Nov 29 – Nira’s First Full Day

Sunrise/Sunset: 6:51 am/ 4:13 pm

Foo Song: Savior Breath from new EP

Sunrise Pic:

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I slept 11 hours. When has that happened? Man I needed it. Took out kiddos and doggy to SW Corridor. Then Alana and I went to Whole Foods. Note to self: best time to grocery shop, like a reverse commuter wins on the Mass Pike 🙂

Left at 11:15 or so on 8-mile run in 57 minutes up to REI Boston in the Fenway area and back? Hmm, must’ve been Savior Breath that motivated me. Kids made mega breakfast. I love that. Then the kids and I raked leaves together. Builds character. Then we took doggy to Arboretum. It’s so awesome to have Nira, giving us all something to focus our energy on. Then back home for sunset. Early sunset. Ugh. This part of the year is tough for that reason. Wife never got out of pj’s. Ugh.

Then Facebook trapped me. Political crap around voter id laws. It never ends. Islamaphobia. Racism. Damn. Suddenly didn’t set myself up for such a good night sleep as I spun in circles trying to understand why my family has such different points of view. But I let it suck me down a bad rabbit hole. Bad evening habits are tough to break. However, each day seems to have its ups and downs. I just want to have more days with awesome highs and feel exhausted from physical exertion and mental exploration, as I feel when hitting it hard on a mountain bike or big mountain hike.

As one goal for the coming year, I definitely want to focus more on my bedtime and wakeup routines and rituals to set me up for success. That’s going to be key.

A couple of great posts about morning and bedtime rituals from Bembu.com

 

Nov 15 – Closing Down the NH Resort and Going Old School

Sunrise/ Sunset:  6:39am in Meredith NH  / 4:22pm in Boston

Foo Song:  Long Road to Ruin

Sunrise pic (no selfie today):

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It was a rare day for me in that it was tough to wake up, but I got out, got my family some breakfast at the local grocery store, and shook off the lethargy with a 7-mile run into the hills along Lake Winnepesaukee.  Nothing much else too adventurous today. Just fun in a pool and hot tub overloaded with Bromine, then a search for a decent place for breakfast.

Unlike in my youth, where my dad and I made a point of finding the greasiest spoon in town possible (particularly Angel’s Diner in Palatka Diner), my wife and kids held me to a higher standard. We tried a couple of places in sleepy Meredith, but somehow they didn’t pass the literal smell test. We ended up at a hippy (overpriced) little cafe in Meredith called Hakuna (Lion King ringing in our heads). During breakfast, Mateo announced very loudly “I have to poop,” causing the waitress to crack up. After lightening our loads 🙂 and closing down the resort (we were the last guests to check out for the season), we went on a meandering (intestinally inspired?) GPS-less drive around the shores of the lake.

This brings me to one of the major Dave paradoxes. I love technology and don’t mind messing with the latest apps that supposedly make life easier or more efficient, but anytime I run up against something that limits my freedom or ability to just explore, I have a visceral anti-tech reaction. I hate GPS’s, I was a late cell phone adopter, and I’d rather just wander around in a new city than plan ahead using Yelp or Trip Advisor.

Anyway, our drive included some cool overlooks and a drive thru stop at Dunkin Donuts. This family definitely runs on Dunkin. Especially Mateo. But as city folk, drive thrus are still rare. That’s new technology for us.

I’ll leave you with some pics of the invasive wildlife:

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Nov 9 – Leading like Spongebob

Sunrise/sunset: 6:27/4:30

Foo Song: What if I Do? (“Carolina, Caroline”)

Management theme of the day: Leadership, leading from the middle, and following a thread of opportunism.

Sunrise pics:

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Today, I biked in with Yven Echeverria. It’s been great to have him up from Mexico. I’m inspired by guys like him, who gave up smoking and totally changed his life for the better. Now he literally runs up high altitude volcanoes before breakfast. And the guy somehow led us at EcoLogic through complex project coaching while experiencing the birth of his first child, Ambar.

I love facilitation, but today’s work felt like a pretty monstrous task, where I did so much up front to prepare the day, but I love to facilitate experiences and events and to organize people, so it felt right. I’m never quite sure how to balance between pushy and laid back, but when meetings and groups lack energy, I get fired up. I was thrilled to see everyone jump up and take turns to facilitate. Tough position when leading from the middle. But I’m really, genuinely proud of myself. And none of this would have been possible without my early identification of resources and key people online.

Annette Stewart, an all-star conservation coach and manager from Australia, has helped revolutionize how conservation organizations use business processes to do better work. I aw her presentation online, cold called her, and started a relationship that ended up bringing her to Cambridge to inspire our Board and staff and help us make this really come together. And Yven came to us originally through an online network that I set up after jumping at the opportunity to attend a Capacity Building for Conservation conference in Colombia in 2013. The network, using Yammer, pretty much fizzled out, but Yven found us through it and via other former colleagues at the Nature Conservancy who were paying attention to the Yammer group, then discovered that we had a job opening. Again, one thing led to another, but it was far from luck or serendipity. This all came together thanks to openness and opportunism and instincts.

It’s these instincts that I think this are a particular strength of mine. I get excited about a lot of things, tend to see the glass 3/4 full all the time, but I’m not just jumping up and down at every opportunity. I still know how to filter, but I don’t necessarily operate systematically. It’s like I get in a special mental mode of connectivity that puts me in the flow.

With my optimism, I liken myself a bit to Spongebob. But I’m not quite as oblivious most of the time. In fact, I love messing with the Squidwards of the world and tend to get along well with the Patricks!!  I can also sing the entire Spongebog theme song from memory – “Who lives in a pineapple under the sea … Flop like a fish …”

Today I was in a Spongebobby flow all day long, and even ended on a fishy note at the Summer Shack, where I chowed down on a plate of jerk spiced bluefish. A spicy way to end a good day of working hard.

And capped it off by a night bike ride home to JP with Yven, my kind of guy …

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Nov 6 – Rebounding to Work the Boards

Sunrise/Sunset: 6:23 / 4:33

Foo song o’ the day: DOA

Sunrise photos:

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In tenth grade, when the Orlando Magic started as an NBA expansion team franchise (1990-ish), I started to learn a lot more about basketball. Maybe in part because I was one of those kids whose shooting ability didn’t match expectations (you’re tall, you must be great at hoops), I always found the guys who could work the boards the most intriguing. A player for an opposing team, Dennis Rodman, may have turned out to be a tad nuts, but his rebounding ability was uncanny. Working the boards is hard work.

Today, when I think about boards, I tend to think mostly about nonprofit boards, especially EcoLogic’s. Today was day one of our annual in-person board meeting. Last year it was in Honduras, staying together at an ecolodge (The Lodge at Pico Bonito, pretty spectacular place), taking time to raft the Rio Cangrejal and snorkel the Cayos Cochinos (man, I love to dive deep with a snorkel…).

This time around, it was just business, in our new office, with guests from Australia and Mexico. I felt really proud that I’ve been able to attract this outside talent and help for our organization, and that many of my colleagues and contributors to the organization can trace their engagement back to me, their time as interns, and more.

But the day was intense. I always feel so conflicted. Like I’d rather be doing something else. Wondering if, when I’m old, whether I’ll have any time, talent, or treasure to give, and whether I’d want to do it on a Board with (stifling!!) stuff like Roberts Rules of Order. Robert is lame. But necessary. I think.

We ended the evening with a feast at Bill Green’s house. Wow. He’s so dedicated to our mission and team. Definitely humbling. My ride home to JP via taxi with Yven was solid. Lots to talk about and prepare for the coming days, rebounding from past challenges over and over again.

Nov 5 – Skipping Stones Across the Rainy Isles with Towelie

Sunrise / Sunset: 6:22 / 4:34

Foo Song: Bridge Burning

Sunrise pic:

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Melon Mustachio

This morning I awoke with ideas for band names. Sometimes it happens. I find my mind is often spinning in wordplay with puns and double meaning. This one’s not gross or funny, just my mind marveling at Isles vs. Aisles. Yep, not genius! This whole post, however, is bound to skip around a bit. That’s just how I feel today. A little scattered.

But across the aisle is also an important theme for me in my life – one that’s about reaching and building bridges (not burning them as my Foo song choice would imply). Last night I watched a brilliant, and horrible, South Park episode about the Man from the Future called “Goobacks.” Guess it’s par for the course with me and my interest in future (Goobacks obey the Terminator rules for time portals, i.e. they’re one-way, not the two-way Back to the Future kind, and not the other kind which is just dumb). Somehow, with their brand of irreverent “piss everyone off” humor, they always seem to hit a nerve, exposing the rifts in ‘Merica and making sure to skewer anyone who takes themselves too seriously or thinks their position is the right one. If we could learn to laugh at ourselves and our beliefs a la South Park, this country would be a better place. As long as Towelie is never president. Though Towelie sure beats Donald Trump.

Given this blog is set up to honor not only the Food Fighters but also Douglas Adams and number 42, it’s worth noting how important a towel is for Adams and his Hitchhiker’s Guide series. I wonder if there’s any connection there. Probably not.

Speaking of scifi and time travel, here are more flicks to consider: http://entertainment.ie/cinema/news/Top-10-Time-Travel-Movies-That-Arent-Back-To-The-Future/371875.htm

Today begins a month of intensity at work with a Board meeting, Yven’s and Annette’s visit, and more. And also prepping for Mateo and Nina b-day parties. Woohoo. When it rains it pours. Like in the British isles. Yep, forcing this post to cohere…

Thinking a lot about triggers, some on the context of songs as triggers, like the cat screeching in this Foo Video at the 15-second count that I use to prompt my mind so I can sing it in my head and ramp up to the chorus and power chords to run hard up hills.

Speaking of triggers, I stumbled across this today: http://www.amazon.com/Triggers-Creating-Behavior-Lasts–Becoming-Person/dp/0804141231/

And then I found myself exploring a post about goal setting: www.linkedin.com/pulse/how-successful-people-set-goals-follow-through-marshall-goldsmith

marshall goldsmith on goals

If only I could find more ways to trigger myself into sticking with goals …