Freelance Friday 063 - July 26

We're having one of our best weather weeks in a while here in Chilliwack. I got out on a nice run on Monday which took me all the way to the US border, where I met some friendly Americans. Then back up a mountain and to the car.

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I Shipped

Monday I shared a video about installing WordPress plugins from the command line. One of the biggest things I've got out of going iPad first is my command line chops increasing so much.

Later on Monday I shared my run to Monument 78, which is the northern most marker of the PCT that is still in the US. This Monday I'll be picking something closer to home so that we can spend more time with my wife's family as they're visiting.

Wednesday I talked about the book Kids These Days, which is all about the struggles they Millenials face and how the criticisms of them are almost all entirely incorrect. I found the book very interesting and a hard look at the world of work and education in which many of us were brought up inside.

Friday Five

1. Are we Asking Too Much of Marriage?

Interesting article about the usefulness of marriage. The part that gets me thinking most about my marriage is below.

In his book The All-or-Nothing Marriage, the psychologist Eli Finkel examines how, over the past 200 years, American expectations of marriage have slowly climbed Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Just a few generations ago, the ideal marriage was defined by love, cooperation, and a sense of belonging to a family and community. Today’s newlyweds, Finkel argues, want all that and prestige, autonomy, personal growth, and self-expression. A marriage is supposed to help the individuals within it become the best versions of themselves. This means that more and more, Americans turn to their spouses for needs they once expected an entire community to fulfill.

How can I take some burden off my marriage and put it in a spot better suited to it's fulfillment.

2. Margin gives you breathing room

Good short post from Shawn on breathing room.

To be blunt, without margin, you are suffocating your ability to walk out your values.

The margin I've created in my business lets me take Monday's off for adventures in the mountains or to hang out with my kids just because they asked me to play with them.

Do you have margin?

3. One month Without a Smartphone

I've been thinking about doing exactly what Isaac has done, trade in my iPhone for a basic phone like I had in 2001. This is the big reason.

What surprised me was the lingering residue of mental clutter that carrying a smartphone for six plus years had left.

I bet there is more clutter than I think, and I don't have my phone in my pocket or easily accessible for large parts of the day every day of the week.

4. Reasons to Purchase Physical Books

I don’t love every item on this list, but overall I do read more physical books than Kindle books now. This wasn’t always the case, about 8 years ago I took almost every physical book I owned down to the local used bookstore and turned them in for credit. $400 in credit to be precise.

I was tired of storing books everywhere and I wasn’t going to read most of them again. I kept a few of my favourites that I couldn’t purchase right away in a digital format.

Now years later, I only turn to Kindle if I can’t get a book from my local library or purchase a hardcover of it for a reasonable price. I frequent the library and have found many titles browsing the shelves that I would have never found in any other way. If I really enjoy a book I head over to my local used bookstore and ask about a hardcover copy of it. If they don’t have it, I put it on my hold list and wait until it comes in.

Now, if I really need a copy of a book for some writing project I’ll purchase it online somewhere at the cheapest price I can find. Otherwise I wait, and I spend a bit less money on books.

Recently when I couldn’t get a copy of Tipping Point from the library when I needed it, and couldn’t find a hardcover copy I turned to Kindle to read it. Yes the information is there, but the whole time I missed holding a book and not looking at a screen for a few extra hours a day[^Yes I read for multiple hours a day usually].

I just wrote a review of The Revenge of Analog, which dives deeper into this idea of analogue items being more than meets the eye. It should be out next week.

5. The Busy Humblebrag

As always James Shelly writes well, this time about being busy. Few excerpts, and yes I grabbed copies of most of the papers cited.

Thorstein Veblen proposed in 1899 that wealthy elites flaunt their leisure time as a class and status symbol. Leisure, he summarised, was less about relaxing and more about demonstrating the ability to afford relaxation. What Veblen did not imagine is that a hundred years later, the most affluent people would also be the busiest people. What Veblen got right, however, was that the wealthy class sets the bar for etiquette and behaviour for the rest of us.

I guess that's because we decide we want to "be like them", wealthy and all that.

In Daring Greatly, Brene Brown argues that busyness and ‘exhaustion as a status symbol’ is rooted in feelings of insecurity, inadequacy, and shame.

So we're trying to tell others that we're important and worth notice because we're busy.

I very much enjoyed this alternate wording to "I'm busy"

‘I have systematically unrealistic expectations for what I can physically get done in 168 hours a week.’

He also has plenty good to say about busy being a space where we have lack of clarity on what matters.

Very good thoughtful article.