It's the end of the year and for some reason I'm itching to start writing journal entries again. I considered just turning this into another Weeknotes post, but I don't think I can keep up with that schedule. So, this will be the start of a new journal entry series.
I say new because I've had a journal entry series before. If you are a returning reader, you've most likely even read them. If you are a new reader, then you missed out on a number of cringe-worthy personal posts. And that's part of the reason that series came to an end. I somehow outgrew that phase and no longer wanted to write about overtly personal stuff.
So, for this new series, one of the things I want to focus on is just sharing what I've learned. Instead of this journal/series being about “What's been going on with my life?”, I want it to be more about “What have I learned today?”
Also, I won't commit to a schedule for posting. It could be once a month, once every 4 months, or even just once a year. Whatever it will turn out to be, I'll write one when I feel like writing. So before that urge to write fades, here goes.
We can't go on a walk, or a run, or a bike ride without sharing photos that we did so. We can't read a book without sharing a photo of the book we are reading. We can't drink a latte without first sharing a photo of it. We can't eat without sharing a photo of the food we are eating. We I can't listen to music without sharing what song we're I'm listening to. We can't live our lives without documenting a part of it — if not all of it — online.
Why? Why are we doing all this? Why do we feel the need to do all this? Does anybody else think that's not normal? I've been asking myself those questions for months now.
There's lots of advice on what to do to take control of your data online. For instance, you should have all your blog posts and photos under your domain name, so you keep control of them. And if you're not concerned about that, there's lots of advice on what platform is the best for photo-blogging, long-form blogging, micro-blogging, etc... There's all sorts of advice regarding the best ways to manage your data online. But no one seems to be asking the question, why?
Excellent Sunday homily from Bishop Barron. He's drawing attention to yesterday's reading from Ezekiel Chapter 2. Every baptized Christian and that includes me, is called to be a Prophet.
Each one of us who have been baptized in the Christian faith, are all prophets in a way, because we are expected to spread the word of God.
I have tried doing that on this journal. Every once in awhile, I talk about God, I talk about my faith, I share some Christian music, I share some interesting homilies like this one. And whenever I do, I notice that I would lose readers and subscribers. It has been a stumbling block for me. Sometimes, I ask myself, what's the point of doing so, if no one is listening?
I always had something to say. In fact, I kept writing down thoughts and ideas into my journal, so that I would always have something to say. But soon enough it became like work to me. More of a chore instead of a fun hobby.
At the start of this year, I decided to stop writing to my dev blog and instead start publishing software development posts on this journal.
I loved the ease of publishing new software development content to this journal using write.as. But I didn't really like how it all turned out. Specifically, I thought it was jarring to be reading a post on SQL Server, then hit the homepage to find posts on video games and God. It felt awkward to me.
So, I decided to once again start publishing software development posts to a dedicated software development blog. This time around, instead of going back to a static site generator, I spun up a new dev blog on write.as. I'm hoping that the ease of publishing new content outweighs the drawbacks of having yet another website to maintain. We'll see how it goes.
I think the reason I’m always critical of my time when writing posts for this site, is because the time I spend writing blog posts, is time not spent with my family. I may be in the same house as them, at times even in the same room, but during those moments when I'm writing, I’m not really with them.
You might be wondering, where is this coming from? It’s coming from the realization that my kids are growing up so fast. My eldest son for instance, is going to start school this year.
I fear that I'm losing my time with them. That window where they think it’s still cool to play with dad, I feel like that window of time is shrinking every day.
Twenty, thirty, forty years from now, I don’t want to regret not spending enough time with my kids. And let’s be honest, time spent with your kids is never going to be enough. They will grow up and eventually leave to have their own families. You can't hang on to them forever.
Trying out a new format for my Weeknotes post. One thing I discovered during my latest digital declutter was that I did not look forward to writing my Weeknotes posts. It's not because I don't have content to put out. It's because sometimes, there's too many to choose from. It then becomes exhausting to me, to decide what gets included and what doesn't. Then there's the editing part which sometimes takes over an hour to complete.
So, my aim with the new format is to make writing Weeknotes posts quicker. I want to spend no more than 30 minutes writing one. — This post still took close to an hour to finish, damn.
The new format is simple. I start with the highlight or highlights of the week. Followed by at least one thing I've learned during the week. Then lastly, at least one interesting read during the week. And that's it.
Let's see how this goes then.
Highlight(s) Of The Week
The main highlight last week was getting our 2nd dose of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine.
I had to take a sick day the day after, because I was not feeling well. The side-effects of the 2nd dose of the Moderna vaccine are pretty rough. It felt like I had the flu, minus the fever. I felt really tired. I had body aches everywhere. I had chills all day. I felt hot and cold at the same time. It was tough.
The biggest development from last week, was that after weeks of thinking about it and talking about it on this journal, I finally published my digital garden online. You can find it here.
It's a work in progress, so there will be changes. In fact, the nature of it means it will probably be forever under construction. When you go through it, don't think of it as a blog. It is not. There are no published dates. There's no RSS feed. There's no email subscription. The URLs to specific notes will probably change every week. It is really a digital garden/personal knowledge-base.
Matt shared this wonderful website on Mastodon. What an amazing find! It allows you to watch, what looks like dashcam videos, from all over the world. In an age where travel and road trips are put on-hold, this website lets you experience virtually driving in another country. It's a mesmerizing and very interesting way to see what other countries/cities look like.
Power outages and water shut-offs all across Texas. People have died in accidents on the road and at their own homes because of the cold. It's extremely disheartening. We've been extremely lucky to not have lost power or water at all. But that wasn't the case for everyone else. Last week's winter storm really showed how the state of Texas is just not ready for this kind of weather. I'm hoping that the state can learn from this and be better prepared for the next one.
Last week I intentionally decreased the amount of stuff I've been reading. This is to give my brain a chance to digest what I've just read.
I've also taken to adding articles/posts that I want to read, into my Are.na Bookmarks/Reading List bucket. This seems to help decrease the unease that I feel, from not being able to immediately read interesting articles/posts. Since I know that I will eventually get to them someday in the future, it allows my brain to relax and focus on the current task at hand.
Since I have been trying to read less, a problem that I'm running into is what to do with my free time when I can't read. I would prefer to work on my digital garden, but I cannot do so when I'm not at home. This is because my notes in Obsidian, while synced to a Github repo, are not easy to work with via my phone. So, I now have a lot more time to think through things because I'm trying to read less, but during those times I can't work on my digital garden. That's one big limitation with my Obsidian setup.
That said, maybe I should look at it as a benefit in some way. I shouldn't be using my phone that much anyway.
Had this conversation with another blogger about a book he read. Similar to what I learned from reading The Great Cholesterol Myth, the same advice is given on a book about Alzheimer’s. And that is to limit carbs and lower/avoid sugar intake to reduce inflammation.
That's two different diseases — Alzheimer’s and Heart Disease — that gets pretty much the same recommendation to reduce carbs and sugar intake. This should really make you rethink how much sugar you should be ingesting everyday.
It took you years to put on all that weight. Don't be too hard on yourself if you're not losing weight fast enough. Think of losing weight more as a marathon than a sprint.
I've found a compromise for using my gel pen and fountain pen. When I'm at home, I use my fountain pen to write on my bullet journal. Anywhere else, and on any other notebook, I use my gel pens or ballpoint pens.
A few days ago I wrote this on my journal:
“Almost to the end of the k-drama Iris. It's a really good show!”
Then I got to the end. And wow. That ending was horrible! I had planned to say so many good things about this show. There's the amazing plot. The great acting. The pretty good fight scenes. The great story about love and friendship. But it was all brought down by the horrible ending. I can't even recommend it to my wife anymore, not after I've seen the ending. Such a disappointment. The show was great 95% of the time, until it got to the ending. Unless you're a sucker for horrible endings, don't waste your time on it.