Emotional Work

Day 703 and Day of Rest

I love a good Sunday. I love a good Sabbath. I love a stolen afternoon away from the demands and observations of the wider world. Getting away from it all, even if it’s a just a few moments stolen away from the world for a private reflection, is in fact a great gift.

I’ve got a tendency to engage in unproductive self talk when it comes to relaxation in particular, but more generally with feeling like I can take time for myself. I’m sure this is a relatable trouble in the hustle bound addiction driven workaholism of startup land.

The guilt I feel about being unproductive overshadows the enjoyment of necessary restorative activities. I’ll “should” on myself. My ego protection insists on it. But I am trying to stay in the adult portion of my mind which can remind my inner child that it’s alright to have a little fun.

And I did have a little fun today. Not because I engages in any hobbies or particularly exciting fun activities. I just took care of myself. I lifted weights. It was leg day so maybe that counts as fun. I took my once a week extended shower where I scrub, exfoliate, shave and condition every applicable inch of my body. Obviously I’m not shaving my head use common sense. Then I spent 90 minutes immobilized a foot masks. No winter feet for me! I meditated. I did some heat therapy. I used the Theragun. I got a little bit high and ate lunch. I took a nap.

I am feeling rested and happy about the entire day. How nice that I was able to enjoy being in my own body. How nice I could take enjoyment from something restorative. Yes I want to justify it with promises of added productivity to come. But it’s ok to just enjoy the pleasure for the thing that it is. Enjoy your life.

Biohacking Emotional Work

Day 676 and Fall Back

I was up and out of my bed like a shot at 6am. Fall back time chances were in full swing and I was excited to hit then the ground running. My trackers told me I was about 90 minutes short of my average sleep and warned me I would need a nap as I was only partially recovered.

But my overall recovery felt fine. I went about my business of making a cup of fancy coffee and filling out my to do list. I felt motivated and enthusiastic. I was excited for Monday energy.

I had one of those mornings where my focus was total. I knew my priorities and I was excited to feel like my goals were achievable. Maybe it was the change in schedules. But I was ready.

I plowed through my morning like I was young, healthy and full of joy. Which is a bit ironic as a number of my goals were explicitly designed to bolster any weaknesses in my physical body. I take supplements and remedies. I meditated. I did some movement and mobility work. I did the work in my body so my mind could be sharp and fast.

I had three full blocks of deep focus work where I didn’t even feel a moderate temptation to open my phone or check social media. My energy went into shaping my work to the desired outcome.

When I looked back over my to do list I realized I’d been working for six straight hours. It was time for lunch. I could feel hunger and a bit of fatigue come over me.

I was lucky enough to have my afternoon block cancel on me. I climbed back into bed seven hours after waking and promptly fell asleep. My joy and focus were rewarded with the kind of perfect deep sleep nap you wish were possible all the time.

Maybe I’m too sad to be on Twitter and I’m having to do more of my zeitgeist work by hand through each newspaper and blog. But falling back into a deep work slow pace actually speed me up.


Day 663 and Bad Sleep

I realize I’ve had several days of “well shit seems badposting. The outside world is a bit kooky but my world is basically fine. It’s snowy and I’m cozy and I’ve got friends visiting so you’d think I’d be in a terrific mood. But I’ve had two nights of absolutely horrible sleep.

I have been tossing and turning. I’m in more pain than I’d prefer. My heart rate is up. And my recovery has been for shit. At 6am this morning I just fully gave up on sleeping and trudged up to the kitchen for coffee. According to my Whoop I’d been awake since 1am. The same thing had happened the night before too.

I have reasonably good sleep hygiene. Dark quiet cold room. I take magnesium. I have a wind down routine. I’ve got a good mattress. And crucially if I am particularly fucked up I’ve got a prescription for a downer or two.

None of that appears to have mattered. Not even drugs were able to keep me asleep. And it’s bumming me the fuck out. At a certain point I’ve got to assume I’ll simply be so tired that I’ve got to sleep through the night right?

I told myself that was true yesterday when I feel asleep within a few minutes of my head hitting the pillow. But a few hours later I was awake and in pain. I’ve tried to be extra active today in the hopes that I won’t repeat it tonight.

Internet Culture

Day 660 and When Extremely Online Goes Terminal

I committed one of the cardinal sins of the extremely online yesterday. So much discourse was happening I overwhelmed myself. Just like an endless stream of stuff was hitting my hind brain and like an idiot I just kept drinking from the firehose of engagement. I stayed up till 1am.

I’m typically careful about how much central nervous system stress I’m willing to tolerate. It’s a hazard of the job when being visibly online and searching for investments is mostly virtual. Purposely consuming a significant amount of bad news or scrolling the deep cuts of the dark corners of the message boards is meant to be done in small doses. I have no need to push my endocrine system into permanent fight or flight. No one does. It’s very counterproductive.

Going into a sympathetic nervous response is a part of life though. Some stress is good. I have an entire routine for soothing an overstimulated vagus nerve. I take adaptogens. I meditate. I live in Montana with plenty of open spaces and fresh air. I am skilled in discerning agitprop from all corners of the information wars. When I dive into the dopamine river I do so responsibly with the right tools. Don’t try this at home kids.

But that doesn’t mean I’m immune from drowning in the dopamine drip. I just have a good chance of pulling myself out before it’s too late. Around 9pm or so it became clear that even after a quiet dinner, some CBD and THC gummies, and relaxing television with my husband that I was in fact still very much in sympathetic response.

I panicked a little bit as hour after hour passed and I continued to be reactive. I’d started a negative flywheel. I took an Ativan fully expecting the steroid of the mind to knock me out. It did not. And so giving in to all my worst impulses stayed on Twitter. Fuck it if the good rare drugs weren’t doing it. I said “let ‘er rip!” I had recently finished the Bear.

Today I undid the damage. I slept until my body decided it was time to wake up. I followed my supplement routine carefully. For the TMI readers I had about a dozen orgasms. I slept some more. I stretched and took a walk. I took a long leisurely shower with every possibly form of exfoliating and conditioning I could imagine. And now at the end of the day I think I might have pushed my case of terminally online back to a place of merely extremely online. Let that be a lesson to everyone.

Emotional Work

Day 653 and Flat Lay

I am “enjoying” the monthly gift of a horrific migraine pattern courtesy of my Aunt Flo. It appears to be one of those all day twenty four hour beasts. I am laid out flat from it.

My suspicion is I made the symptoms modestly worse by barreling through the past two weeks in my enthusiasm for my life. Life is good and that presents some challenges for me in over doing things.

The world may be unraveling but the personal realm of Julie Fredrickson has rarely been better than it is now. As it turns out, moving to Montana was an inspired long term investment right from the get-go. So naturally I want to share this good fortune with my most beloved. We’ve had an influx of friends and family.

One of the spiritual guardians of the the homestead is Elle Morrill. She was with us when we found the farm and made an offer on it. As we built out our guest rooms, Elle’s Room, has been name that stuck. As you can imagine, I was beyond excited to have her come visit for my birthday.

It is a beautiful thing to feel loved and cared for on one’s birthday. This whole week has been a rush of joy and support, running the gambit from being fed and nourished by Elle to being welcomed and aided by wider the startup community with my fundraise for

I can feel myself expanding and reaching for new competence and new horizons through the efforts of my friends. Elle made a Coq au Vin. Is there anything that says a love language quite like feeding someone? My love language might be writing but I think this gesture is easy to translate.

Coq au Vin or Chicken in Win with rice pilaf.

But nothing sweet can be enjoyed fully without a hint of bitterness for contrast. Light is only illuminating against the presence of the dark. A painting without shadows is flat. And so the flat lay photographs of sumptuous gourmet meals made with love and care by someone I love perhaps has to be contrasted by being laid out flat with a migraine.

So as I lay flat in bed yearning for the energy to be with Elle, with my work, and with my life, I must remind myself that the work of art that is my life needs the shadows too.


Day 652 and Startled Awake

There are few things more disorienting than waking up without realizing where, or even when, you’ve fallen asleep.

The first few moments of regaining consciousness are the stuff of genuine terror. As your senses do their best to bring their data to your brain, there are a few agonizingly slow beats where you genuinely have no idea what the fuck is going on.

I imagine this phenomenon is where our vocabulary of phrases like “startled awake” get their origin. Perhaps you weren’t awoken by anything surprising, or particularly startling, but the small gap in processing between sense and mind is such a chasm in that singular moment that it all feels startling.

I had lay down to wait for a Midol to kick in to ease my first day of menstruation cramps at around 1:30pm. I remember asking my husband if he could find a heating blanket. I don’t remember much past that except a few hazy details of wrapping my entire lower torso with a heating blanket.

I had not turned off any lights. Nor had I thought to put on a sleeping mask. I thought I was simply waiting for the sweet relief of caffeine, Tylenol and diuretics. I had even told my girlfriend Ellie who had been expecting me to come up upstairs to hang out that I just needed a quick lie down. Turns out the lie part was true. It was not quick however. Which is some fun wordplay.

When I regained consciousness I had no sense of how much time had passed. As I fumbled about for my cell phone I swear I felt my neurons firing off rapidly in an attempt to gain data points for my poor addled mind to do some damned interpreting.

I was wrapped in something hot with a cord. Did that mean I wasn’t in my own bed? I didn’t generally sleep with anything electronic. I briefly panicked as I felt trapped in what was previously providing my body with comfort. I’d forgotten about the electric heating blanket, leaving the cord with no other function but to panic my hind brain with a fear of being strangled.

As all my lights were on, the various lamps were washing out any indication of the hour. I could hear noises above me so perhaps someone was awake. Did that mean it was the afternoon? What was with all the stomping above. It felt like it must be day.

I simply wasn’t getting enough orientation information from my initial position and I couldn’t seem to find my phone. I doubt more than a second or two has passed as I went through my startled awake process.

As I attempted to make sense of all these inputs I finally realized that I had passed out on top of my phone and I’d let it slip under my pillow. It was a bit past 3pm. I texted Ellie to let her know I’d accidentally passed out. The brief pumping of adrenaline and cortisol was easing back. I was at home in bed quite safe and a bit overly warm. But I certainly felt a new appreciation for the limits and frailty of my human mind.

Emotional Work

Day 641 and Recovery

This might sound a little shocking but I sleep at least 9 hours a night. Sleep is one of the obsessions of the biohacker. If I’m lucky I might be able to get to ten. It’s always a sign of me doing poorly if I am not sleeping a TON.

It’s usually the first sign I am not adequately reserving time to bring down my central nervous system into rest and digest. I’ll stay up till 11pm and then it’s a hop skip and a jump to only sleeping seven hours.

The best combination of effort and exertion for me is only adding in specific necessary stressors during the day and give ample time to recovery. Much of my work requires focus and information processing and synthesis. And that isn’t improved by overwork and exhaustion.

Nevertheless I am still carting around a lot of lessons from my childhood about the value of hard work. More is better. More hours is best. And this is a fine and noble thing if you do work intelligently with your goals in mind. Simple exertion is sometimes the best option. But not always.

Aesthetics Travel

Day 633 and Hospitality

One of the things my husband Alex and I were most excited by when we bought our homestead in Montana is inviting our friends and family to stay with us. We have an entire floor of the house dedicated to guests and have plans to turn part of our barn into a separate guest house as well.

We’ve begun the process of designing and furnishing our guest floor. We have two rooms, a bathroom and a separate living room. The furniture is slowing turning up. Which means it is time to work on the details of making it as comfortable and hospitable as possible. Naturally we asked Twitter to weigh in on what makes people feel at home in someone else’s house. And you did not disappoint.


Traveling with full toiletries and skincare can be a challenge especially when flying. Here is a list of the most requested grooming items and toiletries

  • Hairdryer
  • Roundbrush & Styling Tools
  • Shampoo & Conditioner & Body Wash
  • Lotion & Body Moisturizer
  • Skincare Basics (SPF, Face Creams)
  • Skincare single use masks for face & under eye bags
  • Dental Care (Brush, Paste, Floss)
  • Small Individually Wrapped Soap
  • Q-Tips & Cotton Rounds
  • Tampons & Pads
  • Tissues
  • Bandaids & Pimple Patches
  • First Aid Items (Headache, Allergy)

Bathroom Comfort

Grooming items isn’t the only thing that you need in the bathroom. Personal hygiene requires some thought.

  • Trash Bin
  • Dark Towel for Makeup Removal
  • Plenty of Extra Bath Towels
  • Wash Cloths
  • Hair Towel & Turban
  • Extra Towel Hooks
  • Plunger & Brush
  • Bidet and Squatty Potty
  • Septic Care Sign
  • Cleaning Items
  • Extra Toilet Paper
  • Tissues
  • Poo-pouri or matches to mask smells


Keeping your personal items from overflowing can help make a guest room feel more comfortable. Remember power strips & plugs! Some of the most requested items include:

  • Pens & Notepad & Scissors
  • Desk Power Station
  • Bedside Power and USB
  • Hangers (including pant & skirt)
  • Trays/Landing Zones for small items
  • Coat Hook
  • Dresser & Closet Space
  • Full Length Mirror

Bedding and Sleeping

Getting a good night sleep in a new place can be very challenging. Providing for your guest’s sleep and relaxing needs was a top request.

  • Extra Pillows
  • Hypoallergenic Options
  • Duvet Cover
  • Robes & Slippers
  • Dirty Clothing Bins & Laundry
  • Dimmer & Good Bedroom Lighting (not too bright, preferably lamps)
  • Books & Reading Materials
  • Nightstand Space (w/ power & USB strips)
  • Eye Masks & Earplugs (ideally also blackout curtains)
  • Water Glasses & Jugs
  • Wifi QR Codes
  • Speakers or White Noise Machine

Other requests including desks and working areas. Our current plans are to have adjustable standing desks and ergonomic work chairs in each bedroom. Plenty of landing spaces and areas to keep your items visible but not cluttered (including luggage stands) is also commonly requested. Separate sitting, sleeping and working areas is best. Also a surprisingly large number of people suggested a white board. So clearly our friends like to brainstorm on the road. External monitors and keyboard were also mentioned.

We have plans to write a basic FAQ document that includes things how the house works. We will include details on water filtration (we have an expensive filtering system so you can drink from any tap in the house), where food is kept and expectations on hours and interaction. Also details on things like heating and cooling are crucial for comfort. People should be able to maintain their ideal temperatures for sleeping and working.

We are also planning to outfit the guest common areas (private to guests and separate from the house common areas) with a mini-fridge stocked with favorite beverages and snacks. Having a coffee maker and tea service was a popular request as well. We are also considering extra boots and outdoor gear for city guests that do not have country gear or simply cannot travel with Wellingtons and barn coats.

Another huge area of interest was maintaining health and fitness. We have a full gym including squat rack, pull up bar, treadmill and a Pilates reformer along with mats for stretching and yoga. We’ve got a Theragun, medicine balls & foam rollers. I am also keen to have supplements for basics to keep your immune system happy like Vitamin D, C and Zinc. We also have a hot tub and have plans for an infrared sauna (might even include a cold plunge).

If you’ve got hospitality suggestions we’d love to hear them. And of course if you are one of our many virtual friends we’d be delighted if you’d consider becoming an “IRL” or in-real-life friend by coming to visit us. We are booked through October but would be thrilled to have you come for ski season!


Day 619 and Indoor Clothes

I have one issue on which I am a little obsessive compulsive. I hate when someone wears dirty clothes on a clean bed. It just drives me absolutely up the wall.

I suspect this is born of some totally rational preferences. I am very outdoorsy and always have been. As a child I spent as much time as I could negotiate at the barn. I worked as a stable hand as part of keeping my own horse’s board and feed paid. If you’ve ever kept animals or worked on a farm you know how barn clothes smell at the end of a long day. You don’t wear your barn clothes except when you are choring. It’s rude.

Then when I left Colorado for New York City I found another reason that your work clothes should be taken off at the door. Instead of smelling like manure, urine and stale sweat after a long day mucking stales you’d smell like shit, piss, the subway and traffic exhaust. City smells are no more polite to bring inside than barn smells. Getting splashed by a cab or sitting too close to someone who hasn’t showered in a while on the subway is just normal life in a city.

You can probably imagine now a routine in which I take off my outdoor clothes and swap them for my clean indoor clothing. I try to do this as fast as is possible. I can’t fully relax unless I know I’m in my indoor clothing. Because unless I’m clean I cannot get into bed. And there can be no dirty clothes on clean beds.

I simply will not let myself even get on top of the comforter of my bed with outdoor clothing on. If I want to get under the covers and fully relax at home, I better be in clean designated “indoor clothing.”

It still upsets my brain when I see a teenager on television lounging on their bed with shoes and jeans on. Maybe suburban sitcoms neighborhood are a cleaner environment than the one I grew up in?

Or when an adult couple is about to get it on and then tumble into bed with their coats and jackets and high heels. I just hate that. I shudder. I don’t want to bring dirt and shit into my love making. Sorry it’s just my preference no shame if that’s your kink. But absolutely not in my house.

I’ve finally fully trained my husband on this quirk. He keeps a clean set of pajamas to change into and is careful to keep barn clothes to the barn. As for me, I like this quirk. I keep a cleaner house because of it. Sure it’s a little weird but I love a nice clean safe place.


Day 617 and Overnight

I plowed through a bunch of choring yesterday. Which apparently tuckered me out. I took maybe an hour nap before dinner. I had a little extra CBD beforehand and found myself drowsy as hell. I passed out sometime around 8:30pm.

Alas the napping and the early bedtime, if you can call just utterly losing consciousness “bedtime,” had consequences. I came to around 1am and found myself wide awake. Oops.

At first I wasn’t quite sure how to approach this unexpected moment of being lucid and energetic in the middle of the night. I toddled over to the bathroom to pee. I crawled back into bed. I debated if I should try to force the issue with an Ambien. But I didn’t have anything in the morning so I thought maybe I should take those sleep hygiene folks seriously and just do something till I get tired.

Of course, the thing I decided to do was read on my phone. I cleared a few back logged essays from my collections on my favorite reader app Matter. I logged into Bloomberg to check pre-market sentiment. I opened up the New York Times and read Queen Elizabeth’s obituary.

Around 2am it seemed clear I wasn’t sleepy at all. Whether from the back lighting of my phone or the five hours of sleep I’d logged earlier. So I said fuck it and opened Twitter. I dig deep into the feuding discourses of “God Save the Queen” versus the survivors of British empire. Monarchists loved their kindly grandmother and the Irish did their best to be polite about the genocide of it all.

If the sun never sets on the British Empire the doom scrolling through the celebration of the end of the longest reigning monarch seemed like the way to go out. But unsurprisingly there was a lot of darkness to be found in the pre-dawn sentiment. I tweeted a reminder to myself to explore how enclosure movements and anti-colonial “fuck the federales this is our land” historical context plays into the American political moment.

Eventually I got drowsy. I feel asleep around 5am just as the rest of the country was waking up. I slept till 9am or so.