0626 – be mindful of history and time

I spent an evening out with friends today, and it was a rather pleasant evening. I didn’t exactly learn anything amazing or new, but it was just nice to unwind with people that I don’t see all the time. I do feel a little more relaxed, and it’s just pleasant to see people I guess. I also had Turkish food with my wife, which we enjoyed, and we had a good conversation. I need to make time to do this regularly. I think meeting friends at least about twice a month would probably be a nice-ish tempo. When I look back on my life over the past few years, I think there have been years where I went months and months without breaking the cycle of home-commute-work-commute… and that led to me writing depressing things like ‘a life of quiet desperation’ and ‘a man in a box’.

Well, I don’t want to be a man in a box any more, at least metaphorically. I might still have a commute that I find miserable, but I can change things up to make my life better for myself. I can schedule dates with the wife and go out to eat at interesting places, and we can prepare our own food at home. We can learn to make new dishes that we don’t currently know how to. We can get rid of books that we’re never going to read. We can continue to rearrange the furniture in our home. We can book plane tickets and get out of here, as long as we give our colleagues a bit of notice. Have these things planned and figured out in advance.

I’ve been reading some history on my Kindle, and it’s been interesting. I would like to have a good sense of human history – I was playing a little bit of Civilisation V, and there’s something about being in the middle of it, making the decisions about what to research and develop, and interacting with other historical figures – even in fictitious contexts – that gets me really interested in learning more about actual real life history. I joked once (I’m not sure if I saw this somewhere) that reading history is like binge-watching old seasons of current affairs. And you really have a much better appreciation for what you’re currently going through, and a sense of how incredible and terrible human nature can truly be.

Every vomit needs to have a single clear thesis. This one seems to be about history and time. The directive will be… what, pay attention to your history? Measure your time? Be mindful of what’s happening? Those all seem a little common-sensical. Is there something a little unusual or unexpectedd about how I’m feeling? Well… Id on’t know.

Oh. So about the Turkish dinner I was having with my wife – kebabs and hummus. I was deciding between Subway and that, where Turkish was over twice as expensive, maybe 3-4 times more expensive. But it was worth it. It’s worth spending more at least once a month (and you can actually save by eating simpler the rest of the time), because you create a new memory of a novel experience. And that’s something I think that’s very needed and sorely lacking in my life.

So what I want to do this year is be much, much more intentional about creating experiences that I want to have. I want to have one nice thing to look back on each week, and several things that mark the months. It would be awesome if I could think of one thing that defined each particular month. The expensive way to do this is that pay for whatever is coming to town. Metallica, Guns N Roses, Coldplay… I think I might catch Guns N Roses, maybe. I’ve seen Slash live before but not Axl. But maybe I’ll just save the money instead; that’s like 400+ nice coffees. But would you rather have 400+ nice coffees, or a memory that’ll stay with you for a lifetime? See, these things are actually quantifiable. I wonder if anybody’s done some proper economic research on this – whether spending money on intangibles really leeds to more sustained happens and well-being over a long period of time.

I’m very grateful for my Jaybird X3s, which are a pair of wireless earphones They’re fantastic to have when commuting, and… they’re just fantastic all around. I find myself thinking, what other things in my life have I not been working on, not been doing? I mean – what problems could I be solving that I have been avoiding? A significant part of me still makes decisions like a broke teenager – terrified of spending any money on apps, for instance. I’ve taken the leap a couple of times and spent some money on a couple of apps, and I don’t think I’ve ever regretted doing that.

I’m very, very sleepy when I write this. But it’s important to me that I get it out of the system. I also suppose I shouldd get around to renaming the title. This is day 5 or 6 in a row that I’m publishing a vomit. It’s harder than I thought; but that’s to be expected. If it was as easy as I thought, it would’ve been done a long time ago. I feel a little less silly now. Daily practice is a ritual, it’s something that needs to be tended to, something that you need to sacrifice for. But it should be its own reward. Siting here writing this, I know it’s not the best possible word vomit that could’ve theoretically been written. But it is its own reward. Yes, it is nice to write reams and reams of paper’s worth of work, and publish them. That I’e always fantasised about. But the part that’s really magical is the feeling when you’e been working. It’s a sort of liveliness from within, even if you’re sleep-deprived and writing like a zombie.

Alrighty, adieu.

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