30×30 Day 1

It’s a lot harder to come up with examples of active giving than of passive receiving. I think in part because “giving” is a term with a lot of meaning behind it.

I’m going to add a term to the mix: Agency. The idea of agency came up in the podcast as part of active vs. passive. Thinking about my day in terms of times I acted with agency gives me a much better rubric for evaluation.

With agency in mind, coming up with today’s contribution was easy:

Today I walked to the Caltrain station with my coworker. When I got there, I had a choice of trains to take, as well as a choice of places to sit. Despite the usual socially awkward commentary in my head of, “What if my coworker had intended to do something else on the train and doesn’t want to chat with me?” and, “What if we run out of things to talk about?” I asked if it was okay to sit together, because I decided getting to know my colleague better is more important than my awkwardness.

Reading the above, I realize how foreign the commentary in my head may sound to a people person. I also realize I’m not alone, that I have colleagues far more awkward or anxious than I am about social situations, and I wonder what I can do to make it easier for them to connect.

This 30 Days is great. One day in and I want to do more for others already.

Sideways

At o-daiko class today, we did a new pattern where instead of stretching up on the backswing, we extended our right arm out and to the side, low, and then swung the bachi back up for a strike whilst crossing our left arm to the right and leaning our body left to make space. This was followed by a series of left and right arm crossover strikes, followed by a hard left handed strike while stabbing 45 degrees behind us with our right arm parallel to the ground, followed by a conversion back to a series of hard overhead strikes.

I swear, it was way less confusing than described. But there are a lot of fine movements in there that I know I’m not doing yet, because when you’re concerned about not smashing your left hand with a giant bachi, you’re probably not leaning your body as far as you should be.

I *think* I’m getting better at being low and leaned back and not letting my arms drop too much even when they’re really really tired.

Right now they’re really really tired.

This means they’re gonna be really really strong someday, right?

Right??

30×30 Begin!

It’s been almost 3 years since my last novel 30 Days project. I’ve been busy with other, longer running projects. I still have those, but recently I’ve found myself yearning to do a 30 Days.

Serendipity! On my way to go mountain biking this morning I listened to this podcast: Savvy Psychologist: How to Fix Dissatisfaction at Work

About halfway through the podcast, they touched upon gratitude. You may recall I did a month on gratitude in 30×7. I loved it.

To my surprise, they talked about how gratitude wasn’t enough.

“As much as it can boost your happiness to be grateful, when it comes to motivation, gratitude is often a passive emotion.”

“You don’t want to be a passive receiver. You want to be an active giver.”

This was accompanied by two examples: a contribution journal, and turning a dinnertime “What are the things that you’re grateful for?” into “What’s something you did this week that helped somebody else?”

I was sold. This is happening. Every day I will post something I contributed. It can be big, small, tiny, miniscule. What matters is that I contributed to making the world better, one person, moment, day at a time.

Hold me to it.

See you tomorrow.

Basement Duck

There’s a duck who lives in the basement of my friend’s house. Once a week, it emerges from its corner and walks up the stairs to the kitchen for a bowl of porridge.

Not A Fluke

I’ve been attempting more V5 problems since I completed my first one earlier this month, with varying levels of “success”, measured in number of moves I can make before falling off.

I tried one this weekend where I slipped off a hold so hard I couldn’t feel my fingertips for a few minutes.

Today, I examined the move, the options, the balance, and the remaining holds. Then I attempted the problem again.

Success! My second V5! Yaaaaasss!!

I puzzled through a challenging-to-me V3 and V4 before that. Hip turn, hip drive, hang angle, feet high, leg extension, timing. So many details. So satisfying to piece it all together.

I credit today’s tenacity and progress to the guy working on the steep V8. Climb, fall, study, session, climb farther, fall, study, session, repeat, repeat, repeat. He finished the problem.

Balance and Tension

Today in the bouldering room was a climber I’d never seen before. She made up her own routes and used only the most difficult holds. I watched her push and pull and shift her body as if it were a fluid, maintaining balance and tension the entire time.

I introduced myself and asked what goes through her head as she’s climbing.

“Don’t fall.”

It was kind of hilarious. At the same time, it made perfect sense.

After our conversation, I re-attempted a V4 that had been giving me trouble. With balance and tension in mind, I shifted my body farther than I’d previously been comfortable with and completed a move I didn’t think was possible just a couple days prior.

Another check for surround-yourself-with-people-better-than-you.

Go Go Gadget Hockey Stick

Went to an annual Hockey Day party yesterday. There’s always a shooting competition, which is a hilarious showcase of how terribly we all shoot. I haven’t shot a puck since May 2018, and I had no idea if I still remembered how.

I brought my stick and my gloves anyway. When signups rolled around, I figured why not?

So, can I still shoot?

Power: Yes, still there!
Accuracy: Not as good as it used to be, but still within quarter-of-the-net range.
Feel: Feels awesome. All is right in the world.

Before yesterday, I’d been thinking about donating my stick, because it’s freaking awesome and mostly wasted sitting in my garage. But when I put my gloves on and picked it up, I realized I wasn’t ready to part with it. It feels like an extension of my arm.

Brains are fascinating like that.

Goat Yoga

Goat yoga: It’s a thing! I found out about this a few years ago and have been wanting to try it ever since. Alissa pinged me about it earlier this month, and after some research on goat happiness (my #1 criterion) I was in!

What I imagined: Yoga with adorable goats climbing on you. Lots of awws, some giggles.

What we got: Yoga with adorable goats running around eating your clothes and knocking you over. Lots of awws, nonstop giggles.

I should actually say shits and giggles. Because goats are free-poopers. Random pellet blessings abound!!

We got to go on a walk with the goats before we started. Here’s one of them buttering me up…

… so he could eat my hoodie later:

Squeee!!

Skip

Despite completing my first V5 last week, there was a V2 in the other room I couldn’t finish. Try as I might, I could not figure out how to hang on to reach the penultimate move. I’ve watched many others try and fail at the same for weeks.

This morning, Evan my Balance and Technique instructor was bouldering when I arrived. He was working on a V6 that he said felt more like a V7 to him, and I made an offhand comment about how I couldn’t even finish a V2. He asked which one, so I pointed to it, then described the move I was stuck on.

“I just skip the move before that. Why use a bad hand hold?”

I hadn’t considered skipping the move before that. It felt like a long vertical reach without it.

Still, I wasn’t making any progress the previous way, so I climbed up to the move before the bad hand hold and looked up.

“Don’t turn your hips like that.”

Oh, right. Plastering my frontside to the wall wasn’t going to help me stick the next move. I turned my right foot to stick my right hip to the wall, sprung for the hold I couldn’t reach, and grabbed it with my right hand. Solid.

So solid.

“Whaaat??!?”

I finished the problem.

“HOLY CRAP EVAN!!!”

Evan grinned.

I did too. It felt good to check that problem off the list.