This hundred-day challenge has been such a great way to explore a new hobby. As alluded to in my post a couple of days ago writing has become a cornerstone ritual of my day, being a soft-focus and diminuendo to each iteration of a groundhog day-esque COVID lockdown. That being said though, it's not been plain sailing at all.
Some moments completely alter your trajectory, your path or your outlook and your mindset. Getting a new job for example completely changes how you spend your time interacting with, where you spend your time, how you think and approach differing or similar situations. A bit like learning a musical instrument or a new language, your mind is opened or forced into using and strengthening alternate neural pathways.
Writing on here has become a bit of a ritual for me now. The definition of a ritual is a fixed set of actions performed regularly. This sounds awfully similar to a previous topic I've talked about, a habit. The difference in my writing though is that it was a habit probably two months ago, but now it is a ritual. So what has changed?
People have layers. Complexities. Nuances. This can make some people seem like an enigma. They first layer is like first meeting someone, they are likely showing you what you want to see or at least what the collective thinks is the right thing to see. Meet this person again, you begin to pass to the next layer of getting to know someone a bit better. Talking about their personal life, or opinions. Spend a bit more time with this person and you may begin to find things about them that don't align with either your worldview or your model you have assembled for this person. Perhaps they're of a different political view, or maybe they just put the milk in their tea before taking the teabag out (who does that?!). Often people can turn away at this layer.
If we stick with it though and spend a bit more time
I watched a video today on increasing endurance for cycling. Ironic I know, sitting in a chair watching a video about increasing endurance for cycling. The first and arguably most important section it talked about though was the mindset. In other words, overcoming a significant challenge for your body through mental endurance/resilience/stubbornness.
Pushing ourselves to our physical 'limits' and beyond takes a good amount of mental fortitude. Those that have done embarked on a particularly strenuous physical endurance challenge can attest to the challenge 'stripping you bare'. In the moment the challenge becomes a singular concentrated focus, and this focus leaves everything else by the wayside. A physical endurance challenge is a leveller, exposing the raw core of all those participating. This makes the individual extremely self-aware. Every breath, every effort, every thought intensifies, and each need to be more efficient than the next in order to be successful.
I did a post a wee while ago on zoom quiz alternatives, where I offered some alternatives I had come across which I think are a bit better than your standard zoom quiz during lockdown. But I think I have found another to add to this list. GeoGeussr. In this game you get dropped in a google street view at a random location across the world, you then have to drop a pin on a world map where you think that street view is in the world. Closest guess earns the most points. Of course, this game relies heavily on cultural clues and stereotypes, but also on geographical clues like forests and mountains. Strangely addictive and a great test of your cultural and geographical knowledge.
Monday's are always busy. It almost feels like people have worked through the weekend and can't wait to speak to you. In reality, it is more likely that the weekend has given enough of a break to partially renew some vigour in your colleagues. Either way, Monday rarely allows time for 'deep work' or time alone for a singular focus.
I spent a lot of time today 'fixing' my bike. I had a few close calls in the closing stages of last year which have put me off riding through the winter. (That and the weather... I'm definitely a fair-weather cyclist!). I had a bit of trouble with the rear derailleur (the bit that changes the gears) and having been putting off learning how they work so I can fix it.
Coffee has always been a great social lubricant since it's origins. I often use a coffee for exactly this purpose and have been known to consume a double espresso before a job interview. Recently though, I have started craving a coffee late at night. (not a wise combo I have learnt from experience). Instead, I leave my satiation for the morning. Very sensible I know. Whether it's first thing in a morning, pulling an all-nighter or thinking up gifts, coffee has always been there. I got my mum a little coffee subscription this year for Christmas, which is a great gift that keeps giving after the holiday season.
After yesterday's post on some of my favourite youtube channels, I rewatched a mini-doc from Beau Miles called “The Human Bean”. In this video Beau sets off on a journey of eating his bodyweight in beans over a 40-day period.