It's December and I can almost feel myself start to slip into a winter funk—dark mornings, even darker afternoons. Work is stressful right now, my health isn't where I want it to be at the moment, and I'm grappling with a lot of annoying mid-career, mid-life questions that are totally ordinary and boring, but that I can't seem to shake. Here are some things that have really been inspiring me lately: stuff I've been turning over in my mind over the past few weeks/months, that will hopefully grow and lead to bigger ideas.
— My week in the English countryside. Makes me think a lot about buying a house—but not just a house: a house with land on either side of the house. Not, like, a house next to another house. I want to be by myself. Me, a great kitchen, a cozy cottage, and lots of land. Maybe a small herd of pygmy goats and a few hedgehogs and bunnies.
— YouTube. I can't remember the last time I turned on my TV, but I probably watch at least two or three hours of YouTube a day. I love the start-stop of it, I love the diverse voices, the diverse content, the seriousness, the flipness—I love how when you watch YouTube anything seems possible, because the people on the other side of the screen are people who are just like you and me.
— The idea of amusing myself at work. I was flipping through some old photos of work friends this afternoon for a research project and I realized that as recently as a few months ago, going to work was really fun—and everyone was just having the best time at work. I've been thinking a lot about the broader idea of work—in the world at large—and I think that superficial happiness and shallow fun and amusement are actually really important things that you need to work really hard to hold onto in an office environment. One of my goals over the next few weeks and months is to strive for that—for myself and to hopefully engender that feeling with the people around me, all these awesome people I love working with every day.
— Apple TV. Seriously a genius product. I want to make an Apple TV content app. Not sure what the content is, yet, but I want to make one.
— Prep to death. Right now, at this moment, the '90s are back. And not just any old '90s—it's a 1991-1995 revival and I feel like I'm in high school all over again. I know because I bought a pair of trousers for the first time in 15 years—and I keep thinking about whether or not I want to buy Docs and pullover anoraks.
— But I'm really into the early '80s right now. My natural '90s-ism is being thwarted by a strong personal interest right now in the early '80s: specifically that decade's Sloane Rangers and the Paninaro look from early-'80s Milan. All I want to do is wear expensive, label-less, slightly-dumpy classic clothes, pearls, loafers, and understated gold jewelry with maybe a puffa vest over it all, I dunno.
— Traveling but also standing still. Over the past two years, I've really dedicated my travel time to exploring domestic destinations—before this, I'd try to hop a plane out of the country any chance I got. I love exploring the U.S., but am pretty limited in scope (because I can't drive). I think in the coming year, I'm really feeling the idea of a remote staycation. Susan and I have been talking casually about where to go on vacation in early spring, and the thing that appeals to me most right now (and I don't know if it's because of how hectic everything feels in my life at the moment) is renting a giant house somewhere amazing for a week or two and just being there—maybe inviting some other friends to come along, stay the whole time or for a few days, but just being there with no pressure to sightsee, eat at amazing restaurants, or anything involving strangers. That's all I want to do next year. Maybe I should just learn to drive.