Looking for balance in life, work, and relationships. #1000 days because the first 365 were pretty easy.
71660 words
antoszek.me

Exhausted, Excited

529

I'm exhausted. By everything; the work, the rest. The social responsibilities. The awakening happening in the country right now.

What I find truly interesting is that whenever I'm exhausted I'm also excited. Excited for things to come, excited about things that just happened.

Sure, right now I am not capable of doing very much. I'm exhausted, aye? I won't write many words; I won't think clearly. But I'm still excited. The feeling of tiredness after a good day is so satisfying. And so exciting.

And so I keep going on, sometimes without context.

Excited for the future.

Fragments Of Time

528

Fall is here.

The falling leaves whisper something to me. A message. Words of encouragement? A warning?

Yet we move forwards and onwards. That's all we truly know, fortunately. No reflection, no revision.

It's been so long since we've seen each other. Like, months. All of them months. It's so strange to see you, we shouldn't exist.

Concise statements? Are you crazy man? All there is are fragments. Of time, of space, of memory. Tiny, bland, boring pieces. No one can differentiate them.

But nothing ever ends! Don't worry, we'll be there soon. I see, rather, feel it. Somewhere, far away. But it's there.

Winter is coming.

Time To Fight

527

I usually stay as far from politics as possible. Sure, I might have opinions on things, but I try very hard to stay away from endless debate, polarization, and conflict. Politics can never be "solved" - it is a never ending mess, which will exist as long as humans do.

Almost a week ago our Constitutional Court ruled that abortion is illegal except in cases of rape, endangerment of woman's life, or irreparable damage of the fetus. This ruling effectively banned all legally performed abortions in Poland, sparking outrage all through our community.

Now is the time to fight. To show up and resist the damage made to freedom and democracy. To support all our brave women, to show how true cooperation and kindness work.

This ruling is a breaking point for me. As it is for many others, too. Up to this point, I tolerated all the decisions of our government. Sure, I have not agreed with them often, but I still kind of respected them. Well, they were elected by a majority, so just gotta put up with this! So I thought.

But this is getting into the territory of things that should not be touched. We're seeing democracy and liberal values torn apart in front of our eyes.

Now is the time to fight.

Because, if we don't, there might not be another chance.

Depend On Me

526

Whenever I make new friends, or whenever I re-establish already existing connections, I want to let them know that they can depend on me. I want to assure them, that I, as a friend, are there to help. Whenever I can and however I can.

This is often not an easy thing to communicate; I see quite a few people becoming suspicious when you tell them you're out there, for them. Maybe that's because they're just not expecting this kind of commitment? This level of openness?

Of course, it's impossible to be at multiple places at once. You can't help everyone. But, by at least giving them "the offer", you're leaving a door open. A door of help, friendship, and power.

Don't leave that door closed; support others, so they'll support you once you need it.

Let Live

524

There's this project that I run, called Produktywny Uczeń. It's a productivity website, for students, in Polish. To my knowledge, a first of its kind.

While it still is just a "side project", it made me spend a lot of time on it. Getting things running from the ground up, just by yourself, is not easy. While I have developed and streamlined particular workflows, the amount of work required to keep up with the upload and maintenance schedule is significant.

The last piece of content I published was on June 15th. Then I announced a two-month-long break with the intention of going back in September.

But I didn't go back to the schedule. All through September, and through most of October, the project was left untouched, with barely any work being done. Only in the past two weeks I started to work back on it, with the next piece of content scheduled to release tomorrow.

All throughout this break, but mostly in the past six weeks, I worried about not doing enough. About not posting new content, planning new events, promoting the project. I felt like not keeping up was invalidating all the past work I've done; almost as if all of it was worth nothing, if new things weren't constantly added.

To my complete surprise, the past month has been the best for the project, in terms of numbers. I've been getting plenty of visitors to the website, many new listeners and followers of the podcast, more subscribers to the newsletter. I tripled my podcast followers on Spotify between Sept 1st and now, and the project has been running since September 1st 2019. It's been performing very well, all while I was leaving it alone. I wasn't promoting it, sharing any links to it. All of this was natural traffic, natural growth. Sure, it coincided with the beginning of the new academic year, but I didn't promote it a single bit.

All of this tells me, or rather, reminds me, that leaving things alone is a mighty force. Keeping them under constant control will do two things: obstruct their own, natural rhythm, and leave you burned out. Plenty of effort but little results.

Leave them alone, let them go. Don't obstruct, don't project.

Live and let live.

Entertaining & Interesting

523

I wish every single post on this blog was truly interesting and truly entertaining. I wish that each one would leave a similar impression: wow, I haven't thought about this before! on the readers. I wish...

I tried writing posts one day ahead: so that today I was writing the post for tomorrow, and so on. But somehow I felt that this diminished the "raw" factor. I do have one or two pre-written posts, which I'll publish if I truly won't be able to write one particular day. Kind of an emergency backup.

And yes, I of course gather a lot of the ideas I encounter through reading, listening, watching. Thousands of book highlights, tens of thousands of links, and a couple hundred solid notes. But, all of these ideas are not mine. They're from someone else; all I can do is blatantly copy them and give them my "style". Ugh.

I like ideas that are original. In the sense that they popped into my head, just like this, pop. That they were mine, in a sense. Of course, all the knowledge I posses came from the world - the little truly original thinking is nothing than a blip compared to the rest. Yet, it's the place where I like to go to, for these posts and for other creations.

But, not every day of my life is inspiring and entertaining. Not every "original" thought is.

So, not every post will, too.

Could It All End Now?

522

One thing I like to think about from time to time is: could it all end now? Would I be satisfied with the life I lived up until now? Could I just go away? End the story at this particular point?

The answer is almost always yes. I don't know, but for most of my (pretty short so far) life, I've always felt I had to do more. In all aspects of life, holistically. Maybe that's because I'm young, aspiring, wanting to achieve something meaningful. Or maybe it's just the default expansionist mode kicking in.

Lately, I've started to appreciate that I have enough. That I've done enough. Of course, more could be done. The story can continue. But, if it would have to end now, it wouldn't be a bad one.

This realization makes life so much easier. It removes a whole shitload of pressure from someone. Allows to truly life stress-free, but also enjoy new things more deeply.

So, from time to time, this little monkey in my brain asks me this silly question: could it all end now?

It has to, some day.

Yet, it seems, no story ever ends.

A Minor Annoyance

521

Everybody has problems. Different obstacles arise all across our journey. This is normal and common, even though it may seem that we have more problems than anybody else. Avoiding them completely is simply not possible, so why not do something to view them in a different way?

Perception is an incredibly powerful tool. It allows us to completely change the way we see and understand things. In some cases, we might even completely switch our view of something, just through a change of perspective.

So, here's an idea for today: view your problems as minor annoyances, not unsolvable behemoths. When a new one comes, don't clamor over its appearance. Simply view it as an unavoidable part of life; a foundational piece. No matter how hard it is.

A minor annoyance? Phew. Anyone can deal with it.

Two Steps Forward, One Step Backward

520

Quite many people truly believe that progress is linear. Always going the same way, at the same speed.

Somehow it's easy to believe that every single step is equal in its impact, and the effort required to make it. Certainly a fun notion to entertain, which, sadly, is not true and misleading.

When we think of progress as linear, we view almost every action as equal; this makes it very easy to focus on the easy, quickly gratifying ones. That simply may lead to us living a less full life. A life of shortcuts, not achievements.

Someone once told me: remember, whenever you take two steps forward, you'll always take a step backward. That is simply how we are, as humans. Imperfect. We are our own worst enemy, and have always been. Whatever we do, especially something bold an innovative, is imperfect. That imperfection has to be accounted for, thus the one step backward.

Life is a dance, a dance of progress, fulfillment, misery and mischief.

A dance so incredibly worth dancing.

Belonging

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Humans are social animals, we need connections and crave social time. Sure, everybody has their own, different capacity for spending time with other, but, in general, we all need some connection.

Some people like to think that they are free, not bound, exploratory. That they don't belong to anybody else, roaming this world completely freely. While surely it is possible to not maintain any connections, we all belong somewhere. To our family, to a group of fans of a particular band, to our high school class. We all have connections that cannot be cut.

Knowing your people, loving your people, supporting your people is the best thing there is in this life. Doing it will give you the fuel for everything else, a force one simply cannot wield otherwise.

Belong, make the world a better place.

Laid Back

518

While I do truly admire people that are smart, successful, inspiring, I also dearly admire people that are laid back.

Everybody has their own definition of that word; it's something to be proud about for some, while for others it is something to avoid. A laid back person is calm, not bothered by the constant changes happening in our world. A person living in tranquil peace, kind of.

I can sort of feel this when I meet people. There's this aura of laid-backness around them. It's beautiful, and it calms every single person around them.

Am I becoming more laid back? I hope so. It's something I truly admire, wishing to be like that one day.

So far, still in the process, but closer to it than ever before.

Repetition

517

I often catch myself thinking Oh, I've done this before.

Of course, it happens in all variety of moments. But more often than not, it happens when I'm starting to write for this blog.

My default response when I think of writing about a topic I've written before is don't do it again, be original. It's almost obvious to discard a reappearing thought as a mere shortcut to publishing a post. I want every single post to be thoughtful, inspiring, thought-provoking. And I somehow feel that a post about the same topic would not deliver.

Only recently I realized this goes directly against all my principles of attaining knowledge. Topics should be rediscovered, rewritten. When we come back to something we've already done with new insights, different angles, it's always valuable to improve them. Leaving something behind forever, just because we've already done that is an idea as stupid as it gets. If all knowledge, after primary exploration, would get left behind, then we'd never get to where we are now, as humanity.

The nature of this blog doesn't really allow me to go back and re-write a post. But it allows me to build a new layer, sort of.

On layers we build, notoriously trying to reach the sky.

P.S. You can now buy me a coffee if you're enjoying this blog. It'd mean a world to me!

Panic & Ignorance

516

As we're dealing with a second wave of Covid, I'm starting to see how most of us are divided among panic and ignorance.

The panickers are worried about every little thing, about hospitals being more full than in Septmber, higher education closing, etc. They're afraid to touch any public surface, constantly spraying everything with disinfectant. A trip to the grocery store is a stressful thing for them. Constant stress and misery, how bad.

And then they're the ignorant ones. "Covid doesn't exist", "It's not harmful". We've all heard that by now. The problem is, quite a lot of people are like that. Masks? Hell no, unless somebody will force us. Total ignorance and denial of fact.

Why isn't the third way more popular? A way of not letting fear consume us, of not shutting down our lives, but also taking precautions, adhering to the rules. All in a mindful, calm manner. Sure, bad things can happen to anyone, anytime. But at least we shouldn't let fear kill us before Covid does.

Panic and ignorance sell well.

Common sense doesn't.

We are doomed.

Out Of Sync

515

We all sometimes get out of sync with the world around us. It's an interesting process to observe; when it begins, how it unfolds, and when the person finally manages to "sync" with the rest.

Being out of sync, for me, is a period of time when we don't feel like we're in the right place, with the right people, doing the right things. Of course, we might be feeling bad due to a variety of reasons, but being out of sync means not "clicking" with what we clicked with before. Think a digital clock syncing with a central server. Correcting the course, getting back into the flow.

Nobody is perfectly synced with the world. But we can clearly see who is more out of sync. When every little thing bugs you, you can't take a negative comment, or you feel like nothing gives you joy, something is not right. And it might just a slight out of sync issue.

Finding the thing that syncs you back with your rhythm is incredibly important. The thing that keeps you on your track. For me, there are three things: music (helps me settle down mentally), writing (makes me through out all the stuff that caused the unsync), and talking to someone, on a deeper level (reminds me that there are more perspectives on life than the one I have). And this always works, no matter how much I am out of sync.

Noticing when you're out of sync is only possible when you try to see your thoughts and behaviors from a third person perspective. Try that, talk with someone, and see the issue. And sync.

A life lived out of sync is a life of misery.

[Synchronization finished at 22:45:12, all systems working]

Lock Down

514

Welp, here we are again...

Today our PM announced new restrictions, which pretty much resemble the ones from Spring. They're a bit lighter, since they really really want to avoid another economic crash, but still. High schools, universities, gyms, museums etc. are closed. No weddings from the 19th. There are limits on the number of people in shops, churches. Masks are now mandatory everywhere in public, even on the street.

A lockdown, again. Ugh. We could have avoided this, but we traded responsibility for easiness. How human. It's gonna be tough, no doubt. It will be tough for all the students scrambling to study remotely, it will be tough for all the older people worrying about simple things as shopping, it will be tough for small business owners. But we'll get through it, as we always do. Poland has been through much worse than this, yet we always survived. Just have to keep that in mind while we enter the dark days of winter, in lockdown.

Lock down the country? Sure. Lock down our hearts? Never.