A Turning Point 10-22-2022

Hello Friend -

How often do you re-evaluate the way you interact with the Internet or how you utilize online tools - specifically, the way you use social media, read news articles, and publish various pieces of content (blog articles, photos, etc.)?

I recently returned from a five day camping trip in the Ouachita National Forest where I was off grid for the majority of the time. No laptop, no phone, no Internet. Just me and my family enjoying the outdoors and all that Mother Nature has to offer.

I have to admit - it is probably the one thing I most look forward to every year. It’s my way of recharging, giving my mind some distance on the things I am working on and deciding if there are things that I need to scale back or reconsider going forward.

Every few years I find myself in a position where I have scaled things up to a level that teters on the edge of unmanageable. When I hit these segments of life, I typically utilize the scorched earth policy and pick one big project and drop everything else. And, if you read the previous issue, you know that I’m sifting through my projects to try and discern what to work on next.

During our trip, I found myself thinking a lot about legacy and what type of things I want to leave the world once I’m gone. What type of gifts do I want to leave my kids? And from now until the time that I cross over, what kind of creative “life” do I want to live going forward?

I thought a lot about the following adage:

“There is no value in winning when the game doesn’t matter to you.”

I also meditated a lot on the word quiet.

As I get older, I find myself less willing to engage the world with energy and gusto. I really have nothing more to prove - to myself or anyone else. Rather, I have slowly felt myself migrating toward more of a posture of reservation and contemplation. More toward peace and stillness.

I’m not sure if it’s something that everyone goes through as they get older, but I don’t find myself getting upset with trivial things much anymore. Sure, I get mad every now and then, but it’s as if I’m moving into a new phase of life in which I’m a lot more content.

And the best part is that I’m aware of it.

Maybe I’m tired. Who knows. But while the world seems more divided than ever (doesn’t every generation say that?) I feel pulled in the opposite direction. I’ve started enjoying the little things - the simplicity in life. I’ve started holding my ideas and thoughts a lot looser, more willing to change if needed. I wish more people would do the same.

Maybe it’s the beginning of a mid-life crisis. But I don’t think so.

Regardless, I recognize that I’m at one of those turning points in which it feels like I’m about to take a new direction, especially creatively. It’s what David Brooks calls the “Second Mountain.” What that looks like, I am still not sure. But that’s the fun of life, isn’t it? Waking up and getting to experience the journey of becoming…

So, here I am, simplifying my creative life once again. Stripping it down to the essentials. I’ve even started drafting a few essays in longhand. Slowing down. Building in margin.

But most importantly, I’ve started enjoying the process of unearthing whatever is around the corner.

I hope I can share what I learn along the way.

🌐 Around the Web

Here are a few links, videos, and sites that I came across this week that I thought you might find interesting.

🔗 William Shatner: My Trip to Space Filled Me With ‘Overwhelming Sadness’

🔗 The Forgotten Operating System That Keeps the NYC Subway System Alive

🔗 ‘Sentient’ brain cells in dish learn to play video game: study

🔗 750,000 DOMINOES - World Domino Collective 2022

🔗 How Ted Hoff Invented the First Microprocessor