04 – substitutes

Tea. Tea has substituted my nightly snack of either ice cream or cookies or both. If I ever feel the urge to grab a sweet treat from the refrigerator or cupboard, I heat up some water and drink some tea instead. It doesn’t satisfy my sugar cravings, but it appeases my “gotta-munch-on-something” craving. I have to watch what I eat because my metabolism is slower than molasses now.

As I get older, I’m making substitutions for things not because I want to, but because I have to.

I can’t run anymore, so I’ve substituted biking for running. Well, I can probably run, but my feet wouldn’t be happy and I really don’t want to know what the long term effect of all this running is doing. If intense pain lasts for days or weeks after a 10-mile run, well, in 10 or 20 years, all of that pain will probably surface as something. So, I’m going to avoid it.

I’ve substituted video games with…well…everything else. I think the last time I seriously played anything was Katamari Damacy 1 and 2 on my PS2, which is gathering dust. I picked up Guitar Hero 3 for my PS2 when it came out, but I’ve only played it a few times. I’m amazed at all the time I spent playing games when I could have been reading or building something or tinkering.

Ironically, I’ve substituted my lead foot with games. On the freeway, my game is – “let’s see if you can drive and keep the speedometer below 70.” On surface streets, my game is – “let’s see how slowly you can build up speed so you can time the next stop light so it’s green.” Having a gutless Honda Civic helps…and I’ve been rewarded with an average of 35MPG.

I’ve been good this year and I’ve substituted my 8-hour work days with REAL 8-hour work days. I get a good 8-hours of work done…but it just takes 10-11 hours. All those meetings and BS-ing and conversations really cut into my efficiency and output. I’m forced to be as productive as I can since I’m heading up a project with a very tight schedule and milestones that are critically monitored by customers. Unfortunately, this means that I have to get in to work around 5:30 – 6:00 AM and get out between 5:00 and 6:00 PM. I don’t think I can do this all the time, since it’s resulted in an amazing intake of caffeine.

Caffeine – can’t find any substitutes for that. I don’t function without coffee in the morning.

My family. No substitute for that either. At the end of the day, I’m doing everything so I can hopefully maximize my time with my family and make sure I’m around for as long as I can be to watch my kids grow up.

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