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Sunday Reboot — January 7, 2024

Well, we've officially made it through the first week of the new year, and I'm already celebrating some personal wins.

For one, I passed my ham radio exam this morning!

I would have liked to post my callsign, but that will take at least a few days to come in. Regardless, this is the first real test that I have actively studied for and taken in over a decade, so I'm feeling a real sense of personal accomplishment.

Turns out I still know how to do it (and it is still fucking exhausting).

As for other personal wins, I've stuck to the liquid diet limitations I mentioned in the last reboot: namely no coffee after 10am and no soda (club soda excluded). Now that we're a week in, I've noticed that even the bubbles in carbonated water don't seem to be doing my gut any good, so I've made the commitment to transition entirely to flat water when I need something cold to drink.

Coffee has also not been a great friend to me, despite my new intake constrictions, so I've decided to default to caffeinated tea when I wake up, and limit my coffee consumption to two scenarios: the Americano that I pick up on the the way to the office (the one or two days of the week I go in), and the occasional coffee meetup.

Moving from the previous 10am rule to this new one will effectively reduce my coffee intake by 60-70%, which I'm hopeful will play a bit nicer on my gut in the long run.

In the same vein of personal health, I've also gotten back on track with intermittent fasting. I'm a week in and my renewed commitment to at least 16 hours of fasting a day (I actually most recently fasted 19 hours) has been a lot easier. Everything is easier when you find the right source of motivation.

It's not all sunshine and roses, though.

I haven't moved as much as I'd have liked. Sure, I've gone on some walks, and locked my standing desk in the upright position, but I haven't made it to the pool yet. I've also made exactly zero time to meditate. I've instead been doing a ton of journaling every day, which has helped with my anxiety, but I still want to build up that meditation habit, so I'm going to try and properly schedule it this week and see how it goes.

This intro has gone on long enough, though, so I think it's time to get into the more structured format of the Reboot.

Pondering...

"We can be knowledgeable with other men's knowledge, but we cannot be wise with other men's wisdom." — Michel de Montaigne

I can't remember when exactly I heard this quote (I believe Ryan Holiday said in an interview on The Daily Stoic podcast sometime last year), but I found myself using it in a conversation recently and have been thinking about it off-and-on ever since.

Anyone can learn something and regurgitate that knowledge out to the world—just look at the proliferation of knowledge influencers on LinkedIn and YouTube for proof of that. But knowledge doesn't equal wisdom. Knowledge is facts, and it may even be understanding, but there's no scar tissue behind it. It's not intuition and insight borne from having "been there and done that."

A fairly popular saying that tries to draw a pithy distinction between knowledge and wisdom is that "knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad." It's clever, but misses the point entirely.

Knowledge is the map; but wisdom is the journey.

Listening...

I know I was banging on last week about how great Andy McKee has been for my writing, but that ended up being shorter lived than I anticipated. I've since moved back into the more lo-fi, synthwave-style music that defined most of my 2023.

One of my favorite artists, Zak Vortex, released an album last year that I never actually got around to listening to, called You & Me = Forever that I've been listening to a lot so far this weekend (I had his album Miami Squeeze on repeat for a solid 2 months in 2023), and just ordered You & Me = Forever on cassette, so I suspect will be listening to it a bunch more in the coming weeks.

On a related note, I also picked up a decent pair of wired, over-ear headphones (Sony MDR7506 Professional Large Diaphragm Headphones, for the curious). I've been getting sick of having earbuds shoved into my earholes everyday, and I wanted something that I didn't have to charge or futz with Bluetooth settings, and could use with my Walkman.

So far I'm really enjoying the relative simplicity of a quality pair of headphones without all the unnecessary bells and whistles.

Purging...

Last month, I wrote about how I've been slowly getting rid of all of the crap I've accumulated over the years, and have been working to digitize what I could to help lighten the load... and then Christmas happened and it felt like we just replaced all the old crap with new crap.

Well last week I made a pretty big dent in my book collection and it felt really good to offload over 100 books I've either read and won't read again, haven't read and don't plan on reading, or am perfectly happy reading an e-book version of if I ever do want to read any of them again.

It was a significant lightening of the load that might sound small in the abstract, but was a signal to my brain that it is absolutely okay to let go of things that don't hold any real personal meaning to me. I've still got quite a bit of work to do to offload all of the accumulated junk we seem to collect over the years, but every trip to the thrift store makes my house cleaner, and my soul lighter.

I've also adopted a much more mindful "use it or lose it" attitude with things I've been keeping around for no conceivable reason other than I've had them for a long time.

That mini fridge I used to keep stocked with beer, soda, and energy drinks (you know, all the things I don't consume anymore)? Why the hell do I still have it?

I've moved it back into my office and stocked it with water. If it doesn't substantially change my water intake (as opposed to just walking to the kitchen for a glass), then it's on its way out. I'll either use it, or it's time to lose it.

Next up: decommissioning my Plex server and moving all the associated media to a portable drive.

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This is post 021 of #100DaysToOffload