I’m finally genuinely bored of procrastinating and waiting for the quarantine world to change before I make progress in my own life. I did my new normal Monday workout last week of a few sets of handstand holds, pushups, and rubber band rows that is definitely better than nothing, but a fraction of the intensity I used to put in at the normal gym. I was doing approximately three workouts per week, with maybe one of them being up to par (I started doing sprints up a hill outside, and I’ve never had a bad sprint workout, even if I don’t do as many sets as I planned). The same is true for my worklife. I do work on various work things daily, but it isn’t up to the structure and output that I would like it to be.
With the help of an unnecessarily large quantity of caffeine (both espresso and some turbo-charged tea I found in the cabinet) I filled out my goals in my 13 week Self Journal planner https://bestself.co/. If you ever order from them don’t feel bad about putting their messages into the Spam folder… I love their product when I’ve used it in the past/now, but they aren’t afraid to harass you daily with new sales pitches.
I read a random blog the past week about a guy who paid for really expensive life/career coaching, and he admitted that he never actually did the very first assignment (but lied to his coach and said that he did) about writing out his goals. In the blog he admitted that he actually had no clue what he wanted, outside of just not working at his job that he disliked. He couldn’t envision his ideal life, or anything like that. I’ve went back and forth about the utility of goals and structure in recent years (opportunities and plans change sometimes frequently, and it can be more difficult to be present in daily life when everything is future and goal focused), but I think there are periods when it is greatly beneficial for me to have more than just a vague direction to head towards. When I reflected on what I want for my life in the next year or two, I realized I too couldn’t conjure up what it would look like specifically, and it scared me a bit.
Over the past several years I’ve been crafting a career and lifestyle that has all of the necessary components to be “ideal” for me, but the specifics of my daily routines towards those things gets muddied, and I often lose track. For me I really need that full balance of improving health, enjoying my relationships with my girlfriend/friends/family, making money, and working towards work projects that are building and challenging my skills.
Since the quarantine started, I’ve been making excuses for my health because I can’t go to the gym, and have allowed those excuses to seep into my diet as well. I have gotten much better after an initial quarantine binge-fest, but I want to move beyond “maintenance” and start improving on a weekly basis again. Same with my work. I have good algorithmic trading strategies that are running and doing well, and I’ve done a lot of work brainstorming the path up the next mountain of a project that I want to do, but I’ve been sidestepping the difficult and painful part of beginning it. I currently use machine learning for several parts of my algorithmic trading strategies, but I’ve had this vision (and been blabbing about it for years now) of an algorithmic trading strategy that is almost purely designed from AI with minimal human encoding (outside of things like risk management). I have piles of notes about the overview of the project, many different software libraries researched and downloaded, but after tons of effort to finally get a single instance of it to run and train without crashing, I lost the momentum and unconsciously shelved it. The fantasy I had of a quick return to pre-quarantine times hasn’t happened, so it’s either time to get more disciplined, or continue to wallow in a pool of pitifulness, and I’m bored now of the latter.
To recharge I’ve been reading more, including some of my favorite graphic novels. “Kill or Be Killed” and “Criminal”, both by Ed Brubaker, are two of my old favorites that I re-read recently. Some others that I look forward to reading again are: “Sandman” (everything past the first volume, which is unnecessary to read, and not that great to me), “Southern Bastards”, “Essex County”, “Y The Last Man”, “Preacher”, and “Scalped”. There are others I love too, but these just came to mind.
I’ve been continuing watching “Mad Men” in the evenings, which delivers a nice mix of entertainment, but not on par with my all-time favorite shows. Like my graphic novel recs, I’ve mentioned many of these shows before, but as a recap here are some of my all-time favorite television series:
“Game of Thrones”, “The Leftovers”, “True Detective (Season 1 and to a lesser extent season 3)”, “Friday Night Lights”, “Justified”, “Breaking Bad”, “The Wire”, “Thirteen Reasons Why (season 1 only)”, “Bloodline (Season 1 only)”, “Deadwood”, “Rome”, and “Maniac”.
With that I’m going to use the last bit of half-life from my caffeine to get back to my goals. Wishing you a great week, and leaving you with a picture of a manta ray and a beach rainbow from my daily walks here in San Juan.