Optimize For Happiness

Easy Things

I’ve developed a reputation at my company for declaring tasks “easy” that end up being very difficult or impossible. I deserve it.

This happens for two reasons. One reason is I underestimate the understanding that the person has more experience and knowledge then I think. The other is I don’t take the time to think through how to solve the problem before declaring it easy.

Let’s stick with option one, short post.

Multi-Tasking Is Hard AF

I’m writing this on my way to the office. I take the bus, which is great as it ads 4 extra walks to my day. It’s raining, I don’t have a small umbrella for the umbrella pocket in my bag. I don’t have a light-weight jacket with a hood.

I’m doing better when I first started going to an office — after over 5 years if working from home. I now check the bus schedules before I leave and I’m almost always on time for the bus. I even check the weather — hey I brought a hoodie today 🙂

So I’m New At This…

I’m doing something new, and I’m trying to be kind to myself as I stumble through it. I do wonder if I work too much as a way to avoid doing the things I’m uncomfortable with.

I used moving to Pittsburgh as my excuse to start leaving the house more. It gave me tons of anxiety at first. That anxiety lead to silly mistakes, which made the experience and anxiety worse. It’s easy to stay caught in that feedback loop.

The thing that’s great about my job is I spend a large part of my day writing code. Something I’m good at. Something that gives me a great sense of calm to do.

Always Itterate

Sometimes I catch myself listing steps for household tasks… Clean up after meal, reduce mess : put dishes in sink, rinse dishes, put dishes in dishwater, push in chair, wipe down table…

I’ve taken the first rule — in my mind — of programing to heart. Before you write code, understand the problem and map a solution. 

I know that taking a structured approach to self-improvement is not a revolutionary new approach to life. But being mindful of how I have to approach things that others may think are simple as a complete novice, I think that helps

I don’t think you can find that empathy for beginners by doing the thing you’re good at. I think it comes through struggling through the rest.

The good thing about this theory is it works better if when I make mistakes I don’t go to putting myself down right away and instead be forgiving of my own lack of skill or experience.

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