Eudaemonia, Aristotle’s Bliss

Eudaemonia is the Aristotelian concept of happiness, not based on hedonism or laughter but on the achievement of a satisfying existence, the idea that living a focused life in the pure pursuit of what fulfills your soul will inevitably lead to happiness.  There’s some scientific support for this, but I prefer to go with anecdotal, the idea that when we’re working on something that fills us with purpose, it also fills us with exhilaration, no matter what the task.  It’s akin to Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s idea of flow,  a transformative state of consciousness when the worker becomes one with the work.  I get that from writing and from art, I know many here get it from gardening, I’ve known people who’ve gotten it from the beauty of math problems and the elegance of writing code.  It doesn’t matter what the task is, it’s that melding of avocation and vocation, doing satisfying, valuable, honest work that also in some way serves a greater purpose within us, that creates eudaemonia.

It’s also the name of a butterfly.

So what’s your experience of eudaemonia?

78 thoughts on “Eudaemonia, Aristotle’s Bliss

  1. I feel I ought to get this from the day job, but copy-editing other people’s books doesn’t do it for me. I did enjoy being a project editor on gardening books years ago. But I really experience it when I’m designing (gardens, homes, books, websites), photographing, writing or researching. Oh, and exploring: but that’s a form of research, I guess.

    None of that really this week. I enjoyed finding a possible house to buy (and everyone here’s support for it); celebrating my find with an old friend who came for supper; and moments such as seeing Mars twinkling like a Christmas light, and enjoying wild blackberries on my daily walks.

    (By the way, the house is looking iffy. Turns out it needs new boiler & central heating system, new windows with lintels to support the walls, rewiring, new kitchen, plus various other necessary things. I’ll make an offer tomorrow, but it’s going to be a lot lower than the asking price – otherwise, my sums just don’t add up.)

    6+
    1. Got to keep the balance sheet in order. Even if they don’t sell to you, chances are good that they’ll end up accepting a lower bid than their asking price.

      We have a history of bidding realistic prices — then having the seller drop the price for the next buyer in line.

      So it goes. And, do keep going!

      5+
    2. We just went to an open house yesterday: a charming, charming house on the outside.
      But it had been used as a rental for 30 years and the repair list sounds a lot like the house you are considering. If it is a rental, the landlord frequently goes with the cheapest, easiest option of maintenance and repair. And things that can be put off, because they are not a problem yet, are put off until they become a major problem.

      I am still hoping that they take the offer from you. It would be a lot of work but you could get exactly what you want and the quality that you want and the colors that you like.

      If you have never had a built-in oven before, I have to tell you that we put one in with our kitchen remodel and it so much nicer to have the oven at chest height than down below the counter.

      Good luck.

      3+
      1. Thanks, Jessie (and Elizabeth). Your summary of the state of the house and the reasons for it are spot on. I’m hoping that they don’t want to spend money on it – and even being cheapskate, most of this work really is unavoidable. And that they fancy a cash buyer happy to complete fast.

        4+
        1. When I bought my house I got it cheap (after it had been on the market for a year) because it essentially had no kitchen–3 white metal cabinets on the wall, no counters, and a stove so old it had 4 electric burners and 2 wood– and the bathroom had a claw foot tub with no shower. Among other things.

          I put the money to redo the kitchen (and turn a bare-bones mudroom into a laundry area with actual electricity and water and drywall) into my mortgage from the beginning, and got to build the kitchen I wanted. Sometimes a work in progress means you have the freedom to make it your own.

          Mind you, I’ve been in the house for almost 17 years, and I’m still replacing and redoing things. But still.

          7+
    3. You and I are on the opposite side of the planet and we both took pleasure this week in watching Mars. Sometimes I find that just incredible.

      6+
  2. Making at sometimes. Creating a website sometimes. Reading a lot of the time. Walking. Swimming sometimes.

    2+
  3. This is a concept I’m grappling with right now. We had to euthanize our beloved standard poodle this week – a minor accident revealed he had advanced bone cancer. He was 13 yo and had lived a good life, but his death has tipped me toward depression – the straw on top of ongoing issues at work (workload, lack of staff and serious, ongoing HR issues with staff). So back to basics – exercise, gardening, cooking and crafting. Baby steps, but these activities have been given me great satisfaction/purpose in the past and I’m reasonably confident that I can get back on track.

    17+
    1. Hugs. I’m still struggling with depression that got tipped over the edge by the loss of my two beloved cats back in January, within 8 days of each other. But it gets better. *more hugs*

      I hope the coming days are easier and brighter.

      12+
    2. I am so sorry, Susan. You loved him and gave him a good life. And he gave you a lot of love in return. That will always be in your memories of him.

      4+
    3. I’m so sorry, Susan. I just walked in my back door as thunder cracked overhead and thought, “Glad I’m home, Abby will be scared.” But Abby died back in May. They leave such a hole behind.

      10+
    4. So sorry to hear about your dog. It does get better. It sounds crazy but I would pretend my dog was just in the other room, out of sight, until I got used to her not being there. It helped me get over that achey missing-feeling of not seeing her on the carpet or next to my chair.

      4+
    5. It’s so, so hard.
      I read an essay on why it’s so difficult to get over a pet, so often harder than it is to get over losing people, and the writer pointed out that we spend close time with our pets every day, so when they’re gone, they leave bigger holes in our lives than the people who don’t live with us.
      I still miss Lyle and Wolfie. They were good, good dogs.
      Also Lucy and Bernie and Rosie and Max and Jasper. Very good dogs.

      10+
  4. Not doing so well at living in joy lately. Not that anything has changed, and I have a fabulous life, and like to think of myself as cheerful and optimistic so…….hmmmmm

    Probably the brightest spots were helping my sister with some stuff which gave me a great sense of accomplishment, and then when I was working with the lady I am helping get organized, with a record keeping system what will work for her, etc, she said “You should charge extra for the counseling aspects” – she was getting all anxious about something and then remembered I would be coming, and felt much better, which made me feel good.

    16+
  5. My great weakness in accomplishing large tasks is that I don’t organize materials usefully. The fact that I love to research things adds to the problem because I end up with way, way too much material and I lack the knack (and sometimes the will) for organizing it into useful sets and subsets.

    So, I’m having a fabulous time continuing to research Geoffrey of Monmouth, who actually lived and who was the first writer to put all the bits about King Arthur and Merlin into a cohesive story (albeit of Geoffrey’s invention). I’ve been collecting info since I was in high school, college, and during the years I taught English. And I’ve been going wild on the project for the past year.

    I’m definitely suffering from Eudaemonia: my life is bliss, all the more so because the all-enveloping cloud of research makes me unable to impose a form on it.

    Did you come across Eudaemonia because it has “demon” as its root? Is there a connection with demons?

    5+
    1. Nope. I’ve been reading articles on happiness hoping to find stuff for these posts that isn’t always jokes and pretty pictures. This concept reminded me of flow, so I figured it was a good one to talk about.

      6+
  6. My joy this week was going back to the gym after too long away and getting a session from a personal trainer. (Who scolded me for all the sitting I do. So yeah, the gym.) He worked me really hard, but after more than 2 years of relative inertia because of the knee injury, it felt good to be moving.

    In other news, my knee hurts. Ah, well.

    I’ve been fighting with the new novel I’m working on and had lots of frustrating days with no progress, then joy yesterday when I wrote 5 new pages.

    So I guess my joy this week is all about forward movement of one kind or another…

    9+
  7. Unrelated: Audible is having a 2-for-1 sale, and a couple of Crusies are included. It’s funny—I listen to audiobooks all the time, but I’ve never listened to any of yours. That’s about to change!

    I get into the flow when I’m cooking or baking. And when I’m doing genealogical research. I’m obsessed with filling out the family line before they headed to the Puritan colonies.

    5+
    1. I’ve never listened to any of them, either. Audio books make me twitch and hearing my own words would send me screaming.

      6+
      1. I just finished the first book of yours that I have ever read – Anyone But You. It was raining most of the day so I was able to read all day. I loved it. Thank you so much for writing a book where the main character was not feeling too old to find anyone at age 25. 🙂

        2+
      1. I’ve made it back to @1500 on my dad’s side. I have the advantage of sharing ancestors with a president, which means someone else did most of the work. 🙂 They were also British and landowners, so there are records!

        3+
        1. Yes: it’s trickier for us peasants. If I ever get into genealogy, I’d like to see if it’s possible to connect my grandmother’s family (craftsmen in the cutlery trade in Sheffield in the C19) with a Stacey (also a cutler) mentioned in the Sheffield poll tax record of 1341. I love the idea of a lineage of craftsmen.

          4+
    2. Audiobooks almost make housework a happy time. Almost. I’ve listened to Fast Women, WTT and Faking It in audiobooks. The narrator on WTT and Faking It is wonderful. So good that I bought the audiobook of Faking It even though I had already read it in print.

      6+
      1. Agreed I do most of my chores and driving listening to audiobooks! I have a great love for the narrator of Welcome to Temptation. But Audiobooks are an everyday part of my life, it might be an addiction but I justify it with doing other tasks at the same time.

        2+
  8. I get happiness from my job—supporting groups that lobby for kids. I don’t particularly enjoy the admin parts or the hiring parts and I have to be on top of political news which can get me down, but I work for my heroes and they accomplish amazing things and every time I see that something I did supported a victory of theirs I get a rush.

    9+
  9. Sculpting. Particularly sculpting in clay. The euphoria I felt the first time I sculpted in a rabbit and it looked like a rabbit was amazing. And when I worked from my first live model in Sculpting 101 and it looked like the model and not an early African tribal mask was over the top. I still feel like I am floating a foot off the ground whenever I do something like that. It isn’t work, it is joy. I wish I got the same hit from painting but unfortunately not.

    6+
      1. That is what I said about my writing. About 30 years ago friend asked me what I was doing with my writing, and I explained that I thought the best contribution I could make to American letters was not to write.

        2+
  10. flow is often physical for me. when i attended regular dancing classes, it was learning all the steps and dancing it correctly. i learned to do the version of a tarantella and it was the first time i ever had the endorphin rush aka “runner’s high.”

    my new pupper is wonderful and a bit bitey, which i suspect is the reason his old family decided to sell him. now i’ve got to work on this habit. i’ve looked up victoria stillwell and i’ve got a new sarah fisher book. i’m looking for anything that doesn’t enforce the dominance-submission narrative.

    lowercase because i’m a little bit sad, old doggo passed in may of this year and i didn’t even say much here because i was keeping the feeling close. and i know we made his life better, but i keep calling new pupper by old doggo’s name and it jerks my brain to a halt.

    so bittersweet happiness is pupper.

    12+
    1. You may want to check out the Dunbar method for puppy training, Sure Thing. It is only positive reinforcement and focus is on dogs learning things that are vital/helpful for their wellbeing, not tricks and stuff. Years ago, we did a short course and it was fab. Also nice was that dogs learned not just voice commands but also hand signals–which is important for their safety, say if they’re a distance away from you, but you need them to sit and wait to keep safe or stay away from something on the ground they shouldn’t nose etc. I believe it’s a vet who developed the method, and it’s all about the happy and rewards, no negativity or even reprimands. Very doggy respectful as it should be:)

      9+
  11. Writing, when I’m in the flow. Hiking and snapping pictures of wildflowers. Working out.

    Just started work on Touched by a Demon Book 3, and I’m NOT in the flow. I’ve decided to take a different approach tomorrow. I’m going to ignore the first scene, which is a total horror show, and step forward as if everything were already in progress. I can always go back and write a first scene later.

    We’ll see if that brings up some eudaemonia.

    6+
  12. I think one of the frustrations of adult life is sometimes we can’t remember how to tap back into that feeling of “flow.” I think most people remember it from childhood. That day where suddenly you felt like you could swim all day or build blocks, or color, or whatever your thing was. Part of the necessity of adult life is becoming well-rounded, becoming that multi-tasker, critical thinker, the juggler, who does a lot of discrete activities. And then, we reach back to try and get that feeling and it’s like you can get flashes of it or glimpses, but it’s not quite the same.

    For me, it was definitely reading. And it still is, but not to the extent it was b/c of that outside world, those critical thinking skills that won’t rest. And I wouldn’t want to give up those things, but it’s just very different.
    I’ve felt it sometimes other times -running, yoga, baking, writing (but that’s also made me want to tear my hair out), teaching English to adults (ditto) sometimes just being outside in a beautiful spot and you feel like you could just sit and stare at the view in silence forever. None of those consistently, not always.
    I know one of the thing that makes me more receptive to “flow” is shutting off the internet and minimizing my exposure to the news. Then I’ve had times when even folding the laundry or cleaning out a junk drawer starts to feel like a sort of walking meditation. But of course it’s not possible and probably not healthy to keep yourself shut off from the world all the time.
    Whew, this got long, but this is something I’ve thought about a lot. I read about flow for the first time maybe about ten years ago and I immediately thought “oh that’s what you call that!”
    It’s clearly something I’ve thought about a lot.

    8+
  13. In October, my son is going to visit his grandmother, my mother, who lives in Israel. She doesn’t speak English, so he decided to improve his Russian. We came to Canada when he was 10, so his Russian is elementary by now. To that goal, he watches old Russian movies on youtube and he invited me to watch one with him at his place. It was an unexpected joy.
    The movie was an old comedy from 1970s. I had such fun. A pinch of nostalgia too. I was so young and happy when I watched this movie for the first time in Moscow.
    Do you feel this way when you see a movie or read a book that reminds you of your youth?

    9+
    1. I heard George Harrison’s “Give Me Love” on the radio this week, and it took me right back to the summer when it was a hit – I was 15, transitioning from jr. high to hs, and it was kind of the last summer of pure carefree.

      7+
      1. That song is now stuck in my head! Which is actually quite lovely. And its a reminder I need to give up the fantasy that I’m every going to listen to some of these old classics on the albums I still possess, and download them to my music library.

        2+
    2. That movie wasn’t “Moscow doesn’t believe in tears” was it? That is the only semi-modern Russian movie I’ve ever seen, and it was so adorable it amazed me.

      2+
      1. I remember seeing Moscow Does Not Believe In Tears way back when as the first foreign movie I saw. The film was kind of grainy but the story line kept me engrossed about an unmarried woman who has a child and raises the child on her own.

        1+
  14. I just spent a week and a half in St Croix, doing hurricane relief work.

    I felt that joy and flow and…. wholeness (?) when hitting things with hammers for a good cause, while laughing with the rest of the work crew.

    It did not hurt that this trip was special because it was a revisit for my parents, who did their first such trip 30 years ago to the same place. It inspired them to do more, including trips where they took me along. Being able to see this place – and people! – they talked about, with them, was really neat.

    10+
  15. Creative work – clay, paint, words, but also research. I love going down the rabbit hole and seeing where I end up popping out. I can easily and happily spend days like that.

    I finished a book on Friday which meant I got to take the entire weekend off. I’m making a policy of taking a couple of days off after every 25,000 words. Otherwise, I won’t get to have any fun or wash my dishes. Or get rid of the mice. (Dead mouse on the floor this morning,) or paint the kitchen cabinets.

    You know, regular life.

    9+
  16. I’ve always thought reading was purposeful work, especially when I grok what the writer intends (laughter, tears, cogitation, etc.) and am not tortured in the process (ha ha).

    I’ve never met an unhappy mathematician. Crazy, yes, unhappy, no. Lucky people! If you’re inclined to read about one, “The Man Who Loved Only Numbers,” about Paul Erdos, by Paul Hoffman, is a joy from the first 3 pages to the last 3 pages. (You don’t have to read the math bits.) I picked it up by chance at the library and when I starting laughing by page 2 I checked it out and didn’t put it down until I finished it (no torture!). I bought a copy and have lent it out frequently, spreading the joy to young and old.

    I have met miserable programmers, so maybe become a librarian instead – or a mathematician! I loved, loved, loved being a law librarian. I’m happy not to have to deal with all the not-fun stuff (budgets, etc.) anymore, but I loved going to the library every day as a reference librarian and seeing in print the articles I helped research. And law students were a delight (Then they become lawyers and the delight wobbles and fades on occasion, alas. But not always!)

    8+
    1. Laura – you must have been lucky in the mathematicians you met. They are ranked 8th on the CDC’s list of professions with the highest suicide rates and, when I was an undergrad (I am a mathematician), it was a topic of great concern.

      Librarians though, that’s another story. I don’t ever remember meeting one who didn’t seem to love her work. I wanted to be a librarian when I was younger – well, actually, I just wanted access to all those books!

      2+
      1. Beth: I didn’t know that about mathematicians. I guess I have met the happy ones. Lucky me. That is very sad about the others.

        Numbers guys/gals can be great crime fighters too. I was on a grand jury recently and “following the numbers” was the way more than one loss prevention officer discovered who was pilfering stock. And that’s how Madoff was caught by the quant Harry Markopolos. The numbers spoke! (He wrote that fab Madoff book, “No one would listen.”)

        But you’re right about librarians. Like romance writers we can shop-talk for hours, days, weeks! I didn’t have the fun books in the law library, but I’ve always been lucky enough to live in cities with excellent public libraries.

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    2. Thank you for the book recommendation. I’ve put it on hold at my library and am only number two in line.

      0
      1. I love that book. I put my daughter on a plane to see her grandmother when she was maybe 9 or 10 with her stuffed monkey and that book and she was so absorbed by it she never worried. Got off the plane and my mom decided she had to read it too.
        The funny thing is, she is the writer in the family. I’m not sure my son the physics and math kid has ever read it.

        I met Erdos once when math friends took me to a department party to celebrate his visit. He was just as described. The party went on around him while he talked math with people.

        2+
        1. Debbie: I’ve found that, too. It’s not just math heads who like the book. Everyone I’ve recommended it to found it great fun, absorbing, and interesting. Of course that says as much about Hoffman. A lesser writer could have made it boring or tedious.

          Ha ha. That is so great about meeting Erdos. You will make some people green with envy. Just being around “the great man” would be a thrill. But he really was totally impossible!

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  17. I’m not at all good at getting into the flow. Reading and photography are most likely to do it, but even that’s very sporadic. I’ve spent so many years always having something else I need to do, I’ve forgotten how to just relax.

    I’ve just started a 4-week mindfulness course. Hopefully that’ll help!

    7+
  18. I got totally in the flow yesterday when doing edits. Four hours passed until I realized I needed to drink some water. Love it when I’m that caught up in story, and I did get them finished so treated myself to a movie on Netflix. If you haven’t seen The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society go check it out. I had read the book and thought the film was fabulous.

    2+
  19. So I was having one of those moments of reflection, where I thought if I could be young again and starting life over, what would I do differently. And I thought, “I’d have studied art like I wanted to, but was dissuaded because it wasn’t practical. And I’d have trained to be an exercise teacher, so I’d be able to earn money to work out.” Heh.

    But then I thought, is it really too late to do those things? I mean, it’s still not practical, but why not? Surely there could be a market for an exercise coach for older women who may have injuries and/or health issues? Surely not every exercise coach has to be a fit twenty-something?

    And why not study art? Why not? It’s only money and time, right? And I’m already spending money & time floundering around with art right now, why not actually take some classes?

    15+
    1. Go for it.

      I married to escape poverty, he turned out to only give lip service to supporting my writing, and then there were kids, and I’m only now being even somewhat in control of my time and attention again. And yes, I’m going for it.

      10+
    2. Yes, there is definitely demand for PTs of all ages and descriptions. I have heard of one successful company set up by a woman who suffers from severe rheumatoid arthritis.

      Good luck!

      1+
  20. I was totally in the flow yesterday when completing edits. Lifted my head after four hours and thought, I need more water. Then I treated myself to a movie on Netflix. I adored The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. Lovely book. Lovely film.

    2+
  21. Writing can be a flow, or a flounder. Same with art. Often the hardest part is getting started – so I tell myself, “Just 15 minutes. Then you can quit.” Fortunately, I keep falling for this trick.

    This weekend I enjoyed time with my WIP and feel excited about its potential.

    Bonus: I saw a couple shooting stars.

    4+
  22. I get that to some extent from writing, but at its full from dancing. Dancing = physical & mental challenge that can take me to my limits in ways nothing else can (so much AAAARRGH), but also lights up my body & brain in ways nothing else can.

    2+
  23. Dear Ms. Cruise, I searched for a way to contact you simply to say that I thoroughly love your writing style and sense of humor! I have many of your books and have enjoyed every single one but want to congratulate you immensely on Agnes and the Hitman. I have it via Audible and have probably listened to it more than a dozen times. I love that your heroines are women of real sizes and problems. I love the banter between characters, the zany situations they find themselves in and the ultimate happy endings they all find. Thank you for your contributions to the literary world and hope that you continue to write for many many years!
    Thanks, Emily

    6+
  24. This weekend was my sister’s birthday and as my very pregnant niece, who was to host a family party, was feeling ill my husband and I stepped up to host it at the last minute. Cue for frantic food shopping and preparation. Our son came to help but it was hard work. We are in our 70’s and are today very tired but our happiness was in having our small family together under our roof and just enjoying celebrating her birthday.

    4+
  25. Hey, JaneB: I just read a Fast Company article about how much work people can do in a day (flow or no). Here’s the money quote, so to speak:

    “Psychologist Ron Friedman told the Harvard Business Review that most people ‘typically have a window of about three hours where we’re really, really focused.’ Our own data backs this number up as well. When we analyzed over 225 million hours of working time, we found that the average knowledge worker (someone who deals with information for a living, like a writer, developer, designer, or manager), is only productive for 12.5 hours a week. That’s roughly 2.5 hours a day.”

    12+
    1. Makes me feel much better, too – except that since I’m not going into an office, where I could enjoy (possibly constructive) distractions, I only get paid for the hours I do – and the hourly rate for editing isn’t nearly enough to live on (proof-reading’s even worse). I should somehow, years ago, have found better-paid work.

      4+
    2. To clarify: the “we” analyzing the hours of work is Rescue Time, which sells time management apps. The data they gathered is from app users. Still, interesting.

      1+
  26. It used to be dancing. I still love it but now I run out of breath too soon to really get in the flow. But reading and knitting do it for me and always have.

    4+
  27. Found bliss this morning peeling a batch of cooked eggs for egg salad, then went on to fine-dice stalks of celery.
    Takes so little —

    7+
  28. I find it in a few places, the first is always doing simple stuff with my horse, grooming or walking from pasture to grooming area. Or when I finally am clicking with a painting and I am sore from holding the same position for hours. When I take the time to sit and read a book and its just the right rythm and takes me away from this world. And more recently this week, unpacking boxes and break the boxes down has been the right kick, all of it has its own pace and a huge feeling of good and accomplishment. Also seeing parts of my life that have been packed away for six months is pretty profound.

    3+
  29. I’m trying to figure out how much weight to give loving the process of doing something vs. loving the way you can make a difference in someone’s life. I’m on a career track I like (arts marketing) but I’m also at a point in my life where if I wanted to spend non-work hours going to grad school, or volunteering, or throwing myself into a side project I could. So I’m trying to figure out if there’s a career (or MacGyver’d combination of careers) that can combine the political science degree I got to help people, and the fiction writing and theatre stuff I love.

    5+
  30. Writing, when it isn’t a hard slog. Walking. Cooking can be a comforting and joyous thing, when I have the time, energy, and inclination. Craftwork, ditto. Singing, virtually always. Same with reading.

    In my day job as a librarian, I get it from helping someone in a way they never could have helped themselves. That feeling never gets old, even after 27 years in the profession.

    2+
  31. I used to lose myself by reading a great book. That could still happen, but I’m spending far less time reading books. My reading time is spent on email, social media, this blog, etc. plus, I’m choosing to read more educational books instead of entertaining ones. 😕

    I can get into flow when planning and organizing. I find it really calming to be able to put at least this part, whatever I’m working on, into order. Given there is so much I can’t control, I’ll like to control my space. I also feel better when I have a plan. I hate it when my plan goes awry. Being a project manager is a good choice for me as a career, but it has too much people interaction for my introverted self.

    1+
  32. It’s funny that we count books as “flow” but there’s something much more guilt-inducing about getting lost in a TV show — it might be the time commitment. A movie is over in two hours, a book takes maybe eight hours and is close to “studying”, but a TV show can be 11 hours or more, depending on how many seasons you are committing to.

    One of my craziest experiences with flow was playing a video game. It was my kid’s virtual village, but *I* decided I need to pull all the weeds in the place. She had sped up time, so there were a lot of weeds! I spent 90 minutes getting them all up, pretty much in the flow the whole time. Click-click-click. And then I realized shortly after I finished that if I had spent the same 90 minutes in my own garden . . . . Well, you know. I would have been in a lot of physical pain, though, if I had weeded in the real world. Still, lesson learned. I don’t think I ever played that video game again.

    Other than that, reading, writing (when it’s a short story or a single scene), singing, playing the ukulele and sometimes cooking are all pretty flow-inducing for me. Translating is a special kind of flow; it’s like doing jigsaw puzzles with words. Oh, and jigsaw puzzles!

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