Back to Basics; wash, rinse, repeat

My niece Abby and I having a silly moment

I coached ice hockey for many years.  Too many to count.  My styles changed as I grew into the position.  Coaching a group of kids brought me so much joy.  Inevitably some parents would disagree, but I did it well.  I loved coaching defensive zone play.  When the other team was applying a lot of pressure, most poor defenses crumble.  The players usually panic and “run around.”  They lose track of their jobs and chaos rules supremely.  My one rule in this situation; Go Back to your position.  It’s that simple.  Don’t chase the other team around.  Just play your position.  It’s amazing how in times of chaos, my teams would find a way to trust that process.  Typically, we’d get the puck out of harm’s way and be able to turn a negative into a positive.  It’s time for me to get back to those basics.

Thanksgiving weekend wasn’t easy.  The last time we were all together, we were saying goodbye to Jacob.  The last time we were all together, we were blindsided by death.  The last time we all sat in our living room, we had just left a funeral.  We ate from deli trays.  We cried.  We cried a lot.  Not much has changed in these 11+ months.  So much has changed in these 11+ months.  These two sentences are diametrically opposed and BOTH, completely true. 

We went through every motion this year.  We got up.  I made turkey and stuffing.  Naomi made pies and green beans.  Ana and her cousins set the table.  It seemed like any normal Thanksgiving.  It wasn’t.  It was vastly different.  We were not all there.  The holiday felt forced.  We did it but it wasn’t special.  I was happy to see my nieces.  I hadn’t seen my in-laws, so it was nice to see them.  Besides that, I felt nothing.  I was numb and running on empty.  My spiritual bank was overdrawn.  I was tired and incapable of find a fuck to give.  It’s time to heed my advice and get back to basics.  It’s time for me to play my position. 

How do I do that?  How do I not run around as if I were a headless chicken?  How do I play my position and let the results follow?  Last night, I wanted to go to a meeting.  I was exhausted.  I barely made it home from work.  Where is my self-care?  It starts today.  It’s time for Brandt to play some defense.  Here’s my recipe for getting back to basics:

  • Water-I am committing to myself to drink 83 oz. of water
  • Food- no shit food today.  I am going to eat vegetables, protein, and fruit.  Nothing crazy.  Nothing drastic.  Just healthy food today.
  • My list-There are some constants in my life when I am productive.  I have a “daily Task” workbook.  I complete the next day’s task list BEFORE I leave for the night.  When I walk into my office, it’s the first thing I see.  My task list is simple.  I put a check box on the left with the task on the right.  Anything not completed moves to the next day. 
  • Calendar- I make sure to add ALL appointments on my google calendar
  • Sleep-Listen to my body. My biorhythms are out of line right now.  I have no sleep discipline and it has caught up with me.  Tonight’s bedtime is 10PM no matter what.  No excuses
  • Breathing-I am very tight right now.  My jaw clenches.  I will commit to “O” breathing 3 times today.
  • Worry about Brandt- This is the biggest lesson I teach hockey players.  Don’t worry about playing “X’s” position because you feel like he’s messing up.  Handle yourself.  Play your position.  I need to worry about Brandt today.  I cannot help anyone if I’m a mess.  I am a mess. 

The key to all of this is discipline.  Do it today.  Do it tomorrow.  Wash, rinse, repeat. 

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