Liam Holyoak

This is where I write things.

Quitting.

When is it okay to quit? When can you change course?

You don’t want to be a quitter, you don’t want to give up because something is hard.

But how do you know. How do you know when it’s time to quit? How do you know when it’s time for you to change course and start something new. How do you know you’re doing it for the right reasons?

I have no clue. I only have questions. I hope by asking them enough times I can find out answers for myself. It’s different in every scenario, and right now I have no idea if I’m making the right decision. Only time will tell.

Sports.

 

This video is perfectly describes two parts of me. After spending the whole day enjoying the world cup my thoughts are: sure, maybe sports are dumb. But that doesn’t make it any less fun or exciting to participate in. And the sense of camaraderie, and the fact that the whole world (well, besides the US, because we are lame) is participating in this event is pretty incredible.

Try, try again.

I’ve been trying to sort out a way to measure progress.

One that isn’t your run of the mill: number on the scale, money in the bank, followers on Instagram type thing.

The reason I’ve been thinking about this is because measuring progress in a creative field, specifically in writing is really damn difficult.

It’s not easy to see if you are getting better or not.

Hell, I have no idea if I’m getting better, and the same thing goes for fitness, or drawing. Although those latter two have visual markers that make it a bit easier.

So, in convincing myself that I’m doing this. I’ve got to be getting better at it, through sheer number of hours of practice.

I’ve realized that I’m much better at getting back on the horse than I ever have been in my life.

Sure, I have off days. I get thrown off, I get discouraged, I get frustrated.

But the amount of time I spend feeling sorry for myself versus the amount of time I spend on action has significantly changed.

I lean toward action within one to two days. Which is actually remarkable. If I could cut that down a little bit more and be 100% consistent that would of course be ideal.

But, I’m going to give myself a pat on the back, because when I commit to something these days I really commit. And, when things get thrown my way I get back up and keep going.

As long as I have that I’m not sure those run of the mill markers for progress really even matter.

Not so good day, a poem.

My stomach is in knots.

I don’t know why.

The urge strikes me to reach for some candy, sugar.

Something to fill that pit that is starting to grow.

I resist, for now.

For the next hour at least.

I don’t know how I’ll fair throughout the day.

It’s easy to turn to not so healthy habits when I feel this way.

Especially when I can’t figure out why I’m feeling this way.

Maybe just a bad day, maybe I’m not admitting to something I’m feeling.

I’m not sure.

Sometimes I’m in survival mode, other times I’m in thriving mode.

For today, I’ll survive.

Tomorrow, I’ll set my intentions to thrive.

It’s the small things.

From fifty feet away he came galloping up to us. Mouth open wide, tongue flopping around. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him this happy. You are watching him run at top speed. A smile spreads across your face. She is so beautiful. I am so lucky.

After a little family campout we are back to the grind. I’ve got a worn out pup on my hands, and the smell of campfire seems to be lingering on my skin. It’s these moments where I realize how much I have to be grateful for. It’s moments like the one above, we found a secluded meadow and let the pup run. But it’s also the moments at home, or in the car. When we manage to talk the whole drive home, or unload the car and get things cleaned up right away together. It’s funny how much the little things can mean. They only do if you pay attention. The more you look for joy in the small things,  the better off you are in all things.

Take A Break.

Sometimes you need a break. You need to get away. You need space to relax and reset.

There are times when you need that.

And there are times when you don’t.

It’s easy to convince yourself that you have to get away, or get out of town to rest. You don’t. You can make time for yourself everyday. You can carve out space to breathe. Spaces for self-care. Telling yourself you can only rest of you take time off, is a surefire way to burn yourself out.

So do both.

Take vacations.

But more important. Take the time everyday, to allow yourself to chill out.

The time for rest matters just as much the time for work.

Black & White

There aren’t many things in this world that are black and white.

There are zebras, and cows. But other than that most things are some shade of gray.

From political choices, to movie ratings. Most things have people on both sides, and in the middle.

There’s isn’t ever a clear answer.

It’s important to step back from this type of thinking.

People are allowed to be vegan, gun owners, Trump supporters and that doesn’t make them awful people. It’s okay that there are different opinions in this world.

As long as someone is respectful, and kind to everybody. That’s the only thing that matters in my book.

Aside from that, have whatever opinions and belief systems that suit you. And allow everyone else to do the same.

Building a Life.

It’s important to focus on experiences.

Things that don’t have some sort of monetary gain attached to them.

Something you do because it makes you feel good. Which doesn’t mean it has to be easy.

It matters to build a life.

One filled with new, challenging things.

Personally, I’m not the best at this. I’m getting better day, each day at being in each moment.

But we’ve only got so much time on this planet, so it matters to do things purely for the sake of doing them. Laugh more. See more beautiful things. And love the people you’ve got while you’ve got them.

Responsibility

“We cry to God Almighty, how can we escape this agony? Fool, don’t you have hands? Or could it be God forgot to give you a pair? Sit and pray your nose doesn’t run! Or, rather just wipe your nose and stop seeking a scapegoat.” – Epictetus, Discourses, 2.16.13

There is a book called The Daily Stoic, written by Ryan Holiday.

There are 366 stoic meditations in it. This was today’s. I needed the reminder. Take responsibility for yourself. Recognize that you are where you are at because of the choices you’ve made. If you want the future to look different, you have to start making different choices. Life is hard. It’s hell of a lot harder if you can’t figure out how to blow your own nose.

Just breathe.

When things just don’t seem to be going the way you want them to.

Breathe.

If you get cut off.

Breathe.

When you come home to a puppy knee deep in toilet paper.

Breathe.

First breath, then figure out a resolution. There is no sense in getting angry. Anger doesn’t often resolve things.

This little poem is a reminder to myself. Sometimes I need to take a step back and breathe. Then I can move forward.

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