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Life with Phil

Be like the Lion
January 2, 2022

There aren’t enough teachings on how to be or be by yourself in a holy and sacred way. But, there are - consider someone who knows: the lion. At the top of the food chain, they’ve refined themselves to be so poised. They don’t lose focus in life or death situations. Their internal and external states move in unison. It’s an evolved trait made possible with time.

How do humans stand up comparatively? What would it mean to bypass this process and rule anyway? What would the costs be to be ruled by someone anxious?

What would it look like to take the pose of a human as they physically are?
Take a pose,
To change the situation

Blog 2
October 10, 2021

I bought my first operable sailboat without knowing much about how to use it. So, it’s no surprise that Monica, Christian, and I should have sank it on our maiden voyage down the Kinnickinnic River.

The first thing to do was order the marina to haul out The Jolly Roger. Christian agreed to come with Monica and I for the sake of adventure.
The boat was already placed in the river and tied up to the dock when we arrived. We began boarding our things and it wasn’t long before it was time to get the motor running. The motor ran for about 10 minutes before quitting. I did my best to troubleshoot then - not knowing much, and had the motor running again within a few minutes.

Actually, the Kinnickinnic River is a historic water way and as such asks a bit of its travelers. We were heading for the Bay of Milwaukee and specifically to the south shore. From our dock at the marina, there are three bridges to pass through before Lake Michigan. In a sailboat with a 27 foot mast, the city bridges open for you and you coordinate with them as you pass through.
‘Not so bad at all, we thought. The rest is smooth sailing.’ We made it through all three bridges. But then, just as the last drawbridge closed behind us the motor stopped. The downstream current was pushing us backwards now. We had about thirty feet before we’d hit the bridge.

The motor wouldn’t start. Monica threw an anchor overboard. The bridge operator came down from his post. The boat was now turned around and Christian was at the bow of the boat pushing off from the bridge by hand. I FaceTimed my friend for advice and he remained on the line. Everyone was suddenly doing a lot.

At some point, Monica put out a distress call on the VHF radio and that’s what saved us. She mentioned the boats name, The Jolly Roger, and the previous owner heard on channel 16 from the yacht club. Before 10 minutes, he was atop the Kinnickinnic Street Bridge taking part in everything.

Somehow, the motor started running again and ran long enough for us to reach Barnacle Buds. Someone from the restaurant towed us the remaining way to shore and the restaurant allowed us to tie to their docks. At the restaurant, the previous owner of our boat greeted us with beers and we had dinner from the cockpit. It was a lot of stress but a good memory.
The boat had to be towed back to the marina the following day and sat for nearly three weeks before the parts came in and the motor was fixed

June 17, 2021

I literally freaked out when Nick started Distant. This is a blog post about feeling really anxious for an extended period of time. At Thirty years old, I started having panic and anxiety attacks for the first time in my life.
It’s a lot worse than you can imagine. No, you can’t just stop it. It’s something you need to experience to understand. I would’ve just told you to get a grip before it’d ever happened to me.

After a few nights of bad sleep, my right leg felt heavy one morning. I started googling it. Someone else lost feeling in there right leg, and they were using the same skin care medicine as me. A vitamin A derivative I’d already read could be dangerous, So, that’s it I guess. I had vitamin A poisoning.
Well, the information on vitamin A poisoning isn’t pretty. I couldn’t stop googling it.

I wanted to talk to a doctor so badly, but had to wait a month for my newly purchased health insurance to take affect. During this period, I became obsessed with finding my own explanation. I kept googling. I was the most nervous I’d ever been in my life. My heart began to pound day and night. I lost my ability to sleep. When I did fall asleep I’d suddenly jump back every time. I was sure that it was going to be bad news for me.

All that I would talk about was my diagnosis. The people around me became worried. 

One night, I woke up screaming and charging forward through the apartment - thrown from a dream into panic. Trying to sleep became scary. Without sleep, people became scary too. Nothing seemed real. Life was darker than I can explain.

I was shaking and visibly nervous when the doctor came into the room. They threw out my self diagnosis and warned of their alternative: hypochondriac. ‘Just trying to figure out why my leg feels like it’s gone and I have google’, I thought.

“You have general anxiety disorder, is there a reason why you might be so stressed?”

“The leg thing, the sleeplessness, heart rate, those are all very common symptoms of anxiety.”

I felt 50% better immediately, but I was still confused. I also felt ashamed. How did I get myself into this mess?

Was it that I was working so hard back then? What portion of craziness came from general anxiety disorder? What portion came from me feeding into the worry?

- Phil
-About the Blogger-
Phil is a dog dad, a software developer by day, a guitar player by night, and a sailor on the weekends.

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