"Normal" Things That I Don't Do

On the whole, I'd say I'm a pretty normal person, but I have some oddities just like everyone else.

A lot of times people tend to fixate on things that other (perhaps more successful) people do differently, but today I'd like to share some normal things that a lot of people do that I just simply don't. I'm not saying that you shouldn't do these things, I'm just saying that I don't do them, and I'll also give my reasons why.

So, here we go, I don't...

1. Eat While Driving

I consider eating a meal to be a very sacred experience. It's a time when you can sit back, relax, and really think about things while stuffing your face. Never once have I ever been in such a hurry that I felt compelled to eat whilst operating an automobile. Now, there have been occasions when I was with people who felt the need to save time by eating in the car, so I was somewhat forced to join them (very begrudgingly).

Why don't I eat while driving? Well, first and foremost, it's really dangerous! I don't think people have enough respect for just how dangerous distracted driving is (whether it be texting, messing with the radio, eating, or talking to your passengers). You may think "yeah, but I slow down when I do stuff like that." Okay, well are you slowing down to 0 mph? If not, then let's look at some "slow" speeds. If you're going 25 mph (a pretty slow speed by anyone's standard), then that's 36.7 feet per second, or a little over 10 yards per second. So, even at a "slow" speed, you're still getting a first down every second. If you take your eyes off the road for 2 seconds to mess with your burger, then you've traveled over 70 feet, and if anything starts to occupy that 70 feet of space that wasn't there when you looked away, then you're in for some trouble. And that's at 25 mph! If you're on a highway and slowed down to 55 mph, then you're covering 80.7 feet in one second. That's a quarter of a football field...in one second. So yeah, that seems like a good enough reason to not eat while driving.

Also, it's just a royal pain in the arse. Your lap is not a good surface for food storage. And you don't really get to enjoy your food because the sheer task of eating it adds a certain amount of stress to the experience.

So, I prefer to just plan a nice meal break into my schedule, where I can sit down and eat at a table or some table-like surface and not have to deal with g-forces and moving environments. It's not that hard, and I've never thought "gee, I wish I had eaten in my car so that I could have had extra time for this thing."

2. Listen to Music While Working Out (or doing anything other than sitting)

To be more specific, I don't listen to music on earbuds or headphones while working out, but I do enjoy if the gym is blasting a song that I like.

There are a few reasons for this, the first being that I found it doesn't really help me. When I was in college, I listened to music on earbuds while I ran on a treadmill or lifted weights (on machines, because I was young and stupid). At first, I loved the concept. Blasting music into my brain seemed like an effective way to remove myself from the experience and forget the discomfort my body was feeling. It worked at first, but after awhile the music just became noise in my head, and I was still well aware of my body's discomfort. Also, the desire to hit a set on the weights at the *perfect* time in a song caused some rest periods that were probably longer than they should have been, which of course led to just walking around the gym listening to music instead of doing anything.

Going with the first reason, I've found that working out is much more than a mindless physical experience. No matter what you're doing, working out (effectively) involves total mind and body cooperation. Nowadays, my workouts revolve around heavy barbell lifting, and if I'm not completely concentrated then I know I'm not going to have a good set. I like a nice bit of ambient music in the background, but if I were to blast music right into my ears, then my brain would have to work to tune it out so that it could concentrate on the lift. This would mean that I would be needlessly wasting brainpower on the music, and I definitely need all the brainpower I have for the lift.

The final reason is more of a safety one. It's not a great idea to listen to music if you're running or walking or biking outside, because it reduces situational awareness. You won't be able to hear a car coming or hear a person screaming "help!" or even just a person saying "hi". In the gym, situational awareness is less important, but it's still really annoying if you want to ask someone if they are using something and you have to wave wildly at them or tap them on the shoulder because they can't hear you. It's overall just kinda douchey.

3. Listen to Popular (Recent) Music

I bet I'd like these festivals if I did drugs...
Image Credit

While we're on the subject of music, I don't really like the same music as a lot of people (well, people my age anyway). I enjoy mostly classic rock, '80s hair metal, progressive rock/metal, and arena rock, as is shown by my odd song suggestions in the music section of this website. I really despise today's popular music. Don't get me wrong, a lot of the songs are catchy and get stuck in my head quite easily, but there is just so little substance to it. And what happened to guitar solos, or just guitars in general? Even in today's rock music, all you hear are some generic power chords without any shredding arpeggios. Did the 60s/70s/80s guitarists take all the good licks? Have guitarists been exiled to the realms of hardcore metal and neoclassical instrumental music? Did the world get bored of the awesome sound of overdriven electric guitars? Please, someone answer this for me.

4. Drink Coffee 

I've written about this before, but even though I get tired regularly I resist the urge to consume caffeine because, well, it's not really a solution to the problem. Usually I only get tired if I'm doing something that I don't consider very physically or mentally stimulating, and if that's the case then I really don't need to be too alert.

Even if I'm dead tired I can still find enough energy to finish a workout or play a round of tennis, and it's often the case that these activities actually energize me. So perhaps you don't need energy to do things, you need to do things to gain energy. Sometimes it works...

5. Get "Hangry"

Every now and then, I get hungry, and every now and then I get angry, but the two are rarely correlated. The term "hangry", which is a portmanteau of "hungry" and "angry", seemed to grow vastly in popularity after a Snickers commercial featured the phenomenon (which, unfortunately, also seemed to empower people to claim they were affected by it).

I get that being hungry isn't super fun and it's tempting to get angry at people (especially if they are late and are preventing you from eating) but if you live in a first-world country then chances are you are far from starving to death, so deal with it. When you are used to eating a lot, a temporary lack of food delivers a strong hunger response to the brain. In my experience, if you just wait a little bit, then this hunger wave will pass and you'll feel fine again, which is a good thing to keep in mind if you are trying to lose weight. It helps to drink some water during this wave, as proper levels of hydration can fill your stomach and make you not want to eat so much.

It seems, in my experience at least, that women are more affected by hanger than men. I've almost had relationships end due to hanger, and then, when we finally got food, they would eat two bites and then be like "I'm full." "What?! You chewed my head off because you wanted two bites of a salad?!" Perhaps a bit of an exaggeration, but you get my drift.

Now, the overarching moral to this is that if we want to live in a civilized society, then we must not let our moods affect our behavior. Just because you're angry doesn't mean you can yell at a waiter for forgetting your drink or punch someone in the face because they looked at you funny. Everyone has moods, and everyone has feelings, and you should make it your goal to be civil to other people no matter what your feelings are. So, I don't care if you read a Huffpo article that normalized being "hangry", it's not okay to snap at people because you've gone two hours without eating. The average person can survive at least three weeks without food, and your primal ancestors probably went a few days between meals. You aren't dying, so stop your whining.


Well that's all I have time for, folks, but there's a chance I could write another one of these in the future.

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