While we are waiting

Today marks five weeks off the booze and I continue to feel pretty good. I am beginning to hit one of the many strange points on the sobriety path. Once your head begins to clear and your body starts to re-normalize, you can begin to see the problems in your life that were not alcohol related. I don’t have a clear picture of that whole story yet, nor do I have a firm grasp on the few bits of which I am becoming aware. But here are some thoughts on where I am.

It seems that my brain is doing well, but I am having some difficulty translating thoughts into action. Recognizing that is good and a key step. I have created some new plans and simple simple steps to correct that. I found a new “to do” list app  yesterday and am going to work with it this week. Truthfully, an app (or a simple old fashioned list) does not need to be super fancy to be effective for me. The act of writing something down itself helps with the process of accomplishing any goal as it is one step towards making something manifest that previously lived only in my brain.

I have not frequently needed much in the way of to do lists. My brain is wired to keep track of lots of things. But I recognize that is not working now, and even the stuff that I am keeping track of in my head – that stuff is not getting done. So I turn to the list. I am in a bit of a “whatever it takes” mode right now – primarily with issues related to work.

I am looking at 2013 as a bit of a make or break year for the family company. My dad and I have been revising our strategy and some core processes since October and that has been working well. In January I came up with a new approach and a specific project for us to work on that has some great potential. We are both excited about it, but it is going to take a lot of work to get from here to there. I am not afraid of the work, but I want to stay focused and productive at higher levels than I have sustained in the past.

I have been a bit stuck in the mud both physically and mentally for a long time. While there is still a long way to go discovering why that is, I do recognize some things I can do to change the situation. I need to find a way to break some old behavior patterns (some of these being very old patterns) and create and ingrain some new ones. Not drinking is great and I am pleased with my progress there, but that is really only a small part or one aspect of a destructive or less than productive behavior pattern.

Renfroe. Now with Hair!
Renfroe. Now with Hair!

On the upside, some great podcasts. I listen to NPR’s fantastic pop culture podcast, Pop Culture Happy Hour, and one of the folks on there has frequently recommended another called The Thrilling Adventure Hour. I did listen to and loved all of the Thrilling Adventure Hour back catalog and from that show was led to The Nerdist podcast. I believe that everyone could and would enjoy The Thrilling Adventure Hour. I think that most folks who read here would also enjoy Pop Culture Happy Hour. The Nerdist is definitely not for everyone. It is usually three dudes, a host and two co-hosts, talking with each other or with a famous/semi-famous person. The bulk of the guests are from the world of comedy, but there are other film and tv stars as well as people from the world of geek/nerd/tech culture.

There are two primary and related motifs that keep me coming back to the Nerdist, both of which are very inspirational. The hosts and the guests are often asked questions like, “how would you recommend I get started in X (stand up comedy, acting, writing, script writing, podcasting, …).” The answer is consistently the same – just starting doing it. Whatever is that you want to do, start doing it. You may not start on the best possible path, but truthfully, there are few to no best paths. Create a body of work, hone your craft, get experience in the field however you can. Get out there and do it.

Before unpacking that at all, thing #2. When you look at your life and your goals and what you really want to do, ask yourself why you are not doing what you want to be doing. People who wait or look for the right set of circumstances almost never accomplish their goals. Do what you want to be doing now and figure out how to make everything else work around that instead of trying to get every aspect of your life set to the perfect circumstances to allow you to pursue Dream X.

These, particularly in conjunction, present a very powerful and inspiring message. This is not an overt or all consuming aspect of the show, but it is repeated in one form or another in almost every episode. I love to write and have lots of stuff I want to write about. My goals with writing have never been to be famous or to get rich (or even make money) through writing. The act of writing itself, shaping thoughts into effective vehicles for communicating thought, and sharing the results – these are the primary draws for me. Like many, there are particular circumstances that I prefer for writing, but these are circumstances and not prerequisites. This was a bit of an awakening for me.

I am a very critical guy by nature, but I am trying to find more ways and reasons to get things done and to move forward than reasons to say no.