Daynotes 2023-06-29: Meditative everyday work

Woke up at 5.20, went back to sleep. Woken up at 6.20, went back to sleep. Dreamed the world was ending but nobody really knew how to react, so everyone carried on as normal. I was worried that people didn’t realise they had to say goodbye to their kids properly when they sent them off to school, as they wouldn’t see them again.

Dreams don’t do punctuation.

A large, rectangular white and yellow building-like structure is obscured by close up detail of raindrops on a window.

Nearly June end. At the start of the month, I took a day out to think a little about where I’m at with freelancing and life in general. I haven’t got round to a better write-up yet, but the big cha(lle)nge I took away from it was a need to work more "mindfully" – that is, to move from a productive-but-mundane approach of following a list of tasks, to a process and routine that "bakes in" the longer term values that are important to me.

It’s one thing working in the field of what I’m calling "long term tech", but it’s another to stick to it in the detail of everyday life. So figure out ways to bring it all together.

Tangentially, this week’s new book is "The Middle Path of Life" by Dhiravamsa. The first few chapters have dug into why meditation is important, and how it requires a shift from an "unconscious" form of behaviour (modern everyday life, the ego, etc) to an approach grounded in "curious awareness" (or maybe "aware curiosity?").

I think this can act as a pivot point for working differently and more mindfully. I started trying to plan out not just what I was doing for the day when it started, but also the things I wanted to be conscious of when doing the work – for long term tech, this often means a lot of good practice, such as decent documentation, clean code, keeping people informed, and so on. (Separate blog post/book/etc…)

Like meditation, this proactive planning is hard to keep up in busy periods, but it’s really all about the practice, not the ritual. If I’m aware that I’m not doing something, this is sometimes more important than making the time to actually do it.

The rain has come and everything smells of overwhelmingly of tarmac.