Life upgrade: Update 1

It seems like everytime I try and get back at blogging, it isn’t really working out. I vow myself to try and do that more regularly, but I definitely fail. Maybe I should take it as an opportunity to try and analyze what’s blocking me, and what’s different from the many years ago in which I was doing this almost daily. But some other time.

This premise, despite looking like it’s not relevant at all with the title of this post, is very much so. Five months ago, I set out a manifesto for a Life Upgrade, and I had all the intentions of doing like Wil Wheaton, posting regular updates and doing a self-evaluation once a month (I even dared to say once a week)

Well, as I said. I didn’t do it.

Until now.

An update on my life

A lot of things have changed in the last month or so. The most important one is that I quit my job. Some of the reasons why, I definitely want to write down, some other time.

All in all, a lot has changed and I hope for the best. I feel definitely a lot happier now, in general, but I have to manage my time pretty well. Work, no matter what, absorb a huge amount of your day. Reclaiming back all those hours comes with a responsibility: I have no external motivation to do anything, so everything has to come from within me.

This is definitely a move towards what I meant last time, when i was complaining that I wasn’t feeling not the boss of me. Well, now I technically am, for the better or for the worse. I used the word technically, because one of the original complaint is that my habits were controlling what I was doing. It can still be the case. Well, it actually IS still the case, so there’s a lot of work to do, still.

Drink less (and drink better)

Goal: Drink less, drink higher quality stuff. Never get tipsy (and sleepy).

Vote: 9

For this part, I’m giving myself a 9. I’ve basically done what I set out to do.

In the last few months I resisted very well the social drinking, at least at work: normally on friday we used to have a happy hour at 16:30, and it was normal to drink 2-3 beers (Heineken, not strong ones). I don’t think I drank at all at work anymore, execept maybe for one beer during my farewell presentation.

In general, over these few months I’ve never (okay maybe only once, which is why I’m not giving myself a 10) came home thinking “uh, I should have drank a bit less”. So that’s great.

And I’m starting to develop a taste for nice and fancy wines, which is what I meant with “drink less, drink better”. And when going out, I am able to contain myself that I hardly become tipsy, even for a few minutes. Great!


Goal: Run at least 2x per week (3x ideal) and at the gym 1x, otherwise at least 2x at home some bodyweight exercise. Swimming can be replaced to any of these activities.

Vote: 6.5

In january, when I wrote the original post I was very motivated. And I think I kept that motivation, but I changed a bit my plan. I was not able to stick with the plan, but I didn’t fail miserably.

My weekly routine is now:

  • Swimming twice per week
  • Climbing once or twice per week

These days I’m feeling so inspired that I’m thinking “if we’re not going climbing, I’m going to go swimming” (having the day free helps a lot). I haven’t really been able to do a week full of sports, but mainly because some days I felt REALLY tired (I’m trying to keep my days very busy, in general!), especially because I’m just starting out with climbing.

I have stopped running almost entirely, mostly because of my shoes. I should get new one, and try to develop a bit of a better form.

My weight is stable at 90, and I have a personal goal of 85 at the end of the summer. It’s a super ambitious goal but I can do it, if I am able to live up my wish of “sport every day”

Updated goal: Do sports every other day.

Read more books / Watch more movies

Goal: Read a bit every week. Watch more movies, more diverse.

Vote: 6.5

I expanded a bit my horizons with movies, especially in the first part of the year.

With the added free time due to lack of work, I started reading the Dark Tower. Even if it’s fantasy, it’s not sci-fi. I was getting a bit of a tunnel-vision, reading only sci-fi, watching only sci-fi shows, etc.

Trying to expand my horizons with new genres and different things is very important: otherwise, the feeling of monotony and routine is harder to shake off.

Side projects

Goal: Have always a side project going on, make some progress toward it every week.

Vote: 5.5

I had a very successful side project (well, successfull for my goals, at least), building something for my father. That actually kindled a bit my interests again, and helped me make all sorts of considerations that sort of ended up with me quitting my job.

However, since I quit, I haven’t done anything, but on purpose. I need to take some detox time from work, and the side projects I had in mind are very similar to it. So I would say that this goal is suspended for the time being.

Be creative

Goal: Do more creative things. In any way: writing, cooking, drawing, making music, …

Vote: 4

I am cooking a lot more, but I wouldn’t say that I’m more creative about it. I need to do a lot more about this.

Feeling less routine-y

Goal: Live a life that feels more spontaneous and less of a routine.

Vote: 5

Ups and downs in the last few months. I wanna judge how I’m feeling right now, and not particularly well about it, especially about my evenings. I want to improve lots in this goal.

New goal

I’ve thought a bit about it, and to the previous list of things I want to incorporate something more: over the last few weeks and months, I’ve felt progressively more and more a slave of quick-dopamine shots: reading Repubblica (italian newspaper), Reddit, Hacker News, Facebook, Instagram, etc.

Sometimes, I really feel like there is a strong force keeping me in front of a screen. And I realize it and recognize it, and I really feel it hard to stop.

More than once I know that I have to do something else (like Kleopatra is waiting for me) and my reply is “yeah, one second” and I feel like I’m struggling to stop what I am doing.

In this sense, our brief holiday in Italy was pretty nice and eye-opening. During our stay in Chianti, the Agriturismo we were at had no TV no good phone reception. It was nice to spend a couple of hours every evening talking with the owners about farming, and life in general. I’d like to do that a LOT more.

My addition is really bad: whenever I’m alone at home and I’m eating, I always feel that my laptop and youtube is necessary. Same thing with my phone: whenever I have one second free I have to pull it out to check something that, deep down, I don’t really give a shit about.

I’m already fighting hard about it, but there’s a lot more that I can do. Hopefully I will get past the effort and write more about it.

Goal: Reduce my addiction to consumptions of news and entertainment on my phone.