The gap between doing nothing and doing anything

nike_just_do_it_wallpaper_smoke___paintball_effect_by_ryanr08-d4h54qcWhen I heard this TED talk that mentioned a phrase about the gap between doing something versus nothing (at about 5:42), I thought about how doing nothing is far easier, and far more common it seems lately (certainly by me), because it means I won’t fail. It’s for this reason that Failblog has really been rubbing me wrong lately: it’s people just making fun of what other people have gone out and done. And as much as I love the writer behind CakeWrecks, same deal there, too.
I have so many projects planned and none of them done. It’s just plain fear. Consider this article (which seems to be aimed more at women, but anyone can stand to use a bit more confidence and move toward the direction of their own aspirations.):

“Consciously avoid procrastination, at home or at work. Procrastination is usually due to perfectionism or anxiety about not being good enough. Just line up what you have to do and get it done.”

Nike got it right. Just do it.

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Five screeches!

Omg! Thanks to all the local gardeners who have been hatching their screeches! I’m fairly certain our screech “Prin-Prin” had his family elsewhere, and by all the blogging going on, it sounds like he had a choice of many good nests.

Tonight we saw Prin-Prin or one of his brood on the hammock’s caribiner, then two more owls on the fence, making circles with their heads. Then hammock-owl flew to the other side of the yard, chasing and chased by one of the fence-owls.

When they all finished chasing, we counted four on the far fence and one in a persimmon branch near them. Five beautiful screeches at dusk! This was the best pic I could manage when one landed near a window.

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Simplifying my foods

I’ve been trying to simplify everywhere in my life lately. I’ve been tossing stuff from the house and careful about bringing any new stuff in. I’ve been simplifying my schedule and focusing on main things (like my Saturday classes and seeing friends I haven’t seen in a while); simplifying my workouts by integrating exercise into my life, rather than making it a big gym excursion; simplifying my digital diet by cutting down to “just” two outlets.

It all started with this. Image, inspiration, and recipe from Iowa Girl Eats (click the image), completely used without permission, but with much salivating.

I’m not hugely fat, just a little past ideal weight. I’m not unhealthy, but my blood glucose numbers have been inching up each year, enough to point to a trend. In short, I don’t have a scary big need to make a big change, or even to make little changes. This is a slippery slope.

After a Sunday spent researching juicing and healing foods for a friend, I found myself re-examining my own foods, wondering why I ever stopped eating as healthfully as in my 5+ books on juicing, fasting, and vegetarian diets, but still in a nice-to-have kind of mentality. I thought to myself “I should put more spinach into my diet,” or “some pineapple juice would hit the spot.” I saw this spinach smoothie and silently rejoiced that I already had a banana in the freezer. But it didn’t click to me that this is something I need to do forever: eat good things and not eat bad things. And yes, for me and to me, they are good and bad.

I react badly to dairy. Not in a lactose intolerant way, but in a coughing, wheezing, phlegmy way, and for my whole life. I love cheese and cite that as the reason I stopped being a vegan way back when, but it’s just like desserts and other empty calorie foods: I know it doesn’t give me enough good things to outweigh the bad effects on me. I react badly to wheat. I never knew I did until I stopped eating it due to MBF’s gluten-free cooking and my mooching on his chef skills daily. My skin cleared up its keratosis pilarsis, which had plagued me since before I can remember, and which I recall stressing about for my sleeveless prom dress. It’s been that long.

So yes, for me these are bad foods. There are also bad foods in terms of social abuse. I have known about the sugar and chocolate trade and how it exploits human workers. But like the philosophic button you can press that dispenses a million dollars to you and kills someone you don’t know, I kept pressing the button that dispensed cheap chocolate and sugar at the expense of someone else in the world. These foods should also be gone from my diet. And really, I don’t need the sugar. I’m knocking on diabetes’ door at this point, according to three years of up-ticking blood sugar. Badness. Bad for me.

Finally, I was reading an online entry—I won’t call it an article as it seemed to be based on “common wisdom” and a heavy hand of from the dairy ad council rather than nutritional fact—that said for my body type, the type that holds its weight at the waist, I should eat a breakfast of an egg and cheese muffin. Say what? As if that weren’t enough of a jaw-dropper, it went on to say for my fellow fatties who hold their weight even higher that we would “do well on a diet that emphasizes dairy.” What? Is this article sponsored by the dairy industry? How in the world can you tell me that upper-body fat is a risk for heart disease and then tell me that dairy is the way to go? That I shouldn’t just have “some” dairy, but I should “emphasize” it?

No. This is the tipping point for me. I realize how much bunk I’m being figuratively and literally fed, how much I don’t know lurks in my food, how much “common knowledge” just doesn’t apply to what my body tells me daily that it needs. So here goes.

  • Grow my own.
  • More juicing.
  • No wheat.
  • No sugar.
  • Fair-trade-only chocolate.
  • No dairy. And yes, that means no more lattes for me (I don’t eat soy, either. Did I mention? That’s a bad food for me, too).
  • No fried.
  • Less processed (I won’t rule out all convenience food).
  • Dare I say no alcohol? This requires some soul-searching, moreso since it should be the easiest no-brainer to ditch, yet is hanging me up more than the cheese and ice cream. I mean, giving up alcohol means my pedal to Shiner will end in a big, big thirst. Hmm.
  • More biking. I miss my bike. I miss my biking friends, and found myself on cloud 9 when one invited me to come ride sometime. I am glad she missed me, too.
  • More walking and more yoga, of course.

Sustainable information: Where my blog posts at?

A big hear-hear to this: Sustainable information: Beyond tofu news and high-fructose media.

Way too much to ingest.

What’s it mean? Well, it means that I sit with anywhere between 800 and 1000+ items in my Google feed reader, 100 undread emails in my 2000+ message inbox, and just plain don’t keep up with anything or anyone on Facebook. In fact, I started taking more and more Facebook sabbaticals. There’s just too much information buzzing around.

I even have real mail piled up in crazy heaps. (Oh, btw, download and use Paper Karma to help get rid of unbidden junk mail. It’s pretty easy to use, but I haven’t used it long enough to say if it’s working yet. And that’s not an affiliate link.)

With all this incoming info, it’s hard for me to sort out what I want to say on my own blog(s), Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr, Twitter, Flickr, and who knows what all else I’ve signed up for and ditched.

I think it’s gonna break down like this: this blog will continue to be about changing my own life from geeky gamer to … well, probably still a geeky gamer, but with a much more sustainable outlook on life (I hope). I’ll keep posting about the simplification of my life, like my decluttering, and the greening it’s been undergoing. Oh and murloc hats. Those’ll still be here. Maybe when my life’s a little simpler, I can sit down and write that damned pattern out. 

Facebook will get mainly pictures from my life. I rarely post a status update, but when I do, I’m going to try to make it worth reading. No, I’m not going the route of careful tweetcrafting, aiming for the most ironic or funniest or anything else superlative and hip. God knows I can’t do “hip”. I just want the chance to post something worth sharing across the millions of FB users worldwide. Something, hopefully, that might change things for the better. Big dreams, sure. But a tool’s a tool, and that’s how I’m gonna start looking at it.

Pinterest is my fluffy dream space. Ordinarily I’d post stuff here; that’s how this all started. Maybe I’ll go back to that at some point. But for not, Pinterest is SO much easier to quickly note a cool image and move on. No post required, no downloading the image and hosting on my own blog, no citations. It does all that junk for ya.  UPDATE:  Before even editing and posting this, I’ve come across an article that describes Pinterest and some issues with copyrights. In a nutshell: don’t post things to Pinterest that you don’t own, but don’t promote your own work. If that’s not confusing, then just consider that in many cases, P’rest doesn’t link back to the original; it links back to itself. So… I think I’ll go back to Tumblr, where at least I control linking to sources and where someone can contact me and tell me to not post their stuff. There’s no reliable “paper trail” in P’rest.

Tumblr.. I used to have this blog post to Tumblr and Twitter, then Tumblr post to FB. Crazy. It was like “woofing” from The Office. I won’t woof anymore, but I think I will make Tumblr my crazy fluffy assortment of “huh” it once was. I might even skip that altogether and go back to posting stuff I find here. That would be simplest. I’ll play with the “Press this” button I use for posting to WordPress (this) and whatever the button’s called that lets me post easily to Tumblr. My hunch is that Tumblr will go away and this blog will once again painfully display just how much surfing I do.

Speaking of surfing, I was up ridiculously early for a day off today, and romanticized about flipping through my feed reader while sipping a latte in a sunlit corner of a coffee shop. I was overwhelmed with the excessively useless stuff I flipped through. Looking at pictures of fabulous things inspires me, yes, but I’ve got mountains of projects to do yet, and more images of awesome things just makes me feel inadequate in my shabby car, imperfect yard, or way-not-beachworthy body. It takes joy from me and wastes my time. So they’re all gone. I’m all for crafting and repurposing, but I didn’t realize how many blogs talk about seasonal crafts from toilet paper rolls, or finding sources for burlap, or egg favors for parties. I don’t need these things, however green they might be. 

Much bloggery has become … well, let’s just say escalated, almost a caricature of trends. I apologize to the person that designed this. It’s great, and I’m all about the tiny house craze: I love it. I want to go from 1500 sf to 200 sf. But the article that described a reclaimed dumpster as “luxurious”? Well, I couldn’t decide if they were being tongue-in-cheek, but I think they were being straight. You decide. I think luxury isn’t just nice trimmings, but a nice core without too much added or taken away. Luxury is a hammock in a nice breeze and the time to enjoy it, not a diamond-encrusted hammock in the tropics with no time to enjoy nor a hammock made from reclaimed nails and glass shards. At least, not by my definition.

All that explanation to say: I’m reconsidering all my blogs today, paring down from 159 subscriptions (which has crept up past my last weeding in 2010) to 57. I loved them all, but I need to FOCUS. That mountain in my garage is weighing on me, and I still need to finish a website for my brother. My required to-do pile is feeling pretty huge.

Speaking of which, time to go get some things done. With only one weekend day to me each week, I need to motor.

Make stuff for kiddos with cancer

via project 16 :: the littlest warriors.

Hey, fellow crafters—from the yarn and sewing communities alike. Craft Hope is requesting folks make hats for kids fighting cancer. All sizes (babies to teens), boys and girls, fiber or fabric. They’re also requesting bags for the kids to take their stuff to the hospital.

Spread the word and get makin’. One’ll do. More is good, too.

p.s. if you can’t knit, sew, or crochet, you can always make no-sew hats like this and no-sew bags just like Martha. Hating on the Martha? Ok, fine, here’s another no-sew bag that’s NOT by her.

Inspiration: “What I Made”

via What I Made.

I’m in love with this website. Blog. Thing. Man, do I love it! I love the look of the site, the background on the page, the projects he makes, and most of all, the diagrams of those projects! So. Effing. Cool.

I love the whimsy and acceptance, nay validation!, of all our ideas, fleshed out or fledgling, big or small, doodled or CAD, pro or childish. Super awesome.

Part of the layout. The whole thing looks like a huge doodle on kraft paper. Even the sharing buttons are doodlework.

One of his illustrated how-to's. Love this.