F**K you 2020. I feel like that’s a pretty fitting opening don’t you? We’re in the middle of global pandemic and we recently lost the legendary John Prine – one of the best (if not the best) singer songwriters of all time. We’re all locked away and hiding from an invisible enemy; doing all that we can to avoid our friends, neighbors and loved ones – because “Ewwww!” People are wrestling in the aisles of the grocery stores over toilet paper and hand sanitizer and police are arresting folks for not being “socially distanced” enough. Maybe old John was onto to something – buying the farm when he did.
Many are panicking, most are hiding, and a lot are working. But, while others are using this time to work that much more - pumping out tons of great content and getting caught up on work - many of you have noticed that I’ve been pretty absent (at least from writing and posting). So other than doing my normal work, being a passive observer to grocery store toilet paper championship wrestling, and our nations rapid decent into fascism (because OMG scary virus!), I’ve been up to something. I’ve been recharging my creative batteries – I’ve been refilling my creative reservoirs.
I learned very early on that our creative reservoirs are not limitless – they must be refilled. So what can you do when you feel empty or low on creativity? What can you focus on when you’re feeling depleted or burned out? How can you get the juices flowing again? Here’s some things I’ve been focusing on during this time of panic and uncertainty to get back in my groove:
Investing time where it really matters: Family.
Let’s level with each other – we neglect our families for work. It’s ok, don’t get mad at me, just admit it. You know it’s true. No matter how much we seek work-life balance; we ALL fail miserably at it. There’s just not enough time in our (normal) days. Just the other morning as I was having breakfast with my daughter I found my self with two computers open in front of me. I was working my day job and The HOP Nerd simultaneously – completing missing the gift right in front of me – TIME WITH MY FAMILY.
Some stuff we’re doing to maximize this gift of time:
We’re having each meal together at the dinner table
We’re going for daily walks and bike rides
We’re limiting television and focusing on creative projects and crafts
We’ve been conducting daily family music and dance sessions
Balancing mind, body, and spirit. Well, attempting to at least…
I’ve been busy. We all have been! I’ve neglected certain things that I love such as power lifting, fitness, and spiritual well-being. Look, I’m the last person that will say “maintain perfect balance blah, blah, blah.” Greatness doesn’t come from balance – you usually get really great at <insert anything here> via taking a very unbalanced approach. But, life is seasonal. You can’t go “full-boar” all the time.
Some things I’m doing to balance myself:
Focusing on my nutrition
Focusing on sleep quality
Road cycling and working out every day
Reading every day
Making family time my most important commitment every day
I’ve been consuming more than producing
For the past several months I’ve mostly been producing rather than consuming content. I’ve shut down the production line! Well, at least slowed it down enough to kick back and enjoy some of the things I really love (for now).
Some stuff I’m currently consuming:
Listening to the Joe Rogan Podcast
Reading “Organization Culture Killers, Deadly Expectations 1” by T.A. Laser
Watching “Ask a Mortician” on YouTube
Reading “Contagious” by Jonah Burger
Reading “The Way of Men” by Jack Donovan
Listening to Mark Bell’s “Power Project”
I’m re-learning the art of self-reliance
We’re dependent on so much in our modern world – our day to day lives depend on stopping at Wholefoods to hit the hot bar, running by Starbucks for coffee, and heading to our neighborhood gym to catch a workout. Stop and think about your daily routine for a few moments – how much can you really do without relying on others? I love all the above. But, I’ve been forced to re-learn the importance of self-reliance during this time isolation.
Ways I’m focusing on self-reliance:
I’ve been mastering making my own cold brew
We’re slowly outfitting a home gym
We have prepped (not hoarded) for this and future emergencies
We’ve continued to increase the capabilities of The HOP Nerd Studios
We’re cooking every meal at home together
I’m doing things more for myself than for you (sorry not sorry)
How many things in your life do you really do for yourself? You know, those things that you just enjoy doing. It’s not a lot, right? Most things are for work, the significant other, the kids, or your social media fam, right? What do you REALLY want to do?
“Me stuff” I’ve been really focusing on:
Streaming The HOP Nerd LIVE Show every day - Check it out HERE
Writing more opinion and creative pieces (such as this)
Spending more time with a guitar (or ukulele) in my hands
While the world continues to descend into COVID-19 panic – I abstain. Rather than seeing this catastrophe as an opportunity to churn out piece after piece – this has been my “reset button;” I’ve unplugged and re-plugged my creative router. I have reorganized my priority list. It’s been refreshing to step away for a few minutes and breath; to walk down the street with a cup of coffee, my partner, my daughter, and the dog and just enjoy life. I encourage you to take some time to disconnect from work, reconnect with yourself and those that matter most, do some stuff for yourself, and listen to more John Prine.