You can trace the individualistic mindset of Americans to its founding. That pursuit of various individual freedoms fueled the don’t tread on me spirit. Whether it was the freedom of religion, the lawless expansion into occupied indigenous lands, or the right to practice morally bereft chattel slavery. Americans have demanded the room to pursue what they solely want no matter the impact to their neighbor. It is no surprise then that “the United States scores highest on the individualism end of [the individualism-collectivism scale … and consequently] is the only industrialized country in the world that does not provide its citizens with universal health care.”
These Allbirds Tree Dashers are the late 2020 reworking of the original AllBirds trainers. I had a pair of the original joggers when they first launched years earlier. They were woefully under-designed to be a serious running shoe. They even lost their new “cool” factor when Paul Ryan could be spotted walking around in them. Some years later, I am giving them another try after a few redesigns, new styles and color options, and improved engineering.
I find I have to constantly explain the idea of Minimalism to everyone I discuss it with because their first idea is some Monk like existence, barren of joy or material belongings, wasting away alone in some empty white walled room. That’s the double entendre in the naming this philosophy, Minimalism. In reality, Minimalism should be equated with Essentialism. An essentialist philosophy that is reinforced by mindfulness. The two fuel the thoughtful consideration of everything we bring into our lives and how we allot our time and attention.
As we neared the end of winter early in 2020, and the first signs of spring were sprouting, we discussed how we wanted to define this year during one of our longer walks. The quarantine had only just begin and the first rush of travel cancellations and postponed plans had been grudgingly agreed to. A wealth of free time was now on our hands. We asked ourselves what would we do to not go crazy and we elected on making this a year of self-improvement. Those long delayed “some day” aspirations would start getting daily attention, others at least once a week; but whatever we could manage under a lockdown, would get our time and focus.
Work From Home has become what my wife calls, live at work. Each one of us adapting in our own way to a semi-permanent remote worker status. Dining room tables, closets, garages, and empty guest rooms have transformed into make shift offices and classrooms. My experience in working remotely for extended periods of time is not new. Having worked from home in some capacity since 2008. During that time it became clear to us the value of planning office space in your home in some capacity up front.
Right around the turning point of summer, I started to feel out of it. Tired, grumpy, and more importantly, gripped with intestinal pain. I have had an ulcer in the past and immediately went to the conclusion it was the same now. The byproduct of the 2020 news cycle, along with home & social confinement we have all endured. Fast forward to later in the year, after a series of doctor visits and tests, I did confirm that stress had wrecked my gut health but not how I assumed.
Nothing but forward momentum. This is the simple summation I would use to describe this release of the Zoom Pegasus and the cumulative effort by Nike to improve this shoe over the last five years. Forward thinking design, forward thinking technology, and forward thinking performance. This is truly a runner’s shoe. I am not asserting that it is perfect, but that it really puts runners needs first and foremost and the payoff is overall impressive.
My father, concerned for the future prospects of his children, pushed literacy hard in our home. This push allowed us to enter kindergarten a full reading level or two ahead of our classmates. I’ve always enjoyed reading but took to it less and less over the years. This year I dove back into reading in way I have not since college; averaging about a book a week at my current pace. More importantly, I have devised a rewarding reading rotation that delivers more than just a good read out of each book. A type of reading pattern that I believe is what is missing from the information flood we get on our digital devices. It is a Pattern Language for reading.
It is not unreasonable at first glance to consider Getaway just another form of glamping. Set up in purchased lands near natural preserves, each Getaway location serves as a nearby escape from many major cities. The sites are home to over 20 micro-habitats spaced evenly apart, across serene settings. Ours was located in Suches between Blue Ridge and Dahlonega. The positioning not so remote to draw on survivalist skills; but instead ideal for Turning Off and Tuning Out the everyday monotony. A humble experience lies inside of a small bubble all your own. You can go and not leave the same four walls or grounds for days. Or you may venture out and explore local areas and hike. But you will get to decompress at the very least.
Never forget the nearly 200,000 plus lives lost because of an incompetent, greedy, and hateful administration that was elected and allowed to run unchecked. Remember daily the names of all those slain under bigotry. Breonna, George, Ahmaud, and too many others; our collective soul fracturing with every loss. Consider how justice goes unserved in the face of all the compelling evidence.