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
Chronic Disease

Day 507 and Better is Not Binary

A close friend of my husband and I sent me a sweet check in text message today saying he hoped I was feeling better. Our friend is a sincere and empathetic person. Because I know know he does care for me sincerely I said how I was actually feeling to him. I was feeling confused.

lol I never know how to respond to this sort of thing as occasionally I get regular person sick but I’ll never not be disabled 😂😭

“Better” is a bit of a loaded term for me. It suggests so much. Absolute improvement like my flu is over suggests better. Or perhaps improvement that will stay put forever is better. Or maybe it’s a good day in a string of bad ones and that’s better. Better can be though of in both binary and scale terms.

Default healthy people think of better as binary because once they’re good enough they are “better”. The flu passes. They get back to normal. But if you’re chronically ill or disabled then better is on a scale and you never get fully “better” but rather ebbs and flows. I don’t always know how to articulate this to abled well people.

If you have someone in your life who you think of as not being very social, I’d like to ask you to discover if it is because of a physical disability or ongoing chronic disease. Maybe they aren’t social as they can’t accommodate your pace but they would love to spend time together with you if you accommodated their pace. A lot of folks are chronically ill. And we like to be friends with you. We just need you to recognize we require some accommodations from you.

Categories
Preparedness

Day 506 and Walking The Talk

I had a spectacular two weeks of writing from the deepest places in my soul. We made significant and long lasting decisions for the family and the direction we want to take our lives and our investments. And yes I do mean that my husband and I are moving to Montana. One day I’ll be so proud to have captured that moment in our lives on paper.

So of course this past week I’ve done nothing but worry and fret and write about that worry as my physical body decided it was safe to be a bit sick now that we’ve done that hard work on making a big life decision. Even that mess of feverish writing ended up delivering some amusing written insights.

I’ve had to remind myself basically hourly that I’m alright. That all the uncertainty of the world is something I can live with. Indeed, it’s something I’ve planned for over the course of years. When I jokingly insisted we should name our family office chaotic.capital it seemed like an amusing and edgy piece of branding. Now I’m caught up in the reality of just how fast the thesis is playing out.

Frankly I am scared. I am scared because I can see just how hard things will be. Some days I feel like I’m beyond excited to actually be right. But then I remember the chaotic thesis sucks to live through even with the best resources and preparation. And all I can really do is walk the talk. Nothing is as terrifying as being prepared for hard times and then simply having to live all the shit you said would happen.

Because of course all of the macro big picture things that I’m planning to invest against are things that make my life harder too. I’m disabled with a chronic health condition that is annoying to manage in good times. My personal wealth is subject to the same market forces as yours. I have had to deal with the overheated housing market as a non-homeowner. I still have to act in the same face of the fears as everyone else. Am I modestly protected and buffered by privilege? Yes I’ve been sprinting to acquire it for year to get it. But here we all are and now is the time when a steady hand with a prepared mind can thrive.

Categories
Emotional Work

Day 504 and Write Down

I woke up coughing so hard I couldn’t catch a breath. I’ve forgotten how exhausting being sick feels. I legitimately completely forgot how it felt to be tired and in pain. And what a fucking luxury that is to realize.

I was in a miserable mood this morning. Why was I losing an entire week when I’ve been functional and dare I say normal since the new year? I haven’t had any issues since I got Covid over Christmas break with the exception of a couple nasty migraines and a few modestly shitty days. But today was Thursday and I haven’t felt even modestly human since Monday. It looks like I just have to accept in having a bad streak.

My husband very sensibly pointed out that I didn’t need to act like this was a catastrophe. I’m always looking over my shoulder in fear that I’ll have a relapse and be reminded of he limits of chronic disease. And truth be told I will have them. But I’ve been making the choices that shorten those bad days. I’ll be living a life in the country in support of keeping a strong body. It’s almost comical to type that as it feels a bit like tuberculosis and moving to the west. But then again I’ve always been a mountain woman at heart. It was only a matter of time till I returned to the terrain of my family. Maybe I’m a bit of a traditionalist after all.

Nevertheless this week is a write down. It won’t matter in the grand scheme of things. I’ve made the good long term choices. I’ve accepted that the fight is long and the odds aren’t great but this is America so you’ve got to fight like you might be one of the lucky few that win. I can only hope I am treading a path that gives me the chance to make a better life. And that I’m being reasonable clever and reasonably hard working and that’s often enough.

It’s actually quite hard to trust the math. You want to give in to all sorts of silly biases. Like that every second counts. When no it’s mostly just how your habits add up over time. The mind really strains against basic math like compounding. But I’ll try not to get my fear get in the way and trust that the figures probably add up and I’ve generally done the homework to trust my inputs.

Categories
Startups

Day 501 and Do It Live

There must be some kind of residual high from making big decisions, as I’m feel powerful as hell coming out of Montana. I’ve committed to a life path and I am ready to do some thriving. Yes I’m referencing the meme.

unbothered. moisturized. happy. in my lane. focused. flourishing

I’ve got a deal I want to shop around even though it’s ice cold out there in venture land. I believe in the team and I believe in the market sector. It’s a bit of an unusual bet but I have total confidence in the problem space such that I am ready to spend some social capital. So hit me up if you want to get in on the deal. I feel like it’s a deal that’s absolutely in my lane and even if it’s a hard time to circle anyone to anything I may as well enjoy the thrive vibe. Let’s do some magic together yeah?

In another famous meme Fox News host Bill O’Reilly exclaims that “fuck it I’ll do it live!” And I have to say that is my current energy. None of us have a fucking clue about how things are going to go. But did we do our homework? Yes. I did the work. I ran my numbers. I’m good at what I do. I’ve got experience. I’ve got as good a shot as anyone.

So I’m going to say fuck it to a lot more. I’m confident. Because like Bill I’ve got the talent and why not fuck around and find out? This isn’t specifically about the deal I want to do (though I am excited) or the fact that I’m moving to Montana but rather that it’s time to express more confidence in general. I shouldn’t undermine myself. I’m good. Some people like me. And that’s enough to have some confidence to try some stuff and experiment. If you want to come and play with me feel free to say hi.

Categories
Emotional Work

Day 495 and Drained

I’m so exhausted from the emotional processing I’ve done with husband about moving to Montana from Colorado. I finally understand why HGTV is so popular as trying to buy a home is an extremely intense experience. It brings up all of your core fears and needs and damn if that doesn’t make for good drama. But today we put an offer on a farmhouse in the Hyalite area of Bozeman Montana.

We’ve already lost two houses after we’ve put in offers (including one that was accepted). We don’t trust that anything will weird. fully expect that the offer won’t be accepted and that we will get outbid. And even if we do win we’ve likely bought at the top of the market. I have all the worst case scenarios mapped in my head.

We expect the house to be under water for a few years as it’s possible we are buying at the top of the market, but that ultimately this is an investment in a forever home that we will be in for a decade, or God willing, many decades. If the recession of the next few years dings us we will make the most of it.

It’s been a journey as my husband and I have very different risk profiles. It’s actually the primary reason we are married. He sees to the downside protection and I look to the long term upside. I am a long term investor and someone who enjoys cultivating. I like to nurture people, plants, animals and the land over time. My husband is much more of a clear roadmap type. He likes to know exactly what he is getting and what inputs yield what outputs. I’m a bit of the chaos magic and he is a bit of the ritual right hand path type.

We also just have very different taste. I don’t mind a bit of a mess and a bit of a diamond in the rough. My husband loves luxury finishes and beautiful decor. Aligning my needs for a piece of property that leans towards resilience with his desire for a beautiful home meant we found it to be a bit more expensive than if we just optimized for my needs. Yes for once the wife is the cheaper lower maintenance one.

But after 18 months of researching and searching and trying to figure out the balance of all our needs I’m just so damn tired. We are a bit battle scarred from the years of researching where we want to put down roots. We did a full country search mapped against weather, geography, water, fire, earthquakes, political instability, proximity to cultural we value and about a dozen other factors.

We quickly said no to the South as I dislike heat and neither of us are willing to live in a Bible Belt state. New England was considered and ultimately discarded as my husband doesn’t like forests. California never made it on the last. Oregon got axed for instability and fires. Wyoming is too much badlands. Idaho got nixed because of the Nazis. Washington was too raining and wet. Michigan didn’t make it because the good land is so remote and Ann Arbor is a political capital. When I say we considered everything I mean it. Montana came out on top again and again.

If you are inclined to prayer I could use them. I am hoping our offer is accepted and we can begin this next chapter in our life. I’ve got no idea if this will work out or not but the only way to find out is to do it.

Categories
Emotional Work

Day 494 and A Place to Stand

It took me a long time to come to terms with the idea of investing in a home. I’ve moved 38 times over the course of my life. The constant instability in my childhood gave me the capacity to tolerate a lot of uncertainty. It’s an incredible piece of leverage for living life. But it’s a super power born out of trauma.

Give me a place to stand, a lever long enough and a fulcrum and I can move the Earth

Archimedes

When your normal is starting over again and again, eventually you become comfortable living in chaos. I can achieve a lot things fall apart and life starts anew. It’s why I work with early stage startups. The current market and the volatility inherent in the chaos makes me feel safe.

But there are limits to chaos. I can’t live in it perpetually and make gains without some kind of safe harbor. Otherwise it’s just a repeat of my childhood and I’ll constantly be starting from zero. What I really want is a safe home so I can take advantage of the chaos around me. I want a place to stand so I can move the world. While everyone else is out surviving the chaos I want to have a firm ground under my feet.

The world is going through massive changes and constant upheaval. That’s an opportunity of a lifetime. All of those moves I made prepared me to shine during this moment. But if I cannot have some about of safety, the land on which to stand, then I’ll merely be surviving yet another move. And I’m over that. This time the world moves for me.

Categories
Emotional Work

Day 493 and Processing

I don’t particularly feel like writing today. I’ve been processing a lot of emotions being up on Montana. Where do I want to live? Who do I want with me? What am I willing to spend? How do all of my preferences and goals intersect with my husband’s goals and preferences? How do we integrate those? How do we make Montana home?

It’s funny because you’d think we’d have this all worked out by now as we’ve been looking at buying a homestead for a while. We’ve already lost two houses in Colorado in our search to buy. But somehow all that work has to be done again but this time in Montana! As you’d expect, context and circumstances can change a lot even if all the basic facts remain the same.

I often feel like Alex and I cosplay being a normal married couple. We look like totally average white yuppies. But if you get down to how we actually feel about so much of the basics in life we are so far from normal it’s comical. And that affects how we approach something like buying a home.

I’m somewhat sanguine about making a decision right away. We found a house that has most of what I want but it’s more than we wanted to spend. But even when we look at more economical houses the realization that any kind of commitment in Montana feels different. Processing how we feel about a new town and a new state is just going to take the time that it takes.

Categories
Startups

Day 484 and Steadfast

Someone who I have come to rely on had a set back this week that briefly threw me for a loop. I initially felt a bit upset, selfishly I felt angry about what the setback might mean for me. That feeling passed quickly. I wanted to jump in and help them overcome the issue. I felt an upwelling of loyalty and emotional empathy that I hadn’t completely anticipated.

In truth, I was honored they shared where they were at with me. Their transparency meant a lot to me. If anything it cemented my feelings for how much I wanted to continue working with them.

Loyalty and steadfastness are qualities that are crucial in startups. Feeling like you are safe enough to bring both the good and the bad to your team makes all of the difference. If you do not trust that your people will remain loyal to you even in times of turmoil you don’t have a team. It’s fine to hire mercenaries at established companies. But when something is new and nascent you are better served being surrounded by those that believe in you.

I emphasize psychological safety in my writing and on chaotic.capital’s website because I think it matters more than almost anything else. All things being equal, psychological safety is the differentiator in who survives in a startup. Having the confidence you can share your creative process matters a lot.

Categories
Emotional Work

Day 480 and Responsibility

I usually have therapy on Mondays. I stack all my emotional work into the first day of the week so I can be my most present for everyone in my life. But today I just couldn’t show up for my emotional work. I’m in a lot of pain and a bunch of things are up in the air professionally and personally. I’m just not able to be here.

Thankfully I’m lucky enough to be surrounded by people who are working on deepening their emotional practice. Someone was able to help me see that I wasn’t able to show up even though I physically showed up. They did it with one insight too.

Responsibility is having ability to respond

One insight and my mind was blown 🤯. In that moment I didn’t realize I didn’t have the ability to respond. I was abdicating responsibility. I was reactive. It wasn’t under my control. I couldn’t preserve my ability to today today. I was not preserving my response ability.

I quietly bowed out of therapy for the evening. Well not so quietly I cried a little and shared my disappointment. I needed to take responsibility for myself in that moment. So in order to preserve my capacity to respond I had to make the decision to bow out. I needed to be the adult that would take care of whatever portion of me was incapable of working through the physical pain of that moment. My inner child needed me to parent and I did. Now hopefully I can continue that streak through mealtime, bath time and bedtime so that my adult and my inner child can respond to the best of our ability to tomorrow.