There's Always Tomorrow

I was doing a bit of journaling at the end of what felt like a long day, noting the list of things that I had completed from my task list. It was a very short list of completed items and I commented in my journal that the list was terrible, that I could've done much better. Then I wrote, there's always tomorrow.

But no, there isn't always tomorrow.

You don't know if tomorrow will come, but that doesn't mean that you should live in fear of tomorrow not coming, or that you should live with the assumption that it's not coming.

Instead, it means that you do your best today. You put in an effort to do the best, to make the day as productive as possible, to live it in such a way that you feel it was a full, complete, and good day, and that if you didn't have tomorrow you would feel content in the realization that you treated today in such a way that it proved you were grateful that you had it.

So when you find yourself saying or thinking, well, there's always tomorrow or there's always another day, realize that there may not be. And that's okay.

Travel Notes: An Abrupt Closing on Road Trip Notes

I've been procrastinating with finishing my travel notes from the road trip. Today I finally took some time to analyze why that was. 

The remainder of my notes do not contain more than casual observations or a simple "here's where I went, here's what I did next". 

Sure, there are a few interesting tidbits here and there -- exploring Auburn, Indiana, also known as the 'Home of the Classics', and touring the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Museum where several multi-million dollar classic cars were on display; being chased by a violent tornado storm that killed more than 40 people in the states I was traveling through and then hearing tornado sirens for the first time just outside Atlanta, GA and  experiencing a near miss with a tornado myself (it touched down just down the street from where I was). 

But beyond those highlights, there was just a lot of driving, meeting up with friends for lunch or dinner, torrential downpours, and then more driving. 

I had originally intended on writing travel notes that described my whole journey in detail, but as I worked on those I realized that the writing would contain so much fluff. There would be so little substance, so little meaning to what I was writing. As a result, I procrastinated. I delayed. I put it off until tomorrow.

By not finishing the travel notes from my road trip, I've felt mentally held back from sharing what I'm experiencing right now, here in Florida. 

My regular evening walks on Cocoa Beach have birthed many interested thoughts and feelings and I've wanted to share those here with you. That stuff does feel like it has substance, but I was pushing those notes off until tomorrow too, until I finished "catching up" with the road trip stuff. 

So this is my last travel note on the road trip. The trip taught me how much I dislike driving long distances and it reminded me why I've avoided owning a car for the past two years. It's nice to see places while traveling by land, but I find that travel by train, bus, bicycle, or even just my own two feet is far more appealing and educational.

I've also learned that making regular notes to capture the travel experiences in the moment is vital to capturing their essence. That's why I'm going to start publish shorter, more frequent travel notes from here on out.

Water in the Palm of your Hand

Take a deep breath. Go ahead, do it right now. Doesn't that feel good? Breathing is an amazing stress reducer. Our body needs oxygen to function and the function of our brain is actually constrained when it doesn't have the amount of oxygen it requires (which is why drowning victims can have brain damage if they were without air for a long time). When we're stressed out we unconsciously take short breaths. This causes our body and brain to work harder and thereby create even more stress. Try to consciously take deep breath's throughout the day and you will feel a big improvement in your overall physical health.

My dad, Adam, and myself had an interesting conversation last night when I visited my parents house. I won't go deep into the conversation, but a couple of key points from the conversation are worth mentioning:

  • The zone. Most people who are skilled in a particular field have experienced it. It's that feeling you get when things seem to happen without conscious thought, when you feel as if you're watching yourself do the work without actually needing to think about doing it. I've had that experience while typing on my computer, when words and thoughts seem to flow from my head straight to the screen. I've also felt it while running on the treadmill and when lifting weights. When you stop identifying what you're doing as your action and remove your ego from the picture, energy flows without your ego's intervention thereby creating "the zone".
  • React to problems as water reacts to rocks; flow around them. There is always a tomorrow that exists with the problem in the past, so keep that day in mind and the problem will seem easily manageable.
  • Life is like water in the palm of your hand: you have a limited amount of time. Do something with it.

I can directly relate to reacting to problems in a calm, intelligent way. My experience with the Bowers St incident has made me feel as if I can tackle any problem that comes my way.

Don't put things off until tomorrow. Would you want the you of tomorrow to have to deal with it? No, so get it done today and the you of tomorrow will thank you for it.

Overwhelming Organizing

Don’t let things get to the stage where you need to catch up. The more behind you fall, the less likely you are to have the motivation to catch up. After that, things just snowball. That’s what happen with my bills. I have a habit of keeping everything organized in Quicken, and I’m very religious about it. Down to the penny religious. Everything is categorized so I know exactly where my money is going. I keep things reconciled on a monthly, sometimes even weekly, basis. OK, so that’s what I had been doing.

During the last few months of last year, I spent endless days working on building my shed and basement. During that time, I decided to let the organization and reconciling slip. I told myself I’d catch up in January. Well now it’s May and I have 6 months of reconciling and catching up to do. It’s overwhelming because I have so many different things going on; 4 credit cards, 2 bank accounts, 2 savings accounts, 1 brokerage account, 2 life insurance policies, 3 houses (bills), 10 tenants (invoices), a web hosting business with 18 clients (invoices), and 5 consulting clients (invoices) that I need to bill on a regular basis.

As you can see, things can get out of hand pretty quickly. Once everything is caught up with, it takes maybe 20 – 30 minutes a day to keep things organized and running smoothly. On the other hand, since I let things fall so far behind, it’s going to take me days to get things organized again.

Learn my lesson: stay organized and don’t let things fall far behind. If you are falling behind, keep in mind, the sooner you start, the less work you’ll have later. This applies to many things. Keeping up with your workout schedule/diet, and saving money come to mind.