Daily Log #63

In hindsight, I know I can sound quite whiny and immature in my writing. I admit I do lose perspective on life sometimes and need reminders from people around me from time to time.

However, I also know how my body reacts to stressors and I suspect it’s probably more sensitive to stress than most HSP out there. After all I do fall sick from it and feel very anxious. So my natural instinct now is to avoid major stressors, especially if I don’t feel like they are useful for what I look for in life, as much as possible.

At the end, all I am really looking for is just a simple life where I go to work, give my best on work that I enjoy doing, get paid for it, and then go back home to do my writings, watch shows on Netflix or play games. I’m not looking for big fancy house, car, fame or lots of money. As long as I have enough money to buy the occasional new Apple products, eat decently by myself or with my family and friends, I’m good. Everything else to me is superfluous. It’s my definition of minimalism. In fact, I can live just fine without traveling overseas though I know it’s also necessary to gain new experiences.

Thus far, I really enjoyed my first job because it’s small scale and very focus. I didn’t really need to go around doing deployments, supporting customers and be part of a team to do demonstrations or presentation to management or customers. I’m happy there.

Then as I go further along my career, companies began to expect more from me due to my work experiences. I have to multi-task so much and deal with really tight deadlines that make me so miserable. No amount of money given to me is going to change how I feel about work. In fact, I think I’m happier earning just SGD44k a year instead of my current SGD54K a year because of the amount of work I have to do with increase pay. I also get to pay lesser tax.

After much pondering, I have decided to move on to work on a smaller scale basis and look for meaning in my work than to climb the corporate ladder. I don’t even mind if I have to work two jobs on part-time basis for as long as I have enough time to do what I enjoy at home.

If anyone have any suggestion for small-scale developer roles, let me know in the comments below. I’m definitely not looking for roles at companies like Facebook, Google or those multi-national corporations.

Work-related stuff aside, today I get to spend some quality time with family members and have meals together.

First up are some food that I had at a Japanese restaurant.

After that, I went to buy some chocolate to eat.

Later at night, my dad went to get some durians. It’s been a while since I last ate durians and I have always love these fruits. Yummy.

Lastly, I also spent quite a few hours preparing a timeline document for my novel, putting in new words and editing the chapters. It definitely make me feel better now.

Daily Log #33

It’s been a while since I last wrote my Daily Log.

Previously, I mentioned that I was suffering from a pretty bad case of back and neck pain. Over the last few days, I have been actively doing exercises combined with massages and reducing time spent in front of computer. Thus far, the results have been great.

The neck muscles, at least most of them are no longer painful to press and I could turn my head without major pains. Tilting my head on the other hand still need some work as the area near the collarbones feels tight and sore. I don’t get tension headaches any more and feel much alive. Thus I could also concentrate better.

My back and shoulders, they don’t hurt as much but still there are a lot of popping and grinding sounds coming from them when I rotate or twist them. Whenever I can, I will do stretching and rotation exercises for those spots.

Now to continue to ensure the pain and the associated stress injuries don’t come back, it’s important to have a great chair, neck support and good posture. So last week, I went to get myself a new chair for SG$320. The chair arrived this morning while I was at work. My mom was at home to receive the delivery.

After some customization of the headrest and back support, the chair is felt comfortable to sit in. I also took the chance to force myself to sit upright and pin my back and head against the chair.

Earlier at work, I also went to get a neck pillow so that I can have something for my neck to lean on against a chair that didn’t have a proper headrest.

I brought it home to use and will be bringing back to office. Well, I don’t see myself leaving it behind or getting a second one.

A video inspired me today and added more fuel to the minimalism fire that I have.

With that fuel, I used it to cancel my Spotify subscription because I don’t use it anymore as I’m using Apple Music. I also requested Fitbit to delete my account because I also don’t use it anymore. The other thing I went to do was to clean up my cloud storage like Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive. I removed a lot of pictures that I took while I was studying for my Degree and school documents.

Going forward, I will be reducing the amount of online accounts that I have to reduce my online footprint and consolidate all my data to a single cloud storage provider.

That’s all for today. I will see you guys in my next Daily Log.

Daily Log #12

After breakfast with my parents and watching a couple of Dragons: Race to the Edge episodes, I jumped back into writing the novelette. But it was a rather difficult process easing back into writing that story. I was procrastinating half of the time. Ended up, I didn’t do jack shit.

I do hate myself for that. I only have myself to blame.

At about 1.15pm, I got overwhelmed with tiredness and end up taking a nap until about 2.45pm. Then I went out to have lunch. The only issue was when I got home, my mom actually bought my lunch. Since I was too full, I ate it as dinner in evening while sipping green tea and watch two episodes of Jessica Jones.

Recently, I came to discover that one shouldn’t brew green tea in a stainless steel container or cup because of the chelation between the tea antioxidants and metal ions, resulting in useless and possibly toxic compounds. So I switched to using ceramic or glassware. However, that’s for home. I have yet done the same for my work place since generally I go with Starbucks instead of brewing my own.

I also went about clearing away some old receipts after a friend asked me how much I’m selling my old iPhone 7 Plus. Initially, I needed to find the original receipt of my iPhone purchase so I could take a picture, and get ready to transfer the Apple Care to him. Clearing the old receipts was because it’s part of the searching process and I felt like I should stop keeping them. Minimalism, remember? Those receipts don’t serve me any purpose anymore and don’t bring me joy. They were also taking up space in my cabinet.

Now, going through all those old receipts made me realize just how much money I have spent on Starbucks. I personally have grown to enjoy the taste of Starbucks coffee. Anywhere else, their coffee taste just isn’t acceptable to me. But I suspect it has to do with the source of their coffee beans and what the company stand for. After all, I do care about a company’s mission statement and values. If they align with mine, I’m all for supporting them.

Later in the night, I managed to get myself into a writing mood and put in at least three new paragraphs for my novel. It isn’t much but better than nothing. It took me about thirty minutes to get into flow with music in my ears.

Journal #312

After waking up at around 8am, I decided to laze around in bed until about 8.30am. Then I went to have my breakfast. At about 9.30, I started cleaning up my room, starting from the window side of the room.

That window side is also where my computer desk is located. So I had to spend some time disconnecting all the cables and moving the desktop away. Only then I could move the desk and start cleaning.

Systematically and as methodically as I possible can, I cleaned my room in a clockwise direction. By the time it was 1pm, I only managed to clean half. I spent the next 3 hours cleaning the other half of my room.

For this cleaning session, I decided to apply some minimalism.

I removed one desk that I rarely use and consolidated some of the decorations that I have. I also removed a wall picture because it was falling apart. I have also moved my television console table that have my Apple TV and Playstation 4 to the space previously taken up by the desk I removed.

So now my room is more spacious, less cluttered. I am loving what I have now and I do feel happy.

But I’m not done yet because I still got a whole bunch of papers and old documents that I have yet clear. They are still stuffed into whatever drawers that I could find space.

Other than clearing and cleaning my room, I helped my parents washed the windows and the grills in the living room and kitchen.

Having spent the whole cleaning, my whole body is aching. I also had a craving for some western food. So I suggested to my family to eat at Hot Tomato and it’s my treat.

After a shower, waited for everyone to come back home, and then we made our way to the nearby mall. At Hot Tomato, I ordered a cup of earl grey tea and mixed grill.

Mixed Grill is basically a collection of spaghetti, pork chop, chicken chop and pork sausage.

After that, we went to Cotton On because my sister want to get some clothes for the New Year. I didn’t want to get anything so I loitered around until it reached a point when I decided I rather go home. So I took my leave and got down to craft this journal.

So here I am.

Tomorrow I will be heading out with my friend to get some stuff. Until tomorrow’s journal…

Journal #293

Recently, I keep finding myself making mistakes when it comes to numbering my journal. I fixed the most recent set of errors yesterday. It’s embarrassing.

What happened

I went to office today dressed with layered clothing, a grey T-Shirt with an Olive-green flannel on top. For the past few workdays, I have switched up my dressing style and found joy in that.

A few months ago, I bought three olive-green flannels to establish a personal uniform as part of my minimalism lifestyle. Now nearly five months later, it became clear to me that I’m already a minimalist in my own right because I know what I am looking for in life and everything else is superfluous.

I have also looked at my own spending and it turns out I have never had to take on any debt to fund my lifestyle. I have sufficient savings to keep me going even if I’m out of work for six months straight and still have enough to buy the occasion gadgets that I want. So I don’t need a uniform to tell the world. Instead, how I dress is to show my personality, my desire for authenticity. That is one of my core values.

At work, I spent one-quarter of my time chit-chatting away with my colleague, one-half to implement, and test a new feature for phase 2 of the project. I also went about preparing a new executable with the latest changes from another colleague for her to test tomorrow. Towards the end of the workday, I went and discussed the database schema for the next phase of the project. Since I have a stronger command of English, I went about defining the names for the columns and table.

During lunch, I went on my own. After that, I had the urge to get some new books. One is for my sister.

The book I got for myself is Smart Product Design.

The book I got for my sister is the Color Index XL because I wanted her to have a good tool to do her design and art work.

At around 6.20pm, my colleague and I decided to call it a day. In the meantime, I was already feeling my stomach growling and was getting uncomfortable.

Throughout my journey home, I had some difficulty breathing and kept coughing. It was because while I was crossing the road from my company’s building, I accidentally walked through a hidden cloud of second-hand cigarette smoke. The concentration was higher than what I usually breathed it and it caused my airways to constrict significantly. I kept coughing all the way. Half way to the MRT station, my throat start to hurt and felt sore. The back of my lower jaw also started aching.

Even after I reached home, I still had a hard time breathing. It took quite a while before everything went back to normal.

If I can participate in any class-action lawsuit against smokers and tobacco companies for causing serious health damage, I will.

Once home, I went to watch Star Trek: Discovery and have a sumptuous dinner.

What I plan next

Since I got some free time tonight, I will go back to write something for my book. Yesterday, I managed to expand one of the scene from one paragraph to five paragraphs with proper descriptions and I want to continue to do that.

How I feel

I feel great today because of the joy I get from being myself today, being authentic with all my flaws, strengths, and quirks.

What am I watching now

Here are some videos that I have been watching today.

Gary Vaynerchuk – Why My Personal Brand Is Successful

Lauv – A Different Way

Troye Sivan – My My My!

Lifestyle or life changes

I realized I have actually added probably 2 to 3kg of weight due to my 5 to 6 meals a day. I suspect it was because I haven’t been very active compared to two years ago and have been eating junk food during some of those meals.

What am I thinking of now

Most people by the age of 33 stopped looking for new music. They are stuck with what they already know. They lost touch with what’s trendy. Let’s see how true it holds for me. As far as I know, I am randomly looking for new music to listen to and still can keep up with some of the recent cultural developments.

Journal #270

Saturday is coming to an end and that bring us closer to the end of 2017.

What happened

I went to bed after 2am and only slept about 6 hours before my mom woke me up and asked if I want to join her and my dad to the wet market and hawker center several streets away from my house.

I groggily agreed. I got myself out of bed, had a cup of water, changed out of my PJ and joined them. On the bus, I was still feeling the effects of not enough sleep. Instead I chose to focus on playing some games on my phone.

Once we got to the hawker center, we looked for a seat. I ordered some vegetarian food while my parents ate something Yong Tau Foo.

After breakfast, we went to the wet market to get some prawns and fish before making our way home. Along the way, My mom and I found ourselves swarmed by cigarette smoke because there were many senior citizens.

Once we got home, we made ourselves each a cup of instant coffee from the coffee maker. I made an especially big cup because I wanted to try and do some writing.

I came across a Facebook post made by my friend about Apple’s battery issue and wanted to comment. One paragraph of comment became five and then I decided against it. I cut to the chase and commented with just one paragraph.

That comment served as an inspiration to me that I should write an article about my thoughts on the whole issue. So I saved the comments I wrote for future reference and went to watch Travelers season 2 on Netflix. I finished the season 1 previously and I enjoyed the show. In part because it was as science fiction and deals with time travel.

It was around early afternoon when I went to brush my teeth. I continued watching some more episodes and tried to get myself to write concurrently. But I was too tired to think of anything and feeling hungry too. So I made myself some instant oatmeal and have a yoghurt drink before deciding to stop watching the show. I got my MacBook off the desk and went to my bed and see if I could do anything.

On the bed, after making myself comfortable, I started writing something for my novel. Even though I wrote only a few paragraphs and did some re-writing, I shall take the win. At least I wrote something. By now, I was already dozing off and so I decided to put my laptop aside and got down to napping.

I woke up around 6.30 pm feeling refresh. I had some water before telling my family I wanted to get some new business casual clothes to replace the existing ones that I have, which are ugly, old and stained. Some of which are too bulky.

So we went to the mall to have dinner at Thai Express. We ordered Fried Prawn Cake and Stir-fried cabbage with fish sauce to share amongst ourselves.

For my own main meal, I ordered pineapple seafood fried rice with an additional egg.

After the meal, we made our way to G2000. Initially, I wanted to get clothes in the same colors but I got persuaded by my parents and went with choosing different shades and design, all of which I’m fine. (Looks like I will find myself choosing what to wear again. It will be a waste of my time and energy. Brandon, you are pathetic for letting people influence you.)

After that, we went to Bossini where my mom, dad and sister got some clothes for themselves. I waited outside the store and played Sky Force: Reloaded on my phone.

Once my family was done paying for those clothes, we took the bus home and here I am writing the journal.

How I feel

I feel like crap today because of the lack of sleep. Even after napping, I still don’t feel particularly good.

What I plan next

I need to get back to the minimalism path as I know I have slipped when it comes to purchases. I wasn’t being as intentional as I should be.

Since I got some new clothes, I will discard old clothes that I no longer wear. It’s all part of minimizing the things I owned. And I already know what to get rid of. They are those plain colored polo t-shirts which I haven’t been wearing for like more than 90 days. So tomorrow I will spend some time clearing stuff out.

My junk drawer is also pilling up with old receipts that doesn’t seem to add any value any more. Originally, I wanted to build a receipt management application but then I lost interest. Another reason was because I couldn’t find a market for it. So I will get rid of those receipts too.

Being grateful

I’m grateful for my family.

Why I use Apple products as a minimalist

As a minimalist, it’s all about living your life according to a certain set of values.

One of my values is quality. The things I output or consume has to have a certain quality. In most cases, I buy higher quality stuff, spending more money in the process, to replace the lower quality stuff that I have to get rid of.

Most of the metrics I use to define quality are subjective while some are qualitative. It is usually the subjective ones that make me happy, bring me joy or reduce stress whereas the qualitative ones primarily reduce stress.

This is why I am more than willing to spend the kind of money I do getting Apple products, becoming a fan in the process. Their products have really good build quality, provided convenience due to the tight integration across the products, and simplicity.

Majority of Apple products are well built and well designed. The attention to details given to each product by the Apple’s design and engineering teams is rarely found in other products from other company. The solid feel, simple and clean aesthetic of the exterior, and being highly functional combined bring me joy. With their products, I don’t feel like I’m carrying with me a cheap piece of item that I get from a discount store.

The highly functional aspect of their products bring about convenience for me.

You see, inconvenience is a major stressor for me. All I want to do is to solve more pressing problems with the tools I got and not wanting to deal with the hassles before I even get started on solving those problems. Going through multiple steps to enable an option in a piece of software, the need to install and update device drivers that has no guarantee that they will work 100% of the time, the software not doing what you expect it to do, or it takes a while for you to even understand how to use a piece of software or application are such inconveniences. They stress me out.

And I’m sure everyone knows what stress does to one’s creative process, how stress prevent one from doing their very best.

Unlike Microsoft products, Apple products mostly just works out of the box. I don’t really have to deal with all the hassles I described earlier. Their products are also intuitive and simple to use. With that, the tools get out of my way and I can focus on solving the more important problems. When tools get out of my way, my time is saved, allowing me to do more things within the same 24 hours everyone else has. Time saved is the qualitative metric that I use to judge the quality of something. How much inconvenienced I am is the subjective metric I use to judge the quality.

Other than quality, the other value that is equally important is security. I feel safe when my data is well-protected and private enough. If my data is not well-protected and private enough, it means criminals and the government can use my data against me if they do get their hands on it.

That strips away my security, which increases my stress and unhappiness, which is not what being a minimalist is about. At least in my view.

Now, before bashing me about the naivety of my subsequent statements, I will state up front that I recognize Apple may change their privacy and security model that completely expose the user and make them less safe and private, and get to keep a plaintext copy of whatever your store or send but that’s another topic for another day. When that day do come, then I will re-evaluate again.

At least for now, I do feel safe with storing personal data on Apple devices and their cloud storage and trust that my data is not readable by anyone. Their devices like Apple Watch and iPhones come with built-in encryption that protects your data, including your fingerprints and credit card information. The MacBooks and iMacs with latest Mac OS support encryption through APFS and/or FileVault. Their software services like iCloud uses end-to-end encryption with keys that only you own for the data you choose to store there, preventing unauthorized access or views.

So this is why buying stuff and using stuff from a company such as Apple as a minimalist isn’t wrong. It is not wrong either to be fan. If it helps you to live in accordance to your values, then you shouldn’t feel guilty about the whole thing. You just have to be very intentional about it.

Journal #221 – Some decluttering, reading, and gaming

After I woke up today, I decided not to use the computer and instead focus on reading books. I spent most of my morning after breakfast reading the Jony Ive biography and managed to finish the whole book by earlier afternoon.

After I was done with reading, I went ahead to do some decluttering stuff by going through the big boxes that I have for storing other electronic boxes. I used this opportunity to go through old electronic accessories or gadgets like modems that I no longer use, old cables, old computer power supply units, etc. I also used the chance to go through old manuals, receipts that I have for these electronics. I separate them out and discard them in the recycling bin near my house. Through this process, I was able to free up some space within these big boxes and I stuffed the other smaller boxes that I had that were sitting on the outside. These smaller boxes belong to the Network Attached Storage and a drone that I got from my drone piloting course. I kept them for warranty purpose. Servicing centers tend to want the full package when you send your devices in.

Hmm… on second thought, the drone box could probably be discarded…another time.

After going through this process, it made me feel better because these are actions that fulfill the desires of my inner soul, which need the peace and cleanliness associated with having less (junk).

After that, I decided to buy The Frozen Wilds DLC for the PS4 game, Horizon Zero Dawn. But for me to do that, I need to reset my Playstation Network password. So I did that, added my PayPal account to my PSN account and buy the DLC.

That game was one of my favorite ones on the console due to its insanely good storyline. I have deep respect for the storywriter of this game.

So when I started out writing this journal, the DLC of about 7.7GB was downloading. Of course in the middle of writing, I went to get some snacks, etc. Reaching this point of writing, now that I turned around to look at my television, the download has finished. I finally can start playing.

Hurray.

You know, it felt kind of good to actually finish the main story of Everspace and then moving on to another game. This kind of closure is important because it allows you to move on. It’s part of the decluttering process too. Think about it. Finishing a game is like finishing a task from your todo list. When you finish the task, you remove it from the list, just like how you remove a physical item from your space. If you didn’t finish that game and proceed to get another and then repeat that a few times, you will find yourself overwhelm by “stuff”. I have a friend who did that. So now he actually have nearly twenty days that he didn’t get around to play because he is now paralyzed by choice. On another hand, it’s a waste of money. You buy something but never actually consume it. Overall, it’s kind of stressful for him too. So you see, it is not so different from having a big pile of clothes, or boxes, or whatever.

I’m pretty sure most minimalists can agree. Digital clutter is not different from physical clutter. It creates mental stress, especially if you are someone like me who spent a vast majority of his time in front of a screen.

So yeah, minimalism can also be applied to video games.

The last couple of hours, I played The Frozen Wilds DLC on my Playstation 4. So far, I am loving the new story and the new weapons. The new enemies are pretty challenging too. The aesthetic of the game has always been great. With this DLC, they expand further on the snow environment. I suppose it’s $26.90 well-spent. Now I really hope Guerrilla Games spent as much effort, or maybe even more, to create the next sequel or DLC. I like to see expansion of the story. To me, I don’t mind paying if the end product adds tremendous value in terms of storyline, aesthetic and gameplay. Quality is something I care a lot about.

One last thing before I move on to catching up on other TV shows that I have missed. My family joined me on a vegetarian diet too. We had mock meat with beans, stir fried vegetables, and seaweed soup. My younger sister however is not particularly happy with our recent diets. But I can’t blame her really. All of us have different taste when it comes to food and that she always preferred a diverse choice so that she can pick and choose. I personally have to agree that a pure vegetarian diet is at times boring. Mock meat can never replace the taste of actual meat. The nuances in terms of texture, taste, smell, etc. However, for me, ecological conservation is more important. So I guess we will have to wait for the day when lab-grown meat is a reality and only then I can switch to a mixed diet.

Journal #202 – Minimalism goes well with high-sensitivities and neuroticism

People with very neurotic personality are always constantly worrying about things, even if they seem trivial to others. I know because I’m like that. Combine that with high-sensitivities, you are practically drowning in your own mind.

Now, allow me to start with a back story so you have a context.

After graduating from university, I got a job and I finally could afford to buy my own things and so I did. I bought gadgets, ate at restaurants, bought a lot of stuff like clothes. It went on for a while and I completely forgot about my own value system and what I enjoy doing.

And with my newfound affluence, my neuroticism was directed to things and money. I’m constantly worrying about things spoiling, someone stealing them, and the need to replace them. Or I’m constantly worrying about not being able to buy the next big thing that I want. I started to worry about money. I found that I’m afraid of losing whatever money that I did gain.

After about two years working at my first full-time job, I left. One reason was because of the lack of emotional and moral support. I need those quite a lot. Another reason was because I wanted to build software products but the company I worked for is a system integrator. And reality was that back then, I felt that Singapore just isn’t the place for product development. We have too many system integrators, not so much of product houses. So I switched to chasing the money and do consulting work. I wanted to be able to afford my lifestyle.

It felt good for a while having a much higher salary. Then over time, I ignore who I truly am and became somebody else, trying to be a consultant. I didn’t know I was a highly sensitive person too and my neuroticism also kicked into high gear. That was about four months into the job. It was about January

Then things start going wrong constantly until I finally slipped into depression by June. Had to see a psychiatrist, hang out with friends, talk it out, and I also decided to leave the company. I knew if I stayed on any longer, I would probably be so overwhelmed and take a shortcut out of life.

Long story short, I lost my way.

If you have been following my journey, you probably know that I went on a month long break from work and used that time to do self-discovery. It was then I discovered minimalism and implemented it.

Over the course of the month, with minimalism, I was able to focus on who I truly am, what I truly want in life, and why do I care so much about buying the latest and greatest stuff. With minimalism, I find myself less worried, less neurotic. I have a clearer head. I used minimalism to ground myself, focusing on the now and whether my short term actions align with my values. I care less about stuff. When I do consume, I consume with intentionality and focus on the quality, not quantity.

Minimalism helps in many way if you are a highly-sensitive person, especially if you are some kind of environment empath where you can feel overwhelmed just by stepping into a place full of stuff, or full of people. With it, you would have been less inclined to buy stuff, more inclined to clear stuff from your environment. With less stuff around you, happiness is derived because of fewer stimulations.

That leads me to the next point of being less busy.

Being highly-sensitive means you get overwhelmed easily by being given a lot of things to do. I am like that. So by being a minimalist, you intentionally make yourself less busy. You will have to train yourself to reject work that comes your way when you know you can’t handle it anymore or really want to focus on one thing at a time. Personally, I use the principles in minimalism (maybe a little bit from Buddhism, they do share certain things) everyday to focus on doing the essentials with focus on quality and then intentionally push myself out of the office at 6pm because there are other more important things for me; like writing or getting my me time to get rid of the stuff in my system caused by my sensitivities or get the chance to sleep at my natural hours without suffering from insomnia (can be brought on at the snap of the finger by a combination of over-stimulation and excessive worry).

But I also know it’s highly dependent on your work environment and your current situation. It may not be possible for you to do what I do. In that case, you really have to ask yourself: do you need this job or do you want this job? If you don’t really need the job, then it may be a good time to re-evaluate what you should be doing next. If you need the job, then you will have to determine for yourself if you can handle the pain, make the necessary arrangements, and keep going until you see some light at the end of the tunnel. For me, I am in the process of building up my savings that are liquidable to keep me going even if I leave my current job and stay jobless for up to two years. And I’m single, so I have less responsibilities or commitments. But then, I think, if you are a minimalist, you would have evaluated if some commitments are just unnecessary and take the necessary actions.

Journal #194 – Mental Peace, Contentment

In today’s world, everyone must be able to multi-task. Your boss demands it. Your customer demands it. Your family demands it.

Some people can do it. Some people just simply can’t. Everyone is just different. For me, I am in the latter category and mental peace can be a foreign concept to me.

Why?

I am someone who is high on the neuroticism personality trait. My mind is always worrying and when it does that, it tend to be stuck on a loop about a certain event or situation. That usually happens because I perceived a threat.

The past me won’t be able to deal with a lot of things effectively.

Now?

I know constantly worrying about something specific and have it on a loop in my mind doesn’t help. It’s a waste of mental energy and raises my stress level. It has caused me to suffer sleepless nights. I have since learned to instead attempt to divert my mind’s attention elsewhere more lighthearted. Daydream about something I like even.

Not only that, I have also practiced to write down my worries on paper and put down what are the possible solution when the diversion doesn’t help. I have also tried and talk it out with maybe friends or colleagues. These processes helps to prevent build up inside of me, which brings about the mental peace that I need.

But that doesn’t mean my mind is peaceful. It is only more peaceful than what it usually is. Because being a highly-sensitive person means I also get overwhelmed by my physical environment easily or when I have lots of things to do or handle in life.

So this is why I found minimalism so helpful. It taught me to prioritize. It helped me to decide what are the things that’s useless to me and what are valuable to me. With that, I focus on doing the essentials. I focus on decluttering my schedules. I focus not so much on material possession but more on experiences. It is all about being un-busy.

This bring me to my work. The past me would be extremely worried about the current schedule of my current project. It’s too tight and there’s 101 thing to do. My manager in all her wisdom decided to accept instead of taking a strong stand against pilling on more features just because the customer refuse to budge. Yet these days, I’m not worried at all. I just focus on doing what I need to be doing. I take my break from time to time. My neurotic mind knows very well that I can’t finish on time and yet I made a conscious choice of focusing on crafting my code. Why? Because software development is an art to me now.

You see, I’m now perfectly ok if my boss decides to kick me away, scold me, or fire me for failing to meet the requirements. Because at the end of the day, my company isn’t going to be there when I suffer major health problem. They aren’t going to pay for any future illness that I may suffer in the future caused by overwork during my younger days. They aren’t going to be there to provide psychological services when I need it. It’s up to me to take care of me. I know my body, my mind, and what I want in life.

So now, I’m at peace. I’m content.