There’s a Reason I’m Keeping Myself So Busy, and It’s Not What You Think

Yesterday I published a list of tasks I’m working on at the moment. You might think I’m keeping myself busy to keep the depression at bay, but you would only be half right.

When I was a boy, I was a Toronto Maple Leafs fan, at least until December 28, 1979 when Punch Imlach traded my favourite player, Lanny McDonald, away from the team. I didn’t watch another hockey game until 1993.

I’ve come to realize that sports fans develop attachment to their teams as teenagers. Due to the asshattery of Imlach, I never developed that attachment.

I’ve also come to think that the reason we love sports is something Ray Edwards talks about in his “Clarity Course,” the desire for novelty.

We need consistency to for both success and happiness, but once we achieve consistency we begin to crave novelty. The two desires are in conflict.

One of the ways this dissatisfaction with consistency gets me is the grey mist of depression. When the mist descends, when everything is grey and the same, depression sets in. Or sometimes the other way around. They are each cause and effect.

My problem with consistency is that I’ve done everything I’m going to do in engineering. There are no more interesting challenges for me there, so the dual problems of depression and sameness arise.

That is why I’m keeping busy.

Everything on that list is intended to provide:

  1. Novelty; a challenge to learn and achieve something new.
  2. A new (potential) income stream; I may be fed up with engineering, but I still have bills to pay.

So, yes, I’m busy to keep the depression at bay, but keeping the depression at bay is also a second order effect of novelty.