Creaking bones

Last week, my wife insisted that I spend 45 minutes with her at the community exercise program on Monday morning. She’s been going a few weeks now, & says it’s been awesome, so why don’t I give it a try?

I get lot of exercise – focused very much around my fingers: scrolling across the screen on my mobile or typing on a keyboard, for most of the day. This year, as I slide into an age demographic that’s properly considered middle aged, the disconnect between how my mind feels about my body, & how my body responds to such feelings couldn’t be more clear.

I work from home on Mondays, so I could manage this time. I let my wife convince me that going to this was a good idea. Many people come along, she said. Most of them are like you & me, have had no proper exercise, or the time to get any of it either – children, partners, dogs & life in general tend to get in the way. My wife, the rock upon which our family’s structure rests, has for the first time in over a decade been able to actually get some time to herself, after both kids get bundled off to school.

Trusting as I am of my wife, I signed up for this last week. The sign-up page required my physical metrics, & in the ‘why’ section, I selected “would like to get a few kilos off my frame”.

Nothing could prepare me for this morning though. My wife was right. There were many people, sure. Young, old, shapely, shapeless. Something seemed a bit out of place though: THERE WERE NO MEN! When the session finally began, one other male, a retired gent who looked about 65, joined the group.

Everything after that was a blur. We warmed up, did several reps of exercises, cooled down, & got home. As I’m typing this out, even the bones on my fingers are hurting.

The 45 minutes of exercise went by quickly.
I’ve been exceptionally productive all day today, getting through most of the tasks I’d set out for myself.
And for the first time, I’m actually feeling good after having done some exercise that wasn’t something other than walking.

Will do this again next week.

Everything I’ve learnt about productivity and lifehacking in the past seven years [Article]

Neil Scott went through this bookmarks from the last seven years (how did he manage that, I wonder!) and shares his findings. None of the first 10 have anything to do with technology, if that surprises anyone.  I loved the last one:

Ask yourself, “What’s the worst that could happen?”

On the phenomenon of bullshit jobs [Article]

David Graeber finds that despite John Maynard Keynes’ prediction in 1930 that technological improvements would result in 15-hour work weeks in the Western worlds, that utopia is far from achievable. Instead, he thinks technology has been marshalled to make all of us work more, rather than less, in what he calls “bullshit jobs”:

rather than allowing a massive reduction of working hours to free the world’s population to pursue their own projects, pleasures, visions, and ideas, we have seen the ballooning not even so much of the “service” sector as of the administrative sector, up to and including the creation of whole new industries like financial services or telemarketing, or the unprecedented expansion of sectors like corporate law, academic and health administration, human resources, and public relations. And these numbers do not even reflect on all those people whose job is to provide administrative, technical, or security support for these industries, or for that matter the whole host of ancillary industries (dog-washers, all-night pizza deliverymen) that only exist because everyone else is spending so much of their time working in all the other ones.

Definitely worth a read


The Worry That You’re Doing the Wrong Thing Right Now [Article]

A problem I often grapple with is what activity should I be doing at any given point in time. I know I am not alone, but Leo Babauta articulates it much better than I could, and also shares his simple steps to handle this challenge. And what do you have to look forward to at the end of those steps?

And if you do these steps, you’ll get your task done, and then breathe. And smile. Because you came a long way, and you might have a long way to go, but you’re here. You’ve arrived. And it’s a lovely place to be.