LGN 61: Vision(ing)

What’s up, party people? What’s shakin’? It’s a Friday night and I’m up in hyuh gettin’ all wild and crazy. Or sitting here writing while surrounded by partially unpacked boxes.


Jennell led the second workshop last Saturday. Good stuff. You know why I like it? What I get out of it and why I recommend it?

I mean, I think a lot of people don’t get into the zone and so they don’t see how an hour and a half on a Saturday afternoon could possibly have a long term effect on their lives/issues/problems/dreams/goals. Some of us are natural skeptics.

Some aren’t visual thinkers so they don’t flow when it comes to a vision board. I decided to forego making or continuing my vision board collage this time and went with mindmapping on the iPad since mindmaps really help to facilitate my brainings. Like this (using iThoughtsHD):

On the fly mindmap during VW2.
Click to view the full size in a new browser tab.

What I like about the workshops is that you can think and talk about all the crappiness of your life, if there is any, and come away with ideas and maybe even a plan to work on those blemishes. And maybe it’s not even crappiness. Maybe it’s just mediocrity.

Or that feeling like you could and should be doing more. Whether you’re artsy or a talker. Once you get to the point of verbalizing and communicating the shortcomings, that’s when that spark often happens.

You can sit around and complain about your job, career, your weight, men/women, society or whatever anytime. But how often does it lead to action and positive change? Not very.

Plus it’s inspiring to hear other people’s plans, not to mention successes.

We put our goals on the board at the gym and every once in a while people would ask me if I moved yet. I also shared a few things on Facebook so I got some help and feedback along the way.

What I’m trying to say is that you all helped me to break out of my inertia and find the kind of place and location that I’ve been wanting to live in for years. Every suggestion. Every question helped me crystallize a little bit. Every mini-conversation helped and every time I said, “No, I’m looking but…”

You helped me keep up the momentum. I thank you. I hope I can return the favor somehow.

Photography and Constructive Procrastination

If you look at the mindmap I’ve got new goals and possible action plans.

  • Financially operate in the black for the next few months. Gonna have to prioritize.
    • But the holidays? And new kitchen appliances I want? And furniture? I’d like to have a couch.
    • And new clothes?
    • Pare down the subscriptions.
  • Lose fat for the second Winter in a row.
    • Time to get back on the wagon here.
  • Do something constructive with my hobbies.
    • More about this below.
  • Declutter some more
    • That’s just part of this unpacking phase so that’s in the works.

I mean, I need to look it over and pick a few things but those are the top few.

Photography as a Goal

I’ve been spending bank on photography stuff. I need to sell some things. That might help with finances. Noted.

I volunteered to photography some friends’ live gigs. Another musician liked what he saw and wants to hire me to photo one of his live gigs. Makes me nervous but I get better with each shoot I do. I learn a LOT every time.

I keep meeting these amazing people. I like what they do and they like what I do. That just might work out somehow.

All of this happened in the past week and came directly out of that Visioning Workshop. Consciously thinking about what I want to do and how to go about doing it.

Thanks, Jennell. You’re facilitating a lot of achievements one way or another.


Meanwhile, the black hole nothingnessvoid of relationships is just kind of there. But as long as I’m accomplishing something in the meanwhile. I just hope I don’t kick the bucket before I get my act together. That would be sub-optimal.

I saw a guy in action at a bar the other night. I took mental notes. Interacting with the ladies, he was confident, generous, well-traveled, easy going, casual yet professional. Comfortable.

I … was none of those things. Haha. What have I been doing all these decades? (Besides detesting bars.)

The Winters

My bear genes kicked in. Every late Fall/early Winter I get that run down feeling. Lethargic, carb craving, anti-social (and that’s saying something). Over the past month+ my shoulders have been giving me trouble. Limited range of motion, soreness. During training they’d get that burn and just keep burning the entire time and eventually they start clicking.

I’ve had major eczema flare ups. My fingers have been a wreck with lots of cracking and itchiness. I used some acquired ointment — Triamcinolone acetonide — which is powerful stuff. Didn’t work for me this time, though, and using corticosteroids over long periods makes your skin thin. So that turned out poorly.

I’ve felt generally weak. My eyes have been red.

Obviously, there’s a bunch of stuff going on. Maybe it’s SAD-related. It’s also definitely related to falling off the PRIME regimen. Clean eating and then suddenly … not. Body not happy.

I think I’m bouncing back, though. Benadryl has helped some but that’s just a stopgap.

But you know what else I think played a big part? Stress. Mainly the stress of moving. I paid a lot of money for other people to do most of the work and the whole process overall still stressed me out. Upheaval.


But the deed is done. I moved!

I am now a new and only slightly out of phase resident of the Falls at Flint Hill. I’m looking forward to exploring the ‘hood and getting to know the lay of the land.

  • 20 minutes to get to work (if I leave later than most) compared to the previous 45 minutes.
  • 9 minutes to get to Underground Athlete as opposed to the previous 40 minutes.
  • At least three gym people that I know live within walking distance, I think.
  • Food places like GrubHub deliver here, for better or worse.
  • Starbucks and Famous Dave’s are right down the street. Again, for better or worse.

The only downside is that there’s a herd of buffalo (two toddlers?) living above me. I’ll take that over the newest neighbor at the old apartment, though. The one with the jet engine speakers, cute but barky dog, cigarette smoke, shirtlessness, late night arguments and so on. And I’ll be expecting a bill maybe because I kind of gave up on cleaning after a point.

Now I’m in the process of unpacking the essentials and boxing up the to-go stuff. That is priority A number 1. I shouldn’t even be writing this now. I spent a few nights photographing live music but — it’s buckle down time. There’s going to be one more junk haul before Christmas and then — well that’ll clear things up so that I can make this place as swank is it should be.

It is nice.

Moving and decluttering was my main goal from the first workshop. I have to admit that it’s not a coincidence that I moved the week of and the days before the second workshop.


Going through boxes, separating the wheat from the chaff, I’m trying not to be sentimental. But I found cards from friends with pictures of their children. Birthday cards from my dad and that really — argh. There’s so much I would do differently. Y’know. That stuff, you don’t heal from. That was, what, two years ago? It’s just with you until it’s your time.

It’s so easy for me to get caught up in my own thoughts. My hobbies. The work routine. You forget … I forget that meanwhile time is passing. In my complacency I took my dad for granted and did very little to help him through his tough times before he passed. I mean, we were becoming friends after decades of estrangement. Then suddenly he was half gone in a persistent vegetative state, suffering for two months. And then he was gone.

Losing a parent. That’s a reset. It changes things. That was the chaser of a year of woes and it dropped me to a low of lows. And highs, in terms of weight gain, to be transparent. It revealed the flaw in the complacency of my comfort zone. It led me to a need to break out. That’s how, in many ways, I ended up at PIES Fitness and Underground Athlete.

Physically, I do this strength training thing because I want my body to be strong and fit. Robust. Mentally, the training is always new and challenging (understatement). There’s no room or time to become complacent because once you get used to something, things change. There’s always the next level. There are always people constructively encouraging you to push yourself beyond your self-perceived limits.

Some people — successful people — are good at applying that to their lives. When they achieve something they don’t just settle. They enjoy it for a while and they make new goals.

This is a lesson worth internalizing.

Oh! I’m happy to say that while many of my family members are ailing, they’re also becoming more conscious of what they can do about it. They want to eat more mindfully, exercise and be active. Pain is a great motivator and leveler. So are photos. 😀

Have a great weekend, everybody. Hi, Sarah B. Sup?

Click here to see all of my LGN (I want to Look Good Naked) and functional strength training posts.


Add Yours
  1. Jennell Evans

    Thanks for sharing Gary…with all that you have going on post-moving, I was very happy that you took time to for yourself on Dec. 1 to attend Visioning II. I like the way you described the “sparks” that took place for you. I am grateful that you had a positive experience last Sat. I believe that one conversation can change a life…our own or someone else’s. I admire so many things about you…your intellect, creativity, humor, ability to express yourself through words and music, photography skills, social and emotional awareness, and your willingness share your life experiences, which makes you so very real and likeable. I am reading Brenè Brown’s book, Daring Greatly – How the Courage to be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead. I really think you would enjoy this book. I’m only 30% into the book, and have learned a lot already. I want to Dare Greatly in everything I do, and yet it can be scary sometimes to be so vulnerable. I know that having the courage to be vulnerable makes us feel alive, and that motivates me to act outside my comfort zone. Your writings inspire me and also encouragesme to reflect, be more intentional, ask better questions, and more. Thank you for sharing your thoughts even if it sparks feelings of vulnerability.

  2. mvhuff

    Wow, Gary, more good stuff. I saw on the board that you had a gig – meant to say congratulations!
    I’m sorry to hear about your father – I understand what it’s like to lose a parent (I’ve lost both of mine in the last 6 years). If you ever want to talk, let me know.

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