TLDR: sleep earlier / do the dishes / avoid internet drama / prioritize the best people / don’t self-flagellate
It’s 12:04am and the wife is in the shower. I should go to bed as soon as possible and wake up as early as possible, and then definitely take naps if necessary so that I can sleep early again without getting tired.
Slept later yesterday than I would’ve liked.
Earlier today I found myself thinking a lot about some drama in the local social/political commentary scene. It took me quite a while to stop thinking about it. Arguments kept playing through my head, almost against my will. I just let it happen and eventually it passed. I found myself thinking– what’s my desired end-state here? What do I want to achieve? I was thinking about it as I got home. When I DID get home, I decided to do the dishes instead. I realized I’d rather make my wife happy than score some internet points. Yeah, there are real people attached to those internet points, and I can make some people happy or help them out a little… but there’s a heirarchy that I think I ought to adhere to.
The most important person in my life is me, that’s the one person I’ll never be able to run away from and will always be accountable to. After that, the person that matters most to me is my wife. Then I have my boss and colleagues, who I really appreciate and wish I did more for. For family and old friends, I think the important thing is that I make time for them, to share moments with them– but beyond that, the best way I can really, truly serve them is to be the best version of myself. So I don’t really have a lot of time for all these random internet arguments. I mean, if I had unlimited time and energy, I would, but clearly I’ve been misallocating my resources my whole life. What matters is that I get a good night’s sleep. Wake up early and clearheaded. If my legs feel rested, go for a run. Do some writing. Do a lot of writing. And do some work preparation so I can hit next week strong.
All in all I think I’ve been doing alright this week. Better than average, but nowhere near what I think I ought to be doing. And that statement isn’t very useful, really. It might even be a little damaging. I should be proud of myself for having written everyday. And I am. Thank you, me, for having written everyday. Let’s keep that up, and let’s try to do more along the way. It’ll be interesting and challenging in a good way, and I’ll be able to help the people I care about, and be less of a burden.
Definitely some self-flagellation going on there. I finally watched Good Will Hunting earlier today over dinner, and I think it instantly catapulted itself into my “favorite of all time” lists. I might even be happy to say that yeah, it’s my favorite movie of all time. Sure, it’s a bit simplified, but every story necessarily has to be. I might not be a super-genius like Will, or have been through such dire circumstances, but I feel like I relate to the character and I feel touched by the fact that people out there made a movie about the whole affair. It’s heartening. I might have to do a little more thinking, or give it a bit more space to simmer in my head. Right now I’m a little too tired and sleepy to really have anything super insightful to say. So I guess all I can and should say is that I’m grateful.
For a period of time over the past few months I felt that nothing interested me anymore, that I didn’t care about anything anymore, that nothing really mattered to me anymore. And I mean that in the day-to-day sense, not in any grand metaphysical sense. Which was troubling to me. I wouldn’t say that I was depressed, but I didn’t really feel like I had very much to hold on to. I was feeling uninspired. My old ideas felt trivial, silly, bullshitty. I had come up with a whole bunch of things that sounded good, but didn’t seem to resonate with me anymore.
If I had caught Good WIll Hunting a few years ago, I might have thought something like, that’s it, that’s the message we need to send out into the world, convert and inspire everybody, blah blah blah. I see now how that’s a bit vacuous, a bit presumptuous. The world is the world. All I really have dominion over is myself. It might be nice to have some sort of external goal, some agenda, but right now the only things that matter to me are sleeping well, having a clear head, and reading the books that are on my mind, maybe writing reviews about them, maybe learn to communicate concepts visually, restructure my environment and context so that I don’t keep losing the threads that I’m trying to hold on to in my mind.
The weaving got a little frayed and tangly right there, but let’s just wing it, it doesn’t need to be perfect it just needs to be done. I’ve read about 40 of my word vomits now, that’s about 1/8th of everything I’ve published so far. It’s pretty nice to see how far I’ve come. A lot of the earlier stuff feels very “labored”– like I put a lot of effort into saying things that I can now take for granted. But perhaps I can only do that now because I had put in all that effort in the first place. I needed to pack those things hard into the ground so that I could build atop their foundation. (Imperfect metaphor, but it’ll have to do for now.)
So.. I guess we’re going back to the idea that I should just race as fast as I can and see if I’ve left anything interesting to me along the way. And it really is totally okay if most of it is junk, because then I’d have gotten that stuff out of the way.