Tag: patterns

Do You Have Rhythm?

Rhythm noun
a strong, regular, repeated pattern of movement or sound
a regularly recurring sequence of events, actions, or processes

I’ve lost my rhythm. And no, I don’t mean the shake your booty and get funky on the dance floor kind of rhythm. Although to Mrs. Troutdog’s great disappointment, I’ve never had that kind of rhythm. What I’m talking about is a flow, a sense of order, a comfortable pattern to your days. Rhythm is different than a routine. A routine is simply repeated behavior. Waking up at the same time every day, eating oatmeal, and drinking exactly one cup of coffee is a routine. That’s a micro-view of your day. Rhythm is a macro-view of your time.

Rhythm is planning out workouts for the week. Rhythm is looking forward to and participating in an activity you enjoy on weekends. It’s a sense of order to your time. It doesn’t have to mean you eat pasta every Tuesday and meatloaf on Thursday. Instead, it’s a feeling of being intentional about your meal planning. It’s sense of enjoyment from exploring a new restaurant every Friday night. Rhythm is the collective whole of your day-to-day time. It’s having a sense of purpose to your weeks and months.

Up until this last year I feel like I had a comfortable rhythm. Work was a known entity. I made a point to get a run or a bike ride in most days. Mrs Troutdog and I had our individual activities, and we were good about making time for shared activities. Winter was a busy time full of skiing, wood chopping, and evenings by the fire. It was a good rhythm.

And then some pretty big disruptions happened. Nothing horrible, just life throwing a few curveballs. The end result was that we’ve been in random mode for quite some time. We went months without a kitchen, eating pizza and burger patties off paper plates in our laps while sitting in the backyard. Constantly changing plans to wait for contractors that never show up. Strange weather that went from rain and mud to 100 degrees seemingly overnight, straining my motivation to do outside activities. I missed much of the ski season due to construction woes. I had an odd back injury that slowed me down for a while.

In the grand scheme of things, it’s all first world problems so I can’t really complain. We’ve just about sorted through most of the things going on and life is slowly getting back to something more normal. But as we were going through this, I found myself more and more out of sorts. I couldn’t put my finger on exactly why my mood was so off, so often. I finally realized it was that loss of rhythm. I’d lost that comfortable pattern to my days.

Everyone experiences randomness from time to time. Random can be exciting. Vacations and travel are random, that’s part of the fun. But it’s also exhausting after a while. Thats why you have that deep sigh of contentment when you get home. It’s that comfortable sliding back into your rhythm.

I now find myself in an interesting position. I get to create a brand-new rhythm. Sure, some of the old familiar patterns will return. But it’s time to move on to a new flow, a different set of patterns. All of us do it from time to time. Moving to a different city. Kids going off to college. Retiring. It’s part of life.

I need my rhythm back. But it doesn’t need to be the old rhythm. Finding a new rhythm is a good thing. It’s growth. It’s preventing stagnation. I’m not sure what it’s going to look like yet. There will be more exercise. More cooking. More music. More reading. More creativity. And nachos. Definitely more nachos.

Are you happy with your rhythm? Maybe it’s time for a change?

A Winter Of Illness And Death

The actual text of an official Whitehouse press release: “For the unvaccinated, you’re looking at a winter of severe illness and death for yourselves, your families, and the hospitals you may soon overwhelm.” Seriously? Merry Christmas, bitches. Reading this first thing in the morning made me angry. The more I went through my news and Twitter feeds, the angrier I got. Then I realized – this is not a healthy way to start my day. My typical (non-workday) pattern upon waking is to drink a large glass of water while the coffee is brewing, then head to the computer to consume the news. And that news is overwhelmingly negative. Looking back on the vast majority of my rantings on this site, they’re mostly the byproduct of an hour-plus of getting angry about the state of the world and then writing about it. Not a great way to start the day. I think it’s time to break the pattern. I don’t know what that means yet. Workout as soon as I wake, à la Jocko? Meditate for an hour? Read a book? Walk downtown to a coffee shop and buy an actual newspaper and drink something other than crappy Keurig coffee? Wake and go to the computer but only work on something creative? I don’t know what the new pattern is going to be, but anything has to be healthier than starting my day reading an avalanche of negativity. So as a morning palate cleanser, some things that made me smile this morning…

  • One of the best news reports ever.

  • Yesterday at work one of my patients was a 90-year-old gentleman who had advanced dementia. He was in the hospital because he scaled the fence at his memory care facility and fell (yes, you read that right. A 90-year-old scaling a fence). I went into his room at one point, and he seemed very upset. I asked what was wrong and he said, “This hotel is terrible. They’re very irresponsible. They lost all my clothes and wallet.”

  • After non-stop kvetching about the lack of winter… it showed up big time this week. Got three days of cross-country skiing in. We got another 8 inches overnight, with more to come. There will be downhill skiing this week!

  • Speaking of cold, the hound loves snow and winter much more than summer. Which is odd because he has no fur. Anyway, he treated me to “resting bitch face” when I forced him to stop for a photo while skiing.

  • I’m impressed at the effort it took to make this. Shit keeps escalating.

  • Father and Son

  • Not sure why this made me smile, but it did. Headline: “California pot companies warn of impending industry collapse” Why? Taxes, regulation, and limits on retail stores. People are turning to cheaper, illegal pot.

  • John Daly and his son won the PNC championship, edging out Tiger and his son. I’m convinced the pants are the secret weapon. If you’ve got the gumption to wear multi-colored day of the dead pants to a PGA tournament, you just know you’re going to play well. I’m currently shopping for a pair now.

  • And finally, Elon Musk trolling Sen. Warren is always good for a smile. He’s an underrated comedian.

Song of the day: Matisyahu – King Without A Crown (Live from Stubb’s)