November 29, 2023
(if you have a moment, reply with your own 3-item status via email or in the comments)
I’ve had reason, recently, to look over a digital archive of my older written work.
This can be both a thrilling and harrowing process, as it’s wonderful to make new connections, connect a string of earlier dots and see how they led to where I am now and what I’m thinking about (and how I think), today, and to notice trends and changes: stuff that I’ve been consistent with, metaphors I’ve long leaned on, ideas I’ve fleshed out and made better and sharpened and refined.
But it’s also sometimes a bummer when I see how confidently wrong I was, or revisit work I made in moments that were not great, dredging up bad memories that force me to re-contend with questionable decisions and non-ideal paths and iffy ideas I’ve had and shared and felt pretty good about (until I didn’t).
I tend to think it’s important not to fixate on the past in order to allow ourselves to be who we are, today, in the context of today, so that we’re more capable of intentionally moving toward a better future unburdened (as much as possible) by past mistakes and stumbles and flaws; learn from these lessons (and remedy their impacts where possible), absolutely, but then move on to something better.
That said, rearview mirrors are still mirrors, and they allow us to see where we’ve been but also who we’ve been, and that can be a useful reminder that who we are today isn’t who we’ll always be.
They can also provide us with a montage-like overview of what we’ve overcome, how we’ve flubbed in the past (and how we might correct for errors we’re prone to making before we make them again, in the future), how we might rebalance our unbalanced traits and tendencies, and how we might, as a result, enjoy a more successful (by our standards for the word) future, somewhat less burdened by all those past issues (though no doubt plagued by all sorts of fresh and exciting new ones).
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Interesting & Useful
Another round of TIME’s annual, just truly stunning journalism photos—though some are fairly graphic or disturbing (mostly because of violence), so be prepared for that.
“Birth rates are commonly measured using a metric called the “crude birth rate” (CBR), which represents the number of live births per 1,000 individuals in a given population during a specific period—usually one year. The measured decline in CBR is also a result of plummeting fertility rates across the globe. Not to be confused with birth rates, fertility rates measure how many children a woman will have over the course of her lifetime.”
There are some delightfully cute and weird ones on here.
I’m still in Seattle and will be for a few more days.
My family here has been through a lot and has been working just incredibly hard to help my little baby nephew James now that he’s out of the hospital and working through rehab following a major medical issue he had a few months ago.
Please keep them in your thoughts: it’s a lot right now, for all of them, and I’m hoping that some of the realities on the ground change, soon, so they can establish a more (physically and psychologically) sustainable routine.
Any big plans for December? What are you working on at the moment? Reply to this newsletter and tell me what’s up: I respond to every message I receive and would love to hear from you :)
Prefer stamps and paper? Send me a letter, postcard, or some other physical communication (a doodle? A Polaroid of your cat?) at: Colin Wright, PO Box 11442, Milwaukee, WI 53211