This is what INBOX ZERO looks like in Google Inbox. It's huge motivation because it's so pretty.

Improving Digital Communications


“Oh! Look! An Email! I’ll read it during this 90 seconds I have while my lunch heats up.”

Zoot reads email

“Oh. This is a lovely email that needs a lovely response. (Or maybe: This is a question that needs a well thought-out answer.) My 90 seconds is up. I need some time to actually compose a well-thought out response. I’ll do it later.”

LATER NEVER COMES.

Zoot forgets entirely about email

This is my life. And it goes for Facebook messages and Twitter DMs and Instagram comments. I’m really bad about using small pockets of time – while waiting in line at Target, or waiting for my meal to heat up, or waiting for my kid to get out of the bathroom – to check messages and emails. THIS IS A TERRIBLE HABIT, I have decided. Because I never have time to respond if it requires more than 1 or 2 sentences and so I wait, and then eventually I forget about it. Not because the message or email wasn’t important. But because the message or email was digested during a rushed moment of “waiting” when my long-term memory is turned off to conserve energy for the task that I’m waiting on.

If it’s an email then at least, weeks or months later, I’ll go through my inbox and eventually see it and feel really bad and probably not respond because I feel so terrible. OR, if it’s some other message, I’ll miss it entirely and never remember it again. Email has an inbox where nothing gets cleared out unless I clear it out. But FB messages and Twitter DMs and Instagram comments just keep getting buried under other messages so I no longer see them, making them permanently forgotten.

SO. What is the solution? FIX ME, BLOG FRIENDS? Do I only read messages/emails/tweets/comments when I have time to respond and/or address them? BUT THEN HOW DO I PASS TIME WAITING IN LINES? Do you have designated “check communications” times? I keep my email open all day, maybe that’s the problem? Although email I at least notice once in awhile, the other methods of communications get lost after time. FOREVER. I at least address my inbox once a month or so. The Facebook messenger app is the place where messages go to die.

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On Dying And Imaginary Traumas

I listen to the You Make It Weird podcast with Pete Holmes and while I really find it fascinating, it’s SUPER Not Safe For Work Or Children. He does long-form interviews – mostly with comedians – but sometimes with spiritual leaders and scientists as well. The name of the podcast is because he has really personal/uncomfortable conversations with people. He’s a comedian by trade, so he’s also funny, but every guest has to answer tough questions about their belief in god and an afterlife and drugs (he’s open about his use) and there is A LOT OF TALK ABOUT SEX. Like, A LOT. Some interviews more so than others. So, DO NOT LISTEN WITH YOUR KIDS IN THE CAR.

Anyway – I’m not sure if he’s everyone’s cup of tea or not – but I really like how wide ranging his interview answers can be and it often gets me thinking about how I fall on the spectrum of Things People Believe.

I told my therapists once that one of my super-powers is Empathy – which I think is why I’m able to let go of grudges really easily. However, I have a hard time with understanding other people’s concepts and beliefs of an afterlife. It’s funny, I can find myself understanding why someone might cheat on their spouse or embezzle funds from their company or want to vote for Trump. (That’s not a joke, I actually can understand it. I don’t agree with it. But I understand it.) But put me with someone who believes in Heaven or fears death and I really struggle connecting.

Granted – I’ve never been dying, so maybe if I got a terminal diagnosis of some sort it would be different. But, I do not fear death on any level. I fear pain, I fear, FEAR. So I don’t want to suffer painfully or be scared up to the moment of death, but death itself? I’m more like, “Thank god. At some point in time I can finally stop worrying.”

My therapist says that’s really common for the anxious atheist. She says anxious religious people tend to go the other direction and death becomes one of their anxieties, but for the atheist? She says it’s common for them not to fear death and too look at it as finally getting a break.

(I felt the need to add that last paragraph in case you think “I don’t fear death” is a scary statement. It’s not! I promise! My therapist says so! It’s not being suicidal! No matter how bad it sounds!)

My Dad went into death so peacefully and so unafraid, I think it was a great final lesson to give me. And the idea of an afterlife actually FREAKS ME OUT. I know that the various religious teachings don’t say that you’ll be the SAME person you are now, but the idea of continue forever to worry about the people still alive that I love seems TERRIBLE and if I’m not worrying about them, then I’m not really ME am I? Nope. I have a hard time relating to the idea that Heaven is something people look forward to. I really do. The idea of spiritual immortality FREAKS ME OUT and it’s like the one part of religion I just can not understand how people like it. Maybe I just can’t understand how a “me” without my anxieties is still “me” but I have no desire to live forever in any form.

Some of the interviews people talk about hoping there’s a “cure for death” in their lifetime so they can live forever. I’m like, “NO WAY. DO NOT SIGN ME UP FOR THAT SHIT.”

It’s just strange. I can totally understand transubstantiation in the Catholic church and fasting for the Islamic Ramadan or for the Jewish Yom Kippur. I can totally understand monotheism and polytheism in various degrees. Earthly beliefs from most religions traditions I can usually get behind. But once death arrives? The rest I just can’t relate to and it doesn’t seem appealing to me in the slightest. When Pete asks people about the afterlife and they say, “There has to be something, right?” I’m like, “Please, No.”

I blame a lot of my practical anxieties on the occurrence of vivid dreams/nightmares that cause traumas. I’ve had more Death By Car Wreck nightmares in my life than one human should have to have and they’re vivid and terrifying and I often blame them for my intense driving anxieties. But I also – weirdly – feel like they’re also responsible for my lack of fear of death. I’ve had dozens and dozens of car wreck dreams/nightmares where I’m plummeting off a bridge or a cliff or plowing towards a head-on collision and in my dream, I know death is coming, and I don’t fear it. It’s a very weird sensation. I always wake up feeling strange from those dreams/nightmares. The fear the moment before the crash is always gone and I just settle in like, “Alrighty then. Here we go.”

Those dreams have increased my fears of driving because I’m constantly having flashbacks to terrible wrecks I never actually had, but they have eliminated any fear of death I might have had.

The mind is a very weird thing, don’t you agree?

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TECHNOLOGY IS AMAZING.

Y’all. I know you’re getting sick of me talking about Hamilton but this post is ALSO about the wonderful power of this new 360 video technology.

(But mostly it’s about Hamilton.)

CBS posted a 360 video of the cast rehearsing for the Tony’s and it features one of the songs I hear is amazing in person so I’m super excited to see the brilliant and beautiful Leslie Odom Jr. perform it at the Tony’s. But this video is AMAZING. If you watch it on your phone, hold it up and turn around, the point-of-view changes as you move. If you’re watching it on the computer, click and drag around the screen and it will change the point of view depending on how you move the perspective. You can do the whole thing staring at Daveed Diggs if you’d like. Or at Alex Lacamoire as he conducts the group. I must have watched it 10 different times, sometimes just exploring the set around them. IT IS AMAZING.

GO WATCH IT!

The Value Of The Click

I saw an article talking to the 20-year olds who write about 40-year olds, telling them what they can/can not do. The article was basically saying, “That’s bullshit! I’m gonna do what I’m gonna do.” And I agree. 100%. But here’s the thing, the only way those articles are going to stop being written? Is if we stop clicking.

We all need to understand the power of our clicks. Every time we click something we know is going to piss us off, we are validating the thing that is pissing us off. The internet is commodified in clicks. I haven’t clicked an article with titles shaming me as a parent, as a woman, as a liberal, or as a human being in AGES. And do you know why? Because Chris Hardwick went on a rant once on his podcast about headline-grabbing clickbait titles and how it has completely changed the dynamic in Hollywood and on the internet and it really opened my eyes to the power of a click. A click on a title that says, “What were the Hits and Misses at The Oscars” completely validates rating people for their clothing. And if you like that? THAT IS FINE! CLICK AWAY! But if you don’t like living in a society where it seems to be “okay” to voice your opinions on other people’s fashion/styling choices on a public forum? Then stop clicking.

There’s a new trend lately where people are writing articles bitching about common and angering tropes online. And I almost always agree 100%. But you know what? Nothing is going to change until we stop clicking. I saw several articles shared out with titles obviously shaming the parents of the 4-year old at the Cincinnati Zoo. Did I click any? No. Because I knew they’d make me angry and I didn’t want to validate that by clicking. Writing articles ABOUT the terrible clickbait articles is actually going to make it worse.

What we need to do is what the adults always told us to do growing up: If someone is being mean? IGNORE THEM. If we give them attention they’ll keep doing it.

The rise of Click Bait has actually made my life really easy because online publishers WANT to write articles that get people angry so they title it in a way as angering as possible. And no matter how curious I am, I don’t click.

Sidenote: I do appreciate when a friend shares out an article and says, “PLEASE IGNORE THE TITLE. It’s just for clickbait. The article is actually really nice.” Because sometimes good articles are hidden behind terrible titles and that always provides me quite a conundrum.

Anything that even remotely seems like it’s going to shame me for something: Wearing scrunchies, sandals without properly pedicured feet, coloring hair blue if you’re 40+, whatever the title is indicating the words are going to shame me? I DO NOT CLICK IT. Anything that seems like it’s going to make me angry? I don’t click it. Am I missing out on good stuff? Maybe. But I don’t ever feel like my days are empty of great writing online. I find stuff constantly I love, so even if I’m missing some good stuff by avoiding click-bait crap? I’m still seeing plenty of well-written, thought provoking articles titled accordingly.

Just think before you click. If you know it’s going to upset you or anger you? Then save your click for someone who deserves it. Validate their hard work writing, not the asshole who just wants to get your blood boiling.

The medals blink!

The Least Surprising Experiment Results Ever

I’m not exactly sure how updated I’ve kept this blog on my running plans, as I tend to do those mundane updates on Facebook. But, in case I haven’t announced it here, I have a race on the calendar that I plan to be my attempt at doing 100 miles at one event. It’s called A Race For The Ages (ARFTA) and it’s a simple concept: You get as many hours to run a 1-mile course as you are old. Finish time is noon on Labor Day so you subtract your age and find your start time. I’ll be 41, so I get 41 hours to do 100 miles which I should be able to do no problem. EXCEPT: I have to start at 7pm on Saturday night. Which is basically my bedtime.

So…I sought out a night race to test my “start a race at night” capabilities. Because, what I hoped I could do with the ARFTA, is to start at 7pm and run until it started getting hot on Saturday and take ONE long sleep period during the hottest part of the day before running until the finish. That made everything seem doable, divides the 100 miles into 2 chunks divided by one good sleep occupying the hottest hours of the race. Perfect.

Except that I did my Test Night Race experiment this weekend and it went terrible. My dream hypothesis was: Kim Can Function Decently Enough On 24+ Hours Without Sleep To Support Getting In 50 Miles Before Sleeping At ARFTA.

But, of course, we all know that the RIGHT hypothesis would have been: Kim Falls Apart Without Sleep.

This was a Run Under The Stars event (there’s a bunch) outside Knoxville, TN and it started at 8pm and went to 6am. It was a 1.25 mile flat gravel loop and we had a tent set up and a canopy and chairs and – as far as night races go? It was GREAT. If you want to do a night race? I highly recommend it. I went with 4 of my girl running friends (We obviously misunderstand the idea of a Girls Night Out) and it was really a great experience. I laughed more on that trip than I have on any other trip. Mostly because we all lost our damn minds. My friend Chelsea lost her mind before the race even started as she realized APPROACHING THE START LINE that she was wearing her flip-flops instead of her running shoes. So, basically I almost wet my pants laughing hysterically at the start line. There is no better way to start a race.

Ready for my night race!

A photo posted by Kim Holmes (@misszoot) on

My goal was to knock out 20 miles before taking any significant breaks. And I did that FINE. So from 8pm to midnight? I functioned well enough. It was not ideal, I definitely prefer waking up and running to running at night, but I knocked out the 20 miles fine in about 4:10 which is a moderate ultra pace for me. Then I started allowing myself walk breaks and sit breaks and the further I got past midnight the more I deteriorated mentally and physically. I was losing the ability to care about anything other than how much I wanted to sleep. My stomach was also rejecting the idea that I was expecting it to take new food on during normal sleep hours.

I got to the marathon distance and opted for an extended (20 minutes or so) break and let my friends just run along without me. I sat there thinking about how I was getting that weird dizzy feeling I’ve gotten when I’ve tried to function as a human after a night up with sick kids. It’s like a motion sickness feeling. If you’ve suffered it you’ll know what I’m talking about, but it’s strictly related to sleep deprivation, has NOTHING to do with the running portion of the evening. Yet I still had a solid 3+ hours left of running to do. I decided I could walk and still reach the 50K point so I opted to make that my goal for the night. 50K and then I could tap out.

So I muscled through the next 5 miles walking a lot more and sitting a lot more and fighting the urge to puke from dizziness CONSTANTLY. It was like a bad car ride, it was terrible. So when I hit the 50K point I decided to try to lay down. I think I had 2+ hours to go so I wrapped up in a sheet in our tent and put on my comfy/dry clothes. The problem was I was so dizzy/motion sick that every time I moved I felt the urge to puke again. So, I gave Chelsea my mat (SIDENOTE: When it comes to sleep/schedules Chelsea and I are identical. We normally go to bed early and wake up early. WE ARE NOT NIGHT PEOPLE. She struggled as much as I did.) and I tried to wrap up in a sheet on a chair and sit perfect still for awhile to try to settle my dizziness.

It didn’t work and I still had an hour left so I thought, “Well…what the hell…” and I wrapped up in my sheet and put my race number on my pajamas and just walked one more lap for a total of 32.25 miles.

On of our friends that went that WAS just going to go as a spectator but signed up last minute knocked out 37 miles after…get this…having a long run of only 16 miles before that moment. SHE SET A 21 MILE PR. HA! She is also a night person, so she didn’t lose her shit like I did.

I knew it would be hard, but I didn’t realize HOW hard. One funny thing, I suspected when the sun came up I’d feel fine and I kinda did. I definitely didn’t feel GREAT but I actually helped drive home because I felt fine enough to drive once it became morning which is when my mind/body function best.

So now I’m questioning the ARFTA. If I could start at 6am, run 16 hours, sleep from 10pm-6am and run 16 hours again I’d be GOLDEN. I’d have to run in the heat of the day, but it would fit with my natural cycle of waking/sleeping. But this race is exactly opposite so now I either have to figure out how to adjust my sleep cycle the week before or I run for 3-4 hours, take a long nap, run for 20 hours, take a long nap, run for 5 hours or so. And that sucks. Because I’m still running in the heat of the day, but not in any fun schedule that’s good for mentally pushing through a long run.

I don’t know. It’s just frustrating to know my limiting factor in this adventure is how much I need/depend on sleep. I had really hoped I could function for 30 hours at a decent level but it turns out I can’t. Not even close.

So, long story short? The race was tons of fun. I highly recommend you do a night run with a group of fun girls where you can set up a camp and kinda hang out all night. It really was a great experience, and one I’d like to do again some day. Just for the fun of it. But this experiment kinda has me doubting my ability to schedule my running/sleeping during ARFTA in any sort of optimal way. If I knew I could get a refund? I’d withdraw today. I guess I’ll spend the next week or so talking to people about their experiences with running/dizziness/sleep deprivation because that’s not something you can really “treat” like you can digestive issues or muscle cramping. It’s my body’s response to exhaustion and it’s IMPOSSIBLE to run through.

All in all, great race. Great medal. Just making me wonder if the ARFTA is going to be as ideal as I had hoped for my first attempt at a 100-miler.

The medals blink!

The medals blink!