March Update

Let’s just call March a month of learning through failure.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am not being mopey about it. I tried some intentional changes with my bullet journal, with my eating, personal workflow for side projects, and with my fitness (my knee is jacked, so it was necessary – or at least a very convenient excuse), and let’s just say I learned 10,000 ways not to do any of those things. Oh yeah, and my Lent has basically been a bit of failure too.

That being said, I don’t really feel too bad about much of it, because what is life if not learning what works and what doesn’t? Let’s start this one out with what did work over the last month or so, because really the list is a lot shorter (though also arguably more important so that is good).

My new job is going well. I am really enjoying the new challenges and learning a ton. The people I work with are great and we provide a service that I really believe in. I really like working from home.

I have been working hard to be more present for my kids. That means putting down the electronics and focusing on them. That has been going pretty well, but there are times it could be better.

I am not only trying to be more present for my kids, but also my wife and, well, basically everything. ADHD convinces us that we are really good at multi-tasking, but research has shown again and again that it just isn’t true. The truth is that we are really good at half-assing things and convincing ourselves that we are rocking it. We are really good at realizing “oh crap! this deadline is like, now” and then getting it done.

I fail on this some, but meditation is helping. Speaking of meditation, I had an 80 day streak and was doing awesome, then missed one day and that was enough to get me to ignore doing it. I am not sure why, and I have discussed this with both my priest and therapist, but haven’t come up with a satisfying answer yet. That isn’t the same as just shrugging and giving up. This is something I have struggled with for a really long time. Some people can get habits and they just go, but for some reason they just don’t stick with me. And that isn’t just good habits, fortunately for me. I do still bite my fingernails though, so maybe I am just being awesome at lying to myself again.

Okay onto the failures. Let’s start out with bullet journaling because that was a habit that I felt pretty strongly that I had established. I decided to try out a digital bullet journal. Yes, I know that part of it is the tactile act of writing and creating, but I am not a barbarian and have an Apple Pencil with my iPad. I really like the combo, by the way, it just turned out not great for the Bullet Journaling. I found some great templates that I liked, the searchability was great (I use Good Notes and love it and will probably write about that in the future).

The problem (at least for me) is that it is too easy to get distracted. I turned off all notifications, but my dog-mind will think “hey, music would help” then I spend 45 minutes finding just the right music and have run out of time to journal. The actual act of writing on the iPad is just fine with the Apple Pencil – something I have really come to enjoy actually. In fact, my “game journal” for the Warhammer 40k Crusade Campaign I am playing in is on it and is perfect, as is the notebook for the Python programming class I am taking.

Fitness is kind of terrible. As I mentioned before, I hurt my knee back in December and am going through the VA system for it since the original injury was while I was stationed in Alaska. Overall the VA (at least in Los Angeles and for my particular issues) has been pretty decent, but also very slow. I actually made an appointment to see the orthopedic doctor back in November for pain and the appointment wasn’t until March. She recommends PT before surgery (which I am fine with) but I won’t be getting in to that until May. So basically, six months from first contact for this. Luckily I have been living with pain for a long time and it isn’t life-threatening.

On that front, I have also gotten lazy about tracking my food and water intake. It makes sense with the injury and inability to exercise just generally being mildly depressed about it, but it definitely hasn’t help. The combination of the two issues above have me up about 4 pounds for the month. “If you don’t track it, you can’t change it,” right?

I have been spending a lot of time learning new things for my job, and being a husband and a father which hasn’t left much time for writing or creating. I need to work on balance (which is a refrain in my life). On the plus side here, I have been getting some cool ideas and jotting them down on my iPad.

Anyway, here’s to doing better in April – and see if you can find the hawk eating the crow in this picture! I am sure there’s some deeper meaning to this thing I saw, but it eludes me.