2020, bad juju, broken sleep schedules, and the moonshadow

I’ve been having a hard time writing lately. My blogging is pretty sparse and that’s been a pattern for years now but I’ve also stopped writing on paper, on my iPad, in random note taking apps like notion and iA Writer. The amount of writing I do now is non-existent compared to any previous year. Is it a bad juju or just 2020? I don’t really know, I think it might be a combination of both. Or possibly the result of bad sleep. This is the first year in the past few years where I’ve started to value sleep less and less, even when I realize I need it badly.

What I’ve been doing lately

Since March or April, I’ve spent hundreds of hours playing video games. Back in September or October, I would’ve used the word “wasted” instead of “spent” but I think some of those hours were not wasted, they were hours in which I couldn’t find the motivation to do anything else and video games are an easy resolve. So the video games eat up a lot of my spare time. Just in the past week, I’ve started to fiddle around with code for fun. I haven’t done that in a long time. It’s hard to motivate yourself when there’s so much doom and gloom around. It’s also hard to split up my days properly. After working on the computer all day, it’s almost impossible for me to want to be on the computer. I didn’t realize how valuable it was to be able to interact with colleagues at work, walk around the office, grab a cup of coffee, see unfamiliar faces, and all the odd little things that come with working around other people.

I’ve been trying to read and write but it happens in spurts, a few days of “good behavior” followed by a lot of bad days. I’m mainly writing this post as a therapeutic exercise. To be able to just spill some of my thoughts and emotions.

Music, or the background sounds that fill my time

For me, music has been downgraded from a first-class experience to a background ambience. The songs are the same, the sounds are familiar so there isn’t any newness. I find it comforting to hear the songs that I heard while walking to work, while riding the bus around SF, and the audiobooks that made walking around the house more interesting.

I don’t like the wordpress embed for spotify right now so here’s a song that sounds like what I’m feeling right now: Carol Kaye by Laura Veirs.

Spotify recently put out the Wrapped 2020 playlists, here’s mine: Your Top Songs 2020.

Retail therapy anyone?

It’s eye-opening just how much money you save when you’re not commuting, eating out for lunch, spending money on various things you see others have or mention. I have always been more frugal than “spendy” but I recently gave myself a bit of free reign on buying something nice for myself. I bought a reMarkable 2 which is quite pricey and was a bit uncomfortable for me to justify at first.

I don’t have any grand plans for it, I think it’ll fun to mess around on. I created the above illustrations with it. I wanted something that was a middle ground between an iPad and a notebook. This seems great for that.

I have bought a few small things to sort of improve / remove some minor inconveniences. One of these has been a small fan that I use to move around the air in the room from my humidifier. I got it for about $15 and I think it was a great purchase.

I have resisted purchasing things like clothes, shoes, and other things that I already have a decent amount of. I am pretty simple when it comes to clothing. If it fits and is comfortable, I am happy with it.

The pets

My pets, Samson and Heisenberg, look at me with confusion and maybe even concern (all made up I guess). They’re always around me, barking and meowing, but we don’t really understand each other besides the occasional “walk” and “outside” phrases.

I wonder what’s going through everyone else’s pets heads as well, are they happy or concerned we’re at home with them all the time? I hope happy but I wonder how things will be when we do start going back to our workplaces.

What a year, under the moonshadow

Ask anyone right now and they will say that 2020 is probably one of the worst years. I am in that boat too but I also have found out a lot about myself. I’m a pretty private person, I share some things on my blog but it’s hard for me to do it as some people do it on social media. Oftentimes, I will go days without talking to another person except Kristen (my wife). I am happy to be around people but it doesn’t bother me to not be around people either.

I’m no biologist but I know there’s a lot of chemical things happening within our bodies when we’re around people, in the sun, in new places, and experiencing new things, I think there are so many things missed because we as a society had to lockdown and stay put for some time. Hopefully, it will show us all the great things out there to appreciate in the future.

There’s a song I really like by Cat Stevens called “Moonshadow”, it’s a positive take on being alive and it has lifted me up quite a bit. Like I said earlier, the songs this year have made a resurgence from the past few years to help me feel okay and safe within these uncertain times. There’s a line in the song “Did it take long to find me? And are you going to stay the night?” It’s an obvious question, moonshadows don’t stay around forever but they do come back.

And in the world of FUD, there’s always Bobby McFerrin

I’d like to remind you if you’re tired and done with the fear, uncertainty and doubt, find a pleasant refuge, for me that’s the indiscernible music by Bobby McFerrin like “Circlesong Six”. It takes me away from the human languages we’re used to and puts me a state of mind of being completely unfamiliar and yet at the same time, gives a lot of warmth from the voices that surround me.