Four premises

To begin a process of contemplation, one must begin with these four premises. They are self-explanatory.

  1. Life happens in the present, so you don’t have a minute to waste.
  2. The past was meant to be learned from, not to be re-lived in the present. Regrets are useless because you can’t go back and remake the past.
  3. All your experiences and people in your life, whether you see them as good or bad, helped shape who you are today.
  4. You are the only one responsible for changing your current life to the one you want.

Self-Reflection 101 // The Good Men Project

151// Celebration

It was a late start this morning, but after a long week of early exercise and hours spent at work, I felt like I deserved to sleep in a little. I almost wish I hadn’t though since the garage was that much hotter when I went to do my regular workout. I’m glad I still did it though. Breaking the chain would be devastating to my motivation right now.

This afternoon is my little brother-in-law’s graduation celebration. It’s going to be a small affair. Just my wife and I, her mom and dad, and her brother. We’ve got gifts, and cake, and hamburgers and hot dogs on the grill. I feel so bad for him, and all 2020 graduates this year. It’s bad enough to miss something like a birthday but to have your once in a lifetime accomplishment and recognition pretty much cancelled and the celebration greatly reduced is so sad. We did our best, but I know it isn’t the same at all.


The celebration is over now and I’m back home and I just received a notification on my phone that there is a curfew in place for the city of Denver. I had thought that though there was destruction and clashes with the police downtown last night that it was minor. I had even laughed it off earlier this morning, but now I’m growing anxious. I’m safe. My loved ones are safe, but my community isn’t.

I’m afraid of the escalation. I’m afraid of what will happen to these protestors. I’m afraid they will be suppressed and silenced by the very police force and government they are decrying. I’m afraid nothing will change and people will go on dying and living in fear forever. I’m afraid in my fear I will do nothing.

150// I Hope

The end of the week is here and I couldn’t be more relieved. I need a break from it all. I need a break from the who rest of the world.

The news is a lot today. I feel tense and useless. I feel a fear that encompasses the whole world and an anger that I don’t know where or how to direct. I am profoundly sad and though I don;t quite feel I deserve to use the term, there is something like grief trying to burst from my chest.

It’s strange to be of mixed race in times like these. To contend with your own privilege, your alienation from two communities, the hate you have for half of who you are and the hate you feel radiating down from half your history. I don’t know where my place is in all of this. I’ve never really known.

I do know how I feel and where I’d like to be but I’m not sure I’m welcome and maybe that is me being to sensitive, insecure, and self-centered. Maybe you aren’t given or offered a place. You have to find it. You have to make it.

I am one of the lucky ones though. My mother, my white mother, text me early this morning in full outrage over the murder of George Floyd and the heinous tweets from the president. I know she is afraid too. I know everyone is.

I thought about going to protest today or tonight, but I’m already seeing reports of tear gas so thick it’s hard to breathe downtown. I hope all the protesters stay safe. I hope that justice is served and that this time the world wakes up and make some long overdue changes. I hope, I hope, I hope…

A Luxury and a Major Problem

[I]f the father works and the mother works, nobody is left to watch the kids. In societies where these families constitute the majority, either government acknowledges the situation and helps provide child care (as many European countries do) or child care becomes a luxury affordable for the affluent, and a major problem for everyone else.

— Ariel Levy, Lift And Separate

149// Easier and Easier

Every day gets a little better. The morning workout started a little late, but it got done and though everything was pushed back, I still beat my coworkers in after all.

Work is easier and easier and I’m getting more and more used to the new way of doing things and my new role in the district. It feels good, but to be honest I miss the quarantine days of doing nothing at all. There is so much time and energy I’ve had to give up again. I’ve not been able to find a balance between what I want to give away and what I want to keep, but in time I hope a schedule, a norm, a rhythm will fall into place.

I miss writing though. I wish I had done more of it over the last few months, but all the uncertainty of the world got in the way. I’d like to learn to channel those emotions rather than let them bury me. I’d like to learn not to question and regret every choice too.


The evening was hard. I fell asleep after work again and when I woke up I was crunched for time to finish the cleaning and cook dinner. There was no time for a walk and just about everything that could go wrong did. By the time I sat down to eat I was sore and feeling very sour. Nothing is right, and nothing can be made right. I’m angry and I’m tired and I don’t know how to stop feeling this way.

This isn’t the first time I’ve felt this way in recent weeks and it feels like it’s growing more and more frequent.

148// I Feel So Powerless

For the second day in a row I have managed to drag myself out of bed and out to the garage for an early morning workout before heading to work. Day two isn’t much but it’s better than giving up after you barely did anything on day one and made yourself nauseous and had to stop. I think I haven’t been warming up as well as I should but I found a five minute full body warm-up that does the job and can be done two or three times on the cold or particularly groggy days.

The work day was easy. I had more energy than yesterday and made more progress than I have all week. I’m still working half days for now but starting next week I might move up to six. We’re doing our best to stay safe but it’s hard to get anything done when you only have four hours and much it feels like you spend half of them washing your hands and wiping down surfaces.

There are a lot of rumors flying about the next school year. Some are saying that depending on whether there is a spike or surge in Covid-19 cases it’s possible we may not start on time. I’ve heard there are even districts that are thinking of starting early in case we have to shut down again in the winter. There is talk of unpaid furlough days and severe cuts to hours. It’s all very scary but I’m trying to remember that for one, I am one of the lucky few who will be paid no matter whether we shut down again or not, and two, none of this is knowable or within my control so worrying is useless.

Spent the afternoon after work cleaning the house and avoiding social media. I cleaned the kitchen. Made coffee for the rest of the week. Washed our masks. Cleaned out a bag each of waste and trash from the basement and the garage. I’m doing anything I can to to keep myself offline. I’ve seen the videos and read reactions of anger from both sides. I know where I stand but in yet another situation where I feel so powerless and vulnerable I have to step back to keep myself from being overwhelmed by grief, anger, and fear.