Over and Out

My sister asked me today what I was going to write my last post about. My last post, that is, of my self-imposed challenge to publish something every day for a year.

I told her I had no idea. And then I put off writing it all day, which was just as easy as it sounds. In fact, opportunities to procrastinate seemed even more prevalent today than normal.

To start with, I didn’t get up until about half 10 on account of drinking too much last night and going to bed too late. So I started the day lazily with coffee and The Office and playing bass on the sofa. At 1 we went to my Mum and Dad’s for Sunday lunch, and we hung around there until about 6. That was a nice chunk of the day gone.

I briefly considered cracking on with my post when we came back home but instead I curled up in bed watching Vinyl on my laptop. A bit later Emma texted me asking for soup, so I warmed some up and we ate it in front of Couples Come Dine With Me. Finally, I tried to stall even longer by asking Emma if she wanted to watch an episode of Ratched with me but she said she was going to bed and so I accepted my fate.

It was time to write.

Of course, as soon as I sat down – as I’ve experienced literally hundreds of times by now – I had no idea what I would write about. Not a one. Worse than normal though, actually, because with this being a kind of milestone post, it seemed more vital that it be a good one. Oh, dear…

Then I came to my senses. I reminded myself that this was the whole point of the last year of writing these damn things – I wanted to learn how to face this exact obstacle. I wanted to get it into my thick skull that there is really nothing more to writing than putting one word in front of another. And so that’s what I did.

And I hated everything I came out with. C’est la vie.

In the end, I decided that if I did have anything really important to say, then I’ve probably already said it at some point during the past 365 days. I mean… it’s not impossible, but it is unlikely that I’ve left anything too pressing unsaid. So I give myself permission not to worry about it. Not to even think about it.

What I am going to do instead is to say thank you.

Thank you. Yes, you. You, there. You, and you alone.

You didn’t ask me to start writing to you every day. On the contrary, I imposed this upon you. But then when I did, you took the time to read. You listened to what I had to say, whether it made sense or not. Then you emailed me thoughtful replies. You recommended books for me to read. You shared what was going on with you and that very often made its way into my next piece.

We harnessed the magic of modern technology to share a moment together each day for a whole year. Whatever I do with my life after tonight, I will never forget this strange year where I decided to open my veins, so to speak.

I regret nothing. I can’t think of anyone I would rather have opened them up for than you.

Thank you, God bless, Over and out,

Oliver x

PS: If you start to miss me filling up your inbox, here are two email lists I subscribe to: 1) Seth Godin. 2) The Daily Stoic.

PPS: Here is a list of books that mean a lot to me. Books that, try as I might, I just keep coming back to. Books that, to be completely honest, make more sense to me than the world does. If you like me, you might like them.



Get Out of Your Way

“Oh, I could never do that.That’s impossible!”

“Why is it?”

“Tons of reasons. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah…”

“Right. But do any of those things actually stop you, or do they just add a little bit of friction?”


Most of what you think of as impossible is anything but.

But when you can’t see how something might be possible for you, instead of challenging that faulty assumption, it’s easier to walk around in a fictional reality where you just decide that it definitely is impossible.

Well, I urge you to question just how impossible anything actually is. At best, you’ll find that some things are complex, challenging, and tricky. But all of that is a million miles from impossible.

And I’m not saying that every now and then you won’t come across a genuinely insurmountable obstacle to something you want. But I have to say: they’re rare. I’ve never found one. The more I look to my past the more I see that the size and insurmountabilty of the obstacles I’ve faced has been wildly distorted by my mind. Laughably so.

In the end, the only thing that can ever really stand in your way is you. So get out of your way.

Donald Trump

I don’t wish ill upon Donald Trump.

That doesn’t mean I like him. Or that I approve of him, or anything he does. On the contrary. I hate the cunt. I hate everything he stands for. I don’t believe that a person with a moral bone in their body could dare to condone the way he has lived his entire life, let alone his presidency.

But wanting him dead? Nah. Because it does nothing for me. It doesn’t help my life to want him dead. Nor does wanting him dead make it any more likely to happen. Energetically speaking, it’s a waste.

What I do want, however, is justice. And there’s all kinds of ways justice can play out.

If it’s the justice of COVID carrying him off, great. He will be the virus’s single most deserving victim. If it’s the justice of the American people voting him out of a presidency he was unfit for in the first place, great. It’ll serve the arrogant bastard right. And if it’s the justice of he and his family finally being brought to account for the all the many crimes they have definitely committed, great. I hope they look good in orange.

But even if it’s none of those, there’s something I keep coming back to that – though I’m slightly ashamed to admit – brings me great solace, and fulfils my desire for justice:

Donald Trump has to live inside Donald Trump’s head. He is in hell every minute of every day. Whatever happens to him next, he’s already in hell.

It’s my duty to be honest with you. Knowing he’s already in hell makes me smile.

Sit With What Is

You are not the problem. Your expectations are.

If you expect everything to work out a certain way, and then, when it inevitably doesn’t, you act as though something has gone wrong, as though some line of code in the matrix of life has been tampered with, as though some great injustice has fallen on your shoulders… Then you are basically asking life to make you miserable.

Unless you lower your expectations, you are always going to feel worse than you could.

But I don’t want to lower my expectations. I want to “think positive”. I want to expect the best of people, and of the world at large. If I lower my expectations, surely I am “tempting fate”.

Nah. You can’t tempt fate. But you can make yourself insane by maintaining unrealistic expectations.

Yeah, but… I want to a happy life. I don’t want to go around being all doom and gloom and thinking the worst and being grumpy and being in a bad mood…

Did I mention doom and gloom, or thinking the worst, or being grumpy, or being in a bad mood? Nope. Being pessemistic is just as destructive to your happiness as being optimstic is. Both are delusions that pull you away from reality.

I like to think of reality as the central point on a spectrum. When your expectations align with reality, you find yourself in the centre. The world makes more sense. It still has its beauty and its mystery, but you are not so constantly shocked and surprised and niggled and slighted and blind-sided.

As your expectations become too optimistic, they stray from reality in one direction. You think that everything and everyone is great, and then you’re incredibly disappointed when nothing can quite match what you had hoped for.

As your expectations become too pessemistic, on the other hand, they stray from reality in the other direction. You think that everybody is out to get you, that the world is a dangerous place, and that there’s no point in anything because something always goes wrong.

The aim is to live in the centre. Live in reality. Reality is neither optimistic nor pessemistic. It simply is. Align with what is. Sit with what is.