I want a project. I feel unfulfilled at work and in my personal life. I am doing nothing interesting or useful and I feel like I am just plodding along. I have been involved in projects my entire life (have I always been the best at follow-through? no. but i do finish some things). However, I feel … really unmoored. I don’t have any personal project type things nor do I have any external projects that I feel any kind of use in. So, I need something or other I suppose. How do you find that? How do you find interesting things to work on? Maybe this is what friends are for? To have someone to talk about what you are doing?
It’s a problem. (Also, blogging daily is going soooo welll. Who cares? Nobody)
Anyways. Youtube has been around forever (not actually but kind of). And in covid times I’ve started falling asleep to youtube videos. When I was living by myself was it probably just to hear other people talk at some point during the day? Absolutely. No, it’s like I’m dead tired but I can’t sleep until I turn on a Youtube video (like british comedy panel shows or compilations of Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders: Making The Team clips) and pass out. And then my phone is dead the next morning.
What is my brain.
Anyways, here are some random Youtubers (that are not at all unfamous and therefore do not need to be on this list but here goes). This is not extensive because I spend so much time on Youtube. For this round of random lists, I am just including specific people content creating youtube channels, not conglomerates (or tv show clips which is my jam to be fair).
First Tier currently (they get a specific video)
Second Tier (mostly things I used to watch a log and haven’t been recently; link to channel)
Michelle Khare (will immediately watch her Makeover videos, but slack on everything else)
I was a reader all of my childhood. I started slacking off in high school – school got more time consuming, I got more friends, books took longer to get through, and probably most relevant now that I think about it, I started reading fanfiction. So, did I probably consume just as much fiction (or more) than I had been previously. Absolutely. The amount of fanfiction I’ve read over the years is..um..astounding? Let’s go with that.
And that’s not a bad thing. Fanfiction can be amazing (it can also be terrible). But so can regular fiction. I don’t feel any particular shame about reading it, though it’s not something I necessarily advertise because people have opinions.
But, I’ve been wanting to read more non-fanfiction and so I pulled out an old tablet my mom had and charged it up. And honestly, it’s been great. For some reason, it’s hard to avoid all my various social media/email apps if I try to read on my phone. But on the tablet it’s easier to read. Part of it is the format, and part of it is also my newfound effort to actual read instead of picking up my phone.
But, I’ve finished (and started) 4 books this week so far and it’s just now Thursday. So that’s much better. I’m currently 37 books behind on my goodreads challenge (whoops) with only 16 read this year so far. So we’ll see how close I can come to catching up.
Did I completely forget to do this? Multiple days in a row? Yes.
Anyways, I’ve been thinking about my charity donations recently. I am wealthy beyond compare when viewed in relationship to the average yearly income in the world. Even just counting the USA I am on solidly good footing with no debt and savings and a well-paying office job. I’m not like..techbro or finance guy kind of raking it in, but I have benefited from many many institutional privileges and have the ability to support organizations and people that need funds. I consider it a moral imperative and have gone about the idea in a number of ways but I’m reconsidering.
Up until now, my general approach has been to donate about 10% of my gross income. I get there by having about half of it in scheduled monthly donations to various organizations and then randomly contributing as things come up during the year. It works overall but I’m wondering if that’s sufficient.
Honestly it isn’t and what I also really need to do is get involved and actually work towards the things I value and want to improve. But, in terms of just financial donations, I thought of a different (and probably wildly uncomfortable) idea yesterday.
What if, instead of making my donation a proportion of my salary, it was in proportion with my spending. I review my spending every month and have a good idea of what I spend in various categories. So what if I took my discretionary spending (shopping, eating out, whatever) and matched it in donations. Because if I’m willing to spend that much money on unnecessary things then should I not also be willing to spend that much on making the world better?
Now, whether this is more or less than other strategy definitely depends on your salary and your spending. (I started this post before actually looking at the ratio so let’s do some quick math. I included 2019 expenses because this year has certainly been irregular in terms of spending. Weirdly though, the per month discretionary average was very similar (~$532). Which actually, is not that far from 10%. Huh. Well. There’s that kind of busted for me because it looks like those are actually pretty similar, but I think ultimately, it’s going to have to be a larger percentage by salary (I’m assuming my salary will rise here).
But, an interesting thought experiment. Would you be willing at the end of every month to give an equal amount to charity as you currently spend on discretionary expenses?
I did the tiniest bit of exercise today (besides walking/biking). It was just four exercises and not many reps. But I did it. The end.
A delayed post that I intended to write yesterday but instead had a wonderful evening talking to a friend. No regrets for this delay. Streak intact.
But let’s talk about making art. I am, without a doubt, a perfectionist or very competitive. I don’t like being bad at things and when I am not instantly decent at something I tend to give it up (and often discount it’s importance).
It’s a thing I need to work on (and one I don’t like working on). So I’m trying to learn how to art. Especially watercolor. Or any kind of drawing, coloring, artistic thing. Most of the time it’s fairly shit or kind of like anything I did when I was about 14. But, with time (and actual concerted effort) it will likely improve. Which is the lesson I really need to learn.
(And biking in the dark.)
One of my favorite people from college just moved back to the town where my dad and stepmom live. It makes a wonderful visit to parents even better. So, after we arranged to meet up tomorrow I went out for a bike ride and wanted to see how long it would take to bike to his place. While I was out, it started to rain so I was incredible rude and asked him if I could come over right then.
Luckily, he is accommodating and thus we sat on his porch in the rain and talked for a long while. It’s wonderful to have good friends.
But then I left his place to bike back and took three wrong turns while looking at google maps (which is unique skill of mine). And then I was biking back in the dark, not ideal.
Also today, my stepmom and i went to a fabric store going out of business and ended up buying 9 yards of fabric. So we’ll see what I get up to with that for them.
I went to the beach today. Visiting my dad and stepmom means we can go to the visit and the great thing about Florida is that it’s warm enough to swim at 8:30am. Beaches here are lovely and going on a Thursday morning means it’s pretty empty which is good COVID-wise.
I love swimming. I love water in general, but really swimming is the best. Lake swimming, ocean swimming, pools, even creeks. I’ve been like this since I was little and it’s still just as strong. But being able to float, dance, flip, in significant weightlessness is wonderful.
I don’t really have words for it, but it’s really the best.
It’s July 1st and the theoretical first day of this six month process. I don’t have anything to say really. I got a decent amount done today, no exercise yet though. I feel like I’m recovering from something. Like a long illness with flare-ups. Which maybe is what a depressive episode is. But! Showering. Exercise. To-do lists. Accountability. Etc.
So here’s to recovery of a sort.
I had to extend my Healthy Wage bet last night. On one hand, I’m glad I’m not just throwing my initial bet down the drain since I actually have some amount of progress now. But on the other hand, if I had started doing better in January, I might already be at my goal. But, looking to the future, not the past.
I’ve lost between 20-25 pounds since the beginning of the year when I made that bet. That’s not as good as the 45 pounds I was supposed to lose but it’s better than going up which is what I had been doing.
So now, sitting at around 190 I have to lose at least 27 by the end of the year, but would prefer to lose 40 pounds. 40 pounds in 6 months. It’s definitely do-able. It will take some conscious effort and some pushing on my part, but it’s absolutely possible.
So, just to make things more difficult for myself and provide myself something else to fail at – I’m going to blog for 6 months. July 1 – December 31. Have I tried shorter periods, more sporadic periods before and still not kept it up? Yes. Am I going to set this goal to myself anyways? Yes. I will have grace with myself when I fail at this goal, because what I really want to learn is to go back to something once I stop. Even if it’s for a day, even if it’s for a month. I want to go back to it.
It doesn’t have to be a personal post. I’ll be posting whatever. (What’s new there?) And no one really reads this, so it’s just an external function of a habit.
But, 40 pounds and 6 months worth of blogging. Where will I be at the beginning of 2021?