Happy Wife, Happy Life

This morning, I listened to Tim Ferriss interview Tyler Cowen on his podcast.  Cowen detailed at great length how he cultivated a daily writing habit.  The key was writing each day, no matter what.  I know I seem to do this on an annual basis, but I’m going to give it a shot!  My humble goal shall be to hit 500 words in each post.  The topic will range widely and cover just about anything I happen to be contemplating that day.

On my mind this afternoon:  I have been recently enormously glad that Bagel has taken on a new hobby!  Thank God.  Having been in the country for nearly three months now, she was beginning to grow restless.  And despite my best efforts (taking her antique hunting, going out on walks, scraping together enough money to eat out more often, visiting art museums), she was beginning to grow increasingly moody and irritable.  All the gauges on my dashboard were in the red– it was the danger zone.

Luckily, The Universe intervened!

By some miraculous stroke of dumb luck, Bagel has recently found a new hobby in becoming an eBay reseller!  The detailed intricacies escape me, but from what little I’ve gathered, she essentially buys some item that she can obtains cheaply either in the FB Marketplace, our local goodwill store, or elsewhere; restores it; and the resells it online on eBay.  For whatever reason, this has captured her imagination and given her a new lease on life!  Before she was really struggling to self-study for the TOEFL exam and it was definitely not going well.  (By my observation, marshalling her energies to summon the mere will to study appeared to usually take an entire morning.  And then by the time she cracked open the book, it was usually already afternoon.  And then after an hour or so of study, she’d then usually go lounge on the sofa and watch Netflix or YouTube.  I think the study-hours to rest-hours ratio was something like 2:1.)

Anyway, for whatever reason, reselling items on eBay has captured Bagel’s imagination and passion.  And I am infinitely grateful for the development!  Now that the new hobby keeps her occupied for many hours of the day, that frees me up to actually work on my day-trading bot which had been languishing.

The takeaway lesson here is that if you are in a relationship, it absolutely paramount for you to find a hobby that will sufficiently occupy your Bagel’s time, energy, and attention.  It is important that everyone possesses their own hobbies and passion projects.  I’ve personally never struggled at all with being bored or unfulfilled.  But I think that’s largely due to the fact I’m in STEM, and specifically– I know how to program.  I can code my own apps and relatively easily build entire worlds and systems.  I’m not an artist but I suspected painters or musicians are blessed with a similar freedom and agency.

For everyone else out there, the act of creation is a little more difficult.  If you’re not naturally interested/gifted in writing, drawing, composing, coding, or in some other creative endeavor, I suspect the burden of living becomes all that much steeper of a slog; something akin to scaling K1.  I’ve discussed this with Gwen a lot and we both agree that this is why most people end up having children– it gives them a project to jointly work on so they can continue to hold their marriage together.  I strongly suspect one major reason people have children is that when they’ve exhausted their individual dreams and passions (or have accepted resignation and defeat that they will never reach them), raising children is one of life’s great consolation prizes.