I always find myself disappointed by how much time I put into health. Perhaps it’s a sign of how high expectations are for performance in the tools we use daily that it seems preposterous that it should require a third of your time in maintenance.
As I try to do more with my days and push myself to do more in less time I still have to put in the effort to stay at my old baseline. I put my faith in the miracles of compounding. What was once a huge effort is now a habit.
I try to fight my tendency to optimize even as tracking my own data has its benefits. Most of my inputs are just a refinement on existing heuristics. Occasionally I’ll find someone who has a fix so might better than what I’ve been doing it fundamentally resets my understanding of my works model. It happens more than you’d think.
In accelerating I must apply more energy to my existing systems. Or course the old systems seem to call out depending more. As I push for performance my body demands its sleep, its fuel and any other number of needs. Sometimes it’s a want. It’s not always clear so I test.
Thanksgiving is one of America’s strangest and most utopian holidays. We take a day at the end of the fall harvest season, just as we head into the darkest time of the year, to give thanks for having survived the last the cycle.
Everyone who makes it to the Thanksgiving table is symbolically finding a place of security, abundance, friendship and family. Even if it’s just for an hour.
It’s within this bittersweet context that I think being grateful for disappointment is a worthy objective. I say the serenity prayer with that thought in mind.
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
While I am grateful for all of the things that went my way this year, I am as glad that I have been able to accept the things I cannot change.
The disappointments in life are endless and personal. Our own family stories are shaped by the intimate family dynamics of feeling loved, secure, safe and empowered. No childhood is without some emotional ups and downs.
If you feel disappointment it’s a privilege. You extended enough empathy and love that you could be hurt. The trust required for this is one of life’s most human experiences. To love people that have disappointed us is to find peace with forgiveness. May we invite that forgiveness into our lives.
I give Thanksgiving for being able to feel connection with full knowledge of its risks and rewards.
Her generation’s history of counter culture and inevitable rise to power has many cautionary tales we’d do well to review. The limits of starry eyed optimism and the cold hard calculations of power play out in every generation, especially as they age.
I recall her support of Ross Perot in the 92 election only to find us swept up as a country in the Clinton victory. The Clinton repurposing of a 1977 Fleetwood Mac song as its campaign anthem remains a vivid aesthetic memory from my young childhood.
Don’t stop thinking about tomorrow Don’t stop, it’ll soon be here It’ll be better than before Yesterday’s gone, yesterday’s gone
The oddest element of this memory is that while the Clinton victory song may have won as core memory, the deeper aesthetics of the losers have a more visceral hold. My mother’s favorite song was actually used as Ross Perot’s campaign song.
Our home in Montana is county land off of a dirt road. Our USPS mail box requires a half mile trek to get there and back. It is the perfect amount of walk at sunset when you want to take a short break and stretch your legs.
I had some skincare waiting for me so the anticipation added a pleasant boost to my already happy mood. It was golden hour as the sun set in the west. The Spanish Peaks were washed in light and clouds were orange. As far as being content with the human experience, it’s hard to get much better than that for me.
It’s nice to feel joy when everything is uncertain. Not that life ever offers much certainty, but it’s easy to feel grim when the problems facing my country and the planet seem insurmountable.
A beautiful sunset in the west could just as easily be read as sad metaphor. A lot feels like it’s going wrong if you read the news or spend time on social media. American decline, global warming, conflicts and strained spheres of influence all paint dire picture.
But that’s all outside my locus of control. The things I can do for myself are broad and life affirming. I enjoy a walk in the quiet beauty of nature because I’ve been graced with building a life where sunset in the west is a good thing.
For the last three days I’ve been experiencing a significant dip in energy and function in the later afternoon around 4pm.
Not only am I fatigued, but I seem to have some sort of either allergic response or potentially common cold symptoms. It’s a little unclear as I don’t have consistent symptoms nor do I have a fever.
Some of it is probably jet lag as I returned home to Montana after a month in Europe over the weekend. I haven’t quite recovered my sleep deficit as I am pushing very hard on my workload as well.
I tried doing a bit of polyphasic sleeping today to see if it might help abate the intensity of the dip. The idea behind polyphasic sleep is to get your required 7-8 hours not in one monophasic chunk at night but across your own natural energetic ebbs and flows.
I did a packed morning of work and meetings and then slept between the hours of 3-5pm. I do feel better having been asleep during the dip but I could feel the symptoms rising while in the light sleep mode. I wasn’t able to fall into deep or REM sleep.
Whatever is happening I clearly need more rest. My attempts at diagnosis of any other symptoms and their proximal causes are unlikely to matter if I’m not getting adequate rest. In which case, I’ll try to sleep more at night and add in some naps till it passes.
I’m extremely frustrated right now. I didn’t get much sleep last night. I won’t get into the details, but it’s mostly because I was overstimulated by a very long workday after what was a very productive week.
I didn’t think it would matter if I was a little fucked up today from overexertion yesterday as I didn’t have any major obligations.
Except I got invited to mid-morning to something tonight. I wasn’t obligated to go but really wanted to do so as the guest of honor may end up having a significant impact on my life. And I’ve had an interest in it which I’d expressed months ago.
Now I had strong interest in attending as it won’t be a repeatable opportunity. So I wanted to push myself to go. I did my best through the afternoon to rest and prepare myself. But ultimately my body just couldn’t do it.
I cascaded into a migraine from the smell of my husband’s cologne. All my efforts to try to be restorative with the few hours of my afternoon were gone through a single small instance of environmental stressor. An obvious sign that I shouldn’t be going anywhere if something small could set off symptoms.
Now I’d like to say that I could have made it if I’d slept more. Maybe if I’d not worked so many hours yesterday. But I feel good about the things I prioritized yesterday.
But I am so fucking angry that I couldn’t have been given a little bit more notice as I would have found a way to make it. Literally even one day would have been enough so I could prioritize sleep.
It’s obviously no one’s fault. I’m simply furious that in an effort to budget my energy and physical capacity for what was my priority yesterday, I couldn’t find any remaining capacity today.
I guess the lesson is that if you want me to show up please let me know at least twenty four hours in advance. Or even just the night before.
Maybe this is my second wind finally kicking in but I cannot wait to start my week tomorrow.
I am pleased that this is how I feel at 5pm Mountain Time. I woke up at 3am thanks to my comical jet lag from having been on GMT +8 for several weeks. I don’t recommend flying a transcontinental flight the day before daylight savings incidentally. I proceeded to feel like absolute shit all day.
But as the Sunday scaries kick in for the rest of the timeline, I am absolutely pumped for my work week. My workload is just super exciting.
The Network State conference left me pumped. The mutuals I spent time with in Amsterdam for other engagements also got me pumped. A founder I’ve been working with for almost a year is hitting his first visible traction moment and I am pumped to strategize with him. Another builder friend is interested in pursuing some funding and asked me to weigh in. The communications work I do for founders has led me to a particularly interesting challenge I want to help them solve.
I am just overall really excited for my work. I can only hope my body is up for it. I will have to carefully manage rest and recovery as this workload is worth the annoyance of treating my body with utmost care.
The real challenge wasn’t in my sights yet. I did a layover in Dulles before heading to Chicago O’Hare for a final direct to Bozeman Montana. When I got to O’Hare, I had all the bags for a five week trip in Europe on my person.
I attempted to walk to the airport shuttle area only to get lost inside a parking garage. Finally I made it into what looked like a side alley for the shuttles and busses. And proceeded to wait for an hour for the Hyatt bus. Sunk cost fallacy caught up with me fast as I didn’t want you to lug my bags back to find a taxi half a mile away. I was already at 11000 steps, exhausted and half mad from 15 hours of transit.
I was in my own 9th circle. Middle management road warriors of a certain age fighting for an airport shuttle to a Hyatt Regency 30 minutes late. One lady blamed the extra traffic on “the immigrants” while a regional sales director discussed selling mortgage products to Wells Fargo wealth managers during the run up to the global financial crisis.
The woman who sold mortgage products to wealth manager began discussing her “hot mess labradoodle named Karma” and I swear this is not a joke.
She told her companion you can tell things are bad as her trip to Big Sky is too expensive this year. That I don’t lose it on her in that moment is an act of self control.
The delay at the shuttle was so long the line ended up being 50 deep to actually check in at the vast conference hotel.
And what a display of American exceptionalism. Not only was there a pharma conference (that’s where the mortgage product woman was headed as sales is sales) but there was also a regional dance cheer competition for tween girls and a field hockey & lacrosse competition for boys.
The demographics of this odd mix did explain why there are dozens of “not yet rich enough for ozempic but rich enough for Little Miss Subshine’s glitter and a stay at the Hyatt.” White obese stage mothers who spend too much at Ulta were heavily represented. Blessedly the lacrosse and field hockey boys were just noisy.
My flight touched down at 7pm. It’s now 9pm and I am finally checked into my room. I pulled the disability card with my ankylosis & begged a guy to get me a keycard. Tried to tip him $40. He wouldn’t take it. Compromised as I insisted on $20.
We discussed the mortgage products sales lady & how he didnt think his generation would ever own a home. He was a zoomer. He’s probably right.
As I finally gave up on the day, laying in bed I can hear two kids kid above me practicing catching and tossing with their lacrosse sticks Thwack and release. Over & over. Thankfully I had ear plugs. Only one three hour flight left to get me home to Montana.
I rarely let myself get too tired from excessive physical exertion. It’s a lingering fear with my ankylosis is that if I overdo it with fun activities like exercise, travel, or even too much time socializing upright that I’ll end up trapped in bed from inflammation and pain.
I pushed myself to my limits in the last forty eight hours by deciding to make a quick trip to Helsinki from Tallinn that I’d wanted to take over my birthday two weeks ago. I changed my schedule to head to Amsterdam next week for a work conference (hit me up if you are in Amsterdam) so I was running out of time to see more of the eastern Nordic and Baltics.
I packed it into a tight trip as I can more easily run on an adrenaline and cortisol hormonal spike if I know I have a day to sleep it off. Which is largely what I did today. I did laundry, tidied up my Airbnb, and began a repacking process to make sure I could handle multiple airports. I find packing and travel stressful so I fit in a nap in the afternoon.
Blissfully it’s snowing in Tallinn so it was a nice day to be inside preoccupied with chores and resting. I’ll be sad to leave the town. I didn’t accomplish all I set out to do but I enjoyed it immensely.
It required some intensive travel logistics but as the timing overlapped a few other conferences in Amsterdam I thought “fuck it we ball!”
And I’m glad I did as with a little help from my masterful travel agent (my husband) I was able to reroute myself to Amsterdam from October 29 through November 3rd. If you are in town for various events like the Urbit or Solana conferences let me know. I’d love to see you!