Daily Schedule

As a part of my efforts to improve work / life balance, a schedule is essential. I jotted down a list of some the things that I need in my daily schedule in order to be successful at work and in life. Currently, the daily schedule looks like a summer camp for of mindfulness and self-improvement. I have decided not to restrict myself to allotted times, rather granting some wiggle room (this freedom allows my creativity and productivity to thrive).

Running / Fitness 

Days are better for me when I run. It jumpstarts my day, gets my blood flowing; it challenges me yet calms me. Beginning the day with the run, I have accomplished something the the rest of the day cannot take away from. During runs, I am able to process thoughts, experience the outdoors, and stay in strong physical shape. The fitness is listed as some days will fall under a recovery day, those days will include yoga, core strengthening, swimming or cycling.

Writing

My self-awareness is higher, mindfulness more abundant when I write. With the practice of writing, I include a few moments of meditation. I reflect and plan, note expectations and experiences, challenges and successes; as well as potential places for improvement. Sometimes is a reflective journal entry, other times it becomes more of an essay on life or a testimony about certain elements within my life.

Coffee

Over the past several years, coffee has become a staple. It is more than just a shot of caffeine for me; I truly enjoy the flavors that different coffee’s provide. Though Cuvee Coffee is my absolute favorite, I like finding new coffee’s – especially when I travel.

Community

We all need people. Funny enough, I was recently reminded of this through the Lego Batman movie. Granted I watched it at a time when there was a great shift in what I thought I knew regarding my future. The themes that rang true were family, friends, and Not-going-it -alone. Even though each of us may be strong as individuals we are stronger together. Often times. experiencing places, things or events with others adds a significant amount of value to that moment.

Sports

With a career in youth soccer development, sports are a piece of my everyday life. I enjoy watching most sports and keep up with the sport world. Of course, it is most enjoyable when I get to play as well.

Learning

Currently, learning some things about myself, as individual (outside of a relationship). I look to learn something new daily – whether it pertain to the world, nutrition, the Spanish language, or the driver’s education course which I am enrolled.

Outdoors 

Nature. It does so many good things for the soul. Beyond breathing fresh (for the most part) air, sunshine, water, greenery and touching the actually earth  – each of these appeal to the senses and enhance life.

Relaxation

Any or all of these activities or items can be combined. After two weeks with this schedule, only the writing portion has be solitary (or just coupled with coffee). This was necessary at the time; now that I share some of that with you, it falls under community.

Hello again: Work / Life Balance

I’ll skip the part where I list all the reasons excuses for why I have posted in a while. I’ll also accept your forgiveness for my absence and my learning to write again. My paucity in posts could essentially be boiled down into one reason: a lack of work / life balance. This blog was never work but more about life; it lost out when I took on more responsibilities at work. Over the past month, I have recognized the problem and am taking necessary steps to resolve the issue.

The past year I have become immersed in work. This is due, but not limited, to an excitement about the possibilities, an inability to say no, an avoidance of other potential problems in my life and a lack of a fixed schedule. Being so involved in work meant losing out on relationships, events and most of the enjoyment that came along with them. Don’t get me wrong, I was still enjoying work but unhealthily neglecting everything else; even to the point of beginning to resent the work.

Recently, I have take a few steps to remedy this. Recognizing the problem is a big part of resolution, so I am on the right track. I have also begun meeting with a mentor, that understands the work that I do. He had some good advice regarding some beginning steps to take.

  1. Do not be an item on somebody else’s to do list. I would reply to texts, phone calls, and emails immediately, regardless of the urgency, time or day. One could argue that I was almost waiting for the next one to come through. Moving forward: I will have a certain time of day where I check and reply to emails. I will update my settings to eliminate every email from coming to my phone will put my phone away at night, only responding to personal (non-work) calls and texts. These two actions are combined with the new expectations and boundaries I will set with colleagues and clients.
  2. Take some time for yourself. I did not have a regular day off; a day that I could take care of me, relax, explore, learn or enjoy. I plan to take at least one day a week and also capitalize on the time I have during the summer.
  3. Set a schedule. I had failed to define a daily schedule. So I was flexible, which is good (yes, very go with the flow), but it also allowed me to fall victim to the flow. It didn’t give me any reason to say no – which meant I was overeager and vulnerable to overuse. My schedule will be another post altogether but involves: running, coffee, writing, learning, community, etc.
  4. Live with a Growth Mindset. In some aspects of life, I felt I was open to change or development. With others, I was closed off, thinking it is what it is. This topic is also post in and of itself. I look to continue to nurture that mindset and a “not yet” mentality.

An additional bonus is that for my job next year, I will be at set location so my vehicle will no longer be a storage unit. It will be nice to have my vehicle and my life back.

Looking forward to finding that balance.

farmhouse brewery

Last Saturday, in spite of Cedar’s my allergies I met up with some friends at the Jester King Brewery just southwest of Austin. Since I lives in Southwest Austin, it was an easy commute for me. The fact that I had such of good time even though my allergies were under attack, says quite a bit about the establishment and certainly the company. Though I kept track of the beer I enjoyed on Untappd, I did not take many pictures. I borrowed the one below from their website, where you can find more information and photos. I have linked each of the beers that I enjoyed so that you can easily read their well-written, highly-edcuational blurbs.

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I do not typically drink sour or fruit fermented brews but tried two on this outing. I preferred the potent Atrial Rubicite to the beer made from its leftovers La Vie en Rose. The beers I enjoyed the most were two brews (pictured below) featured all year long, Wytchmaker Rye IPA and surprisingly a sour RU-55. I finished my visit with two more 4 oz samplers: Commercial Suicide and Mad Meg.

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The breweries ranch-like setting makes for a great weekend outing. There is plenty of space to relax or play, depending on your mood or age. Stanley’s Farmhouse Pizza is on the same property offering other local brews, wines for the non-beerdrinkers in your group, apps, salads and unique delicious pizza. We quickly devoured the Willie and the Beatrice plus wild boar sausage

I will definitely make another trip out, sooner than later. If you need further convincing, check out Austin Beer Guide (& podcast) as they recently visited with Jeff Stuffings from Jester King.

miscellaneous monday: thanksgiving “break”

Thanksgiving to me is a time to celebrate the things I am thankful for. Naturally, this will vary year to year but there are some standards. Family, friends, food, football and fun are five of my standards; this year especially.

The family I enjoyed this season was on two separate occasions. My nephew Josh invited me to his pre-school’s thanksgiving lunch, an event in which I did Instagram. I enjoyed this invitation and secretly, until now of course, was happy he preferred my participation to that of his mom and dad. The second family edition for me this year was at my dad’s house in Warren, AR. Lindsey and my brother Robert rode up with me; additionally, Robert pointed out that this was his and my first long road trip. Lindsey had never been to Arkansas, seen the country life, or shot a gun before; all three were remedied on this trip. I was definitely happy to have her there and am pleased to announce that she has recovered from her culture shock.

Friends-givings are becoming more and more popular these days. Or maybe now that I am older, they are becoming more familiar to me. I met up with about two dozen friends this season, some that I have met more recently mixed with others I’ve known for a couple years. We passed around a bottle of champagne to cheers the things we were thankful for: our friendships, fellowships, fun, Austin, and music were among the top mentions. The event began around 2 p.m. that Saturday and didn’t wrap up until 2 a.m. the next day.

The food at both family and friend events was incredible. I was also able to enjoy Good Dog, Liberty Kitchen, and Onion Creek, all of Houston.

The past two weekends have featured some amazing football games. Saban’s poor coaching decision aside, Auburn’s last minute victory over Alabama was incredible. Whereas I agree with Michigan going for two. The NFL is finally seeing some good match-ups as well: Tom Brady come-backs, Peyton Manning, the Chiefs, and tonight’s Monday Night Football – Saints vs. Seahawks game.

Finally, the fun!! Anytime I get together with my family, whether my mom’s side with sisters and cousins or my dad’s with all my brother, we find a way – even create our own way sometimes – to have fun. Lindsey and I also enjoyed the company of a couple friends over this past weekend. We went to a show at Stereo Live in Houston for Paul Van Dyke on Friday and seemed to lose time as the night faded into the morning. We even met some new friends in the heights and have plans to continue the fun.

I love this time of year, not because of the cooler temps or Christmas lights, Holiday giving or receiving but because of the love and fun shared with others.

miscellaneous monday: purple pressure

In addition to running, writing and massage therapy, I am also a youth soccer coach. My coaching career has allowed me to stay involved in the beautiful game of soccer while also having a positive influence working with today’s youth. One could argue that my dad being a coach (American football, of course) has something to do with my choice to accept such a path myself. Though I have coached high school and college players, I am currently coaching with Lonestar Soccer Club at the Junior Academy level. We work to develop players age seven through ten, giving them the foundations they need technically (the ability and skill they have with the ball), tactically (decisions they make on the field, how they use their skills), physically & psychologically. The fundamentals they learn through our program enable them to grow in their understanding, appreciation and execution of the game.

I enjoy coaching for many reasons but unfortunately can get caught up in the result sometimes. Recently, the girls team that I coach requested I replace my dried out expo marker with a purple one. Incidentally, I had one at home and brought it the game the next day. The girls were beyond excited. I took note that such a simple thing was able to bring them such immediate joy. After a challenging first half, the team seemed less than optimistic and slightly down. We had just finished discussing the need to pressure the ball when the other team was in possession; the importance of time and space in the game that defensively we wanted to eliminate the opponent’s ease-of-play. Prior to running back onto the field to begin the second half, we cheer something to get our spirits up… YOU know what a cheer is for. In this case we would cheer “pressure” but noticing their faces and posture I decided to change it up a little. I decided instead of pressure, we would cheer “PURPLE” and follow it with a whisper “pressure”. The cheer did the trick, we were able to finish the game strong and walk-away heads held high. We have adopted it as our regular halftime cheer. This single cheer manages to remind us to have fun and keep our composure under pressure. It reminds me to enjoy the game, the improvement, and the opportunity to encourage such enthusiasm.