Do It Anyway

I’ve hinted that I struggled with moodiness on last week’s trip to NYC. It doesn’t often hit, which makes the “Go away and leave me alone!” reaction that much stronger when it does.

There was a point on Sunday afternoon at which I was regretting having made arrangements to meet an old New York friend for dinner; I didn’t want to have to be social. But I wouldn’t let myself make an excuse to ditch – and I had a great time. I even came away excited for the next few months (albeit with a new time-consuming project).

Also, it so happened that the last day of my stay was my birthday. Continue reading “Do It Anyway”


1:10 a.m.

Since it’s not yet midnight on the west coast, I suppose I can spin this as not being a failure – as still counting as a post within the defined Sunday-Saturday posting week. But I find myself seriously, if impossibly, considering the bigger failure of calling off the 52-week project just a few weeks in.

An all-expenses paid, week-long trip to New York, even one with a few 10-hour workdays, should be a constant source of delight. And yet… I’m struggling not to be a complete basket-case. For almost the first time on one of my trips, I’m lonely, and I’m bored. Certainly it’s the first time I’ve had to fight to enjoy any of it at all. I know I’m probably even more tired than I realize – whole nights of jetlag will have that effect. And I suspect that my hormones are jumping up and down and having some fun at my expense.

But the fact remains that after a series of experiences which it is not worth going into in public, I sat in my boss’ office and confessed, “I need to cut something out. I can’t keep going on like this.” I’ve been pushing too hard, too far, for too long. But I don’t know how I can take anything more out. It’s all important, and I’ve already had to drop important things to do even what I’m doing. I picture those performers spinning stacks of bowls on long, thin reeds: you can’t stop mid-spin, or everything will break. Even if I did succeed in creating more downtime, what would I do with it? Sit home and watch TV? By now I’m not sure I could do that. The temptation to fill it up again with something “productive” would be all but overwhelming.

I feel bad about even considering putting this on hold. I tell myself, “Anything worth doing is hard. You have to push through if you want to accomplish anything.” It’s not just that famous speech, either; it’s something I’d wanted to do for a while. But trying to come up with a post every week adds an incredible load of stress to daily life – far beyond anything I could have expected, or, I think, can really handle right now.

When you’re overwhelmed, the first thing to do is stop volunteering for more. But… but… but… the idea that I could still eschew easy by making the hard decision to put this on hold is one that is very hard to get my head around.

The Wall Bumped Into Me

I had occasion this week to meditate on the old saying, “If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll end up somewhere else,” as well as its corollary – call it Ashley’s Law – “If you don’t watch where you’re going, you’ll bump into something else.” Continue reading “The Wall Bumped Into Me”

Make as Few Rules as Possible

Benefit? Because I never said what or how much I had to post, only that it had to be weekly, this counts.

I know, it’s a cheap trick that only works once…

Of course, even writing this much on the subject prompts some consideraton of when there is a benefit to maximizing the number of rules (i.e., arguably, when regulating Wall Street) and when to cut back (generally, when trying to produce intelligent employees and effective Customer Service). And, that said, I would suggest that thinking about the objective one wants to accomplish by implementing one or more rules will tend to simplify them, and make them broader in scope and fewer in number.

Then again, there’s an exception to every rule.