Personal Failures and Resilience

Apologies for how rambly this post will likely be, but I’m resolved to try and write more and worry less about whether its good writing or not.  I’ve had a bit of a crash recently, and one of my realisations is that I essentially work at my job, do chores around the house and then “veg out” in front of TV or Xbox.  Thats it.  Just those three things.

I’m not sure when I stopped having hobbies, but it seems to me its been a while.

Actually I don’t even mean a hobby, I’m trying to call it creative relaxation instead of “hobby”, because a hobby seems to me a thing like building models, or playing golf, and those aren’t the kinds of thing I’m talking about. What I mean is that in my “time off” I am doing nothing creative or useful.  I’m not exercising, I’m not building or making or learning stuff, I’m simply vegetating in front of the TV.

This should be an easy problem to solve.  Go for a walk every saturday morning.  Sign up for a course every tuesday night.  But yet I find that I naturally rebel against structure and schedules.

Anything I decide to do on a scheduled basis I will find a way to screw up.  I have to skip this tuesday because Hope has a show or Jane has a class and so once I miss one, I have failed so I just give up.

It’s like giving up your web business the first time you have an outage instead of being proud of “4 9s” reliability.

Also, I realise I’m sort of blaming my family for making it difficult to carve out time for myself to do some creative relaxation, but in the end it’s nobody’s fault but mine.

When I used to travel I’d tell myself it will be nice to get away and have evenings to myself with nothing to do but work on some interesting coding project. Inevitably all I’d do is watch TV and sleep.

I think I hit rock bottom yesterday. Jane and Hope were in Edinburgh and Isaac was visiting a friend, I didn’t know for how long, all a bit vague. So I’m in the house, alone, with all the time to do something interesting. I told myself that I couldn’t start anything big or go anywhere cause Isaac could call for a lift home at any point. End result, between 2pm and 7pm I ate fried egg rolls for lunch, Domino’s for dinner and spent the rest of the time playing Xbox or watching Star Trek on Netflix. Thought about renting an actual interesting movie but decided not to as I was sure I’d just get interrupted.

I had 5 hours and I did nothing but burn time between eating bad food as some kind of “woo I’m alone!” treat. It wasn’t even a treat. The food didn’t make me feel happy, just the idea of eating bad food because nobody could stop me made me happy.

So what can I do? How can I motivate myself into a routine. How can I get a little exercise, or do something a little creative every day?

I don’t know any trick to it other than trying again and (most importantly) not getting discouraged if I miss a day.

So I’ve set up the Streaks app for the following:

1) complete my Apple Watch activity rings every day

2) 8000 steps a day, which is my current goal in Pedometer++ and I know I can hit it by doing an entirely reasonable amount of exercise.

3) don’t eat bad food.

4) write something every day.

I’m also trying to figure out whether to dust off my electric piano or get myself a guitar as both of those are things I have tried (and failed) to learn before. That will become number 5 once I figure out what I want to do.

2 exercise things, 2 creative things and 1 food reminder.

This is the first day (managed 12,000 steps) The key will be to see how resilient I will be in the face of inevitable failure.

I’m writing this all out here, mostly so I can point to it from a post and ask for some suggestions.

What I Want

I like the idea that I post what I’m going to continue to call my ‘tweets’ to My Own Thing and that they are just mirrored into twitter (Someone Else’s Thing).  There’s some confusion there around replies.  If someone on twitter replies to my tweet and I go into twitter to reply back, thats not going to be on My Own Thing, but in general I like the idea of my posts, both long and short, being My Own Thing.

What I have

  • I have an existing blog, here, on WordPress.  Its available as both and
  • I have a twitter account @PossiblyAlan.  I haven’t switch to mirror to it yet.
  • I have registered for as acf.  I have a paid plan which gives me, which is not My Own Thing, its Manton’s Thing.
  • I have created a GitHub pages repo and sent to mirror into it (though its not jekyll-configured yet).  So currently I post to Mantons Thing and then mirrored into My Own Thing.
  • I have the apps for iOS and Mac, which can post to or WordPress.
  • I have the WordPress iOS app for posting to WordPress.

Questions I Have

It seems like I should ditch the hosted as it runs against the idea of posting to My Own Thing.  I’m currently just posting to Mantons Thing instead of Jack Dorsey’s Thing and then mirroring into Githubs Thing.

That means that I’d essentially just post to wordpress and have hit be mirrored into Mantons Thing which would then mirror it into Jack Dorsey’s Thing.

Does that then mean that all would be is a way to put my WordPress posts into the audience and the twitter audience?  I can’t see why I’d need the apps then?  They say they can post to WordPress, but I can already do that with more complete tools.  This feels like I must be missing something.

Maybe I’m confusing a bunch of use cases ?

Perhaps one use case is you stop using twitter, and you switch to using the apps and a hosted and you swap Jack’s Thing for Manton’s Thing, but you know you can get at Manton’s Thing via RSS or export it.  Thats one use case for someone, but not me as it’s still not My Own Thing, its just a safer and more open Someone Else’s Thing.

The other use case where I post to WordPress ( My Own Thing )  and just use a username to consume the RSS and cross post to the TL and the twitter TL is a separate thing that doesn’t require the apps at all?

Assume I post direct to WordPress, then.  I am ignoring the app and hosted solution and just posting to My Own Thing.  Do I keep posting short and long form posts to ?  Will show short form posts inline and link to long form ones?  Maybe I should create a second WordPress blog which is just the  That means its always ‘tweets’ and they can be duplicated into the timeline and twitter, but it does mean its entirely separate from the main wordpress blog.


Anyway, analysis paralysis and thoughts welcomed.

UPDATE: I just cancelled my subscription.  The only story I could actually understand was the hosted one which mean I was just posting to Mantons’ Thing instead of Jack’s Thing and that didn’t seem worth the effort.  I’ll just keep tweeting on twitter and blogging here on WordPress.