How to Spot a Libertarian

I have complex political views, mostly because I’ve tried out a bunch of positions, and usually get disheartened by the hypocrisy and dogmatic devotion to political leaders. Some parties are better than others, but for the most part, I’ve been less than impressed.

I heard Libertarian Socialism defined as a system where a man can choose to starve to death if he wants, but he should never be forced to starve to death. Libertarians separate themselves by a firm belief in Liberty and Freedom.

For me, the true test of a libertarians viewpoint is when they’re asked to support a freedom they might disagree with morally. Take guns and abortion. Two issues, characterized as being supported by opposing political views. A true libertarian would support both the right to own a gun, and the right for a person to choose to have an abortion.

It seems to me that your belief in a principle like freedom matters most when it’s something you don’t like or agree with

Letters to my Father

My daughter got me a little book for Christmas. It contains 13 hand-written letters from her. One for Christmas Day, and one for each month of the following year.

I cried on Christmas Day.

I’ve been savoring the thought of what January’s letter might hold. She finally called me on it tonight.

I don’t know what I did to deserve her, but she is one of the most amazing people I’ve been fortunate to get to know, ever.

75 Hard Isn’t For Everyone

I did the 75 Hard program last year. It was immensely successful for me, but it isn’t for everyone. Anyone can do it if they want to, but…

IT’S NOT A WEIGHT LOSS PROGRAM!!!

If you want to lose weight, 75 hard is not your program.

Sure, you’ll likely lose weight on 75 hard, but that’s not the goal or the reason to do it.

75 hard is about being consistent and developing mental toughness and grit.

It’s not about the founder selling supplements, and honestly, if you think it’s too hard, don’t whine about it, just don’t do it.

It’s hard for a reason. There are very simple details that you have to do every day and every component is there for a specific reason.

I didn’t like the daily photo when I started. But I took a photo every day.

My body changed. My expression changed. My demeanor changed. All for the better.

But what changed the most, was inside me. And it’s still inside me, and it could be better, but… It has never been as good as it’s been since I finished the program.

I think I might try it again this year because you can’t take that internal feeling away when you get done.

Relinquishing Control

First of all, and this is COMPLETELY unrelated to what I feel like writing about tonight. You get a lot of spam comments when you have a blog, and most of them relate to porn. And the porn is a little terrifying because WordPress does this cool preview thing, and sometimes you check your blog at work, and your mouse hovers someplace, and then all of a sudden there are boobs and other amazing and yet terrifying things on your work computer, and you have a minor meltdown and yada, yada, yada.

But, there has been an alarming number of ads recently for a certain horse medication to aid in the eradication of worms, but these are approved for human consumption, and by human, I mean the self-fornicating, fascist wanna pieces of garbage who equate yelling in single-syllable words with strong leadership – while it isn’t… Anyway, the sheer number of these ads, intermingled with the porn, and other stuff written in Russian, surprised me.

OK – so I got a Sauna Bag from TruBrain last year on a Black Friday sale, and I love it. The past few times, I’ve used it, I’ve turned on a Netflix show, and I may have it turned up a little high, but there have been some weird hallucination-type things that happen to me.

Tonight, I hopped in after 24 hours of fasting, and listen to an Aubrey Marcus podcast. The fasting + sauna bag + plus Aubrey gave rise to some random thoughts.

I have control issues… And I don’t like them. Like it seriously affects my life, and not always positive or negative. Like if I’m drinking with friends and or family, and all the other adults have had too much, and something happens with the kids… It doesn’t matter how many Scotches I’m into enjoying my evening, Mr. Responsibility shows up and takes care of things. I also get paranoid about the ability of people to drive. Bottom line, if you’re going drinking with friends and want to be safe, I’m the guy.

Unfortunately, that means I also can’t relax. Like I enjoy drinking and using other substances, and they help me kinda relax and forget about problems, but they’re always there. And if I need to, I can snap right back into almost full control of any situation.

It kinda sucks. I want to lose control and I don’t know-how.

I got some thoughts in the bag tonight. I’ve always been the vanilla sex guy, because, fucking Mormonism and all of that bullshit I was raised with… This probably explains some of the control issues too. The term Magical Sexual Energy was used in the podcast, and I started to wonder about BDSM, Sub/Dom dynamics. It got me thinking. A LOT!

Brick by Brick

One of the goals I’ve set for myself this year is to read 12 books. I got into the habit of reading last year when I did the 75 Hard challenge, and I really enjoyed it. I kinda kept the habit going, but it slowly died as the year progressed and my life got a little more hectic.

I missed reading yesterday, but I kicked it off today with Will – the Will Smith Biography. He starts off with a story from his childhood about building a wall and shares the lesson he learned from that experience. When you focus on building an entire wall it’s hard to ever imagine being done, but when you focus on just laying one brick and doing it to the best of your ability, the wall magically gets built.

I applied that philosophy a year or two back. Focussing on just one day at a time, building habits that would set me up for success. It did, and then that success overwhelmed me and it stopped the daily habits. I need to get them back.

Will (through the works of Mark Manson) also talks about a less than ideal childhood, and the lessons he learned along the way. Sometimes weakness isn’t a weakness and sometimes it’s just a matter of where we apply our talents that determine whether they are weaknesses or strengths.

The bottom line is, I’m 30 pages in and it’s a really good book. I’d highly recommend it.

Ready to Embrace the Suck

The New Year is one of my favorite times of the year. New beginnings, some good memories, and that fresh start we all crave once in a while.

I don’t really have new plans for this coming year, but I did use last night as a line in the sand.

The past few years have been challenging for a number of reasons, the pandemic, challenges with my career, and family stuff.

For the past two years, I’ve done an annual planning retreat in October, and it’s really helped set me up for success. I’ve accomplished far more than I thought was possible, and I have a coach who holds me accountable and challenges me to be better.

My theme for this year is to optimize my happiness and part of that was the aforementioned line in the sand.

I seem to have a pattern in my life of desperately trying to seek approval from loved ones with minimal reciprocation. The question I find myself asking though, is why am I begging and pleading for that reciprocation, or even just a minimum viable level of respect or appreciation?

That’s the thing, if we’re surrounded by the right people, that good stuff should just come. If it doesn’t, we might be surrounded by the wrong people, and I realize that I’ve been focussing on getting my needs met by the wrong people, and not focusing enough on the right people.

I realize that’s pretty cryptic, but that is because some of this is deeply personal and I haven’t figured out how to deal with it yet. But it’s getting dealt with this year, and I fully expect the process to suck. Like, really, really suck!

But through the suck, I hope to find more fulfillment and to achieve the goal of optimized happiness.

Cheers, 2021!

2022… Bring it on!

Relationship Jiu-Jitsu

I’ve practiced Jiu-Jitsu, particularly the Brazillian discipline for a while. I’m on a break right now, for a number of reasons, the least of which being the Pandemic, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t life lessons to be learned from the art.

Recently I’ve been thinking about relationship lessons I can learn. One of my favorite warm-ups is called Flow Rolling. It’s not fast, or aggressive, but you pair up, and each member of the pair takes turns slowly trying a series of moves, their partner gives a little resistance, but only enough to make it work, and at some point, they’ll take over, and the other partner will focus on resistance. It’s slow and methodical, and there is a push and pull to it. One partner goes at 55%, and the other at 45% and then they swap. Back and forth, back and forth.

Relationships are like that. If you’re both going at 100%, you’re going to burn out, but when you’re pushing and pulling, you develop a rhythm and it flows.
Vectoring off that, I’ve been thinking about training. If one partner is training, and the other is just laying there, then the active partner will get to practice the fundamentals of a move.

The thing is, a lot of moves don’t work without some resistance to feed off, and at some point, the practice becomes essentially useless. In order to improve you need to face increasing difficulty and resistance.

That’s how relationships work, you both need to grow, and you both need to help the other grow. It’s a dance, where both of you improve as individuals. If only one of you is practicing, and the other is just lying there passively, at some point you reach the inevitable point where growth ceases, and then, what’s the point?

Opposing Voices

https://pixabay.com/photos/rain-raindrop-drop-of-water-nature-2907366

“Are you going running?”

The question broke the silence of the darkened room. Suddenly, I could hear the rain on the window, feel the chill in the air, and started thinking about my restless night.

My alarm had gone off at 4:50, and it was a struggle to get up and moving. I had to do it before the other alarm in the next room went off at 4:55. I set my schedule last night. Get up, brush my teeth, get dressed, and go running. Don’t think about it; do it.

And I hadn’t thought about it. I was doing it.

Until the question, and then all the voices in my head started talking at once. “Yeah, but I don’t want to”, I responded.

I followed with, “I’m having a struggle, and I just need to do this.”

I silenced the voices, put on my shoes, and got back to the plan.

The run was tough, but the rain was beautiful, and I checked the running box off when I got home.

It’s the little voice in my head that got me back on track with my daily schedule, and it was the voices in my head that almost tanked it again in the wee hours of this morning.

Being Kranky

My kids are starting their Christmas celebrations early this year, and I’m completely on-board. November 1st began our Christmas Movie schedule with Christmas with the Kranks. It’s a movie I really like, but I got really depressed and pissed off after I watched it last night.

Tim Allen’s character spends most of the movie planning a fun, romantic vacation for him and his wife. His wife is kinda on board, but as soon as they encounter any resistance, she turns on him. The movie culminates with them having to cancel the trip, and his wife, and the neighborhood pretty much shit all over him and his stupid plans.

Now, it’s just a movie, and given the limited time, there is only so much space for character development, but I felt an affinity for Mr. Krank. He’s not perfect. His staunch rejection of all celebrating isn’t a path I would take, and I’d agree there is some selfishness there. However, I admire his determination in the pursuit of his goals, even while everyone else poo poo’s his plans.

They end up not taking the vacation, and it’s the right choice given the circumstances, but I felt his pain.

It’s tough trying to follow your dreams when people shit on you. Especially when they’re people who should be supporting and encouraging you.

I need to find a circle of people who fan my flames.

Datasets and Data-Based Decisions

I started listening to a podcast a few weeks back, hosted by someone with very different political leanings than I have. The content isn’t political, but his views seep into the conversation. I really enjoy his content, but the politics were difficult to listen to, at first. It’s gotten easier though.

I used to have very similar beliefs to his though. And as I’ve listened to him, I’ve realized that I’d probably still have those same views, if I was basing them on the same data.

He and I use different datasets to make our decisions, and that realization has made me question some of my beliefs, as it should. Unfortunately, I don’t know the answers to some of the questions that arise from that discovery… Or rather, I now have the good fortune to investigate my beliefs and why I hold them even more.

That is a pretty great gift to receive!