Posts Tagged self

#22: Yes Man

So, I may have mentioned this previously, but two of my friends – Lee and Michelle – mentioned how much success they’ve been having with saying “yes” to going out / doing things pretty much all the time.  Both have also had an excellent year, by the sounds of it, so I am intrigued.  I tend to be a bit conservative with my time – I don’t go to every event I can, due to a variety of excuses, some of which are reasonable (need to get home to feed Max) and some of which are less so (I don’t feel like socializing that day).  I could definitely see a lot of benefit to “letting go” of my inhibitions in this way and just going with the flow, at least for some period of time – I don’t think I could do it indefinitely because I am genuinely afraid of losing that much control over my life.  (Maybe that’s crazy, but oh well!)

Anyway, I think a wonderful experiment would be to take a week and just show up for everything I get invited to, go out with any friend who asks, and say “yes” (within reason) to everything asked of me.  I am posting this publicly, so I’m putting some trust in my friends (*cough* you know who you are) who might take advantage of me during this period, but I guess I’m not saying when I will do it, so that point may be moot!  As I am well aware, you can’t meet new people unless you put yourself in a position to meet new people, and you can’t have new experiences unless you are out, well, experiencing.

22. I resolve to designate a week where I will reply in the affirmative to every (reasonable) request to go out, hang out and otherwise get out (of my comfort zone).

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#21: Fashionable

This is kind of an odd subject, but I feel like I could use more style in my life.  I understand the backwardness of trying to plan out a hip look, rather than let it flow more naturally from who I am.  I have never really had any “lessons” in how to dress or how to look good in any normal sense.  I am a pretty good mimic, so I can copy friends and how they look a little bit, but most everything else has just been my personal opinion about what looks good on me.  Fashion sense seems like it’s both about how other people perceive you, and how you perceive yourself.  I am not too worried about the self-perception thing; in fact, if anything, a change in my wardrobe or general style might be well suited to making me more comfortable with myself. (That construction was a little awkward… but you get the picture!)

One thing I considered was ties – I already wear collared shirts to work most of the time, and wearing a tie is an interesting in-between to suited up and my normal “work clothes.”  I do wonder whether being more formal than I already am (basically button-down shirt and jeans, nothing too fancy) will have a negative impact on people I hang out with.  Only one way to find out, I guess!  Other possibilities: wacky hat, more color coordination/variation (I have no real sense about this; I just like the color blue), a better overall plan for stuff to wear across multiple days (as opposed to “whatever is clean and handy and I feel like that day).

Then again, maybe this just isn’t worth worrying about?

21. I resolve to take a closer look at how I dress and my general “style,” possibly with consultation with friends, and spend at least a week doing something different with my overall look.

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#7: Acts of Loving Kindness

I just returned from the Child’s Play Charity Dinner, which I was fortunate enough to attend as a representative of Wizards of the Coast (our company got a couple of tables worth of guests for charitable contributions), and it was really great.  Not only did I get to dress up in my sweet suit, but I also was able to mingle with other gamers from the area in kind of a PAX Formal, plus catch up a little with friends I haven’t seen in a while (hi Jeremy and Jamie!) and hang out with work friends outside of a strictly work setting.  Plus it was all for an good cause – providing games and entertainment to children in hospitals as moral support when times are dark.

I have recently been pondering more generally whether I would feel good about doing volunteer work, getting myself more involved personally and making a more direct impact on the world through my efforts.  Well, I’m sure I would feel good about it, but better than I would doing other things?  I’d like to find out.  So, I plan to take a look into some charitable activities I can do on a trial basis as a side project in the new year.

7. I resolve to try out a few volunteer activities by finding, signing up and going out to join in at least two different such activities in a month.

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#2: Workout Ethic

I went in super early (well, I guess not super early – only 6am or so) and did an aerobic/treadmill workout at the gym at work.  Man, it was tough – taking time off from exercising is just terrible for my ability to get back into the swing of things, both psychologically and physically.  Still, I completed my run and felt pretty good about it.  I am unhappy with my current weight, or I guess more accurately the distribution of weight – I’ve got too much flab on my chin and chest, and I think I’d feel a huge amount better about myself if I toned that down a little.

So, how to form an exercise plan that works for me?  The way I got it to work at Caltech was to wake up early (because Robin and Fred pounded on my door).  The way I got it to work in Los Angeles when I was working at Pretty Good Games (in Manhattan Beach, about an hour away from home if I didn’t hit traffic) was to wake up early and drive to a gym near work.  And the way I generally find it working here in Seattle is to… wake up early to get to the gym at work.  Waking up early, because I have more “free energy” in the mornings (I think that makes me a morning person!) seems to be a good plan.  And making it fairly regular would also help.

#2. I resolve to get to work early enough (pre-7am) on two days a week for a full month so that I can get a short workout in before I start my workday.

That should still give me enough time to work on various things before I get distracted by folk in the Pit / meetings / playtests, and it won’t be ridiculous on either my body endurance or my sleep cycles to do this twice a week.

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#1: This One’s for the Ladies

Specifically, I am unhappy with my personal (relationship) life, so I need to resolve to take steps to “fix” that.  I understand that it’s not a problem to solve per se, but rather that I need to take positive steps toward improving my confidence, get myself busy so I stop overanalyzing everything, and get myself feeling better physically and socially.  All of these things I will resolve to do in the coming days, but first and foremost I think it’s worth talking about some direct action I can take to meet/get to know more women.

I use OkCupid (please don’t stalk me k thx), having been a member since like… 2003?  It’s quite a good dating website overall, but I feel like I’m spinning my wheels (and also I am unsure whether I’ll be able to find someone right for me via this method, since I have not done so in our time together).  I’ve also, at the suggestion of friends, tried other sites / personals listings.  Bill made a great suggestion to me tonight which was, just try to talk to more people.  So in resolution form, it’s:

#1. I resolve to message one lady I am romantically interested each day for 30 days.

I don’t think I’ll start this right away (either right right now, or right after the New Year starts) because like I said, there are a lot of other personal improvement steps I feel I’ve been lazy progressing on that I can do first to build confidence, but I think this is a great step for me to get myself in the habit of starting conversations that might lead to something rather than sitting around (which will lead nowhere).

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Call for Advice

Tuesday, November 30, 2010
If you could call any living person for advice today, who would you call?

This is an interesting question, because it really comes down to evaluating the people I know (and know of, as in they are famous) by what I feel most unsure about – and whether those people could help on that subject.  I would say the subject about which I am most unsure is how to integrate my ambition and desire to do something that impacts with the world, with my day-to-day happiness in what I do (day-to-day).  Who might be a subject-matter expert on that subject?

My thoughts came to Bill Gates.  I don’t particularly know whether Gates has had success with day-to-day happiness in his life, but I do know he’s been wildly successful both in the arc of his career and in affecting the world with what he has done.  If the question is how to be impactful, I think he’s a great candidate for expert on that.  In addition, Gates has spent a while now being the head of a large charity organization, so in some sense he also is probably acquainted with how to maintain that impact over a long period and make sure it spreads to those who need it.  My thoughts naturally tended toward solving the impact problem because I am pretty happy right now with my day-to-day (at least, in terms of work – as for personal life, I have my friends to call for advice on that, so I don’t really need to call out “any living person”; they do an excellent job of it!)

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Long December (Ahead)

I’ve been pondering a little bit what to do with my blog, and also how to finish off the year.  I have decided the following, including next month’s theme!

  • December will be a Month of Resolutions.  Now, as Mike rightly pointed out earlier this year, I have been pretty bad at sticking to the other 9 non-blog resolutions for the year.  So I don’t intend to make 31 new resolutions… instead, I plan to use the space to think about how I might effect change in my life, and then at the end of the month, I’ll pick a few (3-5) and make those my resolutions for 2011.
  • I’m going to make an effort to post next year whenever I feel I have something relevant to say.  That might end up being more than once a day on occasion, but likely it will end up being a few times a week.  If I end up not having much to say about what’s going on in my head, my goal is to post twice a week anyway (once on Sunday [wrapping up the weekend] and once on Friday [wrapping up the week]).
  • I think I want to make the blog more of a conversation between me and anyone who wants to contribute.  To that end, I want to figure out (over the break) how to simul-post comments between FB and my WP blog comments.  Splitting the conversation means it’s (1) impossible to follow unless you are a friend of mine and (2) very difficult to follow even if you are!

One of my major goals for December is to have a year-plan by the end of it, so that I attack 2011 a bit more organized.

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Jokes and Memory

Friday, November 26, 2010
What’s the worst joke you ever heard?

This is an odd prompt – why would I remember a bad joke?  But then I realized that you could take “worst” in a number of ways, “most bad quality” being only one of them, and maybe this meant “most offensive/terrible.”  Of course, about the same time I started thinking about memory and its implications, so this blog post will cover both!

I spent a long while one day in college reviewing bash.org, which I sometimes call “Texts from Last Night before Texting.”  Bash was a repository for hilarious things said on IRC (in public chat online).  My favorite was the following, which could definitely be considered “most offensive/terrible”:

Joker: You know Hitler killed six million Jews and one clown.
Fish: Why the clown?
Joker: See, nobody cares about the Jews!

I apologize to everyone I have now offended with this hilariously offensive bit of humor from bash.org.

Memory is odd – I am kind of terrified of ever losing pieces of my memory, because I consider Myself to be somewhat firmly attached to the sum of my experiences.  The awful thing, of course, is if you start forgetting things, how would you know?  There’s the possibility you would know something is missing, either through some internal sense or by comparison with the world around you, but it’s still frightening.  I spoke almost a year ago on Identity and how I feel memory is tied up with it, and perhaps the trick is to fully accept that every moment the “I” is being reinvented in small irreversible ways, and it is this set of Daves that forms my identity.  It’s just so weird to think about sometimes!

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Friends & Family

Thursday, November 25, 2010
Who are you closer to, friends or family?

As evidenced by September’s entire month of posts about friends, and no such month about family, I think it’s pretty obvious I am closer to friends.  I travel the most to visit friends, not family; when I visit a place, I think first of seeing friends, not family; most of all, I keep in best touch with friends, not family.

There are a few reasons for this in my life, and one of the biggest is I didn’t grow up very close to my extended family.  I know a lot of folk whose family is concentrated in one locale, or who have big family events, but we had neither as I was growing up.  My mom and dad are both not super close to their immediate family, and although that’s changed in more recent years (both have become closer to their brothers, and also to their nieces/nephews-in-law), my worldview has been pretty fixed on the point of family since I was younger.  I do enjoy hanging out with family, but I mentally equate them to “friends I am not super close with,” since I have no special “family” category in my brain for closeness (with the slight exception of “mom,” “dad,” and “sister”).

Another big big reason for this is that I chose my friends, and they chose me.  I appreciate the foundation my family gave me for my life, but over time I have realized things about myself I don’t particularly like or that I really want to change.  Those realizations are almost always in part because of interaction with my friends.  Most of my friends are understanding and communicative enough that we get along very well, and yet they see things differently enough from me that I get a lot of insight into the world and myself through them.  With family, I often feel like we think mostly alike, and where others might get comfort from that, I can sometimes find it frustrating.

All that said, I am off to visit with family (Aunt and Uncle) today for Thanksgiving, so closeness might be relative. :)

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Small Purpose

Wednesday, November 24, 2010
What turns you on, excites you, makes life worth living?

Here’s a short list of what I find exciting and worthy of doing:

  • Teach something relevant to a friend, specifically (1) a game that makes them happy or (2) a skill that they find useful
  • Skydiving; also, driving well with a car full of people
  • Travel to new places and discovering things about that place – patterns, people and their idiosyncrasies, unique customs and/or items/locales of note
  • Choosing to embark on a project and completing it, usually creating something in the process (but not always!)
  • Learning something about myself, especially when it’s something I didn’t believe about myself but evidence proves otherwise, and I come to terms with that

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