Categories
Chronic Disease Startups

Day 508 and Deficit

I woke up feeling reasonably ok today. I slept well but checking my trackers I learned my recovery scores were pretty low. My HRV was dipping into 30% recovery territory and I had a low blood oxygen count. I’ve been recovering from Influenza A so it’s not a surprise my lungs are struggling. But I tried not to let some bad data psyche me out. Maybe I was ok. I told myself I just needed to stick to my routine as I can’t let myself get into a physical deficit.

So I went about my morning routine with some optimism. I got some coffee and made breakfast. I took several rounds of supplements. I did some basic grooming. I felt basically human. I was all excited to dive into work from the second I woke up. I was so excited I’ve been dreaming about the presentation I’m giving at Consensus. I literally woke up with talking points.

And then at around 10am I realized I’d used up all my functional hours taking care of myself. Fucking figures. I am already in a physical deficit from this flu. It’s scary for me to be in a deficit as my favorite coping mechanism is to engage in workaholism. I over prepare and over work and I make demands of myself that only sabotage the end result. It’s entirely counter productive. It just looks socially acceptable because of the Protestant Work ethic.

So I need to calm the fuck down and accept where I am and that it will still be good enough. I know my shit. It’s worth it. And I’ll deliver on better than the average midwit. Honestly even acting like this is kind of midwit. The real galaxy brains would just be vibing it anyway. But it really is amazing how easy it is to fall into midwit fear based patterns. Believing in the bigger broader math of your own life is really hard because so much of our own ego is rooting for us to indulge in our worst impulses. So I’m going to calm down, not worry about my energy deficit and continue to do the work. It’s not glamorous work. It’s mostly making good decisions day in and day out. But then compounding kicks in.

Categories
Medical

Day 503 and Halftime

I really thought I’d kicked the flu this Monday. I drove back from Montana and I was feeling amazing about my life and my decisions. And then yesterday I just straight up crashed back into symptoms again.

I managed to both write and correctly tag and post while I was riding a modest fever high. Which is pretty fantastic. That’s how you know your habits are good. I was able to maintain my writing schedule on the strength of the rhythm alone. My husband who got tagged in yesterday’s post on Twitter was impressed that I was actually coherent. Practice really does make perfect.

I’m a bit annoyed that the flu had a halftime show. Now I’m fighting out the second half of the game and I probably didn’t take advantage of the respite of having a decent day or two. Now I’m back in the storm, to use an entirely different metaphor, and I’m upset the eye has passed.

Categories
Preparedness

Day 497 and Collapse

You ever find yourself so stressed by a big decision or important event that you become sick as soon as it’s end is in sight? Adrenaline and cortisol take a strained body pretty far, but eventually your central nervous system is like no. I’m not at all surprised by how poorly I feel now that we’ve resolved our dilemmas on housing. In fact, the offer on the house was accepted today. If all goes well, we will move to Bozeman Montana in August. Prayers and chaos magic sigils.

I went to the urgent care center to get tested for Influenza A this morning as my husband had it last week. My Covid test was negative as was my influenza test. But I am coughing so hard it’s a challenge to get a breath in if I so much as talk. I got handed codeine cough syrup and Tamiflu and told to get back in bed. My body knows it can let go. We’ve got the house.

I want to be excited. I want to feel the joy and relief that I know is underneath the exhaustion and sickness. I want to feel the security from knowing my my job is done. We’ve been working towards buying a homestead for years. My husband and I have been doing our homework and working through preferences on the ideal land for what seems like our entire marriage.

But with the pandemic, we finally set about finding a home that could house us for decades. We’d been freed from dreaming about rural living while being stuck in cities and could now go about doing something with our desire to live in the mountains. Work from home changed the game for us completely. We could finally live where we wanted.

I want a homestead because I think we are in for hard times. Abundant opportunity exists to be sure but only for those that are prepared. My husband is skeptical on how extreme any event will be but trusts me to care for our family. Look at me doing the ultimate feminine act and standing for the home and hearth.

And I simply want harder times to be easier for my family. I don’t want my people to suffer because the world is changing too fast for them to adapt. I want to set up my tribe to succeed and thrive in a new chaotic world. Preparation takes work and making strange even crazy sounding bets before anyone else thinks it’s sane. I don’t mind being seen as crazy so long as me and mine are safe. I am a woman. You should fear this primal energy. It’s strong.

Close over the horizon we’ve got a new world of uncertainty coalescing into possibility that is emergent. Chaos will reign. How? Who can guess. Our simian minds can barely grasp the first order effects of our current landscape. Of course, we haven’t figured out second or third order issues from war and pestilence just yet. We just aren’t that smart. How could we ever predict the future? We are struggling to make sense of the present.

We are just now seeing the supply chain issues and commodity shortages from the pandemic collide with our globalized economies. This is just the start of the complexity era. Just wait till fertilizer shortages in global farmlands intersects with the war in Ukraine and the super hot and super dry summers brought by climate change. That doesn’t scar you enough? It should.

Wealth has bifurcated and American cultures are at war. It is literally a culture war playing out as fifty years of consensus in reproductive rights collapses. I don’t kid myself on it stopping there. Our sex lives are about to be the governments business and some folks feel good about it. Some fuckers are celebrating it. We are about to face some weird times and I want to face them on my own land with my own guns.

I am preparing myself for much harder times ahead. Because hard times create wealth. I am putting myself somewhere remote with a cold climate to mitigate climate disruption. But until it’s an emergency I’ve got a top notch airport with daily flights to any city where finance or technology does business.

I’m still on good supply lines but I’m also in a community that can do a lot of trade on the basics of food, water and services. I picked a state that has abstained from the culture wars. I pray it remains a libertarian “live and let place” as I fear for the theocracy that is coming for southern states.

Equally I’m disinterested in liberal states that want to decide how to best allocate my resources. I’ll build my own communities and see to them if I can. Bozeman was a very deliberate choice that came from literally thousands of variables. It’s my last stand where I think I can battle the future and win.

People talk a good game about their vision for the future. They talk up their investments and their bags and their confidence in a whole new world and yet they live in precarious cities and lifestyles a single crisis could derail. I’m telling you that I see chaos and it will not ruffle my feathers. It won’t disrupt my breakfast. And I intend to set myself up to be able to ride it out in as much comfort as possible with as little disruption as possible.

Because I want to win this churn. I want to make money. If chaos is a ladder I will climb. And I’d suggest you consider what you are willing to do to win the next decade. It might not be the collapse. But even the crumbles will require you to change. And if your answer is nothing. I cannot guarantee your comfort in the future.

Categories
Startups

Day 468 and Small Moves

One of my favorite movies as a kid was Carl Sagan’s Contact. It’s not a great movie but it’s heart is in the right place. It’s a beautiful story about human curiosity and the long timeline of history. In one of the closing sequences the protagonist is told by alien intelligence as embodied by a representation of her dead father that all next steps are “small moves Ellie.”

I never feel like I’m moving fast enough. Every day presses against me. I long to slog through them with speed and alacrity. It’s almost embarrassing how inadequate I find my progress. But then I remember that I move fast. I live ahead of the mainstream. I get to sit in the future that William Gibson said was not evenly distributed. Even if I don’t think I’m particularly good it’s hard to deny just how much of my life is lived in a tiny sliver of humanity.

Someone recently asked me how I moved so fast when I’m dealing with a chronic illness. I found it to be such a shocking question. I feel like I’m glacial compared to the reach of my desires and imagination. But then I’m reminded that even in shorter hours I’m forced to hone my crafts. I can’t afford to waste energy or focus so I simply do not. I imagine this focusing out of need is similar to what parents of young children operate in. The subtle art of not giving a fuck.

And so what if I am slow on a day to day basis. Rome wasn’t built in a day. I’m not a market trader. I invest in ten year cycles. Everything in venture is actually small moves. But as time adds up so do the aggregate of the moves. Compounding interest is up there with gravity as a force. So even when I yearn for more and for it to arrive faster I have to trust the numbers.

Categories
Emotional Work

Day 457 and Pedicure

I did something today I haven’t done in two years. I got my nails done. And it felt so luxurious and yet also somehow normal. This regular act of grooming had once been a staple self care activity but today felt transformed into a ritual of joy.

I feel free and lucky in this moment. Getting a pedicure done means I have someplace to be where someone will see me. It means I am healthy enough to be going somewhere. It means I have a desire to be somewhere. All this cascading luck mixed to show me that my life was ok. I felt so much gratitude and self love in that moment. I am ok. The ok-ness of the universe in an act.

I know it sounds heady and existential and also a bit ridiculous as I elevate the act of a pedicure. But truly I feel so good about where I am in life that I can get my toes painted coral.

Also it’d worth noting that less glamorously cutting my toenails is hard for me to do on my own because of my spondylitis. So a necessity and a luxury in its own physical way. It is a quality of life improvement. So I’m grateful that this is where I am. May we all get little joys of normal in this chaotic world.

Categories
Travel

Day 454 and Up In The Air

When I first started this experiment in daily writing my schedule was quite predictable. We were in the middle of the pandemic and each day could be relied upon to deliver some consistency. But now that era of at home living is slipping away for abled people, even marginally at risk folks like myself have to contend with new challenges.

In this case, the challenge is writing before being offline. It’s noon in Frankfurt. I’ll be catching a flight back to a Colorado early this afternoon. I’ll land in the late afternoon Mountain Time but for me it will be Thursday already. So I have to consider if writing on the proper day in both Germany and Colorado counts, or if I could leave it till when I land. I decided to do it ahead of time as it is both in the spirit of the daily consistent writing pattern but also I’ll be far too tired to do it after a ten hour flight.

What’s a fascinating to me is that this one big travel block felt like a one off. But once I broke the seal on being up in the air I felt like I could do it again. So I’ve booked a trip to Miami next week. And then Montana in May to spend time with friends working remotely and scouring for homesteads. And from there I’ll be headed to Austin in June. And so the schedule of travel renews.

It’s not exactly the new normal. Travel is still a nightmare. I just had a wheezing fit of tachycardia because of a security line issue and had to beg to have my mask off so I could take medicine and slow my heart. Flying is still a bit of a nightmare. But it feels good to take flight again. I am spiritually ready to be up in the air again.

Categories
Travel

Day 453 and 80% Rule

My husband Alex has this rule for travel he calls the “85% rule” for when to expect homesickness. It’s a pretty simple concept. You will feel the maximum amount of negative emotions as you begin the final days or weeks of your trip. But it clears up once the trip nears completion. You will feel worse when your completion bar is at 80% than you will at 99%. In your final day or even hours you will wish you were staying but two or three days before you will wonder why the fuck you aren’t already home

This rule holds true for business travel and personal. It’s remarkably consistent on short trips and as I discovered even month long excursions. I’m flying home to Colorado tomorrow which is a Wednesday. But last Thursday and Friday I was so done with being in Frankfurt. I just wanted to be done with it. I debated looking for earlier flights.

Thankfully Alex reminded me of the 80% rule. He encouraged me to feel the homesickness and sadness. Enjoy the discomfort even. And that by the time Tuesday rolled around I’d be sad that I was leaving Germany behind.

And just as he predicted today I was hit with the wave of happiness and nostalgia that comes at the end of a long enjoyable stay. I had to walk into the city center to get my Covid test for my flight back. As I finished up the errand I found myself slow walking back to the apartment to put off packing. I went by the big indoor farmers market to get a snack for the airplane. I veered over into old town to take one last look at the architecture. I even popped into a souvenir store to eye expensive cuckoo clocks and beer steins. I normally hate knickknacks.

I’m enjoying an immense wave of satisfaction and nostalgia. This trip has gone even better than my wildest fantasies could have imagined. I’ve reminded myself of my priorities and independence. It’s given me a new appreciation for my marriage and it’s importance to me. I’ve pondered been insights into my motivations and coping mechanisms. I wish I could stay longer to pursue the history of a city that perfectly aligns with my historical, economic and aesthetic history. I guess the 80% rule works. I’ll head home in the morning.

Categories
Chronicle Preparedness

Day 451 and Takeout

I’m a little embarrassed that this is the second time I’ve written about takeout on my daily essay series but fuck it I am owning my love of outsourcing food. My fridge has absolutely nothing in it but leftover boxes of takeout right now and I’ve used Wolt every single day this week. I highly recommend if you find yourself in Germany.

When I get tired or overwhelmed or otherwise struggle to manage life food has always been one of my bigger struggles. I just have no affinity for cooking. The people who find it relaxing or enjoyable seem insane to me. My husband is one of those people. He’s a talented cook. I on the other hand have been known to hyperventilate because I set the microwave on fire because I didn’t know you couldn’t put tinfoil in it. Also this is the second day in a row where I’ve admitted to setting shit on fire. I wonder what that is about.

As much as I love traditional skills and think preparedness and homesteading are worthy and even vital pursuits, cooking is just not the skill for me. I’ll garden and handle the animals but please don’t ask me to make a meal. I can’t handle planning an hour ahead of time. My timing horizons are one year or ten years.

This affinity for long term planning is probably why I like planting and venture capital. I’ll happily work towards a long term goal but if I have to pressure myself into a task on a specific day well frankly I’d probably rather set something on fire. I just can’t predict how I’ll be on any given day. And I’ve only got so much energy so why would I use it on anything that’s not crucial or enjoyable.

So fuck feeling bad about it and my Wolt bills from this month. It’s who I am and everyone in my life who is affected by this habit seems fine with it. Well except maybe the recycling and trash bin guys. They’ve got to be thinking “this bitch needs to chill on the takeout boxes!” But also look at this amazing piece of packaging and tell me it wasn’t all with it.

A bison burger in a takeout box
The magic of good recycled packaging

Categories
Chronicle

Day 449 and Lost Time

I lost some time this week. I was living on someone else’s schedule and it cascaded into a wash of hours where I felt like I was completely out of sync with the wider world as I struggled to get back in my own time.

I’m not at my best when I have to push myself to live on other people’s time. Everything shrunk down to my bedroom and my body and my own myopia about righting my sense of reality. I was in a lot of physical pain which pushed me mentally as well.

I started to feel genuinely better and on track around 5pm in Frankfurt. Technically that meant I still had a half day in California to work. But I’d lost the will to push. I needed to regroup. I am telling myself that it’s ok because it’s not as if I work a standard 9-5 job. I can take the weekend to find my way back to the timeline. And if I’m honest some of my best work gets done on Saturday night.

Categories
Emotional Work

Day 448 and Disappointment

I’m feeling disappointed in myself. I want to shake the feeling as I’ve done nothing wrong that warrants punishment. But the feeling of disappointment is lingering which is a double cruelty I’m perpetuating on myself.

I have been pushing myself physically. I know this has consequences. And yet I’m frustrated by my body reacting exactly as I know it will when I run myself down. And worse than that, I find myself negotiating with my body to justify pushing just a little bit more. What if I take this medicine? Will that buy me more time? How dangerous will it be if I just keep ignoring how I feel so I can push a little bit more for a little bit longer? I’m rationalizing what amounts to self harm all because I want my body to be something it cannot be.

I feel like I should know better than to be so cruel to myself. I should let it go of the foolish need to push. What I need is sleep and my routine. I should take my medicine and instead of using the feeling of relief it brings to push, I should use the relief to rest in comfort so I heal and recover.

I hate that I keep relearning the same basic lessons of chronic disease over and over again. But hating myself for being disappointing is of course the pattern I need to break. It defeats the point. The self is not an attack surface. Being disappointed serves no purpose in this moment. It’s not driving me to be better. It’s driving me to be worse. So I’m letting it go. And I’m hoping tomorrow I’ll go a little easier on myself.