To me, success has always had a specific sound:

Growing up as a teenager I played softball and baseball. I was terrible. No matter what I tried or how much I practiced, I just couldn’t make that sound.

The bats used in these games have a ‘sweet spot’. A spot that transfers the most amount of energy from the bat into the ball. This spot is also the ‘centre of percussion’. Hit a ball with the sweet spot and your aluminium bat will make a wonderful ‘ding’. Mishit the ball and you will be left with a dull thunk.

I was an expert at dull thunks. With a handful of exceptions, I straight up couldn’t hit a baseball and I rarely tasted the sound of success. It was the most frustrating endeavour I pursued as a kid.

I had largely forgotten about this frustration. That was until I was jogging past a baseball field and heard the familar ding. Success! I was happy for them. ‘Hey! Nice dinger!’ As the ball sailed into the outfield. It also marked a time when I too felt successful. I had gotten lots done that day, but I was more proud to have finally internalised success. I felt as though I transitioned away from common external success metrics. I haven’t won many awards, nor made mountains of money.

But my internal metrics? The sticker chart? Did I create? Did I read? Did I exercise? I’m nailing it, and finding it oddly empowering at the same time. It is giving me the confidence that the year won’t devolve into me lying on the couch.

Create.

No sticker.

Finished off my February curiosity ‘biodiversity’ (two weeks late).

Front view of woolworths promotional card readers on a plywood base

Completed my March curiosity ‘build indicator’ on time.

Front view of 3D printed continuous build indicator.

The month deadline is proving to be useful. Towards the end of a project I find myself hating some element. “Ugh. I shouldn’t have done <X>.” The tight deadline means that I can’t change course. I finish the project, loathing <X>. Yet I still finish, and teach myself an important lesson along the way. Next time <X> will be done like <Y>.

Still no create sticker for March though. I slipped on my writing goals. The ‘Open Love Letter to Tom Sachs’ was a writing experiment. One that didn’t go as well as I hoped. I struggled with writers block a little after that. This months articles covered:

Read.

Mr squiggle sticker.

Dug through a stash of novels my brother left behind when he moved to Canada.

Solar - Ian McEwan

I kept expecting this to pick up into science fiction territory. Solar read more like The Bold and the Beautiful, sprinkled lightly with science.

The Tesseract - Alex Garland

Written in the same fast pace, fast cut style of Garlands ‘The Beach’. It was more enjoyable than Solar, and contained some entertaining sections (the street kids, and the opening). But these just made the other sections read worse than they actually were.

Exercise.

Astroboy sticker.

Running three times a week. 53km. I’m getting used to the weather. It has started to cool and have been jogging along the Cairns esplanade. It is nice, especially when there is a cool sea breeze.

I’m enjoying every minute and I want more stickers. I am happy.