I can’t remember if I already told you, but I’m currently on a short two-month sabbatical. I’m about halfway through it now (!!) and I think I’m finally getting into the groove of things. I’m forgotten what day of the week it is, because that’s become a trivial fact to me. Except of course that the bakery is closed on Sundays and Mondays. That’s something I’ve forgotten too many times, often when I’m already at their door. There is a certain pleasantness that exists in this way of living. It’s obviously hard to sustain (no income, only expenses), but one I’ve come to appreciate. I was afraid I would be bored, but instead I’m slowly getting my inspiration back. I try to spend the mornings at a coffee shop reading or writing. Or, like Monday, buying random shit on Amazon. ⏳ Can’t wait to get my new hourglass.
I’ve moved past any guilt I was feeling with “wasting time” and started just living day-to-day, basking in existential uncertainty. I’ve even learned what demons are and the ones that I’m carrying around. Hello need for validation! 👋🏼
As one is prone to do, I’ve become a bit introspective. Aside from therapy, I’ve turned to two different things that have proven effective: Morning Pages and 80,000 hours. Morning pages is a simple exercise out of The Artists Way, a book I picked up the week before my time off. Each morning for the last 4-5 weeks, I’ve written 2-3 pages long-hand in a notebook. It’s the only writing habit I’ve ever had stick. Even after filling almost a full book, I’m still tweaking my routine to see what will work for me long-term. It’s meant to be a brain-dump. I rarely have that much to say so I often write about the dream I had, the day before, or how I have nothing to say. Sometimes though, I use the time to reflect on some questions that are nagging at me. A big one for me lately has been how I want to be spending my time more broadly and the different types of things I want to be working on. How do you even start to think about that question?
I tried thinking about it on my own for a bit, but remembered this organization I found a couple of years ago called 80,000 hours. Their tagline is: “You have 80,000 hours in your career. How can you best use them to help solve the world’s most pressing problems?” It’s a really interesting question and thought experiment. Also, a lot of pressure. It’s scary. They have a guide/planning walkthrough and a mini-book. I’ve been reading both and going through a few of the exercises slowly while trying to figure it out. I can’t say I have any answers, but as I think about the types of things I enjoy building, they fall into three categories: improving people’s health or fitness, improving people’s financial knowledge, and the junk-drawer of things I just feel like making. Even just taking note of this fact has helped me feel a little better about how I spend my time.
The tl;dr is I have had no grand revelations yet, but feel like I am making incremental progress.
Excuse the awful photo. I’ve been hopping between books for the past week. I started Creative Selection (about Apple’s creative process), but the writing was really bad and repetitive, so I might not make it past Chapter 3. I’ve been getting deeper into Starting Strength, a training book about the major lifts in powerlifting. My lifting routine has yet to stick as I am lazy, but as someone prone to injury, I’m set on working through the reading to ensure my form is decent while I’m still early on. Have you read anything good lately? I just ordered a few more books on Amazon because I was in the mood. I’ll share them when they arrive!
What are you reading these days?
BOOM! Check out this brand new section. I wasn’t working on much for the last month but am finally getting in to the swing of things. I’ve been going through some of the SwiftUI courses from Design+Code, brushing up on Apple’s new UI framework for app development.
I am revisiting Stumble, an app I started a few years ago to both improve the UI and give SwiftUI a test drive. I was tracking down the blog post I wrote about Stumble and thought I had written about it just last year. Nope. Published in AUGUST 2018!! What!? Time has flown and I’ve accomplished nothing. If you want to read about it, you can do so here. I am planning to finish it this summer before I head back to work. I’ll share progress as I go, and since I’ve written about it here, I’m hoping that acts as some measure of pressure on me!
Til next time.