Categories
Startups

Day 761 and Calls

Yesterday ended up being a big day for me. A couple projects that have been in the works for months for final confirmations. That meant I spent a lot of time on phone calls yesterday.

I hadn’t planned for Monday to be so busy. I have therapy in the late afternoons so I tend to back my mornings but I still leave enough breaks to come down from the energy and excitement of a big call. I find synchronized communications to be a little overstimulating so I like to meditate and do Wim Hoff breathing to break down my cortisol levels.

But I couldn’t make it happen yesterday. It was too much back to back. I went from an hour long fact checking media call right into my two hour group therapy session. I’d had a few other smaller calls before it as well.

My earbuds were the first to note the issue. With about fifteen minutes left in my two hour Zoom I got the 10% battery left warning from my AirPods. My technology realized it was time to recharge before I did.

And boy was the decay quick. The AirPods went bwoooop and went dead. I could feel myself getting a little dazed myself. As soon as I was off the call I checked my HRV using Welltory and found all my systems were drained. Too many calls has called on too few resources.

Categories
Travel

Day 752 and 24 Hours

I cannot remember the last time I pulled an all nighter. Probably something related to Black Friday sales. But in order to travel back from Prague to Montana I was awake for 24 hours straight across three flights and four separate airports.

I hadn’t really intended to be awake for the entire trip but because one has to pad timing around flights these days, every leg of the trip involved three or four hours between flights or an extended delay that has me running.

I was awake at 5:30am in Prague for a 7am flight that boarded at 7am. I arrived in London at 10am GMT after delays. My Heathrow to Denver flight was meant to department at 1pm. That 9 hour flight was the most pleasant part of the journey but I didn’t want to nap during it as I was concerned it would make my jet lag significantly worse.

I landed in Denver at 3:30pm Mountain time which is 7 hours minus GMT and 8 hours behind Prague so it was 10:30pm for me. I was dragging as that was a long day in and of itself. And frankly I’m used to living off a hub like Denver so a final leg of the journey was a new experience for me.

It was snowing in Denver which had created a significant backlog for takeoffs as everyone needed de-icing. I made a made dash for the 1:30pm Bozeman flight that was delayed to 4pm. I sprinted through Global Entry and back through security but the doors had already closed. I had to wait for my originally schedule 7:30pm flight.

Miraculously that flight was only delayed to 8pm because of the weather but I still found myself sitting in Terminal B for hours as my energy flagged and my spine started to hurt. My body clearly knew it was time for me to be in bed but here I was under florescent lights, eating a Caesar salad at a chain restaurant, waiting for one last flight.

When we boarded at 8pm it was 4am for my internal body clock. Thankfully the 700 mile flight from Denver to Bozeman is only a little over an hour. We touched down at 930pm. By the time I got to Alex waiting for me outside I had been up for exactly 24 hours.

I crossed a contingent, the English Channel, flew over the arctic circle and through another continent, which is an impressive territory to cover in a single day. But what a long day it was.

I slept from 11pm to 10am MTN to make up my sleep debt for the all nighter and I am still pretty tired. That was the equivalent of sleeping till 5pm. It all felt very collegiate to sleep through “the entire day” even though I am now settled back into my original time zone.

My Whoop recovery score was a 24% so I was pretty into the red from the whole experience. But I should be ready to spend the week on the proper time zone so I suppose it was all worth it.

Categories
Biohacking Travel

Day 741 and Physical Safety

The last four days have been a bit messy for me. I flew to Prague for yet another failed effort to secure a visa for a family friend. My second time in a year to have failed to make any progress with our state department. I am not used to losing.

I very much want to give up on fighting this behemoth. Frankly my body has gotten the memo and decided to force a breather. As soon as it was clear my mission has failed, my body felt safe enough to get on with the business of its rhythms and routines.

My period has been a bit late but it’s here with a vengeance today. I appreciated it if I’m honest. Today I am wrecked with cramps and bloating. I had already caved to a emergency dose of steroids for an allergic reaction over the weekend. So why not add cranks to the experience.

Bodies are pretty smart about figuring out when you can afford a physical issue. They keep you safe through hormone boosts like cortisol and adrenaline. But they are not permanent states you can maintain forever. And now that I’ve been through the gauntlet of the embassy and failed there is no point is holding it all together.

I’ll rest and work today. Any ambition I had to see Prague is probably gone for the time being. I’d hoped to do some tourism before the American work hours in the late afternoon and evening. But I’ll be on my laptop in the Airbnb working and taking Midol instead. My body wants physical safety so I’ll give it to her.

Categories
Biohacking Emotional Work

Day 732 and Be Kind To Yourself

Are you tempted to exert willpower and discipline over yourself today? Have you made up your mind to change this year? Are you going to push yourself to be a better person? Have you resolved to fix your body, your diet, your sleep, your habits, your work, your relationship or your family?

I’d like to gently encourage you to reconsider. Maybe don’t force yourself to do anything. Perhaps you can find new habits and routines that come from a place of love and abundance instead of lack.

Every January, millions adopt a harsh deprivation-restriction mindset and begin punishing themselves, physically and mentally. Yes, harsh tactics can work for a few weeks. But the reason they don’t tend to last is because they come from a place of lack, not from a place of love.

Dr Rangan Chatterjee

I’m a firm believer in good habits. What we do every day is what makes us who we are. But we cannot sustain misery. And why would we? The self should not be an attack surface. Any changes you seek must come from a place of love.

I’m not suggesting you don’t explore the ways in which you want to change. But if you go into January with restrictions and self hatred well girl eating disorder season can be a misery.

Remember you do not deserve any suffering inflicted by yourself. I know you want to push back against that thought but ask yourself why? Why should you be a victim to yourself? Resolve the guilt and integrate the shadows into your life instead.

I’m not suggesting there is no place for new habits or changes. But please consider looking over my piece on biohacking first. Small changes and manageable pacing are a must. Compounding small successes will add up over time.

Don’t believe me? This is my third year of writing every single day. And it was built one step at a time. Let 2023 be a year for kindness and self love. Great things are built on that foundation.

Categories
Emotional Work Startups

Day 719 and Step By Step

I was discussing my goals for 2023 with a friend today. They wanted to know if I was planning on making any New Year’s resolutions. I told them that I wasn’t in the habit of using a new calendar year for making big changes.

Generally speaking if I want to do a thing I just start. I honestly feel like it’s far too intimidating to declare yourself to be some kind of fundamentally new person that will, as of a certain arbitrary day, make huge life changes. It’s too much pressure. One of my rules for biohacking is to only change one variable at a time. And I don’t make big changes to it either. 10% a week is good enough for most goals. Anyone familiar with the magic of compounding knows that small changes add up to big numbers.

Which isn’t to say that I haven’t started big life changing projects on January first. If you count back from 719 you will notice I first began writing on January 1st 2021. I did indeed resolve to write every day. But I hadn’t intended it as something I’d keep up for a specific amount of time. I’d hoped I’d practice my writing for thirty days and I allowed myself a little fantasy about how amazing it would be to write for a thousand days.

A thousand days seemed like an impossibility at the time which is why I allowed the fantasizing. My pragmatic side said just get started and see if you can keep going. And I did. I put one foot in front of the proverbial other for two years. Now I’m relatively confident that if I want to do so I’ll make it to a thousand days.

I approach most goals like this. I had a fantasy that I could make it as an investor. I was a founder so I thought let’s wire some small angel checks. We were already committed as a family to being startup operators so why not combine our skin in the game with a little more capital risk with our network.

I never envisioned myself raising a fund and making some big announcement about how I had a venture fund. I just started learning by doing. I cut checks. I ran some special purpose vehicles. And this year I decided to one-step-at-a-time go about raising a rolling fund. I am just doing the thing one day at a time. And it’s going well. Amazing people are coming on board. I am confident I’ll reach my goals just by putting one step in front of the other.

If you’d like to join me my goal is to raise $500K per quarter. I’ve got folks like Joel Spolsky of Stack Overflow and Michael Pryor of Trello so you will be in good company. You can read the fund overview here. Yoican sign up on Angellist through the above link or get on a call with me and we can discuss the fund, our portfolio construction and my thesis. Because I intend to work through the holidays because it remains one day at a time.

Categories
Emotional Work Finance

Day 680 and History Repeating

I found myself crying my eyes out to my therapist this morning. Just full on sobbing. Nothing bad actually even happened to me during this week’s chaos. In fact, I’ve spent the last year or so preparing Alex and I for a downturn. I wouldn’t be much of a doomer if I didn’t swing into this downturn prepared.

It just all felt too familiar. It felt like the worst days of fear and insecurities from my childhood playing out all over again. My family went bankrupt during the great Web 1 unraveling. And I’ve never forgotten it’s lessons.

I remember feeling like I was in a secure situation and then learning in dramatic fashion that it was all gone. That all the hopes, dreams and aspirations that my father had done so much to prepare me to reach for (including a lot of very expensive colleges) would likely be out of reach. We’d be starting from scratch again. I hadn’t really had a lot of time to enjoy being a poor little rich girl. It was over too fast.

My father is a truly entrepreneurial man. When I was born the family lore is that he was pitching a edtech company. We were a startup family. We lived in Fremont which is (was) the shitty poor town. I suspect it was a lot harder than I even remember.

But dad found a way to realize his Silicon Valley dreams. He brought software to millions of people. He really did do the thing. And for a few years during the boom times it felt like we might be wealthy forever.

But finance is tricky. Lock ups can fuck you up. So can leverage. We had both. And then of course regular old fraud happens too. Yay.

But it wasn’t in vain. I learned those lessons well. I swing big and I bet on the future like my dad. I believe in people and in genius. But I also keep a balanced portfolio and back up plans.

I believe in exponential growth. But I also believe in the cost of capital. Sometimes money is cheap. Too cheap. And you need to prepare for when capital is expensive again. Because the laws of physics tell us that energy cannot be created or destroyed. And until someone smarter than me proves the laws of thermodynamics wrong, I will operate based on them.

And I am ready for the dark days. Both because it is literally November but also because I believe we’ve got chaos ahead. And if I’ve learned one thing from my childhood it is that you can survive it. It just takes a little bit of preparation. Which I’ve done. Everything else is just a case of history repeating.

Categories
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.

Categories
Biohacking

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.

Categories
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.

Categories
Chronic Disease Emotional Work

Day 636 and Waves

Yesterday I was on top of a wave of positivity, so naturally this means today I was prepared for that wave to crash. The rhythms of both life, and my body, must accommodate the full range of highs and lows. After several intense days of work and activity I spent my day reading and absorbing news and financial reports in bed.

I am becoming modestly less indignant about having to monitor and meter my energy carefully. This is a new development in some ways as I’ve struggled quite publicly with mixed feelings about accounting for fatigue and pain in my workflows. I have in the past easily fallen into envy and jealousy when I see how much able bodied friends give little thought to their physical realities.

I have slowly let go of negativity around around around my body and come to embrace the rhythms of requiring rest. I’ve even come to see it as a strength as being forced into mitigating stress loads and cortisol spikes means I have more control over my sympathetic nervous system. Rather than give in to fight or flight, I am able now to able to choose how I respond.