No Second Chances

Starting over has never been an easy thing. For much of human history, we’ve been integrated with our tribe or tied to the land. Strangers from elsewhere were viewed with distrust in spite of all the major religions espousing love and hospitality for such people. But somewhere along the way, it became possible to leave behind who you were and build a new life. I’m not here to judge the people that did that. Read more...

The Games People Play

There are a number of useful metaphors and mental models through which to examine the world and how we operate in it. This post will focus on games. I’m no expert in game theory, but these reflections require nothing so rigorous. Instead, this will highlight various games or game-like elements that we can choose to play in our lives. Our approach to the world and the strategies and tactics we bring to bear will define our experiences. Read more...

What Now?

There are times that I’m struck by the synchrony of events in the world and in my own life. There’s no need to believe in destiny or some greater coherent plan to find moments when patterns align. The law of averages does all the work. Last week, the US elected a new president (based on all available information that we have at this time). Last week, I also took a voluntary severance offer from my job of 17 years, 4 months, and six days. Read more...

A Question for Election Day

Today is Election Day in the United States. To say it is more politically charged than any election in my lifetime is an understatement. I can see one of two broad outcomes for how it will go. Either the results will be so overwhelmingly in favor of one candidate that the outcome is undeniable, or the race is too close to call and the remainder of the month is filled with outrage, sensational news coverage, and exhausting malaise as all the tallies are added, disputed, lied about and argued over. Read more...

Work-Life Integration

Before 2020, I’d periodically see articles and conversations about work-life balance. The idea being that you need to find the right set point where you didn’t work too much but you also got the work done that needed to be done. Then a pandemic came and a lot of people found themselves working remote. Now it was possible to start work earlier and work longer because there were no commutes. Work could find you later in the evening because your workstation was no longer miles away at an office. Read more...

Forget Normal

A common refrain that I hear from every direction is something to the effect of, “I just can’t wait for things to get back to normal.” This is an understandable sentiment. 2020 hasn’t exactly been the best year. We all want the sense of relative safety and security that we seemed to have before ‘social distancing’ and ‘pandemic’ became part of our everyday vernacular. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but that sense of safety was an illusion and the pandemic has demonstrated that with a clarity so blinding that most of us can’t stand to look at it. Read more...

Remote, Day 120 - Deactivating

I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to live the way we do. The last ten years have had a different feel than the 36 that came before. That’s not just about pandemics and politics. It’s about our mediated and shallow interactions. It’s about the lack of long-term thinking, the bubbles of absolutism, the hours of distraction, and the dearth of wisdom. It’s about how we relate to the only thing that we truly have - time. Read more...

Remote, Day 103 - Yes, And

It’s been a while since I’ve written anything here. The days have been busy and undifferentiated. Except in the broader world. That continues to unfold in ways that I don’t fully understand. But then, how could I? I’ve never lived through a pandemic. I’ve never had an encounter with a police officer where I feared for my life. I’ve never lived in a large city where things like ‘national news’ really happened with any frequency. Read more...

Remote, Day 55 - Humility

Welcome to the Spring of 2020. The Coronavirus pandemic is less than six months along. The economic system is reeling. The US government has responded incorrectly in just about every way and called it a win. And because all that wasn’t enough, everything is political, there’s no room for nuance, and reality is whatever you want it to be. As usual, this will be one of those times where I advocate for understanding the different sides and attempting to solve the problem with pragmatism rather than ideology. Read more...

Remote, Day 47 - Resilience

In our economic system, the lower tier is frequently chastised for a lack of savings. You know the sort of lecture I’m talking about: It’s irresponsible to not be prepared for the unexpected. You should have six months to a year worth of expenses saved, so why don’t you. If you aren’t able to save for those emergencies, then you should go without or hustle more and figure out a way to put aside more money. Read more...

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