What if…

It happened. I spent my Saturday afternoon in a full-on downward spiral of “what if’s.”

What if I have it?

What if we don’t recover from this?

What if I give it to someone else?

What if the Kool-Aid man busts down my wall?

These questions do nothing but waste our time. Well, asking them to yourself in a repetitive fashion and thinking the worst in each possible outcome is definitely a waste of time. Being prepared is one thing, but putting yourself in a state of panic helps no one, especially yourself. I started to have difficulty breathing, I gave myself a headache from the tension of thought, I was scared of everything.

Panic and fear. They might as well have been weighted blankets. 2 ton weighted blankets of thought… useless, negative, fearful thought.

I sat on the couch for hours on end staring at a TV binging the first season of Barry (GREAT SHOW) being held down by the throat at this cycle of fear.

And then, like a reassuring whisper, the sun came out.

Nature gave me a little reminder that it’s all going to be okay. After the season ended (properly binged) I got up off my ass and went into the other room, meditated, took a cold shower, and then read a book. Guess what happened?

The birds started chirping. The world didn’t end, I didn’t get a fever, no one I knew contracted COVID-19. I was able to enjoy the rest of my night… as if it was a regular Saturday night.

Sometimes we can get wrapped up in these “what if” questions and lead ourselves down a deep rabbit hole of utter bullshit. These cycles of thought hold us victim, they add nothing positive to our lives. It’s more fun to play “what if I won the lottery.” Way more enjoyable of a game.

Fear, people. It can get the best of us, especially in such uncertain times like these. We have no idea when this will end and what’s going to be waiting for us on the other side. It’s scary, I know. But when we acknowledge our fears, acknowledge that we will have an outcome soon enough, and acknowledge we’re all in it together – we can enjoy all the moments that are right in front of us. For a lot of us, this is out of our control. Our job is to stay home as much as possible. So enjoy these weird yet precious times with those around you and enjoy the moments. IF you need something to bring you back to the moment you’re in – try a cold shower. It’s like a slap in the face. Or just get slapped in the face. Or both. At the same time. Now it’s a party.

The clouds will clear. The sun will come out. The birds will chirp. Sports will start again. We’ll have to go back to work. The gyms will open. Restaurants will be able to seat people. We’ll be able to see friends again. We’ll have to set your alarm clock again.

Be patient. Breathe. Take a cold shower. Move. Smile. Spread cheer and love. Play games and watch movies. Be creative. WASH YOUR HANDS.

If you are depressed, you are living in the Past. If you are anxious, living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the moment. – Lao Tzu “

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A Thank You note for Ice Cube

There are 2 ways to look at all this excessive time we have on our hands now.

  1. We just need to find something to do to kill time. This will all blow over and we can get back to our lives. Just kill the time until it’s over and then we’ll have some sort of normalcy again.
  2. We’re stuck indoors with a lot of time on our hands. Let’s use this time to get something done, learn something new, or practice a skill we haven’t had time for in the past.

I’m fumbling between the 2. We’re all struggling with it. I’m not alone, I know that. Like I said before, I’m focused on my writing. Every day I’ll pump out a bunch of bullshit and if it’s great, cool (better odds of winning the Powerball)… if not, well, feel free to let me know (COMPLIMENT SANDWICH PEOPLE). I’m sure with a little more boredom and cabin fever I’ll start to pick up something new and scrub the bottom of a lamp… because I love lamp.

BUT there’s one thing I’ll make sure I do – Check myself before I wreck myself. And yes, I’m of a clear mindset as I say this. Take inventory of your emotions and your headspace before you start to interact with others. We’re in some strange times where people physically can’t have any interaction with others. We can’t go out and socialize with strangers. It’s a time in our lives where isolating is the right thing to do. This can fuck with your social skills. Seriously.

Before conversing, take a look at how you’re coming off and how you’re behaving. This is great advice for anyone at anytime, really. Our emotions can run rampant if we don’t take a moment to understand why we feel a certain way. If you don’t figure out why you feel that way, it’s even harder to figure out how to feel the way you want. Emotions and energy is something children and animals pick up on right away. Adults do too, but they’re usually too caught up with their own bullshit and don’t understand why they feel a certain way and don’t care.

I can be sad and come off like a Debbie Downer because I found out my family’s dog is getting euthanized tomorrow (RIP Ollie). It’s not because I don’t want to talk to you, I’m just dealing with some sad news.

Someone could have taken my job and forced me indoors for a couple weeks and called me a silly name leaving me a little angry, so if I snapped at you, it’s not because I’m angry with you… it’s because I’ve lost my job and I’m stuck in a shell.

I could be thinking of a really funny Tom Segura joke and laughing my ass off… it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re funny and I like you. Just kidding, I probably do… but Tom Segura is hilarious. BIKE.

One thing that I do – I keep very good inventory of my emotions and I’m a pretty open book. So if I’m sad and I only give a couple words, I’ll let you know why. If I’m a little “heated” about something, I’ll make sure you understand it’s not you and I’m doing my best to shift my attitude. If I’m giggling about something, I’ll try my best to convey the funniness of whatever it is and make you giggle as well… while we prance and sing to our heart’s content.

It’s our duty to ask ourselves “Why?” we feel a certain way. The answer could be way too deep for a Saturday morning. It could be that you’re lacking purpose in your day-to-day life with you being out of work during quarantine. So give yourself some creative purpose. Louis CK had a great clip on his show about that. I couldn’t find it, but essentially Doug Stanhope is his long lost friend and confesses that he’s going to “end it.” Louis barks at him telling him that he had to work hard to find his reason for life … his purpose. It’s all something we need to spend time doing. It won’t be easy, but it’s worth it. Life is a little bit easier when you have it.

If it’s anger you’re feeling? It could easily be a lack of exerted energy… Go for a run, do some pushups, situps, jumping jacks. Go DO something to get the blood flowing. You’ll feel a little bit better and maybe it’ll inspire your mind to do something creative. There have been times where I’m so physically exhausted that I could stub my pinky toe and laugh. It’s a wonderful feeling, but not an easy one to obtain.

If you’re sad, pour your heart out in a journal, let go of it. I, personally have a hard time letting go of sadness. I just bottle it up and shove it down deep. I’ll be letting my future self deal with it at some point… uncontrollably and at some super inappropriate time, I’m sure. There’s random commercials about cereal that make my eyes water. THEY’RE HIS LUCKY CHARMS, YOU SELFISH SUGAR ADDICTS. Spoiled brats.

REGARDLESS – we have to let the emotions pass so that we can stay mentally (and physically) healthy. It shouldn’t be news that stress, anger, sadness, etc. all wreak havoc on your health if not maintained properly. Your energy will pass onto people that you like and love – whether it be positive or not, it’s contagious. If you’re feeling off, take a few minutes to figure out what it is, breathe, and remind yourself that it will pass. Take inventory and then work on fixing it or just being cogniscent so you can explain to your friends and family why you’re acting like a dick. It’s not our job to figure out YOUR problems. Spend more time looking on the inside and maintaining it than pointing the finger. Sometimes, the best thing we can do is offer the world a better “you” which creates a better “us.”

Check yourself, before you wreck yourself.

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What to drink tonight…

Man, I love alcohol, but I really don’t love alcohol. Such a love hate relationship. It’s a social lubricant, makes the dullest of times even a little more exciting, and it makes me feel funny in my pants. It helps round the edges, so to speak. The mind isn’t focused on the grand scheme as it is just relaxed and trying to enjoy itself. A couple of drinks and quarantine isn’t so bad!

But then a couple of hours later, quarantine doesn’t make you feel all that great. Personally, I sleep like dogshit after a drink or 5. I’ll wake up in the middle of the night sweating and overheating and unable to fall asleep for another hour while my body processes all the poison I force-fed it. I’ll wake up late and feeling even more exhausted than I usually would. My brain feels like it was used as a basketball. Then my body… goddamn. I’m bloated all over on the outside and then probably on the inside too.

I’ve heard the whole “Well, you could just NOT drink, Kris.” Yeah, I could do that. I could also wear orange robes, sandals, and swear off any semblance of a life to chase some pious bullshit while humming and bowing until I have a herniated disc. Fuck off with your boring but sound solution.

I enjoy drinking. I enjoy the state of mind I can be in and how much a nagging sense of social anxiety fades. A decision to be a little more impulsive can lead to a great story, a wild but foggy memory that you’ll have forever shared with family and friends. “But it can always lead to problems too, Kris.” WE KNOOOW. WE ALL FUCKING KNOW. We’ve been told by every adult EVER. PLEASE, revel us in your cautionary tale of drunk driving, health issues, and when you “couldn’t get it up.” I could also die having a poop. Shit’s crazy. Now get back to arguing on Facebook about Trump and why meat is evil.

It’s a fine line you have to walk between relaxed and ridiculous. When you’re a couple drinks in, it takes a seasoned veteran to realize how far they are and when they’ve reached their limit. Some people never ranked up, never learned, and therefor never know when enough is enough. But I’m sure that spills over into their day to day life – I can almost guarantee it. We all know the definition of insanity, right?

Vodka, whiskey, wine, tequila, cider, a sour beer … they’ve all got their purpose.

Vodka – Quality and quantity. Perfect for those weeks stuck indoors when you’ve been laid off and unemployment is so bogged down they can’t properly fix your claim…Deep Eddy’s leaves no hangover, is cheaper than the other top shelf vodka’s while tastes better than any of the rest.

Whiskey – Like hot sauce or a smack in the ass. To be sipped and enjoyed with a little burn. An earned drink that pairs well with red meat and Cuban cigars. I’ve come to enjoy a lime or 2 on occasion. Suntory Japanese whiskey is my favorite so far. I still love all of the Johnny Walker’s though.

Wine – Red. Aged in bourbon barrels. Dry. Strong. Viscous. I want to drink bourbon blood with a steak dinner but yet also be romantic and rustic. Exitus has my heart at the moment, but I’m sure something new will roll around at some point. If I drink white wine I’ll start prancing and eating straight vegan with flowers in my hair. Cranberry wine (made from cranberries, not grapes or mixed with grape wine) is the exception to the rule. That goes down like juicy juice … and pairs well with Deep Eddy’s.

Tequila – The night is young, let’s party. Don Julio* has yet to disappoint, guess I’ll stay loyal to my Mexican Heritage (I’m Irish). I’m still going to sip it over ice, salt on the rim, and a lime, but it’s the weekend and I’m not going to bed until midnight WOOOOOOOO!! Let’s discuss dangerous topics like political correctness and why pants are even a thing.

*I’ve only had the 1942 once and loved it. But the “blanco” was my go-to in Mexico. Delish

Cider – I miss beer but I don’t miss feeling like I ate a loaf of bread. Let’s go dry-as-fuck so I’m drinking alcoholic apple seltzer, but natural. Ace Joker Dry: 3 grams of sugar and 6.9%. I don’t want to drink 10 to feel a buzz, but I’m going to drink the entire 6 pack over the course of the day. This is the best of all worlds – STRONG, DRYYYY (sugar in my booze? I’ll slap you), and there’s 6 of them. Or at least… there were.

Sour Beer – Just like sourdough bread, it doesn’t grow in my stomach. I love beer, I could be like a taste tester who spits it out. I love the taste, but if it’s going in my stomach it best play nice. Sour beer sits great while has a very unique flavor profile… it’s sour. As long as you go into it realizing it’s a Warhead and not a Jelly Belly, you’ll like it. Highly recommend Victory’s Sour Monkey. Well priced, super flavorful, they clock in at about 9.5% …and there’s 6 of them. Pace yourself, these go down easy and they really are 9.5%.

It’s currently 12pm on the dot (weird). I’ve been told by many people smarter than me “It’s five o’clock somewhere.”

I mean .. When in Rome.. or

“When in Quarantine…”

But for real, drink responsibly. Not like an underaged asshole drinking anything that they can get their hands on until they pass out. You’re an adult. Drink something with purpose. Have a driver if you need one or stay the night, no one’s going to judge you for being smart and realizing you’ve had too much. And know when to stop. No one likes the loud asshole that can’t form a sentence. Except your enemies and demons… they love it.

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Food Porn

I miss sandwiches. 2 pieces of bread, a ton of meats, cheese, condiments, veggies (if there’s room). Cutting it down the middle, diagonal always seemed erotic to me. Plate it with a bunch of salt and vinegar or BBQ chips, and a big-ass pickle. A carbonated beverage at it’s side. Damn… what a meal.

Subs even more. Meatball subs, cheeseburger subs, bbq chicken tender subs, italian subs, any of them with a 20oz of Coke (or a cherry Pepsi) and a big-ass bag of those chips.

Or even PIZZA. Definitely pizza. Best topping combination – are you ready for it? BBQ chicken, bacon, and pineapple. Yup. Pineapple. If you’re a pineapple-on-pizza hater you could always sub it for banana peppers or just stick to your “adventurous” cheese. FOOL.

We’re all different people and like different things. Hell, pizza places can make a great cheese pizza but once you add pepperonis to the mix everything goes out the window and you’re eating a tire. You have different go-to pizza toppings. It’s okay, you’re just wrong. Kidding, kidding.

Unfortunately, nothing I’ve listed is healthy. If it was, I’d still be eating them without fear of my health (especially in these times) or gaining 50 pounds in 2 weeks. Trust me, I could do it. Until I slammed on the quarantine-breaks, I was headed there.

Even going out to eat, there’s good choices we can make. Even McDonalds has a pretty decent salad. But It’s not the food from restaurants I’ve been missing lately. Especially not the bill at the end. My other half is an amazing cook that makes food to our palettes, appetites, and our health. And cooking at home is always cheaper.

I miss the people. I miss the noise. I miss the atmosphere. I miss talking with the bartender. I miss trying new drinks and new foods outside of my comfort zone. I miss recognizing someone even if I don’t want to talk with them. I miss going from one place to the next and having conversations I would have never had if I stayed home that night. I miss the drunken fools that cause a ruckus until 2am outside of my window. I miss the opportunity to go on adventures, even if that’s just fooling around in a retail store while looking to see if they have that really unique item I don’t even know what it is.

Opportunities. That’s what I’m missing. These are some strange fucking times. It’s only been a few days and it feels like I’m Rumplestiltskin (sp?) forced to take some insane nap and I’m having some crazy dreams. Seriously, I got my ass whooped by some 10 year old last night? He had a black mullet and was wearing a brown shirt. Seen him? Let me know. I’m out for vengeance.

But we’re going to wake up. These times will pass and this will all be a faint memory. There’s this part of me that wakes up thinking that I’m going to open up my news in the morning and it’ll be over… and that’s coming. You’re checking the news too, you know this. Hospitals are starting to empty out around the world. We’re almost there. All the more reason to focus on the positive, right? Positive thinkers talk about coming from a perspective of being grateful, so let’s take note of what we HAVE instead of what we don’t have.

Health! I’m not sick, no one I know is sick… well, not that we know of. I hope that’s the case for you. If you’re indoors and everyone you know is healthy, keep it up – you’re doing great saving the world by being a hermit. I also haven’t totally lost my shit yet, so mental health is holding up.

Toys! I have plenty of things to play with to keep me busy. I have video games, movies, internet, a phone, books, a guitar covered in dust and plenty of other things to keep me occupied indoors.

Communication! I am able to stay in contact with everyone with the touch of a button whether it be phone calls or some internet application. Imagine doing this 100 years ago? There’d be bodies in the streets and basements.

Time! Again, going back to my last post, this is a chance for us to do things around the house we never had time to do before. This could be something creative, could be cleaning, could be home projects. Whatever it is that’s been nagging you in the slightest – now you have more time to do it. You may be occupied with plenty of other things and your increase in time is minute, but it’s there. Honestly, it could be more time spent with your loved ones, in which case, that other shit can sit on the back burner even longer.

There’s so much to be grateful for. For instance, I’ve looked up 100 different ways to replicate a sandwich and pizza while still being healthy. It’s even a lot of fun to live vicariously through others that are making their own sandwiches, pizzas, and desserts. It’s like I can taste it in my imagination … like I’m the one eating it. It’s like I’m right there… I’ll fess up – I’m now hooked on food porn. I think it happened subconsciously with my other half always playing YouTube cooking shows on the TV for hours on end. They make some amazing stuff I would never eat but it’s like watching YouPorn – I’m not touching that with a 10 foot pole, but playing pretend is fun!

Distance makes the heart grow fonder, right? So when this all blows over, trying on a shirt in a store, trying on that pair of shoes, googling which store has it the cheapest, and just sitting down at the bar and ordering an app and a drink will have so much more meaning to it. I honestly might order a sandwich and a pizza at the same time – just because I can. They’ll be savored and devoured while I try different types of whiskey and tequila and shed countless tears of joy with my pants off.

The only truth was probably the whiskey and tequila…

probably…

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Quarantined in a Creative Prison

Eeks. Over a month since my last post. Okay, I’ll admit it – I cracked. My discipline shifted into a job that required a lot of my attention and energy Tuesday-Saturday. Sunday and Monday I had time to write and post, but honestly… I just wanted to do anything but be creative. I was zapped of my creative juices and the discipline to stay focused.

But it was for the greater good! I was disciplined in all other areas of my life and yielding successful results because of it. They say that the best art comes through times of leisure, not that of excessive “busy” or a “busy mindset.”

I agree. Mostly because it gives me some sort of subconscious scapegoat for why I didn’t sit down and write as much. Sometimes you get so busy that when you have just a little time that’s unscheduled or not “busy,” you just want to play a video game or stare at a wall for 3 hours to let your brain decompress.

Well, shit’s changed. Apparently there’s this “global pandemic” now? My job isn’t something I can do from home so until this whole thing passes by, I’m forced to be home with nothing but leisure and free time.

Mental health. Holy shit, is this the most important aspect of it all. Being stuck indoors for weeks on end is like waking up in Billy Murray’s Groundhog Day… but you can’t go outdoors and it’s definitely not as funny. If you DO go outdoors, it’s grabbing the essentials and coming back home… and then washing your hands and burning your clothes with a flamethrower.

“The essentials” have become what different types of snacks I’m going to shove down my gullet with the drink I’ll be pouring myself at 5pm (because that’s late enough in the afternoon that it’s socially acceptable… right?). I think I’ve put on 10 pounds in 11 days of quarantine. No, really – I have eaten enough calories to feed all of Joe Exotics big cats for a month. With all the gyms closed, it took away that “place” where you could run on a hamster wheel, lift heavy things and put them down, pull/push, grunt, sweat excessively, look at yoga pants… but it was the place where you could focus on fitness for an hour or 2 AWAY from all of your food, toys, and couch.

So yeah, physical health is also a struggle. Eating and drinking too much without burning enough calories. I’ve been moving, but it’s been difficult. Now that I think about it, it’s probably a lot of the mental health battles spilling into the physical health. Such a slippery slope we’re all teetering on during these tough times.

Lastly… purpose. “Why?” “Whyyyyyyyyy?” Millions of people are laid off without work. Small businesses everywhere are shut down. BIG businesses are shut down too. We’re all stuck at home, lots of us aren’t pulling out our laptops and getting work done from our couch. We’re browsing reddit for the 30th time today, binging hard on Netflix, or fighting for another Call of Duty Warzone victory. The first few days were fun, but now the reality of it all is setting in. Massachusetts is pushing their “stay at home” until May 4th. Yeah, that’s not the 2 weeks I was thinking. That’s over a month away. This is real.

I woke up this morning in somewhat of a stupor (still feeling a little outside of my body if I’m being truthful), but as I showered off the night sweat from the excessive food and booze from my skin this morning I realized that this shit has to stop. Not the food or the booze (get off your high horse), but the excessiveness of it. The playing video games ALL day (a couple hours is still cool, once in a lifetime chance that it’s socially acceptable). The aimless workouts. They’ve all got to end, they need PURPOSE. So as I scrubbed deep in between my cheeks and gave my ass a fresh start, I felt these 3 aspects of my quarantined-life needed some redirection.

  1. Mental Health
    • Waking up and starting with a shower and getting dressed. Just being clean and giving myself a fresh start to the day almost helps me forget that the world is battling an invisible enemy which requires us to avoid human contact.
    • Writing. Just journaling whatever comes into my brain. I literally call it a “brain poop.” It’s almost like once I get everything stupid out of my mind and get the engine running, I can focus a little better and think with a clear(er) mind.
    • Conversations. Just hopping in discord (it’s an audio chatroom made for gaming) and shooting the shit. I don’t need to play a game or really do anything, but in a time where human connections are lacking on that daily basis, it’s important to hear friend’s voices and interact with them… even if it means playing a game you don’t like.
    • Walking. Yup. Keep the 6 feet away from other people, but just getting up and going for a walk around the block for 10-20 minutes. It’s moving meditation and if you’re not meditating on a daily basis, this is super helpful. That’s probably another habit I should get back into…
  2. Physical Health
    • Eat less. Seriously. Realizing how much less physical activity we’re all doing means we’re not burning as many calories as before. I can’t imagine many people are living the same life they were before the crisis, so if you’re like me and your life is upside down… eat less. I gave myself a goal to lose 15 pounds by the end of the month. It won’t be difficult, it’ll just be something to be mindful of. It’s too easy to sit around and eat all day. I am taking out all sugar from my diet (personally – do what works for you. My sugar consumption is more of a comforting habit than anything) and I won’t eat any food until 5pm and then all I’ll have after dinner is a protein shake. That’s usually where I lose my battle… in front of the TV after dinner. Protein shake is all I’m allowed. BUT…Sundays are cheat days … if I can remember which day is Sunday.
    • Give yourself a fitness goal. My goal is 50 pullups without stopping. No clue if I can do it, but I’m going for it. I don’t have much for weights, I can only run so much before my knees and hips start to ache (just requires lots of stretching afterwards) so marathons are out, and I left my hanging heavy bag at my other mansion with the 5 car garage. That’s my goal… what’s yours?
    • Seriously, eat less. Drink a glass of water instead.
  3. Purpose
    • For me? I’m going to post every day in April. Now, not every post will be as driven or as meaningful as this one. Lots of the posts will be bullshit. BUT, I am going to post every day in April. This is no April fools joke. Every. Goddamned. Day. This will help relieve that creative itch I’ve been letting turn into a rash. I’ll write something, post it, and I’ll feel accomplished in some sort of way. Like getting a pat on the back from my conscience. I’m hoping to use this time indoors to manifest my creative discipline.

This will all be over soon enough and we’ll all be back to work. The way our economy operates will probably never be the same and a lot of people will continue to work from home. Our lives will shift, there’s no denying this. But a lot of us will go back to the same grind where we can’t wait to get back home and relax. Sit on our thrones, look out our windows, drink our coffee, work on the house, get another Warzone victory…

This will all pass. The time we were FORCED to stay home for weeks on end will be gone and we’ll be FORCED back to our lives, whatever that means.

When you look back, what are you going to say you used that unprecedented time in history for?

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Forward or Backwards: being still leads to stagnation.

The keyboard feels alien to me. I haven’t written a word in a week. I feel slow, my thoughts feel clogged, and this post feels bland and aimless.

But my actions haven’t been. I’ve been focused elsewhere, on a new career opportunity… a chance to feel “put together,” whatever that could mean. Healthy, wealthy and wise…. right? Although this new job doesn’t feel like a calling or my ultimate purpose, it plays the role of security. The treadmill has been on a constant increasing speed without me feeling like I could catch up. For once, the pace has steadied and I’m keeping up. It’s still going, but at a rate I can handle.

What does that mean? Good question, goooooooood question…

It means keeping up on some really good habits (minus my slacking in writing, I’ll be better – pinky swear), putting effort into a new career path… it feels like it’s paying off. For the first time in years, I feel like I’ve been able to see into my future and see some stability. I’ve chased pipe dreams, been steered in the wrong direction, and I’ve been aimless and wandering through my day to day life. It’s sad and is riddled with the constant questioning of “What’s the point?” Not a great question to throw at yourself… a sign of further underlying causes.

I finally see an open path and I feel like the one behind the wheel. Now, I’m not looking to make millions or to live some crazy fantasy. I’m looking to climb out of debt, to build a future in something that I can call my purpose, and to support the ones I love.

Is that a fantasy? It certainly shouldn’t be. And I don’t think it is. I don’t even need that white picket fence or anything, just a little freedom. Just knowing that there isn’t any financial burden being put on anyone else just for my existence, even that would be a relief. It’s coming, I’m making damn sure of it.

We can’t go back and fix the decisions, we can only make better ones. Those past decisions you’ve made? You’ve got to live with them. Since we can’t change them, we can only look at them like a foundation for our growth. We love ourselves too much to make the same mistake again. We know where that path leads.

I won’t stop writing, I love it too much. It’s a craft, like any, that needs to be practiced more than once a week to be improved upon. Again, this mistake was crucial to the learning process, but thankfully recognized. Now there’s a stronger reminder to be more diligent in it’s practice… for all art is cathartic. Even the brain vomit I put on a page is beneficial to my daily mindset. Just the stupid shit bouncing around our brains deserves to be put on paper, at least that way I don’t have to hear it anymore.

Like I said at the beginning: aimless. This post is completely all over the place, rambling, but it’s only because of my lack of discipline to practice. What’s the worst thing that can happen if I don’t write for a couple days? Sluggish thoughts and my writing suffers? My benefits to being focused on a new job outweighs the cons of forgetting to write. Priorities shift, but I’ll continue to write as it’s daily practice will only benefit me. Something like what I’m writing is usually a journal post for myself, but I want t his to serve as a constant reminder as to how I feel when I decide to stop writing for a weak. Repetition is the mother of perfection…

Yuck!

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Before-Hill-Sprints Kris

BHSK (for short, I guess) has no interest in running, going outside, or really doing anything besides eating, sleeping, and doing other activities of leisure. I would prefer to stay indoors, drink some more coffee, read, and then play some video games.

Now, BHSK knows better though. He would have a super difficult time actually enjoying himself and quieting his mind KNOWING that he never pushed himself today. I set a task and told myself I could do it, but to find an excuse not to do it would only push guilt and more anxiety on top of an already busy mind. I know that my lungs are going to hurt, my legs are going to feel like they can’t move anymore, and I’ll be in some pain for the next few days after.

But it’ll all be worth it. Pushing your heart to the max, getting your blood to flow everywhere in your body – it feels great AFTER. I’m not chasing the sensation of doing the work, but yet trying to reap the benefits that come after it’s all said and done.

“Do it tomorrow, tomorrow will be a better day. It’ll fit into your schedule better.” Sure… sure it will. It’s like this voice that seeks comfort. I’ve started to put it in the voice of Gollum from Lord of the Rings. My precioussess, I want to lounge and enjoy my precious. Feeding that voice is feeding the other wolf.

I recently listened to David Goggins talk about his path and the mental demons he overcomes. The dude pushes himself to the brink of death. Over 4k pullups in 17 hours, 205 miles ran in one session … and I’m going to do 10 hill sprints up a relatively easy hill. I use the term “relative” because it’s still a big enough hill to suck, but I’ve run bigger ones that made me want to cry. This one just makes me pout.

Okay. I’m heading off to do this. I can’t stand to hear my own cowardly thoughts. I’m going

After-Hill-Sprints Kris

Well, I’m certainly more relaxed. That could partially be the THC-infused gummy worm that I ate right before I went out. You know, for the 7 grams of sugar…

The THC certainly makes it more of an “experience.” I even streamed it on Twitch for a couple friends to watch. Spoiler alert: It sucked. Filming the experience was anything but for the audience. It was knowing the my peers could watch at any point, that there was no giving up, turning back, or quitting.

Almost immediately, I could feel my legs behaving like jelly in the warmup jog. I’m 2 days removed from a heavy deadlift/squat day and my legs are still sore. But honestly, I couldn’t give a shit or allow myself to. Once I turned onto Hill street I knew there was no turning back. There was no turning this into some long jog instead. I was there for the hill, the intensity, the pain, the suffering. Some part of me craved it. Definitely not the logical part.

In the years I’ve been doing hills, this was the first time I carried my phone the whole time. 36 floors climbed, 5 miles run – whatever the fuck that means. I was hoping it tracked how quick I was moving. Guess I’m going to have to get something fancy to attach to my wrist instead. For now, let’s assume Usain Bolt was 5 steps behind……..

The first one is always a great indicator of how the next 9 will go. When I was nearing the top I could feel my legs start to give out. They were getting wobbly.

Shit. We’re in for a rough one. “Just keep jogging instead, it’ll be way easier. Sprints just aren’t in the cards, master. Must stick to realm of comfort and play with the precioussssssss.”

Fuck you. On to the next one. “9 more…”

Once you hear “5 more” you think, “HALFWAY! I’m almost done with this!”

Naw. Those 5 can be the worst. It’s almost like time slows down so you can thoroughly “enjoy” each step, breath, and millisecond. FINALLY, you get to the top and you realize that you have 4 more… 3 more.. and think to yourself that it’s possible you failed basic arithmetic.

“Must only be 1 more because I’m dying. I think I fractured my lungs, they’re not working.”

You’re too tired to talk, too tired to properly take a deep breath, too tired to even walk straight. You stumble back down the hill. 3 more… “but you can go home now and tell everyone you did 10. No one’s going to know, master.”

As much as you hurt, that voice is laughable at this point. The voice starts to fade. Really, motherfucker? You think I’m going to give up now? You’ve got no place here, begonst!

#9 sucks more than #8, but you’ve got 1 left. 1 more brutal 30 second interval, giving everything you’ve got in each step, get to the very top and it’s LITERALLY all downhill after this.

#10 is a celebration. You won’t have to do this to your body for another 7-10 days, push… you’ve got more. You haven’t fallen yet. Bigger strides, faster arm swing, quick breaths…50 feet, 40, 30, 20.. push.. 10, 9, 8, 4, 1… finish line.

I’m huffing, puffing, blowing pig’s houses down, but I can finally smile – I’m done. The walk down, the jog back, it’s nothing in comparison. It’ll be time to reflect, to let my body start to relax, to let my MIND relax. Now my comfort has been earned – until I hear Gollum again. Sure, I could do more… we can always do more, but I won’t begrudge myself because I’m enjoying some time to let my body relax. I was so uncomfortable, that now I can slightly chill… for today.

Tomorrow Smeagol returns. He’ll be back. He’ll want to lounge, relax… and he’s a convincing pest sometimes. There’s always something that can quiet him, not drown him out, but keep his dialogue to a minimum. Hell, if I don’t move around, stretch, clean, create – he’ll be back sooner than I want.

It’s like the tale of the two wolves, right? I want to feed the positive one, but when it comes to the voices, if I keep that little creature’s mouth full, I’ll never hear a peep. Maybe it’s not about which wolf you feed, but which wolf you play with more? Play with the evil, lazy, fat wolf and guess what voice you hear more? I’m going to hang out with the wolf that’s busy, trying to make himself better, and spreading his message. I like that wolf a lot. Put another pile of shit in his bowl so he’s got something to chew on while we go on another adventure.

Before and after an intense workout is like a dramatic shift to the positive. It’s a damn shame not to push yourself physically during the years you can. This time will fade and I want to look back with pride – not regret. There’s no physical goal on the horizon, but when I finally see it… I’ll be ready.

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Fat people doing bicep curls

Fat people doing dumbell curls. No warmup, nothing prior, just straight to the dumbells.

Stop it. Knock it off. I was going to use those. Give ’em back! *all said in a high school janitor’s voice* No idea what I’m talking about?

Educate yourself.

Now, can I get back to my point here?

We’re avoiding the issue, guys. Yes, I was a little razzled when you came in, wearing your sunglasses and sleeveless hoodie sweatshirt (really, this is not embellishment), sat down and starting doing bicep curls. I was slightly perturbed that there were 2 other HEAVY people that walked in and started doing the same thing. He was the only one going full on douche outfit, but I’m straying.

You don’t need to do the bicep curls. It’s the epitome of mis-focus. You’re more concerned with how people perceive you as to actually trying to make yourself a better human being. You’re taking more steps than most, just actually moving your body and burning calories, going to the gym… but this really doesn’t seem like we’re addressing the issue here.

You’ve got a 40lb tire around your waist and you want to strengthen a concentric motion of a relatively small muscle attached to your elbow and shoulder? To make it bigger…? Okay, to fill out the shirt you’re wearing? Okaaaaaay… to look good? But what about that? *Pokes tummy – Pillsbury doughboy voice ensues*

We no longer can use “I don’t know how to lose weight” as an excuse. Almost everything you want to know is accessible online. The “I don’t have time” is bullshit too, we can all find some time. But really, it’s choices, or lack thereof that lead to procrastination and avoidance.

I’ve been over 50lb’s overweight before. I know how it feels. You’re slow, insecure, it sucks. When we see how much work we have to do, how long it will take, it gets pushed off. I’ll eat better when my life slows down. I’ll go to the gym later, right after I do *insert activity*. I’ll get back to exercising next week. It’s easier to continue down the spiral than it is to take one babystep in the right direction. Isn’t that most things? Fighting momentum you’ve built with poor choices isn’t easy to stop. It’s like when you rolled down a hill as a little kid; with each turn your world spun faster and faster in one direction, then when you stand up and realize what you’ve done, it takes a little bit before the spinning actually stops.

If we want to learn something new, acquire a new skill, change our lives in ANY sort of way… isn’t the hardest part that first step?

You want to point yourself in the right direction? Well, take a step. Focus on the first step. Who cares about the rest of them? Yeah, it’s a daunting task, but if you can’t get past the first step, then the rest of the journey means nothing. As far as you know, you could journey halfway and find a better path – but you would have never seen that path had you started walking.

It’s not always about losing weight, but usually it’s a strong sign that something else is wrong. When you hear your car’s engine making some noise, it’s not the noise that’s the problem – it’s an indicator that you might need to pull over and call AAA before you’re stuck in the middle of East Bum becoming roadkill. Hopefully, you don’t have a heart attack while you’re out there.

Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise. That’s the goal, right? I take good care of my health, minus the booze (dry January … woooooooo!), I’m working on making my bank account have more 0’s attached to it… with a higher number in front of it, and wisdom really only seems to come from overcoming difficulty and age.

So let’s use the resources we have to be those 3 things, right? Make more good choices to benefit our health, address the issues plaguing us. Work hard to secure some financial stake on this planet, hopefully benefiting the rest of us. Then remember to take things as they come and laugh at ourselves, because apparently we’re going to have to wait a while for the “wisdom” part.

…and for FUCKS sake – take off those goddamned sunglasses indoors and do some chinups. Trying to pull yourself up when you’re overweight is so ironic and filled with metaphor I won’t even spoil it for you.

But hey – it’ll grow those biceps for you 😉

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I’m hungry.

I’ve entered day 2 of a couple day fast. The decision of whether it’ll be 3, 4, or 5 day hasn’t been made yet, but I really, really, really miss eating. Like – a lot.

It’s not missed because of the calories (liar), the satiating feeling you get when you’re done (full of shit), or even the taste (BULLSHIT). What I miss is the actually sitting down and eating a meal. The action of deciding of what you’re going to make, all the food going together on a plate or bowl after being cooked, The suspense of it all before it lands in front of you…then sitting down and indulging in all the flavors, smells, and textures.

Not to mention, the action of breaking bread. Sitting down with a significant other, a friend, or family and bonding over a hot meal. That’s something I look forward to all day long. Ever since I can remember, I’ve always looked forward to dinner. It never really mattered what it was, but the break in the day to day bullshit and devouring whatever was put in front of me… it’s a time when we’re all equals (minus the food allergies, vegans, etc.)

People celebrate over meals. We have some of our most meaningful moments and conversations while the fork is going in and out of our mouths. Eating is such an important part of our lives and for more than just the survival aspect of it, but because it’s one thing that we can all do together – and we have been since the dawn of time. The feasts, buffets, cookouts – it’s all about coming together with one another and celebrating… even if it’s just surviving another day.

Now, after returning back from a weeklong trip to Mexico with some wonderful people, I decided it was time to let the body cleanse itself out. I’ve heard countless of more intelligent people than I talk about all the health benefits of fasting for elongated periods of time; cleansing the cells, cognitive function/clarity, growth hormone, ketone production/weight loss, general longevity of health, etc. It’s a quick google search away if you want to check on it. I am by no means an authority on this subject but I think I needed to give it a chance… especially after a week of unlimited food and alcohol (which I took full benefit of).

One thing that we notice when we take something away is how much we miss it. After 24 hours I could feel my animal instincts kick in. I was so full of hunger pangs at this time that all I could think about was food, no matter how much water I drank. The smell of anything that was relatively edible was a scent I could pick up like a shark smelling blood from miles away. Even now, about 45 hours in, I’m not exactly foaming at the mouth for food but I’ve had the occasional daydream of a juicy steak on my plate…

Sitting back and recalling the past 2 days, I’ve noticed that I’m a little more moody. There’s certainly other factors at play (lack of income, winter, daylight), but not eating for a couple days hasn’t helped. Again, one of my favorite things to do on this planet is eat. It doesn’t matter how shitty the day is going or how great it’s going – I’m always pumped to cook, order, or pick out my food and just enjoy it. These moments that are hardwired into our innate bodies and minds, when taken away from us, can rearrange our thoughts and our days. The excitement that I had for the evening meal has been self-removed and now I’m working hard to find other things to occupy my mind. I’m not doing a good job of that… In fact, I’ve caught myself browsing reddit and just staring at the pictures of food that people have been posting. First example of what NOT to do when you’re fasting.

Talking about a sense of mental clarity and physical strength that come to you when you fast for a certain period of time? Unfortunately, I haven’t hit that point just yet. I’ve been battling a sense of depression, existential dread, and general jitters. But hey, my deadlift went up today, so that’s a plus… right?

Is it worth it?

It’s too soon to tell. The message that has always been told to me is that for you to gain a reward, you’ve got to endure the suck. Right now, it sucks. It’ll pass, as all sucky things tend to do. But right now, I’m craving a big ass sirloin, a massive salad covered in balsamic, and a baked sweet potato. I miss having lunch while watching YouTube for 20 minutes. I miss sitting down and having a homemade meal with my lovely girlfriend. Perhaps tomorrow I’ll enter the zone where all the beauty comes forth, but for today… it shall suck.

Distance makes the heart grow fonder. It’s important that we take breaks from everything once in a while… food, people, television, etc. Not only can we step back and realize how we’re filling holes with something, we can start to grasp what we’re really missing in life. Hell, I love food, but in no way do I need to consume an entire pizza to feel “full.” There’s more to this life than eating, but it really is an integral part of our day to day lives and should never be taken granted for.

Like I said, still haven’t hit that point of mental clarity, but I really hope it comes soon… or I’m getting myself a big ass burger, with a side of pizza and ice cream.

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2020 – The Decade of Giving Zero Fucks

January 2nd, 2020. Just rolls right off the fingertips, doesn’t it? It’s a fresh start, a clean slate, a white piece of paper. It’s a brand new year and a brand new decade. This is your chance to leave the last 10 years behind and build upon them. There’s surely something positive to use as a foundation.

We’ve made our mistakes but we’ve learned from them. We’ve walked the path that leads nowhere, we’ve chased fruitless endeavors. We’ve learned skills and facts that have no impact on our day to day life. Did you know that China has more English speakers than the US? Told you. Zero impact.

I’ve decided that having all the world’s knowledge and history LITERALLY at my fingertips, I’m going to spend the next couple weeks learning things that could actually apply to my path and life. Free certifications are everywhere. With my desire to work for someone else diminishing, it only makes sense to grow my own “business” – Me. I have 0 idea what to sell, do, produce… but I’ve become weary of hunting for work for dead-end jobs. I asked one interviewer what the possibilities were for upward movement. “None. But is that kind of stuff important to you?”

Not at all, man. I’ll sit on a production line for 8 hours a day for the next 20 years with no chance of improving my position within the company. Holy shit, I was waiting for him to laugh and say “JUST KIDDING! OF COURSE THERE IS. YOU THINK WE’RE SLAVEDRIVERS OR SOMETHING?!” Nope, he kept his serious-face on. Thank you, but no thank you.

I’ve worked an unexpected 5-hour shift for an empty restaurant where I was to take on a role of supervisor. I was lied to, made no money, but I DID get a free delicious meatlover’s omelette for dinner. Spoiler alert – I emailed them the next day informing them to the fact I wasn’t coming back… even for more free omelettes.

My options have been few. Without listing them, I promise that very few have light at the end of the tunnel. I’m looking at the new year, a week in Mexico (4 days away), and endless opportunity as a chance to make myself a force.

For years, I’ve almost been borderline embarrassed of who I was, what I’ve done in the past, and the name that I was born with. Even typing that out is depressing. 10 years from now, 2030, I’ll be 44 years old. That’s always a number that I associate with someone being in the prime of their career, of their identity, whatever it may be. I’m unsure of what my career will become, but over the next couple weeks I’m going to be using my time to certify myself in anything I can find for free that could be interesting or separate me from the herd. Today’s journey? SEO rankings. I have very little knowledge of it besides associating tags with your content so people find it. We’ll see how true that holds up in a couple hours.

Now, shouldn’t that always be the thought process? Become something different? Does the world need more lawyers? Probably not. Do we need more salesmen? Eh… What about Instagram influencers? Obviously not.

The world needs more love, more people paying attention, more people that want to learn new things, make discoveries, differentiate themselves and contribute. Sitting here blogging doesn’t exactly make me the next big thing, but it’s reinforcement that this is my little experiment. I have let all of ONE person know about this website, and I’m not entirely sure how much she’ll actually read this. As I continue to grow my online presence, I’ll tell more people, but only when I’m more confident in the content I’m producing. I’m over 4 months in consistently, but it’ll take some more time, thought, and effort. This is the early-access version. Full release coming soon 😉

Iss there a potential in helping people empower, motivate, and enliven themselves? Yes. I think there’s people out there that struggle with the ridiculous and insane internal dialogue that I do. Can my redirection of words help? Yes… but only if people are willing help themselves. It’s easy to feel sorry for yourself. It’s easier to do than to wake up early, do some pull-ups and contribute to the world (see Jocko Willink’s Instagram). Tim Ferris released a blog today about “Make Before you Manage” essentially saying to contribute some creativity before you take on the pile of shit. Anything. I wholeheartedly agree – it’s easier to take care of your dumb shit after you’ve contributed. Something I should get better about.

I reach back to a battle I have all the time: I’d love to post about myself, share about what I’m doing because I find it hilarious and awesome, but how narcissistic is that? Can’t I just enjoy this without having to post about it so other people think it’s awesome? But wouldn’t they want to see it too? No they don’t, it’s boring and attention seeking. UGH. YOU FUCKING NARCISSIST!

Here’s to 2020 – the decade of not giving a fuck. I’m late to the party, but it’s time to join the online community and embrace who I am, where I’m headed, and sharing the journey. It took me almost 5 years to make my first reddit post. Figure that one out. Today, I’m going to make an Instagram post – no clue what it will be, but it’s time to do things out of excitement and love rather than to NOT do something because of fear… irrational, paralyzing, fear. 2010’s were filled with it, but the 20’s will be filled with adventure and similar to Jim Carrey when he said “Yes” to everything.

Except pizza… I’ll get too fat.

https://www.instagram.com/krisoakey/

Reach out and say hi. I need some friends.

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