Taking Time Away

June 30, 2009

I’ve been working at taking time away to keep my brain fresh when it comes to my interests. For nine months out of the year (late August until early May) I spend at least once a week bowling. During the spring months that number can increase to 2-3 times a week, as I bowl in a lot of tournaments around New England. It’s a sport I’ve enjoyed immensely since I was 5 years old. My parents introduced me to bowling as we had a small 12 lane center growing up, and since they bowled 5 nights a week between various leagues, I would be at the center all the time. At the age of 6 I started bowling in the Saturday morning youth program while also keeping score for many tournaments and leagues. There was a time before automatic scoring, you see- and I think this helped me to observe great form and technique when it came to other bowlers.

I got the chance to bowl in college as well for a nationally ranked team, and travel all over the United States. I went from being a big fish in a small pond to a little fish in a huge ocean- but here is where my game moved up another couple of notches. Since then I bowl in local leagues and tournaments, I’ve been able to make some additional income from it as a result but I love the friendships and bonds that I’ve made through a sport that comes naturally to me.

When the summer comes I need a break from bowling, so thus I’m concentrating on spending more time with my children, doing day trips with them as well as taking in the sites around our community. I don’t think it’s always necessary to be on the go doing something 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It’s perfectly acceptable to slow down, enjoy yourself and pursue a new hobby or interest.

One of my other interests is writing about music. I learned how to play the keyboards as a teenager, but I’ve had a lifelong interest in heavy metal music. Iron Maiden started me on my journey through the realms of heaviness, and 27 years later I still have an undying devotion to the cause. I currently write for a couple of online websites where I get the chance to review new albums as well as interview some of my favorite artists. I’m excited about the changing technology and the ability to do interviews with video as I think this fuels the growth of the movement.

I do miss the physical development of a magazine. I enjoyed editing my own publication for years, and while I do enjoy the instant accessibility of reading about bands online and also hearing the music through sites like myspace, there’s something about holding onto a physical product that matters a little bit more to me. Somewhere down the road one of my goals is to run an in print magazine again- but I’m aware that you do need a lot of money behind the venture to make this a success.

While this post may seem scattered in thought, my varying interests allow me to never become bored in one realm. That’s why I believe it’s important to not over-extend yourself when it comes to your passions. Taking time away at least once a week will give your a brain a chance to calm down and possibly allow fresh perspectives to enter when you least expect them to.

What are some of your interests and what do you do to regain perspective when you want to take time away? I’m always eager to learn more about others and see if I can apply their wisdom and skills to my own life.

Matt


Reading Fixation

June 30, 2009

I remember when I grew up that books always were a part of my world. I applied for my first library card in the first grade and quickly spent day after day reading Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew mysteries. Through middle school I moved up through the ranks of reading most of the children’s books and my mother knew I could handle reading some adult mysteries.

Right now as an adult my tastes have moved into 90% non-fiction and still the great mysteries by authors like William Tapply, Robert Parker, and J.A. Konrath to name a few. I’ve been on a self-improvement, personal development journey for the past three years. I guess it first started when I was looking at improving my mental game when it comes to bowling. So I read about visualization/ meditation techniques, then from there discovered works by authors like Napoleon Hill, Brian Tracy, Joe Vitale, Mark Victor Hansen, Jack Canfield, Les Brown, John Maxwell, and Anthony Robbins among others. I’ve read 700 books over the last 3 years- the librarians in my local city know me by first and last name and they have an excellent idea when inter-library loan books come in which ones tend to be mine.

I am one who will read 3-4 books at the same time, and take notes as I go along. I try not to read books about the same subject matter at the same time- so I will often read a self-improvement book, then a business book and possibly a book on psychology so I can give my brain a chance to observe, reflect and absorb the information at a pace I can handle.

Feel free to let me know about some of the books that you are currently reading and discovering as I’m always on the look out for more rich reading material. In my opinion you can never read enough- as stated above in my original post, I agree with Brian Tracy’s assessment of continuous learning is the key to success in today’s economy. If you aren’t spending the time keeping up with the latest knowledge and applications in your preferred field, someone else will be and they will get ahead stronger and faster than you as a result.

What am I reading now?

No Matter What! by Lisa Nichols : She is one of the featured teachers in The Secret, and I think she provides an excellent look into 9 steps or “muscles” as she calls them to getting a better life that you deserve. Unlike other self-help authors that aren’t willing to provide concrete examples, Lisa gives you a direct look into her life which I believe aids the reader in the understanding of the concepts. No one person leads a perfect life, and Lisa realizes that these steps are a daily workout to achieving the balance and love that you desire for your personal and professional world.

The Whuffie Factor by Tara Hunt: Tara provides a comprehensive look into applying social networking websites to build your brand or business. She doesn’t merely look at one type of business, she takes snapshots into the music industry, winery, and non-profit organizations as well as exploring the concepts of what is and isn’t acceptable to establish credibility in the social networking sector. You’ll have a ton of websites you may not have been aware of to discover and explore, and I think she establishes a great platform for connecting people in today’s technology.

Stirring It Up by Gary Hirshberg: CE-Yo (as he calls himself) of Stonyfield Farm, Gary looks into the world of ecology and green practices within the business world. I’m 40 pages in as this material can be quite heady to wrap your head around, but so far I do enjoy the look into how businesses can work to be environmentally conscious and still offer great products.

That’s all for now- take care and I hope you are having a great day! I’m on vacation for the week so I have plans to spend time with both of my daughters, one is babysitting until the afternoon but the other is home with me as day camp doesn’t start until next week.

Matt


Hello world!

June 30, 2009

Welcome to my adventures in the blogsphere. I guess it would be important to let you know a little bit about myself and what you may be reading and learning about through this blog.

My name is Matt and I am 38 years young. Some of my interests include bowling, reading, writing, music of all kinds, adoption and personal development. I have been married for 8 years and through the miracle of adoption we have two daughters ages 15 and soon to be 12. I currently work overnights at a local community hospital- running the switchboard and troubleshooting phone, pager and computer problems. I’ve been there for almost 7 years and it’s the best job I’ve ever had in my entire life.

What will I be talking about in this blog? Probably everything that interests me and more- sometimes relating to what I’ve been reading, issues that may crop up in my family life, and questions I may ponder about the world that we can all explore and share experiences with together.

Blogging for me will consistently be a work in progress. I think continuous learning is achieveable as long as you put the effort and focus into it. I’ve kept written physical journals for years so doing this online will be another unique way of putting my thoughts out there- just for more of you to see, ponder and give feedback upon.

My plan will be to post at least three to five times a week. I’ll always welcome suggestions and input regarding my topics and hope you find something interesting to read and follow.

Until next time- thank you for checking out this blog and many happy returns!

Matt