Micro Matt


This week, I started to crack a little bit, mentally. I've let a lot of work slip recently, which I feel bad about. Feeling bad about not responding to emails and not making progress on code has led to me feeling even worse, until eventually I'm too paralyzed to do those things, even if I wanted to.

As this awareness in me came to a head yesterday, I finally spent some time writing last night. Opening my favorite notebook, I realized I hadn't actually done that in about a month. I started to write about what I've been seeing in myself, solidifying those light feelings that appear, but often go neglected for some stronger external stressor.

I had a shallow sleep last night, which is unusual for me. I kept waking up, feeling like barely any time has passed, and I was still just trying to fall asleep. After my dog woke me for an early breakfast, I laid in bed for a while, trying to train my mind onto something other than everything on my plate, all my to-dos and obligations. I tried to think only about what I would do first after getting up. I thought about how things had started to pile up in my apartment; about how I normally just get up, check my phone, and sit down at my computer, letting the metaverse sweep me away in whatever trouble is happening there.

I didn't want to do that today. So instead I picked up the apartment, washed last night's dishes, sorted through my junk mail. I put clothes away, cleared space on my desk, jotted down my perspective this morning.

There was a practice I started last November where I wouldn't start working until I did something completely unrelated, creative, etc. At some point I fell out of it, but I think I'll start that again. Here's today's entry toward that end. Now to start the day.


Thoughts? Discuss...

Trying a new morning routine lately. Instead of immediately checking email, and social media, and then sitting down to work, I’m doing anything but those things — and then sitting down only when I’m ready.

This started two weeks ago, when I was camping in the North Carolina mountains. I would get up, take my dog Holden out, feel how the weather was, and then make a pot of coffee. I’d sit for a while outside in the quiet and breeze, and see if any thoughts came. Eventually, when I felt a natural lull, I’d head to a coffee shop to start working.

I’m generally trying to find my “center” again — something I feel I’ve lost not just through recent life changes, but over the last decade, if I think about it. (That’s a digression for another time.) But I know I’ve always found my center outside, or by creating things: words, music, drawings, paintings. So without very much nature around me now, I’m doing something pointlessly creative every morning, with no real purpose or goal, before I even think of work.

The results have been very good so far. New ideas — useful or not — are bubbling up that I don’t think would exist without this kind of mental space. I’m slowly feeling more like a whole person again. And when I do sit down to work, I’m feeling a little more focused on what needs to be done — honestly, because I’d love to have more open-ended creative time.


Thoughts? Discuss...