Work hard, play hard

I had been doing so well at managing stress levels because doing so is better for your mental and physical performance. Well, the last week or so I’ve felt like my jaw is constantly clenched; probably because it is. I’m sure that packing my weekends just as full as my weeks, is probably not the remedy, but that’s what I made the mistake of doing this weekend, complete with being verrrry late to one of my friends which always upsets me. And, woke up Monday with a bit of a cold. Also upsetting. I blame the stress, because it beats the other logical explanation.
I was also feeling a bit upset Saturday morning when I went to do my birthday workout and my back decided to act up. Not enough to make me stop but enough to remind me that it was there and slow me down. Well, I still improved significantly on last year’s time. Just frustrating that I yet again can’t go 100%. On the plus side, whatever strain I felt later in the day was completely gone after Saturday night’s sleep (and by night I actually mean early morning to slightly later in the morning).
So, a little shopping, a little training, too much coffee, giving some framing/negotiation/business tips, a hike at Cape Point, dinner & a movie, a little Jack Parow in Brackenfell, a whole lot of Afrikaans people, a whole lot of love, and even some brandy & Coke (when in Rome), a little sleep, a little advice to go along with my physical therapy, the Deli at Tokara, the gardens  at Babylonstoren, coffee & cocktails, prepping food for the week, and qigong. Enough activity for two days?
One editorial comment on the whole thing: Jack Parow. Holy crap. Firstly, that man drinks alcohol the way I drink water, and I am NOT exaggerating. Secondly, I had heard the dude was shy and all and I knew he wasn’t a great live performer and you could tell he hated performing, but I was hoping that he’d be a different beast when performing in the Northern Suburbs. Boy was I ever right. Oh my God, now I probably only understood the half of what he was saying but watching him perform there, I got it. He’s only happy when he’s with his homies. It’s SUPER cute.
But enough Jack Parow. Back to me. I’ve been wallowing a bit recently in stress and excitement, and all the attention that this new job is getting me. But enough drama. Time to stop thinking about how I’m going to attack the WOD and just get out there and start throwing down.
There’s always bad to go with the good, and let’s face it there is a hell of a lot more good than bad right now. Just a whole lot of work to go with it. It’s like aiming high: you might not quite hit your goals but you’ll outperform over low or no goals. Or settling; who wants to settle for third if you could be first, or for a company where you just punch the clock if you could be excited to go to work every day?
I’m excited right now: every single day when I wake up in the morning I’m psyched about my plans. Training day, rest day (these are usually therapy days as well so it gives me something to look forward to), Heart day, day on the new job, what I choose to do in my spare time, and who I choose to do it with. It is a lot, and I do feel stretched thin sometimes and like everyone wants a piece of me.
But hey: as Sam so kindly reminded me, I am human. I get cranky and overwhelmed sometimes, and tired, and frustrated. Sometimes I see the path forward so clearly, and other times it seems like an unsurmountable challenge.
But bottom line? I’m doing pretty damn well personally, professionally, athletically. If there weren’t things I was fighting then I’d be bored. I’d also be perfect. 95% of my attention is focused on the road ahead here in Cape Town. The other 5% of the time I’m thinking about the weeks and months ahead and wondering. What might have been and what might still be are interesting questions to ponder, as spring arrives here and I think about the spring ephemerals I grew up with in rural Vermont: the wild ginger, the columbines, the bloodroot, the dutchman’s britches, the trilliums.
Great line from the Ernest Hemingway character in the Midnight in Paris movie; he said something about nostalgia being just a form of weakness. A longing for and idealisation of something that doesn’t exist, and probably never did. Hold onto those moments and times when you’re happy and the people surrounding you are as well, because they are ephemeral.
Is there anything in my life I would change right now? Nothing I’m doing (or not doing). There are some people that I sure as hell wouldn’t mind if they decided to move to Cape Town, and some people that I wish would stay.  
In June or so I posted that I had this odd feeling that my upcoming U.S. trip was going to change me. I was right, but not necessarily for the reasons I thought at the time. I have the same feeling about this trip, but maybe I won’t form any specific expectations this time around. Ha. Who am I kidding? I may be very stupid and reckless at times but one thing I am not? Disingenuous.
But in a line I will never forget, in snowy late winter Cambridge after a few too many beers two and a half years ago when I wistfully said I wished things were different: “You play the hand you’re dealt.”
Ain’t that the truth?
  • “You don’t haggle if you want a long-term relationship.” – Jo
  • “I just don’t want to be tied down I guess.” – Amy
  • “I tell you one thing, the dop system works with students, that’s for sure!” – Jacques
  • “Are you still drinking heavily?” “This doesn’t qualify as drinking heavily.” – Jaco & Ellie
  • “I’ve seen you play a boardroom.” – Jacques
  • “It didn’t work!” – Charles
  • “I didn’t invite anyone.” – Jaco
  • “No …. I think he might be perfect.” – Sam

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