Optimizing for joy

Optimizing for pleasure


Hi there, mates. It has been a l-o-n-g time since I’ve written on-line. Effectively, that is not totally true. I have been writing a ton at Fb. In reality, it is as if Fb has turn into my private weblog. However that is about to vary. All the things is about to vary. Let’s discuss it.

As you are nicely conscious, 2022 was one hell of a yr for me. It was a yr of dying and destruction. That appears like hyperbole, I do know, but it surely’s not. It felt as if my world had been crumbling round me.

After my mother died in October, I made a vow. I used to be going to do no matter it took to get myself again to the identical psychological and bodily areas I inhabited a decade in the past. That span of time between 2012 and 2016 was Peak J.D., and I wished extra of it. Possibly I could not obtain precisely the identical way of thinking, however certainly I might get nearer than I have been the previous few years.

Optimizing for Pleasure

To that finish, I requested myself: What was I doing otherwise then than I am doing now? I made a listing. I dubbed 2023 the yr of me. As corny because it sounds, I started to “optimize for pleasure”. I started to take motion. The motion was efficient.

Listed here are a few of the issues I have been doing:

  • I have been touring. I spent a while in Colorado in February, every week in Mexico in March, and I simply returned from a month-long solo journey by way of the Scottish isles, up the coast of Norway, reaching briefly to Svalbard, then ending with every week in Iceland. I did a complete lotta nothing.
  • I have been studying. Earlier within the yr, I spent numerous time studying books on psychological well being and self-improvement. Then I found the Nero Wolfe novels of Rex Stout. Wolfe and Stout have helped me rekindle my love of books. This yr, I have been studying extra books than I’ve since…possibly 2006? It is nice enjoyable.
  • I have been exercising. I have been hitting the gymnasium religiously three days per week. Typically extra. Issues had been irritating at first, however now I’ve developed some power and have misplaced some weight. I have not returned to the height health I loved 2012-2014, however I am getting there. I am about to shift my focus from power coaching to aerobics and adaptability for a number of months, however I am going to return to weightlifting by the tip of the yr.
  • I have been hanging out with mates. For quite a lot of causes — journey, COVID, transferring, and so forth. — my social life has been awful for a lengthy time. This yr, I am intentionally making time for mates, each outdated and new.
  • I have been medicating. For years, I’ve resisted utilizing medication to deal with my mental-health issues. I’ve at all times believed that I ought to be capable of dig myself out of the darkish, darkish holes I get into. Typically that works. Usually it would not. In April, I requested my physician for assist. She prescribed Wellbutrin. After a rocky begin with the stuff, I discover that it is serving to me preserve my demons at bay. It feels nice to really feel human as soon as extra.

These are the issues I have been including to my life through the 12 months of J.D. There are additionally issues I’ve given up. These embody:

  • Hearthstone. For 9 years, I have been hooked on Hearthstone, a digital card sport. I select the phrase “addicted” purposefully. I’ve tracked my play earlier than, and I are likely to common two hours of Hearthstone per day. That is insane. Nonetheless, I could not cease. However what? The day I began taking Wellbutrin, my urge to play the sport vanished. I’ve performed a complete of two hours of Hearthstone prior to now three months, which is a far cry from two hours per day. (I have not given up gaming totally, although. At present enjoying Zelda on the Swap and loving it. Nevertheless it’s not an addictive habits. Have not performed in any respect for every week.)
  • Reddit. I do know lots of people get sucked into Fb or Twitter or Instagram. None of these have a compulsive draw for me. (I’ve at all times hated Twitter. I exploit Fb sparingly, and actually solely to share stuff with my mates.) However Reddit? Man oh man, Reddit has sucked a ton of time from my life. I am going to scroll mindlessly for hours taking a look at dumb stuff. My urge to take action has declined since I began taking Wellbutrin, and the current actions of the location’s management have served as the ultimate straw. I’ve given it up.
  • Get Wealthy Slowly. That is proper: This day without work has helped me to see that I want to surrender GRS. Once more. I by no means ought to have repurchased the location. I am unable to clarify why — and I needn’t, actually — however GRS acts as a weight round my neck. It is a psychological burden. My life is healthier once I’m not writing about cash.

I believed for a time that I wished to surrender on-line life totally. I’ve some robust opinions in regards to the fashionable web and its detrimental results on society. I do not need to be part of one thing that I consider is destroying our world. However I’ve realized that I have to observe what I preach.

Practising What I Preach

You see, I usually urge my mates who’re offended in regards to the state of the world to do one thing as a substitute of complaining. When you do not like how Mississippi, say, does issues, then transfer to Mississippi and contribute to the change. Do not attempt to dictate what Mississippi does from the consolation of your property in Oregon. That is bullshit on so many ranges.

If I had been to desert the web fully, I would be surrendering. I would be saying, “Okay, I give in. The search engine marketing spammers and AI web sites and social-media stooges win.” I do not need to do this. I do not essentially need to wage conflict on these items, however I do need to present — in some very small approach — an alternative choice to the entire bullshit that is on the market.

Moreover, I like to write down. I have been writing on-line for 26 years. This is part of who I’m. Throughout my prolonged hiatus, I’ve felt like part of me is lacking. Whereas touring just lately, I printed photographs and tales to Fb each single day. It was enjoyable! It made me understand how a lot I miss writing for the net.

So, I will return to writing for the net. However I am not going to write down on only one subject. I am not going to publish at a distinct segment web site…like Get Wealthy Slowly. I will write at my private weblog in a private fashion. If there are individuals who need to learn what I write (and even be part of the dialog), nice. If not, additionally nice. I will write for myself — as a result of it is what I have to do to course of my ideas and emotions, as a result of writing has been part of who I’m for practically fifty years.

The Backside Line

I’ve reached an settlement with my enterprise associate, Tom Drake, that offers him management of Get Wealthy Slowly whereas permitting me to make use of my cash writing in no matter approach I select. Mainly, he’ll take over GRS and do with it what he thinks is finest, and I am going to transfer my on-line world — my whole on-line world — to jdroth.com whereas nonetheless with the ability to use the articles I’ve written prior to now.

For these unfamiliar with Tom, in some methods he is the Canadian me. I have been known as “the Godfather of cash running a blog” (and, extra just lately, “the grandfather of cash running a blog”). Effectively, Tom is the Godfather of Canadian cash running a blog. He is been writing about private finance since 2009. Tom runs many websites, however is finest recognized for Maple Cash.

Possibly I am going to write one thing for GRS from time to time. However possibly not. After I do, these articles will likely be printed concurrently at each Get Wealthy Slowly and at Folded Area. (Folded Area is the title of the private weblog I publish at jdroth.com.) This text, for example, is showing on the identical time in each locations.

So, that is the place I’m. I’ve had a contented and productive first six months of 2023. Making this the “yr of me” was tremendous sensible. I am in nice form bodily and mentally, and issues proceed to enhance. I am desirous to see what the remainder of the yr has in retailer…


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