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Chronicle

Day 80 and Spring Equinox

Seasons seems to have fallen into the same category as “time” in that both have no meaning anymore. The pandemic has loosened our grip on linearity in our perception of time significantly. Which I view as an unabashedly positive thing. Why should we all be forced into living as if life moved in a straight line?

Nature has given the impression of being keen on rhythms like seasonal transitions but the more human life bangs on the planet the less it seems like seasons matter either. I’m less sure if that’s a net benefit like losing a linear sense of time (that was always bullshit) but losing nature’s rhythms is a bit weirder.

It’s the first official day of spring in the northern hemisphere and its snowing in Colorado right now. And we just dug ourselves out of over two feet of snow from a significant blizzard. The only indicator that seasonal change is upon us is day and night reaching equilibrium.

I’m having mixed feelings on the season of rebirth. A kind of shaken manic state has taken hold of our emotions with the possibility that the pandemic could be tamed. With vaccines rolling out quickly giddy conversations about summer reunions and family travel are cropping up. Friends are sounding optimistic about seeing each other again..All while we don’t really know if things will actually be better with a number of unknowns in the ether.

I’m not sure I want to change my lifestyle for a post pandemic world. Much as I’m praying vaccines remain effective and same. The pandemic has revealed many elements of our past lives to be unsustainable. I like being home. I like office life being considered less productive than the freedom to work from where you wish. . And I really like not having to socialize for professional reasons. I hope we keep the best elements. If I felt safe that all the accessibility was going to remain maybe I’d feel ready to celebrate spring. As it is I have some snowy winter worries on what life will look like as we step out of the cold into a new spring.

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Chronicle Internet Culture

Day 77 and Bedtimes

As a dedicated shitposter I have got to learn to keep the takes to myself after 9pm. It’s feels like I’ve been following gossip about the perennial “platform versus editorial” since I was a toddler (in reality maybe since I was in college) so every time a new chapter unfolds I lap it up. Mostly because I’m a sucker for media gossip and this is a personal favorite.

Last night after my bed time I starting reading more Substack hot takes (if you aren’t following people are worked up about a program called Substack Pro and what opinion writers are or are not being paid by the startup) and decided to be a dork and say shit even though I knew I’d regret it. Not the shitposting itself to be clear, I never regret a take, I just regret doing it when I should be asleep. Two hours later I’m way too worked up to sleep. Twitter is a lot of fun and I’m a high energy kind of person. Despite me being dedicated to my healthy routines I ended up not sleeping till midnight and then got woken up at 530am. So I’m a bit of walking nightmare today as I’m really too old for late night goofing off even if it’s just on the internet and not a nightclub (remember those?).

So if you see me goofing off on social media after 9pm please tell me to go to bed. Do not encourage me. Don’t feed the trolls. And by trolls I mean me

Categories
Chronic Disease Chronicle

Day 76 and Lost Time

I didn’t used to keep much of a routine. Startup life and Manhattan nightlife made for a lot of variability in my days. But the trick of losing your body to sickness means that you don’t need the novelty of nightclubs or the emotional highs of startup life.

My body now provides all kinds of surprises all on its own. I can feel terrific one day and the next for no apparent reason I’m practically immobile from pain. The frequency has gone down significantly this year thanks to modern medicine and a lot of biohacking but let’s just say I’m grateful I work on the internet so no one cares if I’m flat on my back typing in bed.

But one things I’ve found to be extremely helpful in managing the foibles of an unreliable body is a deliberate routine. I honestly wish I had learned the value of routine earlier in life. Maybe I’d be healthy now if I had shown the same dedication to supplements, exercise, meditation and sleep. Objectively that’s probably unlikely as some stuff is just chance and generics but man when you find something that works you want to retcon your whole life.

But there is a downside to routine. You cannot get sucked into work manias because you have to stop to meditate or take a supplement or get in a workout. Routines keep you from meandering as you can fill a whole day with good behavior. But life sometimes needs more randomness than a strict day of check lists. Today I felt like an entire disappeared to my routine and while physically I feel well I’m not entirely sure I got anything done despite having taking all my pills on time. I lost time between all the good things I was going to keep stable. Sometimes I worry that all this effort will keep me from the creativity and serendipity of a life lived without good habits. But then I might end up sick and back in bed so I hope it’s a fair trade. But I still worry I’d rather lose time to work binges or nights out.

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Internet Culture Startups

Day 59 and Throwaway Days

The worst part of being in your thirties is no one tells you that won’t be able to sleep past 7am.

So this morning, right after sunrise, I’m plotting all the ways I’ll get to work on new projects today. Never waste a good Sunday. As if time has any meaning in the pandemic.

Here I am sliding back into workaholic ways, excited by the pace of change. But then you are reminded that routines and nutrition and supplements need to be done. So the tension between the allure of work and the practicality of needing to care for your body split. So I stop to mix a supplement smoothie and take some stuff. Then the sun is out so a hike up the front range trail is a must. Nutrition and exercise keeping the tension in check.

Maybe somedays it is ok to prioritize the long haul. The body that need to be strong for the next big shifts. That chaos is coming at us so fast a firm anchor for mind is a must. Techno-progressives need to believe in the positive outcome because we must cheerlead for a better future.

It’s nice to feel like even on throwaway days, you can cheer for all the outcomes

Categories
Chronicle

Day 52 and Circadian Rhythm

I have come to appreciate routines and rhythms. They have a place in anchoring our lives. I didn’t always feel this way. As a twenty-something I enjoyed novelty and varied schedules. As I’ve aged the wisdom of setting your body to nature’s clock has become my preference.

One crucial routine for me is walking or hiking for an hour a day. Getting outside in full view of the sun turns out to be crucial to my health and well being. It helps my sleep and keeps my energy steady. It’s a routine I didn’t keep when living in Manhattan as there was little nature to enjoy and even less sunlight. While I walked everywhere that was a transit decision more than an anchoring rhythm.

But the past two weeks have been completely shot routine wise for me as the polar vortex brought temperatures well below zero and then a series of snowstorms piled up the powder. Usually in Colorado the sun will melt off light snowfall within hours and the temperatures will climb into a pleasant place where you can be outside without layering up. Instead we’ve been Arctic cold with snow that is sticking around past it’s fluffy white powder phase.

The biggest impact has been on my sleep. Typically I am in bed by 9pm and try to stay off my phone. I’ll read and drift off to sleep. Without the sunlight resetting my circadian rhythms I’m letting the blue light of my phone tempt me into staying up “just a little bit later” till I find it’s past midnight. It’s not even doomscrolling. It’s just not winding down when my body normally does. Rather than falling asleep naturally I’m struggling to come down. So I talk myself into just reading one more article and then I’m sure I’ll be tired. Then another. And another. And well you get the picture.

This is beyond the help of hot tea and magnesium. Only sunlight and movement in the morning is going to reset me back. Thankfully it seems the Arctic air has passed. I’m tempted to take a double Ambien and force myself to sleep so I can restart the process in the morning with a good night sleep and a wander in the foothills. So on that note I’ll leave you to a good night as well.