When I was a druggie we all grooved to Jefferson Airplane’s White Rabbit. Grace Slick screamed at us to Feed your head, and we complied.
Decades removed from that scene — who was that guy?! — I now think of that phrase metaphysically. Feeding my head means ingesting books, videos and conversations that uplift me, make me soar with the dragons, run with the wolverines.
It’s also about feeding my soul.
Meditation. Visualization. Connection. All the practices that dial up the wondrous and the woah of this life.
Week 2 of My Year of Micro Experiments leans heavily in that direction. Feeding my soul.
It was about connecting with my 15-year-old son.
Up until a year and a half ago or so we used to play in the pool all the time during the warmer months. I’m in Florida, I hear what you’re saying, aren’t they all warmer months??
Even here the winter months are a little too chill for hopping into an unheated pool. Sure, if you’re Nordic you’d bust out your teeny Euro-thong bathing suit, the temperature is still above ice melt. But for us, once it drops below lukewarm bathwater, we wait out the winter.
That’s how we mark Spring in the tropics, when you can breezily hop back into the pool without toe testing it first.
Every parent connects with their children through shared experience. For me and the Z it was watching wrestling for a year or more — the fake kind. That’s how far love will go. For a parent steeped in the art world, who loves reading and NPR and TedTalks, this was crawling into the sweaty armpit of our culture, all for the sake of connecting with my son.
Thankfully he’s moved on to YouTubers and The Office recently. But still, I’ve always been his outdoor parent, the one who plays outside with him. The active parent.
My tweak of the week came in a flash when Z compelled us to get a small weight set and bench: My goal was to work out with him every day for a week.
It would become the basis of our new connection adventure. It wasn’t necessarily outdoors, though it was physical.
But Zane was having none of it.
On Day One he was like: Hey, work out on your own time. I can’t wait for you.
I was like: But it will be fun if we do pushups and stuff together.
And he was like: I do pushups and pullups on a moment’s notice. I’ve already done 100 pushups today and 20 pullups. Why don’t you go and do some on your own?
On Day Two I managed to squeak in 10 pushups with him late at night. And then later in the week we shot basketball together.
That was it. The end of the week was a bust when I suddenly had to run across the state to rescue my Mom (MomJo!) from a condo mold situation.
Because I’m writing this a week later — yes, Week 3 is already in the can, I can’t divulge results just yet, so don’t ask me to — because of this time lag the obvious failure was not so apparently failure afterall.
We played basketball three times this past week. At his request.
Also, though it’s no longer a goal to work out with Zane every day, it’s in my mind to do so whenever the opportunity comes up. Having that as a mild background wish makes it more likely to happen when the stars and our timing aligns.
This is the interesting thing about micro experiments. Even when your results are uninspiring the aftereffects might still surprise you.