Saturday, May 29, 2010

More on Essentializing

I might as well give up on my blog hiatus, as my reduced level of productivity has had a negative emotional impact. My original intention was to put off blogging and my other productive ventures in favor of my project since the problem that made the project necessary interferes with the quality of my life and my ability to be productive, as thoughts on solving this problem often pervade my mind. I've realized that not that much energy is required for focus on this project, and I've hit a point where I'm waiting for something to happen before I move on. Even when I do move on it isn't going to be back-to-back hours of working for the completion of this project, so I have little excuses for my lack of productivity and certainly deserve the discomfort.

Plus, I have to admit that even a brief absence makes me miss participating in the online Objectivist community, as I have no acquaintances that share these philosophical values and limited means, at the immediate present, to make things otherwise. Hopefully someday I'll be able to attend an Objectivist Conference. Until then, if I want to enjoy online company, then I must be present to provide company as well.

Anyhow, back into the vein of productivity, I am still having problems essentializing my life, as you have heard me speak of before (here and here). It's a really difficult task! I suffer not from the problem of wanting things to do, but having to choose from too wide a range of things, far more than I could ever get done or involved in. As such, I've been working to try and pick out only the essential values in my life and dedicating myself to them solely, but every now and then I get back into do-everything-mode and stress myself out. Blog reading, for instance, has been particularly bothersome since I follow so many blogs on Google Reader, and I know that if I read too much in a short time frame there will be too little time for thinking, thus deleterious to my long-term memory. As a solution to this problem I'm going to simply check certain blogs everyday for day-to-day news, and then let posts on others build up so I can dedicate myself to reading multiple posts of a blog (usually of one theme) in one sitting.

(Though perhaps my worries about my memory should be the subject of a piece. I do not have any inherent memory problems, but I fret at doing a great quantity of intellectual work in a short time for fear of most of it being forgotten due to information overload.)

But what of the other realms of my life? Cooking, writing, studying, and all that? I think maybe it will be helpful to split my life into categories, and then determine the value of each and the appropriate time commitments. I know that, at least, some activities can be neglected for a long time and then done in marathon sessions, such as (recorded) television series and movies. Other things, however, add more complications, such as the slow processes of studying or writing.

Oh! Hard thinking to do! I don't know what to say now except that I need to get a piece of paper out and do a bit of brainstorming. I'll give an update. (Don't I always?)

Friday, May 21, 2010

Project Update One

Despite a snag or two, things are progressing for my project. At this rate I'd have to say that things will advance very slowly; my project does not seem like it will be finished until near the end of this year, or even beyond. Being a new hire, my employer isn't giving me very many shifts right now, which stunts the growth of my finances, but I'm still enjoying my job, pursuing self-improvement, and still have yet to see how things will play out in the long-run. New developments may come about in a month or so.

And still -- I apologize -- the secrecy will continue. I'm not intentionally teasing you by not telling you what my project is; I consider it necessary. Explaining my plans could result in significant hardship, so mum's the word until completion.

As for my personal life, I've noticed a rather negative trend in my sense of life as of late. After clarifying my central purpose in life and intensifying my job hunt my sense of life got a boost since I was being purposeful and actively absorbed in that which makes my life worth living, but now that I have a job and have transitioned to focusing on my project I see the negative contrast. No, the job has not brought anything negative into my life: it has opened my eyes to the negatives that currently exist. In other words, after experiencing the good in life I become more sensitive to anger about the bad in life since it interferes with the good. After seeing in what direction I want to go, I detest more intensely the unnecessary obstacles, the people and conditions that serve as problems to overcome, but yet are not problems or difficulties inherent in the nature of the direction itself (such as acquiring knowledge and skills). Such has been adding significant stress in my life, stress that cannot be eliminated except through the completion of this project, and can only be alleviated through meditation, cooking a good meal, consuming my favored dark chocolate, and so on. In searching for new ways to enjoy myself I have even adapted new values to expand my enjoyment of life: Mystery Science Theater 3000 and Alfred Hitchcock movies.

The biggest frustration, however, is certainly that this project has diverted my focus from cooking. I haven't been thinking or reading about it much lately, and my actual practice has declined in quality and quantity as well. My, how I would enjoy the prospect of reading and studying cooking and nutrition literature, and cooking all day, but now's not yet the time. Considering the immense value to be gained from this project, I must conjure up the patience to wait until then.

Anyhow, sorry to my regular readers. If my lack of writing deprives you, consider friending me on Facebook or following my Twitter account. I don't post much on Twitter, but I am active on Facebook, and I cannot repress the urge to do a bit of short writing on there, for I have gotten into the habit of reviewing dark chocolate in my status updates. Note, however, that if you should choose to send me a friend request on Facebook that I would appreciate a message explaining how you found my profile, as I do not add completely random strangers (i.e. people I've either never met or whom I have no philosophical friends in common with). ("Your blog," would suffice as an explanation.)

I'll keep you updated on my progress, and perhaps I might also be unable to repress my desire to write and construct some small posts, since I seem to have shifted my writing to Facebook after all. In the meanwhile, my main concerns are my career, project, values, and lifestyle.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Good News for Me; Bad News for You

The good news is that after several months of searching I have finally gotten a job! I work as a Kitchen Helper at an inn and restaurant one town over, and so far I'm really enjoying it. I never expected such a job to push the limits of my consciousness as this does -- considering I need to be super *aware* at almost all times (watching inflow of dishes, actively remembering dishes under heat, maneuvering to avoid people walking around, keeping a standing order to pay attention to stock items, etc.). It's good to finally be able to get physically tired from something, which I consider to be a form of satisfaction.

I find it odd how I got the job. After making the identification that I want to become a chef my job hunt became much easier and more fun. I knew where I wanted to work, why I wanted to work there, and in my cover letters displayed honest enthusiasm. Not only did my hunt become more enjoyable, employers became more interested in me since they could observe I was preparing to get myself into something long-term, rather than just being some young kid looking for a summer job. My employer was so intrigued by my resume and cover letter that I got hired virtually on the spot -- there was a message on my answering machine about a job offer just hours later after I handed in my information.

My interest in cooking has increased since my last three shifts. I enjoy the kitchen atmosphere, the fast-paced environment, and the delicious smells. If my shift didn't end so close to my bedtime I'd probably go home to do some cooking. They don't have me doing any food preparation yet -- I'm still in training -- but I can wait as long as it takes to prepare; even washing dishes is enjoyable.

I'm not sure whether I'll continue my experimentation with cooking and baking at home since I may be redirecting my resources to my next project. Which brings me to my bad news (for you)...

For the past few years now I have been bothered by a problem which has seriously imposed on my ability to pursue my happiness and be productive. Since this problem has been so cumbersome and yet unresolved, it often throws itself before my immediate consciousness, demanding attention and for it to be solved, which has interfered with my reading, writing, learning, cooking, and so on. Up until now it has be unresolved because I have had no means to solve it, but this new job will allow me to at least begin considering preparing, finally allowing me to give serious consideration to the means I'll employ.

No, this project is not something I'm going to construct for public consumption, but something that will advance me greatly in life. Until the project is finished, I'm not going to state what it is or what problem has prompted its necessity. It will take several months for me to accomplish, maybe even over a year. Aside from my career aspirations, this new job will allow me to begin saving up towards that goal, and will help me gain experience which will develop my wage earning potential.

I think part of the success of my job hunt can be attributed to the fact that I switched it over from being a side-pursuit to a goal of primary importance to be concentrated on. I performed terribly and felt horribly unmotivated when I treated the hunt as a pursuit to be squeezed into my life, but when I turned it into something I would spend my days on, my motivation drastically increased, my methods improved, and now here I am employed. I think, too, this project would be much more successful if I were to concentrate on it instead of thinking of it as a side pursuit. After all, it will bring me closer to my happiness, eliminate the current interference in my productivity, and be a major advancement in my life. In a way, you could say I'm temporarily "giving up" (or shelving) my other productive ventures (studying, reading, etc.) to deal with something that is significantly interfering with them.

As such, I may very well put my blogs on hiatus. In addition to the change of my writing habits (as per my identified purpose in life), it's just hardly worth the struggle given my current condition. Maybe I'll write some musings on food or what I've learned from my job hunt, but I don't know; more important things occupy my mind right now.

Anyhow, see you later.