Hit it hard, 2019: 5 actions we are taking this year.
Work Hard, Play Hard
-Some person who had a general gist of the right idea.
The beginning of the year depression has finally subsided. Every year, after the holidays, when work starts back and nothing has changed, I just go to this place of contraction. Perhaps I am overwhelmed by the prospect of what lies in store or sad that another year has passed and I am no closer to a marked difference from the year before.
Inevitably, both Luke and I get sick in these periods of time as well, which we did, in perfect timing. I got what I call a frequency virus, which is what happens when you drop down a notch in functioning and leave yourself open to attack, viral or otherwise.
I have done some work this weekend with reinvigorating our plan to launch the podcast, but in a different format that originally intended. What we were doing, which was great in theory, was to generically script each podcast after doing research. I am going to be honest, this was not a lean approach and this does not work when you are trying to launch a book, an album, two podcasts, work full time jobs and live an urban life full of commutes and convenience options, and of course raise two kids under the age of five.
That means the format you will begin to see when we launch in March is one of journaling our progress, through contraction, depression as well as productive mania. The blogs will serve as a journal as well as researched topics. I think this will be better at convincing us to create more content that is solo and really get to the emotional heart of the collaborative work on the podcast.
In other news, there is that quote at the front of the blog. It seems to be how I want to approach this year, so let me walk through it:
Play is top, it is everything, if you go towards play then you are heading in the right direction. In fact, my book is loosely called the Spiritual Practice of Play, so you can tell it is kinda a thing with me.
Work, is a thing, especially in our current structure of life. We leave and spend time renting our brains to other people. For me, right now, it is way too personal. I don’t think of my job as receiving the loan, but as my actual life - in other words the time that I spend with my kids is just the short break I get before going back to work. So that has got to change.
I am trying a number of different tactics to change this, which mostly revolve around how to care less, and create a strong enough infusion of play into my work day to make sure that I get the order straight:
My life outside of work.
My time spent rented to my job.
Always this order.
Then I am trying to infuse some other things into my team and daily life: meditation periods, music hour in the middle of the morning and a cup of tea outside to let the contemplative mind kick in. Even if I were to just get to my job 30 minutes early this would significantly help and allow me to get all the emails done at work and not be overwhelmed first thing when I get up at 5.
Beyond that personal resolution, I have laid some things out that I want Luke and I to do (I will tell him later) to hit it hard in 2019.
1) Creating more output in our hustle.
Sounds easier that it is, or maybe it sounds as hard as it is. Luke and I both get paralysis by perfection and research. We both feel the need to get it right and do a proper thing instead of just writing something and making it okay. This blog post is my first effort to do that. The reformatting of the podcast is the second.
Launch the podcast in March
Blogs every week.
2) Routinize the crap out of things.
We are goddamn terrible at routines, we are both fully in the moment people when it comes to cleaning, living, screwing, working - everything. So one morning we leave the house at 8:30 the other at 7:50 - which is actually the goal. It is awful how all over the place it is because you are constantly living in a state of missing your goal. Plus, let’s face it, kids thrive on routine, especially our daughter, so we need to consistently give ourselves the times that make a difference in our life, whether that means getting out of the house at 7:45 every day or going outside every evening with the kids.
Create a daily routine that feeds balance and play.
Leave the house at 7:45 every morning.
3) Changing the way we do discipline
Luke and I have different definitions of discipline, both definitions of discipline - the punitive sort and the self-driving sort. I believe commitment creates drive which spawns discipline and Luke thinks that repetitive, everyday chunks of time that you do no matter what are the most important (hmmm, he may have a point). But when it comes to disciplining our kids, we are even more different. We have no united front, it is just the whimsy of whoever is feeling particularly prickly and whoever happens to get triggered that starts a discipline event, it is torture worthy, for both sides.
So we are starting with an experiment, a basic one. Lyra constantly seeks attention and is dependent on routine. So, instead of punishing her by changing her routine (don’t eat your vegetables, you don’t get TV and milk), we are going to keep the routine consistent but just change contents (We choose the show and you get water). Then when something negative happens that needs correcting (i.e. hit your brother), then that goes to a place of no attention. That last part feels a little rough but we will see how it goes. Stay tuned.
Create a united front for discipline
Change the content not the routine
4) Have more consideration for your future self
I seem to always live like tomorrow doesn’t exist, and trust me this is not an existential process. I have very little consideration for the part of me that will need to clean up the mess I am making now or doesn’t do the work that I will end up having to do tomorrow. This also applies to eating, god I eat terribly at the moment, lots of carbs, almost no vegetables and tons of rich foods. This feels great in the moment, but there is no consideration for the future self in that. That means I crash, a lot and usually when I could be creating actual outputs.
Clean up as we go along.
Eat healthy evenly-burning food that will keep me charged.
Eat consistently throughout the day.
Cut down on the richness of food - less salt and butter.
5) Nix the slow burn
Along similar lines to the above, I am tired of being tired and using it as an excuse to prolong this madness. We are both not crazy happy in our jobs, we both feel like we have a lot to contribute if we had more time, both to our families as well as the greater family of the world. So it is time to hit it hard, get rid of the slow burn and just get her done. Instead of making a little progress and making sure that I get my 9 hours (yes, I sleep at least that every night), it is time to live on slightly less sleep and hit it hard. That also includes spending less time in escape craving, which is what I call the desire to check out because your day has been too hard and you deserve it. I have found that this craving just sits directly on my victimized self and spoon feeds it feelings of validation. Enough.
Live off of 7-8 hours of sleep a night
Get more done in every day by pushing through escape craving.
Meditate together for 5 minutes every night to become less anxious together.
So in the end, work hard, play harder fits the bill. I still have issue with the word hard, because that implies difficulty, and damn if I am not totally done with creating difficulty just because I don’t have the imagination to think of the easier alternative. But more on that later.
So here’s to you 2019. Time to overcome the collective unconscious’ bullshit that this year is going to be worse than last year. Here’s to a mighty year.