Sunday, 4 January 2015

Try this on for size.

Immediately after you buy new clothes, do you do everything you can to preserve their newness?

I do.

Picture me, actually looking forward to washing new clothes once they are worn. (Instead of leaving them at the bottom of a washing basket somewhere, like I usually do.) Picture me selecting them from the freshly-washed pile to wear, even though other clothes are already good to go. And picture me folding the new clothes all nicely in my cupboard, without sparing a thought for last year's track pants - stored inside out without a care.

It's definitely a pattern I've noticed.

And I do exactly the same thing with thoughts.

When I'm sick of my old thoughts and have judged their need for replacement, getting new ones is awesome. I shop around, reading books, surfing the web, looking for interesting theories/people/places/ideas/movies/games/concepts/strategies/paradigms/choices/lives to learn about. I try them on for size, and pick the ones that suit me. Because if they don't look good from all angles, they're not a good fit.

Once the process is through, I've got these great new thoughts to think. They're all shiny and new. It almost feels like my world completely opens up with new thoughts. Who wouldn't want to preserve that?

It's new clothes syndrome down to a tee(shirt).

Eventually, the thoughts get old. They go through wear and tear, some of which is due to my personality -- I don't have a great track record for keeping colours bright. I'm quite a harsh detergent, really.

So the thoughts become part of normal thinking, and they aren't as exciting anymore. Truth be told, I feel a bit bored when I'm in old-thoughts mode, because I like to learn. I like to be challenged. I like to improve. I like things to be dynamic.

But hey, maybe new thoughts and new clothes are just meant to get old. It's just part of their life cycle. Or washing cycle. Or whatever.

I'm cool with that. It's given me something new to think about anyway :)

Sunday, 28 December 2014

Rock on.

A couple of months back we visited two great friends of mine. They've got an apartment above the most incredible deli. We went there after a lunch to have a look around.

I could be here all week if I start describing everything we saw in as much detail as it probably deserves. I'll keep it short - here is the most impressive thing:

A large slab of himalayan rock salt.

So like, I've seen this stuff in shops before, but never in block form. I don't know why that's such a huge deal, but I was genuinely impressed. How often do you see salt wrapped up like a present?

If you're me, the answer is not often. So obviously you'll need to get a lame photo with the thing and also get one of it on its own too, for glory. I don't know why we take the photos we do, but hey it was cool and I liked the concept. It was... solid!


That's Christmas to me.

Everyone has their own ideas about what Christmas means.

To me, it doesn't really mean anything. It's just an excuse to hang out with family, beyond the confines of a structured working week. It's also a chance to get the Christmas tree "right". But we never do -- all the decorations get chucked on in no particular order, resulting in the well-loved collection of mismatched glitter we've learned to love and accept.

Christmas decorations aside, deep down we're still distracted by all the work stuff. But we make more of an effort to put it all aside at Christmas, which is nice.

(This is not our house. We love lights, but not that much.)

Cutting the invisible strings that pull us towards the work we're passionate about is hard. I cannot tell you how hard it is for me to stop doing things, even at Christmas.

Keen to relax, we look to our cats for inspiration, but we soon realise that relaxation in its purest form is extremely difficult to sustain. As a result, we settle for our own version. Sub-optimal, but still effective.

This year...

1. We've watched TV. Dragons Den, Midsomer Murders.

2. We've slept in the afternoon. Or maybe that was just a food coma.

3. We've been stuffed with stuffing. (Refer to #2.)

4. We've dressed our cats up in Christmas suits for as long as they are prepared to deal with it.

(Blurry photo indicative of patience growing thin.)

All in all, we've had a thoroughly boring time with injections of fun. I don't like being bored, but I can see the use in it (rest, recuperation, sleep comes easily, appreciate the fun times more etc), so I'm seriously thinking about finding ways to incorporate boredom into my schedule next year.

I'm not sure how you go about being bored on cue... from what I've heard it's one of those things that you don't plan for. Like a cold. It just hits you, and only then do you realise, "why, it appears I am bored at present!"

And herein lies the problem of planning. Plan everything, pack it all in as tightly as you can, and you leave no time for boredom. Which makes you hate it when it's there. And yet, at Christmas time, boredom is both allowed and healthy.

I'm getting bored of this post so I'll stop. But here's to Christmas, family, and feline levels of boredom. 

Monday, 15 December 2014

Overexercising: In the media.

This is a really great article about overexercising, if you're interested in reading about real life experiences.

Great as in, it sheds light on the issue. Not so great in terms of what the featured athletes went through.