Week Two

6 October — 12 October

So, one goal last week was to create a ritual, and this is it — doing a little end-of-the-week reflective writing and posting it to a new Medium collection.

This latter worries me just a bit — is Medium really the place for retrospective navel-gazing? Perhaps, perhaps not. But, I’m going to give it a try and see how it goes.

As before, the initial framework was to assess the week past in terms of my “Life Lessons from Burning Man” and the Zen mantra that serves as my phone’s screen saver.

I did a good job staying hydrated and getting dressed up (as a caveman for the annual “Chili Cookoff” event that occurs every year at Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, and consists of each squadron adopting a theme, decorating a tent, cooking up a batch of chili, and mixing up a drink. I was in charge of the mixology, and created “La Brea Tar” — 4 parts Captain Morgan Black, 3 parts Fireball whisky, 1 part molasses, served from a glacial ice-luge. Took 3rd place in the drinks category, so not too shabby!

Hugs, smiles, laughter — I wouldn’t really say I got or gave enough of these this week — I can tell this is going to be a challenging one. I did let my inner child play just a little as I adopted the “Pomodorium” game as a way to use gamification techniques to (theoretically) enhance my productivity (more on that in a later post) and also picked up plenty of MOOP in my daily perambulations.

I also jumped back aboard the polyphasic sleep train, with a tri-phasic cycle that looks like the image to the left — green represents the three 1.5 hour (1 REM cycle) sleep periods, and the single 20-minute power nap at midday.

On this program, I made it most of the week with no apparent adverse effects, beyond one rather bloodshot eye — and this during a week when I was actually very physically active, biking to and from work twice (45 minutes each way) spending 1–2 hours per day studying martial arts, and going for a 3-mile run in combat boots, camouflage trousers and a flak jacket. I got my office cleaned up, and continue to get my “live small” points just from inhabiting the Gypsy Danger. I gave money to a homeless vet, donated to a friend’s fundraising campaign, and made/distributed a gallon of free shots, and brought my nephews some dry ice (makes for bubbles and fog in the bathtub.) So I think that counts for “give gifts”. And I volunteered an hour of my time to help tear down the setup after Chili Cookoff, and babysat for an evening — which is pretty weak volunteering, but it’s a start.

Things that didn’t happen — no shininess, I don’t feel that I embraced the “value your time” principle too well, but overall a big improvement from last week… I didn’t get another article written as I’d intended, nor did I buy gifts for my sisters.

In the application of Zen principles department, I still failed to do one thing at a time; do it slowly, deliberately, and completely. And I can’t really say that I embraced the goals of putting space between things, devoting time to sitting, or make cleaning and cooking become meditation.

I’m going to take a point for doing less, since I chose to skip a logistics symposium in DC next week that would have really compressed my schedule, caused me more stress in packing additional uniforms, etc.

I think I can claim partial credit for developing rituals and designating time for certain things — mainly due to working on polyphasic sleep cycles and this retrospective writing. Still lots to do here, especially in the “designating time” department.

Smile and serve others. I think I did OK — again, babysitting, helping a volunteer-driven effort come together, making people smile with my caveman banter at my free-drink fountain.

Still need to work some on thinking about what is necessary and living simply.

So, let’s see… Carryovers from last week include thinking about ways to simplify life, do more writing, buy gifts for my sisters, think about how to increase the amount of hugs and smiles in my life, do a better job valuing my time, and be shiny.

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