Writing Isn’t the Goal

The start of the week is today, a Tuesday, after having the MLK holiday off yesterday. We’ve got a company wide staff meeting and then I have a smaller developer meeting a few hours later in the afternoon. I slept through my alarm this morning, having taken NyQuil last night to combat the slight cough and sore throat, as well as to just let me sleep through the night. And the news has reported that we’re supposed to get three to five inches of snow starting early tomorrow morning, although I may get more since I’m further out west toward the higher snow totals.

This is a typical start to the morning for me. Tomorrow will be much of the same yet I won’t have to drive into work and I have an appointment in the late morning. I used to wake up at 4:30 almost religiously but since the start of the Christmas vacation and taking sleeping pills, I’ve been sleeping in until six most mornings. I don’t like relying on the pills for a full night’s sleep; without them, the pug’s movement throughout the night wake me or my sleep is haphazard, like a kite on a string.

Last year, my morning routine contained a lot of time coding: learning a new javascript framework, building my own apps, trying out new languages. I haven’t been able to find that same drive since the Christmas break. I don’t know if it’s partly due to the fog of sleeping pills or that I’m burnt out; I’m fairly certain it is both in equal measure. Instead, I read a lot on reddit, mostly in the /r/personalfinance and /r/financialindependence threads. I read articles and most often, I write in some manner. Recently, it’s been here on this blog.

The threads on reddit are financial porn to me. First, some of the predicaments the posters find themselves in is a reminder that the same fate could fall on me, through no fault of my own. Reading some of the posts has reinforced my belief that we need universal health care. Second, other posts are inspiration. Financial independence can be a reality if I decide to stay the course for at least another decade. Third, they are a way to guage my place in the world. Some people are worse off than me, some are better off than me. I seem to be smack dab in the middle of the pack.

I’d like to get back into coding in the morning. There is an app I have been building intermintently over the past year that has a lot to do with what I’ve been reading on reddit’s financial threads. I have had loose focus around it though so not much has been finished. And now, with my commitment to writing every day, I have less time. Well, that’s not entirely true. I could cut out the television (here’s the thing with the TV: I miss human voices and having the news on in the morning makes me feel less alone).

These are the small decisions that change our paths, as I wrote about yesterday. Instead of the constant distractions, whether it’s syncing my watch to my phone, or reading the lyrics of the currently playing song, or watching another weather report repeating the same thing, they all accomplish the same thing. They keep me rooted in the same place without any forward momentum whatsoever.

This is why the 750 word promise is so important for me to keep. I know what I write is absolute shit. A lot of it is pedantic and whiny. What it is doing is breaking the habits of inactivity and passivity. I’m recognizing the patterns again. The difference between writing in the journal and here on the blog is that the writing patterns have shifted slightly. There’s a difference into where I write my 750 words. And thankfully, there’s no one but me at this moment reading my words. (Maybe if I do ever gain an audience, I’ll have something worth reading, eh?)

I started this post with my morning routine and the banality of it all. The undercurrent there is in my unhappiness with where my life currently is. If my pattern remains constant—the decision to do nothing—then my life will not change. It really is that simple. The writing itself isn’t the important thing; it’s in the act of writing that I have changed my decision. I have started walking a different path. Regardless of what Tony Robbins says about change happening in an instance, it’s the perseverance of that change that truly alters your life. In a year’s time, I don’t know where I will be. This I do know though: if I keep the consistent habit of writing these words down, it will take me to a place I’d much rather be than if I were to continue watching the news or gorging myself on reddit porn.