Actually reading my bullet journals

Moving some books onto a new set of shelves, I found a Bullet Journal from two years ago.

The bookmarked page was full of one-line pitches for screenplay ideas.

I remembered some of them, but others I saw with fresh eyes.

So a big thank you to my past self for not getting rid of that notebook and deciding to write things down instead of forgetting about them.

Maybe nothing’s going to come of those ideas, but it was still a nice boost to the spirit to see them.

Only if you try to pick it up

Ajahn Chah, the Thai forest monk and teacher, asked his students one day when they passed a big boulder, “Do you think that boulder is heavy?” His students said “Yes, it’s extremely heavy.” Ajahn Chah replied, “Only if you try to pick it up!”

– Kaira Jewel Lingo, Plum Village App

Happiness is simply the absence of desire. When you observe a cue, but do not desire to change your state, you are content with the current situation. Happiness is not about the achievement of pleasure (which is joy or satisfaction), but about the lack of desire. It arrives when you have no urge to feel differently. Happiness is the state you enter when you no longer what to change your state.

–James Clear, Atomic Habits

Discussing feelings of task paralysis takes up a decent portion of my therapy sessions lately.

The idea that when I start doing something distracting, like going down a rabbit hole on some internet search or doom scrolling, it’s hard to stop even if I can consciously acknowledge that there’s something else I’d rather be doing at that moment.

Sometimes the most effective way to stop is not to start.

Holding off the momentum of my attention going in a direction I’d rather avoid is harder than not giving the boulder that first gentle push down a hill.

I can simultaneously acknowledge the way that some things are designed to exploit my mind through dopamine loops as well as acknowledge that the demons can stay in the box a little bit longer if Pandora can get comfortable with not knowing what’s inside.

But it’s not just those smaller moments within the day that come to mind here, but the idea that if there’s something that could cause suffering if you choose to pick it up, sometimes it’s better to let it lie there.

Seeing the potential for suffering doesn’t create an obligation to take up that suffering in that moment.

Eavesdropping and defining love

Waymond in Everything Everywhere All At Once saying "In another life, I would have really liked... just doing laundry... and taxes with you."
That moment when Everything Everywhere All At Once gleefully pushes me over an emotional cliff.

Doing some work at a coffee shop earlier this week I overheard two people playing We’re Not Really Strangers.

It may have been a first date (it kind of had that vibe), and one of the cards asked them to “Describe what love means to you in one word.”

While one of them was fumbling through their answer, I figured out mine.

Because I’m not the kind of asshole to jump into their conversation, I made a note to blog about it later.

Here it goes:


Appreciating being with a person instead of thinking about where else you could be.

Not just seeing them, but witnessing them.

Sure, it’s an impossible ask for this to be 100% of your time with anybody.

But anything else, any other big feeling, needs to start with awareness and intention.

At least, that’s my answer.

A cold cup of coffee

An unfinished cup of coffee will never warm up on its own.

Maybe you chug it before it crosses the line from lukewarm to cold.

Or you pop it in the microwave, trying to bring some heat back at the expense of flavor.

You could always just brew another pot, and either add in a warm up or start with a fresh cup.

Whatever it is, you need to do something, or else hours later you’ll wind up finding a forgotten half a cup to pour down the drain.

Putting the video games in the family room

When my parents finally relented and got me a Nintendo Entertainment System, it made its home in the basement. Every subsequent video game system lived there, too.

Tucked away from the rest of the family so it wouldn’t tie up the TV in the living room or disturb anybody with its chiptune bleeps and boops.

But it also meant that video games were mostly a private thing for me.

Sure, my mother and I conquered Bubble Bobble together, and there were times my dad would join as player 2. Under special circumstances a console could come upstairs, like a sick day where I got to stay on the couch playing hockey on the Genesis, or a sleepover for the release of the N64.

But there was always this sense that the games weren’t something that deserved a spot upstairs in the space with the rest of the family.

This is why I think the Nintendo Switch is the perfect family game console.

Last night I had a Powerpoint Party as a belated birthday get-together. My topic:

Keynote slide titled Designing Super Mario Levels (for a three-year-old)

I based it on playing Mario Bros. with Button.

The Switch stays docked on our TV in the living room so that the primary way to play it is with the family. But if somebody wants to play on their own (like Sprout when they want to build in Minecraft), its portability allows for that.

Growing up on video games made it feel more acceptable to have them make a home in the family room. Not only did I want to share playing games with my kids, but I didn’t want to create a sense that it was something that required you to separate yourself from the rest of the family.

Finding that balance between making it so that we can easily play together, but still allowing for those individual, immersive journeys to new worlds.