Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Mini Goal Update

Here's a picture, just because
An update on a few goals that don't really deserve a whole post of their own.

No sugar for a month - complete

Boy howdy was this a mistake to do. This turned out to be one of those things that my mind just breaks a little bit when I create a hard rule around something. I already have a difficult relationship with food and this made it worse. I came to villainize any food with sugar in it. The bad thing is that there have been some after effects where that villainization persists and I feel down on myself for having succumbed to weakness.

Develop a meditation practice - complete (kind of)

Head over to the Google machine and you'll find all kinds of benefits of meditation. I really wanted to get in on some of these benefits. I also thought that given how much I try to take care of my body, I should put some time into taking care of the mind. I tried out a guided meditation app called Headspace to help me get going. I meditated every day for almost 60 days. I quit though because I wasn't really seeing any benefit (which is exactly the wrong mindset to approach meditation with). Maybe Headspace just wasn't right for me. It's something I definitely will try to pick up again in the future.

Learn to speed read - complete

I took an online speed reading course to learn how to speed read; it wasn't worth it. There are plenty of articles that teach you the same thing in less time. The main drawback of speed reading is that it's very active. In general, I read to relax, so this isn't a good tool for that. However, I do read some books for work and I've taken to speed reading those to get through them faster and it definitely works.

Free-standing handstand - on hold

I had been practicing this every night for a few weeks but then I just stopped. I stopped because I've been trying to treat my plantar fasciitis, so I'm using that time in the evenings to work on that instead of handstands. This one will definitely carry over to next year.
My butt-print in the wall from a handstand gone awry

Stage a roller coaster picture - gave up

Didn't fit this one into my schedule.

Don't buy anything for a month - gave up

I'm a consumer; I gave up after 2 weeks. I wanted coffee.

Give a public presentation - gave up

No ideas really came to me and I didn't really try.

Spend a night with the Amish - gave up

It's kind of hard to get ahold of the Amish... The one potential connection I had didn't pan out, so I gave up.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Don't drive for a month

I have this dream that one day we can be a one-car family. In general, I don't like driving and I don't like the expense associated with it. My rough guesstimate is that my car costs me $150/month. It's fully paid off so it's just gas, insurance, maintenance, and repairs (which have thankfully been few and far between). So, I wanted to see what life might be like if we got rid of a car.

Heavy things are annoying

Carrying my laptop to work on my bike stinks. It's heavy, and I worry about damaging it if I crash. I also buy salad bar ingredients for work once a week. Thankfully Angie worked a block away, so I just had her bring that stuff in for me. I have a fancy pair of Ortlieb panniers (bike bags), so I am capable of carrying a lot, it just stinks.

Follow this one crazy trick to take the enjoyment out of something!

I genuinely enjoy riding to work, but when I make a hard rule around it like I did for this month, it became a chore that I didn't enjoy. Many days I would have to argue with myself to get on the bike, trying to think of every excuse in the book to not ride. This reaction to hard rules is something I've learned with a few of my goals this go-around.

How can you not enjoy this? Make it a chore.


I generally say riding your bike to work is a net time saver. It took me about and hour each way to ride to work, plus 30ish minutes to get ready for biking. So, 2.5 hours total each day devoted to biking. If I wanted to work out 2 hours a day and drive to work, it would take 2hrs + 50 min for driving + 15 min of workout/car prep. If you're going to work out 2 hours a day, it definitely is the way to go because it saves ~1 hr every day. However, at this point in my life, I didn't want to be working out 2 hours every day, so this resulted in my regularly getting home after 6:30, which is much later than I would prefer.

Things happen

It's worse than it looks. 4.5 weeks later and it's still not healed
One day, I was just turning right and biffed it at about 15mph. I didn't hit anything, just biffed it. These things happen. You need to brush yourself off and continue on. Thankfully, this particular day was quite nice, so I was able to ride the 2 miles into work and then do the full ride home without too much consternation.

Lesson learned

By the end of the month, I missed my car. It was great to grip the steering wheel and accelerate like crazy once I was driving again. I don't know if I could have done this without Angie working a couple blocks away. That enabled me to do a lot of things I couldn't have otherwise. Essentially, this comes down to whether $150/month is worth my time and freedom. At this point, it is. That answer might change though when I have to buy another car when my current one breaks down. In the meantime, I'll still ride my bike to work occasionally, but only on nice days when I'll enjoy it.