Questions I Asked My Band Tonight
Fall down seven/Airplane thoughts
I’m getting up for the 8th time. Maybe more, maybe less. I don’t know as I’m not keeping track. I know I miss days, but I also know I always get up and go again.
I went through my phone yesterday as I was flying back from a wedding in California. I found this in my notes from when I was flying back from Seattle:
I go back and forth on this feeling of needing to project myself as a musician and keep the other aspects of my life tampered down. But that idea is disappointing, and I feel sad about it. Grief even. I want to share what I want to share which is my music of course. But also writing. Practical optimism. The genuine stuff. Teaching. As much as I think I’d be great at being a well-known musician I don’t know if I’d like just being that. In some ways not being that has allowed me the life I have. And the people who make up that life. I love them so much.
I’m going to show my work. All of the work I want to show.
There are no rules anymore. Welcome to the future.
Welcome to the future. There are no rules. There’s no one to tell me to stay in my lane. I can bring you as far into my weird little world as you wish to come/as I see fit. How wild is that?
Wild. And welcome.
Sharing is caring, and I care to share. And I hope you do too.
Instead of how are you feeling
Try "what are you feeling." A feeling isn't really a how anyway. By changing one word - it feels weird at first - you invite whomever you're talking to to recognize what they are feeling in that moment rather than just going through the social norm of how-are-you-I'm-fine-how-are-you.
(H/T to my dear friend Jared Cohen for this one.)
And we're back
Then there was that time when I missed a week of writing.
I did not intend for this to happen.
But like a lot of stuff, one day turns into two days, and the next thing you know, you're completely off course.
I have been feeling somewhat like my brain is a washing machine. Like my mind is in a constant spin cycle.
I missed my daily posts. I missed the process of writing. I don't have any expectations over here other than to show up. Show up regularly and do the work. And the work, in this case, is getting into the habit of writing.
Cal Newport mentioned how he struggles to write at night because his brain is exhausted. Writing at night had been what I was been doing. I wouldn't call it an afterthought, but that got me thinking, "Maybe I should write in the daylight hours too." And today I am, but I think for now, for me, sitting down to write is the important piece of this puzzle.
So I'm going to pick up where I left off. Sharing whatever ideas and stories and whatnot that I think are worth sharing. Not all my thoughts are diamonds. But the ones that spark something in me might spark something in you, and that's what I'm looking to do here.
When the stuff isn't there
Baseball is my favorite sport for endless reasons. One of them being I find it to be the sport most analogous to life.
Sometimes, your stuff just isn't there. You can do everything right, but for reasons beyond your control, the stuff just ain't there.
Deadspin defines stuff as a pitcher’s pitches, judged by how inherently hard those pitches are to hit.
Some pitchers had/have PHENOMENAL stuff nearly ALL of the time. I'm looking at you, Pedro Martinez.
But even those nearly-flawless athletes still have their off days. I'm looking at you, Jacob deGrom.
And often times, as you'll hear in the deGrom interview, they don't know why. They cannot tell you why their pitches weren't hitting their spots. Or why the spin rate was down. Or why the curve didn't break. And they also can't tell you why! It's fascinating and maddening.
With all the technology and scrutiny we have, psychology and emotions are still the biggest factor.
Today is a day where I feel like my stuff isn't there. And I can tell you why: ragweed. I'm being destroyed by plant pollen. But even though I know that, I don't feel any better about it. If deGrom had a headache, sinus pressure, and watery eyes and lacked his stuff, he would probably still feel as he felt about his last start as a human in full health.
I don't know where I'm going with this, but I think it has something to do with all of us being human and that sometimes, our stuff just isn't there. And that regardless of why, it's bothersome.
I am by no means an expert in health, but I've been on a journey of sorts for the past 14 months. I've always looked like a junior varsity athlete. Even in my brief days of being a varsity athlete, I looked like a JV athlete. That may have more to do with the approach I took to sports: they're supposed to be fun.
Anyway. I've undergone a transformation in so many ways and here are some things that worked for me. They're all obvious but sometimes we need to hear things more than once even if they are obvious. Cliches are cliches for a reason.
- Eat the same things
I have the same breakfast every day: a smoothie and a NoCow protein bar. I will also eat the same thing for lunch on rotation, and I almost always have an evening snack of popcorn. It's not boring. It's easy. It simplifies the process and that's wicked important if you don't want to think about what you're eating all of the time.
- Get moving
I'm an athletic person by nature. I love sports. I love staying active. One of the best parts of my day is my workout. There were times in my life where it was yoga, skiing, running, and any number of activities that sparked me to get moving. Walking is always in vogue and available.
- Find your team
I'm fortunate to be able to work with the crew at Trevor Kashey Nutrition. Having accountability has made this process not only more doable but way more fun. There's a global loneliness epidemic. Being a part of a community - any community - will improve not just your health but your life.
- Track your macros
This one is probably controversial. It works for me. I understand why it can be harmful for some, but for others, such as myself, it's fun. It's like playing Tetris with your food.
- Accept you will have off days
You will eat more than you planned. You will have cravings and there are times where yielding to those cravings will be the more sensible thing to do. It's not a flawless journey. There are a lot of zigs and zags.
Sleep. Sleep. Sleep. It's the foundation of health.
Why start over
When you can just keep going?
I don't know where the idea of tearing everything down if you miss one day of whatever chosen thing you've decided to do came from. I'm guilty of it. The start-all-over mentality. I'm working on being less like that.
Like right now. I'm not starting over. I'm continuing.
For the love of the game
I love the Boston Red Sox more than any other sports team. Leaps and bounds more.
But I'm a fan of the game of baseball even more so than I am a Red Sox fan.
I have a borderline insane affinity for baseball. It's a quirky, backwards game built around failure.
Tonight I was cheering for Aaron Judge to hit his 61st home run. Against my beloved Red Sox. I was feeling a cocktail of confusion, excitement, conflicted, and joyful. It was equal parts "this is amazing!" and "oh god what am I doing."
Judge did not his 61st home run. I bet he'll hit 61 and 62 tomorrow. I really hope he does. God how can I say that!? I'm a Red Sox fan!
But I love the game more, and I would be willing to bet any player on any roster would agree with me. The laundry is important, but it's all for the love of the game.
Hard work and fun
Are not mutually exclusive.
They often go hand in hand.
I realized as I was drifting off to sleep I hadn't written. In theory I could have opened the laptop up and dashed something off quick. But that's not the point of this.
I don't know what the point of this is, but I know it's not that.
It's just as important to be able to restart something as it is to start in the first place. We're all going to have days where we miss our mark. That's human.
And so is getting after it again.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.