The first time a toddler attempts to lie is a huge psychological landmark.
While it might seem counter intuitive to be proud of a kid covered in crumbs while they’re promising they didn’t raid the cookie jar, it’s actually one of the first indicators that they have developed theory of mind.
This is the point at which a child realises that their thoughts, emotions, beliefs, intentions and perspectives are seperate from those of other people.
Almost unimaginably, this is not our default mode.
It doesn’t occur to a young child to lie, because their natural state is to assume that you already know what they know.
When a young child gets worked up over something seemingly trivial, it’s often because they don’t yet understand that the wants and needs of others can conflict with their own.
When there is a dissonance between what they are experiencing and what others are doing, they can’t process it. The result, as all parents will know, is an intense experience of pain and grief.
We begin our lives assuming that humankind shares a singular, unified consciousness and every experience we have from then on slowly proves us otherwise.
So slowly in fact, that even some adults default back to this mode when the views of others don’t align with their own.
When their cognitive expectations aren’t met, when the perspectives of others stray too far from their own beliefs and desires, it becomes too much to process. The resistance they feel gives way to tantrum in the same way a toddler spits out its dummy when nobody’s paying it enough attention.
There’s something spectacular about the first fully formed words which a child is able to piece together.
We all know the classics. My sister’s first (and still favourite) word was ‘No’. My partner’s first word was ‘Dad’, which she swears was a deliberate effort on her Mum’s part to make him feel specially requested by his little girl when her cries woke them in the night.
Mine were odd. At the time, I was obsessed with a little picture book full of animals and colours. My first words were from my favourite page, ‘Grey duck.’
If you, your children or anyone you know had an interesting first word, or were well trained to say something strategic, I want to hear it.
Long story short, I’m trying to put on a little bit of useful weight. Skip to the bottom for the delicious recepie I’m using to jam breakfast back into my mornings.
Unfortunately, I’m not bulking up just for the hell of it. In order to continue being competitive in higher level jiu-jitsu competitions, I need to be stronger than I am.
As it turns out, this is harder do than I thought. First of all, getting strong hurts. A lot. Which doesn’t make training jiu-jitsu any easier either.
In spite of the pain, I’ve just started the Stronglifts 5×5 workout program. A number of muscly people I trust have reccomended it as a good starting point for building the type of strength required for jiu-jitsu.
The program consists of two alternating body weight workouts, each comprised of compound free weight exercises with the intent of progressive overload.
If that was gibberish to you (like it was to me a few weeks ago), what this means is that the program has you switch between two workouts which don’t involve any machines or special equiptment. You show up, lift free weights and progressively add a tiny bit more weight each session until you can no longer complete 5 reps at a given weight in an exercise.
Avoiding machines at the gym and focussing on free weights means there is a whole lot more balance and posture involved in the lifts. Because Each exercise activates (and agitates) a big portion of your body, so you have to focus on keeping your whole body activated throughout each lift, and need to focus on less total exercises to get results.
I’ve never been one to get motivated by superficial physical incentives. Muscles are nice, but if I were desperate for them I would have started going to the gym a long time ago.
I’m going to the gym primarily to hone the tools I take to war on the mats.
But what I’ve found out is that in order for all that work to mean anything on the mats, I need to pay a lot of attention to what I eat while I’m off them.
If I want to gain muscle mass, I need to be consuming roughly 4000 more kilojules than I’m used to eating every day and a large portion of that needs to be protein. At my current size, I’m simply not putting in enough food to offset all the energy I expend exercising. Which is a good problem to have. But still…
As someone mostly disinterested in the prospect of breakfast most mornings, this was a troublesome fact to uncover.
However, I think I’ve stumbled across something which is going to solve my problem; peanut butter protein shakes.
Luke’s Peanut Butter Protein Shake
1 cup rolled oats
2 scoops vanilla flavoured protein powder (whey or plant based)
2 table spoons 100% peanut butter
1 table spoon chia seeds
1 table spoon honey
3/4 cup frozen blueberries
2 cups milk of choice
The best thing about this recepie is that you can prepare it ahead of time.
Just put everything except the milk into a container or zip lock bag and pop it in the freezer. When you’re ready to have it, empty the contents of a container into your blender, add your milk and blitz away!
I’ve prepared a batch of these in advance, and am now looking forward to each morning when I get to slurp down a meal which feels like a treat, even though it’s a necessity.
A typical school library houses roughly 8000 books, which coincidentally is about the same amount of books a new kindle can store.
That’s strange, isn’t it? That there exists a waterproof device capable of cataloguing the majority of human history, and it weighs less than a pancake. Let that soak for a second.
If you loaded up a kindle to the brim and dedicated your life to reading a book on it every day until you’d finished them all, it’d keep you occupied for 21 years.
When you then consider that these 8000 titles would equate to only 0.008% of the 100 million or so books penned throughout history, it’s easy for your mind to wander into the incomprehensibility of the literary abyss.
This number doesn’t even include the 500 million newspapers sold every year, or the 840 million WordPress blog posts.
We are so saturated with information that sheer scale of what we will never be able to ingest is overwhelming.
Acknowledging this fact, accepting it, and attempting to filter through the noise anyway is all we can do.
There is too much available to justify reading anything which fails to captivate your attention. Feel no shame in reading twenty books four pages at a time, whenever you feel like it.
Get to work on your Tsundoku. Filter well friends, and enjoy.