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Being Productive During Unemployment and Gaining an Advantage from the Situation

Losing a job is a reality of modern life.  Being between work can be unsettling and stressful due to the financial uncertainty alone.  The psychological aspects of losing a job can lead to feelings of depression, despair, and inadequacy.  These components and others, combined can easily lead to counter productivity and a mindset of scarcity instead of abundance.  How can the narrative change and someone become productive and gain an advantage from this situation?

We are inundated with negative feelings the moment we lose a job.  Knowing that these negative feelings are inevitable and knowing that they surface when we first lose a job, we can then label the feelings as temporary and fleeting, rather than wallow in permanence with them.  The uncertainty associated with losing a job can be turned into a certainty.  By no longer having that job, we can now be certain that we have the time that would have been spent on the job to do things that are not part of the job.  If we make choices that do not support the negative feelings of losing the job and complete them during the time that we would have been on the job, we are being productive.  A good example is to make a list of the things you said you would do if you weren’t working at the job or if you had the time to do during work hours on the job.  This list can even be comprised of unfinished things that you would have completed had it not been for the aforementioned excuses.  What this list represents are things that are not associated with the job that was lost, so in turn, they are not bi-products of the initial negative feelings of losing the job and can be deemed as positive things.  By undertaking this list during the time you are no longer on the job, you are now taking that time and creating value, thus being productive.

 

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Loss…

loss

 

Over the last two weeks I faced some losses. I lost an old friend, and I lost my job of nearly the past 4 years. I thought about what the losses were to me, the timing of them, and what they meant in the grand scheme of things.

When I lost my friend in an auto accident and heard the news from another friend, both of whom I had been out of touch with for some time, I was reminded that things that may have caused us to drift apart over recent years were truly trivial when considered in the context of death and impermanence. It wouldn’t do my friend justice just to wax nostalgic about them since the times we had together were not all that remarkable, and they happened in what seems like another time and place in my life. When thinking of what this loss was to me, I remember my friend who was a musician, and who I had the honor to work with on numerous occassions, was the type of person that never stopped believing their own ability, and never stopped pursuing their dream of becoming a successful musician, even at the expense of others labeling them delusional and even after other people’s criticisms of them for their lifelong pursuit. The loss of my friend was a reminder that there is nothing wrong and as a matter of fact it, it is what is all that is right about living, as far as pursuing your passion and always believing in yourself. You see my friend always maintained this atttitude and pursuit without harming others and from a positive place. They always celebrated their own victories as well as others and they never tried to better their own position by exploiting another. The only thing that haulted their pursuit was when they physically lost their life. This taught me that we must remind ourselves of what we want and be unapologetic about the pursuit without hurting others. It can be taken away anytime, so while we are here and able to pursuit it, it is our obligation.

The timing of losing my friend was a bit of synchronysity, if you will, since I lost my job of nearly 4 years, almost one week later. When I think about my job and the fact that my departure had to do with a soured family and business relationship, I took a step back when processing all the events. I first thought about the insignificance of the melodrama surrounding and even the financial ramifications of losing my job when compared to the death of a friend. Secondly, I thought about how outside of the financial and family reasons for taking the job, how the job itself was overall, not fulfilling on a physical, mental, or spiritual level for me.  With the death of a friend who epitomized the pursuit of their passion and dreams, and me losing the job, not to be too much of a cliche, but I took this as a sign.  Better yet, it was a gift from my friend, in passing, who instructed the universe to push me in the right direction.

So I am here sitting and writing this, and in a state of mourning, and unemployed. This seems dire but I couldn’t feel better. I see that it was my friend that made the ultimate sacrifice, and helped set me free to do what I should be doing.  Losing a friend and a job were losses on the surface, but were true gains in the grand scheme of things.

ALL BLOGS · MUSIC

R.I.P. To the Queen

 

R.I. P.  to the Queen, Aretha Franklin.  A huge musical influence, especially as a young aspiring Hip Hop producer who sampled her sounds and as an emcee who admired the social and cultural transcendence of her music and career.

Her 30 Greatest Hits Album from 1985, in particular, holds a special place in my heart. This was one of the first pieces of vinyl I owned, and I sampled many sounds from this record, and I listened to all the songs on so many different occasions.  Although it is obscure in the hierarchy of the Queen’s anthology, I always think back to my favorite song off of this double LP, “Daydreaming”, with Aretha’s crooning voice, the droning bassline, and then the break at the end into an ambient, dreamscape of sound that personify the literal and figurative “dream” theme of the song. The production value of this song was not only way ahead of it’s time but was a huge influence on my own musical production style.

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It’s Been Awhile, a Couple Months to be Exact, or Better Yet, an Entire Summer…

summertime

 

It has been a couple months since I last posted, so I am now committed to blogging more regularly.  I find that the exercise of blogging is therapeutic for my soul and psyche, and going long periods without, for me, has the same effect as lapses in physical exercise and lapses in creative expression; both of which I try to avoid going without for any prolong period.  So, what have I been up to the last couple months?  Actually we can say, what did I do this entire summer. Let’s see.

I have most importantly, spent quality time with the family in the form of a couple beach trips.

I have experienced my oldest daughter’s first summer in between the school year which has consisted of a variety of summer camps.  (Kudos to my wife for her stellar organization and scheduling skills and making this period seamless and smooth for us all!)

Next, I attended a college friend’s wedding and got to spend time with some other college buddies, and it was at my old NC mountain stomping grounds. It felt really good to revisit this terrain, and was both a beautiful wedding ceremony and scenery.

I got to take my daughters to their first concert, and their first live baseball game which they thoroughly enjoyed.  I also got to attend another concert with my wife that was on my music bucket list.

Speaking of music, I got to listen to a lot of good new music, and make some new music for myself and my best friend’s new project.  (congrats to my pal and the birth of his baby girl during this time!)

And of course, I’ve read a lot of good books, watched a lot good movies, and played some good video games these past couple months.

Finally, I tried to keep my physical fitness up, the whole time, in the form of regular, weekly gym sessions and pickup basketball.  The weather has been extremely hot and rainy so the outdoor activity has been very limited, but I have tried to compensate in the form of hard workouts, good nutrition, and supplementation.  As a matter of fact, these last two months I have been doing a form of fasting called time restricted feeding which I will blog about soon.  I feel really good, but we will see what the results are since I am in the process of my annual physical and blood work as we speak.

That about wraps it up, and it has been a very fruitful and enjoyable past couple months. I look forward to writing in detail about some of these things, very soon.

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Workouts, Vacation, and Ruminations from the Last Two Weeks.

kettlebell pics

 

Managed 4 workouts over the last 2 weeks I was absent from this blog (3 at the gym and 1 at home).  2 of the gym workouts were at my new gym and focused on metabolic conditioning centered primarily around the crossfit box.  The third gym workout was at my old gym and centered around heavier compound lifting with H.I.I.T. sets between lifting sets.  The home workout was body weight focused with some cardio intervals and a lot of stretching and active recovery.  Also was able to get in some walking and body weight work while on vacation.

 

 

Spent 3.5 days at Emerald Isle on Memorial Day vacation with the family and with the in laws.  Perfect, albeit hot, and sunny beach weather and nice water conditions for three days.  Did have a real scare with my older English Bulldog on the way to the beach with the 3 hour drive. He managed to get severely overheated despite the AC conditions in our vehicle to the point where we had to make an emergency landing and cool him off and narrowly missed a fatal outcome.  He recovered and we took precautionary measures on the trip back and he is doing fine now.  The heavy rain on the way back helped and that rain has continued daily since Monday, 5/28/18, with today being Thursday the 31st!

 

 

 

In this time I was able to watch some sports, MMA and the NBA playoffs.  Most of these events were lackluster so I may not bother to write about them individually.

I was able to listen to great podcasts like Onnit with Paul Check part 2 and JRE with GSP, as well as great music like the new albums by Beachhouse and Pusha T.  I will probably write about those soon.

 

 

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Workout Log 5/15/18 & 5/17/18

kettlebell pics

 

5/15/18- New Gym 9:45 PM- 11 PM

  • Home warm up and stretch (10 min)
  • H.I.I.T. circuits (5 min/around 50 calories each) beginning, in between strength training sets, and at end. **Rower, treadmill, cycle, battle ropes, turf wind sprints
  • Crossfit box total body strength training including bodyweight excercises, kettlebells, dumbells
  • foam roller at the end (total body)

5/17/18- Home Workout 10 PM – 11:45 PM

  • Inversion table
  • Plyos
  • versa climber circuit (5 min total/1 minute interval all out)
  • Dumbell and body weight excercises
  • shadow boxing/kickboxing  (5, 3 min rounds)
  • Yoga/ stretching
  • Foam Rolling