Week ending 1/23/2022

Chrome Tabs : 60 → 70

Gmail Inbox : 36 → 35 Unread, 41 → 40 Total

:spider_web: The past week or two I have been working on migrating some Discourse instances to a self-hosting setup on Digital Ocean (previously both have been using full-service Communiteq). While managed hosting is great, and Discourse is not the easiest thing to self-manage, it’s half the price, and perhaps more importantly self-hosting allows one to install any plugin. My own digital garden here has been limited in some ways by the lack of plugins, which I hope to change in the near future with this move. More significantly the pre-alpha chat plugin for Discourse could make a huge difference for The Productivists community, which is currently split between Discourse and Discord. It’s a bit of a long shot, but I’m hopeful we might be able to get everyone over to Discourse in the long-term, on the basis of that integrated, real time chat. This is step 1 in that process. And look for some changes here in my digital garden as a result too!

:sparkles: After years of personal journaling, therapy, and coaching work, I have plenty of collected wisdom, resources, guides, and tools to use when things like procrastination arise. But the challenge that remains is putting those things in front of me at the right time. There are also lots of little things throughout a given day that I want to either just keep in mind, or be reminded of at specific times, in particular contexts, etc. I have a task manager (Amazing Marvin), which has a habit tracker, and I also keep Obsidian open all day and am constantly making minor journal updates. Long-term I hope to combine PKM and task management, but in the meantime I’m experimenting with ways to bring more awareness to various things in the course of each day.

In my task manager I’ve added buttons for procrastination resources that I’ll hopefully see when I check tasks there and click on if I feel stuck (hasn’t happened yet, but hope springs eternal :smile:). I have even higher hopes for a new daily journal template I created in Obsidian that is automatically invoked for every new day’s journal entry. It’s prepopulated with a bunch of things I want to do or keep in mind each day, and since I’m already journaling in the same page, it’s right there in front of me all day. I’ve just implemented that yesterday, so I won’t know how effective it is until at least my next journal entry, but it seems quite promising. Sometimes in retrospect these ideas seem obvious, and I wish I’d tried them sooner. But I’m glad I am at least trying them now, and curious to see how they work out. Do you use templates in a similar way, or do you have some other method of dealing with this sort of contextual reminder?

:thinking: Last year I decided to start setting goals for each half-year period. I kept up on checking them and making some progress in a more conscious way for a bit, but eventually stopped referencing the doc I’d put together. When I rediscovered it toward the end of the year, I was worried that, not having checked it, a majority of it would not be completed. But I wanted to review it thoroughly anyway and get a clear sense of things. My first impression was actually that I had done a lot more than I’d expect, and once I finished going through it that sense remains, although it does appear to be more of an even mix, with some satisfyingly large progress in certain areas (in some cases even beyond what I’d planned), and in other areas literally no progress. I have yet to set H1 2022 goals, but that’s next, and I think it’s good to make it a bit aspirational, and a bit realistic, and not expect to necessarily achieve it all (but if I do, gold star to me!).

:rose: A bit more progress in dating this week with some decent messaging going on. But I’m getting the most traction on Hinge, a mobile-only app (in contrast to OKCupid which has a decent desktop site), and I’m frankly driven a bit crazy by the tiny text message box. I tend to be verbose as any reader of these updates will know, and while it’s a tendency that I recognize is good to curb at times, I still find texting and app-only messaging to feel rather confining. It’s almost less even about how long a message can be and just about how uncomfortable it feels trying to compose and refine a decent response.

Anyway, as a result I decided to start experimenting with audio replies, which is something Hinge offers now (and I’m glad they are at least expanding their offering and experimenting!). So far I am skeptical of whether they’re a good idea, I have only received response from 1 of the 3 people I sent one to. :smile: But I’m not giving up just yet. One thing I do like about it is it ends up feeling (sounding) a good deal more personal. Voice > text, generally… What do you think, would it be nice to get a voice message instead of text, or kind of weird? (it felt a bit like recording a voice mail while doing it, which was a little odd)

:neutral_face: I’ve been waiting weeks for a formal proposal on terms to continue a consulting gig on a more long-term basis. I finally got the formal proposal this week, but I quite frankly wasn’t that impressed by it. It’s a bit of a challenging thing because I want to stay involved, but I want to do so at a higher level, where my time will be more valuable. So in a sense what I am wanting is to spend less time, but be paid more for it, in exchange for doing more high-value work. It makes sense in practice, I’m confident of that, but figuring out how to articulate and negotiate it has been a little challenging. That said, I think I put together a good counter-offer, so I’m curious to see how that is received. Hopefully they’ll get back to me on that in the coming week.

:relieved: I really need the new smile+tear emoji, but I’ll have to do without for now. I’ll keep it short, but as IFS therapy is new to me I do like to report on my progress a bit. I have definitely been finding a more regular experience of seeing my emotions as being connected to various parts. And in my most recent therapy session one of my more hurt, emotional, “exile” parts showed itself much more fully than it had before. This is a good sign that trust is being built, both between my therapist and my internal system, and between my Self and my parts. And it feels good!

:expressionless: Another quick check-in, because I don’t actually talk about procrastination that directly these days, it’s usually part of some other update. To be brief, essentially I continue to procrastinate quite a bit on certain things, but it is most significant in my real estate work. There are just a lot of tasks that I find quite tedious, even unnecessary, or at the least things I would just rather not be doing. Seldom does this result in any real problem or negative consequence, I tend to get things done at the last minute at the least. But I’ve been lucky, too, and meanwhile I always have this low-level anxiety hanging over me around that work. I really want to get caught up on everything and put in place better systems to keep me on track, not so much for the sake of the work, but for my own quality of life! Something to put on that H1 2022 goals list…

:face_with_head_bandage: I’ve had an annoyingly persistent hamstring injury for many months now (6+?). I read up on it a bit and I know it can take a long time to heal, but it’s quite frustrating in the meantime and I’m honestly not sure what I should be doing. Well, I should go back and research a bit more, that’s what. Mainly I just want to know if I can speed the healing with any particular activities, or if “taking it easy” on it is really the best thing to do. I have sort of oscillated between the two, but it’s hard to really do nothing with it for long… Research needed! And if you’ve successfully dealt with a similar injury before, I’d love some advice. :pray:

:blush: I found a surprisingly deep satisfaction this week in writing up lengthy comparisons between ClickUp and Fibery (to be posted here soon!), and in putting together an in-depth and illustrated feature request in the Fibery forums. I’m honestly not quite sure what was invoking that feeling in these activities, but despite the time they both took (more than was strictly necessary in either case), I kept going, and it was because I was just really enjoying the actual doing of it. It’s hard to argue with a moment where I feel real enjoyment in writing something long-form (regardless of the quality of the output, which matters less to me than feeling in flow, for now).

:herb: I mentioned a little while ago that I was looking for plants to put on my front porch, hanging from the wall. It turns out a former resident here left a healthy and very long String of Pearls succulent, so I think that’s how I’m going to get started! That makes it easy. :grin: Still thinking of adding some herbs in there though. There’s something special about edible gardening… Any recommendations?

:framed_picture: Last week I got my new sofa (:tada:) and the overhaul of my bar area is now almost complete! One of the final steps I have in mind is to put some prints of my photos up on the walls. I’ve narrowed the options down from 180,000 some-odd photos (everything I’ve ever taken :yum:) to around 200 possibilities, which is still far too many. So now I’ve begun a mockup in Photoshop to see if I can narrow down further on what will actually look good in the space, with that color of sofa, etc. Here’s an example (note that these will be frameless prints on metal). Closer and closer!

:frowning_face: Last year while coming out of a restaurant I dropped my Pixel 3a phone, in its case, and put a crack all the way across the top of the screen. Miraculously it continued to work just fine after that (and I had dropped it many times before, so it’s not like it was that fragile). Until a fateful day this week, that is. While carrying too much stuff in my hands just before bed, I dropped it one last and fatal time, and the screen completely stopped functioning. Well, it limped along almost working for a few more hours as I tried desperately to get access to it, but to no avail. Next day I spent quite a while researching new options and trying to decide what I should do. I even considered testing out an iPhone since I’ve already decided to get a Mac and start down that road, but I decided it was too soon and too disruptive to try to do that.

I actually thought I’d found a fairly cheap and good solution in the Nokia G20. Only after buying it did I realize it doesn’t support CDMA (I’m on Total Wireless, which is a Verizon reseller). So I had to exchange that for a more expensive OnePlus+ N10 5G. I’m not thrilled to be replacing my phone when it didn’t otherwise need it, and it turns out there are enough things not backed up and migrated by Google that I still may want to replace my Pixel 3a screen anyway, just to get access to some things (like my Google Authenticator accounts!). But at least I have a phone again. A stark and annoying reminder of how much I depend on it these days, especially for navigation! (I actually printed a paper map to get me to Best Buy to get its replacement :laughing:) And podcasts and audio books while I’m driving, doing chores, etc. I felt kind of empty doing those things without it for just a couple of days. :yum:

:man_in_lotus_position: So I broke my phone. And I’ve broken various other important, sometimes expensive (or simply irreplaceable) things over the years. Much of which I think was avoidable. The reality is I often move too quickly, or too unconsciously, without deliberation and consideration. This is a habit I want to work on shifting. To slow down, not try to do too much at once, carry too much, or move quickly for the sake of perhaps a few seconds saved. Act in haste and repent at leisure and all that. I see breaking my phone as an important reminder of the need to slow down, and I actually did a bit of that this week afterward. Sometimes it takes a little shock to the system to start an important change. Last time something happened that almost got me there, it was a hand-made, favorite mug that I used every day for tea. I still don’t have one I like as much, but the mindfulness did not set in very much that time. I hope this time it will. That is my intention. :slight_smile:

:plate_with_cutlery: I mentioned my fasting day meals recently, and some changes I was experimenting with. I learned that quinoa might have too much oxalate in it (something that is problematic for me with my history of kidney stones), so I’ve been testing out oatmeal to replace it. But it turns out oatmeal is gloppy and hard to make taste good when you have a big calorie restriction (the main things that make oatmeal taste good are fat or sugar :laughing:). So I’m actually returning now to the base of chicken that I used to have as a protein, along with the newer use of snap peas, which I’ve found to be low calorie-per-mass (contributing to fulness) and decently nutritious. I had some potential digestive sensitivity previously with chicken, but it may have been other factors, so I’m testing it again. Let’s see how it goes…