This post was made in a free verse stream of consciousness. I have not and will not edit anything from this post. Here it is warts and all. More like art than prose.
I was talking to a buddy today that is having issues with balance. He didn’t see them as balance, he was way to busy putting out fires and being overworked to see that. I am lucky that I am in a constantly in a situation where balance and my awareness of it is called into question on a constant basis. But few live in my sphere of influence, and I haven’t been here as long as you may think.
By reading this blog or hanging out with me on social media you may not know but I am a computer nerd. I am a decade and a half long GNU/Linux User, I was an Ambassador and Marketing Team Member of the Fedora Project, I have 3 servers in my home, I was the Director of a Hardware Co-Op (a place that takes unwanted computing equipment and refurbishes it for the underprivileged), I did 4 or so podcasts, I even travelled 13 hours by bus to go to a LinuxFest! That’s right I am a gigantic nerd. This made me very happy for a very long time, but it changed the way my brain worked.
I remember during these years having arguments with my significant other (SO) about, why can’t you be logical! Why can’t you talk in a structured manner! Stories would meander like a hike in the woods, but what I wanted was a clear man page (man pages are like short Wikipedia articles on how to use a program in Linux) or technical documentation. My attention span was about 10 seconds. I needed popup notifications, and bells, and chimes, and flashing text, and, and I needed more input. Or so I thought.
When I started doing Kung-Fu that started to change. What I needed was movement, and fewer distractions, and accomplishments, and to constantly improve. Or so I thought.
Life is about balance. The Author Cory Doctorow once said “Engineers are all basically high-functioning autistics who have no idea how normal people do stuff.” (Eastern Standard Tribe, 2004) and I don’t disagree. All computer nerds have a certain level of Social Retardation. It’s what happens when your passion keeps you from face to face social interaction.
Notice I said FACE TO FACE interaction. Facebook, reddit, IRC, forums, mailinglists, and Skype are not face to face interactions.
OK so all I need to do is hang out with people in meat space, right!?! Well yes and no. What you need to do is diversify who you are hanging out with. Remember when I said that Kung-Fu was the solution to everything but then it wasn’t? You can spend too much time with improvers too. Not just Kung-Fu people but Financial Coaches, Health Experts, and Self Help Gurus. I didn’t really realize this until I dislocated my knee cap and tore my ACL. I was on the couch for a month while my insurance was sorted out. So since I couldn’t get in to do Kung-Fu I figured I should check in with my old computer pals. I found out they were not evil people who kept you from getting exercise, kept you wanting to buy stuff, and weirdo automatons (ok some of them may actually be weirdo automatons). They are just people. It was technology or my friends that was the issue… the issue is balance. It’s all about balance.
I hear it often that you are an amalgamation of the 5 people you spend the most time with. I believe this. So you need to pick this group carefully. Get 5 people on your “Social Team” that are from different groups. I do still think that negative people should still be if not avoided, should have limited contact. But yeah, consciously pick your Social Team, pick from as broad a population as you can.
I try to balance my time (whether face to face or in some type of media) between Comedians and Artists (they have spoken to my soul more than any preacher I have ever talked to) , Improvement People, Nerds (this includes Gun people, yes gun people are nerds), My SO (We influence each other greatly), and the people I grew up with (as long as they are not destructively negative).
So there you are, now shoot out your five love tendrals and attach to your Social Team, you know scratch that, you Social Tribe. Shoot out your five love tendrals and attach to your Social Tribe to create a vast symbiotic meta being. A Voltron of Love and Belonging. Strike fear and anguish into hatred and loneliness. Big Kiss, mwah!
Hey did you know I have a mailinglist? It’s pretty awesome I have all kinds of tips and tricks in there to supercharge your full life upgrade.
go to https://kungfuwithwashu.com/join-the-team/ to sign up.