Quest Update: As Summer Adventures Come to a Close

I haven’t been blogging or vlogging in quite a while.  I put a pause on this while my friend was supposed to update my website, but since my website still hasn’t been updated, and while my Quest inches closer to completion, it is time to bring you a compelling story of… well, okay, it’s just an update on things that I’ve been up to.  Super provocative stuff here, guys!

Prelude

I am down to the last couple weeks of alcohol-free living.  I feel fantastic overall, and had an incredible summer full of camping, hiking, peak scrambling, biking, backpacking, a wedding, but mainly, working.  Much of my time in the last few months has been dedicated to growing my real estate business, maintaining my fitness, staying consistent with my Quest objectives, and some hiking/adventures when they could be squeezed in.

The Last Little Bit

So, let’s rewind a month when I was in the Enchantments for five days and then came home, grabbed my pre-packed bag of wedding garments and jumped on a plane to Cincinnati to celebrate my friends, Zach and Meghan, tying a knot.  I stood beside Zach as his (co-) best man and had a wonderful time meeting his friends and family.  Also that week, I saw my friend, Steve, who I had not seen in years.  It’s odd how with certain people it doesn’t matter the duration of time that passes between visits, when you get back together with those people, it’s as if nothing has changed.  Zach and Steve are two people in my life that that applies to.

Going back about nine years to when I met them, I was not too keen on Mister Zach.  I determined he was a pompous know-it-all ass before I properly got to know him.  I figured out, however, that he was just socially inept and had a pretty tough initial guard up.  However, once I broke through that guard we became great friends.  We even ended up all living in the same apartment building.  During that period I was their “Kramer,” not because I used the n-word on stage like some raving lunatic, but because on a daily basis I would just open their door and walk into their abode without so much as a door knock.  Much has changed in our lives since I had last saw them… especially with Steve who now has a toddler.  Together, in a group again, it was as if it no time had passed at all… with the exception of Zach’s ability to grow a beard, my inability to retain my hair, and Steve getting … errr… a little rounder.  Ha.

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Zach on his big day biting my girlfriend’s arm

After Zach’s beautiful vows, and my appropriately hilarious and oh-so touching speech that shattered the expectations of everyone involved, but most importantly, the bride and groom 🧐, Steven and I woke up the next morning and drove my bishhh to the airport.  We proceeded to kick her wiggity-wack ass out the car and then drove to Cincinnati’s very own King’s Island.  King’s Island is a theme park.  I’m 34.  Steve is like 38 or some shit?… Basically, two full grown adult males had a date going on all the rollercoasters and rides that a midwestern theme park had to offer, and it was the best day ever!

But let’s not so quickly leap over the Enchantments, as it was an incredible trip through a beautiful, albeit smokey, region of the Cascades.  During our stay we visited all the different alpine lakes, swam in a few of them, climbed Little Annapurna, night hiked up Prusik Pass to watch a very unimpressive meteor shower, slept next to mountain goats  with their rambunctious kids in my hammock, and did some other miscellaneous scrambles.  We were very lucky to get permits, and although the smoke was a hinderance, it could have been much worse.

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Brandi’s signature hiking pose.
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My towel and his vistors

 

Full Enchantments Post coming soon with video footage.

So, that was a month back.  This past week Brandi and I attended a double header baby shower (one after the other) for two of my dudes.  I, then, packed up and went camping near Winthrop, WA, on Monday with my good friend, Adam.  We hadn’t spent any time together this summer so we had planned a couple days in the North Cascades.  The weather decided to be a cranky biotch, so we shifted our trip to the eastern side of the park where it is not quite as rain prone.  We hiked along the PCT and spent a couple days eating, as Adam likes to say, some “good food” in the woods along a creek.  With the weather starting to change, it’s probably the last multi-night camping trip for a while, but I was able to not miss much work at all.  It’s somewhat convenient taking most of your days off in the middle of the week.

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During one of those weekends in there we went camping with our friends Jon and Bre.  On this camping trip we found an amazing riverside camp spot that was completely isolated from other passer-byers.  Jon was generous enough to bring along some delicious stogies he had picked up in the Dominican Republic.  Unfortunately, I had Open Houses to attend on both Saturday and Sunday that weekend so I had to drive back into civilization both mornings and didn’t get to disconnect on this particular trip like I normally would.  It was a very long and deliberate route that I wish had been avoidable on Saturday morning… but, hey, when duty calls.  Clearly getting outside hasn’t been much of an issue for me lately, so no harm no foul.

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My dooooood Jon and I thumbin’ up & hangin’ loose

Beyond that… work + gym + plus a random weekday outing here and there is what my life currently consists of, and I a pretty okay with that.

The Quest

As for the Quest… As I had stated earlier, and as of today, I am two weeks out from completion.  That’s a huge benchmark and I am getting pretty excited to, again, be able to drink a cold and delicious beer.  Although, I am admittedly still wrestling with the idea of continuing with the absence of alcohol, that is seemingly a wrestling match I will lose.  Not because of some innate need to drink, but instead, because I do like having beer and a certain amount of alcohol is probably beneficial to things like my career and social life.

What has changed? 

There is more that has changed than that I recognize, but, simultaneously, not enough has changed for me to give up and go back to my post-Quest life.  Many of my new habits will stay with my for the remainder of years I have left.  Especially meditation, journaling, consistent exercise, hot and cold therapy, writing, and reading.  In fact, a couple weeks ago I realized that I am a completely different person than when I started this a year ago.  I, also, found out what doesn’t work and what I was just doing to say I did it.  Having some crazy journaling schedule… yeah, that did not come close to sticking.  Reading a ton of books a month became more of a chore and hindered performance in other areas.  Not watching TV sounds fun until you get bored out of your mind.

I am, however, in drastically better shape, I feel smarter, better read, more consistent with my mood, less anxious, less depression, I have started a completely new career where I work for my self, and I am better fit to deal with adversities that I face.

I do have a few new Quest concepts that I will further define and start once this one comes to fruition.  My next quest will focus on my shortcomings and areas of my life I wish to further improve.  Unfortunately, my current quest will not be 100% completed quite yet, as I still have some saving to do until I will be able to afford to make it to Patagonia.  That is still going to happen, however, and hopefully at some point in 2019 I’ll make it a reality.  Of course, it has to work out seasonally as well.  Stay tuned.

Summer is out, Fall is in

The seasons changed rather quickly this year, going from incredibly hot to rather cold overnight.  Summer is officially over this coming Saturday, and I am stoked to see some yellow and orange leaves and have some cooler weather to go hike in.  I used to call the fall shoulder season, now I just look at it as the cooler time of year to go hiking.

Lastly, congrats to my sister and her boyfriend on their engagement.  Ditto to my friends Jake and Jen!

IT’S ALMOST SKI SEASON!!!!

Cheers 🤙 ,

~Dane

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My Reflections in Nature; The Final Quarter

9-Month Quest Update

At 9:30 last Saturday night I was running up a road back to my girlfriend’s white Nissan Rogue after completing a stunning backpacking trip through the Glacier Peak Wilderness in the Cascades (full trip report and vlog coming very soon).  Three of us took on a 44 mile trek and I was pretty damn exhausted while finishing the last three miles, trail running up a mountain towards our transportation.  All of this in celebration of the Fourth of July, or more just an excuse for a backpacking trip, which also happened to coincide with my nine months of living alcohol free.

One reflection I had while walking through these stupidly beautiful and varying landscapes, was how similar life is to the adventure we were on.  Challenges in the outdoors can be very complex and require quick thinking, just as in real life.  They can take you off track due to faulty route finding which in turn costs you time on the trail pushing goals and camps further from reach.  They’re physically, mentally, and emotionally demanding.  You’re always being faced with new challenges, both minor and major, some grueling, some require digging deep into your fear and conquering it, but they’re always overturning and linking from one to the next followed by breaks of insane beauty before reemerging you in chaos.  You learn from each of these experiences and move on with the knowledge of how to handle a similar situation later.  Shifty rocks, unstable snow, darkness setting with no camp in sight and mosquitos biting the shit out of any exposed skin, legs cramping, dehydration, exhausting heat, numbing cold.. the list goes on.  No matter what happens during the trek, it must be finished at some point, in some way.  The option to bow out and just not finish what you have started does not really exist after a certain point, unless not being alive is an acceptable outcome to you.  Which means, when unfortunate circumstances arise, you have two options: be mentally miserable, bitch and complain, or you can find a way around the obstacles that present themselves and make the best out of your misfortune.  Since we are just a bunch of organisms attempting to ping our neuro receptors with jolts of dopamine, adjusting your mindset to do the latter is possible.

The past nine months have been the most transformative, life altering months of my life.  They’ve been productive in ways that will benefit me for years, perhaps decades, to come.  Yet there is still an internal turbulence brewing that works against what I am trying to accomplish.  I have had to learn to silence that turbulence, and also, energize it when necessary.  To get to a place where that is possible, I need to completely calm my ever-pulsing brainwaves.  Meditation has done me wonders.  Intense exercise also helps clear the thought tinnitus riddled with politics, work tasks, relationship issues, and other trivial, lizard brained bullshit.  But the activity that proves the most effective is, without a doubt, spending multiple days outdoors with a set goal to obtain.  Removing myself from the stresses of modern life and replacing them with survival and nature allows a deeper cleansing than you’ll find at any Gold’s Gym and earns me a fresh perspective.

The days spent away this last week were more like a firmware update than a vacation.  I regained my purpose for this quest.  Remembered what it is that I am working for.  Realized the progress I have made so far.  Saw where I can make improvements.  Got calibrated.  A lot has changed in nine months, more positive change than at any point in my life, and I still have three more to go to finish off this year long assignment.  In reality, it never stops, until it does, and I want to make it the best it can be all the way up and to the ending.

“You want to know what anger is?  Well, just observe the sensations that arise and pass in your body while you are angry… … … Whenever I was angry, I focused on the object of my anger — something somebody else did or said — rather than on the physical reality of the anger.

… The most important thing I realized was that the deep source of my suffering is in the patterns of my own mind.  When I want something and it doesn’t happen, my mind reacts by generating suffering.  Suffering is not an objective condition in the outside world. It is a mental reacting generated by my own mind.” Yuval Noah Harari, author of Sapiens and Homo Deus, excerpt from Tribe of Mentors, by Tim Ferris

 

Cheers 🤙 ,

~Dane

The “Halfway There” Evaluation; Goals for What’s Ahead

I’m in the driver’s seat, speeding through my checklist of daily tasks, accomplishing more each day than the day prior.  No longer am I procrastinating on things that I have been fearful of… Taxes?… call a bookkeeper, find a CPA… Credit sucks?… repair that motherfucker.  No new leads?  Call all your friends and setup coffee dates.  All my new found habits are, now, routine… Work, exercise, meditate, journal, write… Turn the TV off.  As Gary Vaynerchuk stated in Tribe of Mentors, “squeezing the fuck out of the seconds [of my day].”  And, that’s what the goal was, but there are times when it feels kind of boring or lackluster.  When I’m not motivated.  That’s when I need to keep my eyes on the prize.  So, with that said, it is time to reevaluate my Quest, see where I am at in each vertical, and see where improvements can be made.

MENTAL HEALTH:
Depression is gone, I haven’t had it in a while now.  I stay busy, exercise, meditate and journal, and with that, my mental clarity has never been better.  I can say that this was the outcome I have been wanting out of all this.  Happiness coincides with mental health, and a positive disposition is key to my growth.

One thing I have learned over the past six months is not to hold resentment against myself for not completing one of my tasks.  If I flup up, I just look back at where I was when I started meditating and regain my footing.  It’s very easy to forget to take care of mental health when I get busy, but it’s also very easy to meditate and doesn’t take more than fifteen minutes out of my day.

GOAL:  Now that I have built somewhat of a foundation, I want to take it up another notch.  My goal for the remaining six months would be to continue with the habits I have made and use them to alter emotional responses that I have.  Those responses include: anger, anxiety, frustration, impulsivity, impatience, and others.  

My lovely girlfriend pointed out that I am picking my thumbs, again.  I had completely quit doing that for a couple months and, all of a sudden, I’m back gnawing those nubs like a squirrel gnaws a nut… Fuck.  Done.  Quit that shit and move on.  I had a short stint where I wasn’t meditating regularly, and for whatever reason, that’s when I started picking my thumbs again.  That also coincides with when I started my new career.  Whatever the root cause, this habit can be put in check, as I recently had it in check.  No more lapses.

PHYSICAL HEALTH:
I have been consistently lean and strong for a while now.  Aesthetically I look pretty good, as well.  My gym routine is solid; I get some cardio (rowing, running, hiking, skiing, etc.), have progressed in my yoga practice, lost weight, have almost rehabilitated my shoulder (I think), and eat an all around healthy diet of proteins, healthy fats and vegetables… with the occasional pizza binge. 🍕

This, simply, just needs to continue.  I’m satisfied with the results, but would like to put a couple pounds back on.  That is going to be dependent on how my shoulder and neck feel.  If they continue feeling better week after week, then I might be able to start lifting a little heavier, again, which would allow me to obtain some mass.

GOAL:  Get in climbing shape.  I want to climb some mountains and I need to train for that.  That is the last missing link in my fitness routine.  Adventure routine, more so.

Which brings me to my second goal here which is something I have been trying to do throughout this quest, and that is to complete one adventure per week.  Whether it is skiing, hiking, biking, etc., just one adventure a week and I feel better in so many ways that I would almost put this under mental health if it weren’t for the profuse amount of sweat that trickles off me.  Anyways, hiking season is now upon us, and I plan on hitting the trail regularly, which I have already started doing.  Mount Saint Helens is coming up in May. #ADVENTURING


CREATIVITY:

I write pretty regularly now.  I am working on writing a book.  I write this blog.  I write in my journal.  This area could still be worked on though.  I spend more time watching TV than writing, so it would make sense to flip those habits and write more than I stare at a big screen

GOAL:  Turn off the TV and write, paint, edit a video, etc.  My goal here is to put whatever time I put into TV & video games, instead, into my creative outlets.

Also, in the creative vertical, my goal is to finish writing a book by the time I get back from Patagonia.

CAREER & LEARNING:
I have started my new career in Real Estate.  I’m ecstatic about that, and although I started off slow in this vertical six months back, I feel like I’ve made insane progress here in the last two to three months.  I have some definite goals (which I’ll keep to myself for now) and way more room to grow here than all my other categories combined.  Watch out world, I’m getting after this one.

As for learning, I am learning a bounty of knowledge about real estate.  I’m, also, reading multiple books a month and applying what I learn to my life, business, etc.  It’s interesting how much reading does for your brain overall.  More or less, my vocabulary seems to be expanding, and my ability to read faster and for longer periods is strengthening, too.  A lot of my ideas start with something I read and expand from there.  KNOWLEDGE IS POWER, BITCHES!

GOAL: I want to keep on with two books per month goal that I set for the New Year.  It’s helping me commit to a certain amount of Audible/reading.  I would prefer to spend more time actually reading, but right now, with the new career, I am going to have to commit to the hybrid approach that I’ve been doing thus far.

I don’t know where to put this one, but I think it fits best under Career, since it will likely benefit my career the most, but I need to get up earlier.  630 AM would be a good time, but that also means I need to get to bed earlier.

RELATIONSHIPS:
Oddly, or not so oddly, starting a career selling real estate has helped me reconnect with many people that I had otherwise lost touch with over the years.  Having kind of been a hermit for the last two or so, it’s nice to reemerge from my shell and be socializing again.

My girlfriend and I are on the same page now more than we have been in a while.  It probably helps that I am having some success at work — haha.  I love her and she’s pretty (she made me write that, but I do and she is).  Beyond that, I should probably spend more time with my family and go visit a handful of friends I haven’t seen in a while.

GOAL:  I cannot tell you what my goal is because my girlfriend would get mad at me.  🍑🍆 .  Hahahaha.  Just kidding…. Or, am I?  🤨  No, I totally am…. Or, am I?  I am.

IMG_2487.jpgGirlfriend and me at a show in Seattle meeting my favorite folk singer, Austin Basham.  He was a super rad dude.

In summary, I have completed so much in the last six months, but have no time to rest and way more to do.  I think that once my quest is complete, after I feel that I have maxed out my verticals, well, then, maybe next year I enter TIER TWO.  Also, there are some other verticals that are not included in my quest that I probably would include if I were to revise it…  Financials (money, investments, savings, credit, etc.), adventures (although this is somewhat prevalent), organization, productivity.  I guess you’ll just have to wait for what I conjure up six months from now.

 

Cheers 🤙 ,

~Dane

PS ~ I have a ton of vids to make a great VLOG, but editing that shit takes so long that I keep putting it off… So, coming soon!

 

Six Months Down, Six To Go! The Quest Continues.

Holy balls!  I’ve reached the top of the mountain and am about to start heading back down.  Well, probably not, it usually takes much longer to summit than descend, however, I am six months into this quest of enlightenment with another six pending… And I feel great about the crazy amount of accomplishments I have made during this period.

So let’s take a lookie-lou at what’s been going down over the past six months…

  • I have turned exercise into a routine, lost a shit ton of weight (20 lbs I didn’t even know I had to lose), now have abs and have gained a solid level of endurance.
  • Drastically changed my diet to include more vegetables and greens, less junk food and cheat days, which has, in-turn, greatly improved my energy levels and focus.
  • I finished my real estate hours, passed the Washington State real estate exam, got hired on at a brokerage, sold my first house (within a month and a half of starting), and am successfully building a sales/referral pipeline.
  • Further made meditation and journaling life long habits (with a couple of lapses, including a recent one).
  • Read/Listened to two+ books per month (since the new year, but was reading prior, just not on a schedule).
  • Refrained from having a sip of alcohol.
  • Started writing regularly, again, and am working on writing a book, as well as regularly updating this blog – sometimes more than other times.
  • Retained my love and exposure for the outdoors (though, admittedly, less than I would like to – this ski season is the first I have skied less than 20 days in a very long time, although sometimes sacrifices must be made to better other areas of life and free up time to do much, much more skiing in the future.).

I’m sure there is other shit that I have accomplished, too, that’s a pretty solid list of not-so-humble brags.  All in all, I haven’t had such a productive six months in my entire life and I am stoked to see where I am six months from now!

With that all said, I still have plenty of short-comings and things to further and greatly improve on, but this is a celebratory post, so I will keep it as such.

I will follow up with a VLOG at the end of the week.

Cheers 🤙 ,

~Dane

A Long Overdue Update; Time Management

What a crazy busy period in my life.  I feel like a college kid trying to juggle partying with academics with homework with girls with partying… and then waking up with a hangover, snorting an Adderall and starting all over again.  Of course, and just for clarity, I’m neither drinking nor snorting Adderalls.  Having recently started my real estate career, I haven’t had much time for anything other than real estate lately… Which is good for the career vertical of my quest, however, the other verticals are just slow cooking on a back burner getting very little attention.

So what has transpired in the last little while?  I’m in the elementary phases of learning an entirely new industry, but I am going at it with a vigor and motivation I haven’t had in my work before.  My work week now includes all seven days of my weekly day planner and I find myself talking about real estate to just about everyone I come in contact with.  Hopefully I can refrain from becoming too annoying about it.  Hopefully my friends will let me know if I do become too annoying about it… but, then again, fuck them.  I have to listen to them talk about sports teams I don’t give a shit about on a regular basis, so I feel I can reciprocate by dropping market knowledge on they bitch asses.

I have a few clients thus far; buyers looking for homes or properties who have agreed to let me assist them in their search.  This past week I spent my time showing multiple homes to buyers, searching for new listings, door knocking neighborhoods, hosting open houses, training, working with a productivity coach, and reconnecting with friends either on the phone or over lunch.  I even snuck in a morning hike on Saturday (see featured picture), which I felt very good about.

So, what does this all mean for my quest?  It means it’s time to kick it up a gear… a notch… or whatever else it is that you “kick up.”  There is one necessary change I need to make in order for this “kicking” to become successful: Time Management.  Much, much better time management.  I no longer have the ability to spend multiple hours doing much of anything if it is not scheduled on my calendar.  Hanging out at the gym for two hours, journaling about everything I ponder, or reading a book in the middle of the day are, now, unfortunately, remnants of my recent and less productive past.  I feel like I’m now “on track,” and now that I am, I need to prioritize tasks and time block to get said tasks done as efficiently as possible.  The one thing I haven’t been doing that I need to keep at is the habit of meditation I acquired.  Meditation has all but gone bye-bye for the past month and it is something I need back in my daily routine.  It grounds me, keeps me calm, and removes anxiety.  I, also, haven’t been writing like I had been.  This is all to be expected though, there is just too much to do and learn and not enough time in the day to do and learn it all.

The fix to that is getting up early, knocking out the things I need to do for myself and then taking on the professional tasks that I need to to become successful in my new business.  It’s all very exciting and I can’t wait to continue to share with you my progress and the obstacles I am undoubtedly going to encounter.  In the meanwhile, I am working on correcting course for my quest and getting this life of mine purring like a pussy.  I mean, a cat… a pussy cat.  Damnit.  Alright… Sorry for that.  Anyways, until then…

Cheers 🤙 ,

~Dane

Quest Progress Report; “YOU KNOW WHAT, DUDE!”

PART ONE:  At this very minute, it is 5:43 AM, though it will likely be much later when I finish writing and posting this.  I have been up since 5:00 AM.  So what?  So, that’s progress, baby, THAT IS PROGRESS!  But let me start with why you haven’t heard from me in the last couple of weeks.

I ch-ch-checked a major accomplishment off my to do list last week.  Yeah, it’s a Biggie Smalls of a win for me.  In the last couple weeks I have finished my real estate hours and quizzes, passed the national and state exam – on the first try, and been in the process of getting licensed and settling in at a brokerage (for the sake of keeping my blog unfiltered, I will not be dropping the name of the brokerage I am with, if you would like to know so you can make a listing with me in the greater Seattle region, you can email me at alifetosummit@gmail.com).  I had to take a break from blogging and other things to get this done, but now that it is done, I can get back at it.

My little brother is in town this week and I was catching him up on everything that’s been going on with my self-development/improvement.  He seemed pretty blown away at the progress I have made since his wedding.  He, immediately, commented on how lean I was upon first seeing me.  I am down to 182 pounds (as of yesterday) and feeling fucking awesome.  After getting sick over the New Years, I have found it hard to gain weight back to the 190 pounds where I usually sit, but my strength is back up, I just, currently, have a really low body fat percentage.  When I was a kid my dad had jumped into glacier-fed Lake Chelan and joked that the reason he wasn’t cold was his extra layer of fat.  I never forgot that and have teased him about it since then, but now that I have lost my extra layer of fat, and I do get surprisingly way colder.

Based on actions of my past self, this week should be one that would have me angry or down in the dumps.  However, even though my computer mysteriously deleted all my files for no apparent reason – literally all of them, and even though there is a certain level of stress that coincides with starting a new career, my demeanor is confident, collected, and I am ready to swan-dive into this new venture.  I started writing a book about a month ago and one of the chapters I had already penned was one of the files I lost.  I had sent the other chapters to a friend to see if it was a book he would actually read, but Chapter Three had not made it to that, or any other, friend.  My new stance: It was probably a decent chapter, but maybe I can rewrite it to make it even better; it was good practice.

Alright, I am going to take a break, as it is now almost 6:00 AM, and I am going to hit the gym.

PART TWO:  Holy Moly!  That was a solid gym, sauna, meditation, and cold shower sesh!  I feel infuckingcredible.

Expanding on that, let’s get into fitness.  So, my gym routine is staying at a steady 4-6x per week for weights.  Cardio on occasion – I should do a little more running, and I try to get a session of yoga in once a week.  My problem is that I am having a hard time gaining my weight back after getting sick a month ago, as mentioned above, so doing additional cardio is not going to help that.  Also, I think that this ongoing shoulder pain is hindering my upper body gains, as I can’t lift very heavy on chest or shoulders at the moment.  I’m trying some rehab exercises, but if this persists, I am going to have to get into a specialist.  I was getting AT LEAST one ski day in a week, but that has subsided since I decided to put everything aside to finish getting my real estate license.  Now that that is done, I am hoping to get a couple days in per week to finish off the season strong, though it’s likely I may get too busy to do so.  Ugh, responsibility.

I, actually, have an awesome weekend planned out.  Tonight, one of my best buds is coming to hang out to go watch Robert Kelly with me at the Parlor Live in Bellevue.  If you don’t know Robert Kelly, he is a New York comedian from Boston (New York now, Boston is where he started) who runs in the same circle as Bill Burr, Jim Norton, the late Patrice O’Neal, etc.  He has a podcast called, “YOU KNOW WHAT, DUDE!,” which I used to listen to regularly.  He was also a regular on “Opie and Anthony” before the show disbanded due to Anthony Cumia being a racist douche on Twitter.  Although I have since unsubscribed from Sirius XM, I imagine he is still regularly on the Jim and Sam show (which kind of is the replacement for O&A), regardless there are plenty of podcasts that he is a guest on besides his own.  Anyways, Robert Kelly is hilarious and I have been wanting to see him LIVE for many years.

On Saturday, I am hoping to skate off to get a day of turns in at Stevens Pass, and then, in the evening, I am meeting up with my little brother, my sister-in-law, and some of his friends in Seattle.  And, lastly, Sunday is my youngest sister’s birthday party, she’s now 17, and we are all getting together at my father’s place to have a cRaZy celebration.  All-in-all, a kick ass schedule is laid out before me for the coming few days.

These kick ass weekends used to include alcohol.  When I saw my brother the other night, all my siblings were drinking.  I, of course, was not.  Thing is, I want to drink a beer, but thinking about it no longer weighs me down.  I am past needing to have alcohol at all, and had a rad time without it.  The only time I want alcohol is when I catch the scent of a beer I actually want to drink… I tend to love certain IPAs, sours, and, honestly, many others.  Truth is, I just like beer.  It tastes delicious, but my need for it is gone, and that is something I am pretty happy about.  Grateful, even.

Which brings me to my last point of the morning: Gratitude.  Gratitude is something I have struggled with, especially during hard times.  The reality is, there is a lot to be thankful for and trying to train my brain to realize what it is I’m thankful for has helped change my outlook lately, even through events that would otherwise put me in a negative place, like losing every single one of my motherfucking files and documents.  Whenever I’m ungracious, overwhelmed, or just indifferent, I can just go outside for a run, into the mountains for a hike, sit in a chair and meditate, etc.  The options are truly endless.  Finances can be fixed, relationships can (often) be fixed, being gracious is the antidote for the negativity that stems from your hardships.  It’s the fix.

So, what am I grateful for?  Here are five things:

  1. A girlfriend who has sat by my side while I have been sorting through my brain’s internal complications, personal bullshit, and career.
  2. The outdoors and the hobbies I have in them that bring me pure and utter joy.
  3. My new real estate career and the accomplishment of taking the first step to get started on a path I could actually dig.
  4. My physical health, and, increasingly better, mental health.
  5. Friends and Family that have my back 100%.

Now, what are you grateful for?  What are you taking for granted or putting a negative spin on?  Once you figure that out, all you have to do is make the decision to reframe your thinking… Not easy, but doable.  Get after it.

Cheers 🤙 ,

~Dane

No Man Wants to Go to a Baby Shower; This Too Shall Pass

Ladies, I know you got together and decided that baby showers are now for both you and your boyfriends/husbands to attend. I’m glad that you want to include us and all but you’re god damned wrong in doing so. While at a baby shower, even if it were for the birth of my best friend’s baby, and definitely if it’s for the birth of your best friend’s baby, shit, even if it were my own baby, we hate every second of it. It’s not cute, it’s not just a couple hours, it’s a full afternoon at a stupid baby shower. I bring this up because I recently attended a baby shower and was sold on it by my girlfriend telling me it was coed… I shouldn’t say sold… I very reluctantly went along with it because I’d rather not argue.  Also, even though you call it coed, it was only kind of coed… as in there were some unhappy boyfriends being drug along to talk about girl shit and babies. The dudes with babies looked much more content being at the shower, as if that’s what they did now that they popped a crib gremlin out.  Makes me not want kids.  Nothing against the friends or the baby, or, for that matter, babies in general, but it’s a fucking baby shower. Just stop already with the showers. A party? I can probably deal with a party, but unless it’s cleansing in nature, keep the damn showers away.

Let’s see… well, beyond still having the propensity to rant and to unwaveringly hate societal norms, I have been training hard as hell lately. I can say that I have acquired something I haven’t had in years… ABS!  Fuck yeah, I have abs!  Months in the gym is paying off and going on month two of my break from alcohol, I feel better than I’ve felt in years, minus a nagging kink in my neck (literally, I have a kink in my neck).  I can’t wait to see where my fitness goes in the coming year.

I have been working diligently on my mediation, finishing a 21 day exercise in my Calm app and moving on to a new one to help with focus. I’m still doing my meditation in the sauna and it is becoming my daily routine. The last two days I have actually meditated in the steam room which was a little more uncomfortable in comparison to the dry sauna, but I’ll adjust and might try it a couple times per week to add an extra layer of difficulty.  It was a little too hot to concentrate yesterday though and I stopped a minute or two shy of where I had intended.  I could be mentally stronger I suppose, and I could also puke all over the steam room, I chose to just get out and cool down.

After writing about my lack of focus with meditation a few posts back, I came across the below parable.

A student went to his meditation teacher and said, “My meditation is horrible! I feel so distracted, or my legs ache, or I’m constantly falling asleep. It’s just horrible!”

“It will pass,” the teacher said matter-of-factly.

A week later, the student came back to his teacher. “My meditation is wonderful! I feel so aware, so peaceful, so alive! It’s just wonderful!

“It will pass,” the teacher replied matter-of-factly.

This is literally what I was whining about and as soon as I heard this story I laughed at myself. The reason I like this parable, as silly and simple as it is, is because it can be applied to everything in life. Happiness nor sorrow are perpetual feelings, you have good days and bad. The takeaway for me is to learn to be content with whatever outcome happens and with whatever is.  I struggle with this concept in more ways than one, for instance, I can’t wait to go skiing next, but after I ski next I know that I’m just going to want to ski more. All the adventures I’ve done make me crave more adventure. That’s great and all, but just like with meditation, it passes.  I can’t be stuck in a state of disappointment because I’m unable to be on top of a mountain everyday or I’m unable to meditate well every time I attempt to.  Truth be told, I haven’t been too focused during my meditation this week at all.  It will pass.  Everything passes.  I will even pass.  Every moment is fleeting, so find comfort in the moment that is now and let the moments pass in content.

Alright, I’m done being a monk for the time being. Future career path?

Cheers! 🤙,

~Dane