I haven’t been writing much lately. Family, work, school. Having kids is a real eye-opener. I never suspected how much work it would be. It’s wonderful, but time is a precious commodity.

Quite a while ago I quit Facebook and generally stopped going to sites that endlessly scroll. Any website or app that you can scroll indefinitely is trouble. Far too addictive.

On campus the other day I saw a young Asian girl buried in her cell phone weaving left and right as she walked.

These things suck time and attention. It reminds of Batman Forever where the riddler was sucking everyone brain’s out.

I’m not much of a TV watcher/streamer either. Basically, I’ve had to whittle back all time wasters so I have personal time, or time to pursue things I enjoy, like writing here.

My oldest kid is 2 and a half. A year before she was born, we moved into a house. I remember a good friend’s mom saying how much life changes in the 30’s. Holy shit.

I won’t lie. I’ve been more tense. It’s affected me, for sure. There have been times where I’ve struggled to get a full breath. Like many in the office, I’ll sometimes be sitting at my desk and suddenly take in a big gasp for air because I’ve been breathing shallowly focused intently on something.

I certainly can’t exercise like I used to. For one, with the kids I don’t get enough sleep.

One of the biggest improvements I’ve needed to make in my 30’s is the ability to focus and keep things together mentally. This is because I have far less time to waste—none, really—so I must make more of my time so that I can fulfill my responsibilities. That requires greater focus.

The pressure on time feels like pressure, and I think that makes me tight. The pressure on time has also caused me to fall into a pattern of not getting up enough at work—that and increased focus as well. I can sit for longer periods and concentrate.

Finally, I’ve developed a two cups of coffee per day habit—and it’s probably too much for me. One cup should be sufficient.

There are a lot of little things to manage. And it seems the little things can be the ones to get you in the most trouble. It’s because they compile over time, and don’t make their negative effects immediately apparent. You can get away with it for a while.

But not forever. And you add little kids and lack of sleep on top of all this. The 30’s can expose a foundation that needs work. Whether it is your thought patterns, exercise, diet, or relational skills—the 30s tests you in many areas of life.

Because I’ve been working hard, there is a little bit of that “I deserver it attitude” creeping in. In general it’s sloppiness with mouth responsibility.

In fact I’ll be honest and say that the last year with the birth of the second kid and starting school, I’ve been a little more lax.

And dammit all, it’s time to stop.

William Muldoon, a really impressive physical culturalist, said that he never did something he felt he ought not to do. That his mind was his master and his body its slave.

So, that’s why I’m adding a new tagline to this site, “The Humble Pursuit of Self-Mastery.”

Because that is, after all, what I seek, and that I think most of us, if we’re honest, do as well. (Robert Greene’s Mastery was a New York Times Best Seller.)

Three immediate changes for me are apparent: get up and move more, only one cup of coffee per day, reduce alcohol to two drinks per week.

When you look at how you’ve been livin’, what changes are apparent for you?