I don’t know where to begin. My last blog post (yeah, that sounds old, but it is what it is… old. Maybe I should call it my Substack Newsletter.) Speaking of old, since my last installment I got another year older, wed, and celebrated my young bride’s birthday all in 3 days. That was a good weekend. I recently received my first quarter performance appraisal and a “Met Expectations.” WTF? But like they spin it in corporate America, “No, that’s really good.” No, “Exceeded Expectations” or “Far Exceeded” is really good.
Aside from working to “far exceed” the expectations of my extremely low-maintenance wife, I’ve been working on a few other things.
Meditation – I think this daily practice helps me with everything else and it takes roughly ten minutes a day. I’m using the “Waking Up” app from Sam Harris, but you don’t need an app. Close your eyes. Focus on your breath – the in and out of air at your nose or the rising and falling of your chest. Every time your mind wanders, and it will about 100 times in 10 minutes, simply notice it and return to focusing on your breath. That’s it.
Exercise – I’ve been consistently doing an hour or more three times a week – about 30 minutes of stretching / yoga / weights, and 30 minutes of cardio on my stationary bike or elliptical. Oh, and I’m still doing some of my PT exercises since 2 hip replacements. It takes a long time to regain range of motion after babying those joints, muscles, and tendons for years.
Weight Management – This began around December 1st and per my usual exhaustive research, I discovered accountability. I read some about mindful eating and being truly aware of what one is pie holing, but it was not until I began journaling the foods I ate that it worked. Now, I do accuse Beth of sabotaging my efforts with her holiday (hell, it’s all year) baking (she denies the charge), but when I asked myself, “do you want to log that chocolate chip cookie at 120 calories, pal,” the answer was usually no. I began simply logging what I ate in a Google Notes file but then moved to an Excel Mobile spreadsheet where I could more easily add up calories, but then, again after exhaustive research, I opted for the LoseIt app that makes the whole process much easier. Oh, a (insert more exhaustive research) food scale was added to the mix and at this point, I’m irritating the crap out of my son Kyle with the calorie counting. All of this has resulted in 5.4 pounds lost in December and another 4 so far in January. We’ll see if I can sustain these practices and 2,200 daily calories long-term.
Work-work – I’m still going with the full-time gig and have been doing it in tech now for 40 years (see “old” above). I have a smart and fun team of six and being part of what they and people from related teams are achieving is the most rewarding part of the job. I still have individual contributor responsibilities, but helping other humans grow to meet their wildly different needs is stimulating and rewarding. One huge benefit of being in “overtime” of my career is that with fewer f’s to give, I can be very honest with everyone. Not “completely” honest, mind you, but close. Some things still must be politically couched for one’s survival and just to not be a dick. Finally, in the “teach old dog new tricks” category, I’m diving into generative AI. I’m sure my team is sick of hearing about it, but the more time you have left in your career, the more important it is for you to learn how to use it to your benefit. As I tell my team, “master it before it masters you.”