20.7.21 - Beauty

Some thoughts on beauty.

Hello world,

I took some much needed time away since we last spoke. Myself and Becky packed a bag and ventured down to the Somerset coast for a long weekend.

Something I have come to appreciate as time has gone on is how we are able to make these decisions much quicker now we are both remote workers. It is a position of massive privilege that we can grab our laptops and a few clothes and head off at last minute notice. We have vowed to do this much more in the future. Looking at this view of the Bristol Channel whilst drinking my morning coffee and checking in on Slack was perfection!

Whilst away I read “Wabi Sabi: Japanese Wisdom for a Perfectly Imperfect Lifeover the span of an afternoon. It was a light read, much lighter than I would usually like, but a nice collection of advice and stories about Japanese culture and what we can incorporate into our ever busy and hectic lives.

The thing I took away from the book however was the lessons about beauty.

For me, the key take-away of Wabi Sabi is that everything in life is beautiful, it depends on how you look at it. It teaches the reader to slow down, show gratitude for what we have and be more appreciative for the natural wonders of not just the surrounding world but for the highs and lows of our own lives.

One of my favourite phrases discussed in the book is “Mono no aware”, which translates to ‘having an awareness of the fleeting beauty of life’.

This is so relevant to many of us, especially those in software and technology, an industry that moves so horrendously fast. Even the wariest of us are not immune to the toxic culture of hustle. I know in the past I have been guilty of having tunnel vision, green with jealousy and unrested over the things that I have yet to achieve, rather than acknowledging things that I already have accomplished. We are forever craving that end goal, but the irony is that the goalposts are always moving further away. As soon as you get that promotion, or that salary band, it becomes not enough as you pine after the next threshold. Let me know if you have felt the same!

If you are reading this, safe to say you are involved in tech in some aspect. The fact we write code, or design apps for a living is beautiful. This activity we get paid to do is something that most of us took up as a hobby or out of enjoyment, and the fact we earn a living from that in itself is beautiful.

We are creators - building things from scratch that others can use and appreciate is a fucking beautiful thing. We are artists, in our own sense. And criminally, many of us don’t appreciate the beauty of that or the things we create.

I bet if we dig a little deeper there are plenty of wonderful things we have in our lives that will surprise us, maybe moments or objects that would usually go by unnoticed. I know since reflecting on this, there have been a few more of these magic instances of beauty that I have encountered, and more of my time has been spent focusing on the good rather than the bad.

Maybe we can enjoy these fleeting moments a little bit more next time we encounter them. I know I will.

Thank you for being here again friends.

James.


☕️ 🖤 If you have enjoyed this newsletter, or appreciate the content I am creating and have some loose change, feel free to Buy Me A Coffee. Much gratitude.


▪️ Things I Enjoyed this Week

Just Javascript - Whilst I haven’t purchased this personally yet, I have heard from people who have and I really value all of the content that both Dan and Maggie put out. If you are learning Javascript, or want to become more familiar with the language, then give this a peek! Currently you save yourself some money too.

The Forest - A project set up to bring some excitement back to the web. The Forest randomly sends you to an individuals personal blog or website. There have been some incredibly insightful reads that I have stumbled across from here, and folk that I will be following from now on.

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