Designing a Well Lived Life: Checking In (January 2022)

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

  • Focus on health (exercise, eating, stress): In my ideal year this wasn't going to be an area of focus. I would just try to keep on doing what I do to maintain health. Unfortunately health isn't something to be taken for granted. I found that out this month when I was diagnosed with a "malignant neoplasm of the rectum", which is a fancy way of saying cancer. Suddenly health became a primary focus. I now have a standing desk and am doing more walks. I'm also being more mindful of what I eat. I'm learning more and more as the weeks progress about what my situation is and what will be needed to bring me back to health. Words like "chemo", "radiation", and "surgery" are not words that I was hoping to hear this year, but that's what's needed to remove this thing from me. So, more to come. This is my primary focus this year.

  • Complete my game design projects to allow others to enjoy them: When I'm not thinking about health I'm still thinking about my projects. I didn't give these much attention (see above) but I did give them some attention.

  • Do more non-work programming and chase my "white whales": This went by the wayside for the moment. I'm focusing more on finishing up projects than taking on new ones, and while these are long-standing projects they're getting shuffled away in favor of things that need finishing.

  • Be more mindful and focused in my day-to-day activities: This has been getting a work-out this month. I have a tendency to get worked up about the future, so being mindful and present with what I'm currently experiencing is proving key to not getting sucked into an anxiety spiral.

  • Add more joy into my life, either with games, reading, or other relaxing activities: Working with this.

  • Allow myself to do more with less (distractions, acquisition, commitments, etc.): I've been pulling things apart so I don't have to think about them. Things like converting sites from WordPress to Pelican have allowed me to pull away from having to maintain several WordPress sites that are essentially static (no new content for the foreseeable future). Also I've been working on calming down picking up new games. I have enough.

  • Notice when I'm overwhelmed and let go as much as I can: Boy howdy this has been getting a workout this month. Still, I've been able to calm down and reflect better, so this has been helping.

  • Declutter: Doing more of this, slowly but surely.

  • Continue removing debt: Doing my best with this, but the one thing that's most true about the USA medical system is that whatever insurance doesn't cover gets passed on to the patient to pay. And because I'm still getting poked, prodded, tested, and assessed the bills are going to keep coming. Working with this as best we can.

Still processing all of this, but feeling confident that I can beat cancer. Will keep you all posted as I know more.