When I was 11 years old, I changed my handwriting in an effort to be cool. I wanted to be more like my friend. He wrote with far more flair than I did. His pages had words that stood out at you. They were all in in neat rows, but they looked artistic and full of purpose. His paragraphs were all in joined up writing and each word was at an angle. His pages looked like they came from someone interesting. Mine just looked like they came from a bog standard 11 year old kid.
I remember clearly deciding to write an assignment in this new style – with my new found flair. The words were all at a painful angle across the page. It took me ages to finish because I was more interested in how it looked than what was written. I put my name on it and handed it in. I felt satisfied and liberated. My new, cooler, more angular identity was emerging.
When the teacher handed our marked papers back, he stopped when he reached me. I got a poor mark. He was disappointed with me, he said. And what on earth was wrong my handwriting? He could barely read it.
I couldn’t hide my blushes as I mumbled some sort of response. I reverted back to myself the very next class.
Happy Sunday chimps. To thine own self be true!
You need to be careful who you ask. There are all sorts of pitfalls. Some people might not understand the question and give a lazy response to what they thought the question was. Some might get emotional if the question threatens their position. Many people are not used to thinking through their answers.
I believe we humans create easy answers to a lot of the more difficult questions thrown at us, even if they are not true or based on facts. We have to, simply to cope with the harsh reality of life. Placebos can work very well but if someone asks an honest question then you owe them a well thought out answer based on fact, not purely on faith.
Next time someone asks me for advice I will first try and really understand where they are coming from before offering my own point of view on the matter. Then I will try and stick to the facts.
Happy Sunday chimps!
Weekends turn our house into a jungle. For some reason as a family we fall into chaos – dishes build up in the sink, toys scatter around the house. The garden is no better.
This weekend was particularly bad. At one stage the house and garden resembled the Amazon, and there were two doors that wouldn’t lock, leaving our house vulnerable to…..well to anyone who may have wanted to walk in.
The jungle also compounds. As things get more chaotic, the effort required to bring it back feels greater and greater, and so you just put it off which leads to more jungle creeping in.
But slowly, once the children were asleep, we managed to clean up. I managed to lock up the doors and we escaped the jungle just before bed time. It was a close call though.
Happy Monday chimps.
Do you remember the first time you fell in love? Of course you do. Kind of like discovering chocolate for the first time, you just wanted more and more.
My first proper relationship was notable in that it was mostly long distance. Soon after we met I went overseas to study and decided to pour my heart and soul into keeping the relationship going. And a writing habit was born.
We were prolific. The amount of words written in letters, emails and text messages was at an almost Shakespearean quantity. Every single day, for months on end. Quality was highly questionable, but quantity was admirable.
This laid the groundwork for blogging and writing regularly for the rest of my life to date. I’m thankful. Thankful for the habit, thankful for this blog, and thankful my current relationship is in person.
What are the origins of your habits?
Happy Monday chimps.
One way to view a building is through the lens of a developer. Using this lens, a building is a foundation, a frame, and finishes (interior and exterior — windows, doors, penetrations) plus the surface finishes (floors, walls, ceilings, interior doors, rest rooms, mop closets, central plant) and the HVAC, electrical, plumbing, fire protection, controls, elevator systems.
Buildings can also be linked to health and emotion. A house can be a safe space and a home full of joy, or it can be full of anger, the scene of a divorce. Creative spaces can give you a sense of freedom and purpose. Pressurized space characterized by disjunction and poor design can give you a feeling of unease – it may even make you sick.
Depending on what you want to achieve, it helps to have the right lens. For example right now I need to sort out several functional things in our old house such as the garden lawn and the crumbling driveway. Developers lens helps here. I also have to manage a big family’s needs and expectations with my own. Seeing our home as a space for emotional fulfillment, health, and personal development is perhaps the lens to use here.
Daily life can most often be distilled down to a single question: should I keep this alive?
Whether it is a pet fish, a job, a relationship, a website: burn the dead wood.
And possibly the goldfish??
Happy Tuesday chimps.
Recover from that setback, that fall from grace, that injury.
Given that entropy rules, and the world naturally falls apart, recovery is perhaps the most important thing we can strive for. The only thing to strive for. Recovery from whatever is wearing you down – be it lack of sleep, lack of money, lack of fitness – this is really all we have.
In the road to recovery you are either getting better, or you are getting worse. There is no steady state. Time marches on and age is a bitch. But free will allows you to fight back and recovery time after time. So recover. Do it for yourself and do it every second of every day. If you stop trying, then you lose.
You’ll still lose eventually. But recovery from all the bumps along the way is where potential is met and where the great moments are found.
Pull it back, until the next bump comes along.
Playing games is important to me. In my life, Games come up all over the place.
If I find something difficult then it helps me to think of it as a game. This approach makes things less stressful and lowers my anxiety. Elon Musk says we might all just be living in a simulation. Sometimes it helps to think of life in that way. A few examples of play as it manifests in my life:
More and more I see life as one big bunch of games to play.
Some people are not good at playing. Doodling, Riffing, Games, Jokes, Humor are seen as a waste of time. I can’t understand this approach to life.
Happy Wednesday, chimps.
- Playing with the kids at whatever game they have going
- Treating menial parenting tasks as a game
- Comedy and conversation with friends
- Computer games
- Sport and exercise including data on health
- Social media accounts
- Music – listening and playing music is a beautiful game
- Blogging 😉
There is a special kind of angst which comes from having too many options.
Two schools with great facilities for your children are down the road. Which one to choose?
Two companies want to partner with you for selling their products. Both products are great, which one do you decide to sell?
I’m not sure I have an answer, but I know that long and committed conversation helps to make an important decision.
Eckhart Tolle says there is no past or future except as memory or anticipation in your mind. Options are sometimes seductive because they are new and shiny, like a new iPhone. However, maybe we shouldn’t be so quick to change something if it is already working.
Not all good options are better than what we already have.
Is getting bored a good thing?
In the age of Facebook, Netflix, Spotify and Fortnite it’s easy to let the system take control. If you allow them, these streaming, entertaining, dopamine tripping platforms will keep you glued to your seats all day. They won’t let you get bored.
This thing is, getting bored serves a function. As far as I can tell, the whole purpose and spiritual breakthrough of Yoga is to cope with boredom and through this to reflect on life. No time for that in a video game.
Some other activities where boredom is there to be overcome:
Taking a walk with no phone in hand. Just walk.
Listening to an album from start to finish. Just listen
Running for 30 minutes straight. Just run.
When were you last bored?