Whelp, this weekly post is off to a great start. As you may have noticed (or probably not, because who's really reading this anyway?), I missed last week's edition of The Sunday Reboot (also known as the very second Sunday Reboot).
Way to go, me.
I guess all I can do at this point is accept the miss, try to carve time out for it a little bit better, and move on. So here goes, the second-but-definitely-should-be-third edition of The Sunday Reboot for December 10, 2023.
Be original. Be yourself. To be anything else is to be a coward. — Ryan Holiday
Last week I posted a quote by Steve Jobs that I was pondering. The basic premise is that we are no different than the people who came before us, and that we have the power to change our lives in any way we see fit.
It's a fucking powerful sentiment, if not one that is hard to actually internalize, but I'm doing my best to embrace it.
This week, I'm reinforcing the idea with a quote by Ryan Holiday that reminds me to, first and foremost, be myself. It's a nice one-two punch, on one hand acknowleding that I can create the life I want to live, and on the other I should do it in a way that celebrates who I am as a person.
It's Christmas time, which means it's Christmas Music time! I have two kids, and as they get older I'm reminded of how magical this time of year felt when I was their age.
Becoming an adult fucking sucks sometimes. It's so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day grind, and the doe-eyed optimism of youth can be hard to hold on to, so I'm doing what I can to rekindle some of that energy through my kids.
Sure, it means turning my house into a Hallmark Channel movie, but the sights, sounds, and smells have all been adding up to a feeling of holiday wonder that does not exist in the real world. I'm holding onto it for as long as I can, and this Cozy Christmas Jazz playlist from Spotify has been maintaining the perfect mood for both work and relaxation.
I recently finished Tools of Titans, and decided to take a break from reading half-a-dozen non-fiction books at once. A while back, I picked up The Terminal List by Jack Carr on Audible—inspired by the Prime Video series starring Chris Pratt—and started bouncing between the audiobook and the Kindle version.
It's been a nice change of pace to read some fiction again (I've read fewer this year than any year in recent memory), and while I don't always consider listening to an audiobook to be "reading," I'm a sucker for any book narrated by Ray Porter.
Military thrillers aren't usually my thing, but from what I understand, Jack Carr is a former Navy SEAL, so there's a level of detail in the writing that gives it some real authenticity. Either way, it's a fun read, and I'm enjoying it so far.
I'm sure I'll be back to shoveling non-fiction into my brain soon enough, but for now I'm enjoying the break.
The last week has been really interesting.
After months of near-constant anxiety, I finally had a bit of a breakthrough. I don't know what caused it, but last Monday morning, while sitting in traffic on the way to work, I had a moment of clarity.
I've always been interested in the basic tenets of Stoicism, but I've never really been able to put them into practice. I've read more than a few books on the subject, and enjoy listening to The Daily Stoic podcast, but I've never been able to internalize the lessons in a way that's helped me manage my anxiety.
But, for whatever reason, something clicked for me. Like flipping on a lightswitch, I suddenly felt like I could just decide to be happy. I've spent months describing every day as "fine," or "okay," or "meh," but in that moment, I asked myself a very simple question:
"What if I could only describe my day as 'good' or 'bad'?"
At what point does a day actually qualify as 'bad'?
Where's the line?
Removing that gray area gave me some much-needed perspective. Having anxiety sucks. But I can have anxiety and also have a good day. In fact, I can deal with a ton of shit and still have a good day, which puts the line for "bad day" somewhere in the realm of "someone I love has died."
Even the shittiest day I've had this year doesn't come close to that, which means juts about every day is a good day.
I know... it sounds simple, bordering on stupid, but it's been about a week (a fucking long week), and I feel better than I have in a long time. I hope I can keep it up, but I'm hopeful that this small shift in mindset will allow me to put some of this in my rear-view, and focus on some new stuff for a change.
In my last update, I wrote about my desire to become something resembling a full-time writer. While my stated goal was to submit two query letters, one for a book and one for a magazine article, I have to admit that I didn't even come close.
I was able to get in contact with No Starch Press about a possible book idea, but communication is a little slow going (which isn't surprising, given the time of year). I didn't submit a formal query letter, but instead sent a short email with a brief overview of my idea to gauge interest.
I suppose I will have to put together an actual proposal sooner rather than later, but for the time being I've made a baby-step of progress, which is better than the zero steps I've taken in the year prior.
As I promised before, once I actually submit a query letter for something, I will post it here for posterity.
This is post 006 of #100DaysToOffload