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

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

  • Dropping expectations: This has gotten easier over the year. I still find myself getting frustrated, but when that happens I have found it's a little easier to recover. That said I did have a keyboard-smacking event when JavaScript wasn't meeting my expectations. This is a reminder that I still have expectations around my skills with JavaScript and how my interactions with JavaScript should be, and we're not there yet.

  • Physical Health: We've done a few occasional walks but the day-to-day exercise hasn't happened yet. I haven't made this a priority for a long time now, and I'd rather prioritize it when it's something that I want to do rather than something that I have to do.

  • Writing more: This past month I submitted a RPG scenario for the Pelgrane Press contest and have written several adventure seeds for the Pepper&Carrot RPG. I'm floundering with the RPG (I feel there's a lot more work that needs to happen to release this) but it's nearing the point where I'd be OK with folks playtesting it.

  • Programming more: For some reason while writing the RPG scenario for Pelgrane Press I got enamored with the Atari ST so I've been looking into what makes it work and understanding more about it. This also got me reading about 68000 assembly and brushing up on my C. I'm starting to feel my enthusiasm wane for this, so hopefully I can keep some of the momentum going a little while longer.

  • Mindfulness: I'm semi-half-assing this. There are times when I feel really mindful and times when I'm on auto-pilot. I haven't made this more conscious, which means I've been lucking into mindful spurts instead of being more, um, mindful about them. Something to work on in the coming month.

  • Decluttering: Having some success wit this but haven't given it the attention it needs. I think I'll have more time for this during the fall and winter. I've got several things that I know just need to go but because of the pandemic I haven't prioritized dropping this stuff off. I think I'm going to mail some of the books that I have to the Internet Archive so they can be digitized and made available for online lending, so I'll need to package those up.

  • Deeper work: I find that I'm best able to do this in the morning, but later in the day my mind starts really wandering. I've been getting up earlier than I have in the past and that has helped me stay focused for the deeper work. It can be a struggle, but with my focus on being mindful I think this has the potential for the biggest pay-off next month.

  • Getting out of debt: Still plugging away at this, though I've noticed myself saying no to a lot more things like Kickstarter. I'm trying to use a wishlist.txt file for parking things that I want so I can be more clear about whether something is interesting in the moment or whether it is truly something that I want. Unfortunately being online all day also has a tendency for me to do "Oh, shiny!" a lot more. Let's just say that more boxes have been coming to the house as the year has progressed.

Overall September has been quite good. I turned another year older this month, and it has only added to my desire to work on things that are meaningful and prune out the bullshit as much as I can. I've got way more days behind me than in front of me now so my time has become way more valuable. True, learning a dead computer system like the Atari ST might not be the most "productive" thing I can do but it's giving my brain some much needed discovery and allowing me to make connections about concepts that are strengthening my understanding of computing. I'm finding myself wanting to understand more about how the world works which is leading me to read more about history from different perspectives. I'll blog about that in a future post.