Life & Death in the Matrix

October 25, 2018 – Post-dated

There are a million other things I should be doing right now. How often these days do you feel that way?

Today, with all that I need/should/must/ought to do to get our apartment cleaned out, cars sold and stored, and on and on, the last thing I should be doing is sitting here at a Starbucks writing for my vanity blog. 

(Note: No longer vanity, but a main part of my life, now. As you’ll see, this post has become more pointed.)

Because… Steven Covey’s The Time Management Matrix, which was based on The Eisenhower Matrix.

This is a decision matrix idea in a basic form.

For me, following this or more than this Matrix would be worse than having no matrix at all.

This is the matrix I want to live by. Simple, because my brain can’t handle more than this.

I don’t know about you but I find it daunting just trying to figure out what’s urgent and what’s important. It’s all Important! And Urgent!

You see, I’m moving to Bangkok, Thailand next week.

Not a small thing, that. And so you can surely envision what my Matrix looks like today. That’s right, I’m dodging bullets speeding through the air, contorting myself as I climb up the walls and keeping my eye on all the moving targets. 

Photo used under the Fair Use clause, copyright remains with original copyright holders for The Matrix movie.

While writing this, my car is across the street at Mike’s Alignment, so I’m here waiting for it. Not for an alignment though. This is great – I get to put a plug in for my favorite auto mechanic in Los Angeles. Mike not only offers state-of-the-art alignment services, but he has been able to fix and perform every kind of repair I’ve thrown at him for our older Jeep and Lexus. So, in the middle of the maelstrom of moving, that I’ve had to stop to get work done on the vehicles amid it all has been mitigated by the quick and expert service and amazingly fair prices offered by Mike.

It’s not just me who’s about to uproot myself. You are moving somewhere, too. It could be just off of the spot you’re on. You could be struggling to just keep from going backward. Or you may be striving to move to your own version of Bangkok – a country that’s foreign in some way and of some sort.

How do we steal the time to do what’s really important, once we’ve identified it? Once we’ve admitted it. How do we possibly justify it?

Well, by brute force, if necessary. That’s me today. I’m just plain refusing to do the other things on my list for a little while. And there’s only one way I can justify it – this use of brute force upon my list.

It’s a life or death thing.

Are the statements I’ve made to myself and to others true? I’ve said on many occasions,  “Writing is the thing I love the most. It’s what I feel is the thing I do best AND what’s actually the easiest thing I do out of the things I do well.

And if this is true for me, then writing is probably crucial to my well-being, wouldn’t you say? You might say it’s what gives me enthusiasm for life; what motivates me, what affirms my life.

If it is true that writing imbues me with life, then you’d suppose that going without it causes the opposite.

What is in danger of dying if I don’t write? That’s a question that has to be asked.

So, if you don’t make room on your list for what’s life-affirming for you, are you in danger of dying, figuratively? Some might even be in danger of dying literally if they deny what’s elemental to their personal makeup.

Every day that goes by without me giving even just a little time to that activity which gives me my personal life is a day that I might be dying just a little.

(Note: I make a big distinction between my personal life and my spiritual life, which is on a wholly different level. That I must honor my spiritual life first is non-negotiable. It’s my spiritual life that gives me my personal life.)

Personally, I’d say that I’ve been dying little by little for way too long. That is, my writing life has been dying and is beginning to feel like it’s on life support. I’ve seen people on life support, even as recently as a week ago. It’s not a pretty thing and it’s not a place where it’s easy to then remove yourself from. Often, it takes a lot of intervention to get you off of it. 

The dying actually begins by making the statement, “Oh, I just love (doing x)!” Quickly, it becomes a substitute for the act itself. Have you begun to do this about a gift or talent you have that brings you joy; that gives you life, in a personal sense?

If so, it’s time to be ruthless about it. There’s got to be another thing that’s in the Urgent/Not Important quadrant of the matrix that you can do without or postpone in order to not be a hypocrite about what it is you say you really love.

(Note to Self: Let someone wait. Get a little less sleep one night. Turn something off for a while. Let something fall apart that’s not essential if need be.)

I will. 

Meaning I will exercise my Will to do this. 

Do I really want what I say I really want? If so, it’s a life or death matter for that thing.

I choose Life!

I am the CoffeeHouseBlogger!

Post Script:

Obviously, I’m in the process of exhuming the body of my own writing in posting this year after writing it. If you and I were sitting together here by the pool, I would ask you to be the Medical Examiner of your own life and give an autopsy report of that aspect of your life that seems to have expired. 

Get the Crash Cart! Bring out the paddles! Charge ‘em up!

I’m ready to live. To renew. To begin again. That wonderful thing of putting ourselves back on the path we were meant to be on after straying far from it. 

Be very clear about this: It’s never too late. It’s never too little.


Starbucks on Sherman Way. 12520 Sherman Way, North Hollywood, CA 91605

My Chai was a little watery today – not much flavor. And they don’t have a sugar-free version like Coffee Bean has, so I’m not such a happy camper today. I know, I should be having a coffee, but it’s midday and even though I could use the jolt of energy, I went for the comfort.

No Comfy chairs in this Starbucks like at other locations, BUT a good amount of seating, both inside and outside in a covered and enclosed patio area. Lots of traffic here at Sherman Way and Whitsett. Maybe don’t breathe too hard out on the patio?

What do you think of the tables with smart device hotspot charging? Does it work for your phone? Google Wifi signal and speed is pretty good, even though Google and all…

All in all, this is kind of a weird place for a Starbucks on this corner across from the I-710 freeway ramp, but maybe because of that, it’s a lifesaver for some? As always, though, the baristas are great!


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