Of all the things that are, some are good, others bad, and yet others indifferent. The good are virtues and all that share in them; the bad are the vices and all that indulge them; the indifferent lie in between virtue and vice and include wealth, health, life, death, pleasure and pain.
Epictetus, Discourses, 2.19.12b-13
Today’s question was how can I cultivate indifference to unimportant things?
I can cultivate indifference by continuing to train my mind through meditation, heart rate variability training and journaling.
By listening to my thoughts and recognizing when they go offline, I will learn to reign my thoughts in and not get overly excited, angry or upset.
I can control my thoughts, as necessary; then, how can I be troubled? What is outside my mind means nothing to it. Avoid that lesson and your feet stand firm.
Marcus Aurelius, Meditations
Today, my wife and I met with our home builder.
Without learning what I am learning, I would say this process is destroying me.
Reading Marcus Aurelius and studying other Stoic writings, I realize that this home building process cannot destroy me. Only I can destroy me.
Having the permit process take eight months longer than anticipated was not great, but I understand what occurred that caused the permits to be delayed.
I cannot be happy that the cost of many items in our budget are climbing higher and higher, nor that the trades are not able to make it at their scheduled times.
I work in this industry, I know there are extenuating circumstances that are causing the prices to rise and the trades to be busy. I can only focus on what I can control.
I can look at our design plans with my wife and we can make decisions to cut costs where they are not needed, whether that is lighting, appliances, an asphalt roof versus a metal roof, etc.
I used to think we would build this house, it would be amazing, and we would also generate a profit that would increase our net worth.
Unfortunately, we are now in the boat where I simply pray that we can contain costs and time such that we break-even on the build and perhaps the home appreciates in future years.
Regardless, it is our forever home and despite the challenges we are facing, we will endure them and live in the home for years to come.
Until then, I will continue to cultivate indifference to situations as they arise.
All the best,