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Rebooting and Hacking

I’ve consciously been trying to reinvent myself. Certainly for the last two years, this has been the case, but I’ve been making an even more focused effort over the last six months. I’ve been challenging beliefs, challenging methods of operation, and really trying to make better sense out of what it is that I do on a daily basis. My focus right now is to be more effective at being me. Sounds a little bit hippy-dippy, but I do know that there are a number of ways with which I can streamline my life and be better at being me.

Kristy introduced me to this North Node thing. I’m not usually a big astrology guy, as there are a lot of factors that I know I can control and take care of myself, and I’ve poked around a little bit inasmuch as I’ve had an astrology chart done, and sure, you can draw inferences from one source or another and make things apply to your life, bending your circumstances to match what’s printed on the page. That’s basic psychology and belief stuff. Writ-large, though, this North Node stuff was fairly accurate. I’m not going to say that I’m going to rewrite my life based upon this, but it certainly gives me some food for thought as I go through this next phase of transforming my life.

For as organized as I appear to be, and for how tightly my shit might look like it’s wound, at the centre of my being, if I don’t have some kind of routine to keep me in line, I’m rudderless and slovenly. I’m totally content to lose myself in social media or news reading, or to neglect tasks like bed making, laundry-doing, dish-washing, etc. There are times when this is totally okay, and I get that, but by-and-large, I know that I need to do better.

Enter the written routines. I’ve noted over time that I’m far more productive if I have procedures and schedules in place, rather than trying to wing it. For as much as I’d like to pretend I’m spontaneous, I think I just need to admit to myself that I’m not. I value routine, I value the ability to work within a box. I value the idea that *these* tasks need to be accomplished inside of *this* space in *this* amount of time. That North Node thing said that I can accomplish in one hour what most folks do in five. I work well under pressure and on deadlines. I’ve got a pretty good track record in that department. Time to do that in other parts of my life.

I’m going to try out the written routine thing for a little while and see where I end up. It’s not exactly going to be stuff like “brush teeth” or “wash face” but more things like “prepare breakfast smoothie the night before” or “ensure dishes are washed before heading to work”, or “get your fucking ass out of bed and do some kind of fucking physical activity in the morning you idle bag of water…” Oh wait, hangover from the army… But you get the idea. And I’m still going to write in my requisite social media time, because, dammit, facecrack.

The hopeful end-state for this is that I’ll be able to make oft-neglected things more of a priority by scheduling them in. I’ve got VAST tracts of my day that conceivably (and frequently) go unchecked and unaccounted for. Using lists and procedures, I get the sense that I can hack my life into being more productive than I already am.

Okay, I get the sense that some of you are snickering and nodding along thinking that this is easy-peasy shit. Sure, for you, it might be, and I applaud you. For a dude that struggles with this stuff, it looks and feels really daunting.

So I guess I’d best stop losing myself in words and get on the horse…

How the f–k did we get here?

On more than one occasion in my life, I’ve uttered that statement. Really, the chain of events is simple, but when you’re watching an explosion take place in super-slow-motion, you sometimes forget about the mechanics behind it.

In March 2014, I was hauled into the boss’ office (after being recalled to work in the middle of the night for a drill — ahh, the Army). Along with three of my fellow Warrant Officers, we had been loaded on a four-month-long course in Borden, Ontario, departing in two weeks’ time. Binary decisions: Take the course, run the risk of promotion. Don’t take the course, don’t know if the opportunity would ever come up again.

I took the course.

The day I passed my last performance check, I got the phone call. On the other end was my wife, telling me she’d become emotionally involved with another man. I was due home in three days, and suddenly thrust into an unknown world.

Three months later, I got hauled into the Sergeant-Major’s office, this time telling me that the Branch valued my leadership and that I was being offered a promotion and a posting to Victoria. Decision was mine. Again, binary decision: take the posting, go to Victoria, be the Chief. Don’t take the promotion, but still likely get posted, not to Victoria (likely to Winnipeg). The decision seemed to be fairly simple. I took the posting.

Victoria always was where I wanted to end up – my intent was to get here, take the foot off the gas, and just coast. I tend to be a chronic over-achiever, though, and may have peaked a little early. For reference purposes, I still have just under 16 years left on my contract with the military.

Shortly after the machinations were underway, my wife told me she wanted to separate. This happened six weeks before I was due to drive to Victoria. Nothing like coming into a new post with a whole lot on your mind.

Upon arriving, whether by accident or coincidence, I decided to get out and meet some people. I won’t mention my method of approach, as that isn’t relevant, however, I did end up becoming acquainted with some locals, and getting a chance to explore the region. And then, there was the 14th of April.

I’d successfully negotiated my way into drinks with a woman, and by the end of that night, had managed to get a solid second get-together planned. And another. And another. And wouldn’t you know it, love had come back to town. I’d been rather bummed out about my existence, but it happened on the 18th of April – I decided that I wanted to be happy. And in declaring this, I was able to make it happen.

Her name is Kristy. She’s a musician, a composer, a photographer, a lover of food, of dancing, of quiet, of activity, of all kinds of things that I’d only dreamt were possible, and that she herself embodied.

Since then, we’ve set about making our own set of memories together. It’s a fun road, one I can’t wait to explore more of. I gotta stop watching stuff like this otherwise I’m

I gotta stop watching stuff like this otherwise I’m’a cut off all my digits.

Bootsy Collins – BP Live 2010

I’ll respect your Father, you respect mine. That’s it. Now let’s play bass!

Bootsy Collins – BP Live 2010

Don’t sit around, man, get out there!

Anthony Wellington – BP Live 2010

(on rhythmic displacement): If it’s funky in one place, it’ll funky in all 16 places.

Anthony Wellington – BP Live 2010

(on rhythmic displacement): If it’s funky in one place, it’ll funky in all 16 places.

Anthony Wellington – BP Live 2010

Let your inner afro grow.

A good old fashioned plank spank!

A good old fashioned plank spank!

Darryl Jones (Miles Davis, Rolling Stones) – BP Live 2010

Life ain’t no rehearsal, so you should spend your time doing the best you can at it.