Category Archives: Random

My Top 3 Pick-Me-Ups

I wish I could say I was the epitome of self-reliance and organization, but that’s not the case. At least once a week, stuff gets out of control. I mess up my work plans, or leisure plans, or personal projects or, more usually, a combination of all three. 

With the mess-up comes mood swings and low energy. Meditation, on which I’ve written before, is a good preventive measure, but once shit hits the fan and Luis’s Monkey Brain is low on sleep & sugar, I don’t find it so easy to go back to baseline.

Here are a couple of Stupid Dumb Things (TM) that help me. They might be obvious to many people but here they are nonetheless. Maybe someone will pick up one they’ve missed.

  • Espresso shot – a lot of my coffee buddies are drip people. That’s fine and flavourful, but if you want a good high there’s nothing like the concentrated goodness of an espresso shot. PSA: coffee doesn’t fix your life, it just gets you the energy to do it. Don’t try to run the whole day on it, kids. You’ll crash hard, sooner than you think.
  • Walking – I’ve tried walking meditation but it never stuck in the same way that sitting meditation did. Still, after one hour (or five kilometers, whatever comes first) of walking, I’m usually in a much better place than when I started. People say it’s brisk walking that does the trick, but I’ve never concerned myself overmuch with pace. In fact, I stop all the time to look at buildings or storefronts or nature.
  • Cat-hugging – It’s silly but true. I have the good fortune of having a very huggable, teddybear-like cat. It’s pure bliss just to hold her and rub my cheek on her fur. Definitely, DO NOT TRY THIS with scratchy cats. Do cuddly dogs work, too? Probably.

That’s all I got. It works for me. Let me know if it works for you.

Taking The Day Off

Nothing wrong with taking a day off. Even God needed one.

Except…

If it’s not a strict commitment (like your job) where other people keep you accountable, then breaking the chain is problematic. Because it’s much easier to let it slide. It’s much easier to break a chain than to fix one.

A cheat day becomes a cheat weekend which in turn becomes a leftover Monday.

Miss a day at the gym, and before you know it, you haven’t gone in a week.

Creative work? Breaking the chain is death. The mind gets lazy; willpower flies out of the window. The muses don’t show up every day, but you should – if you don’t, then they won’t, for sure.

This may sound harsh. When I was reading “On Writing” by Stephen King – the book I credit with taking me through the writing of my first novel – the great author magnanimously allowed me one day off per week.

I guess that’s not so bad.

The problem with scheduling the day off, though, is that it doesn’t account for the other days off. The days when the kid (or cat!) gets sick. The day when the car breaks down, or the kitchen floods.

Gym. Dieting. Creative work. Learning.

Life gets in the way of all of those.

So what about, instead of scheduling our “day off,” we start saving them for those emergencies?