Winter Coats & Swimsuits

It’s late.

Like past my grandpa-bedtime late.

I’m still buzzing from the day’s festivities of my 28th birthday. Or maybe its the pure nitro-burst of sugar I got from a premium, strawberry cream cheese birthday cake — I’m talking one-hundred percent gluten and cake ingredients here — and not having cake like that in over two years.

Regardless, I’m one part grandpa-cranky, two parts sugar high tonight as I write this.

To me, birthdays are a good excuse to check in with myself, pause and reflect on what I’m doing, where I’m holding myself back, and how both of those things are affecting where I’m going. (I’ll be writing another post specifically about my birthday goals.)

I’ve been feeling… off the last few months (or more). Burdened might be a better word. Chronic Problems — health, finances and overwork — all feeding each other and causing lots of unnecessary stress and unhappiness. I feel like I’ve written about it to death. (If you’ve been reading my posts the last couple weeks you can probably already tell something’s off, with the sorry state most of them have been.

It’s kind of like wearing a coat in the wrong season.

Of course you are going to feel like you’re melt and die into a puddle of goo trying to wear a winter coat in the heat of the summer. But, more often than not, we don’t realize we are wearing a winter coat in the middle of summer. In hindsight, sure. It’s easy to see how much you were a boob you were in the past and how much you’ve grown since then. But in the thick of it, it’s hard to be aware of what’s wrong, only that something /is/ wrong with how you’re doing things. Cue vices or culture or whatever telling you how you should live to be happy.

It’s not until you are aware that you’re wearing a coat, can you begin to take it off. Taking it off, is another action you must do, but first you must be aware of what’s wrong and give yourself an opening to change it.

I have only a vague notion of what to do, about my own personal battles but so far three things are working:

1.Ask for help as much as possible (even when I don’t want to, or feel awkward doing)

2.Less talky, more do-ie. I’ve stopped bugging everyone around me about what I’m /going/ to do (with exceptions, like brainstorming / ideation sessions) and honed in on taking actions, and only discuss what I did, or what I am doing.

3.Sharpen my mind. Half (if not more) of any battle / problem is the mental game of it. Lose in your mind and you’re not stacking the deck against yourself from winning in reality. Tools like mindfulness, reading, running, stoicism, and spiritual ideas are life savers.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh W.

Josh Waggoner