Order Q3

Ben Franklin’s 13 Virtues: Week 3, Q3

Order: “Let all your things have their place; let each part of your business have its time.

Personal notes for the week:

  • Busy week ahead, plot it out;
  • Do not over plan, keep it manageable;
  • Each task is usually composed of several steps, list them out;
  • Provide cushion; fill it if needed, enjoy it if not.

Procrastination is how I get things done; every week I write a relaxed schedule and every week I finish writing this blog at 5am. Some weeks flow smoothly but most have their interruptions. Like on Wednesday, when I lost my wallet rushing my daughter to the dentist; interruption accomplished, Order eviscerated.

If there’s a benefit to procrastination, it’s complete laser focus at the finish line. But the drawback is that any interruption is a spark to gasoline; anger burns with the slightest agitation. How we handle ourselves during this moment is hardest because we are at our weakest: tired, stressed and anxious. It took a lot of energy to keep from yelling at my daughter as we looked for my lost wallet – a lot of energy.

Truthfully, I enjoy Order; plotting vacations, streamlining expenses, cooking foods; cooking is one I enjoy most. The prepping of food, the mapping of time, helps create hours of quiet. The mind put at rest and the body at ease, the moment wrapped in the comfort of Order. With each thing in its place, Orderliness stirs contentment – if only I could do this all the time.

Order breeds quiet; slowing down the world and letting appreciation sneak in. How often do people complain their train is on time? With the day over-packed and over-scheduled I lost a wallet and almost lost it on my daughter. Thankfully, a kind stranger left the wallet untouched with a gracious subway attendant and saved me hours of worry and misery. In this crazy time sometimes Order still finds its way, and wallets are returned, and people remind you that there is good in the world.

==

Next Week

Ben Franklin’s 13 Virtues: Week 4, Q2

Resolution: “Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.

Personal notes:

  • Determine key tasks this week;
  • Focus on these tasks;
  • Dutifully and purposefully complete each.

I’m traveling this week, and when I travel it’s always a bit difficult to get work done. Getting it done will be especially hard with good food and great friends; it’s going to take a lot of resolve.

Good luck this week,

Patrick

Silence Q3

Ben Franklin’s 13 Virtues: Week 2, Q3

Silence: “Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.

Personal notes:

  • Shut up and cut the sarcasm;
  • If angry, do not say anything, it’s a losing proposition;
  • Practice listening;
  • Limit the gossiping;
  • Get away from useless conversation.

Sometimes I’m quiet too much; sitting and sulking and degrading everyone else’s mood; benefitting no one. The mind inflating insignificant thoughts and ballooning them into anger. The pressure would ease if only the words could escape, but they’re stuck; trapped within.

The annoyance lingers, sometimes it disappears, but mostly it sticks around, and grows, and inevitably hurts the very ones I hoped to shield. That is the worst silence, the one where anger simmers underneath, waiting for the right amount of tension and irritation to erupt and catch loved ones by surprise; it’s almost always loved ones. The contradiction between intent and result is stark and firm.

What’s the correct action here? Certainly not Silence; burying down anger until it boils over is a wrecked path to failure. Communication is key, and I remember that each time I fail because I was silent. “Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself” is about Communication. It’s reminding us to not waste time on fools; for that practice Silence. But for the ones we love, for the people who are close and meaningful and worthwhile, practice communication; it will benefit everyone, including yourself.

==

Next Week

Ben Franklin’s 13 Virtues: Week 3, Q3

Order: “Let all your things have their place; let each part of your business have its time.

Personal notes for the week:

  • Busy week ahead, plot it out;
  • Do not over plan, keep it manageable;
  • Each task is usually composed of several steps, list them out;
  • Provide cushion; fill it if needed, enjoy it if not.

Order is not about planning each minute of the week; I’ve done that before and it is folly. Order is about navigating a flexible path, one sure to survive calm waters and thrive in turbulent storms.

Have a great week

Temperance Q3

Ben Franklin’s 13 Virtues: Week 1, Q3

TemperanceEat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.

Personal notes:

  • Limit alcohol;
  • Reduce sugar;
  • Improve meal intake

I always feel a little bit of joy when temperance comes around; a week of lighter food, less alcohol and mindful eating. It’s a short week, but like an overdue vacation, it goes a long way. After just a few days, everything feels lighter and recharged and belts pinch less when buckling.

There was a time when destruction helped me recharge: terrible food, terrible drink, terrible hangover – the furthest thing from rest and relaxation. It was wonderful and comfortable, like an old pair of gray sweatpants, but something had to change or sweatpants would be all I could afford. Along with the growing waistline, the hangovers grew as well. The pain, oh my goodness the pain, it slipped from Monday to Tuesday to Wednesday – I had to stop before it reached Thursday.

I still slip today, and still have a few rough mornings here and there, and the results are still the same. Hangover Saturday is the best day for me to start a losing argument with my wife, yell at the kids for being kids, and generally become an annoying grump. Sleeping it off doesn’t work, the kids don’t sleep and, even if they did, hangover sleep is cheap and fraught. Tossing and turning, hot then cold, a racing heart and panicked dreams – I won’t even mention the indigestion; I need to eat more greens.

Lethargic and gray and stuck on the couch is the surest way for me to stay unhappy; the 13 virtues grow love handles and look terrible in a bathing suit. Does that mean we all need washboard abs? No way. Triathlon? Pass. 26.2 miles? I’ll take a bus. Cozy up to moderation and use this week to reset and redraw the lines. Moderation and temperance, that’s what I’m going for; it’s the extra padding that feels great, gives you something to hold on to and keeps you warm in the water.

==

Next Week

Ben Franklin’s 13 Virtues: Week 2, Q3

Silence: “Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.

Personal notes:

  • Shut up and cut the sarcasm;
  • If angry, do not say anything, it’s a losing proposition;
  • Practice listening;
  • Limit the gossiping;
  • Get away from useless conversation.

Shhhhhhhhh.

Have a great week