A March recap, or an experiment in moderating moderation
"How much can you really know about yourself if you've never been in a fight?"
This month I transitioned out of a full health and fitness mindset into a technology- and career-oriented mindset. I stopped my caffeine abstinence, stopped focusing on what I ate, stopped being concerned with working out every day. I assumed that all of this would probably take a small toll on how I felt, but that my momentum from January and February would prevent me from experiencing a major backslide in productivity.
That assumption was wrong.
Here's what I got done in the month of March:
- Read 9 books
- Zorba the Greek by Nikos Kazantzakis
- Hold Me Tight by Sue Johnson
- Foundation and Empire by Isaac Asimov
- Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink
- MaddAddam by Margaret Atwood
- Batman: The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller
- Batman: The Long Halloween by Jeph Loeb
- The Wisdom of Crowds by James Surowiecki
- Network Security Through Data Analysis by Michael S. Collins
- Wrote two blog posts on reading a whole lot of books in a month and the Node.js community
- Participated in my first trapeze class
- Attended judo classes every week, learning how to properly fall and throw
- Found a new place to live
- Started waking up at 5:30, inspired by this post from Greg Baugues
- Worked through half of MIT's 6.001: Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs
Ultimately, I could have done better in this month. I could have finished more. My head wasn't in the game, and I think I know why. I allowed myself to become undisciplined in my food intake, my workout routines, and my caffeine intake, thinking that if I allowed my willpower to weaken in those areas of my life I would have more to apply to other areas of my life. It doesn't work that way, at least not for me. When I allowed my discipline to weaken, it changed my entire mindset away from a regular meditation on getting things done to an unstructured mentality that struggled to focus on any particular task. I could drag myself to the gym or to judo class, but once I needed to keep myself focused at home, I regularly broke down.
Anyway, I've gone back to a low-caffeine state. I'm currently experimenting with a concoction known as "Titanium Tea", a hybrid of multiple varieties of tea combined with butter and coconut oil. Not even kidding, I drop melted butter in my tea every morning to start the day. So far, it's been working out exceptionally well. I need only a single mug of tea in the morning to power me through the rest of the day and let me calm down at night to finally hit the bed - and I don't have any of the ups and downs and crashes that are typically associated with my coffee drinking. Here's one recipe to follow for making your own. Here's my simpler version:
- Get some Irish Breakfast and green tea bags. Honestly, you can use whatever black and green tea combo you like, just make sure to grab one of each.
- Boil your water.
- Add water to mug. Throw in a tablespoon of butter (I use Kerrygold unsalted, which you can find at the grocery store) and a tablespoon of coconut oil.
- Steep one black and one green tea bag in your buttery mug, together, for four minutes.
- Remove tea bags, stir everything around, and enjoy.
That concoction right there keeps me going throughout the day without needing any more coffee.
Next month, it's all about more technology, visiting my brother in Dallas, checking out the Kingman Island Bluegrass Festival, and hopefully doing some more restaurant exploration now that the weather has turned around in DC. Stay tuned!