January 1st – January 15th, 2017
“Some people, were born to sit by a river. Some get struck by lightning. Some have an ear for music. Some are artists. Some swim. Some know buttons. Some know Shakespeare. Some are mothers. And some people, dance.”
Evening, after dark, running on the beach. There’s a slice of moon up ahead, sandwiched by Mars and Venus, coming closer with every stride. It’s hard not to smile when I step on to this sand and take off running, like I know something no one else knows.
Went surfing a few days ago and got my ass kicked. Today was better. Stood up on the board more times than not, rode several waves all the way to the shore. I know I’ll have more of those rough surfing days though. It’s like that with lots of things. Just when you think you’re getting the hang of it, you find yourself humbled again.
I’ve pretty much given up setting deadlines for my own projects. I rarely seem to meet them anyway — freelance work usually gets in the way — and it’s stressful trying. As long as I’m making steady progress, that’s good enough. I’ll get there eventually, and I can relax a little more along the way.
Back out surfing this eve. Waves not as good today, but that’s perfect in its own way. When one comes along, you try catch it. When one doesn’t, you float in the ocean, resting on your board, taking in the spectacle of a setting sun behind the auditorio, the sky all aglow and the silhouette of a steel fish somehow spectacular.
Turned down an offer to collaborate on a big freelance project yesterday, could have been worth up to €18k, a decent chunk of that going to me. But the client sounded like a bit of a nightmare, and I could see it all devolving into a frustrating slog. As per Derek Sivers, if you don’t find yourself saying “Hell Yeah!” to an opportunity, it should be an automatic no.
One key indicator of happiness for me is how I eat. Not what I eat, but how I eat. When I’m more relaxed and content, I eat slow, swallowing and appreciating each bite before loading up again. After basketball today we went to a burger house for an epic meal. And I enjoyed it all the more because I ate it slow, savored it completely.
Tired now, but it’s the good kind of tired, tired because I did a lot of worthwhile stuff this week, the kind of tired Hunter Thompson had in mind when he wrote, Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride!”
We’ve got a great crew in the apartment, three of us on the same wavelength, bouncing and learning from each other. I was showing them my productivity systems the other day and realized that yeah, I do have a lot of routines and I do track a ton of shit. The trick is to know when to stick to it all, and when to say fuck it, I need a break. Strive to be the master of your systems, never their slave.
Fourth day in a row with at least an hour of Spanish speaking practice, via teachers on Skype. Used to be that even thirty minutes of speaking Spanish left me exhausted, my brain fried. So this is definitely progress. I’m not actually speaking it much out and about here in Las Palmas though. Must work on that.
A simple prompt this morning: as you go about your day, silently wish happiness for whomever you encounter. Friends, strangers, doesn’t matter. Young guy walking past the front door of my building. Truck driver on the road. Security guard outside a store. Old lady at a crosswalk. A whole bunch of people at coworking. Turns out wishing happiness for others makes you pretty happy yourself.
Been under the weather the past few days and have had trouble sleeping. Had to skip surfing a couple of times, no early mornings. But this evening I made myself get out and go for a walk on the beach. Just five minutes out of the apartment and you’re stepping on sand. It was glorious down there, the sky all aflame and a beautiful woman saluting a sunken sun.
Quoted five figures for another project that came my way recently. Had a call with the guy about it today, felt very relaxed chatting with him. Maybe I’m getting used to these kinds of calls. Or maybe it’s that I don’t really need this project, given how much freelance work I currently have on. But most of all it’s probably Jacob’s coaching that’s affected me. Feeling more centered, at peace.
At the edge again. No board this time, just me and the waves. I try stand strong against some, keep my footing while they crash through me. Dive beneath others, feel them tugging at my heels. Float atop still more before the break. I’m a tiny speck of consciousness on a wet rock lost in a vast universe. Then again: “You are not a drop in the ocean. You are the entire ocean in a drop.”
Had a call with a tax professional today, to see what I’m on the hook for now that my business is registered in the USA. As a one-person LLC, the tax burden is passed along to the individual, but then I’m not a US citizen or resident. So does that mean I’m not obligated to pay any taxes in the US? Looks that way, yeah. Nor anywhere else, so long as I keep moving.