Glass Cannon

I feel more powerful and more fragile than I’ve ever felt in my life. It’s infuriating.

40 is around the corner and, though I never really think of my age on any concous level, my body is quick to remind me that my machinary requires more care and diligence. There are days where I now feel my age and it distresses me. I creak in the morning, slump in the afternoon and feel a chill in the evening.

On the upside, it is prompting me to take a long, hard look at my habits. I’ll have to be smarter.

That’s all for today. I’m going to dive hard into the tank and come up with a plan that keeps everything working at optimal levels. There’s still so much to do…

Off to the podcast.

Nifty Fifty

Chad and I hit 50 episodes this week. I know. I have no idea how we managed to pull that off either. Here are the top 3 things that shocked me about blasting through that milestone.

1: Many podcasts never make it past the first episode.

And far fewer make it past the third episode. It’s true. The fact that we’ve made it to 50 is still astounding to me. This isn’t to say we haven’t had our share of difficulties, of course. Equipment problems, recording issues, webhost jam ups, just life in general, you name it and we’ve faced it. This show and its continued success is due to the dedication and persistence of one man. Chad Hall. He is relentless and that’s what you need. A person that is unwilling to let anything stand in the way of moving forward.

2: It feels like no time has passed at all

It’s been 3 years. Within that span, we’ve experimented with different formats, subjects, equipment, editing techniques, recording techniques and a whole host of other things, including a whole bunch of different hosts, in an attempt to find a sweet spot. What we’ve realized is that the more we mess with it, the less we like. The irony is that we’re now doing a show far less structured and prepped than we’ve ever done and it feels great! more importantly, it feels right. Having come full circle, it feels like so little time has passed.

3. How the hell have we not run out of things to talk about?!

Seriously, though. With each passing episode, we further discovery the depths of nerdiness we both share and we show no signs of discovering the outer limits of that threshhold any time soon. In fact, we’ll probably talk about The Outer Limits on our next episode considering I’ve brought it up here. Wow. I’m a little punny today.

Here’s to another 50 with the most dedicated friend I’ve ever had. If you don’t have a Chad in your life, you are truly missing out. Love you, my friend.

The Crest

Beyond having a birthday annoyingly close to Christmas, December has historically been a month of tragedy for me. In my early twenties, it seemed I went to more funerals than parties. Thus, I’ve never really held this time of year with the regard that most do.

This isn’t to say I don’t find comfort in the company of friends and family. I do appreciate that. My birthday, with a few notable exceptions, has typically been a low key affair. This year, the big 40, I am at a loss. Everyone tells me I should make a big deal out and, outwardly, I proclaim to most that it is a momentous milestone. In fact, with so much going on in the world, I feel a pang of guilt for diverting any attention away from those suffering.

Of course, I realize I shouldn’t actively feel this. We all need moments to celebrate. We need joy in a world so filled with dissension and destruction. That being said, whether it be the small tragedies that plague our personal lives or the sweeping tragedies that effect the world, it seems insensitive to raise a glass and cheer.

This year, I’m trying something different. Instead of holding on to the pain of years passed, I want to appreciate how fortunate I am to still be here. This year, I want to hold my loved ones tight and remind them of what they mean to me. If there is a glass to be raised, let us do it as a reminder of what we can all do to bring more joy to the entire world. Let us help each other to be our strongest, smartest and most empathetic selves.

Saying something corny like “let’s make the world a best place” sounds like such cheesy bullshit but this year, I mean it. Let’s do it whatever way we all can and let’s help each other to keep doing it far beyond the holidays.

Let’s make the world a better place.

The Perils of "Should" - Why I Fail at Blogging

I hate being told what to do. I actually hate it. By extension, I also dislike telling others what to do. One of my least favorite words in the English language is “should.” It’s such an arrogant, simple, assumptive statement that rarely has context or empathy. My disdain for the word comes from a period in which many around me were attempting to help me deal with tragedy.

Don’t get me wrong. Those who tried had the best of intentions. It’s easy, especially armed with the bravado and obliviousness of youth, to assume that one can help a friend deal with hardship. How to do so effectively is something we don’t typically learn until much later in life. Thus, we spew useless, often dismissive, advice that ultimately does more harm than good. Some of us never learn. I’m sure you have a friend that loves dishing out nonsensical witticisms or hopeful bullshit mantras or idioms. Their advice might even be useful from time to time but I assure you that’s purely by accident.

Why? Because, if they really cared, they wouldn’t tell you what to do. They would help you find a process or solution that takes you, as a person, into account and encourage you to implement accordingly. Those who are willing to throw out the “should” often do so at the very, very beginning of a conversation. Rarely will they ask questions or participate in any real critical analysis. What they’re waiting for is for you to acknowledge their brilliance. It isn’t about you. It’s about them, even if they don’t consciously realize it.

What does all of this have to do with blogging? Well, people have been telling me for years that I “should” be blogging. Few of those who have said so know nearly enough about me, or my life, to make such a bold statement. Also, few of them have ever blogged. Writing is an arduous and energy consuming commitment so asking someone to do it is like asking some to play the violin or complete a painting each day. As such, hearing the suggestion as often as I have has turned me off to the whole process. If you tell someone they “should” be doing something, realize that you’re likely not the only person doing so. Over time, this builds up pressure and anxiety making it less and less likely that the person will do the thing being suggested. And, even if they do decide to do it, it will be hard for them to find joy or happiness in it.

The next time you decide that someone you care about “should” be doing something, take a second. Take them into account. Even if your advice seems correct, take a moment to assess whether or not its the right time. Ask questions that might help them come to the action on their own. This is what Chad did with me and this is why I’m even attempting a blog now. He took the time, encouraged me, provided me with tools and is now holding me accountable. If you care about the person, you’ll be patient and persistent Otherwise, you’re just full of “should.”.

Base

A madman’s heart, a philosopher’s mind.

Smart, but being dumb about it.

Giving in without ever giving up.

I think therefore I waste time.