Friday, August 28, 2020

Henry The Octopus.

 Not to be confused with "Henry The Octopus" from the show The Wiggles, sometimes I feel like I am "Henry Ward The Octopus. ". In many ways I am a lot like an octopus, in many ways I am not.   I am typically in motion most of time, whether it's running, at work, or puttering around the house.  I often feel like I am not being productive when I am sitting.  I feel like I am wasting my time. There's always "too much to do.". When I am sitting, I am sitting on my prey.  My food!  Also, I do need to rest, and I do need down time as well.  One difference is that I am at my best when I'm in a rhythm or controlled locomotion.  The key is to be in rhythm, otherwise I am spinning my wheels and going in 100 different directions and being counterproductive.

A lot of people claim they do their best thinking while sitting.  I found that I'm more relaxed and I have more clarity when I'm in motion.  I found that talking into my phone while walking can be productive but I have to go back and edit the autocorrect sometimes, as I have no idea what I'm trying to say at points.  But at least I'm doing two things at once.   I'm moving and  I'm using my creativity and I'm writing at the same time.  I guess that's three points!

This covid-19 pandemic has turned everybody's life's upside down.  We watched everything unfold in the United States from Mexico as we were on vacation there.  We watched people hoarding toilet paper, and paper towels, wipes and Kleenex from a far.  Early on I listened to a podcast that talked about not being selfish, not to hoard but to share, take care of yourself and take care of your family, and if you are furloughed or have lost temporary employment or loss of job altogether make good use of the time.  Do things you always wanted to do.   It's easy to find cop outs, have a pity party, sit there on the couch eat crap food and binge watch Netflix.   That's really the wrong way to deal with this, for me this is self-destruction.  It takes me a while to get in the groove because I'm a creature a habit but I found that I had more time on my hands because I had more time in my hands.  Something I always complain that I didn't have before enough was time to do the things I wanted to do.  I got to run more, I got to spend more time with the family, I  had time to start working on myself more and then working on my own business including writing.  I was an octopus with some rythym.

At times in the beginning I was spinning my wheels, and going in 10 different directions trying to do everything I wanted to do with no structure.  I was trying to do everything I wanted to do all at once without rythym.  Scientists found that octopuses control their body orientation and their movement independently. In other words, which way they're facing is irrelevant to which way they're going, and vice versa. They can turn their bodies around while crawling in one direction. Or they can change directions while keeping their bodies facing the same way. They have no rhythm. Octopuses crawl by pushing. They scrunch up an arm, anchor it to the ground, and then stretch it out again to propel themselves forward. The scientists tracked these "steps" to see in what order the study animals used their arms. They saw that octopuses step without any pattern or rhythm at all. Not left-right, left-right. Not one-two-three-four. This absence of a pattern is different from how most other animals move. Actually, scratch that: it's the opposite of every known animal.

I had no rhythm or patterns developed in the beginning, so I know that can't be an octopus 100% of the time!    

I do feel that when I get up in the morning most days I need to go for a walk or a run to start my day.  I need to be in motion to get my day going.  It doesn't matter the direction or how or where, I just need to get moving, just like an octopus.  It helps me plan out the day, sort out the day, and think about what I need to do.  It helps me start the day off right with the right mindset and the day typically flows better.  Even though I'm dead dog tired some mornings  it's better if I just keep moving.  

Running gives me the strength and clear mind to start my day with a lot less anxiety and gives me the readiness to work with the things I get thrown at me.  It can help me get out of the state of mind I might be in when I get up.  By heading out, I am able to disconnect and leave what I was stewing over behind.    I call it a brain dump.  You never know what you're going to see on a walk, run or a hike.  Sometimes I need to be distracted to get back on track, to kind of forget what was really bothering me.  I might see something or somebody that helps me put my life in perspective.  It might help me think that I don't have it so bad.  I always feel that life's too short and fragile to just sit around and there's always something out there to see.  I'm not going to see these things if I'm sitting on the couch.

  It obviously works later in the day as well,  just that I tend to be an early morning runner.  The anxiety of the day can be because of many factors changing that I don't have control over. Running gives you the perspective and acceptance that it is ok to feel that way.  Running helps me propel forward in more of a controlled locomotion, unlike the octopus.

  One of my favorite Inknburn singlets is the Kraken Octopus.  When I have that one on I'm out running around I feel like I could pull down battleships with my tentacles!  Honestly I feel like it gives me energy, the type of energy from inside to keep moving, and keep moving forward.  I said it before, there's a direct correlation between running and life.  You got to keep moving forward and eventually you'll get to where you need to be.  Sometimes it doesn't matter the direction you're going.   You can be going in circles just as long as you get there.