September 2020

It's been a tiring two weeks since September ended. For the uninitiated, I have finally begun my two years of service in the Singapore Armed Forces. I'm currently writing this update from the top bunk of my bed within our barracks, hearing marching from my left and my fellow recruits chuckling loudly from my right. Not the most conducive environment if you ask me.

Since our activities for the afternoon were cancelled, I decided to do some reflection on my last month on civilian life and finally publish this long overdue monthly update.

What I've been up to

I spent the last month enjoying myself, as was the advice from many of my seniors. I ate good food, maintained a somewhat decent level of fitness through bouldering and hung out with my friends. The last few days were spent on packing and preparing for Basic Military Training, during which we'd have to stay in the army camp for the first three weeks.

Sean and I also managed to touch up our work on, which we've since starting dogfooding. I'm quite proud of it, it's a simple but useful product that I use to introduce and showcase what I typically work in (in a non-tech context).

Some reflection and thoughts

I think that I became pretty short-sighted over the month of September. Despite enjoying myself and getting some work done, I feel that I lost focus on my long-term goals and started to focus too much on enjoying myself on a week-by-week (or even day-by-day) basis. I barely looked towards the future and instead just planned my time based on how I felt in the moment, and chose what would give maximum excitement without care for future consequences. For example, I ended up not starting on my university essays at all, and also haven't begun working on my SATs.

I think this could be easily attributed to September being the last month of "freedom" I had, but I don't want to afford myself that reasoning behind becoming sloppy in my standards. A common symptom of being in the army for too long would be a loss of cognitive sharpness(?) due to blindly following orders daily, but I think I fell into that slippery slope long before the end of September due to my activities.

In fact, towards the end, many of the activities I chose for fun and excitement became boring and routine, and that same sense of existential dread when being unproductive began to set in.

Reframing my mindset

Now that I've enlisted, I need to build up a strong mindset towards the next two years, focusing on making the best of this time instead of mourning for what I've lost. This would include working on my fitness, keeping my mind sharp and focused and forming strong bonds with my fellow enlistees.

Hopefully I'll have time to publish more as well, to improve my writing and to spend my time effectively.