By: Thomas W. Schulte, CFP®
If an upbringing in Syracuse has provided me with anything, it is the understanding of long, dark winters. Given the current biological, political, and social environments (or lack thereof), I predict an even darker winter than the ones I experienced at home. I figure I have two options: quasi-hibernation—going through the mission critical steps of the day, which are limited to sleeping, eating and working, filling in free-time with more eating and reruns of “The Office”. Alternatively, I can use this dreadful season to better myself. Since November, I have been trying my best to embrace the latter. In the spirt of the community within our USWM bubble and to spark a few ideas of your own, I wanted to share my recently adopted routine:
Mind in the mornings: Per the recommendations of my family and friends alike, I have begun learning how
to code through the online learning website, Udemy. Each morning around 6am I brew a cup of coffee and watch five to six classes on Python (the most versatile of coding languages) and follow the keystrokes along on my computer. For someone that has never taken a computer science class before, I am just as lost as you think I’d be, if not more, though I do find it fun. If the ‘Aha!’ moment should ever come, I will be sure to share.
These online learning platforms like Udemy, Lynda, and Skillshare are very user-friendly. I highly recommend looking at their course catalogs as they range from technical lessons like coding, to more creative programs like learning to play the guitar or watercolor painting and everything in between.
Sweat in the afternoons: Not only did I drink the proverbial Peloton Kool-Aid, but I guzzled it and asked for seconds. Instead of repeating what the raving lunatics have already told you about the stationary bike, I’d like to focus on everything else. For less than the price of a single gym membership, we have access top-notch strength, yoga, and stretching classes as well as guided runs and walks. But what I have been most excited about are the meditation classes. Every day there are new mediation classes ranging from five minutes to an hour, focusing on things like gratitude, goal-setting, happiness and sleep preparation just to name a few.
If there were ever a time to learn and prioritize meditation, I sternly believe it is now. Obviously there are several other channels to begin practicing aside from Peloton. One option being via Michael Imperioli (aka ‘Christopher Moltisanti’ of the “Sopranos”; aka ‘Kwissssstofuh’) who has transformed from gangster on screen to real life guru.
Moments of maddening boredom: Although Netflix and cold walks outside do have their place, I have been trying to focus some spare time on refurbishing a decaying
Scotty Cameron putter. Not only am I not handy, but a job like this requires varnish-work, patience and hours of instructional videos on Youtube. At best, I can profit a few bucks if I do a good job (a big if)—at worst, the fumes get the best of me & we call it a night.
If these ideas failed to produce the slightest bit of inspiration, I will fall back to the recommendations of Jenn Kovalski’s psychology professor: Repeat the phrase “I feel great!” with energy and passion three, four, five+ times. I am truly mystified of its results.
While cheesy, it is true that we are all in this difficult time together. Please let me know what you and your loved ones are doing to stay busy and productive.