It Doesn’t Get Easier.

I hit the big 4-0 in 2017. It was not a milestone I was looking forward to. Reason being, I don’t *feel* 40 or at least I don’t feel like what I thought 40 would be like. Growing up 40 years old seemed so old. I heard family members complaining about various ailments, aches, and pains and I thought that’s what 40 should feel like and yea, I do have aches and pains but most of those have been caused by my years and years of inactivity and sedentary lifestyle. Years and years of overeating and not exercising coupled with some injuries I picked up during my time in the Army have slowed me down a bit and with age comes longer recovery times but all in all I’m in very good health. I want to see how far I can take my body and mind in 2018.

Quarantine Day 63

Things have gotten a bit better…I have my grocery shopping routine down as well as the routine for getting my Mom’s groceries but I’m very, very tired of myself. I’m lucky that I do get some interaction with people when I drop off/pick up the dog at daycare but it’s usually less than a minute or so.

I’m tired. Everything is starting to open back up and I really hope I’m wrong but I have a feeling in a month or so we’re going to be right back to where we were when the initial outbreak happened. Mainly because of the re-open idiots that are flooding into businesses as soon as they can. They’re not wearing masks, they’re not social distancing as though it makes them look like a badass or something. No one can be a badass against a virus. No one. There will be a price to pay and I just hope that no one I love has to pay that price.

Fuck 2020.

Corona-virus Quarantine Day 32

I’ve been thinking about documenting how I’m feeling, how things are going, etc…But honestly this fucking sucks. I read a lot of “apocalypse” or “Shit hit the fan” books. They deal with the complete collapse of society as we know it and it’s fun to read about but to actually try and plan for that sucks. I don’t when/if things will get back to “normal” but I’m certainly ready for it.

Things I’m grateful for:

  • I still have a job
  • I’m still getting a pay check
  • I planned ahead on some basic supplies. food, water, gas, toilet paper, etc
  • The doggy daycare I take my pup to is still open
  • My family/friends are all taking this seriously and are healthy
  • Donald Fasion and Zach Braff are doing a podcast while re-watch scrubs

I’m just ready for this to be over.

Digital Declutter: Goals and A Timeline

Here’s a quick list of goals I have set for myself in this 30 day digital declutter. More may be added later. I’ll write a new post each time I update them.

  • Cut back TV watching to 4-5 hours per week instead of per day.
  • Devote 5-7 hours per week into learning Python so I don’t have to flail so much when I want to use it for something.
  • Get rid of social media apps on my phone
    • Ticking this one off since I literally just removed the last 2 social media apps I had installed. Removed Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, Pinterest, and Instagram.
  • Read 2 books
  • Write 2 new articles for the Red Hat Enable Sysadmin blog
  • Clean my house. Like a thorough deep cleaning.
  • Cancel my subscription to YoutubeTV
    • I ended up pausing the subscription until Feb 2020, but I’m not being charged for it.
  • Cancel my home internet connection in favor of an “unlimited” data plan through a portable hotspot.
    • Just waiting for confirmation of my mobile phone plan and then I call Spectrum. I’m actually pretty nervous about this one since I use ~1tb per month with my current ISP.
  • Go hiking 3 times this month.
  • Keep my smartphone screen time down ~3-4 hours a week.
  • Cook something in my instant pot to eat for dinner on weekdays.
  • Fix breakfast in the morning.
  • Wake up 30 minutes earlier than normal and just have some quiet time to eat breakfast and prepare for the day and not rush out the door.
  • Journal daily about — whatever.

I’m actually really excited about this 30 day digital declutter and I know it’s just the honeymoon phase but I feel like my mental clarity has already improved.

Day 1 – 12/2/2019

Today was my first “official” day I suppose. I set my alarm 30 minutes earlier than normal and I didn’t press snooze. I got up, dressed, and took the dog out. Then I got started on my work email backlog. I did that because today is the first day back after several days off and I didn’t want that hanging over my head. I don’t think I’ll do that every day, but today it felt like a good thing.

I fixed myself some breakfast, nothing fancy just a couple of microwave sausage biscuits and a Red Bull (not something I drink all the time but I *really* like the blueberry-flavored ones and I bought a 4-pack at the grocery store.

All in all a good day at work, I got the majority of my emails out of the way early so when I got the office I could start working on break/fix incidents.

Overall a good day. I did scroll Twitter from my laptop and realized I what I was doing and started working on a few posts for this site and for the Enable Sysadmin site. I also finally removed Twitter and Facebook from my phone. It’s been a couple of days since I removed the other apps but I really began to overthink getting rid of those 2. Now that I’ve done the deed I’m feeling a lot better.

I don’t know if I’ll do these daily updates here or if I’ll just journal them. I’ll play it by ear.

Until next time…

Disillusioned

When this song came out it really struck a chord with me. Here are the lyrics and the video is below.

Dopamine, on dopamine, on dopamine, on dopamine
We have been overrun by our animal desire
Addicts of the immediate keep us obedient and unaware
Feeding this mutation, this Pavlovian despair
We’ve become
Disillusioned
So we run
Towards anything glimmering
Time to put the silicon obsession down
Take a look around, find a way in the silence
Lie supine away with your back to the ground
Dis- and re-connect to the resonance now
You were never an island
Unique voice among the many in this choir
Tuning into each other, lift all higher
Hey, how long? Oh
Dopamine, on dopamine, on dopamine, on dopamine
Willingly been re-wired by clever agents within
Looping our reflections, our obsessions draw us in
Fix and fixation, no sentience beyond
We’ve becomeā€¦

Here Comes the Anxiety?

Last week I canceled my YouTubeTV account and yesterday was the day it officially ended. I didn’t realize how much I actually watched until I turned it on around noon to catch some football. My first thought was “just reenable it for a month so you can ease off of it” but I know that’s not would happen. I’d have a month left and I’d end up watching the same amount just counting the days until I had to stop cold turkey again and go through this all over again.

I’m not doing that. I’m sticking to it and then in a month I will be in a better place with it all and I won’t have to worry about getting started. I’m also procrastinating calling the cable company and turning off my internet. I’ve adjusted my mobile phone plan to “unlimited” data along with a portable hotspot that I’m going to use at home. My monthly data usage was ~1TB per month. I now have 30gb at LTE speed and then it drops to 640kbps. That’s going to take some time to adjust.

I’ve been struggling with what to write here and I think this is just going to be “in the moment” and documenting as I go. As I mentioned in my first post I haven’t told anyone that I’m doing this and no one knows about that blog. Maybe I’ll tell them at some point or maybe I won’t. Anyway, in the moment it is..

My Philosophy of Technology Use – Part I

My goal for this transformation is to be intentional with my tech use. To not mindlessly scroll apps or watch Netflix. That’s not to say that I will no longer use social media, Netflix, Amazon, etc but I want to reclaim some time from those activities.

I heard something on a morning radio show that I sometimes listen to on the way to work. They were citing a study that said teenagers spend up to 8 hours looking at their phone screens. I just shook my head and wondering how the hell can they get anything done. Then I started thinking about my own smartphone use plus streaming media use at home. Surely I don’t spend that much time doing those activities. I was worried that by installing an app to track it my smartphone use would change but it just so happens a few months ago Google released a Digital Wellbeing application in Android and I’m not sure if it was enabled by default or I turned it on at some point. The results were shocking, to say the least.

Through the month of November, I have 118 hours of active screen time. That’s roughly 4 hours *per day*. That doesn’t include my TV time which given my normal schedule would be around 5 to 6 hours per day which on the high side means 9-10 hours *per day* of passive consumption. Ugh, just typing that out makes me angry with myself and the time that I’ve wasted.

So what am I going to do about it? In my next post, I’ll discuss in-depth what I have planned and what I’ve already implemented.

What Is This Place?

I’ve been trying to figure out what to do with this site since I got the domain name several months ago. My blogging attempts over the years haven’t held on. I’ll go steady for a few months or even a few years then drop off until I post nothing.

This attempt will hopefully be different. Starting now I’m going to be documenting my journey into Digital Minimalism. So what does that even mean? Am I going to stop using technology altogether? The simple answer is no, obviously since I’m starting this blog based on journaling the process that means I’m not giving up technology. What it means is defining a Philosophy of Technology for myself. What do I consider meaningful enough to keep doing and what is just mindless consumption that I can do without. That’s the question I want to answer. I’m not actively telling anyone in my life about this for the time being. I’m fairly certain there will be a time when I scale back(or maybe stop using altogether?) my presence on the Book of Faces as well as Twitter and then I might leave a link to this site for those interested. I’m not doing this for anyone but me. I’ve realized how much time I waste mindlessly scrolling and living life through what others do. It’s time to take back some time and see what else is out there.

I have a few other posts I’m working on but I’m not committing to a posting schedule yet as I still have a lot of self-reflection to do and to do that I need alone time to process what’s going through my head. Until next time!