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Ikar

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  1. Ikar

    Ikar's Diary

    14th February - 18th February: My work has been going well. I've had some good initial lessons with my students in the last couple of weeks. I have just a few agency courses that I could quit if I wanted to, though I'll hold off on that until I have more students and until I feel I actually need more free time. I'll report on this more closely in the monthly report with some numbers. I'm trying to rent out my room by the end of March, though I'll see if I'm successful. It's been a bit stressful to communicate with potential tenants and the owner all at once and to organize everything correctly. The worst thing that can happen is that I'll pay the rent for March, so I try to not fuss about it too much. I got the business book to read, the one had been reading before I had to study for the finals. Happy I did, as I can spend an hour or two on good productive work a day with it. As for being social, I met some friends and went to the theater on Friday. I also cycled to my girlfriend parent's house and had lunch with them.
  2. Ikar

    Ikar's Diary

    Thanks! I have navigated this week a bit better and more in balance. I'll write more about it below.
  3. Oh no, that sounds terrifying. Glad you made it there on time. Many things can go wrong during birth, my grandma gave birth to my uncle almost two months prematurely. I hope things are a bit less tense now. And again, great job on your progress as a person, it is truly amazing to see what you've achieved! A fun bit, my grandma is born on 6th February. I don't know how it worked out with timezones, but your dad post came to me on 6th here 😄
  4. Ikar

    Ikar's Diary

    5th February - 13th February: I've been feeling a bit bored the last week, however I did some important things. I got a library registration and met friends and family at the weekend. We've also chosen the flat for my girlfriend and I. I should be moving in about two weeks.
  5. Some people are driven by their pathological desire to be the top dog under any circumstances and to gobble up the most power they can. Thankfully, the power in democracies is divided enough to make sure the infringement of general civil liberties by any single person in power is fairly minimized. That makes it easier for us, "the people who just want to have a good life", to do our thing. Materialism and financial hustlers have nothing to offer to people who genuinely think their position is good and are happy with themselves. I agree with you on the media. Now, I like to know what's going on in the world and I like history and geography. That however means educating myself through select sources and not 24/7 news/entertainment outlets. For example, I noticed one of the news websites I use for my English students became so negative or irrelevant that I hardly use it during lessons today. It's just war, disease and failing economy and other stuff that my students or I can't change. I just choose not to participate.
  6. It's OK. Progress in this is highly subjective and it's slow going through the ranks, but the results will come over time with some effort. There are enough good jobs or friends for everybody. To know what is good we also need to learn what is bad and what we don't want. Cutthroat competition is only present at the top echelons of business or politics, because it's a zero sum game there for the limited amount of votes or money. I think the last time I truly compared myself with somebody else was when I wanted to have a girlfriend 3-4 years ago. Since then, I've had two great relationships and I don't think I have envied anyone anything from that point on.
  7. Amazing! Congratulations!!! How are your wife and your baby doing?
  8. Ikar

    Ikar's Diary

    Thank you! I finished the uni completely! 😄
  9. Ikar

    Ikar's Diary

    Thanks! I already have many files and folders that have accumulated over the last two years. I just have to sift through them and identify the best ideas.
  10. Ikar

    Ikar's Diary

    1st February - 4th February: I still can't believe that I finished the uni. I really feel empowered every time I think about it. I don't know if I am proud of myself or if I am happy that it's finally over, but it's a nice feeling either way 😄 My head is buzzing with ideas for my business. The last few days I have spent over ten hours on improving it already. I'm ready to learn new things and to meet new people. It's necessary, because yesterday I had a meeting with one friend I've had for a few years. He's OK to hang out with in a bigger group, as he can crack a joke and be fun, however he is capable of rambling for hours about politics in a smaller group. I agree on some points and disagree on others, but it's really no way to spend a few hours. It's just exhausting.
  11. Hi, you can try to write @stabi or @Cam Adair.
  12. Ikar

    Ikar's Diary

    25th January - 31st January: I passed all the exams and therefore finished the university yesterday. All other events that happened in the last few days pale in comparison to that, so I'll just leave this entry like this 😄
  13. It's OK to just "be" there for a friend with an illness such as this. You're right there's nothing more to be done in such a situation. As for the rocky friendship, if it's just supplying you with problems week in and week out, it might be best to just let it be. Friendships come and go. Except my family, I don't meet the people I met when I was gaming 5 years ago. My oldest relationship/contact (I see a few times a year now) is about 4 years old. But there were many people who just made an appearance or two in my life that I've never seen again... It's sometimes hard for me even now. It'll take some time to decipher them, but it gets better over time.
  14. Ikar

    Ikar's Diary

    Thanks! All the best to you as well 🙂
  15. Ikar

    Ikar's Diary

    I'm using the template I used the last time. 21/12/23 - 24/1/24 "L" will stand for the (last) plan/notes for this term. "T" will stand for done this term. I added "Future goals/direction" to better reflect on the things I am trying to do and to add specificity. I will copy it and stick it somewhere where I can see it to remind myself whenever I feel aimless. I will also use different colors: blue for newly added goals/habits, green for completed/successful, orange for ongoing/some progress and red for ones I haven't worked on in that period. --- set smart/stretch goals - read book again Books/Reading articles: L: I unsubbed from a lot of email newsletters several weeks ago, so I get very little nowadays. No time for reading; if I read, I read uni-related materials. T: I unsubbed from a lot of email newsletters several weeks ago, so I get very little nowadays. No time for reading; if I read, I read uni-related materials. I want to get back to the business book after I am done with my exams. Possible direction/goals: (Borrow) and read one book until the next monthly report. Family: L: I went to a hockey match with my mom. I also visited the graveyard with my family to commemorate dead family members. T: I spent two days with my family over Christmas and introduced my girlfriend to my parents. I also met for sushi with my brother several days ago. NOT: I don't want to get alienated from my family. Possible direction/goals: Work on getting the new kitchen for my grandma. Continue work on maintaining the relationships with my family. University: L: Got the outline pretty much done. I'm currently on roughly 18 thousand words, so I won't have troubles with the word count. I have until 9th January to submit it, meaning about 45 days. I'm confident that if I put 2-3 hours in every day, it'll be done, although it's hard to anticipate how much work it will take to finish the theoretical and empirical parts. I'm actually surprised by the fact that I have a lot of it done, even though I had week-long breaks in the past. My plan is to work on it every day, do at least a little bit every day, no matter how small. I shouldn't have any days away from now on, so it's doable. I ranted about the thesis a little bit in my post above, but if I really had to submit it in 24 hours, I could. I just want it to be cohesive and well-written and that takes time. I've been working on it anywhere between 2-5 hours daily, sometimes I threw in an afternoon session too. Some 17 days are left to submit it. T: I was in a somewhat resigned mood the last few days before the submission date on 8th January. That was because my tutor came up with quite a few ideas what to change/fix/do better. I honestly wasn't in the mood to spend my whole weekend on that, so I just dealt with the most pressing issues and submitted the thesis. Regardless, I'm happy that he did give me the feedback. I got a B from him and B from my opponent a few days ago, so I am happy. I've been studying for the exams the past two weeks. As I wrote in the post above, I've had some ups and downs and I know it's not possible/constructive for me to study all day, but at the moment I feel positive. NOT: I don't want to drop out of the university. Possible direction/goals: Do the main part of my diploma in summer/autumn 2023 and do the defense and finals in January/February 2024. Work on the assignments in a timely manner. Business/English: L: I will have two new courses in January and one new in February, all of them my own (A). I went back to my reports, pulled the numbers that I write every month and construed a graph for the year. I've had less hours since July, though at the same time the share of my own students went up. The last quarter of the year wasn't as successful for me, though March-June were especially strong. The new students in January/February should bring the hours up as well as A share above 60%. I'll use this in my all-year report for sure! T: I've finished the second round of my biannual questionnaire. Got some good feedback from my students and a few ideas for the future. I'm gonna rework it a bit for the third edition too. I might want to create some list of milestones I've already achieved, in the type of "past projects" below to have a better overview over the work I've done, but I'll leave that for the next report. - An example for 16 hours last week: Category A 49% (53); B 5% (4); C 6% (5); D 6% (5); E 33% (33). Brackets are % values from previous month. - I've done a bit of an analysis of my courses and categorized them based on what they provide me. I earmarked five types of courses: a) my own - well paid + generally more motivated students (as they pay the courses themselves) + more challenging b) premium - language school courses paid at a premium compared to my standard LS courses for various reasons (roughly matching the a) group) c) flexible - courses from LS that don't have a fixed schedule, meaning it's on me if I make time for them or not (though I mostly do, as can they plug the gaps or can start my day) d) challenging/fun/prospective - standard LS courses with an added quality e) neither - standard LS courses without any added quality - NOT: I don't want to have a job that I don't enjoy. I don't want to have a job that is not well paid. Possible direction/goals: With my job position and student demand secure, I'm more able and willing to reschedule or even cancel classes in case I want to do something, mainly in the evening and for holidays. I enjoy having this option thoroughly. Keep classes at a stable 20-25 hours a week. Keep asking for reviews or recommendations from students. Look into strategies to become truly self-employed by skipping the agencies in between. Create a learning plan for myself. Go through "lecturer academy" materials. Write down specific areas and what I want to do in them: Networking and business events. Get a system to mark down the progress of my students, together with their learning plan. Check out business vouchers for equipment. Past projects: Questionnaire. Fixed logos on my website for better visuals. Updated the pricing section of my website. Variable/tiered pricing (do in July/August). Got minor pay raises from language schools. Did evaluations/testing of my students, if required. Attended one networking event and one marketing seminar. Introduced "phone call" classes. Update website/business profiles with "phone calls". Lecturer academy. Sample business contract on my website. Google sheets system for students. Questionnaire part 2. Exercise/Movement: L: Cycling and walking still, though I prefer walks due to the weather. Had two hikes too. T: Nothing special, though a lot of walks. NOT: I don't want to become fat. Possible direction/goals: I enjoy the fact I do not have to be "actively" dealing with this area of my life, as it's technically a part of my job. I just have to be on lookout if that was to change. Keep in shape. Blogging: L: I haven't had time to even think about blogging with everything that was going on, although I do have a half-way written article in the works that I could publish soon. T: On hold until I finish the uni thesis. Possible direction/goals: Find a suitable UI/web template. Set up emailing for subs. Post two articles a month. Polish links in articles. Interlink new articles with old ones. Finish articles in concepts. --- What to do if I am bored? Replacement activities for 1 hour: reading books, cleaning, washing the dishes, reading newsletters Replacement activities for 2 hours: going for a walk, work on my business, blogging, diploma thesis --- Additional thoughts/activities: My hobbies are: personal finance, graphs/projections/statistics, gunnery, GIS/statistics, reading/videos about (modern) history, English, working on my business, blogging/writing, geography. This month, I did these cool activities: spending time on the GQ forum, met with my high-school classmates, had multiple good events with friends, went to sauna, had a trip to another city, watched a hockey match live, read about finances, watched a few good films and spent time with my girlfriend and other friends. --- Goals/resolutions/aspirations for 2024: Main must-have plans for 2024: Prepare for (Feb-June) and successfully make (July-August) the CELTA certificate course. Finish the university in January. In case something goes horribly wrong, then in May. I've got this. Move in with my girlfriend in April. Set up the new kitchen for my grandma. Optional nice-to-have plans for 2024: Re-start my financial blog in February. Learn how to type with all ten fingers on the keyboard. Habits: Stop watching porn (again). Start getting up when my alarm rings = Put my alarm across the room. Establish flossing at least once a week. Exercise regularly. Continue: planning, walking/exercising, writing/journaling, reading, working on good life/work balance. It's a short list, but if I manage all of it, I will be happy.
  16. Ikar

    Ikar's Diary

    17th January - 24th January: My girlfriend lost her wallet last week and somebody used her card the same/next day she lost it. As soon as she found out and told me, we went to my friend who is a former bank assistant. I had a hunch he could give her some extra tips besides the basic ones for this situation. Luckily, the damage is not too big. Her bank refunded the unauthorized payments and it was really just a few €. She cared more for the keepsakes she had in the wallet. We also had our first flat inspection. The real estate agent was quite eager to move us in and the flat looked good, however I suspected our target date of 1st April would be too much of a stretch for the owner. We'll try again in a couple of weeks. My girlfriend and I also attended a talk about Taiwan and the implications of their presidential vote on Friday. The discussion was quite nice and I enjoyed the program. I also had a good time on Saturday, first going for a dinner with my girlfriend and after that meeting with a small group of friends, as we chatted and played board games. I visited my family on Sunday. My girlfriend also successfully passed the theoretical test for getting her driver's license today 😄 I had a good time studying for my finals yesterday and today. I wasn't feeling too good about the exam in the days before, so I am happy I managed to get into a cathartic state of mind. I also had a few headaches from not eating properly and not hydrating myself properly, so I need to be on the lookout for that and be more mindful. I skipped meeting with the Toastmasters speaking group today, as I need to spend some time with myself writing here.
  17. That's terrible and I understand your frustration with the system. I also understand the "non-joy" you've experienced. I can relate to it with a recent occasion of my own, though it was much less serious: The story was that an anonymous guy read a parking sign wrong (under which was my car) and he called a policeman. I got a 12€ fine, though I believed that there was no mistake on my part. I got that confirmed by my former (though still active) driving instructor and his friend whose job it is to process tickets. I could appeal the fine, though under the risk that if I lose the appeal, I would need to pay another 40€ on top of the 12€ fine. I also had to attend a hearing where a city clerk tried to coerce me to plead guilty to pay the original 12€ fine without the appeal. My appeal was ultimately successful. The same policeman who gave me the time said at the appeal the parking signs on that spot are not clear and that the district is working on the replacement of the sign. Knowing all that, he still chose to make my life harder and spend some 5 hours of my time, not considering the time of my friend and my friend's friend. I didn't get any compensation or apology either. I don't know if you can sue the (I assume?) state-run hospital in any way, but from my experience it's much more debilitating to fight the state/government/city etc. than a private company, if you believe you've been wronged. I was gonna let the "overworked hospital" paragraph above slide, relate a bit and not get into economics. I'll state my point at the end though. I find it puzzling that you blame "neo-liberal capitalism". Maybe you could blame anything for the state of your life at this point; I don't know and I don't know what I would have blamed myself some 5 years ago before I quit gaming. Regardless, my point is, Canadian tax freedom day for 2023 was June 19, meaning (in a very simplified way) nearly 50% of your income goes into the hands of the government. For that, you get a mixed package of things: paid holidays (good), benefits for psychotherapy (OK - at least something), understaffed hospitals that make mistakes like in your case (horrible - capable of mentally weighing you down for a year) etc. I honestly find it depressing that you have paid every second dollar for the government and now they refuse to help you in any meaningful way and even wronged you so badly. Governments aren't only about social justice and helping people in need. 1/3 of people in my country vote for a party of an oligarch who controls a big portion of the agricultural production in the country, media brands, formerly literally bribed pensioners with an "extra pension payment" etc. Collusion between government, "too big to punish" oligarchs and their other friends (legal criminals) is the problem. There's hardly any official/government-level awareness or recognition of harmful gaming or digital well-being in my country. And even if there was some "free" (taxpayer paid) program, you still have to 1) become aware that you have a problem and have the motivation to deal with it, 2) find the said government program and 3) take advantage of it. I think many people would be much happier if they paid less in direct or hidden taxes and would have more freedom to spend it on the causes/problems of their choice. I believe in exercising personal responsibility to the fullest extent. Circling back from responsibility to gaming; getting addicted to games from the age of 14 until the age of 21 was maybe not my fault, but it was my responsibility to do something about it. I felt exactly the way you I highlighted in bold 5 years ago. I don't think it was even about how much money I had at the time either; I had more than enough to live off of for a year or two as well. I just felt that gaming all day was not the way to live, that there was more to life and that there were better things to live for. Others - friends, family, coworkers, government - can't make the decision "to live" for you. I'm not going to babble about other things myself, but I wanted to mention that @Pochatok and @wheatbiscuit make excellent points about having a good community of people around you. Find somebody you can stand talking to and just be with them. @Amphibian220 mentions individual action, which is also a great point.
  18. It's OK. Quitting for good sometimes takes years, as we oscillate between being addicted, quitting and being clean. The main reasons why I quit back then were to scavenge the relationship with my X girlfriend and the realization I wouldn't be able to make a living as a streamer. I had already toyed around with browser blocks and uninstalling games by that time, so I get where you are coming from. Don't give up on giving up.
  19. Ikar

    Ikar's Diary

    12th January - 16th January: I studied for my finals. The last two days I've been to the university study room and the environment helped me greatly. At home there's always something more interesting/urgent to distract me at the computer and I can't afford that with only two weeks to study. I also slept at my girlfriend's place in the last couple of days as I have troubles sleeping at my own place. I don't know why that is and I don't feel tired afterwards, it's mostly just the strange feeling that I spend time trying to fall asleep again. I went to a trip to another city with my geography group on Sunday. It was nice to change the environment and I liked it. Spent some time with my girlfriend and my students as usual.
  20. Ah, I remember those feelings! It's been nearly five years since I've stopped, but unwillingness to change, wanting to control the outcome and know-all arrogance are something I had to deal with too. Honestly, I have to deal with them even today, though likely much less. I have a job where I need to focus 45-90 minutes at a time, rarely with a break or a brief zone out during it. I'd say that part of the reason why my students pay me is because I pay attention to them. I remember one of them saying that was unhappy when his previous lecturer played with his phone during the lesson. He said that he was good otherwise, but that he couldn't deal with the lecturer using his attention somewhere else during their time. Finally, don't worry about relapsing too much, progress is not always linear. You're back here and that's what counts 🙂
  21. I have "Leech Block" in my Firefox, but thanks for the suggestion! I have perma-blocked FB on my desktop computer and I only use it on my phone to track said groups. I don't even have the app, I just use it in my phone browser. On my desktop, I need to "allow" YT every 30 minutes if I'm actively searching for something or when I want to access the main page, but at the same time I set it up so that I can use it to listen to songs/playlists unhindered.
  22. Ikar

    Ikar's Diary

    9th January - 11th January: So, this is the entry when after three months of writing "I worked on my thesis" I'm writing "I studied for my finals" instead 😄 I went to a hockey match with my girlfriend on Tuesday. I fell somewhat ill on Wednesday, but started to feel better in the evening. Today I luckily feel well 🙂 I met a new student on Tuesday and today. I get a good vibe from both of them, but only time will tell if they're happy with my services.
  23. Sounds good! I would've thrown FB away myself, though I have some work-related groups with interesting content. How do you use YT?
  24. It just shows how important social groups are. Spending a lot of money on fast food is not good, but at least it didn't ruin you. Hanging out with alcoholics would be worse. Your social groups will evolve over time and you'll be more selective depending on your priorities. Does it need to be a university job? Before I started teaching English, I worked several jobs, even if for a few days. The career services will help you, but it's also helpful to use your social network to know what's on the market. A lot of topics (if not the majority) are actually boring. Nobody is going to try and seriously try to disprove the fact that water (normally) boils at 100°C or that the planets orbit around the Sun. Emotional topics are the ones where different people put different emphasis on different things. Take the Middle Eastern conflict. Do you want to evaluate it historically? How far do you want to go? 10 years? 100? 1000? Will you compare the number of people killed? Who supports whom? Or did you form your opinion based on what your friends/parents say? It's not necessarily always a conflict of information (and ideally facts), but also a conflict of priorities and there are no clear winners.
  25. One of my English students told me that he studies every day and takes a few days break every month or so. Sometimes it's OK to just skip a day or to do something easier (not a workout but a walk around the block for example). I couldn't take sitting for hours on end watching series or documentaries or whatever. It's just incredibly passive and I feel like a giant sloth. I watch one streamer, but I also had an internal fight myself about it. He originally made videos on YT, but then he swapped to streaming. He usually streams for two hours Monday-Friday and sometimes I have to work during the time anyway, so I can't watch. I hardly ever watch the two hour recording afterwards, because his reactions to (my) comments or of the other chat members between one another in real time are a big pull for me. He's been on Christmas holidays for the last two three weeks or so and I don't crave his streams, so I know it's within my own limits. Good liquor generally makes for a good gift. Unless you have dozens of bottles (or a few exceptionally expensive ones), I think giving out a bottle here and there or using them for cocktails for your friends is better than selling them 😄
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