Below are some of the small things in life that I love and why I love them. I can’t wait to share these with you some day.
I love to swim because it’s quiet, almost rhythmic. When I swim, I slip into a different world. On the surface I swim to exercise, but it goes much deeper. As I stretch through the water, tilting side-to-side, the muffled splashing, sense of weightlessness, and singular focus lull me into a trance. This forced quiet is like a healing salve for my often exhausted mind. When swimming, I am forced to face down my mind. I have no other choice but to take a long look at what’s going on in there. Without distraction I am forced to resolve.
Confession, I recently did the nerdiest that I have ever done in my life (some may argue this). I participated in a local Android Netrunner tournament and it was exactly what you would expect. At the risk of being ridiculed for the rest of my life, here is a picture…
Even my nerdiest friends, you know who you are, have teased me about this. I don’t care.
I love this game and I love how it challenges my brain. It’s the perfect blend of creativity, analytics and competition. You see, I have this itch inside of me. I don’t know where it comes from but I need to scratch it. It’s best described as a creative strategy itch. I frequently need to bury myself in something that challenges my ability to think ahead, form a plan, and execute the plan.
In short, I need a game to play. Right now, this is my game.
Single Origin Coffee
Most have never tasted good coffee and thus believe that they don’t like coffee. What they dislike is the coffee equivalent of burned toast. Take rye, wheat, and white bread and put them all in the toaster for too long. What happens? Well, they stop tasting like unique bread and all taste like burned toast – no matter the type. Thanks Starbucks.
I love a coffee from a single farm or region that has been roasted in such a way to tease out the flavors of origin. Combine this with a labor-intensive brew method and you have something special. Do you taste strawberries? Chocolate? The complexity of flavor profiles is nothing short of incredible.
I hope that by the time you read this, delicious and nuanced coffee will be the norm. I also hope that you will share my love for coffee someday.
A dear friend of mine recently gave me a pipe as a gift. I absolutely love it. I love the process of smoking a pipe. From tobacco selection, cleaning, packing, and nurturing to smoky life, every step is steeped in tradition and care. I love letting it cool, setting it down, then re-stoking it. I like the pacing of a pipe. There is no urgency, no imminent end.
A pipe feels ancient – like I am reaching back into history and connecting with another time.
Speaking of reaching back into history…
I am not talking about page-turner dime novels here. While I see their place, I dislike mindless escapes at the mercy of mediocre authors. They are shallow and sometimes fun.
A good story in the hands of a master author, however, is an entirely different matter. They do so much more than just tell a story. They stir the soul. In fact, some of these books have inspired some of my most heartfelt letters to you.
Tip: go back and re-read all those boring books that you were forced to read in high-school later in life. You’ll be shocked at what you find.
“No book is really worth reading at the age of ten which is not equally – and often far more – worth reading at the age of fifty and beyond.”
Slowing Life Down
I realized something. All of these small things tend to slow down my life. They pull me away from my phone, social media, and screens in general. There is even something elemental about a few of these – smoke, water, tilled earth. Maybe “small” is the wrong term. Perhaps they are an expression of love. Who knows?
Regardless, I seriously cannot wait to turn you into a mouth-breathing, slippy-glasses-wearing, slightly sweaty Android Netrunner champion.