Little Joys Ch.78: Coming home and the joy of being alive

This post is part of an ongoing challenge to share a little joy I have found each day of this year, and perhaps for the rest of my life. I hope you enjoy it!

March 27th, 2020

 

When I first began this journey of writing down a little joy I found each day, one of the most important factors was actually, without fail, doing it daily. The concept was similar to a meditation practice, only the focus was to inspire myself through this mindful remembrance of delightful things, no matter how small, that I experienced each day. This was largely inspired by Ross Gays book of small delights, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Sometimes, especially as I was traveling, life would get in the way and I would not post for a day or two, and I would simply make it up by compiling the two or three days into one post. But I find myself having not written a post for 8 days, and that begs the question of whether I should do another list, and I think it is best to just let that go. It is less important to me to be perfect in this tracking then it is to take joy in the act itself of writing about joy, and not be stressing about perfection.

So to celebrate 8 days of absence, I will write quite a long post today.

I find myself now, after nearly 10 months on the road traveling, back in Canada. It was a long and exhausting journey, a journey that was filled with many, many little joys, but also lots of irritations. One of the greatest things we can learn with travel is what we really need in life to be content, and I realize that although I love to travel and will do so again, that I much prefer routine and staying in one spot then running all over non stop. travel vlogs which rely on people watching them to make money paint a rosy picture of travel that is only partially true and ignores all the stress and hardship of being in new locations, especially when traveling for significant periods of time. There are, of course, tons of benefits and wonders to travel. The people you meet, the beautiful places you get to see, the things you learn about cultures around the world, these all help to shift and expand your perceptions and become, hopefully, a better human being who is able to appreciate the simple beauty of life.

I consider myself blessed to have had the opportunity to travel multiple times, and this journey has led me to foray into online work, which will allow me to travel even more freely in the future. That same online work will allow me to weather this economic upheaval brought on by the corona virus much better than many people, and I am very grateful that I have gotten this opportunity to put my writing skills to use that will keep me afloat.

After 3 days, 3 planes, and 3 cities, totaling over 20 hours of flight time, I found myself touching down safely in Toronto airport. I was dead tired, and had not managed to sleep in over 30 hours, I then had to take a rental car and, isolating myself as much as possible, drive 6 hours to Montreal where my parents live, and simply park my car at 3 in the morning in my Fathers driveway, and try to get an hour or two of sleep until I could get some supplies from him and go self-isolate up at a cottage in the north for two weeks. On arriving there, I was delighted to be surrounded by beautiful nature, and a large cottage to keep myself from going stir crazy after such a large transition from freedom in Asia and sun to the cold of winter and isolation in Canada. Unfortunately, due to unfortunate circumstances, I was forced to leave the cottage the very next day, and now find myself in an airbnb here in the city, which although not as beautiful or as liberating as the cottage out in nature was, is still nice and I am grateful to have a comfortable place to wait out my two week sentence.

There is joy mixed into all that mess of a few days, and I am functioning a little better today after so little sleep.

Although coming home is very difficult, especially with corona rearing its head, I am very grateful to be safe and symptom free, with a family that took a lot of time to help me transition more easily here, and friends who are all welcoming me back. I tend to be a very pessimistic person in general, but I can honestly say that this trip has taught me to appreciate life and all the little things greatly, and I hope to continue to share my perceptions with everyone and bring some more inspiration to the world through my writing and work.

Thanks to all who read and listen to my ramblings.

As always, stay healthy and let your geek freak fly.

Staying healthy when stressful situations arise

There will always be periods of time in your life where your training will take a backseat to some kind of hectic situation that has arisen. It may be something as mundane as a work project, or traveling, or something more serious such as a sickness or death in the family.

At the end of the day what matters is that you do the best you can with what you have. Trying to make big gains in strength, weight loss, mass gain, or any other big energy consuming task while also dealing with a big amount of stress is not ideal. At that point going into a recovery and maintenance mode is the best plan.

Figure out the minimum amount of training you can do to keep yourself healthy, maintain your muscle mass or weight loss/gain, and do everything you can to keep the status quo. If 30 minutes twice a week is all you can manage, well what is the best use of those 30 minutes?

If you do not have time to make good quality home cooked meals, well then what foods can you stock up on that are quick and easy to consume that are also as nutrient dense and will create the least havoc and fat gain?

There is always a better way to deal with a situation. The worse a situation becomes then the more you need to take  better care of yourself so that you will be able to handle whatever gets thrown at you.

Ask for help, reach out to friends and family, or even online, where many people have probably gone through what you have and are more than willing to support you.

Remember that you have what it takes to make any kind of difficult situation better, and that people are out there to help. Don’t be a lone wolf, or let yourself succumb to misery. Be kind to yourself, but remember that taking good care of yourself even in the worst case scenarios is a kindness to yourself.

As always, stay healthy and let your geek freak fly.

Little Joys Ch.72-73-74: Surviving planes,sunlight, and human Kindness.

This post is part of an ongoing challenge to share a little joy I have found each day of this year, and perhaps for the rest of my life. I hope you enjoy it!

March 13th, 2020

Taking joy in all the crazy things human do is a must. We have all forgotten how crazy it is that we fly through the air in metal bird like contraptions. After taking over a dozen over the last 9 months, I am well acquainted with how amazing the feat is. But after having taken so many, I am more joyful of being able to say that I have touched down safely after so many flights. As amazing as it is when a plane first lifts off the ground and soars through the sky, it is infinitely more gratifying when those wheels touch down and you realize you safely made it to your destination.

March 14th, 2020

Human beings are some of the most violent, vicious creatures this planet has to offer. But we are also one of the most kind. As I walked the beach here in Phuket, I noticed a group of people around something. As I came closer, I realized a giant jellyfish had washed up on shore. Many people were taking turns to bring water over to it, attempting in the only way they knew how to keep it alive, watering it down and hoping to figure out a way to safely put it back into the water. I am not sure what ended up happening, but it is a comfort to know that we can be kind to even the most strangest of creatures.

March 15th, 2020

Amidst all the fear mongering over the past few years, the sun has gotten a bad rap. People think it causes a whole host of negative ailments to our systems, even though most of the well done science shows that sunlight has hundreds of positive effects on our bodies. Even if we ignore what it is doing to us internally, I think most of us can agree that feeling the suns rays upon our skin, letting the warmth of it seep into us, is blissful. There is a reason we all flock to the beach, hoping to let the ocean and sun intermingle and heal our weary minds and souls. The sun is our Father, just as the Earth is our Mother, and we need them both if we are to survive here.

As always, stay healthy and let your geek freak fly.

 

Little Joys Ch.64-65: Seizing the day, and appreciating technology

This post is part of an ongoing challenge to share a little joy I have found each day of this year, and perhaps for the rest of my life. I hope you enjoy it!

March 5th, 2020

Energy comes and goes for us all. Some days we awaken feeling full of life and love and just ready to tackle the world, and other days the thought of opening our eyes fills us with a dread so profound that death seems the simpler task. I found myself filled with hope and energy on this day, enjoying the outdoors, enjoying my work and writing, just ready to tackle everything. There is joy in these moments, delight at the prospect of creating because of that flood of energy. When it comes, grasp it as hard as you can and just ride the wave, it won’t always be there.

March 6th, 2020

As problematic as technology can be, it brings so much potential into our lives the implications of its impact on the human species is impossible to quantify. I have had a pretty tremulous relationship with phones, as I find so much of peoples time is wasted on them, mine included, yet I still want to find some appreciation and joy in their use. I have gone my whole life without ever breaking a phone, yet after buying a samsung s9 awhile back, the most expensive phone I had ever gotten at the time, I managed to mess it up in every way possible. Cracked camera lens? check. Get it wet and mess up the charging and headphone jack ports? check. Kick it off a hostel top bunk and crack the whole screen? check. And all that near the end of my trip, so great timing. I worked up the energy to do a bunch of research online, I didn’t want to spend a fortune on a phone but also know that buying a model  that is too old or bad quality model is not logical either. I ended up settling on the google pixel a3, or the samsung s10. Being in Bali, finding a google phone is very difficult, and the prices online brought it to around 600 dollars canadian. I was lucky enough to find a samsung store that had one final floor model of the S10, which usually sells online for new canadian around 900 or more, at 700 bucks. Made the buy, and so far I have to say I am quite happy with the purchase. Much more responsive than my s9, much higher quality camera, lighter phone. The geek in me will always appreciate good tech, even if phones can be problematic pains in the booty. For anyone looking for an older model phone, I would recommend the S10.

As always, stay health and let your geek freak fly.

Little Joys Ch.64: Tuck Everlasting on life and death and our part in the natural world

This post is part of an ongoing challenge to share a little joy I have found each day of this year, and perhaps for the rest of my life. I hope you enjoy it!

March 4th, 2020

Sometimes it is something as simple as a film that can bring us the joy, or simple serenity, we needed in a moment. I revisited an old film I had watched many years ago last night, called Tuck Everlasting. For those who have not seen it, it is about a simple family living in the woods, who many years before had drunk from a little pool of water from a tree, which gave them the gift of immortality. They could not be killed, nor age, nor change in any way. The movie is far from perfect, and as things usually are, I am sure the book version does it more justice, but there is a moment in the film when the father explains to a young girl who had discovered them that what they have is not living that really puts things in perspective for me. Here are some quotes.

“What we Tucks have you can’t call it living. We just… are. We’re like rocks, stuck at the side of a stream”

“Everything’s a wheel, turning and turning, never stopping. The frogs is part of it, and the bugs, and the fish, and the wood thrush, too. And people. But never the same ones. Always coming in new, always growing and changing, and always moving on. That’s the way it’s supposed to be. That’s the way it is.”

“Don’t be afraid of death; be afraid of an unlived life. You don’t have to live forever, you just have to live.”

The author Natalie Babbitt really captured the meaning behind the shiftings of the natural world that many of us humans desperately try to escape from.

We all live and die, as everything in this world does. The old shapes the way for the new, and the new revitalizes it, again and again, sometimes falling back, sometimes leaping forward, always bringing forth growth.

Although a part of me thinks being an immortal would be amazing, if you are by yourself in this eternity, watching as everything else changes and leaves you, the pain would be beyond comprehension. For many of us, we remain trapped in a way in our pasts, our emotions, never allowing ourselves to grow, because growth is frightening, because we have to let things die, but it is a necessary part of the wheel, for it has to turn, so that we may become more, and so that those who come after us have a chance to flourish.

Some thoughts to guide you into the coming weekend.

As always, stay health and let your geek freak fly.

Little Joys Ch.47

This post is part of an ongoing challenge to share a little joy I have found each day of this year, and perhaps for the rest of my life. I hope you enjoy it!

February 16th, 2020

Books are doorways into secret worlds, secret lives created by the minds of people around the world.

Many books follow the same set of rules, they have a beginning, a middle, and an end.

But some books simply are.

They give us a glimpse into a small piece of someones madness, someones day, someones moment. They help us connect with that part of us is that is confused, lost, trying to piece together the jigsaw puzzle that is our life and make some sense of it all and understand that we are not alone in our loneliness.

Everyone has a scared child running through mazes in our minds and being confronted with the fact makes you realize that we are all trapped in the same maze together, all we need to do is reach out, spill our truths, and we can connect on a deeper level.

I just finished up the slow regard of silent things by Patrick Rothfuss. Its my second read through, and it is just as beautiful and broken and poetic as the first time I explored its pages. For anyone who has not read Patrick’s work, I highly recommend it. His king killer chronicles are wonderful books, imperfect as all stories are, and perfect in their imperfection. The slow regard of silent things is a small 60 page companion book which shares a few days of one of the characters in his series, and it is truly a wonderful book.

It might not be for you, but if it is, it will sink into your skin and rest against your heart for weeks and months.

Remember to stay healthy, let your geek freak fly, and never forget that you are not alone in your brokenness.