Since I've been working on my e-commerce (flippin.ca) things, I have spent much of my days at home. I used to go to the library, or a coffee shop, but I've really tried to make a commitment to a) waste less time driving to and from places, and b) spend less money, ergo less coffee shops.
Much of my day is spent on the computer with the exception of playing with Koda, working out, training or cooking. I'm turning more and more into a music fiend, and have really found my vibe on Spotify. Every time I find a song I love, I'll download that songs "radio", which is a bunch of songs that are similar (could I actually explain you the science behind any of that? of course not!).
So this week's Weekly RyView is online heavy, because that's the way these last few weeks have been, darling.
With my recent diagnosis of ADHD (that came as a surprise to no one), I have really tried to lean into typical ADHD strategies rather than dumping on myself that I can't do things on time, properly, or I just need a new planner. All of those I have tried 1M+ tries to no avail.
From my readings about ADHD, the thing that stuck out to me the most was a strategy called the "Body Double". The premise is that people (ADHD folks in particular) are typically more productive and focused when someone else is in the room.
I can totally relate. I find the library, or a coffee shop, or just somewhere where other people are working a much easier environment to get things done in than let's say my condo that has a bath tub, a bed and no one to judge if I consistently go between those two things.
I was initially looking for a co-work space in town, but that unticked the boxes of wasted time travelling, and of course, it costs money to join. I joined one last year briefly and liked it a lot. Again, I am much more productive not at home, but it was expensive and I didn't use it enough to make it worthwhile.
Then I was going to look for an online co-work space - genius mode: activated. How shall I say - it was another flop. Mainly because most don't exist anymore as the world has returned to much in-person interaction.
I stumbled across FocusMate a few times, but the premise was too weird for me to dive into. You join this platform online, you pick a time, you get matched with a person on video, you each say what you will be working on for the next 50 minutes, and then you sit there in silence, on camera, and do your work. Having to make small talk at the beginning and end of every 50 minute session? Worlds hardest pass, thanks though!
I stewed on it a couple of Sundays ago - another day, another week feeling unproductive and feeling like I'm not moving my life forward in the ways I want it to go, I signed up. I booked my sessions for the next morning, and knew if I didn't show up, my "score" (based on attendance and punctuality) would go down. The only reason I finished anything in school was because of deadlines, timelines, etc. so I knew I had to book it and I wouldn't bail. There is some degree of goody-two-shoes in me, I swear.
This platform has wildly changed my life. I did 4-5 sessions a day for the first days to get over the hump of the pieces of my projects that I was avoiding, and it's been smooth sailing since. I did fall off the wagon of using FocusMate the last few days because I have been working non-stop and truly don't want the 10 minute break or distraction of having to chat with someone for 30 seconds x 2. Hey, I'm growing, but I never said I was fully grown up yet!
Upon reflection today though, I really do need to get back into it. I do need the breaks and the limited social interactions. I do not feel burn't out, but I do need a little more balance and FocusMate can also provide that from my hyperfocus.
If you're a person who works alone, works from home, works better with a little accountability, this is perfect for you. You can essentially do anything you want during the time provided that you're on camera. I've cleaned, I've done dishes, others have meditated during the session - it's whatever you need.
This week they also added a 25 minute/5 minute break option if you want something shorter. I think this is perfect for a little morning routine implementation - journal, meditate, goal set, etc. or to use for cleaning in smaller spurts.
I would recommend checking it out. You get a certain amount of sessions for free every week, or if you sign up, it's $5 a month (insane, right?) for unlimited sessions. The people have been really great, and it's moved me forward in so many ways.
Check it out here: focusmate.com
Here we go, folks.
I always used to pride myself on knowing the hip and happening-est artists before they were popular here. Hot Tip if you want to use this strategy: go to the British Top 40 or 100, and they'll be popular in North America about 4 months later!
I really don't vibe with pop music as much as I used to. I can shake what my momma gave me to it, of course, but it's not what feeds my soul. I'm more a indie, folk, whatever you want to call it kinda guy. Fundamentally, I like a song with a story or a message - make me feel something plz!
So here are some of my favorites right now!
Sink Away by the Katawicks
Ok, full stop, this is one of my favorite songs ever. Whenever I find a song that I love, I have to learn the lyrics or else I'll make them up myself. I cannot find the lyrics to this song anywhere on the internet. And by that, I mean they're not on YouTube or the first page of Google, so I gave up.
There is something so simple and beautiful about this song. It's poetic.
I've been trying to learn how to edit photos better, and found this YouTube channel called Mango Street. They're two photographers and they're exceptional. They can shoot so many different things and vibes, I can't believe it. I can take good photos of Koda and edit them in the same way every time.
Mango Street had made a video about where they find their photoshoot inspirations. They did a little blurb and example on a movie, a TV show, a book and a song. I found their process to be fascinating and educational. I know that I am drawn to very cinematic movies and I'm a very visual person and learner. I can't always articulate it, but I can recognize when something completely speaks to me - like The Grand Budapest Hotel - it's exquisite.
Mango Street was going through one of their favorite songs and making a mood/inspo board. I couldn't believe what a vivid picture they could paint themselves from just a song. I realized that's exactly what speaks to me. Every song I love, I can picture it. When I hear Doja Cat, I can picture myself shaking my ass in the club - obviously. But when I hear Sink Away, I can a picture a whole life - a person, a setting, the wardrobe, the context, the job, the feelings - everything. The songs that paint me a picture are my true loves.
For me Sink Away is my running away anthem. I can truly picture it, the same way I could picture myself living in a Motel from watching Schitt's Creek. Sink Away has a similar setting to me - small motel, middle of nowhere, pastels, anonymity. It's a song for when life get's too big, too complicated, or even too mundane. I love everything about it.
Big Black Car by Gregory Alan Isakov
While melancholic, this song also paints a picture for me. I picture the a cartoon boogey monster just hovering over every scene of your life. He says "Heartbreak, you know, drives a big black car", and haven't we all seen that? Something in the distance that seems so far away, suddenly in front of you, dark, can't run away from it.
I don't entirely see this song in the context of romantic heartbreak, but of the many heartbreaks in life - friendships ending, people dying, mental health struggles, the whole thing. We can all cater it to our own experiences; isn't that the point of life and art anyways?
Believe by Miley Cyrus
*urrrrchhh* that's the sound of me doing a 180 in a car, because buckle up for this sharp turn. Miley did a Pride special a few months ago and performed Believe by Cher and it's amazing. If you've never seen Ella Henderson sing Believe on the X Factor UK (as I'm writing this, I'm realizing most people will, in fact, have NOT seen that. Doesn't everyone deep dive on YouTube like that??), you must. Ella sings it slow and kind of acoustic and it's wonderful. It's the song we've all heard a million times, but have you really listened? In a different tone, in a different context, the song s beautiful. Ever since that, I have loved that song for what it truly means, not what we hear when we see our Aunts and Uncles dance at weddings to it.
Miley's version is upbeat, but her voice is amaze and the performance is really fun, ft. some Drag stars! If you want something fun, upbeat, this bebe (Moira Rose voice) is for you.
When you were young by John Muirhead
This one is another fun surprise! I learned about this from TikTok, where I now get most of my information - EXCEPT for actual news, ok, I can hear everyone screaming at me already. Yes, I read the news. Yes, it's from multiple sources and multiple points of view. Alright? Moving on.
TikTok is a pit of stupidity most often, which is why I am drawn to it. But every now and again, you find a little gem. And this gem's name is "An Acoustic Version of the Killers Songs 'When you were young'". I'm scrolling, and I hear this song but can't identify it, but know all the words - you know that moment? When this song turns the corner and hits that chorus, I had to pick my dang jaw up off the ground. Again, such a beautiful song and we didn't even know it!
Go give your ears a lil treat and enjoy it. It's also on Spotify
Well that seems like enough for one week, no?
What's your RyView this week? What's hot, hip and happening in your life?