Medication is a 1-Up, Not a Warp Pipe

I recently switched Doctors to find someone closer to where I live. I also wanted someone who might be more responsive to my questions and concerns about my mental health.

After our first appointment, we adjusted my medication in order to address some generalized anxiety along with the depression I’ve already been working on.

I’ve been gradually adding the new medication into my routine over the last two weeks. It’s still too early to tell what kind of impact it’s going to have.

I tried explaining it in a tweet:

Medication isn’t the whole answer. Like a 1-Up, it gives me another chance to get things right. It’s not going to take me to the end of my mental health journey without any effort on my part.

I welcome the opportunity to keep working at this.

Button doesn’t care how often Mario dies

We tested Button for COVID this week (thankfully, it turned up negative), but two-and-a-half year olds don’t like sitting still to get their drippy nostrils swabbed.

I suggested we let him play some Super Mario Bros. while I collected the test sample. He watched me play the other day, so I let him try pressing buttons for a few minutes. He wanted another chance to try.

He doesn’t understand the mechanics of the game, but he loves watching Mario jump and move. He’s in control.

In the time between getting him ready to test and waiting for the result, Button let Mario die around 40-50 times. Every time, he wanted to start again.

He’s not worried about getting to the end of the level, or saving the princess. The narrative and the game itself don’t mean anything to him.

He doesn’t feel the need to be good at it, because he doesn’t have a conception of what being good at it even is.

He sees a little guy in overalls who runs and jumps. He bumps blocks and sometimes lands on Goombas. Mostly he runs into things and falls off the screen.

Button just wants to play with a toy.

If he keeps wanting to play games as he gets older, he’ll probably get a little better and want to do more of what the game asks of him. He’ll feel more of the tug-of-war between skill and desire.

For now, it’s a nice reminder that games don’t have to be about 100% completion, speed runs, or tournament play.

Many things can be fun in the moment, taken on their own terms. Finding joy in the doing, not the striving or the achieving.

Thinking about teaching perspectives

A flawed teacher leads students to believe that they will suffer the same way the teacher suffered, and that there’s no alternative.

A good teacher helps students learn to overcome the same challenges they themself once faced.

A great teacher prepares students to deal with challenges the teacher may not have personally experienced, but knows are possible.

Teeny Jedi

Button started fussing on the way out of Target. I paused in front of the automatic doors.

I saw an opportunity, since our little Star Wars obsessed 2.5-year-old cheers up as soon as you get him thinking about a galaxy far, far away.

“[Button], those doors only open if you use The Force. Can you open them for us?”

His arm shot out, elbow locked, and he walked forward. The doors slid open as he approached. Instant excitement. 

As we walked to our car through the parking lot, I heard him say something quietly to himself:

“I knew I could do it.”

There are definitely moments in parenting where we resort to deception. It doesn’t always sit well with me, but sometimes I have to pick my battles.

But there are times when a little deception can make a trip to the store for deodorant and toothpaste feel magical.

Small Seasons: Rain for Harvests

I recently stumbled onto a post about sekki, a division of the year into 24 small seasons from China and Japan based around the cycles of farming.

Living in Michigan, where seasons tend to feel a little fluid at times, the idea of seeing things in smaller chunks instead of four larger seasons appeals to me. I also like making seasonal playlists.

So I combined these ideas together. I don’t know if I’ll do more of these. I don’t want to pull a Sufjan Stevens and say I’m going to make 24 of these and stop at two. But for now, I’ve been enjoying this one. Thought I’d share it.