November review and the small victories


I look back at this month and shake my head.

Here’s the October review
Here’s the September review
Here’s the August review
Here’s the July review
Here’s the June review
Here’s the May review
Here’s the April review
Here’s the March review
Here’s the February review
Here’s the January review
Here’s the 2016 review

The first two weeks sucked. Not as bad as “car gets destroyed” sucked (read the June review), but things compounded to where it felt like an endless pounding.

I think a lot of people feel it, where bad things start happening, and you wonder when it will turn around. That was this month for me, so let’s start there.

Turn of the month, I got a boost in my paycheck, so I decided it was time to get a new backpack. I need one. The lower pocket’s zipper is busted, and the backpack just isn’t big enough to hold all of my gym clothes and shoes.

I went on Amazon and found a bag that was $300 on sale for $75! Perfect backpack. Carries shoes, multiple pockets for tablets and clothes and even a place for water. And when I mean $300, it’s not one of those OMG we’re just saying it’s $300 to make you think it’s $300. No, it was $300 on sale for $75. Instant buy. It was going to come in 2 days, which was perfect because it would arrive at a time I would be home.

A day after buying it, I get a message saying the package was being shipped early and was going to be dropped off at my apartment while I was still at work! At the time I received the email, it was moments from being dropped off. Oh no, and since I don’t have a car, I couldn’t book it home to get it and put it away.

Because this story is being put here, you could probably guess what happened to the backpack.

That night, I knocked on my neighbors’ doors to ask whether they saw anyone drop off the package or take the package. The answer wasn’t “Sorry, no” from everyone I talked to, but “I didn’t take it.” WTF I didn’t ask whether you took it! (although, thanks for sharing your confession as passionately as you all did, I guess) I just wanted to know if you saw anything happening near my place or if you saw anyone nearby. And then people started getting mad at me because they thought I was accusing them of stealing.

So not only did I get my new mail/backpack stolen, now I have people mad at me for no reason! I honestly tried to be calm through it, and only the Lord Our Savior will truly know whether I did. Things were getting worse.

A couple of days later, I find out I’m getting hit with invoices from unexpected places that I hadn’t tabbed in a year, which took my spending money down to almost nothing for pretty much the whole month. A day after that, I was given a major task to do at work and I botched it! Hours of work all for naught.

There was another mentorship night in L.A. for one of the meetup groups I’m a member of, but let’s rewind to earlier that day. I botched another chart at work to start. The pizza I had for lunch was bad, and that as a whole put me in a down mood.

After getting off work, I had about 90 minutes of free time, so I wanted to prepare my website to show to others. I had a page that had all of the stats from one of my databases.

I go to my website, and it’s down.

The domain expired and was about to be freed for people to buy (and I didn’t receive a notification from the domain company!!! My notifications were set to alert me for this). Another expense cutting into my already tight budget. And then the website wouldn’t reload! Great, the one thing I wanted to show to people wasn’t available, and I didn’t put the code anywhere else. Now I understand why people say put everything on Github.

Five minutes before I leave to the venue, the website goes back up, and I’m spared. Until it went out again, and back up again, and out again, and gooooooodness. :/

The mentorship event wasn’t too bad. I showed people how I chart stats with my notebook and got a couple of thumbs up on the web page from those who had viewed it before. That was definitely a positive.

The next morning, I unloaded my backpack to get ready for the day … and my notebook was gone! Four hours of stat charting gone.

As I walked to the train to go to work, I wondered what else was going to happen. I couldn’t remember things going this bad in a long while.

It hit me that December was still three … fuck that. The moment December came to mind, I remembered what I learned reading the book Scorecasting. The authors talked about a baseball player or team suddenly getting better or worse because the calendar turned. That is false. Nothing changes because the calendar turns to the first of the month. It’s coincidence.

“What am I going to do to get out of this?” I asked myself.

I could hope for things to change, but hope is not a strategy. I knew things weren’t magically going to change just because it’s a new month or the sun came up. I had to take action. Remember earlier in the year when I quit the tutoring service? I couldn’t hope for the next job, I had to go find that job.

En route to the train, I found a penny and picked it up per usual (sometimes I feel I’m the only person left in the world who picks up pennies off of the sidewalk).

“At least I got a penny. Small victory.”

Then it hit me.

Small victories.

I needed a victory of something. Anything. As I kept walking, I told myself “Take any muthafuckin small victory you can get.”

Get the small victories. If all of the bad stuff added up, then the small victories can add up, too.

This is what happened that day:

— Emailed a few people to ask about my notebook, and it was saved by someone at the venue
— Completed a huge task at work that I thought would take a few days
— One invoice was cleared up
— Got free chips and a free burrito coupon at Chipotle
— Found a 24 Hour Fitness that’s nearby my home that I can go to while my ‘main’ 24 gets renovated, and it works with my account.
— Was down to my last $1.25 for the day which I had to spend on a bus to get home, and a random guy bikes out of nowhere and gives me his day pass.

Most of this stuff wouldn’t even hit the radar on a random day. But I made it a point to note these small victories, and it felt really good to hit all of these moments. On the same day? It was definitely needed.

I also went to my neighbors’ apartments to follow up and let them know why I was so damn distressed the night my mail/backpack got stolen. Honestly, 95 percent I think they believe I’m a police officer because they won’t even make eye contact, they also didn’t the night I tried to ask them what happened to my mail. But in talking to them and being compassionate (and I let them know after an inspection and some searching what happened to the mail/backpack), I let them know I’m just a regular person like them. Now, we’re all cool, and everything is fine. One elderly lady offered to hold any package that came in the future, but I told her it was OK, no need.

It seemed as though the good and bad were really highlighted this month, and I’m not sure why. Maybe it was because everything compounded upon each other? The month ended with me missing my bus and accidentally getting on a bus without seeing where it was headed. It was going to Lakewood and then Hawaiian Gardens. On a Thursday night, the night I go to sleep early. Sleep scheduled thrown off.

What a month.

= = =

There’s something that’s been on my mind for the past few months that I’ve been reluctant to share, and I was too scared to share, but I’m going to do it now.

For the past few months, I’ve had this strange feeling inside of me, as if being in Long Beach is just a dream. It feels like one day I am going to wake up, and I’ll be back in my hometown, going to the kitchen to eat whatever, turning on my DDR machine to play for an hour and then get ready to go to my (former) job.

This is not a one-time thing. I have felt this way randomly for months now. I truly, honestly do not know why I am feeling this way.

Let me make it really clear right here: I have no intentions of going home, and I do not want to go home.

I don’t miss my hometown, even if they’re going to get a Round 1 in a few months. The only thing that has made me consider going home is to get my SNES so I can stream Super Smash TV (and also get my Wii U but that’s meh).

But I just have this feeling of everything coming to an end here in Long Beach again, successful or not, and then I’m back in my hometown again doing what I’ve done for more than half of my life.

Why do I get these sudden urges? Why is this happening?

I’ve thought of all of the possible reasons, and there are only a few that seem to make sense (?).

— When I returned to Long Beach, the goal was to prove I could ‘make it.’ Fortunately, I have a job, new friends and some projects in the works. So maybe my mind believes ‘Mission Accomplished’ and that it’s time to go back?

— I haven’t shared my success with anyone.

— Long Beach is not the final destination.

— I need to explore more. I haven’t explored enough. Biking is great, but I also love hiking and going on trails. Hiking was a weekly thing with me back in my hometown area and I have been to zero trails down here

I really want to figure out why I’m feeling this way. Is there some missing element that I’m not seeing here? Feel free to chime in.

= = =

It seemed as though once the negative stuff began compounding, that I noticed a lot of what I was doing right and wrong with my projects. Most notably, I began focusing on how many things I was doing at the present moment.

It felt like I was falling behind on a lot of things I wanted to work on.

There’s the stats book, trying to upload my stats through a SQL server, learning Javascript, another book, learning Python maybe, biking, doing better in the gym, and on and on. And if I stop working on any of these, I feel like I’m letting someone down in whichever one it is.

At the end of the month, I planned out my roadmap to get the book done. I am aiming for January 22. The timeline is really tight but if the draft is finished in 3 weeks, then the road is clear to have 3 weeks to do heavy promotion ahead of the book. The big mistake of promoting Evo Moment 37 was I did 95 percent of the promotion after the book was released because the goal was getting ahead of August 1 instead of ahead of the book. Trying to avoid that this time.

But this also means putting aside a lot of what I want to do, such as improve on my coding skills. Every day that I don’t work on my skills I feel like I’m falling behind. I also believe I’m letting people down by not working on getting better.

After a year of working on code I believe I should be further ahead. The databases should be online and searchable because of javascript but they remain in Excel. My websites should be crispy and yet they’re what they were back in March.

The book project is great. It will be a great way to explain all that happened during the year. But it will take away from the other things I want to do and that sucks.

I feel bad because I know I should be better than this. I don’t want to let people down, I’ve done that way too many times in my past life. I’m probably wearing this too heavy on my shoulders at the moment.

When this book is done, I’ll reassess what projects I am doing and what is worth working on. I’m not going to stop learning how to code ever, but for at least the next few weeks, it’ll be down on the list.

I’ve let myself wander, likely because of how volatile the month was, and I’m sure people are disappointed at my progress.

It’s probably time to do another time audit and ask myself these questions:

— What is most important to me right now?
— What is a ‘fuck yeah’ thing for me?
— What goals still haven’t been accomplished and are they possible at this point?
— How can I stop wandering?

= = =

I restarted thegametwok.com with the idea of sharing info on the book I’m writing. There will be more, and down the line, perhaps when the 2018 season starts, that I’ll add a subscription part to it.

Every site that I’ve been paying more attention to over the past year all do this. Ryan’s site, Kenpom, Cleaning The Glass, Fangraphs, Baseball Prospectus, etc. They all have membership/subscription parts to their site, so I’m going to learn from them.

The idea with thegametwok.com was to put all of the stats there. I’ll figure out how to do it after the book is written.

Goals for the Year

Work

— Reach at least $2000/monthly combined in the online and content marketing businesses.

Not happening.

— Begin reaching out to companies looking for copy editors and get to freelancing.

A few days ago, went to Chris Guillebeau’s Side Hustle meetup in Downtown L.A. to talk about side hustle ideas, and it was awesome. Met a lot of people who run podcasts who would be interested in me doing notes, and I’m ready to follow up to potentially get some gigs going.

Once I’m done writing my book I’ll find time to dig in more about the event. It was great, and I’m glad I found out about it at the last minute.

— Have the draft of 1 esports book complete

En route to getting done.

— Start a new podcast and break listener records of the previous shows

Not happening

— Be the official statistician for one major esports event

It is looking like I will not accomplish this, and I’m really bummed out about it.

Workout

— Get up to 10 miles running per session (currently at 8.5)

Still at 8.5 but my focus now is on getting longer distances in cycling. Went on a couple of long rides late in the month, and that’s been the fuel that has kept me sane.

Personal

— Post on social media less and stay away from getting the Twitter/Facebook dopamine.

I posted less because I am working on other stuff, plus Twitter’s 280 limit has made me want to write less. Good job, Twitter. I think that’s what they’re going for.

Plus, Twitter has gone back to Paranoia Land, and I’m starting to feel the effects of it. So, I need to be on there less.

— Get partnered on Twitch.

Now that Twitch has added achievements to get to partnership and affiliate, it is easy to see the progress. For now, that is not my focus right now.

— Create a new niche site specific to a game (not Gwent, it’ll be something else)

thegametwok.com

— Post analysis of my games 3 times a week

Not my games, but it’ll be other games. :P

— Attend one out-of-state tournament that I haven’t been to before

Not happening

— Read at least 10 books.

Ended up reading 15 books for the year. The last one was “The Only Pirate at the Party” by Lindsey Stirling, a fantastic book.