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Tag: Reflections

Giving Ourselves Space to Create

December 1, 2020
flower-amongst-lily-pads
This year has thrown in my face that I have an overcommitment problem. It's easy to get wrapped up in exciting things to solve, experiment with, or people to interact with. Unfortunately, too much of even good things can have strong negative consequences. One of the associated problems with overcommitment is burnout. How can we create and produce valuable content, code, thoughts, when our brains and commitments are brought just shy of our breaking point? It's an unsustainable pattern and eventually something will give. I've been talking with friends about my desire to start writing again for months, but never actually made any progress. The truth is I was beyond exhaustion at the commitments I had made, perceived or actualized. Creative…
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Embarking on the Year of Creation

December 29, 2020
dandelion-seed-distribution
This past year I embraced the idea of creating a theme for the year. Themes are more robust than goals or resolutions, because they allow for adaptation in the face of unknown factors. The ability to adapt in the midst of a global pandemic helped my own well being. My theme for 2020 was the "Year of new"; I wanted to focus on trying new things. Over the course of the year, I experienced many growth opportunities. I gave a talk on Declarative and Manageable State Management with XState at my first virtual conference, found a form of exercise I enjoy, and most recently have been re-imagining my note-taking and writing process. I could not have guessed that I would have done any of these at the start of the year. However, the yearly theme…
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Overcoming the Fragility of Goals with Themes

November 30, 2020
people-light-exhibit
I’ve never been a fan of New Years Resolutions in terms of making life changes. They often were lofty aspirations which were thrown out after the first few failures. The problem is that these resolutions are often too specific and don’t account for the inevitable unknowns of the future. This excessive rigidity creates the perfect foundation for failure. Short term goals can help mitigate some of these concerns by forcing a more constrained mindset around what can be completed in that timeframe. However, my personal experience has been that these continue to adhere to a similar pass/fail paradigm. In contrast, themes provide a flexible construct that is able to adapt and refocus as the unknowns of the future come into light. A theme is a…
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Community Influence when Building a Habit

December 23, 2020
together-we-create
Trying to build or change habits is challenging work. There's a reason that many books have been written about the topic. One thing that cannot be overestimated in value is the impact a community can have in this process. Finding a community of like minded individuals can help overcome the initial inertia of habit formation as well as sustain momentum. They are there to celebrate victories together and hear through the struggles. Engaged communities can check in with you in earnest to see how you are progressing towards your goals. Lately I have been rediscovering my passion for writing and attribute overcoming the initial friction to a group of friends. They were already writing frequently and sharing their content in a group chat. I'd…
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Give in to Joy and Beauty

June 23, 2017
View of Hamilton Mountain in Washington
One of my favorite things to do this time of year is go hiking, and the region around Portland has an abundance of diverse options. There are mountains to climb, hikes through the woods or by the coast, and even exploring the lava tubes of Mount St Helens. There never is a shortage of options, which is fantastic. A few weeks ago I hiked to the summit of Hamilton Mountain with a friend, about 9 miles total with 2,300 feet of elevation gain. I love getting away from everything, including technology, and enjoying the beauty of nature. I find that it helps me slow down to observe and enjoy the world around me more. I appreciate and enjoy technology and the many benefits that it has brought; one downside for me is the accompanying always on…
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