I am sorry for missing March, for those who have enjoyed the first few issues. While I had planned to get an issue out, I had a lot going on personally with a move to a new home (20 miles north of our old home) and having two family visits in that time.
So we’ll have to deal with a one month gap in our series. The past month or so have made me wonder if we are meant to have consistent output. Some people do: some writers are responsible for a column or two every week whether or not they feel inspired to write it. And many others do certain habits on a daily basis for incredible streaks.
And yet, I think these people are the exception more than they are the rule. Productivity is more naturally variant. While humans need some structure and some routine, they also need breaks and deviations. We’ve designed the workweek (whether intentional or not) to fit this paradigm with 5 days on and 2 days off. And people just tend to fit this off-and-on-again paradigm in many other areas. Many sports stars go through at least one slump in-between their championships (read: Tom Brady, Tiger Woods, and Michael Jordan among others).
Put another way: people just need to recharge their batteries from time to time. While there are exceptions to this rule, most aren’t. Most people will end up doing a great amount of work in one window of time, and then accomplish little for a subsequent window.
This truth is hard for any of us who are productivity-obsessed to handle. That down time feels so wasteful, and we can end up trying to push and push and push ourselves to be productive during that time.
As someone who goes through this often (most recently the past couple months), I am trying to learn how to embrace it, or at least, not worry about it so much. Enjoy the downtime more, and let it be a true recharging experience rather than a stressful attempt to do more when you just aren’t feeling it.
That all said, April is as good a month as any to dive back in! It’s spring time, the weather is good, and the days are longer (kind of). So let’s go!
I haven’t posted much of recent, but let’s talk about inflation. I’ll leave the politics largely out of this, but it should be clear that inflation is impacting all of us, and is going to create real big problems in the near future. In particular, I find myself staring at the meat aisle. While spending $7-$8 for a pound of hamburger meat isn’t exactly material to me, I still can’t justify doing that when I remember a few short years ago when that would be $3-$4 for the same thing!
And again, to me it’s not material: do not pity me for my trepidations as I meander through the meat aisle. But for most Americans, food costs alone are becoming a killer. The average American spends 10% of their income on food and 2.3% on gas. But as prices for food have gone up 30% in recent years and gas has doubled, we’re now looking at 12% to 18% of budget. Add that to 30-40% of income spent on housing (which is also getting more expensive), and we’re really whittling down the amount of income left over for anything beyond essentials for a lot of Americans.
So, what happens next? With gas more expensive, the prices of other things increase as well. This works for a while, but eventually you’ll see demand for all these products dry up as everyone is just covering the essentials. That is when you get a crash: companies close, jobs are lost, and prices are still high.
That all said: be prepared and be prudent. Prices will likely keep rising until there is a crash, at which point many things will devalue substantially. Don’t let this event catch you by surprise!
A reminder on last month:
All the best,