3 Good Things
I have been practicing a fairly simple gratitude exercise for a bit now. Before going to bed you write down 3 things you are thankful for from that day. Nothing complicated; these can be obvious and everyday. In fact it works best when it is things you are prone to overlook. It can be objects or people or attributes or feelings or anything at all. I've found it to be a simple and direct antidote to my tendency and long habits of turning analytic brain inward at every opportunity.
Between a whole lot of doom scrolling over many months and the press of consumering with the holidays, I find myself in reflective mode and looking out for some fairly simple joys. I am also writing a lot, so this morning I find myself appreciative of some specific writing tools.
A fountain pen: Pilot Metropolitan Fountain Pen For very cheap (under $30) this thing is fantastic. Anything that makes writing a joy, whether it is work related jotting or extended prose, is fantastic. I feel a bit guilty finding joy in consumer products or “stuff”, but I think what I've come to like so much about this is that I can carry it in my pocket and not feel bad about any potential damage. It's wonderfully smooth when writing, simple and sleek. (It comes in a few different decorations, one of which is here: https://andersonpens.com/pilot-metropolitan-fountain-pen-crocodile/)
Yellow writing pads Also fairly cheap and fairly ubiquitous. Don't get me wrong, I love some good paper — Tomoe River or something like that. But I have a workflow that depends almost entirely nowadays on manilla folders and a lot of yellow paper. I tried nice notebooks, I've filled moleskines and the like. But I come back to the cheap stuff.
A decent keyboard I held off for years investing in a mechanical keyboard. So foolish. It is the single best computer purchase I have made. Ironically, what made me switch was some typing a bit more on my big beast of a typewriter, the IBM Selectric II. That keyboard is an office symphony compared to the plastic slabs I had been letting myself type on. And while my daskeyboard is no Selectric or IBM M (which I remember banging away on at some point as a kid), it makes me want to sit down at my computer every morning. It just feels fast.
Now that the raspberry pi people have made us a new Commodore 64 my only question is when will someone do this with a good keyboard? I will totally trade my laptop for a keyboard/pi combo that I can tote around the house and plug into the TV.