The Facebook Status That was Far Too Long to Post

How am I feeling, Facebook? You know…I’m not quite sure. 

You see Facebook….

*Facebook IMMEDIATELY begins grumbling about how “most people just make a status and then leave without making a big deal out of it”

Oh Facebook….you’re cute. And you clearly don’t know me. I don’t do anything without making a big deal. And come now…I could be talking politics….

You see Facebook…

I’ve been having this rough stretch since I found myself getting sick. It was just a nagging cold, but eventually it passed. However, I kept getting lingering symptoms every time I worked out. As you’re undoubtedly aware from my plethora of selfies, you know that my workouts are important to me. For whatever reason, appearance has been a big deal to me. I grew up being a skinny guy, not really caring about how I looked. I figured, it is what it is. Having muscles? That’d be nice. But at least I’m not overweight…

You know how you have those nightmares and suddenly something is TERRIBLY wrong? You wake up and your head is half shaven, or one of your eye brows has fallen off, or half of your teeth aren’t there anymore? For me, it was waking up and suddently I’m 100 lbs heavier. (And sometimes the teeth thing.) I always had this fear about looking different than the guy whom I’m used to seeing in the mirror. I don’t know WHY I have this fear because – honestly? Whenever people I know DO gain weight, I think about it for a minute…and then go back to thinking about myself and my own “flaws.” We all do it. I know I don’t need to impress anyone. Hell, if I let lose a little more, had more fun, and didn’t pay so much darn attention to my amaaaazing nutrition….I think I’d be a little more appealing to others. I’d be more relatable for one. And I’d also be happier because I’d be loser and more confident….ahhhh confidence…

 THAT’S thing, Facebook: I’m not confident when I deviate from my nutrition plan. I notice those teeny, tiny, incremental gains in my face and stomach and it bugs the hell out of me. I can’t stand it. Does anyone else notice? Oh hell no. Please, I came back from a vacation three years ago and practically couldn’t put on my jeans (this was a first for me) and no one noticed. Those quedillas I had last night? No one is going to care. 

But I do. And I’m figuring that out. 

So I guess what I’m trying to say, Facebook, is that there’s a LOT right now I’m trying to figure out. I’m trying to figure out how to be happy. I want to be able to not be so strict with food, with goals, with money, and with life. I want to be able to fuck up and not give a damn. I want to be able to have TWO cheat nights in a row, not be able to do my “perfect” workouts, and then go on to know for 100% certain that I’ll be able to get back on track.

Sounds pretty lofty, huh? 

Lightbulb: I just realized – it’s incredibly possible. I just need to make the decision. 

Wow. What the hell did we do before you, Facebook? 

*Facebook expresses that while it actually tends to cause more people stress than happiness and wishes people would, in fact, learn to moderate its usage more* 

Ah. Fair enough. In any case….thank you. I really appreciate having a place to share all this. 

Let’s go get ‘em, yeah? (Sorry. That’s a thing I do on my blog. And in fact…that’s where I’m gonna post this, but will totally share a link I swear.) 

PS – Oh, and you know the whole showing me football scores when it’s clearly still baseball season? Like I said….you really don’t know me

The BEST way to watch the World Series is…

I’ve had a routine all season. 

I listen to more games than I watch. I don’t have cable. I don’t pay to use MLB.TV. And listening is either free or costs me $2.99 a month. Add on top of that the fact that I can listen and get work done at the same time? 

It was exactly what I needed. 

I even learned I could listen to replays of the game with my lovely, cheap subscription. Between the Red Sox and Cubs, I was doing it all season. I got my baseball fix, kept up to date with my routines, and always had an option for something to put besides music for my days off. 

Of course, this gets tougher during the playoffs. Not only do you want to be there live, but you also tend want to watch instead of listen. After some initial reluctance, I eventually realized I didn’t mind listening to games during the post season. Sure, I had a few options that allowed me to watch on a delay, or see a multi-camera angle of the game that didn’t show replays. So that helped. I had found a routine and I made it work. 

But I still get stubborn. 

I still want to see live views and commentary of the game. And as things got better and better for the Cubs, I wanted to be able to have a special experience. And that’s when it hit me: I was living in Wrigleyville, could hear the ballpark, and had an opportunity that a lot of others would kill to have. 

So that’s how I’ve been enjoying the games: Listening to Pat and Ron on the Score. Watching a live feed, but on a (lengthy) delay. And listening to the sounds of Wrigleyville – whether the Cubs are home or away. As I considered options to watch tonight: At a friend’s apartment, at a bar, or somewhere “special,” I realized what I have is pretty damn special. (Note: I’ve also been walking down to the ballpark to watch the final inning from the TVs outside at Murphy’s Bleachers for some of the games!) 

Of course, not everyone has this opportunity. I’m guessing you don’t either. 

So what’s the best way for YOU to watch tonight? 

It’s whatever way makes you the happiest in this moment. Sure, you can try to find a special, perfect way to watch. I considered this too. But why change something that’s already working? 

Let’s go get ‘em, Cubbies. This has been an incredible 2016. Thanks for getting us here. 

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Took this an hour before game time. There were a few others in the area…

What being #notperfect is really all about

One of the reason I came up with the term #notperfect is because I frequently over analyze anything and everything in my head. Whether it’s scheduling out my week or just planning an efficient trip to the grocery, I’m pretty on top of things most days. On paper this might not sound like such a bad thing. The problem comes once you’re stressing out to the point where it would actually save you stress and energy to just wing it.

Sometimes winging it is okay. If I do it too much – it’s not good, my friends. But here’s what I learned: Sometimes it’s not about being perfect. Sometimes it’s just about being happy.

Earlier this week I had just helped out one of my favorite Chicago storefront theatres with their auditions. Despite battling a mild cold, I was running off adrenaline and was in a great mood. I wanted to do something fun. With a bare schedule the following day and the Cubs in the middle of a playoff game, I was tempted – Do I give myself a fun, late night with some #notperfect food?

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I auditioned myself at the end of the night. This was my powerpose for the #auditionchallenge. 

….I didn’t do it.

I knew that body needed rest. I also realized that it was late. By the time I picked up food (and most likely some beer), the game would be pretty much over. Or if I went to a bar, I’d be there for all of an inning or two. Besides, the Cubs weren’t winning…

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…the score changed slightly from when I made my decision. Photo by foxsports.com.

As I listened to the game in my apartment (because having cable would just be too perfect), I listened in awe as the Cubs rallied and advanced to the National League Championship Series. What was I doing during, you ask? Oh, I was in the middle of a sink full of dishes after a fine half hour or so of meal prep. (I had some damn good oatmeal waiting for me the following morning, if you were wondering.)

And that was it. Chapman struck out Belt. The Cubs had won.

I lowered the radio, opened my window, and stuck my head out. I heard sounds of cheering throughout Wrigleyville.

It. Was. Awesome.

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This city likes their Cubbies 🙂 

Let’s recap: I heard the Cubs advance to the championship series while doing dishes by myself in my studio apartment.

Was it perfect? No.

….but I was happy.

Sometimes it’s easy to forget that the whole reason we strive for perfection is because we want to be happy. The beautiful thing is when we discover how being #notperfect can also make us happy. It’s going to depend on things like your personality and what you’re doing. I encourage you all to start finding areas where you’ve been not perfect and still felt good. (Keep a tally or a notebook if it helps!)

Let’s go get ‘em this weekend by being #notperfect, friends**

 

**The Chicago Cubs are allowed to be #notperfect by sweeping the NLCS, should they so choose.

#NotPerfect

I started using this hashtag in my “March Madness: Making it (Mildly) Healthy” fitness group. The idea behind it is to focus on progress and consistency, while neglecting the notion that we’re a failure if we slip with nutrition or workouts.

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I’ve been thinking about this concept a lot. In addition to nutrition, I’ve caught myself trying to be “perfect” in several other areas: Acting goals, finances, and balancing a work/social life to name a few.

Here’s the biggest problem with being perfect: It doesn’t exist.

There’s always something we can do make our situation, our goals, or our lives even better. Going after perfection just sets us up for failure, which ends up hurting our self esteem.

One of the best pieces of advice I ever got was from creative career coach Dallas Travers. (And I’m really excited about the #AgentEquation series that she’s starting next week. Feel free to join me and connect in the facebook group!) She suggested we go about our goals in a way that makes us feel good – not necessarily the “right” way. When we focus on how we want to feel, it changes the game. We can bend the rules or approach our goals in a different direction that we might have originally pursued. This is much more fun than listening to what the negative voice told us.

Not only that, taking action feels good! In his book “Goals,” Brian Tracy talks about how gratifying it is when we complete a task. We’re literally releasing endorphin’s each time we finish something (I know, right?)

So how am I going about this #notperfect concept myself? Here are a few examples:

-I haven’t gone through all of my latests posts, but I’m fairly positive I’ve blogged about this topic a dozen times. Yet, it’s Friday and I have yet to post. This is what’s on my mind and it’s what I want to share. #notperfect

-Speaking of which, I used to blog weekly on Tuesdays. Since last fall, I’ve been inconsistent with days, and even missed a week here and there. #notperfect

-I made this very imperfect video for the Thriving Artist Circle page yesterday. It’s most definitely #not perfect.

I’m not perfect. I think it’s important to share our “imperfections” with others. No one can relate to perfect people because they don’t exist. More importantly, each time I write a blog, make a video, or complete a task, I get the endorphin rush and immediately feel better than I did before. I’d much rather feel happy doing things imperfectly rather than not doing them at all.

What can you do today to get that endorphin rush?

Go get ’em, friends.