Designing a Well Lived Life: Checking In (August 2020)

Checking in for August for my "Designing a Well-Lived Life" blogging. This is about making small changes during the year to make larger changes.

  • Dropping expectations: Did OK with this, though I still have some more work to do. I still find myself wanting things to go quicker, be smoother, feel better, or just be amazing. Unfortunately things move at their own pace, are rough, feel like shit, and work like crap.

  • Physical Health: Not great. I've been feeling tired lately after meals which makes me wonder if I need to really kick up the exercise game or face something much worse.

  • Writing more: I've been writing for a contest and it feels like pulling teeth. Some days I feel like it's working and other days I just want to quit. I've made a pact with myself that whatever happens I'm going to release it into the wild, so the shittiness of what I have thus far is keeping me going so I have something better to release. Cheap trick, but it appears to be working.

  • Programming more: I got on a kick of looking at the Atari ST and a lot of the GPLed code for its OS. Not necessarily programming (or terribly useful) but it's given me something to focus on that's programming related.

  • Mindfulness: Fell out of this habit pretty hard. From time to time I catch myself pausing and noticing what my thoughts, feelings, and emotions are but more often than not I'm caught up in the stress or distractions of the moment. I've taken on the mantra of "Relentlessly prune bullshit" to bring focus back to what is important so will report on that progress.

  • Decluttering: Stalled on this, but making small gains. Wanted to be further along with having a clean basement and less crap, but have also been bringing more stuff in. Needs work.

  • Deeper work: Had some success with this but have also noticed myself dipping into distractions, especially when things get tough or boring. Been trying to use the Pomodoro Technique for managing my focus which usually works for a few iterations before I want to quit or feel out of sync. So calling it a partial win.

  • Getting out of debt: Still plugging away at the mountain. Have noticed myself picking up more things online these past few weeks and months. I think that's part of the desire for distractions or at least some novelty. Feeling the pull of retail therapy again, especially related to music and games. Need to take some steps back and realize what I'm doing in the moment (see "Mindfulness" above).

Calling August a decent month overall. I think it's easy to get all cynical and angry with myself over some of the things that didn't go the way I wanted, but looking back it was a good month. With the way things are any wins are trophy-worthy events. Even if it's just a participation award I'll take it. At least I'm still in the game.