[Sober Living] 37.3626¢ Per Day

It costs 37.36263736263729¢ per day to run Better Zombie. The roughly $400 I spent over the past 3 years have yielded more positive results than anything else I’ve ever spent on myself. It took me almost 30 years to realize that I enjoy writing more than playing videogames or any other recreational activity, and once I did, vistas have opened for me to navigate and control, yet not just in regards to the mental and physical processes of writing.

I pay the bills on this website yearly.

The chart above is a redacted look into my latest hobby: budgeting. Budgeting my calories yielded a weight loss of 11.5 pounds in six weeks. Budgeting my money is more of a curiosity. I don’t want my life to revolve around the pursuit of money as it had for the first few years of my career. Always burning out for better opportunities got me far but it means nothing to me now other than the skills and memories I earned along the way.

The intention here isn’t to ask for money or patrons.

Rather, it’s asking of you what I asked of myself: figure out what you’re subconsciously budgeting your time toward and asking yourself if it’s really worthwhile. The projects I’m taking on now all must have a certain value to me before I consider them. If I play through a videogame, it must have some kind of inherent value, whether it’s practicing puzzle solving, relaxing in some nice environment, or “finally getting around to playing the game I dipped my toes into playing as a kid.”

Each essay here is a project.

I budget between 30 and 45 minutes daily to the physical act of typing thoughts into a device, figuring out a visual element, then publishing it. It’s nearly seamless now, so I can come up with an idea, start writing, and slate it for publication without even much of a thought, so I can allow my creativity and the mental act of writing through thinking of ideas in real-time the opportunity to take me along interesting thoughts. I’ve published a few essays that I don’t exactly regret, but lack that sort of excitement about coming up with a project and completing it. They’re a big drudgerous to read and were tedious to write.

Having written over 900 essays, it’s easier to conceptualize the start and finish.

This is but one of many skills I’ve learned along the way. I have the discipline to write even through extreme fatigue because I must write daily. If I don’t, then it’s a failure of character that will stay with me far longer than any social mistake because it means that on that day, I let things get out of control. Tomorrow will be tricky because I must wake up, go to work, and then will be busy in the evening. Where will I find the time to write? I’ll find the time! That’s budgeting in a creative avenue.

How much time do you budget daily for your passions?



Quotes: None.
Sources: My personal and professional experiences.
Inspirations: Sobriety and budgeting share many overlaps: you can’t spend more than you have without getting into debt, both in terms of money and stressful patience.
Related: Other Sober Living essays.
Photo: A redacted look at my burn-rate chart.
Written On: July 4th [45 minutes]
Last Edited: July 4th [I was going to make this a multi-part essay and wrote out a second part on the 7th, but that didn’t work out as intended, so it got its own essay, and this will be the first draft; final draft for the Internet.]
My big goal is writing. My most important goal is writing "The Story." All other goals should work toward that central goal. My proudest moment is the most recent time I overcame some fear, which should have been today. I'm a better zombie than I was yesterday. I'm not better than you and you're not better than me. Let's strive to be better every day.