Why Wishing Winter Away Is A Bad Idea

ImageEveryone’s talking about the ‘forever winter’ we’re having and wishing for spring and summer to hurry the heck up.  As I said before, I’m still enjoying the cool days but only in the hopes that maybe we can skip the yucky part of spring when it’s rainy and damp and get right to the good stuff – perfectly warm days, flowers popping their heads up and confidently wearing nice shoes that won’t get covered in mud or salt stains by the time I get to work.

But wishing time away is probably not a great idea. This is where so many experts tell us that the good stuff really is. The part that’s difficult is where learning and growth happens. In springtime this is quite literal, but it’s true for success as well. Sure, it would be great if we never had to pay our dues, make cold calls or schmooze at networking events. But we’d miss out on so many learning opportunities and then we probably wouldn’t have the experience needed to be good at a high level when we get there.

Imagine this: One day you’re setting up your business, maybe designing your website. The next day you’re in front of a large group of big-time investors. Would you really be ready for it? Would you have all the bugs of your speech worked out or your business plan crystal clear? Probably not.

Having goals and wanting to achieve them is great but remember that the journey is necessary and part of the experience. If we woke up tomorrow to a heat wave it would feel much more unbearable than if we gradually reached the hottest part of the year. So, bring on the muddy springs and let’s splash in the puddles of paying our dues. These need to be seen as an important part of getting to something better– not just yucky, wasted time.

 

Do We Recover More Slowly As We Age?

Us thirty-somethings are probably already aware that the older you are, the more rest and recovery you need. Case and point, my thirtieth birthday hangover was the first two-day hangover I ever had. Sure, I partied hard, but two days? Is this what I have to look forward to?

Some evidence suggests that our biological and physical peak is between 25 and 35 and significant muscle loss begins after 40 (Keller and Engelhardt 2014). This is great news though I certainly didn’t feel at my peak after my recent three-day snowboarding adventure. Oh, the soreness!Image

 At 32 I should be well within my top-level of athletic performance and I want to use my physical accomplishments to push me forward in other areas in life. But this delayed muscle soreness has me worried about my ability to recover in other areas too.

What if I fail again and can’t recover?

 I used to have a “before thirty” list. Now I have a “before thirty-five” list and only three years to complete it. If this plan fails I only have three years to bounce back and start over before I am out of my window.  As if I didn’t feel the clock tick-tocking in my ear loudly enough…

 I know that the 25-35 thing is physical, but there is some physical strength to getting back on your feet emotionally. When I didn’t get into the grad school of my choice (both times), I lost it. Depressed for months I was a shell of myself. Getting back on track and finding my voice again was rough and extremely physically draining. Could I really do that again if I had to? Could my body take it?

When I finally settle down and stop the irrational negative self-talk I remember that just like an athlete, the more you train, the tougher you get and “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” Failure and even aging can be beat by listening to your body and going at your own pace to get anywhere you want.  Deep down I know this but sometimes I need a reminder when I’m covered head to toe in Biofreeze.

 What do you think? What helps to remind you to keep going?

 

Define Your Range: Stretch and Impress

We’ve officially “sprung forward” though it doesn’t feel much like spring here in Toronto as the temperatures are to be well below zero this week. No matter, I love winter and snow, and yes, I even love the minus forty temperatures. I think it’s awesome that I live in a place that can get so cold and I can survive it! Even more amazing is that in the summer, we sometimes see temperatures of above forty Celsius. A pretty impressive range, I’d say.Image

Other impressive ranges come from singers like Mariah Carey or Georgia Brown, the world record holder for her eight octave vocal range. I get goosebumps every time I hear her. Michael Jordan dazzled us by stretching his athletic abilities onto the baseball field. He may have been mocked for his decision at the time, but how many people can say they’ve played two sports at the professional level? We are, sadly, captivated at how the Kardashians push through the regular limitations of stardom and manage to maintain celebrity status by not doing anything. On a more uplifting note, we are mesmerized by the monarch butterflies that migrate more than four thousand kilometers from Canada to Mexico and back every year.

It’s inspiring when you stretch your boundaries and go beyond your limits. In business this could mean that you have clients ranging from small businesses to large corporations. If you’re a teacher this could mean teaching a variety of subjects or grade levels. As a writer I like to think that this means I can write on more diverse topics, even those foreign to me. As a thirty-something I think it means taking everything learned thus far and pushing onward to bigger things – maybe to things you didn’t think you would do until your forties. You’ve got thirty plus years for a range of experience. How far can you push those boundaries to make your thirties your best decade so far?

 How do you define your range?  How can you push past your limits an increase it?

Please share your thoughts!  

How Some Numbers Are Happier Than Others

ImageDid you know that some numbers are happier than others? If you’re a math person, you probably did. If you’re not and, like me, you’re passed the point of ever becoming a numbers genius, I’ll do my best to explain.

Happy numbers are numbers that if you add their square roots together and continue to add the answers you can end up with 1. Here’s an example, sadly, from a fun mathematics page for children (transum.org):

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This week I’m turning thirty-two and I’m not so happy about it. While trying to find things to cheer me up, I found this stuff on happy numbers because 32 is the ninth happy number (just after 31). I realize that “happy” is being used as a mathematical term here and is by no means a classification of authentic happiness, but I still thought it was pretty cool.  I may no longer be thirty-one, but I’m still a happy number, and that’s a nice thought to keep in mind as my birthday rolls around.

Then I noticed that there are no more happy numbers in the thirties – the next is 44!  But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.