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

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

(I'm doing things earlier this month because Monday is going to be a busy day and I have the time now to focus on it).

  • Focus on health (exercise, eating, stress): This month had my radiation treatments for my liver cancer and the resulting fallout (no pun intended) from stomach-and-intestine-related issues. I'm doing better, but I'm still not out of the woods yet. I'll know more about whether or not I'll have surgery on Monday and then prep for the surgery (if it happens) in the remainder of next week. Stress-wise I've been working with the frustrations of realizing that I can't get everything done and being OK with that. I've been eating OK, but I've noticed myself snacking a lot more on things that are sweet.

  • Complete my game design projects to allow others to enjoy them: I did a 10 minute a day of working on the "Unnamed Cat Game". That was really cathartic because it was a reminder that i can do this if I put my mind to it and just work on it each day. Funnily enough I wrote a whole god-damned book about doing small practice daily. Go figure. This will be something I'll continue to explore. I'm looking at Atari Assembly Language at the moment and reviewing Chris Crawford's excellent Source Code for Eastern Front 1941 which is an excellent look at the game design process for an Atari 8bit machine.

  • Do more non-work programming and chase my "white whales": I mentioned that worked on the Unnamed Cat Game. That was in Lua, which was an interesting experience. It made me pine for working on actual machines so I've been focusing on learning Assembly Language on the Atari. I'm also letting myself play with BASIC XL and other languages on the Atari. For whatever reason that's been motivating to me so I'm going to ride that motivation for as long as I can.

  • Be more mindful and focused in my day-to-day activities: Haven't been consciously working on this but I've noticed that when I get focused I'm pretty well focused. I still have interludes where I'm not as focused, or I drift off to social media, but I've been working on mitigating that as much as possible.

  • Add more joy into my life, either with games, reading, or other relaxing activities: Haven't focused on this as much this past month, though I have been playing a lot of Atari 8bit games and falling back in love with this platform.

  • Allow myself to do more with less (distractions, acquisition, commitments, etc.): This also didn't get much direct focus but it's been something I've been tacitly working on.

  • Notice when I'm overwhelmed and let go as much as I can: I've definitely been practicing with this as my ostensible surgery comes near. I'm letting things drift off as much as I can because I'm not going to get to them. My someday/maybe list is going to get a workout soon as I move things over to it (or, more importantly, just remove things altogether from it).

  • Declutter: Made some progress with this. I sent off my video games to the Computer Video Game Archive. I also cleared out a room in the basement that I've been meaning to clear out (for reasons that were a semi-emergency that I'm not going to go into here out of respect for the privacy of those involved). I have several mounds of things that need sorting and will get sorted as I make time for them. Finding myself addicted to creating more space in my life and looking at things that can either be trashed / recycled, donated, or sold off. I'm tired of living in a sea of junk that does nothing for us.

  • Continue removing debt: Still making progress on this, though I've held off a bit to build up resources.

November is going to be a challenging month for me. I'm going to be disabled for most of it so I'll need to allow myself to be OK with that and not spiral into depression, guilt, and anxiety. I know how I am when I can't do things that I want to do so I'll need to be OK with that. I also am readying myself for an uncertain future and major changes that could befall us. It's not going to be easy but (as so many cancer-related books are titled) "it is what it is". As long as I persevere it's a middle-finger to this disease. I'm planning on giving them the middle-finger for a very long time.