This is a weblog entry that’s in response to my friend Trixter’s weblog entry “Lost“. (archive) I suggest reading that first.
To my good friend Trixter, here is my own life preserver tossed in your general direction.
Do not despair, buddy, just because you don’t always switch seamlessly from your job and homelife as a father and husband into a cyber-tastic historian tech expert. Sometimes one is more fun than the other, more compelling, or taking more of your energy. There is no failure here, no missed level-ups, no dissed homies waiting outside with your bling and your colors.
Your weblog entry provides things that should be “fun” as a series of dreary lists, unfulfilled numbers that will slowly increment as you work on them, as if they were dirty floors awaiting intense scrubbing square by square and never quite achieving “clean”. This is a good way to convince yourself you’re doing nothing, accomplishing nothing, when you know that’s not the case.
There’s a perception of me as this eternally busy, laser-focused driven person, but that’s just simply not the situation. I’ve lost weeks, even in the last few years, where I’ve been without direction, unable to focus too much on anything. Knowing I need to do stuff, knowing I won’t tonight. It happens, it’s part of being alive, I think. I may be able to scare myself with tales of mortality and concerns of growing old with unfulfilled “things” in my attic and to-do list, but if I sit back and look at what I have done, that’s some pretty cool stuff there.
Same with you! Look back at the things you’ve accomplished, the projects you’ve completed, the skills you show with the application of your scant time. Your handle and your actual name are in places I’ll bet you’d have never dreamed they’d be ten years previous, including on the birth certificates of two loving sons.
You are not static, unchanging, irrelevant in these days not spent on your pile of self-assigned projects. You are recharging, getting ideas, watching entertaining dreams of others while mulling over your own. This is not a situation to be depressed of, or ashamed of. This is living.
Just this past Sunday, Juan Antonio Argfuelles Rius (known as “Arguru”) who was involved in Buzz, Renoise, NoiseTracker, FruityLoops and a bunch of other music software, ran his car off the road and died. Just like that, a list of projects to do wiped away, a bunch of future ideas gone. No doubt he had days or weeks without music software at the forefront of his mind, too. But there they stay and the things he’s done have made a million songs bloom where there were none before.
If I sound like a series of platitudes and one-liner morals here, it’s because sometimes life really is that simple. You do some things, you do other things. You’re not handed a list at the start and get graded at the end over how well you did the list. You do what you do until you don’t. Simple as that.
Now go relax. The world will be here when you return.
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I can definitely relate to Trixer’s feelings. On many occasions I’ve let my wife take my kids (now 5 and 2) to the park while I’ve chosen to stay home, just to have a few minutes of undisturbed computer time. I’ve chosen virtual obligations over real ones too many times. I’ve poured tons of time into projects that no one else will ever see or would even care about. I guess as we start creeping toward middle age it’s natural to start questioning where we are spending our days. On my death bed I don’t want my kids to say, “we barely knew him, but god damn he was one hell of a blogger.”