Fast Enough

Some people fear change, in fact I think everyone does to a degree at some point or another.  We like our comfort we like things to just “be” even when things are not exactly ideal.  Sometimes change is necessary to survival and growth, sometimes change causes great waves of negative consequences in either case change is in fact inevitable.  Regardless of whether or not we ourselves invoke it or it comes from external influences change is a fact of life.

My life is in an incredible state of flux currently, with many things that absolutely must change regardless of how comfortable or uncomfortable I may be.  The primary question bouncing around the gray matter that I prefer to call a brain is “are things changing fast enough?”.  unfortunately it seems a daily occurrence that I mill about a number of thoughts in my head about regrets and frustrations with who I was and who I have become.  In this moment of my life change is an absolute necessity.

A necessity not just for survival but so that I may atone for many of the wrongs I have done.  I know it is probably best not to do too much in a hurry as I have always had this way of being overly alarmist and reactive.  Often this reactive nature exacerbates whatever problematic situation I am in and this is not a good thing at all.  While a lot of change is necessary for me I need to continually remind myself to step back and not force situations.  So many things are out of my control and it becomes outright scary sometimes.

My attitude teeters between depressed and anxious and sometimes a mix of both almost constantly and very few moments of clarity exist.  Fact is, I’m lonely lately and that makes for long days where I seem to just stew in my thoughts.  Finding things to do to take my mind off of things is not difficult, the difficulty lies in motivating myself to actually do them.  I live in my kitchen rarely seeing any other room of the apartment other than the bathroom and if I’m lucky enough to quiet my thoughts the bedroom for sleep now and then.  I typically only sleep after full exhaustion sets in now and am finding the act of going to bed nothing more than an exercise in futility.  Funny I waste more energy tossing and turning than I would by simply not even attempting to sleep and doing something productive.

Change will come, eventually and I need to welcome it this time as what I am doing now isn’t quite working so well.  I know it doesn’t seem to be a very positive post but I need to think about this subject and work these thoughts out so that I no longer bury them.

~J

 

Waiting for a Shooting Star!

Today I did a job interview, tomorrow I have three, and still I am waiting.

Friday I interviewed for my dream not just in career but personal achievement and it’s a long shot but I took the shot. I follow up tomorrow and cannot publicly post much more but for those of you reading that know me personally this is a big deal.

Why continue interviewing when the most amazing opportunity has presented itself?  I’m hedging my bets for every chance this may happen there is a chance it won’t.  I have been blessed by karma or whatever it is up there for a very long time I don’t expect it to keep holding me afloat forever.

I’m nervous in a way I don’t think I have ever been, this is not some upscale position With vast pay and a private jet it is simple.  A simple position doing something that I am incredibly passionate about.  A simple dinner of grilled cheese followed by lying in the grass catching a glimpse of Thai shooting star.

With luck I will be able to latch onto the tail for the ride of my life.

More details later for now it’s a wait.

~j

The Elusion (Illusion?) of Sleep

So here I lie in bed after tossing and turning for the last few hours wondering if sleep will come at any decent amount tonight.  I’m sure it will and luckily I have no commitments tomorrow morning so I can attempt to sleep in.  The last two nights have been good to me in regards to more than 5 hours of uninterrupted sleep even though last night was a late one tossing and turning to actually get to sleep.  Looks like tonight might well be a repeat with me falling asleep in the early morning and waking up at my usual “sleep in” time of 7:30-8:30.

Typically my body clock wakes me up around 4:30 regardless of what time I fall asleep or what I have on my plate.  I have my routine:

  • Start coffee
  • Use Restroom
  • Smoke and enjoy the early morning air
  • Drink coffee and start breakfast (usually homemade hash browns, eggs, whatever)
  • Eat breakfast while checking email, job boards, whatever
  • Start day…..

That third one…. I need to avoid that third one now.  The good news is that it will get better I know this, the better news is I have a perfect view of the Rockies and Pikes Peak in particular from my kitchen window.  This is going to be my driver for no longer devastating my lungs in an attempt to sedate my nerves and satisfy whatever oral fixation I have.  I want to summit that fourteener this time next year and despite my love of hiking and outdoors I wouldn’t even attempt it in the piss poor shape I am in.

So despite my lack of sleep, and my low frustration tolerance (LFT is an interesting part of rational emotive behavioral therapy or REBT that I should probably revisit while I munch breakfast) I feel quite at peace right now.  Might be a real timely refresher to help me avoid the urge to asphyxiate my edginess with tobacco smoke.

A follower (and one of my favorite bloggers that I follow) DawnSeeker left a link for me in a comment on my last posting that was quite an amazing story about not just a noodle house but also human strength and I’ll be honest I had tears as I neared the end of it.  Maybe I’m just overly emotional lately well, okay I am but still it was quite an inspiring read and I think this lent a hand to my peaceful attitude.

I’ve been thinking about my recent online activities and habits lately and figure maybe I’ll plop some thoughts out in a post (more for me than you dear reader it helps me process, sorry) so away we go!

I used to spend a lot of time reading news, keeping tabs on several online forums and chats, and oh that Facebook thing… I never thought I would be pumping out random blog posts let alone following other bloggers as I do now.  While the blogs I read are small in number and honestly I don’t exactly have a massive amount of followers I find that the blogs I do read are relevant and thought provoking for me.  I rarely check the news and the only chat I do now is my support group which is also small (also by design) I no longer Facebook, and anything I do online is through my phone directly or using it as a hotspot.  I’ve no other connectivity here not even television.

Thinking about this right now makes me chuckle, in a world where everyone is incredibly connected here I am an ex IT specialist with no high speed cable modem tucked into the corner of his apartment.  I seek content based on quality and no longer immerse myself with information overload.  I cannot say that life is better or worse as a direct result as I’ve created plenty of my own problems that I am working to repair but I can say that at this moment I find myself thinking slightly clearer despite the lack of sleep.  I find that the things I do choose to read are much more inspiring and much less depressing and I’m glad for that.

So I think it’s time for some specific goal setting don’t you??  Ready for another list?

  • Get a page up with links to some of my favorite blogs
  • DONT SMOKE!
  • Keep working towards a more fitting career
  • DONT DRINK!
  • Continue eating healthy

Oh… and fall asleep soon, that’s a biggie!

And in case anybody is wondering Echo, the pooch I blogged about the other day…. was the featured dog on the Pikes Peak Humane Society website today and is no longer available for adoption.  Bittersweet for me as I really liked that pooch but I’m glad someone else did too and I hope she found a forever home that is good to her.

Sweet Dreams

~J

P.S. you can learn more about REBT at the Albert Ellis site and Smart Recovery and I’d love to share one of my favorite blog posts from Dawn about welcoming failure that I’ve read a few times (I should probably click like one of these days).

Some Thoughts on Healthy Living

And So I Decided to Quit Smoking….

I woke up this morning after getting what I consider to be a good nights sleep (more than 4 hours uninterrupted) and for the better part of this morning found myself in a severe funk.  Not so much angry but full of anxiety and maybe a touch of depression and a whoooole lot of that frustration thing.  It seemed like everything just frustrated me, for the first morning in a while I even slacked on making breakfast which is just not like me.

Granted, I have a lot to have anxiety about with the recent job applications / interviews and everything else going on with my life and add into that PAWS (post acute withdrawal syndrome) and I’m already a ball of stress.  So like an idiot a few days ago I decided to  quit smoking….. I’ve got lozenges (almost out) and a stack of patches (never really worked) along with tins of flavored toothpicks (probably going to be crapping splinters for a while) but the edge still comes and goes.  What the hell was I thinking?

I’ve got a good support system in place but it’s still difficult and so now I suppose I’ll rant about it.  Just after noonish I decided to indulge in one of my favorite dishes to eat as well as cook (and don’t laugh, it’s a big deal) a big bowl of Ramen (Or in the Hawaiian culture “Saimen”).  Just the time it took me to prepare it, my focus on chopping the vegetables, frying the perfect egg, simmering the pork to make the perfect broth, mixing my own seasoning blend, and putting it all together made me feel better.

Eating it in traditional style (quickly, slurping as to cool the noodles and unlock the broth flavor) gave me a sense of calm and happiness that I have been missing the last few days.  Now some might think “healthy living is in the title, isn’t Ramen horrible for you?” NO!  If done right it’s a very nutritious dish not to mention a very fulfilling one to explore.  A quick google search on traditional Ramen houses will yield a very interesting culture and a whole new world built around this wonderful part of my life.

Unfortunately throughout the rest of the day I lapsed in and out of the anxiety over and over, at the beginning of this post I was feeling it with a heavy edge to my demeanor overall.  By the time of this paragraph I am finding myself a touch less on edge and feeling better overall.  I know the nicotine and the overall habit will pass with time and I just need to hang in there.  I know my health will only get better and I will be able to extend my hiking enjoyment by sacrificing my smoking habit.  And then there’s that whole money thing, I sat down on day one and started calculating the cost of my smoking over a years time ($2445.00 a year on average).

Just uhm, wow!  So $203 a month on the low side that’s insanity considering all it does is appease a self imposed edginess from starting up in the first place.  So, wish me luck and I hope I can keep this up!  I’ll keep everyone updated!

~J

You Can’t Herd Cats

Well you can, if you move they’re food!

I’m not quite sure where I first “herd” this quote but for some reason I’ve been thinking about it lately.  It breaks down to the basic idea that in many cases changing the way a large group thinks or acts is an impossible task.

I think back to a wonderful group of people I worked with called the Marine Breeding Initiative and how this group of professionals and hobbyists alike have built a large community to share information related to captive propagation of various marine species.

In many areas of science, as well as commercial groups reliant on sales to survive sharing of information is forbidden.  To give away intellectual property or that one gem of research finding is looked at as profession suicide!

And yet through the creation of an open space for a community to naturally evolve not only allowed this to happen but it also encourages it.  With the advent of the internet and the incredible improvement of the technology driving it the MBI was able to leverage this pervasive data flow and create something so powerful as to promote open communication of ideas that many would typically hold very close.

The basic idea is not incredibly complex in concept but has grown to an amazingly detailed machine.  Why not create a system where people can openly share findings and successes and track them with a points system to encourage competition in an open manner?

In order to rack up points (and yes get framed awards and a touch of prestige) information *must* be shared in great detail.  Now behind the scenes there is a lot going on to track and award these points but many of the people performing those tasks (as I was for a period of time) find it a somewhat exhilarating and interesting labor of love.

Other examples of course exist elsewhere, there are scientific groups with similar open platforms sharing information on everything from disease to even software (open source comes to mind).  By moving the food from a concept of commercial funding, publishing, and fancy patents to the idea that by sharing the cats can have a higher quality of food as well as a wider prestige base we effectively herd the cats to a better place.

I was originally about to fall asleep but thinking about this interesting phenomenon had me too wired to sleep (or it could be the payday bar I ate).  So a second post was called for just to get this thought out.

And now I’m going to eat the other payday bar in the cupboard.

~J

Wok on Water

I’m thinking today I’ll put in for something very different…

Several years ago I had this idea, my mom lives on the channels in Oxnard, California where many of the homes have private docks at the rear of the homes.  I love to cook (I absolutely LOVE to cook) and many of my dishes are Pan-Asian inspired.  Out there the popular thing is to have an electric boat they typically call  “cocktail boats” and just putter around the channels watching the seals and generally hanging out.

So I thought to myself why not modify a little boat Bladerunner style (favorite movie ever btw) and cruise around cooking and slinging stir fry?  I named this dream boat of mine “Wok on Water” and, while somewhat of a pipe dream it’s always good to dream.  I’ve been battling a touch of anxiety lately and I’ve come to the conclusion that maybe I don’t dream enough.  Stewing in all that can go wrong or all that is wrong often yields piss poor results for someone like me as I do just that, I stew.

I dream now and then of a food truck or a career where I can just cook so I think perhaps maybe it’s time for me to rethink and just go find me an entry level kitchen job and follow a passion.  What’s the worst that can happen?  People might say no, I might end up in a dish pit for a while, maybe I’ll get lucky and find a prep job.

It’s on

~J

The Miracle (and Curse) of Modern Technology

Poking around today looking for the next career I found myself getting incredibly frustrated.  It seems more and more every application is done online and many of them have accompanying “personality” tests.  Whatever happened to a handshake and an application directly to an employer.  How does one prove his or herself to a prospective company without the capacity for face time?

While it’s somewhat of a boon that we can fire off resume’s and applications like a scattergun from the comfort of our living rooms, there’s just no more heart in it.  I find it quite sad that through technology many of us have lost the personal touch.  People lock themselves indoors on computers or sit at the dinner table with a face buried in a phone.  No longer do we make conversation or value community connection and while we seem to possess more communications capabilities than ever before in history we rarely actually communicate.

Just  some thoughts to ponder today and maybe reflect on how we can improve our communities simply through paying just a little more attention to those around us.

~J

A Day With A Pooch

This morning I took a few hours and went to the local pet shelter to talk about volunteering.  Lo and behold I almost ended up with a pooch!!  I waited for hours to get a chance to meet a wonderful Pit / Australian shepherd mix.  She was 8 years old unfortunately and I’m not quite sure I’m ready for a poochie yet but it was well worth the time hanging out to put in some pats and loves.  Echo was brought into the meeting room and immediately plopped her nose in my lap and of course I melted.

I’ve pretty much figured out that idle hands are a danger for me and I’m trying to keep as busy as possible and the proximity of the humane society to my apartment not to mention working with pooches just appeals to me!  So it’s free TB shots in my arm and walking doggies when I’m not working!!  I can’t wait until Sunday for training I suppose the hardest part is going to be not wanting to adopt every pup!

So I sit here typing paragraphs only to delete them, type another one, delete ,delete, delete… hah I suppose I should spend my time more wisely?  Maybe learn a new language like Spanish or Portuguese or some random language I’ll likely never use.  I won’t lie it does get somewhat lonely here just me in the apartment and the prospect of a pooch to snuggle with is incredibly appealing but the timing just isn’t right.  So a volunteering I will go I think, and when the time is right then perhaps I will find the right pooch.

I sit here typing this looking at a puppy picture of my beloved Akita may she rest in peace and it dawns on me that we as humans crave closeness to something, whether it be another human or a pup or cat even turtles!  Coincidentally there were multiple turtles at the shelter which I found slightly odd.  Granted I don’t foresee myself walking a turtle anytime soon, if they had ferrets maybe.  Somehow I think I may have opened Pandora’s box with this volunteering but who knows it’ll be nice to interact with doggies.

Thought control

Sometimes we go a bit too far?
so the last few days for me have been emotionally hectic. It’s not ofren that a person gets called out on bad behavior let alone by people who are close.

so shifts my blog for all of my two readers lol. My original intention was to post sonething positive every day but lets face it life just sucks sometimes.

so posts on struggle good and bad it will be, love it or not. theres a million othet blogs to read if you dont like mine. i just cant in good honesty pretend life is butter.

that said I will be blogging daily if i can and about real life (no made up unicorn shit) if you like it great if you dont theres an x to click.

welcome to the next step of reconstruction.
~J

What I Don’t Know

Sometimes what I don’t know is a better reason for action.

This is somewhat of a two part thought so bear with me, I’ve often found four words to be incredibly frustrating to me when I either hear them or say them myself.

I Don’t Know How…….

What is this?  In the context of hearing them being frustrating I find it often simply means “I don’t want to” or “I don’t know how and I don’t care to learn”.  It seems often to be a quick and simple cop out or way of avoiding an unfavorable task.  Sometimes, this can simply be a quick and easy way of avoiding something out of fear or anxiety surrounding the possibility of failure.

A quick and dirty yet incredibly effective tactic in avoidance that often results in success.  I would classify this as “efficient” but, what has someone efficiently accomplished?  I would be a liar to say I myself haven’t used this wonderful tactic in my lifespan and it seems so efficient that I could not even remember when.  It is when a person uses this tactic on a constant basis with intention and awareness of it’s efficacy that I begin to gnash my teeth.

The idea that I could shrug off responsibility or opportunity for personal growth with four simple words is baffling to me sometimes.  There is that whole hubbub about four letter words, how about the four word phrase?  I simply cannot understand what propels someone to be content in stagnation and I do understand that to state this is quite hypocritical of me for reasons that I will get into some other time.

Let me give you some back story real quick, I managed to build a very successful career as well as become prominent in what I will call a more academic community both without any formal training, qualifications, or initial “knowing how to”.  I accomplished this through opening myself to learning, general curiosity, the will to progress, and yes a lot of hard work and sleepless nights.  I struggled and scrambled, dealt with condescension, accepted and examined a lot of criticism, and a lot of failure.  I took risks and learned how to talk to people well above my level and more importantly to listen to those people even if I disagreed.

I did this through action

I would have had a much easier time simply being content to sit and play video games, watch television, sleep, or just sit on the couch eating chips and staring at the wall; all the time making big plans on what I was going to be or do in my head.  Instead I took action reading and networking, going out of my way to network with people and get my hands on whatever tools I could to learn by myself.  I have taught myself a broad range of things from information technology to microbiology and even cooking.  I did this through action.

I’ve also managed to destroy much of this over time but again, more on this in future posts.  The point is had I said “I don’t know how to” and left it at that I don’t think my life would be so fulfilling, I have met many amazing people on my journey and experienced so many things that a lot of people out there may never get the chance to, and for that I am grateful all by avoiding those four words and using action.  Imagine for a minute if as babies and toddlers we were to use this cop out to avoid learning things such as how to eat, talk, use the restroom, walk, etc. I do not think we would get very far.  And if the forefathers of invention such as Tesla, Edison, Newton, Aristotle, and so on, had they used these words as a cop out instead of a reason for exploration I would not be typing this now.

This of course brings me to explore the second part of this thought, the use of “I don’t know how to” as a means of inciting curiosity and solution finding.  My opinion here is that this exhibits itself more internally as a thought rather than externally as a statement.  That is to say it occurs when someone sees a rough goal or vision to reach and realizes that at present there is no knowledge of how to get there.  When this opportunity appears the miracle can happen should that person decide to take action.

Having typed that thought out and analyzing it further I now wonder if I should have even used that fork in the road in this post.  The initial part of the post was meant to explore my frustration of “I don’t know how to” as a cop out or excuse, this second part I believe has more to do with a much longer string of words “I don’t know how to but, I think”.  The simple addition of three words changes the dynamic a full 180 degrees don’t you think?

I always hated bullshit affirmations such as “Thomas Edison said I found 2000 ways not to make a light bulb I only needed to find one way to make it work”, seriously??  First off every time I see the quote the number is different, secondly I’m not Thomas Edison but what does this say for my own mentality?  Am I really open to failure or should I brush them off as simply finding ways that don’t work?  I not only value but thrive on learning if I look at failure as a means to learn in this manner then I should seek failure should I not?  I think we should take every opportunity to learn from failure but place our energy into seeking knowledge through success.

In any case, of the myriad of thoughts whipping through my head I decided to reach out and grab one and you got what I grabbed.  Whether through success or failure, action or complacency, I hope at the end of my days I can look back at a fulfilling life.

~J