There’s a breathtaking Chinese saying that goes something like:
You put your hand in a bowl of water and stir it. The water moves. You remove your hand and the water goes still.
Vacation, for me, is still water time. Let it come to rest.
So, having a wonderful time I decided to write down some of the realizations that have come to me as I sit doing the absolute minimum, basking in the glory that is time to think, time to be with family, time to be with old friends.
If nothing else, it’ll be something for me to read a few months from now when I’m back to running just to stand still and wondering why my stomach hurts. (I eat whole grain bread and yoghurt—THIS IS NOT SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN!)
All the things that stress you out every day aren’t that big a deal. Really. You’re gone, and the office still takes care of itself. Nobody’s died. Nobody’s really needed you. It all goes on without you.
You do not have to watch the news. Things happen, misery goes on, and unless it’s your house that burned down, it really doesn’t matter in the present. Do volunteer to help wherever you can, help your neighbors, vote the best people in, but in the end there’s very, very little you can do about anything that’s on the news. Above all, your ulcer doesn’t change things much. Except your life sucks more than it has to.
Flowers are beautiful things. Take some time and really look at them. Smell them if you’re a hippie, but above all, look at them. Did you make anything today that was more beautiful than a flower? Was it worth it? Plants have made flowers for a million years and they’re going to keep making them no matter what you do. Unless you happen to have a bunch of nukes on hand. In that case, nevermind.
You’re getting older every day. You are not who you were yesterday. Think about your day. Do you want to remember this day in 10 years? Think back to a day you had 10 years ago. Happy?
On vacation I wake up wanting to do the same things I always do. And then I don’t. And at the end of the day, it turns out I really didn’t need to do them.
If you’re at all like me, you have way too many feeds and Web sites to check every day. Turns out, they really don’t need checking. You don’t need the info. RSS feeds are a great way to feel like you’re doing something without actually, you know, doing anything.
The Internet is fantastic and full of wonders, and doesn’t need you. Stuff, stuff, stuff.
An iPhone can bring you a sense of childlike wonder just by being turned off and sitting on a desk.
Did I mention the flowers? They’re freaking awesome. And they really don’t care about your state of mind.
Includes Hollywood Dead, Tales from the Loop, Things from the Flood, The Court of Broken Knives, and Port of Shadows.
Nic has a retinal tear and has his vision is saved by a laser.
Includes The Storm Before the Storm, White Trash, Calypso, Tell the Machine Goodnight, Prince of Fools, and Provenance.
The Internet tells Nic to install Ubiquiti gear in his house, so he does, and now he has thoughts.
What I wish I’d known when I started podcasting.
Nic starts a new podcast about—gasp!—American sports.
Mostly excellent non-fiction in this installment. Includes Fantasyland, The Miracle of Dunkirk, Das Reich, The Undoing Project, Waiting for the Punch, Vacationland and Points of Impact.