Pride!

Today’s challenge was to write about something I’m proud of.

A number of things come to mind:

  • Escaping a Fundamentalist Cult-Like Religion
  • Leading My Family Out of the Same Religion
  • Raising Children with a Strong Sense of Social Justice
  • Earning a Graduate Degree and Growing My Career, While Supporting My Family and Helping the Mrs Raise Our Five Kids

But here’s a small one. I’m a freelance technical writer in my spare time, and this piece got picked up and went viral last year.

Making the Jump to Go: A Guide for Java Developers

Seeing more than 10k views on something I wrote is definitely good for the ego.

Falling In Love With Perfection

I was listening to a podcast earlier this week, and reference was made to Toltec teachings. If you’re interested in the Toltec Culture, you can probably start here.

The Mrs and I started listening to The Five Levels of Attachment: Toltec Wisdom for the Modern World. The author begins by talking about perfection. Perfection is not a destination, but rather, it’s your current state. Whatever you are right now, you’re the product of your choices and experiences, and you are perfectly you.

He talked about looking in the mirror and seeing yourself for who you are, not who you could become. He talking about loving yourself as you are. As a perfect person.

With that in mind, the Mrs and I went to The Float Shoppe in Portland this morning and spent 90 minutes floating alone in a sensory deprivation chamber. I’ve had good experiences in the past, but today was the best by far. I’ve always liked who I am, but I thought this morning about connecting with myself. About loving myself unconditionally.

Love is a powerful emotion and realizing that you love yourself is the most powerful form of love. Being 100% in love with someone, and knowing that the person in love with you is 100% genuine and never going to abandon you, hurt you or let you down is incredible.

What Makes Me Feel Alive

I’m a decent software engineer and when a task is done I feel a lot of satisfaction.
I’m OK at endurance racing, and when I cross the finish line, I feel a sense of achievement.
I’m fairly good at problem-solving, and when that problem gets implemented I feel a certain amount of pride.

But, when I can work with someone, enable that person and watching them realize a sense of empowerment and opportunity…

I FEEL LIKE I’M ON FIRE!!!

A New Chapter

So part of the motivation for writing again is a challenge with a group I’m a member of.

Live Your Legend

I’m supposed to start off the challenge by writing a little bit about where I come from and why I’m here. But that’s what I’ve been doing. Rehashing the past, complaining about organizations and relatives from my past.

It’s time for something new.

Here’s what I’m excited about now:

  • Becoming the best man I can be.
  • Supporting my wife in her quest to be the best woman she can be.
  • Forming a better and more equal relationship with her as we both follow our paths.
  • Continuing to raise socially conscious children who will change the world for the better.
  • Changing the World – I have some ideas!

Dipping My Toe

A lot has changed in the past couple of years. A lot inside of me, a lot outside of me, and a lot in my environment.

I’ve been thinking about writing again, but it’s a bit like my diet. Once you start, you know you have to keep up with it. Otherwise, next thing you know there are only a half dozen donuts left in the box, and you went for “The Kicker” down at Dutch Bros and your body is freaking out between a sugar crash and caffeine overload… And OH MY GOD WHO LEFT ALL THE LIGHTS ON, AND WHY IS MY FANCY SHIRT LYING ON THE KITCHEN FLOOR SOAKING UP A PUDDLE OF MILK!!!

Long story short. Life is hectic, life is good, and parts of it suck. But I need to start writing again 🙂

Black, white and shades of gray

I used to blog about the Mormon Church. It was easy because it was very black and white. While most Mormons are good people, the organization itself is an evil and controlling mega corporation. Being an atheist and criticising them was easy. Even when I encountered resistance, it was still easy.

I’ve been trying to stay out of politics this season. I was an ardent Bernie Sanders fan, and then when he got defeated, I figured Hillary was the next logical choice. I still think that of the current options, she is the best candidate, but I’m not stoked about it, and I’m feeling embarrassed to about it too.

It’s nothing to do with her gender, nor the emails, nor Benghazi. On social issues, I think she’s kind of inline with what I’d like to see.

Someone brought up her husband today… but he’s not running for office. But then they brought up how she stood by him and demonized the women who he assaulted. And at first I thought… but what else could she do… and then I was thinking that it doesn’t matter about her personal life, it’s her policies.

And then I realized that I was a big goddamm hypocrite.

Still gonna vote for her, but I don’t like having to defend that decision because of what it means.

Keto Mousse

I heard a version of this on a podcast earlier this week… The Tim Ferriss Show – Dom D’Agnistino

I found another version of it online at another Keto site.

Due to lack of some ingredients and ideas to make it better, here’s what I just made:

  • 16oz Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 160z Sour Cream
  • 2 1/2 Tablespoons Dark Cocoa Powder
  • 1 1/2 Packets of Stevia (1 pkt equivalent to 2 tsps sugar
  • 1/2 cup of peacans
  • pinch salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 Tablespoon of melted Coconut Oil

Basically I just blended everything together, and threw the nuts and the coconut oil in at the end. I tasted it at that point to make sure I had the right balance of sweetness – and I liked where it ended up.

It’s sitting in the freezer right now, while I’m waiting for my keto pizza to cook!

Captain Moron

I received a text from the lovely Mrs. Koda shortly after I arrived at the office this morning.

Mrs Koda: Did you make it in to work OK?

Me: Yes, I’m here occupying my desk. ‪#‎PleaseSendSnacks‬

Mrs Koda: You should have thought of that BEFORE you committed yourself!

Me: You’ve left me no option but to go and occupy another seat in the cafe for lunch.

Me: I will dine a FREE MAN!!!

Mrs Koda: Keep it to yourself, Captain Moron!

Putting Myself Down

I engage in self-deprecating humor. I like to put people at ease by making fun of myself… But I’m not sure exactly how well it works. It seemed to work well when I lived outside the US, but for some reason, I keep finding myself involved with people here who take advantage of me. I’m fine putting myself down, but when someone else feeds off that, and then joins it, that just not cool.

Anyway, so I think I need a different approach. I’m still not entirely sure how to pull it off, but one of the things I want to work on this year is forming relationships with other people.

My uncle shared this on Facebook a couple of months ago, and I finally watched it this morning.

Life Begins

ANUSTART

I’m turning 40 this year. The big FOUR OH! I’m kind of excited about it. I used to be excited about new years, but new years eve last week was pretty flat. Truth be told, had my kids not been all excited about it, I would have been in bed and asleep by 10.

So as the year begins, here is where I’m at:

My last job burned me out. It burned most of my team out, but I was the only one working on a graduate degree at the time. After 3 years of killing myself for the team, the manager held a meeting, and most of the team got promotions and changes in responsibility. With the exception of the manager, I had seniority in the team. It’s not so much I didn’t get anything, it’s more that no-one said anything to me about it prior to the changes or after. A recruiter called the next day, and offered me a potential position as a contractor in Portland. So less than a month later I moved to Portland, and started a new job.

I spent weeks in Portland, and then weekends in Utah trying to be a dad, husband and sell our home. On top of the burn out, I was good for little more than playing the role of Zombie.

I did a lot of research, worried that I was dealing with chronic fatigue. Mentally, physically and emotionally I was completely done. It’s possible I’m beyond repair, but I’m not willing to give up on life yet.

So, here’s what I’m doing to recover in all of those areas:

I’ve started martial arts. I do Tang Soo Do with one of my sons twice a week, and I’ve started doing Brazilian Jui-jitsu as well. It’s taken a toll on my body, but I need the physical exertion, the discipline and time with my son.

I’ve wrangled myself a full-time position with my employer. I’ve been afraid in the past to mention employers, due to the fact that most have been Mormon and/or overly right wing leaning. My current employer is Nike – the shoe/clothing company. Not only are they an amazing employer, but they are very involved in supporting equal rights, and promoting healthy living. It’s nice to work for a company that shares my values, and respects my time with my family as well.

In order to tackle the burn out, I’ve been trying the ketogenic diet. I read some stuff and listened to some podcasts talking about ketosis as a great way to improve endurance, but I got the distinct impression that it had an effect on the nervous system as well. It took some more research, but I’m pretty sure that being in ketosis is going to have a positive effect on my mental state as well. I’ve only been on it 2 weeks, and the last week was a bust due to Christmas, but I feel better, and I’m down 8 pounds. Still not sure how much of this is placebo effect, how much is due to the reduction of stress, and time off work for the holidays, and how much is actually due to the introduction of increased ketones flowing around in my blood stream.

I’ve got other stuff I’m working on too. Improved financial stability, better relationships with my family, and improvements to myself as a person.

2016 is starting off pretty positively!