Okay, so I think these are more useful if I just freestyle. It’s really a nice break from the other parts of my day, most of which are extremely structured. I run my life in a list, where I constantly add and reorder items and review and reorganize the list. Seriously; I spent more time looking at my to-do list than practically anything else. And it’s long as hell.
So it’s pretty clear, at least to myself, that what I’m seeking in this writing exercise and through a daily practice of meditation (which I have not been practicing at all, I did it for one day) is a sense of peace, found through separation from my day to day, which is governed by a list. I guess it is not very peaceful to be governed by a list that only grows and which constantly needs reassessment and reorganization. It is as if there is constant pressure to abide by the demands of the list. I apply constant pressure to myself by adhering to this list, enslaving myself to my to-dos. And this is clearly not a net negative thing, it helps me be extremely productive. On a day-to-day basis the amount of things I get done is pretty large, and I try to be good about doing very impactful things. Over the course of a year the amount of things I get done, or at least assess whether I should do or not, is extraordinarily high. Lists are my key to productivity.
But holy shit do they bring some noise. If, instead of a beautiful, calm, clear, silent mind, my mind is like a typewriter, clacking and printing line after line, going back in corrections, in this mode of constant production, line to line to line to line. If I’m not editing then I’m erasing, if I’m erasing then I’m adding, I’m always, always adding.
This writing is the time when I am not writing in a list. There is not something I am accomplishing. It’s as if I let the typewriter run free. It’s as if I turn off the list machine, and just brain dump all the ink from the typewriter out on the table. It’s a release, an unburdening, a freedom of space from the typewriter, which is an analogy for my mind.
I talk about this a lot, it’s actually maybe cheating, it’s a way for me to write without actually emptying out my mind. But then again, why create any more pressure for myself? That’s okay. I should just write about whatever, sometimes.
So what is on my mind? What have I been thinking about recently…?
I’m pretty content. I have minor complaints about lots of aspects of my life, but I completely recognize that these minor complaints only shine through because I have no major complaints. I am bound to find something to want to improve, as it’s in my nature, and honestly recently all the really major concerns are out of the way for now. So all these minor issues crop up – and damn, there really are a lot of them, and they bug me, but it’s also easy for me to at least intellectually understand I should just be grateful that they’re not major complaints. I’m talking about feeling sick, not having quite as much money as I wish I had, needing someone from someone else and not getting 100% of it, my knee got sprained and still hurts, I have too many things to do, I’m kind of trying to figure out my new set of roles and responsibilities at Compound, just on kind of a minute to minute basis in my life there are things that aren’t 100% optimal. My back hurts right now, I have to use the bathroom, I have to meet some friends at a bar later and I’m worried I’m drinking too much to be healthy (not really volume, but frequency just over the past week), my fantasy basketball team is losing, crypto investments are dying, etc.
But in reality I am grateful for the arc of my life, and I am especially grateful that I think I have a really powerful ability to be grateful. It’s really the key to so much of my personality, I feel like this innate sense of gratefulness that consistently anchors me in every situation, and intellectually I read about how important gratefulness is, and I definitely see how it negatively affects the lives of those who are not naturally grateful.
It may breed contentment in a way that could be viewed as negative, but on a day-to-day basis it’s something I’m very grateful that I possess.
I do, as always, still wish I had more purpose, had a mission that fit at the intersection of income-generating and socially-beneficial. Not a lot of people are able to achieve those two things at once, they generally seem to be mutually exclusive in time, but easily stacked or ordered in time. It’s kind of a holy grail for me. I think it’s why I have so much respect for artists, I feel like being an artist achieves this sort of holy balance where you can be self-interested (it seems like a lot of famous artists are obsessed with themselves) let deliver a ton of beauty and value to the world. Giving people a lot of meaning through admiring the beauty of the art, also in the pleasure of interpreting the art, and some people use art as a channel to better understand themselves and their view of the world and their place in the world. It’s really quite amazing the impact art can have, whether visual, verbal, other. Takes people to another place of experience/existence.
So anyways, right now I’m pretty much crunched at Compound, and I need to be focused here because I believe in the company and am excited about the career opportunities it affords me, and I have the ability to play a big role in the future of the company and I’m excited for the direction the company is going. So that’s basically a mandatory focus that takes a lot of time. And then it’s mandatory that I work on our wedding, which I’m excited about and will be awesome, through April. So I really don’t have time to be indulging (not really indulging but you know what I mean) these sort of more spiritually exploratory and unfulfilled parts of myself, outside of those parts I can fulfill on the jiu-jitsu mats. But after April is really the time I should re-focus because not doing a wedding will free me up a lot. So I guess it’s pretty obvious, for the next 3 months I am booked entirely, I should use my free time solely to find peace so that at least I have a glimmer of that amidst the madness of the lists that dominate my life, and then only in May can I sort of come back to the spiritual side of my life and try to find a path towards more fulfillment. It’s simply what’s necessary right now.
That means if I look to my to-do list and 2019 resolutions, it’s okay if I fail to design a project that really delivers social good or that brings in additional income, if it’s very effortful in the next 2-3 months. It’s okay if I don’t come up with an interesting side project and really begin to execute on it.
Ah and wow, reviewing the list, that’s the thing that I really want to spend time on that I’m not spending time on. I can dedicate time to thinking about that problem for fun, but I should not put any pressure on myself around solving the problem till May. I forgive myself in advance and that is how I will have no regrets. For now the focus is my wedding (entailing Melanie, family, and friends), Compound, and that’s really it. Some jiu-jitsu. And then finding peace through meditation, writing, volunteering. And some vague other odds and ends. But it’s impossible and in fact undesired to try to sink my teeth too much into anything else at this time.
I’m very happy to have emptied out the typewriter and discovered how to build a little space into my actual life, some forgiveness in advance. Grateful.