The Mental Unburdening

Who’s ready for another rambling diatribe of way too much stuff for a single blog post? That was a rhetorical question, what are you even doing here if you are complaining? Who defines blog post length? Fie to you!

So. Aside from the handy draft I’ve *just* published, I’ve yet again allowed almost a year between posts on this site. Looking back it’s like an uncomfortably abrubt series of time capsules showing me at various stages of life in the last few years. To go back and edit or remove those posts would be an affront to my disdain for overly curated content. You have to take me as is babey!

On a somewhat more serious note Covid-19 is still a thing. It’s not been easy. I’m still not vaccinated, but I expect to be eligible and jabbed before the end of the year. Objectively things have still been good for us, most of the time. Working from home has been great, but at the same has allowed me to really unbalance the whole work/life balance things. And by unbalance I mean completely and utterly fuck up. I would not say it’s unrealistic to say I’ve been consistently working 60-80 hours a week for most of the lockdown, which has had a wide variety of detrimental effects.

So why did this happen? I though it was a sort of psychological reaction to all the stress of lockdown and associated struggles at work. However, after a year of working my self to death and making my wife very upset I think the ultimate root cause within this is a lack of direction from myself and where I want to be in life.

I have to say this is not where I expected this blog post to go when I was captured by a fey mood this afternoon and thinking some writing would help me unburden myself.

I think lack of direction points to a lot of current factors in my life. I have a lot of hobbies, because I want to know everything and inevitably be the best at whatever is my current hyperfixation. I watch and read a diverse range of media because I have an obsessive nature of consuming everything someone creates once I find one thing of their’s I like. I end up doing work I don’t like because in the absence of anything else, why not. I can totally do that thing which is outside my skillset and field of expertise, not to mention even comfort zone.

In some ways it’s quite enjoyable to be a veritable polymath of a person, but at some point the costs of time and lost future potential come home to roost. In part it is a problem of commitment. I need to commit to something as a long term endeavour and not worry about missing out on something else.

I read today that a good conversation starter is asking someone what job would they like to do if money was not a problem. I’m still not entirely sure how I would answer this question. I know it would involve some sort of creative output. Whether that is creating physical objects, or in the more abstract sense of creation I’m not quite sure… I have a sort of shortlist:

  • Electronics Repairer - I’ve had a lot of fun fixing electronics and it sratches a lot of my itches, I get to work on physical items, I get to research sometimes obscure pieces of technology, I get to flex my skills of logical reasoning and deduction. So much stuff is thrown away when in some cases they just need a simple fix (or a kick to the manufacturer for poor engineering)
  • Researcher - Just researching stuff all the time for people and helping them discover key info or make a decision on something. There is so much knowledge that we as a collective whole have created on every imaginable subject and we just have to find it and distil the core essence of it
  • Lecturer/Master craftsman - This is a bit of a funny combo, but I want to teach in both the abstract and physical sense. To be a master in a skill and transfer that to others via apprenticeship, but also to share abstracted knowledge at scale
  • Professional blogger

I’m sure I’ve fantasised about additional odd-jobs, but tonight that is what is coming to mind, and I don’t want this to end up in my drafts folder for a year and a half.

These dreams jobs I do in part for fun anyway, but not really things I can seriously pursue within a Capitalist Society™ (or at least not within my taste for personal risk right now). So what are the aspects of these that I can look for in realistic jobs?

  • Ability to exercise creative outputs
  • Opportunity to research topics exhaustively
  • Ability to become an authoritative expert
  • Chance to impact society, either in small or large ways
  • Make enought money for other personal life goals

Totally not a difficult combo of items I need to get to the self-actualisation peak of life, the universe, and everything. So. What are my goals for the next few years?

The Goalz©

Post more often on the blog. I need to set some future vision for myself both in terms of professional and personal development. I like the company I currently work for, so my goal for the forseable future is to carve out a niche within that company. I will be pursuing knowledge and building the technical base so that I can become an authoritative reference in the field of data science and analysis for process systems in the mining industry. I think that is a pretty good goal to pursue, and something I can start paving a path towards.

In terms of personal life I have to become markedly more strict with my time, and how I derive enjoyment from it. I have to take a look at my hobbies, assess, and ruthlessly prune. This will undoubtedly help with my very large collection of Stuff™. Don’t ask me yet how I’m going to choose between my hobby children, I just know I need to prune.

I also need to discipline myself better when it comes to media. I need to be critical about limiting my reading deluge (and also get over my obsession of not being able to put down a book once starting it). I need to limit my internet tangents a bit better in the evenings.

I’m not sure if the sauce above has thickened enough yet. I’ve hemmed and hawed enough about this post so far, but it is a structural start. Hopefully I’m better at fleshing it out than I am at regularly posting on this blog, but as usual, I will try to be better at that posting. Now for some news in brief:

  • I’ve decided to rebuild our kitchen by hand in an obtusely difficult style. Not recommended (it looks good so far though)
  • We’ve replaced the whole roof of our house and added a loft in the process, now I only hope bereaucracy will let me finish and actually use the space
  • I tried to do some astrophotography recently after a long hiatus only to suffer multiple equipment failures. I’m still processing the emotions on this one TBH
  • I’m at it again with the keyboards

Till next time.