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Recreation is Difficult

Since it’s the title of this weblog, one might guess that I am good at (or otherwise enjoy) recreation. However, I’m experiencing some problems with it. I’ve just returned from a community dinner up on Skyline (where it snowed briefly for the first time in my six years in this part of the Bay Area!), and have a few hours to spend doing something. My problem is, there are a lot of options. Here’s what I’ve thought about doing so far:

  • Read Reality by McGrath
  • Work on a song / play guitar
  • Play Half-Life 2 on my newly reconstructed PC
  • Go next door and watch the Olympics
  • Watch a movie
  • Sleep early
  • Clean up / organize my bedroom
  • Work on my constructed language Enaselvai
  • Keep working on my modern Greek lessons (in preparation for trip to Athens)
  • Write overdue e-mails
  • Taxes
  • Put my new budget into Quicken
  • Drink alcohol
  • Get my old reconstruction of English letters out and re-learn it so I can write in “code” again
  • Write a weblog entry on the relationship between physical and spiritual training
  • Test the current e4 client
  • Get my piano (keyboard) out and play beautiful droning melodies until I am lulled to sleep
  • Listen to the new Paste sampler

…and I could keep going. You can see I have literally dozens of options. Unfortunately, I’ve sat here in front of my computer for over 30 minutes just thinking about what to do–and so drain the sands from the hourglass of opportunity. All of these possibilities range from work-related to completely fun/useless, from productive to escapist, but I’m finding it impossible to settle on one thing. Maybe it’s the pain of not being able to do others that keeps me from doing one? I’m not sure. Anyway, I thought that while I was sitting here experiencing that pain I might as well chronicle it, so that the absurdity will be made known to the world.

Well, it looks like salvation has come in the form of a phone call–turns out ski jumping is on the Olympics now, and I’ve been saying all week how I want to watch it, so my choice has been made. But we can make this entry fun yet–out of the list of options I listed, which one would you have picked? Don’t be shy now!

By Jonathan Lipps

Jonathan has been making things out of code as long as he can remember. Jonathan is the architect and project lead for Appium, the popular open source automation framework. He is also the founding Principal of Cloud Grey, a consulting firm devoted to helping clients leverage the power of Appium successfully. He has worked as a programmer in tech startups for over 15 years, but is also passionate about academic discussion. Jonathan has master’s degrees in philosophy and linguistics, from Stanford and Oxford respectively. Living in Vancouver, he’s an avid musician, and also writes on the philosophy of technology.

5 replies on “Recreation is Difficult”

Hey, if you call having a few hours to kill on a Saturday night “too much free time”, OK then. But McGrath is coming slowly–still only halfway through Reality, so that would have been a good call.

The existence of so many possibilities regularly paralyzes me, as well. I think I would have worked on a song, or gone to bed early. What is it about going to bed early that seems like such a waste of time, or that I’m missing out on something crucial?

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