I want to pick up the thread begun in my last post, where I recognized my own toxicity in the face of the tumult of the world. I now want to abstract it a bit and propose some ideas for why we all glue ourselves to the news and social media when the shit hits the fan. (Recent shit includes the white supremacist insurrection at the capitol, Trump being impeached again, concern about violence in the coming week, and continuing COVID numbers, if you’re still tracking that.)

Why am I glued to my Instagram feed, scrolling through hot takes about…


We are facing a global pandemic. This is scary for many reasons: there’s the proximal reason that a pandemic disease is upon us and many people will suffer and die; and there’s the downstream reason that life as we know it in many parts of the world has ground to a nearly-complete halt. For those of us who have lived relatively peaceful and stable lives (and let’s face it, if you’re reading this, you probably have), the current state of the world violently challenges our sense of stability and control.

Over the last few weeks, I have been trying to…


I recently embarked on a journey of lifetime. I shed my corporate uniform and began what I’m (euphemistically) calling a “sabbatical.” (The term seems fitting, since sabbaticals are typically granted every 7 years, and I was with my employer for 7-and-change years.) My process of discovering my next professional move hinges in large part on “networking.”

Networking has a bit of a bad rap. I say networking, and you think happy hours full of mid-20s entrepreneurs, donning unreasonably-curated outfits, handing out bone-colored business cards and brown-nosing anyone with more than a touch of grey on their heads. Well yes, those…


Four “ages” that really matter (and the one that doesn’t)

As we millennials enter (and cruise through) middle age, inevitably we start to become very aware of our ages creeping up on us. While some of us may throw big 3–0 birthday bashes and our cares to the wind, in the backs of our minds it’s still hard for us to contend with the accelerating progress of life. Progress that is supposedly measured by that ever-critical number: age.

Age can mean so many things to us:

  • A marker of what life-stage we “should” be at
  • A measure of how much we ought to have accomplished by now
  • A way to…

Today on the bus, I encountered a boy, maybe 10 years old, with his father. The boy was mostly blind, and he behaved in a way that is not totally common among sighted children his age, and even less common among adults: he was unapologetically and thoroughly curious.

“What is all that beeping?”

“Is this a new bus?”

“Does he have his turn signal on?”

“Why is the bus going ‘beep beep?’”

Why sure, he’s blind, one might say. He’s trying to figure out all the things happening in the world that are completely evident to the rest of us…


[Originally published March 2018 on personal website]

I was dreaming. It was a long blurry trance-like dream. Right? Wasn’t it? Step after step. Pole pole, my guide reminded me in Swahili — slowly, slowly. Step step. Pole pole. Sip water. Focus on your breath. Step step. Pole pole. Stumble. Catch your breath. Pole pole.

It was 5am and I was hours into the summit attempt at Mount Kilimanjaro, the tallest peak in Africa. I had been roused from my fitful sleep at 11:20pm the previous night. My companions and I had fumbled with our headlamps to dress ourselves with as…

Michael R

I write, think, coach, listen, advise, and try to be the best human I can be. Currently traveling the country in a minivan. Follow me: wanderingmystic.net

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