Adventures, Creative Non-Fiction, Family, Friends, Holidays, Non-Fiction, Personal|

~Terry Pratchett, Hogfather

I wanted to write about Birthdays today. I’ve been wanting to for just about the past two weeks. The thing is, I can’t think of what to write.

I have a little pad of paper that I keep with me that I use to write down ideas about what I want to write about. To try and come up with a focus for this blog entry, I started writing down some of the thoughts I had about birthdays:

  • Start with a short story about what I’ve been doing recently. i.e. Watching all of The Office.
  • A Hogfather Quote
  • Talk about your birthday
  • Talk about going through the steps of life one after the other
  • Getting Older
  • Ennui
  • Life direction

So here I sit listening to Leonard Cohen singing “Hallelujah”. At work, on my lunch break, trying to figure out what to write. Because none of that really seems interesting to write about.

Watching the office? Seriously? A more boring task I couldn’t imagine writing about. I literally just sit there, listening to the episodes play on my phone while I do other tasks. My birthday? I’ll talk about that in a different post with some of the 48GB worth of photos I took while in Chicago.

Ennui, Getting Older, Life Direction, and going through the steps of life are all different ways of saying the same thing – a cover for saying I’m bored. Which is true. I do feel pretty bored with most of my life. The bright spot in that being my relationship with Elgin, and my friends/family. I couldn’t ask for a better girlfriend, or a more supportive family. I think, more than anything, I’ve hit a middle-class type of doldrums. There’s no wind in the sail, but I’m… comfortable.

That could be the problem, I suppose. I don’t push myself to do anything. I tend to recluse into my office at night and watch TV and play video games or browse the internet until I go to bed. Rinse. Repeat. Even the weekends are pretty much the same routine. Sprinkled, perhaps, with a minor change here and there.

Perhaps the other side of the comfort problem is that I am far more of a consumer of junk-entertainment than I am in creating something. I don’t code often in my spare time, which significantly impacts my ability to do my job better as the days go on. I don’t read often enough, and when I do, it’s rarely anything of substance or significant interest.

For example, I went and saw Beauty and The Beast, and Power Rangers on Monday. I have been reading a Star Wars novel. I am also reading Nine Princes in Amber, a fantasy novel about an alternate world to ours named Amber. None of these are more than junk food for my brain. As it is, I could spend more time reading books that will expand my knowledge, such as the books on the Bill Gates reading list. Or I could be reading books that I own – I have a full book on MongoDB and NodeJS that I haven’t finished. I could be reading the book on Game Design that my friend Eric loaned me.

I haven’t bought a single “intelligent” book for myself since I moved back from New York, and we’re over 6 months in. In fact, the last “intelligent” book I can remember purchasing for myself was “Game Design: Theory and Practice (2nd Edition)”. And that was in February of 2016. So over a year ago.

Zach Weiner of Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal said in an AMA one time that if you were going to have good quality output, you needed good quality input, first. He described his day as trying to spend a lot of time learning before doing something. And 2-4 hours of reading included. I don’t know if he reads for pleasure, or if he’s reading for other reasons. But it seems like an obvious formula to success.

Not necessarily for everyone – define success however you want, but these are changes that I could see being beneficial for me. So maybe that was the point of this post. To look at my life, and figure out where the changes need to be made. Or maybe this was just mental self-stimulation? Something I could tell myself so that I can go back to being boring, dull, and listing without a direction in the long-suffering ocean that is life?

A cherry bomb dropped in the water. A big splash, but the water eventually calms back down with no real change.

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