A Collection of Moments

2015-08-23 09.08.27This week marks the start of the school year and that should enable me to get back to blogging.

Last weekend, I had the opportunity to knock out 13 hours of cycling and 13,000 vertical feet.

Even better, I got to visit with an old friend from New Zealand, Scott Molina.

2015-08-22 11.58.47Above are a couple of local characters out for Rollyfest – happening halfway between my house and the Continental Divide. I stopped in, both days, for a large pourover. Yes, those are pipes (below).

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I was thoroughly blasted when I arrived in Winter Park (elevation 9,100 ft) and got a kick out of the Kiwi recovery set-up…

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I opted for the toast.

You learn a lot about a guy when you train together. Scott’s one the nicest people I’ve ever met.

One of Molina’s quirks is that he likes to get dressed for the first session of the day, the night before. When we shared a room, he’d sleep in his run gear (and have his morning coffee pre-brewed).

True to form… here is with his mountain bike shoes on the night before…

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It was made clear, by Erin (Scott’s wife), that this wasn’t an “epic” camp, which suited me fine.

However, I was the only one that had done their final route in the last twenty years (!) and knew they had some surprises heading their way.

Kiwis don’t complain…

They don’t complain when the planned route is detoured up a 100-year old wagon track above the pass…

They don’t complain when they double-end-o down the rough descent…

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And they certainly don’t complain when they have to hike-a-bike over a collapsed tunnel at 11,600 feet (red jersey over my shoulder)…

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I was soooo grateful that the route wasn’t my idea!

In addition to the temporary hardships, we had remarkable views…

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Such a pleasant change to focus on helping others, rather than my next session.

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Life is what you focus on.

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What are you doing when you’re thinking about love?

Time Enough For Love

loveA conversation that I’ve had with a few friends.

A friend shared that he noticed that he hates being rushed and he also aims to be early for every appointment. His solution is to compromise sleep so that he’s able to arrive early for every appointment.

When I look closely, I find that it is impossible to enjoy anything when I hurry. I was surprised by how little I need to slow down to increase enjoyment.

Later in our conversation, he shared that his doc simultaneously recommended that he reduce his stress load and start testosterone supplementation.

I advised against because, you’ll simply cram more into your life and not address the underlying cause of your fatigue.

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Later I shared my own story…

Rather than focusing on what’s important, I have been asking, Who is important? Who are the people on my list?

My list is spouse, kids, family and a couple friends. That’s who I’m truly working for.

I then asked myself, “Am I willing to change to be truly available to those people?”

I’ve decided to start small.

Write a list of five people (the important) and drop the urgent when you have the chance to be with them.

Dropping everything sounds severe but, in reality, it consists of looking away from a book or computer screen.

In the evening, it can be as simple as sitting between my daughters on the couch and doing housework after they go to bed.

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What does being available to the people that love us have to do with being rushed, high stress and testosterone supplementation?

Put another way, why am I rushed, stressed and exhausted?

If you look deeply then you may find a core belief that you have to cram MORE into your life to serve your family and win the respect of others.

However, this will never satisfy because what your family truly needs is YOU, your presence, your love, your time.

Pleasure, Happiness and Joy

pancakeI came across a book that shared many stories about happiness.

One of the stories is how we fool ourselves by mistaking pleasure for happiness. An example might be…

  • 1 square of chocolate is pleasure
  • 20 squares of chocolate is a tummy ache

The slogan being… Pleasure Consumes Itself

The risk being… we become slaves to chasing pleasure.

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A story…

Our three-year old was having a tough morning and we weren’t making progress getting him ready for school.

So I picked him up, picked his socks up, picked his shoes up and picked his bag up…

…and headed out the door with the little guy in my arms.

He was screaming that he wanted to go back to the house and put all his stuff on, himself.

As that’s what I wanted him to do, originally, I agreed.

However, I said,

Sure you can go inside. First you need to calm down. We’re going to do it together. I’m going to count to three and we will take a breath after each number.

I held his hand, looked into his eyes, smiled and said…

One, big breath, hold, exhale

He was still crying but took the breath with me.

I said…

Two, big breath, hold, exhale

By this point, he cracked a smile through his tears.

Three, you did it. You’re calm. I’m so happy!

And we walked back into the house to have a “do over” on the departure.

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In reflecting on this story, I noticed that my son taught me to be happy with another person’s success, his own.

I also noticed that I would have been unable to learn without experiencing the pain of his initial meltdown.

The joy we shared was much deeper than anything offered by a piece of chocolate.

I also noticed that I can remember his success and bring myself back to that moment.

If a three-year old can transcend himself then what’s my excuse?

🙂

The Village in my Sienna

mobileMonday’s article touched on a trait that makes me an effective investor: the capacity to see the options inside the deal.

My ability to see second and third order effects isn’t limited to finance.

Last week, Mr. Money Mustache published an article about the cost of buying more assets than we need.

I confess that I am an expert at living above my needs.

The fact that I have earned the “means” does not change the reality of my choices.

A story!

Our local hospice has a partnership with an organization in Tanzania. One of their joint projects is building houses for widows and orphans.

It costs $600 to sponsor a house.

These days, I drive a 2011 Toyota Sienna AWD van. The Sportsmobile (pictured above) was sold when my kids arrived.

$600 is the semi-annual cost to insure and register my Sienna. Two houses a year.

Last week, I spent a house on new tires!

The good people at Mint.Com tell me that my Sienna is worth $21,499.

Swapping my Sienna for a cargo bike, would net 30 houses and save my family 6 houses annually, forever.

Over a decade, this choice could help 500 people with the loss of their spouse or parent.

I have been to Tanzania and these are good people to help.

The cost of this change is inconvenience when the weather isn’t great and a reduced ability to go on driving vacations.

The benefit would be knowing that hundreds of kids ride with me each day.

I told my wife that I’m going to wait a year on selling the Sienna.

However, the cargo bike arrives this month. I financed it by selling items that I put to one side last spring.

Change slowly.