The Tweets
The Tweets

Must everything be a life lesson?

Well I did it. I completed something on my new personal calendar. As I sit here trying not to get sweat all over my keyboard, I can allow myself a pat on the back for finishing my second run of the season (proudly wearing the third nerdiest t-shirt in my wardrobe!). This is definitely not going to turn into a self congratulatory thing--and I never will post any measurable results in an ugly attempt to garner support/sympathy (read: I'm slightly embarrassed by said results)--I will allow myself a rare moment to revel in the fact that so far, I'm actually sticking to something (two things if you count what I'm currently doing).

Not to bore you with the details, but something else hit me as I was walking back home. I've forgotten how to pace myself. I'll probably repeat myself early on in this process, but it's more to knock things into my thick skull than for you, faithful reader (I'm going to go on pretending people are reading this from the get go so that if I actually gain an audience, there won't be as much performance anxiety).

My first kilometer was relatively good, time wise, but it drained my tank pretty good so that I couldn't end as strong as I wanted to. Back when I was playing organized sports on a regular basis, I had learned how to pace myself so that I wouldn't tire myself out too early. Of course, the same can be said of other aspects in my life (big revelation...). I tend to throw myself completely into things, once I convince myself to start, that I'm so tired all I can think of is "when can I stop and relax?" 

A trick I've learned from others (and Super Mario World) is to set up checkpoints at various intervals along the path to a goal (physical, or mental) so that the whole task is not so daunting. The problem is that once I'm in sight of these checkpoints, I tend to burn myself out trying to reach them, forgetting that the checkpoint is not the goal; hell, the goal isn't even really the goal. I also forget to take in everything around me, always looking too far into the future for what's coming next.

The fun is supposed to be in the journey, and somewhere I lost sight of that… and now off to the shower before I short out my computer!


I wish I was alert enough to come up with a snappy title...

I've probably written about this before in one of my many other attempts at a blog, but it's once again time for my semi-annual stuff purge!

This time though, I hope it's a little different. Living in the past is probably too harsh a term, but I have been known to languish there from time to time and I seem to have this need to prove that certain things happened to me by hoarding things (although some of my better stories, like the time I was a carny for a summer have zero physical proof to back it up; not even a pay stub as I was paid under the table--of course I was, I was a carny!).

This being my third decade of being alive, one can imagine that means a virtual cornucopia of stuff has piled up. So much space being wasted by things that I probably will never need again. I mean do I really need 10 programs from my college's hockey team's various matches? Don't answer that.

I arrived home from work much more tired than I expected to be, but I didn't want there to be yet another excuse for not doing something, so I spent fifteen minutes and I cleaned out one Banker's Box of stuff. Sure some of it just went into another, less full box, but some of it did get trashed and theres one box worth of volume freed up in the storage space. It might not be much, but it's a start.

(Now watch what I'm about to do here...)

Being as tired as I am today, I didn't really want to write anything either, but just like the storage space, I knew that if I didn't put something down on virtual paper every couple of days, it might be another few months before I remembered I have a website (with more interesting contributors on the way, I promise!). I've never been a big baby step guy, but maybe that's why everything recently has seemed like such a mountain to climb.

(Horray for poorly constructed metaphors! Now on to the finale...)

So I apologize in advance for the boring posts that will surely follow, but if all I can do is move one small box at a time, that's better than drowning under a pile of movie stubs from 1998.


Relevance is Relative

Because I'm so comfortable with the topic, let's keep going on this Podcasting metaphor. While the point of this blog is to track my struggles in staying "relevant" as I get older, I'm not telling any tales out of school when I say that this is a very non-specific goal.

Relevant to who, exactly? I happen to be very plugged into the comedy segment of podcasting, but there's a whole world of podcasts that I have at most a cursory knowledge of. Thankfully, I've gotten my "must complete the set" issue mostly resolved, otherwise my head would probably explode.

So I guess my definition of relevant is to stay current with the topics that I am, er, currently interested in. For example, I'm a nerdy guy, and I also love sports (not so much the politics of sport but again, another topic for another post) and as I grow older my reasons for loving what I love tend to evolve as well. When I was younger, it was easy to just immerse yourself in something and just soak it all up. That gets harder and harder as you get older; your worldview expands--hopefully--and there are so many more avenues for you to explore. My worst nightmare is to be one of those people who are stuck in the decade of their youth, yelling "get off my lawn" at young whippersnappers. I know a few of those people, and if it works for them, great. It's just a horror story for me.

I may not be in love with Pinterest, but I know what it is and how it works. Sure, I had to actually do some work and research to figure that out, but I'm glad that I can take part in discussions when the topic comes up. I'm always going to like what I like, and of course I'm going to defer to my generation for some things; I am only human after all. Interests will come and go (and maybe even come back again), but I feel it's important to update your viewpoint and not be stuck in the past with old opinions and predjudices. Some of your feelings might not change, but keeping that door open helps to keep things fresh.

The term Jack of all trades seems to have this negative connotation to it (maybe it has something to do with the "master of none" tagged on to the end), but I've always thought it was unfair. What's wrong with having multiple interests that don't necessarily intersect on the Venn Diagram of life? I've always tried to let my passions come to me as purely as possible and not dictated by what I should like given my past history.

Am I going to be able to go stat for stat with the Sklar brothers or quote for quote with a Simpsons fanatic? No, but at least I can stay in the game. And I guess I want to be a part of as many games as I can.


First post! ...for the nth time

Because it seems I love to dig myself into--and then out of--holes, I'm going to start this new verision of my blog in a place where I've probably lost the few people who will actually read this - Podcasting.

For some reason I've been a completist in many aspects of my life. If I start to collect something, I need to have them all: every season of a beloved show, the sequels of a great film (even if they stink), an entire set of baseball cards (that's a whole topic I'll be touching on later I'm sure).

The point I'm trying to get at is that when I got into podcasting, I quickly found too many quality shows to listen to and not enough time in the day to get through all of them. Of course this sent me into a panic, which is completely logical... I should let entertainment send me into fits of hysteria instead of actually entertaining me.

What I finally realized though, was something important about me. For whatever reason, I have this innate need to finish things, even things that are not mine. And if I can't, my first instinct is to drop it (the show, the project, the collection, etc). Maybe it's my age finally doing some good, but the logical side of my brain took over and I realized that that I was being a little crazy. There's so much information in the world to consume that you can't hope to take in everything and still have a life.

So the question became do I narrow my focus and know everything possible about a few topics to feed my completist mindset or do I do something different? Narrow views have never been easy for me (as my tendancy to create sidebars makes blatantly obvious), so I've become a more discerning consumer of podcasts. My subscriptions have actually increased, but I don't feel the need to listen to every episode of every podcast that is in my feed--with the exception of the delightful Stop Podcasting Yourself #ShamelessPlug.

So what does this have to do with anything? Well, if I expand this philosophy to other aspects of my life, it explains why this website has been dormant for weeks and weeks. If I can't complete it out of the gate, why even start? This--obviously--is a rediculous statement and a perfect excuse to procrastinate. I was so obsessed with having the perfect thing to say that I froze when it came to start.

So is this a great start? Maybe. Maybe not. But it is a start, and hopefully the end is a long way off.

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