To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.

  • Ralph Waldo Emerson

source

Many, many, people have written about the Jony Ive interview from the Wall Street Journal. I haven't read it, I probably won't. I have read what people decided to comment about from the article.

The thing that caught my attention the most is the comments on how the work spaces were designed. Specifically, Apple going to an open office in the new building instead of closed offices in their current location.

They have mostly boiled down to people either saying it's good or bad depending on how they view open offices themselves. Of course, work spaces are not that simple for the simple fact that work spaces are filled with people. And people are complicated. Some like to interact while doing their jobs, some don't, and some can do both.

It all boils down to how the individual works. One thing is for sure: there will be an adjustment time when Apple employees move into the new building.

source

I feel like I have a weird way of thinking. I see a lot of people doing amazing things in the world. Helping others, creating amazing works of art, founding and running successful businesses, and basically, getting shit done. All while I'm over here fretting about sitting on the couch and watching YouTube videos during the day.

It's not that I don't have dreams and goals that I want to achieve. Well, it's partly not that because I don't have
clearly
defined dreams and goals that I can work toward. No, my dreams and goals are simple things without any clear way to achieve them. Creating a simple life. Being happy. Staying organized. Stopping my procrastination. Things that I find are difficult to work toward because they don't involve actually steps to complete or, even, a completed stage.

I also seem to believe that once something is written down, analog or digital, then that thing is completed. I've tried to start an exercise routine for years. I've always started with a plan, on paper or in Evernote, with steps to start and a progression to the exercise but, I've never fully started the routine. Partly because it is difficult to get started but, also because once I've written something down I see that as a completed task. I need and want to get better at following through on what I've planned on starting. I want to get over the biggest hurdle in my life; the getting started phase.

I know that simply writing down that I want to do or start something doesn't mean that it is done or started. And yet, that is what seems to always happen. The simple task of creating the goal or task seems to be the end of that goal or task in my mind. I don't know how to attack that problem. It is a simple problem to fix; start doing and working on the goal or task that I write down. Pretty basic productivity stuff there. But, it seems like I can't quite give myself that push I need to get going.

On Mental Health Day I wrote about how I catastrophize everything and my negative self talk. I think that plays a huge roll in how I interact with my goals and tasks. If I create a goal and commit that to paper then that is something that I will potentially fail at achieving. I am afraid of failure. I have always been afraid of failure. I am so afraid of failure that I will quit, or not start, things because I think I will fail at them. I need to overcome that fear. I need to realize that failure is a part of life and that is not a reason to not start something.

So, I will do my best at overcoming that fear of failure and try to find the self motivation I need to start projects, goals, and tasks. Of course, the crux of the problem is that just because I state that I will do something means that now my good old brain will think that I've completed something which will lead me to not start it. I will have to remind myself, daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, that just because I've stated something doesn't mean that it is completed. It means that it is just started. It is now a journey that I need to take, need to start, need to
do
.

As the Nike slogan says: Just Do It.

We'll see how this goes as the year progesses and I start working towards goals that I've set myself.

We remember it by feel. We experience it as a murmur in the night, a longing and restlessness that we can't name, a yearning that tugs at us. Something in our human blood is still searching for it, still listening, still remembering. Nicaraguan poet-priest Ernesto Cardenal wrote, "We have always wanted something beyond what we wanted." I have loved those words, how they speak to the longing place inside us that seeks to be whole and connected to the earth.

Source

Excel Spreadsheet artist (Yes, that is apparently a thing) Tatsuo Horiuchi has created a lovely wintry snowscape.

Okura Snowscape

This is amazing art. Let alone that it was created entirely in an Excel spreadsheet.

Simply stunning work. A Limited Edition of 100 available for purchase here.

Source

Concept Artist Alex Ichim does some amazing work. This is just one of the pieces he has on his site and it is fantastic.

Rust Town

Source

Via

Beth Moon takes amazing photographies of trees with vibrant night skies in the background.

Subra

This is just one example of the wonderful work she has done for her book Ancient Trees Portraits of Time.

I am looking forward to seeing what else is in the book.

Source

Via

I feel like there are words that are waiting to escape out of me. I feel like there are stories that need to be told and feelings that need to be shared. I feel that there are emotions to be explored and thoughts to be dwelled on. I feel that there are lessons to be learned and shared.

But, when I sit and try to write nothing comes out. A blank page. A blank screen. A blank mind.

There is a vague feeling of needing to connect. There is a strong feeling of needing to share. There is a vague feeling that other people might care. There is a strong feeling that no one cares. There is a vague feeling that everyone will laugh at me. There is a strong feeling that no one will even notice.

But, I don't even try. A blank slate. A blank
I catastrophize everything.

It is always the worst thing in the world, even the simplest little mistake.

It is always the end of a friendship, even if it's just a busy schedule keeping my friend from contacting me.

It is always the end of something, even if it's not.

I have extremely negative self talk.

I am always wrong, even if I'm not.

I always fail, even if I don't; so why try?

I am always along, even if I have family and friends that love me.

That negative self talk and that catastrophizing leads me to isolate myself. To try to prepare the people I meet for the ineveitable failure I will bring. That isolation leads to me feeling alone. That loneliness leads to me feeling I am worthless. That worthlessness leads me to feel like I will fail everyone and everything. That feeling of pending failure leads me to never try.

It is a vicious, dirty circle that I am struggling with. I have a therapist that I visit (not enough) and talk to. I am trying, ever so slowly to break the cycle. And it is hard. So hard.

I fall and fail everyday. I try to pick myself up but, sometimes it's easier to stay down and wallow. I know that the easy path is not the right path for me. I know that the struggle will continue. I know there are other people who have it worse than I do. I know that Mental Health is important.

Today is Mental Health Day. Please take care of yourselves. Seek the help you need. The support you want.
I turned 37 on Tuesday. I need a pick me up. I've been in a funk and focusing on a dumb number for the last couple of days. So,, when I need an easy pick me up, where do I turn to? My weight loss.

It seems like an unlikely place for me to find good news but, when I looked this morning at my journey I was pleased with what I saw. That first red arrow son the left is when I started tracking my weight in August of 2010 at 256 pounds. The heaviest I got is the red arrow in the middle when I was 274 pounds in April of 2014. And finally on the right I am 221 pounds. A loss of 53 pounds over six years.


That's good news. Now I have a new goal. I want to be 200 pounds January 1st. That's 21 pounds in 3 months. I will not get discouraged if I don't make it. It's just something that I'm shooting for, informally. I will work on eating fresh, home cooked meals with more fruits and vegetables until the end of the year. I will try to eat fast food as little as possible. I want to join a gym so that I can do some weight lifting to build more muscle but, that is not high on the list of things I need to do as the holidays come.

I'll leave this as motivation for myself.

Me in 2014:


Me in 2016:


A little less fat. A little older. Maybe wiser, maybe not. But, definitely a work in progress.