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

Checking in for June 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): Today is my 10th chemo treatment. I've been focusing on trying to keep myself stable in-between each treatment. I haven't had a lot of opportunities to go outside or do my "normal" things like mowing the lawn and what-not (chemo takes a lot out of me. Add to that my penchant for staying up late and not being able to get back to sleep once our adorable cat Pixel decides to wake me and that creates a very tired boy). My eating has been pretty good though. Stress-wise, I've been pretty chill over the past month. I've just accepted that my body needs the sleep so I give it the sleep it desires.

  • Complete my game design projects to allow others to enjoy them: Haven't made much progress in this area. I think the main reason I haven't made progress is because I think laying out things is going to be hard. I've chosen to use LaTeX for some of my projects and that has a steep learning curve. But it's only steep until you understand what it's doing and I have been more focused on programming and being tired this past month. Going to see if I can give this some more attention in the coming months because I do think it's still important.

  • Do more non-work programming and chase my "white whales": I've been reading through the genesis of UNIX and it's spurred me to try my hand at C again, specifically with the GNU Compiler Collection (gcc). I've been culling my books and mental space to give this more attention (e.g.: removing other C compilers like Turbo C and Power C). Those are of historical interest to me, and sometimes it's fun to investigate and be curious about what programming with those tools was like, but I need more focus. Out they went. I feel more focused now on using the one suite of tools. Sometimes you have to cull the "what-ifs" to get to where you want to be, and I'm finding my mind focusing on the culling pieces to get me focused more on what is important.

  • Be more mindful and focused in my day-to-day activities: I'm working through Leo Babauta's Mindfulness 2.0 course. It's helpful to remind myself of the things that distract me or otherwise keep me from being mindful. Going to keep practicing with this throughout the month.

  • Add more joy into my life, either with games, reading, or other relaxing activities: I've been doing more reading lately. Game-wise I'm starting to find games that are exciting to me again. Might try to play them and write about them on this blog. For whatever reason I've become enamored with writing here.

  • Allow myself to do more with less (distractions, acquisition, commitments, etc.): Still struggle with this, especially with social media and these turbulent times. Finding myself wanting to peek up and find out what's going on. I've also been pretty bad about picking up new books, games, and CDs this past month. I think I'm going to try a "no acquisitions" in July to try to break myself of this habit (and it is a habit, due in part because of uncertainty and the dopamine rush of finding new things.) Of course this next month will have new things coming to the house because of delays in shipping, so hopefully that'll be enough. (Eep.)

  • Notice when I'm overwhelmed and let go as much as I can: I've been doing well with noticing this and have allowed me to not get as overwhelmed as I could be. That's not to say that I've been perfect. I still find myself overwhelmed on days where I have more than a few things that need to be done, and need to be done at a certain time. That and planning for the future is a bit stressful because I'm not sure what will be coming after round 12 of chemo. So I'll have plenty of practice ground in the coming months.

  • Declutter: Made some major headway in this (though if you looked at our basement now you wouldn't see it). Made some trades of board games that I'm never going to play and got rid of a bunch of electronics that needed better homes. Also decluttered my shelf of books that I'm unlikely to read (and if I do need to read them I can find them online in various editions). Some of these books have been supplanted by better and more current information so while I adore the classics I need to move on.

  • Continue removing debt: Still working on this. It's surprising how much of a rush it is to see bills that you thought were never going to be below a certain threshold start to dip. I quite like this, and need to corral our resources to keep making this happen.

Overall June has been an interesting month and a tiring month. I did spend more time working outside from our porch to enjoy the weather (something that we don't get a lot of time to do here in Michigan). That's helped a lot with giving me open space to work from and allowing me to get a change of scenery (note that I've been pretty house-bound since the pandemic, and doubly so since I have enough on my dance card without adding more to it). Looking forward to July (though not looking forward to the heat from July and August).