Mixed Signals: Relieved

A strange thing happened on Friday. We got the news that, here in Wales, it'll be another three weeks of lockdown and school closures.

No. 17 – 10th of January, 2021

A strange thing happened on Friday.

We got the news that, here in Wales, it'll be another three weeks of lockdown and school closures.

I wasn't too surprised. It didn't effect me much.

But as the days have passed, I've accepted it's more than that. I'm relieved.

Firstly, there's the knowing. Guessing what will come next is tough. Knowing makes it easier. We can make or extend plans.

Secondly, and quite shockingly to me as much as anyone, I've come to enjoy this life. I miss plenty from before, but I appreciate so much of what we have now... time outside in nature, good food, plenty of quality sleep, and time.

Our mornings are spent outside. Our evenings are calm and relaxed. After the initial spike in screen time, we're now at an all-time low. We stopped trying to run from what was happening to our world, and we've leaned in all the way.

The arguments still happen. The difficult minutes, hours, days. While this certainly isn't quite utopia, it does feel like we've stepped a little closer.

I'm not sure I could live this way forever, but I'm not sure I couldn't either.

📄 Articles...

+ Can We Please Stop Calling Everyone “Addicted”? Addiction is real. And it's a problem we're still figuring out the best way to help with. I'm with Nir Eyal. Calling people addicted when they aren't isn't helping them or us.

+ The mail order pioneer who started a billion-pound industry. Some may think the home shopping frenzy can be traced back to 1888 America, but it seems it actually began here in Wales around 1859. Having visited Newtown several times, I can't believe I hadn't heard this story.

+ Dieline's Top 50 Package Designs of 2020. 😍

+ Why No One Answers Their Phone Anymore. For me a phone call is a clear attempt to take away my time. Texts and emails are more subtle. A ringing phone is daylight robbery.

Of the 50 or so calls I received in the last month, I might have picked up four or five times. The reflex of answering—built so deeply into people who grew up in 20th-century telephonic culture—is gone.

+ The ‘best solution’ is to not need health care. Linked to 'How To Live' (see below), here's the Whole Foods CEO saying we need to change how we eat and live. I've been thinking often of this quote from Naval:

When everyone is sick, we no longer consider it a disease.

📚 Books...

+ Hell Yeah or No by Derek Sivers. A collection of Derek's articles from over the years. I love the way he thinks...

Silence is a great canvas for your thoughts. That vacuum helps turn all of your inputs into output.

He's a great advocate for living life on your own terms. Building the life that's right for you, and not for anyone else.

+ The Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday & A Poem for Every Night of the Year by Allie Esiri. These might seem like an odd pair, but it's the daily nature of these publications that ties them together. I'm loving starting my day with some stoicism, and my kids are enjoying a dose of poetry each evening.

+ How To Live by Professor Robert Thomas. When we get our information from the news, we're left feeling confused and overwhelmed. Nowhere is this more clear than when it comes to advice around our health.

It is a tragedy that half of the world's population is getting sick because they don't have enough food, and the other half because they are eating too much.

This book contains a lot of the science behind why advice has been given (often mistakenly) around the foods we should/shouldn't eat, along with other lifestyle changes that can extend and improve our lives.

🎧 Podcasts...

+ Daily Stoic Podcast with Ramit Sethi. Ryan Holiday has had some incredible guests on this podcast. I'm looking forward to listening to more. I wanted to start with this one with Ramit, as I love his view on personal finance (+ everything else). Didn't realise previously that they grew up together.

🧸 Toys...

+ Highlighted. I love physical books. Finding that bit I underlined months after I read the book (or even finding the book to begin with) is a real pain. This app was an incredible find. Highlight passages using excellent OCR tech, record the page number if you want to, and add optional tags. Will be using this a lot!

+ School or prison. No idea who made this or how I found it. Should there really be a question of whether we can tell a school and a prison apart?

📝 Anything by/featuring me...

+ Don’t quit Facebook. How do you know if someone’s not on Facebook? Don’t worry, they’ll tell you.

+ No bad years. 2020. Goodbye and good riddance? Well, no. How could this be considered a good year? With a little shift in perspective.

+ Starling Bank. I discovered my face is now on the page for Starling's personal current accounts. 🙋‍♂️