat; and holds our planet at a distance from it to which we have over the millennia grown accustomed (can use). Air is available for us to breathe and usually don’t think much about. In whatever condition your body is in, you have a body. More than a few things had to line up for that to happen.
Go with me on this. The idea I’m trying to get to is that we are receivers, are paid, all the time in life. We’ve been paid, are being paid. It’s not like we could live without being paid, in this meaning of the word.
In so much of life, people, many people, maybe people including you, want to reduce life to only money. Money is good, useful, helpful, necessary for a lubricated and well-functioning society and certainly for a global one. But money is not life, not the whole of it, anyway. The idea that your job, what you have before you to do and be in order to participate in our social life, can be boiled down, is boiled down, to be just about making and spending money is a reduced idea. It is a reduction of who we are and who we can be.
When I am talking about my job, specifically my day job, I am not meaning to imply that I am considering it disparagingly. My day job, at the general goods store, is one that I usually enjoy. One that gives structure to many of my days and my weeks; gives me something to tell people when they ask what I do; offers me the chance to work with others towards shared goals; challenges me, at times more than I want, but is still for my good; allows me to actively participate in aiding other people in the living of their good lives; and, yes, pays me in money too so that I can buy things and services to support my life. My job is about the money but so much more than only the money.
Don’t get me wrong: I mutter under my breath about the ridiculousness of this or that person, this or that customer, coworker, about the numbskullness of this or that policy. Not every day or hour is a delight.
But on the whole, I like it. My day job allows me to use and expand my skills. It helps me to value the time I have away from it more. It keeps me plugged into society. Challenges and motivates me to think more and differently, at times; and to listen to but not always serve only my emotions. And the day job I have adds, I do believe, to the good of life. It’s not perfect; what the company does and we are required to do is not perfect, could, in my estimation, be made better if not perfect. But it is good enough. Good enough and then some.
So when I write about my day job I mean it as a descriptive term of the job I have during most of my days. That job is part of the larger job I have, that I also complain about, occasionally, the job of living life. The job of living a life with purpose.
The joy of working towards making good use of my life. The big job of making good use of my life.
My internet connection inexplicably went down for about twenty minutes in there. Started my back exercises. When I saw it came back up, I went back to writing. Now I’m going to finish them.