Ruben’s mostly-fail-safe method for beating blues


Photo from my Mawson Lakes Flickr gallery
Photo from my Mawson Lakes Flickr gallery

I find it ironic that the more I am interested in a subject or am personally moved by something, it's actually harder to write about because I just don't know where to begin. This post is a prime example of this; here we are two sentences in and I haven't addressed any of the things I wanted to say. This third sentence is even less useful.

The problem is, particularly in the last few years (and definitely since December of last year) on the whole I've been pretty blue. My mood equilibrium — to abuse an economic term — seems to have settled far lower on the life-happiness chart than where I would like it to. Unfortunately unlike economics I can't adjust said equilibrium by adjusting my own monetary and fiscal policy, I can just make ridiculous comparisons :).

Over this weekend though I seemed to have rediscovered the solution to feeling better about yourself, and about the world. Doing what you're passionate about, and to hell with whatever anyone else thinks.

My own solution? Programming! By turning off the internet connection, turning off my mobile phone, setting my laptop up in the kitchen where my sister also studies, and just… programming. In this case I could have worked on improving my C++ or PHP skills, but instead I continued my own project on studying Squeak (a modern, sleek Smalltalk implementation) and the Smalltalk influenced Objective C and Ruby languages. I'm fascinated by how these languages are structured and how they work, along with the theory behind their implementations. They're such a pleasure to write code in. As the WordPress page said at one point: Code is poetry.

Rubenerd Show 256 My other solution? Podcasting! I recorded Rubenerd Show 256 recently, and I spent probably half of it laughing! I didn't care that I didn't stay on topic, or that I was nowhere near as good or interesting as Todd Tyrtle or Jim Kloss or Frank Nora… I just recorded it and had lots of fun!

My third solution? Cue the groans! I watched another cheesy anime series! Yes, I admit it, I like watching anime where the socially-awkward but nice guy gets the girl in the end instead of the socially-confident but not nice guy, and if it's set in a futuristic world so much the better. Personally, I wouldn't say I'm socially-awkward, but this morning I opened a door for a women as I walked into the supermarket and she glared at me. And she hasn't been the first to react in this way! I don't understand what I'm doing wrong, but there you have it!

My fourth solution? Nature photography… ah yes, you'd better believe it!

I guess sometimes I worry that my interests are so self-sustaining and largely introverted in nature, and that one of my best and closest friends in the world is gone. Sometimes I think we all just need a reminder that we should take time out occasionally and do something we're really good at. I know some of you might have had an impure thought after reading that sentence, to which I say…

Sent from my iPhone.

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Ruben Schade is a technical writer and infrastructure architect in Sydney, Australia who refers to himself in the third person in bios. Hi!

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