I used to suffer from optimization sickness. Whatever I was doing, I thought I could do it better. Whatever I accompished, I thought I could do more. I also labored under the apprehension that if I just managed to configure this or that right get my phone properly apped, konbon my gtd on workflowy trello roam I wouldn’t have to have my annoying human problems; things forgotten. Though I never really forgot much, not really. Most things got done on time (save for the occasional, and then pivitol creative project) but always some notion that if I gathered enough information (life hacks) then it would all be good.
Never really worked, for me. There’s certainly much to be said about learning better tools to deal with specific frustrations, finding angles and agencies, but there is also right sizing expectations… how much confusion, or incompetence should a person experience in a day? It’s certainly more than 0, as to never be confused would mean to never be challenged.
It’s also a situation in that you can’t hack your way our of a miserable context if your problems aren’t at the level you’re treating. I was in a marriage that wasn’t working for me, on a lot of level but on a financial level that’s easiest to explain. Life hacks and optimization work kinda like bailing water, which is great to know and experience but the problems can run deeper — like maybe you need a new boat rather than just to continually, increasingly be forced to bail out the one you have.
What I want, really, is to be in grooves, to sometimes exceed those grooves in some kind of ecstatic excess/sometimes lose the groove due to circumstances beyond my control, and have tools for being able to identify when I’m out of alignment and how to get back in alignment (or, to abandon that particular instrument in the symphony of my life altogether because the song is so different now).
The ‘grind’ the repeated rhythm of my life, a quiet humble predictable diligence should nourish me and my kid. It should also be in dialogue with excess, with the reality of black swans (the odds breaking/remapping appearance of the formerly improbably if not ‘impossible’). Festivals and debauch. I would be a master of it all, the deeply grounded repetitions, the excess and jazz infusions of something that don’t seem to fit the rhythms as I understand them till they do.
The biggest groove I’m trying to get back in is my writing (or, more exactly, my creative groove).
This last year I got back into a bunch of grooves; home care, child care, working and savings. It was tough because my schedule kept changing, significantly, every four weeks or so. Now I want to feel like I create with some regularity (as a human pace, deeply grounded into my reality rather than a refusal to push against my own minimizing self-story nor comparing myself to the mispresented highlight reel of others). I also want to be in a groove of being invited to socialize, the ritual beat of tribe.