There’s this thing that C. S. Lewis said, about how when he grew up he put aside childish things, including the worry over enjoying things which are childish. I find that really applies to me. I’m a busy, busy guy. I have my side business, my writing, my demanding day job, the podcast, and of course my relationships because I’m poly.

In the past, I’ve lamented that sitting on the couch and playing video games is garbage time, and wasteful. But after sitting and thinking about it, it really isn’t.

Overwatch is a heck of a lot of fun. It’s a social outlet too. I have some very nice friends through the game whom I enjoy playing with. The nature of the game is inherently collaborative. It’s about as close as I’m ever going to get to being on a sports team.

Over the several years I’ve been playing it, I’ve really grown my skill at it too. I know that staying grouped up is better than playing alone. I know that the healers/support should stick with the tank, while the DPS (damage per second) folks flank around. I know how to use the environment to enhance my own play style.

And, most importantly of all, I know that engaging in something I enjoy, in moderation and balance is emotionally good for me.

It’s taken me ages to figure all this stuff out.

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AuthorMako Allen
CategoriesgratitudeNow
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Sometimes, stuff I do just makes me so happy.

I adore my illustrator Jenn Solo. She and I have been working together for over a year now.

We’ve been making new illustrated fiction together.

I’ve been narrating some of it, working with other narrators too.

A month or so ago I had this idea for a new series of stories about Little Sprocket, an age player in her 20’s, who’s new and exploring.

Sprocket knows she likes diapers, knows she wants to be spanked, but isn’t at all sure about anything else.

I also had this kinda bizarre, meta, experimental idea to give Sprocket her own fetlife profile.

I was telling my friends ResonantYes and roadnottaken of the Love in Brief podcast about it, and asked them for help narrating it. And they had this amazing idea to do a mixed narration to record it. Part RY, part rnt, all awesome.

It turned out so, so good.

But don’t take my word for it, take a listen to a little bit of it for yourself.

I’m beside myself with glee at how good it sounds.

As I write this, i’m getting ready to go to the gym to go swimming. For Christmas this year Missy got me an Apple Watch. I’ve been using one of its applications, that tracks movement, standing, and exercise as rings.

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Each day the rings start out empty and you fill them as you go. Workouts are an implicit thing, You tell the watch what you’re about to do and it tracks it with extra detail.

This really works for me. For one thing, the data gets shared with another application I use, Lose It. It makes it so easy to really see the benefit and interrelated nature of my choices. It’s also a sort of gamification of being healthy. I know that the swim I do a few days ago can allow me to eat an ice cream sandwich a few days later. Or conversely, see how I feel and how my weight fluctuates based on the amount of exercise I get. It makes me able to stand back a few feet from individual choices and see how they knit together.

All of which combined, help me be more fully present in both what I’m doing and why I’m doing it. I’m really excited to grab a quick shower, get dressed, & get to my gym. I like those closed green rings. I like what they do to and for me.

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AuthorMako Allen
CategoriesgratitudeNow

So my contemplation today is about reinvention.

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Growth is a process

I recently started a new job. It’s interesting how in my day to day interactions with new folks I keep bringing up prior experiences in my head and using them as the basis for new ones.

I got into a big meeting the other day about how to plan and execute work, how to deal with changes in technology, and share work smoothly.

I brought some good, strong opinions to the table. But was also open to listen. And in the process saw something that kind of blows me away.

It’s like I’m simultaneously the same person I was at my old job, and a whole brand new one. I’m reinventing myself.

Being mindfully present for it is mind boggling. I can feel myself… well, growing. It’s big things and little things. I made the decision to consistently be an early morning arrival. I decided to openly embrace learning some new technologies. And it’s just happening. I’m making it happen.

It feels so good.

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AuthorMako Allen
CategoriesgratitudeNow
A magnifying glass around the world

A magnifying glass around the world

So this past weekend I was visiting longtime friends. At one point,  the husband and I had a good hour or so to ourselves and we picked up chicken wings. 

 Car rides often come with philosophical talk, in my experience.   My friends shared with me something he says often, both at work and in his life.

“When in doubt, pan out.” 

  That is, step back from yourself,  from your immediate prospective.  Seek the wider viewpoint. 

 This is really smart stuff.   And for several reasons, and several ways:

  •  There’s this thing I’m always saying how there’s only hear, only now.  Zooming out in that way helps me see so  zooming out in that way helps me see that.  Whatever amazing thing’s going on, it’s a nanosecond event in a very long life.  That’s also true if something terrible is happening.
  •  It’s not all about me. I’m just one among many.  Often what works out well for me isn’t so hard for others around me.
  •  Furthermore, we’re all in this together. So it’s often helpful to consider how something that affects me positively might affect others in a profoundly negative way.


 There’s more to this, lots more. I’m pretty sure this is going to be part of my meditation and contemplation for several days if not weeks or months in the future.   Just this morning, I saw this Boudin Doodle cartoon that touches on and aspect of this paradigm. 

The Buddha doodle monk and his elephant buddy, in spacesuits observing the earth. “Grateful for the gift of life” 

The Buddha doodle monk and his elephant buddy, in spacesuits observing the earth. “Grateful for the gift of life” 

  The thing about perspective is that as a means of observations it’s controllable, blinking your eyes, are we going your ears maybe.   I know I can make the conscious effort to shift my perspective.   When I’m considering the moment I can choose the context buy which I am considering it  

Here’s a simple example.

 It’s Monday, October 29 as I write this, around 8:25 AM.   It’s simultaneously  early in the week,  not particularly early in the morning,  and rather late in the year. 

 None of these perspectives or wrong, they all matter.   By changing which one I musing, I can wrap my head around different truths about my life.

 For one thing, shortly I need to get on the road and get to my job because it’s waiting for me and I have things to do there.  

Simultaneously, the midterm elections are a scant number of days away, and it’s very important that I vote.  

At the exact same time, it’s valuable and worthwhile for me to take the 10 minutes or so to stop and write this post. I feel a profound sense of peace and strength from doing this sort of introspection, and sharing it with you.

 During the conversation with my friend, I was trying to explain this very difficult concept related to non-duality, that of satori. Satori is, sort of, the realization that you as a separate entity do not, have never, and will never exist.  We’re just the totality of existence expressing itself in this place, at this time, through this body.  As I told my friend, this isn’t terrifying, it’s actually quite soothing.  Through what he shared with me about panning out, I think I’m beginning to understand why somewhat. 

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AuthorMako Allen
CategoriesgratitudeNow