➡✉FORWARD: Rest, Recover, Bake Cookies, and Oxford Comma.

📏👀 TL;DR

I didn’t “ship it” last week. People noticed! 😣 I didn’t beat myself up about it. 🥰 This week we’re going to talk about taking time for yourself, being present, and experiencing life.

🤑🌎 Must Scroll: (5 min)

Matt Korostoff dropped an interactive experience that helps you conceptualize Jeff Bezo’s $200B personal wealth. If you scroll long enough, he addresses the wealth distribution of the US (Spoiler Alert: 400 people own more assets than the bottom ~200,000,000 people combined.) If this creates cognitive dissonance for you, he also provided links to his sources.

Pro-Tips: If you’re on mobile, rest your thumb and grab an ice pack, it’s a long scroll. If you’re on a desktop, hold the right arrow key.

🎃🔪 Must Watch: (3 min)

He started his career as a school teacher, but is now the most famous pumpkin carver in the world. Ray Villafane took the art to a new level applying sculpting tools from the world of clay to America’s favorite form of cucurbitaceae.

There’s a wonderful celebration of impermanence in Ray’s sculptures. Building masterpieces in an ephemeral medium reminds me of Tibetan sand mandalas.

🚶‍♀️🗣🔤 Must Try: (1-15 min)

That certain someone is walking past your house again, talking to themselves. You see them all the time, always walking, always talking to themselves. What a weirdo!

I’m that guy! It’s great! It’s changed my life in the past 3 weeks.

When I’m not marching in the endless parade of zoom calls, I walk around Hamburg, NY dictating my thoughts into my phone. Android and iOS both have a dictation feature. You click a microphone icon and they will translate your words to text in any app. Both systems are INCREDIBLY accurate! Thank you robot overlords, we live in the future!

I walk about 20 extra miles a week and complete 60% of my knowledge work while I do it. Buy a Bluetooth headset with noise-cancellation to improve dictation accuracy. It improves your clarity when forced to call in because you’ve misjudged your ETA on your return trip.

☸🔛🔛 Must Listen: (5-8 min)

A masterpiece of 90’s Ambient Techno featuring the drums of the Roland TR-909. Halcyon (Live at Glastonbury) brings the original recording to the next level. 5:00 in to the track, Orbital weaves two loops featuring Bon Jovi and Belinda Carlisle. The samples create new sentences as the choruses overlap.

This was the first mp3 I downloaded (Circa 1999). I’d reboot to DOS and use DOSAMP to play it. My computer didn’t have the processing power to decode the mp3 while running Windows.

👨‍👩‍👧‍👦🍪 Closing Thoughts:

Enforce time off for yourself. Even if it’s only an hour during the work day or your weekend. Disengage and unplug! Sheltering in place blurs the boundaries between home and work. These changes are here to stay, even after we defeat the viral threat. You need to adapt to maintain our health.

It’s easier to say no when you have a why. My personal “why” is my children, I’m unbookable from 5pm until 9pm when they’re asleep. That’s their time and I refuse to give it to someone else unless their need is both urgent and important. They’re also part of the reason I spend time on my physical and mental health, I am a strong role model for them.

Commit to blocking time on your calendar. Explore the ideas and practice activities you want to improve in. Spend it working on your physical and mental health.

This weekend I baked cookies with my children. The last time I baked cookies, I was in a Home Economics class in High School. I’m so thankful that I made the time to share an experience with them. We taste-tested chocolate chips, talked about the chemistry involved: ingredients, measuring, heat. The kid delivered them to our neighbors, building community through direct action.

At 36, There are stories that I’ve been telling myself about my future for over 10 years. What if that tomorrow never comes? Only the present exist, experience it. The past is a story you tell yourself, the future is your best guess.

Start today! Do things you’ve always planned to do “when you have the time.”

What activity will you make time for this weekend? Hit reply and let me know!

With Kindness and Respect,

Clark

p.s. Thank you for reading FORWARD the newsletter for Curious and Impactful People.

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🔲 Sit up straight, focus on experiencing 10 slow breaths

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Author: Clark Dever

I am a storyteller who uses technology as a force multiplier. As a super-connector in my social graph, I grow my community by creating collisions of ideas between doers. I have a passion for building community and executing collaborative ventures.

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