It is the first week of July and a month since I’ve even been attached to this site. I have had several readers ask about my lack of content (one even called, an old high school buddy) and asked me what was the deal?
Short answer: I’m busy.
Longer answer: I’m involved in several different changes in my life that I am focusing my attention on and how I am splitting my energy and focus is in flux.
Even longer (rambling, reasonably pointless) answer: It all started with a passing comment in an earlier posting that my IPad had finally died (read it here, if you are interested or sufficiently bored). A friend from my church casually mentioned he had a spare and was willing to pass it along. I met him (he works weekdays about 90 km away) on an off day at the local Apple store so he could dump the data from his old one to (one of) his newer models and give me an essentially blank machine. After only about 189 minutes (typical example of how things seem to seldom go smoothly for me) of standing in the parking lot he returned with a 3rd gen IPad with retina display. Compared to my earlier model, this is like an upgrade from your basic clunker first car (189,600 miles and more rust than metal visible, but it runs…mostly) to your mid life second family vehicle (couple of years old, 60-70 thousand miles, but pretty well maintained and not too badly equiped, and at least an order of magnitude or two better than that first embarasement of a car). The crack in the screen of this one is about 6 times as long and is visibly distracting when focusing on the upper right corner of the display, but the dual cameras (front AND back) more than make up for the imperfection (and it doesn’t seem to be anything but a cosmetic blemish…so far).
Since I had a habit of downloading programs (free, of course) to try and run several iOS versions outdated, I had accumulated about 700 different programs to choose from to install back on this new toy. Many were no brainer choices, one was a fitness app that allows me to track my diet, exercise (HAHAHA), weight and that of my friends (MyFitnessPal). I had used it sporadically with the old pad and I thought it might be a good idea to start journaling my food intake again. It was early in May.
About a week later I read an article that pointed me to a couple of books on productivity. Which I ordered from my library and waited a week to receive. Then I read The One Thing (a book review here) and I decided the one thing I needed to do was to lose weight. So I determined I would eat less and set goals with this purpose in mind. This was about the end of the 3rd week in May.
Time passes, and more books come in from the library. The latest on loan (due back in 10 days) are Take the Stairs and Procrastinate on Purpose, both by Rory Vaden. (I hope to write reviews of both before they have to be returned to the ether.) I think this is a personal example of witnessing the exact snowflake that causes an avalanche. Everything stacked up with the reading (and re-reading, and re-re-reading) of these books to cause me to question everything in my life. Where I have been, where am I now, and where do I want to go from here. Why? What do I need to do (or more importantly, not do) to get there?
The month of June became one great soul-search of meaning and purpose (all the time keeping under my food budget). Add to this a incidental visit to my mom and sister (where my mom lives now) and the mention of a desire to eventually obtain a exercise (HAHAHA) monitor. My sister then goes to a drawer and brings out a FitBit Ultima and gives it to me. Another excuse falls and another snowflake drops into place. And since she also uses the same food/fitness program, she agrees to be an accountability partner in my journey. Another nudge.
So. June passed without posting an article. There were a lot of things that I usually did that didn’t happen last month. I didn’t watch as much TV (one reason is it’s the dead zone of programming, there is less that the usual dribble of programs worth watching, so it wasn’t so hard/bad, but truth disclosure demands I watched considerably less news and science programming, also, so there was a significant reduction in my electric bill from non-TV consumption). I didn’t play video games on my PS3 at all. (I did fire it up a couple of times to access YouTube for a couple of tutorials.) I spent far less time on the computer (my Blender work suffered nearly as much as my blog). No movies, no fast food, limited travel. Much of the month was spent in meditation (read: intense thinking and considering options) and contemplation (not of my navel, that was more of a ’70s activity and I think I have out-grown the need for that).
So where does that take us? Currently, I believe I will continue to focus much of my energy to changing the general direction this “ship of state” is heading (similar to a huge ore freighter, my life has rarely been able to change in any direction without making a three hour, 5-mile radius turn, or involving a dozen or more diesel tug boats forcing me to go sideways in an unnatural course change). I believe I will be more active in posting in the cooler seasons, so the “three-a-week” schedule is temporarily disabled. I think a post every couple of weeks is more likely as things stabilize. Overall, I still have a desire to write, and share observations I’ve gleaned from life as we know it, but at this season it is not at the top of my list, so it’s being POPed (procrastinated on purpose, from the book of the same name) to allow me to do more significant things first.
And the progress on that weight thing? As of this morning, I have lost 33 pounds since I started journaling. I am on track to be at 300 pounds by my birthday in September and at 275 by New Year’s Eve. And believe me when I say that is truly encouraging all by itself. If nothing else comes of my month of introspection, it will be more than worth it in the long(er) run.
So, I leave you with my best (admittedly really bad) Austrian accented quote:
“I’ll be back…”
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