Chris Remus' Personal Blog

My free-form, unfiltered and unorganized space to reflect and explore.

I wake about 5:15 am each day. This is the only time I have at home to myself. It sets a grounding foundation for my day. Doing so gives me time to meditate or workout. Sometimes, like this morning, I use the time to write these entries.

I started doing this about 5 years ago. I used to sleep as long as I could each morning. This meant my mornings were a rush to catch-up. I always felt 15-20 minutes late.

It felt like a stressful way to start the day. Today I feel grateful for this morning time.

Waking this early requires me to go to bed around 9:30. In a sense I'm trading late nights for early mornings.

This routine also required me to quit drinking. There's no way I'd be waking up this early had I been drinking the night before.

Good 🌞

I'm writing this at 9:30AM. It's Monday after the Thanksgiving break. I was fortunately able to largely disconnect from Wednesday to Sunday.

Our trip was planned to end today. It was cut short due to a snowstorm.

Every part of my consciousness wants to rush into my daily to-do list. I just finished transferring it from my hand written notebook entry to Todoist, my personal task manager of choice.

Instead, I'm choosing to spend a few minutes writing this post. It's an attempt to slow down the morning rush.

Today it started with waking at 5:10AM. I wanted to get in a quick cycling workout. I rushed through my morning routine to do that.

That rush transitioned to getting ready for work and my son to school. There's a bunch of food prep involved, since I cook daily and bring my own lunch and food to work.

Then it's down to the bike room, load me, my son and his stuff on my bike, and roll us to his school. By this point, I've been feeling the time pressure intensify, pretty much since waking. On the way to school I feel the intensity increase exponentially.

I drop him off then continue rolling to my co-working space. I consciously unload my stuff, including a backpack of provisions.

Because I set the intention early, I pause long enough to write my daily priority list in a notebook. The conscious act of hand writing it helps slow my mind down long enough to help what I know is important to rise to the surface. I then transfer the list to Todoist.

That brings me full circle to the start of this post. I feel like the workday can only begin now, 4+ hours after waking. I feel grateful, though, that at least some of those 4+ hours were also spent setting a grounding foundation for the day 🙏

We had do cut our vacation short. The plan was to.return Monday. Instead we came back yesterday.

A big snowstorm is predicted. It's supposed do make travel today and Monday trecherous.

While my schedule is flexible, my partner's isn't. There was also a small chance we'd lose power. That meant we'd lose water too. While getting snowed-in for a day or two in a mountain house sounded fun on one hand, doing so with a young child didn't feel like the right thing to do.

So I can look at this as disappointing, since the stay was shorter than expected. While I do feel disappointed, I'm trying to take a different approach. We were able to spend 3 days in a place we all feel a connection with. I feel grateful for the experience.

And, we plan to go back 🙂

One reason I strted this blog was to explore a daily writing habit again. I've done this in different ways over the years.

Sometimes it's been online. Most recently it's been in a notebook.

This is my latest experiment. I find daily writing helps release the thought pressure that builds in my consciousness.

It doing so, the habit helps ease the stress caused when that thought pressure builds without a regular outlet.

If you celebrate this holiday, what are your expectations after eating Thanksgiving Dinner?

It seems like most Americans expect to feel sleepy and “stuffed like a turkey”. People are always trying to justify eating Turkey or saying things like “I don't even like turkey (but I eat it anyway)...

Many years ago I shared these expectations.

I feel this is a mirror on the general eating habits and expectations of the average American.

But why?

I bought into this and accepted these same limitations for a long time. It's all I knew.

Thinking this way became the default. It was easy to follow, predictable and well accepted by those around me. I felt crappy after Thanksgiving dinner, jammed up and after I started drinking, hung over.

The drinking made me feel better while eating and helped ease stress I felt because of those around me. Then I felt even worse the next day though.

I feel grateful to have shifted my eating focus. I now focus on how I feel after I eat, instead of while I'm eating. It took a,while to make the shift. It remains a work in progress. I imagine it always will be...

Yet it's that shift that will allow me to not go comatose after today vegetarian dinner. I probably wake up early for a cycling workout, without regretting today's choices.

Quitting drinking helped too. You read more about that here.

I had my first individual Hatha yoga session with a very special teacher today. I felt it would be a beneficial way to try and ease into vacation, among other benefits'

I felt a connection to this teacher after taking my first group class with him. Individial sessions like today allow me to take the practice deeper.

He teaches a classic yoga sequence, as well as the science and spirituality behind it. He gently breaks down the misconceptions about yoga that have Lululemoned-it into something unrecognizable to true yogis.

Postures are held for about 5 minutes each. The emphasis is placed on breath and alignment. Savasana follows each posture.

In a way, I feel grateful to add this instructor to my support system. With him, alongside my Buddhist teacher and Ayurvedic practitioner, I feel the circle is complete for now 🙏

I'm setting an intention to take time off from work this Thanksgiving. I can't remember the last time I wasn't “one foot in and one foot out” of work while on vacation.

This week I hope to really shut down and disconnect. I find it difficult to do.

Experience has shown that it's a gradual transition and may happen in fits and starts. Hopefully some fresh mountain air will help.

Happy Thanksgiving to those who celebrate it 🙂

I'm wrapping up my day now. I'm working a bit later than usual, in advance of meeting my family out this evening.

I'm currently feeling an intense, internally generated, pressure to keep pushing. To keep squeezing in a few more to-dos.

This is in spite of me setting a daily priority list. Most of it's done now.

In theory, I'm supposed to sign-off when the list is done. In practice I still struggle to not constantly add to it.

One reason for this post is to help me break that cycle today. I'm trying to slowly ease off the throttle, to ease into the work-to-home transition.

Otherwise, I'm likely to push to the last minute, experiencing diminishing returns, only to then feel like I'm late to meet the family. This creates unnecessary and unhelpful stress, without moving anything forward, really.

So it's with that intention I'll conclude this post, pack-up and move on...

Or at least that's the intention...

I wanted this blog to be easily accessible, so I can capture thoughts on the fly. This means writing entries on my phone.

I've hesitated doing that in the past. It's a new experiment for me.

I chose write.as for this blog's platform. They offer an email to post feature.

I didn't want to use it, because doing so would mean having to access email and its endless distractions when I wanted to write.

Instead I logged into write.as using the Opera browser on my Android phone. I bookmarked the compose page and added it to my home screen.

Now I can start composing with a single action and without distraction.

Sometimes I experience myself having a thoughtjam. It feels like my brain's version of a logjam.

I'm using this blog to help break through and prevent these. Having an unstructured and unorganized place to do this feels essential to me. Otherwise stay stuck trying to get everything just right.

Takevtoday, for example. I am able to jot down this brief post while drinking detox tea, before meditating.

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