Oi. One of the side effects of winter is that you have way too much time to go through archives and end up rediscovering wiki song parodies and other random things that aren't worth the effort to actually keep track of, but are good for a grin when you stumble across them again (if only to laugh at how silly they seem now).

And sometimes you go "hey, I learned stuff!"

It occurs to me that were I given a budget of things like Dollars and People-Work-Hours, I wouldn’t know what to do with it at first – the only thing I’ve ever really had to budget was my time. --February 3, 2009

Well, I'm still kind of "what would I do with this?" on that, but I've learned both how nice it is to only have to keep track of your own resources (it's a downright freakin' luxury, is what it is) and that this "budget" thing is probably something worth learning because the tradeoff in effectiveness-magnitude can sometimes be worth the pain of attention to detail, and I'd like that option. (And then I'd like to... not choose it. Yep. Teach other people how to do it so I don't have to. Hey, if it works for team-running and wiki-gardening...) Also, I think I've been able to learn so quickly at work in the past 7 months because I'd gotten ready to learn it - and I was hungry for it.

And then there are some things I still haven't learned yet:

I don’t know how to be tired, and I don’t know how to be still, or lonely, or sad. I know how to be excited; I know how to be quiet and suck in reams of information, I know how to make my own happiness and curiosity wherever I may happen to be thrown down. I know how to keep my pen moving across a page. --December 27, 2008

In the past 9 years or so, I've learned how to lean a lot more on other people, but I'm still ready to bear my own weight at any time, and keep my center of gravity above my own two feet. I have the ability to intellectually analyze something, conclude it's fine to take a leap that will bring dependencies with it, and then instruct my muscles to fling me out over that chasm of risk, but that's still relatively rare, because it's hard and by no means is it anywhere near spontaneous.

I'm starting to hit some of my pre-programmed "if ever I am in this hypothetical future scenario, what reaction would I want to have?" points nowadays, and the amount of mental simulation-running and prethinking that's been stored up during idle moments are being put to good use. It doesn't make the pathways any easier to walk, but it does give me a series of markers strung out through the grass. I need to make sure that I always have the space to do that kind of thinking, lest I get overenthused now and tap the well dry now that I have things to pump my energy into. (And yeah, that's what I do with my free time - axe-sharpening, axe-sharpening, axe-sharpening.)

And glory, so much abundance now.

My socks have holes in them; my sneakers are close to having holes in them, my primary diet in the house consists of cheap noodles, frozen vegetables, and soy sauce, tupperware and reused plastic forks/spoons are not uncommon dining implements for me, and George Sass has dubbed the neighborhood of my domicile “sketch-tastic.” I sleep on couches, under pillows because there’s no extra blanket, on a sleeping bag in the middle of a wonky futon… and on an actual bed once during the past month. I realize that someday I will look back on this time of my life with overromanticized fondness because I will have, at that point, forgotten what it’s like to actually live on Very Little Money. Right now, though, it’s life, and a happy life at that. --June 3, 2008

My cousin Mark gave me a collapsing laundry hamper for Christmas; I feel so spoiled right now. Also, I do not know how I am getting it back to Boston on a plane, but I'll figure it out. My family is giving very practical gifts this Christmas; my little brother got his choice of shaving razors - which can become pretty expensive, actually, if you want to go for the fancy electric kind.

Hari reminded me of a concept I've run across periodically but never consciously and systematically tried to deploy - linking learning to emotion. I usually think of it the other way around (not necessarily just "learning makes me happy," but also the Once and Future King quote that "the best thing for being sad is to learn something"), but... baligtad naman, the inverse works as well.

I rediscovered my list of goals from right before I was about to graduate college and... well, I'm not going to go into a diff between January and the present right now, I'm just going to sit back and grin. (I still haven't gone backpacking, though. I don't know how to go camping. Andrew! Liz! Help me fix this one!)

And then a snippet from college I felt compelled, for some reason, to write down.

I remember sitting at dinner - in a borrowed blouse, because I didn't have any nice clothes - with the Board and the Council and some administrators and a couple other students and some faculty, and watching them present a resolution... I think it was that one of the Board members was retiring, and this was his last meeting, and they'd decided to officially name him a Friend of Olin College as a thank-you as he left.

It was one of those super-formally worded things, with a lot of "whereas-es," - the kind that, when you read 'em, you roll your eyes and groan and wonder why these people can't just write in normal English - and they called him up, and read it, and after every "whereas," there was a wave of laughter and a nonzero amount of less-than-dry eyes. And I remember thinking wow, is this the sort of thing these  statements mean? That behind each of these formal statements, there are... people? And that night, there was a little subtle shift in how I saw the world.

Merry Christmas; it's been a while since my brain went into random-ramble-spew mode like this.

Tomorrow morning, I will figure out the things I need to do, and think about doing them, and maybe start doing them again. Tonight I'm just... chilling out. Mm.