Back from Kansas and hot and heavy

Hot and heavy in this sense: it is humid and I am sweating in my kitchen, thus I am hot, and I am filled with Combos, the pretzel/fake cheese snack that, along with Reeces Pieces, I get jacked up to buy at gas station convenience stores, thus I am heavy. I doubt I’d be so sweaty if I weren’t so filled with Combos. There’s a causal chain that ends in my physical (and soon after mental) discomfort.  This post is about breaking causal chains, I suppose.

Discipline is a problem. Especially during more difficult times. See, I know a lot. I’ve read books about meditation and watched health TV and perused websites filled with information about the importance of hydration. My theoretical knowledge base is quite grand. Practice, however, is what counts. It’s where the rubber meets the road. Theory without action is like a Ferrari without wheels (cliches work really well for this).

Big Rubber Metaphor

My metric is, in fact, a guide to practicing the theory. The idea: On a daily basis I give myself points to do the painful little short-term things I know, from vast theoretical exploration across decades (this is not hyperbole! Oh no!), are good for people generally speaking, sometimes in the long-term rather than short. At the end of each day, if I’ve achieved a certain number of points, chances are I’ve done balanced, good work through out the day (I’ve maybe paid bills, exercised, worked hard on a work project, had 8 glasses of water, read a good article in a magazine, written for an hour or two, etc.). I have, in fact, put theory into practice.

If you looked at me through the proper, very sensitive camera, I would look like this:

Sitting on metaphorical flower, floating on a metaphorical pond, etc.

Trouble, practice is difficult. And, one cannot turn a blind eye to the truth that is revealed when one is dealing responsibly with the tasks of everyday: there is trouble in life.

For instance, I was shocked last week to discover I have serious cash flow problems. Had I not put on my metric that gaining a full understanding of my finances adds points to my day, I would not have figured out the trouble before likely falling into serious crisis. Still, the knowledge of the cash flow problem was enough to derail the system. Rather than acknowledging the problem Buddha style (“ahh, look at that little ugly animal… let’s take care of that,”), I decided to buy pizzas and beer and watch Law and Order and also COPs and baseball, etc. (Home Run Derby) for hours and hours and hours, gaining no points in my Metric for days on end and feeling physically and psychically unwell, for sure.

Uh, I think COPs is on… I should order a sandwich… big one…

Here’s the gist and something I might have remembered because of this blog, which is an action blog (and because my pal Brady and I were in a car talking for 22 hours over the course of three days): putting theoretical knowledge to practice during hard times is critically important. Rather than relying on TV, food, beer, etc. to numb out the truth, this is exactly the moment to move forward in a measured and positive fashion, both acknowledging the truth and not allowing it to inflate itself, become all encompassing (it is, after all, only one truth in a million), to get in the way of general decent living in other areas.

I know what to do. I’ve experienced these crap times before. Today, along with handling some of the money issue, I’m going to go for a run, eat some fruit, water the garden, drink some water, and work on my classes. If I’ve done all of that and earned enough points, perhaps this evening I’ll sit down and watch COPs, which I shall enjoy unbridledly, because I’ve used my energy wisely the rest of the day. That’s putting theory into practice, baby.

Just dessert…

Of course, I’m going to have to deal with my desire to watch COPs in the future of my practice. I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it. That will be another tough week, I’d guess. Tonight, bring it!



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I am…

Geoff Herbach. I am the author of Stupid Fast and Nothing Special, among a bunch of other stuff. When I'm not writing, I teach writing at Minnesota State, Mankato.

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I’m With Stupid

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