There is one cycle or habit in my life that I haven’t been able to find a way out of:
Sprint as much as I can and get committed to a lot of cool ideas.
Get tired, push through it.
Slow down a little, but keep moving.
Get exhausted, watch as all the healthy things in my life start to slip away.
Get sick, ignore.
Take a token day off.
Get really sick, crash and burn.
Take a day to reset. Feel a little better.
Here’s the thing. I am 38 years old and I don’t have a lot to show for it in a lot of ways.
I have a business that I love, a wife I wouldn’t trade for literally anyone in the world (nope, not even Kathleen Hanna), and two sons who make my world awesome. I love my house, I love my city, I really love just about every aspect of my day.
But, I also have a tremendous amount of student loan debt, a very sizable chunk of medical debt and the learning curve of running a business and doing taxes. I have a son about to start college, and a wife that wants one more baby.
These are actually good things, even the debt because it was all “for” something, and has taught me to be very money conscious, but I also have a little voice in my head that tells me I am always running out of time.
Okay, it’s actually a big, loud voice.
I think this is kind of natural when you’ve been a loser your whole life, and to some extent I think I need it there. As I’ve said, living with an awareness of death is the most important thing one can do in my book, but it can also drive you to unhealthy places in itself.
All things in moderation.
So how do I get out of this cycle? Here are my ideas:
Be more intentional with my time off. I think a lot of it is wasted on Minecraft and It’s Always Sunny and dicking around on Reddit. I don’t really find these things relaxing, but they are my defaults when I get really tired.
I am back to eating all sorts of sugar, which cannot help with the health. One of my most noticeable warning lights for slipping into bad health is craving sugar all the time.
Exercise. This always falls off first, even though it among the most important things.
Sleep. I’m exhausted, I should start a new book now or go look at AdviceAnimals for a while. Or, let’s wake up at 2 am and not be able to sleep.
That one isn’t really my fault though.
I have some things in front of me I have to take care of, my exhaustion and being sick doesn’t change that, so I have to look at some incremental changes even though I prefer broad, sweeping ones.
They are more fun and look more impressive to me. They also don’t stick.
I stand by my belief that we are all dying and need to make the most of what we have here, but, like all things with me, this can veer into the ditch and leave me broken down for a few days, dying in the sun and telling myself this has to change.