Categories
Medical

Day 336 and Inaccessible

I’m probably still in shock. The last 24 hours have been a whirlwind of favor trading and phone calls and begging as we try to figure out the extent of the damage to my ankle. Something is broken but still need an ultrasound and an MRI to assess a full recovery full protocol. We are mostly hoping I can avoid surgery. But we will know more once I meet with the orthopedist tomorrow.

The only upside to this mess is living in Boulder Colorado we’ve got access to the best sports medicine on the planet. We were able to get excellent recommendations on in orthopedic specialist and thanks to wonderful friends secured an appointment within 24 hours.

I’ve also got an incredible primary care physician that has spent the day putting together all of the basics for healing and recovery. She thought of everything from bandaging to mobility aids to supplements. And she makes house calls.

I am however pretty shook up and in a lot of pain. I misjudged crutches this morning and took a terrible fall trying to get to the bathroom. You never notice how inaccessible the basics in life are until you need help getting onto the toilet. I am going to need round the clock help for a bit until we figure out how to install things I can lift myself up on. So maybe my upper body still will improve? But otherwise it’s pretty dehumanizing.

I’m also stuck on the top floor of our three story townhouse as the only way to get down the stairs currently is on my ass with the scoot and lift method. Thankfully Alex doesn’t seem to mind me using his office desk as a dining room table for a bit. They are too narrow to carry me down so this will be a bit tricky for the time being . We can’t have me on the middle floor as there is no bathroom and the downstairs doesn’t have a bed so this will have to do for now.

Categories
Chronicle

Day 335 and Ankle

I was going for a walk and misjudged coming down a stair. We’ve got tiny stairs of rock and wood and hand poured concrete in the courtyard of our complex. They aren’t the most even. I don’t know how I came down so hard but Alex said he heard something as I came down. I tried to get back up and put weight on my foot and immediately collapsed. I must have screened loudly as everyone came running.

I couldn’t make it up the stairs to get back into the house. I had to scoot myself up the stairs using my arms to lift me and shimmying my ass. I kept trying to test if could manage any pressure on it. I had tears running down my face and my iPhone giving me tachycardia warnings.

I initially crawled myself upstairs to get in bed so I could elevate and ice. We weren’t sure if it was a sprain or an actual broken bone or ligament. We called around to see if anyone had doctors who made house calls. The last thing I wanted was a four hour emergency room visit while I was in excruciating pain. But eventually the feedback from a virtual visit was I needed X-rays as it’s not a good sign that I can’t apply any pressure to it.

The urgent care center got me a boot and crutches and I’m waiting on the X-ray results. I am so angry as I don’t want a random health thing requiring surgery and physical therapy and months off my feet. I feel like I just got to a great place with my health recently. To have a set back with my existing issues would have been more of the same. To have something new feels profoundly unfair.

Categories
Emotional Work

Day 334 and Antsy

I felt unfocused and moody all day. I have had several pieces of good news this week and rather than enjoy the success I let myself unravel a little bit over the things I want but don’t yet have. In particular I am feeling cooped up by the prospect of another winter without travel or family.

I know full well that learning to appreciate and enjoy the moment is the route to happiness, but knowing it in your conscience mind isn’t the same as knowing it unconsciously in your core emotions. And I am feeling sadness and frustration deeply which is getting in the way of appreciating the happiness I do have.

The particularly maddening thing is that rather than focus on what I can do now to further my goals I procrastinated today. For me it’s not always easy to delineate between what is me talking care of my health and what is me simply putting off unpleasant tasks. I have willpower (an over abundance of it if my 334 straight days of writing say much) so I’m not prone to procrastination. Which means when it does sneak up on me I lack the skills an average 7 year old has. Note to self, practice procrastination and overcoming it.

I’m glad I have this space to write out my feelings and thoughts as it does help to notice them. Without observing and honoring your emotions it is very hard to get out of reactive cycles. So I’m antsy because I’m sad about being unable to travel freely without fear to see my loved ones. Of course that kind of emotion makes one unfocused and moody. Recognizing this is the first step in letting go of it.

Categories
Emotional Work

Day 333 and Calm Passion

I was listening to someone discuss an emotional moment in his life. In his description of the moment, he slowly enunciated out three syllables. In his stillness I didn’t quite catch it. Calm passion. What actually said was compassion. But my mind fell in love with the idea of calm passion. I heard what I needed.

In learning to be more loving to myself I would like not just compassion but calm passion. That the intimacy of being present for one’s own life need not be a struggle feels ambitious. But that’s why I like the idea that passions can be calm.

I associate the word calm with a lack of attachment. I mean that positively. Not necessarily in the strictly Buddhist sense. Though certainly in the same spirit. That one can experience life calmly with peaceful detachment while still having the passion of being intimately present has whiff of nirvana to it. Passionate without the energy of any other emotion high or low to see-saw or whiplash you. Calm passion.

Categories
Media Politics

Day 331 and No Going Back

We were never getting rid of the downstream effects of the pandemic. All the joking about the “before times” was just our collective psyche exhibiting normalcy bias. There is no going back. Inequality is rising and people are struggling and attitudes have ossified. Not because of some bizarre conspiracy but because you can’t put toothpaste back in the tube.

Every restriction and panic is just another day where the world gets more unfair and the prepared and the wealthy have more moves than those at the bottom. And so more people suffer and the gyre widens.

The thing about being privileged is that it compounds over time. Every instance of success and every lucky break build on each other. The math is an inexorable process that leads to one conclusion. The rich get richer.

The reverse is true too. Every barrier, every bill, every setback, every issue compounds too. An object in motion stays in motion.

If this all seems very unfair, I regret to say there is absolutely nothing any individual can do about the physics of success. The best you can do is try to bring others up with you. Educate them on the logic of success and arm them so they can begin to compound their own.

You can’t do it at mass scale. Individual outliers will distort every set of rules and every game within a handful of moves and the accretion of influence begins anew. There is no such thing as revolution. There is only hoping you can enable enough people to change the direction for good. That enough people chose collectively to make better choices for each other.

Anyone who preaches anything other than individuals aiding each other in freedom will have to acknowledge that all systems are prone to corruption and self serving. There is no level playing field.

Some of us just have enough ego to think if it is our people and our tribe or our political party in charge we’d do it better. That’s a lovely lie and history is riddled with the graves of societies that fell to egos of Caesars and strong men. Humans wouldn’t be interesting without our sins. We have to chose to overcome them and accept responsibility for their consequences rather than put our problems at the feet of elites.

And this unfortunate logic can lead one of two ways for America. We can either accept the personal freedom and self responsibility of each other. Or we can get smaller as a nation. What’s more likely to happen is the inequality widens. The rich and productive will write their own destiny. They will take advantage of the sifting sands. New fortunes will be built on pandemic logic and technology.

And the insecurity of the chaos will erode the positions of most fragile members of society and they will fall further as we climb higher. We will force rules on them we don’t abide by. Masks, testing, vaccines, restrictions of movement become for thee but not for me. We will restrict their capacity because it doesn’t affect our lives. It’s corrosive and unequal and cruel. It’s entirely without empathy. And we are accepting that because our stars are rising. The money is being made off this societal transition. It’s already in motion.

Categories
Aesthetics Chronicle

Day 332 and Advent

I don’t talk about it much but I am a Christian. Not the American evangelical type but more of the original reformation Calvinist type. I happened to be taking set theory at the same time as I was reading Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion. God is the set of all sets. Which cannot exist. You probably follow my logic from there. Math and divinity school are a weird mix.

I like routine and rhythm and even seasons. I particularly like holidays and the way we set our calendars by them. The holy nights between Christmas and epiphany are some of the most sacred in my own calendar as I use them for rest and reflection. It’s the space between the in breath and out breath of the year.

Tonight is the first night of advent. It’s the 4th Sunday before Christmas. Advent, from the Latin adventus and the Greek parousia, means arrival or coming. I guess strictly speaking it’s the liturgical calendar’s preparation for the nativity of Christ but also maybe the second coming. Apparently no one knows exactly when Christians decided to celebrate advent (maybe the Council of Tours?), but it seems to involve fasting.

I have an advent wreath and candles. I am ready to celebrate the changing seasons. I like the idea that the end of the year is the beginning of the new one. Beginnings and endings now being so wrapped up in the Christian calendar that we don’t even remember what pagan light festival they replaced. Winter solstice is just a part of the season now. The first Sunday of Advent are coinciding with the first not of Chanukah this year. Festival of lights are aligning this year. I’ll be lighting a lot of candles to see myself into the end of this year.

Categories
Chronic Disease Emotional Work

Day 330 and Vitamin Not Pill

I was reading a fellow investor’s thesis page and noticed one lens they use for investing is whether a product is a “vitamin or a pill” with the insinuation that pills are inherently better investments than vitamins, as one is a nice to have for a business and the other is a must have. Now I can’t speak to this as an investment thesis, though I largely agree, but I do disagree on a wellness basis.

Preventative medicine is just as necessary as interventional medicine. In some cases more so, as getting ahead of a disease’s inflection point should be the humane way we handle our medical needs. We are just often too focused on short term impacts to see the value of solutions that build over time. Think of it as the quarterly reports of healthcare. Why build for the future when the market judges by each 10K?

The nature of panic may make us inclined to spend heavily on something that has become acute. But that does not make it inherently more effective or worthwhile. It’s just the immediately necessary. It just means we need higher minimum effective doses to see a result.

What we often ignore is compounding effects of wellness interventions are far superior to the mitigation of a pharmaceutical over time. Most of us would prefer to not require the costly (both biologically and financially) medicines that keep us together. This is not to say that I am not deeply grateful for all the drugs I take. But rather that I have seen incredible value in what we deem “lifestyle interventions” and other “nice to have” vitamin style supplements and protocols.

And while it takes much longer to see their effects, the compounding positive effects often wildly outperform anything that might be dubbed a pill. The trouble probably boils down to switching costs and time to pay off. Which is why an investor would prefer a pill to a vitamin. But just because something has a longer lifecycle doesn’t make it inherently less sticky. Or less effective. Or crucially any less profitable. The only way we ever see the deeply positive effects of habitual practice and dedication is to do the work. That work is boring, repetitive and low payoff. Until, most times years in the making, you see how putting your future self over your present self is what is giving you the future you always dreamed would be yours.

Categories
Emotional Work

Day 329 and Thanksgiving

I have so much to be thankful for this year. I don’t have a lot of poetic thoughts on it, though I have written extensively about my feelings on some of the bigger moments of the year. So click those if you want essays as this is going to be mostly a list.

I’m grateful to have recovered my health in 2021. I’m equally grateful I had the money, support and willpower to achieve it.

I’m grateful I have a husband who understands me and gives me the love, support and freedom to be me.

I’m grateful for having a space to share my thoughts daily, and rather than be punished for speaking my mind, I am rewarded for it. That includes WordPress, Twitter and all the people who made the internet possible.

I’m grateful I can live in Colorado and still do the same work I previously thought I would only do in New York or San Francisco.

I’m grateful my mother sent me to Waldorf school. I’m grateful I have a father who supported my development as a full human being.

I’m grateful I can afford to buy whatever dumb shit I like for my hobbies which range from expensive skincare to preparedness.

I’m grateful I can consider buying a home that will have the capacity to provide safety even as the world around me has risks.

I’m grateful to have business partners who share my vision for investing and founders and entrepreneurs who allow me to help them.

I’m grateful I never have to worry if there is enough money in the bank to buy a book.

I’m grateful that the supply chains have held so that I have an apple pie that I ordered online the day before the biggest holiday of the year which I picked up in my car that I was able to buy even as global trade was strained and our currency was inflated.

I’m grateful for the time to pursue emotional capacity and the money to pay for it.

I’m grateful for chemistry and the wide variety of pharmaceuticals and supplements that I take every day.

I’m grateful for my iPhone, it’s applications and games I use daily on it that have connected me to a world of people virtually that I love as truly as the people I interact with physically.

I’m grateful for shitposting.

I’m grateful William Gibson still writes. And I’m grateful that Twitter has let me interact with my favorite writers.

I’m grateful for West End BBQ and Spruce Confections.

I’m grateful for my raw milk dairy cooperative and it’s farmer Daphne.

I’m grateful for sunscreen and for apple cider vinegar.

I’m grateful for Costco.

I’m grateful for my parents making good decisions when I was younger that have compounded into incredible luck and prosperity for me.

I’m grateful to be American and I’d like that to remain a thing for which I am grateful.

I’m grateful for democracy, the enlightenment, free elections, a free press and liberalism.

Categories
Emotional Work

Day 328 and Cultural Pause

I love America’s big holidays. Thanksgiving and the week between Christmas and New Year’s are my favorite. But not because I am particularly attached to any festivities. Though I do love everything about Christmas. I love holidays because I feel like it’s finally ok to pause.

Having an moment where it feels culturally acceptable to be at rest is deeply comforting to me. I feel it slightly on the weekends. It’s like the ambient environment around me lifts the expectation of being “on” and everything I do is a bonus. I finally let myself relax. And more crucially I don’t beat myself up for feeling relaxed.

It’s a fairly profound feeling for me. Normally I have something in my gut that says I must be productive if other people are working. It’s hard for me to shake honestly. I struggled with vacations and I initially hated sick leave (even though I needed it badly) because I felt I should be accomplishing things along with everyone else.

I’m working on it and it is getting better as I do more emotional work on myself. But I still relish the feeling of rest that comes with a holiday.

Categories
Emotional Work

Day 327 and Suffering Gives You Choices

I perceive suffering as a positive and even necessary thing. Discomfort is part of any growth process. Learning is often painful. Work is suffering. The act of enduring opens our lives. I believe suffering creates choice. Thanks Calvinism?

I’m not suggesting my belief that suffering is choice is a good belief. It’s quite likely a self limiting belief for me. I am a workaholic after all. I’m just noting that I believe in the benefits of suffering. I will punish myself even if I don’t always deserve it.

But if I continue in a black and white view of suffering I’m not living my live in freedom. Ironically I lack choice. I need to ask myself Can I get what I want in life if I do not suffer for it? I feel like I see a river in my life that I call choice. One bank is the border of suffering county and the other is easy land. I’d like to feel free to ferry across the river when it suits my needs. Maybe it doesn’t have to be a hard border. Maybe I can have a country in my mind of expansion and possibilities that sees the benefit of the occasionally painful process but also enjoys an aside life because of it.

What I am saying is it is ok to pull it back. Do less. I mindfuck myself into needing to suffer because I believe it will bring progress. But what if progress is possible when things are easy and joyful?. I need to see that choice is freedom. The freedom to choose what makes sense at the time.

Every time I feel like I have no choice I need to stop. Breathe. Say I’m trapped. And I can shift it. I can have choice without suffering. I can have choice without sacrifice. And you can too.