• Right to Wrong


    I’m regressing in chess big time. I’m like worse than average. What happened?

    One thing that happened is that instead of keeping on doing the things that helped me improve, I stopped doing pretty much all of it in favor of doing things that I KNOW aren’t good (exs. playing when tired, playing short-time games). Why do I do this with chess? Or exercise? Or diet?

    It’s so frustrating to do things, see results, and then…just stop. Why do I do that?

    I wonder if part of it is just sabotaging my progress. Even if it’s not that, intellectually I know changing inertia is harder than going with the flow. Why am I always insisting on starting and restarting and restarting the same things?

  • Buy-Free ’23


    Thanks to a German artist I’ve only met on Mastadon, I found out about the “no-buy year” trend. I had never heard of this before, but my gf tells me that it’s quite popular on The Tok and the The Gram and what have you.

    [A quick note on socially-conscious and ethical trends – I think they’re great! I’m glad people are thinking about these things. As a guy who takes his faith in God very seriously, I am simultaneously glad our culture is thinking of these things, while also being pretty sad that the modern American church has no credible influence in these areas.]


    The no-buy year experiment is a wonderful articulation of a feeling I’ve been having about 2023 in general – slowing down, looking around me, enjoying what I have. [See my 2023 reading plans for proof!] So I jumped on board with the no-buy year without much planning but with much enthusiasm.

    My rules are basically the same as everyone else’s, so I won’t include them here in detail. The only two interesting wrinkles –

    1. Giving is unlimited and emphasized.
    2. Per Paco De Leon’s advice, I’m keeping a kind of personal catalog of things I *might* want to buy in the future. Most things fall off quickly.

    How’s it going? So far, so great!

    The main thing I’ve noticed is that my decision fatigue is much lower. Unbeknownst to me, I had been spending a lot of time deciding whether to buy things or not. And, if so, deciding which version of the thing to buy. All that is gone.

    Another thing I’ve noticed is that things feel…slower, somehow. I can sit with what I have (books, video games I never played, comics, my zettelkasten) and enjoy them more.

    I’ll try and check in periodically with new observations.

  • starting lines


    In my lil’ beginner running series on Nike Run Club, Coach Bennett briefly talks about how finish lines aren’t really a thing, so much as the next starting lines (I’m paraphrasing). I am really enamored with this idea.

    As a recovering perfectionist, the freedom from worrying about my finish time or outcome is…freeing? LOL.

    Perfectionism kind of…pollutes things that I otherwise enjoy. Or this fear that I will be unsuccessful (this was not a self-imposed fear – been working my way through that for years).

    Enjoying the tinkering and growth and playfulness of yoga, running, music, writing – I really enjoy that. It’s so much more optimistic and plain ol’ fun!

    Coach B’s starting lines…line….also reminds me of this passage from the Gita:

    You have a right to perform your prescribed duties, but you are not entitled to the fruits of your actions. Never consider yourself to be the cause of the results of your activities, nor be attached to inaction.

    Bhagavad Gita 2.47.

    My engagement is the thing – the duty and even the joy; not what happens after.