*** SHOW NOTES ***
Recorded in the beautiful home office, Chateau Relaxo.
We are a solid 2 months into the craziness, and there’s only so many puzzles you can work, NetFlix only offers so much and the latest quarantine recipe is giant sous vide bag of suck.
Don’t get down, more on that in a bit, there are still plenty of ways to keep you entertained.
Review and cancel subscriptions. – We did this about four years ago when we moved into Chateau Relaxo and recently did this again and it was interesting to see all the $4/$5/$6 dollar charges that crept back in. The number one culprit was content subscriptions. In addition to our cable TV subscription we had also subscribed to CBS All Access, Hallmark this, Hallmark that. Basically any Hallmark channel where the lady should be with the local veterinarian and not the high powered attorney living in New York City. Think Reese Witherspoon in Sweet Home Alabama
Start a vegetable and herb garden. – In addition to our Rosemary shrub, oregano topiary, and Basil bush we planted tomatoes and peppers. Stick around for one epic bowl of salsa late summer.
Sleep without alarms. – I’ve done this for years, and recently the CEO has adapted to this as well. This is the longest I’ve slept in my own bed in the last 20 years.
Start (or continue) a daily meditation/prayer practice. – I start each day out with a few mindful minutes. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy or even that structured but I enjoy collecting myself each morning.
Reach out to family members and friends by text, video, calls, and letters. – I talk to my family at least twice a week. A phone call goes a long way, and besides no one is paying long-distance charges anymore.
Do a few simple DIY projects using items already on hand – We had a bunch of smooth river rocks sitting in an old abandoned planter grabbed some leftover paint from when the CEO was in the classroom and created a handful of colorful painted Mandala rock for the yard.
Teach yourselves some new skills. – When I spoke with Mark Peacock of the Travel Commons podcast he mentioned that he and his with were taking a free online cooking class from Harvard. Nikon is also offering up free photography classes, and Skillshare is always running some sort of a promo. You’ve had 8 weeks, invest in yourself.
Spend as much time outside – Vitamin D, it comes in something besides pill form. Go for a walk, go for a run. Lather up with some SPF and sit in our driveway. The warm rays will do wonders for you.
Read (or listen to Audible Books) – There are some classics out there.
The Power of Positive Thinking – Norman Vincent Peale. I was given this book in 1978 and even at the young age of 14 it taught me a lot, the most meaningful was how to have a positive mindset.
How To Win Friends and Influence People – Dale Carnegie. This book was written almost 90 years ago and the information is still relevant. This is a handbook for life,I give this book and Think And Grow Rich by Napolean Hill, to every High School graduate that I know.
Start (or continue) a journal. – I use the app DayOne and for the last 673 days, I’ve spent a few minutes typing of speaking my thoughts into the free app. My favorite part is their “On This Day” feature where you can review what you were doing on that day in the previous years.
Learn a “party trick,”. – Everyone should have a go-to trick. Card trick, rope trick, or memory trick it doesn’t matter, but it needs to on that you can pull off at the drop of a hat, and it has to work every time. Also, everyone needs one go-to “Clean” joke. The three “B’s” – Be brief, be brilliant and be gone
Establish some healthy daily habits, like flossing or an exercise routine. – Sounds stupid be it’s worth it.
Make a “time capsule. – If you have young kids this can be a blast. Fill a shoebox with whats important to them right now, stick it in a closet and give it to them on their wedding day, college graduation, or the birth of their first child.
Use the things you’ve been saving for a “special occasion.” – Well, we’ve taken full advantage of that around Chateau’ Relaxo. Over the last few years, we’ve built a decent bourbon/whiskey collection. Over the last few weeks, we’ve been taking the time to crack a few of those bottles. George Dickle, bottled in bond, 1792 Full Proof, Larceny, Buffalo Trace, and Wayne Gretzky’s Canadian best.
Set some goals. – I always have a goal list, some I hope to accomplish in the next 12 months some a bit longer and some after my death. My number one “after death” goal is to be cremated, my ashes put in an urn… seems pretty mundane. For my wake, I want my urn displayed as an ashtray, and then one of my friends comes by taps his cigar ash and say “It looks like Steve’s putting on some weight”.
Take one day at a time.- We are, so stay patient, offer some grace and we’ll all come out of this on the other side.
Honestly, I miss traveling, I miss seeing something new every day, I miss talking to new people and I miss the excitement of coming home at the end of the week. This doesn’t mean that you can’t travel, it means that you have to do it virtually.
I’ve spent a bunch of years living in Florida, and there are a few animals that I’m still in awe of. The first is the alligator, because I know if I’m patient long enough some Florida Man will provoke it enough to lose an arm or leg. The other is the manatee, the gentle sea cow, cruising the canals and springs with nary a care. You can watch the ones at Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park and Blue Spring State Park via WebCam.
I’m a fan design, a bigger fan of functional design. I also appreciate the simple design. For example, Apple, like them or not they understand simple design. Rounded corners and sleek lines their products beg to be picked up and fondled. Before my current gig, I spent about 8 years of building custom furniture. Absolutely fulling to sketch out a custom section sofa and them watch over the course of a week the progress as the frame is cut and assembled, then polyfoam is tacked in place, and then finally everything is covered in fabric.
One of my favorite architects is/was Frank Lloyd Wright, and has no relation to the Wright Brothers of Kitty Hawk fame. Architectural Digest has put together 20 Frank Lloyd Wright Buildings You Can Tour Virtually
Every Thursday at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT through July 9, each site shares a video tour of another site. The tours are remarkably in-depth and informative, as they’re often given by the directors of each house.
Here are just a few of the properties spotlighted
The Kraus House (1950)—Ebsworth Park, Missouri The house was designed and constructed for Russell and Ruth Goetz Kraus, and the initial design was conceived in 1950. Construction continued until at least 1960 and was never formally completed. The owners lived in the house for about 40 years (Ruth died in 1992). This home still retains the Wright-designed furnishings and fabrics from the 50-60’s.
The Laurent House—Rockfield, Illinois – The only house Wright designed with handicap access. In 1958, the Laurents again turned to Wright when they wanted an addition to their house. The Laurents did not like the first set of designs Wright made, and Wright died before he was able to draft a second. The addition was designed in 1960 by Evanston architect John H. “Jack” Howe, former Wright apprentice.
Wright’s design influence is everywhere. Next time you’re in Lowes or Home Depot visit the lighting department, all those fixtures of wood and stained glass came from Wright’s designs.
My dream is to retire into a 2200 sq ft arts and craft styled home
So what should you do if you’re feeling in the gutter?
I’ve had a handful of meltdowns in the last 8-weeks, have you? Guess what, it’s to be expected. What I hate is the “apology tour” that follows.
Without getting all Dr. Phil try naming your emotions — something that is incredibly difficult to do, especially during a global pandemic.
Depression – It’s a reality, your mind starts racing, the unknown creeps in, which leads to this thought, and that thought, next you feel as if there’s no way to get in front of all these emotions and thoughts so you figure WTH. Welcome to the land of depression, and guess what it’s normal and it visits all of use. Just remember sarcasm is depressions, ugly cousin.
Boredom – We just spent 10 minutes covering boredom reducing activities. Repeat after me, you’re not hungry, just bored.
Panic – Mute the sirens in your head — or at least learn to turn them down. Whether it’s getting energy out or keeping it in, meditation and naps have your back.
Impulsivity – Stay off Amazon, QVC & HSN. You really don’t anything.
Fear – Maybe you feel really, really small today. Spend time planning your next trip. Put together 20-minute blocks of TV, nap, or go for a walk.
Plan out the first part of your day.
- 7:00 a.m. wake up
- 7:15 a.m. meditate/journal
- 7:30 a.m. go for a walk
- 8:00 a.m. shower
- 8:15 a.m. breakfast
- 9:00 a.m. start work
Within the first 2 hours of the day, you’ve easily accomplished 4 important “self-care” tasks.
Take care of you so that you can take care of others
While no strategy can remedy all of the concerns (financial woes, family matters, and the general virus), always schedule time in your day or week to practice radical self-compassion. Because, right now, feeling your best is exactly the right thing to do.
By grounding ourselves in routines of self-care and compassion, we’re better able to help the communities around us without being affected by other people’s fear and anxiety. It’s a silver lining to this tragedy: The more we can take care of each other, the more we are able to thrive, together.