Top of mind
This week I went skiing for the first time. Megna set the whole trip up, renting an Instagrammable Airbnb in the Catskills and recruiting a group of friends to inhabit it. We used that as a base for our adventures on Hunter Mountain.
The weekend was filled with new experiences and being bad at things (the first step to being good at them!). It was a refreshing respite from my usual Pandemic cycle stuck in my small NYC apartment.
We got lessons on the mountain and were able to ride ski lifts and ride down green trails by the end of the day. The lessons were critical in our good experience - giving us the basics as well as pointers where we were doing something different than we though we were. I compare it to my first time snowboarding where the first 10 hours were basically me falling down the mountain. A little bit of instruction would’ve gone a long way towards setting me up for success.
Our instructor was Vera and she was great. Ask for her if you ever need instruction at Hunter Mountain.
I’ve been watching a good amount of Ali Abdaal lately. I’ve found his systems of productivity to be particularly interesting, even if I don’t agree with everything he does. One thing he does often is ask ‘Who can help me achieve X’. I rarely ask this myself, typically trying to do everything myself. However I’ve begun to wonder if that’s always a good choice - if I had to guess it’d be a no. This instruction experience has provided further proof that it can be extremely helpful to get help and is something I’ll look to implement further in my life. I’ll be going to Tahoe in a few weeks to ski and think I’ll get a few lessons there to solidify my current skills and work on improving new ones.
I spent a lot of time researching and purchasing ski equipment. I wanted to give myself the best possible chance of succeeding at the sport. If I didn’t like it after that, then I could draw a pretty strong conclusion that I just didn’t like it. In total I spent ~$2700, the largest single purchase of mine since I purchased my new computer last fall. Much of this gear is multipurpose so I can use it in other winter activities but I’ve calulated the buy / rent investment horizon as if it wasn’t - I’ll need to ski ~20 days in this equipment to make it worthwhile (though if I just bought cheaper this wouldn’t be a problem).
Here’s my gear for posterity:
- Jacket - Arcteryx Macai
- Socks - Smartwool PhD Ski Light
- Pants - Arcteryx Beta SV Bib
- Gloves - Arcteryx Fission SV
- Helmet - Smith Vantage MIPS
- Goggles - Smith I/O Mag
- January 2021 Release Notes - I wrote a short release notes for the month, mirroring the small amount of things I accomplished.
- @hamy.see photos - I’ve continued to take and release photos. I’m a big fan of the Fujifilm X-T4 film simulation and landscape photography of still places.
- @hamy.art - I’ve continued releasing new art. I’ve also been working on some Monoliths so expect a release in the next few weeks.
My top stress is my systems of building and saving.
I was really bad at sticking to my systems in January. This puts me in a difficult place if I want to hit my goals for the half. I’ll need to do better work faster. Similarly, I purchased a lot of things (like travel and ski gear) which has put my savings rate goals at risk.
I’ve definitely been improving on my system adherence in the past few weeks so there’s progress there. Financially, I’m still within budget after all of those purchases as I’d already allocated money for adventures (that I didn’t get the chance to take in 2020) so now I’m just spending it. But I still want to make sure this trend doesn’t continue out of control.
- Continue hitting my systems each and every day
- Stick to my budgets
- Continue monitoring for hedonic adaptation
- Skiing! Like snowboarding, it’s a very different feeling from anything I’ve done before. I’ve got a long way to go before I’ll feel satisfied in my abilities but it felt good, and a little scary, to be a beginner again.
- Software construction practices - I’m continuing to read Code Complete and all I can give is praise. I’m only a few chapters in and I’ve already overhauled many of my software construction systems and though long, deep thoughts about code - what it is and what it should be. I’m sure there are more thoughts to come.
- I’m grateful to be in a financial position to be able try and commit to skiing. It is an expensive sport and I have to acknowledge that most do not have this privilege.
- I’m grateful to have adventurous friends who are willing and excited to try new things.
- I am grateful for the flexibility of my job and that my equipment affords me - able to work in the car on a roadtrip and build from the bed of an Airbnb.