Day 703: Gotta find that mojo!

I was just texting my wife: my mojo ain’t back! Even after a vacation. Even after 72 hours of completely unplugging. Still ain’t found the mojo again.

Her recommendation, which I agree with: simplify, simplify, simplify. It’s time to set a firm date to stop my major volunteer gig — it’s been something I’ve been working on for about two years, and frankly I think it’s been a good job but needs to be handed off/back to the organization to grow or not.

I think the unplugging thing was… good. That was the most myself I’ve felt in a while, and I’ve gone a bit media-glutton since the break. There’s an equilibrium there that I should seek for sure.

So this is the to-do list: set a meeting to establish a retreat strategy from the major volunteer gig (this is something I’ve done before with the canoe club). Delete Netflix from my devices (done!). Get down to three podcasts a week. Put away devices when I get home for the evening and/or use with timed intent.

At work, get back in the good habit of planning my time more. Look at blocking out a work schedule that lets me focus on things at specific times.

I don’t know if this will get the mojo back wholly, but it’s a good start. I’m a candle-burner, but too many ends burning for too long is never good in the long term.

Day 693: Still UnFacebooked

Checking in on this a while later — it’s been kinda nice, being off Facebook. Less constant stimuli, less of a frenzy to “keep up.” Less, to be honest about my flaws, jealousy of people that seem to be thriving more than I am. And I’m doing pretty great!

This is more of an essay-length thing than a short update, but I’m genuinely distressed by how much of our lives have been outsourced to a third-party, privately owned entity. Facebook has pretty much become a “sub-Internet” designed to keep people on Facebook all the time, and it’s distressing how many people have gotten pulled into it. Businesses don’t have websites, just Facebook pages. People only put events and group information on Facebook. Organizations only exist there.

What happens when Facebook goes? Because it’s inevitable. At least, I think (hope) that it’s inevitable.

I don’t feel like I’m missing much. My wife and I are pretty self-sustaining, and while it’s nice to know what friends near and far are up to, it’s not necessary. In some ways, it triages things well: if people care enough to tell me something, they’ll get in touch, rather than just kind of blatting it out on social media and expecting me to see it. If they don’t let me know directly, it probably wasn’t that important in the first place.

Still needed for work — again, a permanent state of light hypocrisy where I’m really using Facebook because most people are using it, but hoping they’ll stop. I can’t decide where this falls, ethically. I don’t think I’m an environmentalist who owns an oil company, but I’m on that spectrum.

 

Day 678: Leaving Facebook

The only thing more annoying than talking to people on Facebook is talking to people who aren’t on Facebook. To riff on an old joke about vegans and/or Crossfit:

How do you know if somebody isn’t on social media?

Don’t worry, they’ll tell you.

This is distinctive enough that it’s probably worth unpacking a bit, though — I can’t leave Facebook. I need it for work. And since their business model only works by using personal names and personal information for access, I’ve had to manually delete every friend, page, etc. that I’ve added or liked, change my profile photo and job to say “this is not a personal account”, and hack it back to a shell of a profile of me — bare minimum — which will still allow me admin access to run the things I need to run.

I’m’a not deleting all my old photos, etc., because that’s a crazy amount of work. This isn’t tinfoil hattery levels of paranoia.

I have, though, come to the personal conclusion that Facebook does not make my life better. It makes my life worse. Ironically, since it’s the social platform that most people are on, I still need to be on it and use it heavily for my job. It actually makes my job easier and simpler when there’s a place most people are that I can just put some money into and reach ’em.

It’s not a good place, though.

So I’m taking a… semi-cowardly stance, I guess? I’m not opposing Facebook by trying to take my business away from Facebook. I’m not taking any public action. I’m not doing anything to hurt Facebook, I’m just trying to extricate myself from a bot-driven noise machine that hurts my brain.

 

Day 625: Regular Work Days Dammit

All right! Exercise and food logging. A tetch of bad sleep last night, but what can y’do: I got up early, exercised, packed my lunch, and get this — I’m’a try to nap BEFORE WORK. Weird, I know. But I’ve worked out and packed lunch and logged food, so I’m good to go for the day.

And after an 11-hour day at work yesterday, I am DAMN SKIPPY leaving on time today. Self-care, baby! I’ve put two crazy weeks in, and I need some normalcy if I’m not going to completely fry myself.

Day 326: Minimum Effort!

Happy Thanksgiving, America! Spare a thought for those we massacred on the road to plenty.

I’m acutely aware that my successes are not my own: I work hard, sure, but I’m building on a foundation of lucky circumstances of birth, a great household, the context of a society where taxes fund a strong public service and social safety net. I was born on second base, at least, and I’m striving to get to third, but I don’t think I hit a double. I’m a lucky dude, and thankful.

After yesterday’s rowapalooza, it was a light exercise day for me — which is fine, it can’t be balls to the wall every single day. I am gonna have to be more careful with food today, though.

Speaking of which, I’m back to “not great at logging.” I think this might be the thing, is I gotta pester myself. I can’t just let it go for a few days, because then that turns into a few weeks.

There are candles burning at a few ends with me right now, with rethinking how this podcast is going to work, and the side hustle thing still kind of percolating in the background. Planning a weekend trip to visit my folks for a pre-Christmas deal, as they’re going away for the holiday to visit other relations, and also to celebrate my wife’s birthday.

I was reading an interesting take on self-care earlier this morning… that self-care is the work of living. The idea is you won’t need as many spa days or special lip glosses if you’ve got your house in order. You won’t need to escape from the stress of your finances if you just do your finances. That kind of thing.

And I… I feel blah on it. I’m not sure I’m buying it. It’s an argument against a constructed dilettante that’s frivolously getting their hair done while Rome burns. I guess there are some people like that, somewhere, but I don’t really know that many. It’s fun to imagine them and get mad and/or feel superior about it, but most of the people I know do a reasonable job of managing their lives, and also like to flake out from time to time. Sure, there’s a balance to be kept, and if your house is on fire it’s not the right time to go to the arcade. But if you need to be told that, you probably have problems that a stern article isn’t going to solve.