Mindful Scrooge


One of the things I’m working on is to try and be more ‘intentional’ — more conscious about my behaviors, decisions, responses, etc. What it amounts to is trying to catch myself in that moment before I do or say something, and ask myself whether this is what I would intentionally do or say if I put some thought into it instead of just reacting. Am I acting out of motives that I would respect when not in this moment? Am I speaking out of frustration or the desire to be seen as ‘right’?

I’ve put this together through a variety of conversations, readings, and thinks. I have labeled the concept in my head as ‘mindfulness’ or ‘being intentional’. Pseudo-research [i.e. cursory Googling] shows some similarities to the thought in my head and someone else’s definition for mindfulness, and someone else’s definition of being intentional.

I’ll not go into how successful or unsuccessful I have been in doing this; suffice it to say that the mental activity does actually occur sometimes.


Monday was the last work day of the year. We had three contractors whose contracts ended that day (although one of those contracts got extended unexpectedly).

One of the contractors had a shitty Sunday night. A transformer in his front yard croaked and a crew spent the night noisily ripping it out and installing a new one. He said he might have gotten three hours of sleep.

This guy almost never consumes caffeine, but he decided to have a cup of coffee that day. He was amazed at the feeling it induced, saying something like, “It doesn’t make you more awake, it makes you less tired,” and marveled that people can actually get quality work done in such a state.


My normal reaction to this would be to joke around about it and let it pass. The part of my head that wants people to place their health and well being above work wants him to go back home and get some rest. The part of my head that is a fiscally responsible manager wants to tell him if he’s unable to work effectively, he should go home, get some rest, and not charge hours. I just watched A Christmas Carol at the ACT theater yesterday, so that last guy sounds like Scrooge to me.

I chose my normal reaction, but I wasn’t sure if it was because (1) I wanted to seem like a nice, sociable guy, or (2) I didn’t want to seem like a heartless Scrooge, or (3) I thought all he needs to do today is wrap things up and transfer knowledge; peak efficiency is unnecessary, or (4) I was to lazy to drag myself out of my normal habits, or (5) something else.

The idea behind the “mindfulness” thing for me is to do the right things for the right reasons instead of whatever I happen to do for no particular reason. But a large part of the result seems be exposing my actions to self-judgment that wouldn’t occur otherwise. I guess that’s not entirely true — sometimes that self-judgment would occur, but just after the fact (“Why did I do or say that?”). Another part of it is going through these experiences with a surreal sense of…not detachment, although there is a sense of observing myself as a third party [what would I advise myself to do in this situation?]…but, some kind of doubt or uncertainty about my motives. I recognize the reasons that I consciously choose one path versus another, but I doubt whether I’m being genuine in my reasoning, or rationalizing.

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Merry Christmas!

My kids just unanimously voted me the weakest person in the house, including the 6 and 8 year olds.

Thanks, back.

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December 2019 Part I

I don’t have anything more to say about my visit to Chicago than I said in my previous post, but I added some pictures to this post’s album.

The Friday I got home, I went to work for a little while, and then came home to get gussied up and go to a Daddy-Daughter dance with Chilkat, while KrisDi went to a pajama party with Chilkoot and his Cub Scout troop.

We went on the Polar Express train ride down in Bumfuck, WA — ahem, excuse me, Elbe. On the way down, we stopped at Acorn and Powerhouse breweries as well as the bar Caskcades. The last stop proved to be a bad idea, because Puyallup (incidentally, pronounced more like ‘Pyallup’ than ‘Pyu-allup’) was having a holiday parade of some sort that fucked up driving in the area. We ended up with about 10 minutes to spend at Caskcades, long enough to have a tiny beer each and fill a growler.

Anyway, we eventually got to Elbe, rode the train with E-Dubs and crew, and then went home. It wasn’t as painful an experience for me as last year, because my L4-L5 disc was (hopefully) not weeks away from fatal degradation (I guess we’ll see in the next few weeks).

KrisDi went to a couple craft shows or something with D, and discovered a Fleischkuechle food truck at the Puyallup fairgrounds. They make legit fleischkuechle following a recipe from North Dakota (even though the proprietor is not from there).

Chilkoot tested for and received his orange belt.

The kids’ school had a book fair / bingo night, which we dutifully attended. The kids got to meet Dog Man.

The kids had previously gotten some hokey Christmas glasses that cause shapes to appear around point-like light sources, such as Christmas lights. I discovered I could effectively use it with an iPhone camera instead of an eyeball as the imaging device.

Chilkoot was tasked with performing a good deed of some sort as part of Cub Scouts. He decided to pick up litter around the neighborhood. He was a little reluctant at first, but did a really good job, was a good sport about it, and might have been having fun by the time it was over.

Posted by snaotheus in Family, Photo updates, 1 comment