Items tagged with: Seachange

For GenZ and younger Millennials: You’re living through a time comparable to, possibly more consequential than, 9/11 for the GenX crowd.

Possibly closer to major political upheavals or wars: Fall of the Soviet Bloc / Berlin Wall, AIDS/HIV, Vietnam War, WWII, the Great Depression.

Your lives will likely be divided into “pre-Coronavirus” and “post-Coronavirus”.

Life, institutions, worldviews, life trajectories, politics, values, will change. Quite probably long-term. In unexpected ways I cannot predict.

This may be the first, and possibly milder instance, of a wave of future pandemics.

Pay attention.

#covid19 #coronavirus #seachange

Designing a Well Lived Life: Checking In (February 2020)

Checking in for February for my "Designing a Well-Lived Life" blogging.
This is about making small changes during the year to make larger
  • Dropping expectations: I'm not sure I had to consciously do this as
    much this month, but it could be that I've either dropped the
    expectations or that my expectations this month were low. I'll need
    to notice if this happens at all during next month.
  • Physical Health: I've been taking more breaks and getting up from
    the computer. One day I drank water instead of coffee for the
    afternoon. I haven't made a concerted plan for this yet. It keeps
    becoming "not as important" and I'm starting to feel that my
    let-it-ride philosophy of physical health is going to bite me in the
    ass soon.
  • Writing more: I've been writing for the Pepper&Carrot RPG and making
    good progress. I haven't done as much blogging as I would like but I
    did write more articles this past month. I have been trying a
    journaling habit where if I want to switch context while focusing
    that I journal instead about what I'm feeling in that moment. That
    might prompt more thoughts that I'll want to write about.
  • Programming more: Really feeling stuck on this one. All of my
    programming has been for work. I'm feeling a bit stagnant in this
    arena. Part of it is competing priorities (I'd like to learn Rust,
    and I feel I should take another stab at JavaScript) and part of it
    is wanting to go deeper into technologies that I think are
    interesting (I think there's something interesting I can create with
    Godot). But I feel rather numb to this at the moment. Also I
    realized that part of my issue is feeling like i need to know
    everything before I start, which is a common problem that I've dealt
    with. I'm going to need to work with the idea that I can jump into
    something and learn as I go. But then the question is "what would I
    like to create?". I think I need to just sit and play for a bit and
    get excited about programming again.
  • Mindfulness: I'm finding myself being more mindful, except when I'm
    not. ;) That's a cheeky way of saying that when I'm focused I'm
    being more mindful than when I'm scattering my attention all over
    the place with distractions and what-not.
  • Decluttering: I've made some progress with this. My parents are also
    decluttering, so I'm finding some intake from them as well. I have a
    daily repeating task to declutter in certain areas of the house for
    10 minutes that I think I need to take more seriously. The main
    thing is I'm not sure where to start in some of these areas, and I
    feel blocked because some of the things I want to donate, but it's
    hard to figure out a time to take these items over to donate.
    Perhaps I need to do them in small chunks rather than all at once.
  • Deeper work: I made some more progress with this. I've started the
    journaling habit whenever I get distracted from a task, so that has
    helped get me back on track. I did notice my propensity to just jump
    onto Youtube to watch something and then watch several related
    videos. I think I need to use youtube-dl more to keep my focus
    only on the video that I want to watch.
  • Getting out of debt: Making progress with this, but slower than I
    would like. I also found myself making RPG game purchases (I blame
    part of that on sales, and part of that on my newfound love of the
    BRP system, and rekindling my love of Fudge). I need to realize that
    I don't need to find "RPG Methadone" if I don't like a particular
    system, I can do without. That's a pattern that I've noticed in
    myself: "I don't like this one thing for this particular reason,
    let's find alternatives that are similar and fill that need better".
    I blame part of that on my use of Linux and needing to find
    alternatives for things that other platforms enjoy. It's not
    healthy, though it gives me short-term satisfaction.
I also worked on getting my book "The Mediocre Programmer" closer to
publication. I found a LaTeX template that looks really good for the
PDF. Hoping to make some more traction on that in the coming month.


#Adayinthelife #Seachange #ZenHabits #SocialMedia #Computers

Designing a Well Lived Life: Checking In (January 2020)

Checking in for January for my "Designing a Well-Lived Life" blogging.
This is about making small changes during the year to make larger
  • Dropping expectations: I'm finding that my expectations creep up way
    more than I thought. Expectations on what I want to accomplish,
    expectations for how well I would do with something; it's more
    pervasive than I would like. This is an area that I need more work,
    because I get so caught up in how I think things should be and not
    now they are. Worse, I start behaving as though I need to somehow
    protect or manage things so they meet those expectations.
  • Physical Health: I bought a drum pad and have been doing a slight
    bit more walking. I'll take whatever progress I can. Still need more
    work in this area.
  • Writing more: I've been writing at least 5 times a week for 10
    minutes at a time. I'll call that progress, but I would like to do
    more of this. Journaling in particular, because I got off that habit
    a while ago and I find it useful.
  • Programming more: I let this slide based on work requirements, but
    I'd like to get back to it. The downside is figuring out which I
    would like to focus on: Rust, JavaScript, or Godot. Each of them has
    their advantages, so I'm going to take this weekend to decide which
    I prefer to start with.
  • Mindfulness: Having middling success with this. Sometimes I find
    myself not being terribly mindful and other times I'm quite mindful.
    Still need to practice this.
  • Decluttering: Did better with this. Getting things out of the
    basement. Still need to work more on this.
  • Deeper work: Have been progressing with this. Allowing myself to
    work without the distractions is quite nice. The area that I need to
    work on is not grabbing hold of those distractions the moment I
  • Getting out of debt: Slowly but surely. Trying to find the balance
    between paying off the bill and incurring more bills as a result.
    Also finding new things that interest me isn't helping. :)
More in the coming weeks.


#Adayinthelife #Seachange #ZenHabits #SocialMedia #Computers

Designing a Well Lived Life: Checking In (December 2019)

Checking in for December, and the end of 2019 for my "Designing a
Well-Lived Life" blogging. This is about making small changes during the
year to make larger changes.
  • Administrative focus: Some slight progress here. I've gotten better
    about putting things into my phone and having them sync elsewhere,
    but for the most part I've been a bit rubbish about keeping my
    physical inboxes and computer inbox empty (not email though, which
    I'm better at keeping cleaned out once a day). I think I need to
    schedule more time for this each day.
  • Writing more: I've been progressing with editing on my book, and
    have published several blog posts over the year that weren't related
    to this challenge. Still some improvement to be had but overall
    calling this a success.
  • Design more: Going to tackle this in 2020. I really let this one
    slip more than I would have liked.
  • Programming more: I let my expectations get in the way of progress
    here. Most of my programming was for work with the occasional detour
    into Godot and Rust, but that was about it. Need to take my own
    advice and give myself 10 minutes each day to work on this.
  • Getting out of debt: Small steps here, but still progressing. I'm
    committing to making more of a dent in our finances and keeping on
    top of things for 2020.
  • Physical Health: Absolute rubbish here, but I'm going to be kind to
    myself and give myself more opportunities in 2020 to do exercise.
    I'm hitting that age where not exercising is going to cause serious
    issues and its high time that I stopped coasting.
  • Mindfulness: Calling this a success even though I had spates where I
    wasn't as mindful as I could be. My meditation was also sporadic,
    but have find myself pausing and being more mindful when stressed or
  • Deeper work: Early on this year I wasn't good at this, but with a
    large project I've gotten much better at getting into deeper work. I
    still allow myself way more distractions than I should but overall
    I've improved a great deal with this.
For 2020 I'm looking to tackle the following:
  • Dropping expectations: I tend to make expectations about how things
    will proceed and how the day should be. This leads to
    disappointment, guilt, and anxiety. I want to work with dropping
    these as much as I can.
  • Physical Health: This desperately needs attention.
  • Writing more: I've been meaning to keep a journal of my thoughts, so
    perhaps I can work with that intention in mind. Would also help with
    my mindfulness.
  • Programming more: Ostensibly I should enjoy programming more, but I
    have expectations of how far I should be with this. I'm going to
    instead try to work with this as though I'm a beginner again with no
    expectations to find the joy in learning and being a programmer. I
    have joy in my work, now let's find it in my leisure programming.
  • Mindfulness: Continuing with being mindful in my day-to-day
  • Decluttering: I've accumulated a lot of shit over the years, and I
    need to pare down the things that I have and the things that have
    stuck to me over the years. This also ties in to the administrative
    focus, but from a more runway perspective.
  • Deeper work: More focus is the order of the day.
  • Getting out of debt: This is going to be a constant refrain, and is
    part of the decluttering.
Happy new year!


#Adayinthelife #Seachange #ZenHabits #SocialMedia #Computers

Designing a Well Lived Life: Checking In (November 2019)

Checking in for Nobember for my "Designing a Well-Lived Life" blogging.
This is about making small changes during the year to make larger
  • Administrative focus: My inbox is my nemesis at the moment. I have a
    lot of crap in there that hasn't been processed. I feel like I'm
    just accruing crap in there without managing to process it more.
    I've taken to digitizing them in the hopes that it'll manage to get
    me to look at it better, but all that seems to do is just get me a
    directory of files that I never look at. Also I've grown numb to my
    next actions lists so things are on there that are now celebrating
    birthdays. That's not great at all. I need to put some focus back
    into working my lists and working them more than "here's the
    recurring things that I need to do for today" levels, and literally
    spend some time each day addressing the items on those lists.
  • Writing more: I've been putting in 10 minutes each day (most days)
    to writing and editing two books (The Mediocre Programmer and the
    Pepper&Carrot RPG). Unfortunately I'm finding my attention is split
    between the two so I need to put my focus more toward one or the
    other. Perhaps I just need to spend a week working on the edits for
    The Mediocre Programmer so I can call it done for the year. I was
    hoping that I would have a playable version of The Pepper&Carrot RPG
    by year's end but that is turning out to be more aggressive than I
  • Design more: See above re: The Pepper&Carrot RPG.
  • Programming more: Most of my programming has been work-related, so
    by the time I'm done with work I don't want to do any more
    programming. I've set a mini-goal for working through Eloquent
    JavaScript again, but I'm feeling major resistance there. When I'm
    at Coffee House Coders the last thing I want to do is program; most
    of the time I'm cleaning up email or reading RSS feeds. Not good.
  • Getting out of debt: Slow progress here, but still some progress.
  • Physical Health: I've managed to do even less exercise and walking
    than I normally do. That's in part because I've been glued to the
    computer for work.
  • Mindfulness: Had some good epiphanies related to mindfulness and
    working with mindfulness lately. Mostly I've been using it for focus
    and to help keep myself on task and recognizing the times when I'm
    not on task.
  • Deeper work: Middling success with this. I'm still
    distraction-prone, but I have had moments where time has disappeared
    and I've been "in the zone" with my work.
I also did some decluttering in the basement prior to Thanksgiving, so
I've been concentrating on getting the basement back into some semblance
of order. Also clearing out old books (digital and physical) that are no
longer relevant or are severely out of date.


#Adayinthelife #Seachange #ZenHabits #SocialMedia #Computers

Designing a Well Lived Life: Checking In (October 2019)

Checking in for October for my "Designing a Well-Lived Life" blogging.
This is about making small changes during the year to make larger
  • Administrative focus: Erm, this month wasn't great for that. Work
    has been pretty hot-and-heavy for me so anything else has been
    taking a back seat during this time. My lists are stale at best and
    I need to take some time to go through them and clean them up. This
    is one area that I'm feeling pretty out of whack.
  • Writing more: Started OK but haven't given this any time. I'm going
    to have to improve my focus on this more.
  • Design more: See above. Not much focus here, Not sure what I want to
    do to change that. Feeling rather over-extended at the moment.
  • Programming more: The only programming I've been doing at the moment
    is work-related programming. Not sure if this will get more focus in
    the coming weeks, but definitely feeling like I need to give this
    more attention.
  • Getting out of debt: Making small progress here, but mostly because
    I haven't been spending as much money. Need to get our budget back
    online. Oddly enough this was a focus area for one of the programs
    that I'm working through, but I've not given it any focus at all.
  • Physical Health: No change. Feeling like this needs some more focus
    in the coming month.
  • Mindfulness: Sporadic at best, though I have been practicing with my
  • Deeper work: Funnily enough this has gotten more attention because
    I've been allowing myself more focus while working. This has taken
    the form of shutting down social media, which has worked to a point
    (sadly I've also gotten to where I'll start binging on social media
    to compensate or feel like I'm catching up for lost time. Need to
    work on letting things be more ephemeral.
Hoping to give more focus to my writing and design in November, and to
give myself more chances to write in this blog about my progress. But
for now I'm not feeling that great about what I haven't worked on. That
said I am practicing with being more mindful about being kind to myself
when I feel like beating myself up over these things, and understanding
the groundlessness that even the best laid plans aren't necessarily how
things will work out.


#Adayinthelife #Seachange #ZenHabits #SocialMedia #Computers


One thing that I've found when trying to change my habits is that I
really thrive when there's some form of accountability. Accountability
is when someone checks in on you to ensure that you're sticking with
your new habit. The habit that I've been working on is trying to give
myself some creativity space (at least 10 minutes) where i can work on
my projects. Both of the projects that I'm working on (The Mediocre
Programmer and The Pepper&Carrot Fate based RPG) have their home on
Framagit, so I am going to use the interface for displaying whether I
have made a commit or not as my habit tracker.

You can help out by checking my progress on
Framagit and hold me accountable to
my practice. My ideal is that I won't break the chain of having at least
one commit per day. If I miss one day then that's OK, but if I miss two
days I will feel you silently (or otherwise) shaming me. You can contact
me via my about page to let me
know that you noticed.

I might open this up to other avenues in my life that I'm currently
tracking, but for now this will be enough to keep me from missing out.

I'm counting on you to keep me accountable. Thanks!


#Adayinthelife #ZenHabits #Seachange

Designing a Well Lived Life: Checking In (August 2019)

Checking in for August for my "Designing a Well-Lived Life" blogging.
This is about making small changes during the year to make larger
  • Administrative focus: I've continued to let this slip a bit. I've
    not been nearly as focused on my next actions lists as I would like.
    I've let things pile up over several days / weeks and then had to
    make a large event to process it. This has been most notable in
    emptying my inbox where things will pile up over the course of a few
    days / weeks and not move in that timeframe. I'm not sure what I can
    do to help with that, but for now it's something that has been
    giving me a sense of guilt and grief. I have been working more on
    keeping my lists current though, so that's a small win.
  • Writing more: I've been working on the Pepper&Carrot RPG, which has
    sparked some of my writing thoughts. It hasn't been as consistent as
    I would like (that's the theme for this month) but at least I can
    say that I've done some work in this area.
  • Design more: See above. I'd like to thank Michael Lucas' Gatecrasher
    and the Fudge RPG system for uncorking this and getting my head back
    into the design space.
  • Programming more: Work-wise I've been programming, but otherwise I
    haven't given this the attention it deserves. Pity too because I
    would like to do some more of this (especially with Django and
    Rust). Perhaps that will get some attention next month.
  • Getting out of debt: What's the opposite of progress? Regress? I've
    made a lot of regress in this area. If anyone would like to help
    contribute to the pay down my damn debts fund I would be grateful. I
    have a Liberapay account.
  • Physical Health: No significant change here.
  • Mindfulness: I've been working on my mental awareness as I struggle,
    but reminding myself to do this is a challenge.
  • Deeper work: I made some progress with this. I've been asking myself
    if I need to take that social media hit or the email hit in order to
    distract myself. Sometimes the answer is "no", but there have been a
    few times where I've really fallen off the wagon in looking for

#Adayinthelife #Seachange #ZenHabits #SocialMedia #Computers

Designing a Well Lived Life: Checking In (July 2019)

Checking in for July for my "Designing a Well-Lived Life" blogging. This
is about making small changes during the year to make larger changes.
  • Administrative focus: My administrative focus went completely out
    the window this past month. I felt like I was always behind and
    struggling. Things kept on my task lists for way too long. I didn't
    review them like I felt I should, so stuff stayed on those lists for
    far too long. I'm going to make more of an effort to review these
    lists and keeping them current. Also putting in the effort to do
    some of these not-as-important things to get them off of my mind and
    out of my lists.
  • Writing more: I hope blogging counts, because I haven't really
    written much. I'm going to do more blogging in the coming weeks, but
    I'd also like to get back into a journaling habit. Not sure if I
    want to do this on the computer or with pen and paper, but that may
    be a focus later in the month.
  • Design more: Had a bit of an epiphany about my inhibitions to design
    things this morning. I'm scared that what I will design won't
    measure up to my standards, so I have avoided doing any designs.
    That's a pattern that I've noticed in other parts of my life
    (programming, writings, etc.). So I'm going to spend some time this
    month pushing into that discomfort of designing even if it does
    suck, because the only way to get better at this is to do it.
  • Programming more: Had some success with this. I worked through The
    Rust Programming book (the first few chapters) and have started up
    with The Django for Professionals book by W. S. Vincent. I'll have
    more on these in the coming weeks.
  • Getting out of debt: I've made the opposite of progress on this
    (regress?). I think this contributed in part to my lack of
    administrative focus as well. Currently working through the
    discomfort of not being where I want to be with our finances, and
    feeling better about it.
  • Physical Health: Let it ride is not a good long-term strategy here,
    but it's what I'm using.
  • Mindfulness: Still practicing with this throughout the day, though
    it's not something I've been active with this past month.
  • Deeper work: Had some moments of deeper work this past month with
    the slides for my presentation. Will focus on this with the design
    and programming work that I want to achieve this month.

#Adayinthelife #Seachange #ZenHabits #SocialMedia #Computers

Designing a Well Lived Life: Checking In (June 2019)

It's a little early, but it's close enough to the end of the month that
I'm checking in for June for my "Designing a Well-Lived Life" blogging.
This is about making small changes during the year to make larger
  • Administrative focus: This month felt like a real struggle. Part of
    it was settling in to the summer months, and part of it was not
    doing as many weekly reviews as I would like. I had days where I
    felt like i was going directly from work to something else with
    little down-time. I found myself wanting more distractions to
    alleviate the discomfort, and my lists grew to over 200 next actions
    and projects (139 next actions, 64 projects). That's way too much
    for me to handle, and I've been struggling taking them all in.
    Habits that I had before have disappeared. I've been trying to
    recommit myself to working through these lists but I'm more repulsed
    with them than I should be. Definitely been on the procrastination
  • Writing more: I've been editing my book slowly over the last month.
    Most of my writing has been on social media. I'm hoping to change
    that ratio, even if it's just through blog posts.
  • Design more: I listened to a few "Think Like a Game Designer"
    podcasts that got me inspired with a few designs, but have felt
    grown down (see "Administrative focus") so I haven't focused on this
  • Programming more: I've toyed with learning Rust a bit, but haven't
    given it the focus it needs.
  • Getting out of debt: Some large bills have slid us further into
    debt, but have been more focused on keeping our outtake as minimal
    as possible.
  • Physical Health: This is on auto-pilot. I haven't focused on this.
  • Mindfulness: I could go with the obvious joke that I haven't focused
    on this (thank you, tip your server), but I have been working with
    noticing when I am stressed or overloaded. The problem is my next
    reaction is "so what?". I had a lot of "so what?" moments this past
    month. My next course of action is to explore the "so what?"
    feelings and notice where they're coming from.
  • Deeper work: Bits and spurts. See "Mindfulness" above for some of
    the reasons.
This coming month I'm looking to focus outside of myself and find more
of the "why" of what I am doing.


#Adayinthelife #Seachange #ZenHabits #SocialMedia #Computers

Designing a Well Lived Life: Checking In (May 2019)

Checking in for August for my "Designing a Well-Lived Life" blogging.
This is about making small changes during the year to make larger

Before I get started there is a pretty common theme here. Once Penguicon
2019 was over I have felt rather drained from making any progress on any
of these. Many different things happened over this month. From my
uncle's passing to helping friends through some difficult times, to
personal setbacks; this has been a year that I've termed the year of
breaking and mending. As a result a lot of my focus on these areas have
gone completely out the window.

But I'm still committed to posting about these and post I shall. Here's
the results from this month.
  • Administrative focus: Not great. I could barely get any focus this
    month at all. My lists ballooned under the strain of things not
    getting done. I've been slowly trying to get them back into shape
    but it's been a bit of a struggle making time. I've found myself
    procrastinating more this month than in previous months. Even my
    podcast has taken a back seat during this time, but will elaborate
    that more in other sections.
  • Writing more: Stalled. I haven't had the will to really edit my
    book, or even write simple blog posts.
  • Design more: I started reading Think Like a Game Designer some more,
    but I got sidetracked and haven't had the will to pick things back
    up again.
  • Programming more: If it isn't related to work then I haven't done
    anything related to programming. Again, feeling stalled and stuck.
  • Getting out of debt: I've been working on cutting back as much as we
    can, but it seems that every little thing needs attention; from
    having to ship my phone to get it repaired, to taking my car in to
    have the brakes looked at. But I knew this was going to happen so
    I've prepared as best I can for the moment.
  • Physical Health: No progress.
  • Mindfulness: Some moments of mindfulness here and there, but my
    meditation has gone out the window in the interim. Have been working
    on finding small windows to be mindful.
  • Deeper work: I haven't been able to concentrate on the small things
    so the larger things have taken it in the teeth.
I understand sometimes things will be a struggle, but it's frustrating
to see the progress that I made go completely out the window. I'm trying
to be gentle with myself through all of this and realize that I won't be
perfect all of the time, and sometimes I'll need to rebuild my habits.
Letting go of the feeling that I've had a setback is key to all of this.
Instead I'm thinking of this as a checkpoint on the journey, and it's up
to me to keep making progress.


#Adayinthelife #Seachange #ZenHabits #SocialMedia #Computers

Designing a Well Lived Life: Checking In (April 2019)

Checking in for April for my "Designing a Well-Lived Life" blogging.
This is about making small changes during the year to make larger
  • Administrative focus: Didn't make too much progress here, although
    there was an impromptu installation of Ubuntu 18.04 on one of my
    scratch machines to get more familiar with it (and to upgrade from
    my sadly no longer updated Ubuntu 14.04 install). I'm going to have
    to do this upgrade on more of my machines and I'm not quite looking
    forward to it. Ah well. :)
  • Writing more: All of my writing has been related to Penguicon this
    month. I've been working on slides for Penguicon which have been
    taking up a lot of time. I'm hoping once I don't have the pressure
    of Penguicon that I will take on more writing tasks. Maybe I'll
    start working on the RPG that I've been promising for a while now.
  • Design more: Didn't do any designing this past month.
  • Programming more: Godot has been my focus for the Penguicon
    presentation. I've made some progress with this that I hope will
    show some competence with this engine. I'm really digging it. For
    work I've done some programming with Pandas that was pretty neat.
    Again, looking forward to exploring more.
  • Getting out of debt: Still a slow go.
  • Physical Health: This month I was diagnosed with shingles. I'm not
    100% convinced this is what I have, but it's lead me to think more
    about my health and how I am approaching my work and my life. The
    threat of bad things happening when I'm stressed means I need to
    find ways to manage my stress better.
  • Mindfulness: Still practicing with this. This month had moments
    where I was being mindful and moments where I felt completely
    scatterbrained. I think that is in no small part because I did the
    digital declutter in the same month and I didn't have my usual
    comforts to run to. Of course, running to comfort is not exactly
    being mindful, now is it?
  • Deeper work: Did the digital declutter this past month (at least a
    first-pass at it). I talked about the results of that previously. I
    moved into deeper work with learning Godot and focusing on my
    presentations, so that was handy. But I also feel like I started
    neglecting other things. Will have to work on this so I can really
    focus in on the work without feeling like I'm somehow leaving
    something else undone.

#Adayinthelife #Seachange #ZenHabits #SocialMedia #Computers
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