Day 400: The Art of the Fast (It’s Not Just For Food)

First of all, I couldn’t resist: it’s Day 400 of my 365 Day Blogging Project. Okay, so maybe I took nearly two months off from writing in this blog. I was re-grouping, also I was writing “Frankenstein” music. And now that I’m doing it again, I’m not even sure what I will do after this month. Is there even any validity in calling this a “Daily Blog”?

But it’s Day 400!

Today I want to write about the Art of the Fast. But not merely in the way it is usually used. I must love the notion, because I make extensive of it in multiple ways throughout my life.

First of all, I use it in the most obvious sense of the word: Since about August 2018, I have been an avid Intermittent Faster. I am strict about fasting for sixteen hours every day, usually from about 3-6pm until the following morning. The only exceptions for this are in an unusual performance, social, or running situation. For instance, today since I was running a half marathon and wanted to make sure I was well fueled, I only fasted for about fourteen hours. And sometimes for special family occasions or planned late night social outings where there is food, I might eat later. I have also been known to make an exception if an especially busy performance day calls for it.

In other ways, I have practiced “fasting” now and then as the situation calls for it. For one, I “fasted” from doing my blog from September 12th until a couple days ago. I thought it might do me some good to step away from this practice for awhile. Plus, as I said, I had a creative project, and wished to put all my attention into that. I can say that, indeed, my fast helped: I am happy to return to this platform (so much so that I’m even considering re-instating the daily numbering system, as you can see from tonight’s title!).

Then there’s the reading “fast” I had earlier in the year. I was no longer interested in forcing myself to read things just because I had started them. I took several months where I barely finished a book. This helped me ensure that if I was reading something, I actually liked it! Easing up on reading for awhile helped me clarify this, and over the past few months I have been a much happier reader (and I did put down one book in that time, because it just wasn’t satisfying me).

Another “fast” I put myself on was a “cafe fast.” For a couple of weeks in the beginning of October, I stopped going to the cafe to write, think, and read. I have posted about how much good “blissing out” at the cafe has done for me. Well, it was starting to get old. I was going there nearly every day for awhile, and it started to lose its lustre. After taking a break, I have decided to return, but much more sparingly: a couple of times a week, instead of 4-6. This is helping keep it productive and quality time.

The last “fast” I want to talk about is my “portfolio checking fast.” Namely, I decided that for the month of November, I am not going to check my portfolio (either on my spreadsheets or online). I was checking my numbers multiple times per day for several years, and though this often could be quite fun (and really wasn’t stressful), I wanted to mix things up. I felt that it was a good practice to wean myself off of checking so much. It’s not like I’m going to be suddenly rich by checking three times a day (Lemme see… wait… nope, not rich yet. Dammit!)

To be fair, I do a monthly update on our numbers, and I will do that at the end of the month. I also have an investment meeting I go to, and I will likely update the numbers then. Plus, I get a weekly email from Personal Capital with the general motion of my investments every week. But other than that, I’m on a fast. In fact, I started this a few days ago, before Halloween. And so far I can honestly say it’s been pleasant to switch things up.

All in all, it’s amazing how beneficial it can be simply to stop doing something for awhile. As they say, all good things in moderation. After all, in the on-going quest for satisfaction, sometimes it best to mix things up.

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