Energy & Movement

My house is a wreck.  There, that’s off my chest.  My wife and I have never been what you would call superb domestic engineers.  Heck, we’re lucky if the kids got out the door to school with both shoes on and at least some of their books.  Finding two matching socks was so hard that I was secretly thankful for the teenage trend of wearing mismatched socks (and flip-flops).  We had so much clutter that I expected the producers of Hoarders to call us begging for a chance to put us on the show*.

Today I woke up with some sort of energy burst and started in on the house.  My wife is out of town this week visiting friends, so this was a solo effort, prompted almost entirely by my belief that the clutter is killing my ability to create.  Yah, yah, I’ve read it on every minimalist blog that I read. And I’m reasonably educated and know that my attention is zapped by piles of “stuff” all over the house.

So, I dug in.  I moved stuff out, I threw stuff away, I made better decisions about storage, and I worked at trying for clean lines and peace in one room – what we call “the library”.  The library is really our formal dining room that we have never had a dining table in because, hey, we’re not formal people (and we don’t expect the Queen to be dropping by for tea).  I moved out some exercise equipment, some of the “stuff” that had been piling up, etc.  And I found that the more I moved around the house working, the more energy I got. (Yes, I’ve read that, too, on a bunch of different blogs.)

Why am I posting this?  Probably more as a reminder to myself that I need to get back into my old habits of organizing, paring down, sorting, etc. that I let slide during the last 18 months.  A monument, if you will, to the fact that I do indeed know better.

Maybe I’ll work up the energy to tackle the studio tomorrow.


*Okay, maybe we’re not that bad, but still…

Finding Motivation

I’m usually a very self-motivated person.  I bounce out of bed in the morning, full of ideas and plans, ready to take on the world again.  But in the last couple of weeks, I’ve had a hard time getting my engine going.

Normally I’m not one to overanalyze myself or perform any dime-store psychological self-probing.  At my core, I’m a pretty low maintenance person and just don’t see the point in spending a lot of time trying to “fix” myself if I’m not broken.

Today I ran a lot of errands, trying to plan the most effective route for all the things I needed to do while avoiding ending up with a car full of groceries only to have to stop somewhere.  And when I got back home, I found my energy level up quite a bit.

I’m coming to the conclusion that working from home once again can be strangely demotivating.  And I’m not sure why.  My work output certainly hasn’t lessened.  In fact, I probably do more work now than I ever did in cubicle land.

More on this as the days progress…

4th Quarter Comeback

I’m not much of a sports guy, but I know the term “4th quarter comeback”.  In fact, if you search Google for “4th quarter”, an overwhelming number of the results are about football and quarterbacks leading their teams to victory against impossible odds.

Today starts the 4th quarter of 2012.  In the last few weeks, I’ve left a good job and started a new company.  I’ve made some major changes in my personal health situation.  And I’m trying to regain the edge I feel like I’ve lost over the last couple of years.

I need a comeback.  I need a resurgence of energy, motivation, and focus.  I need a plan.

And I’m working on it.  Today was spent mostly preparing as will be the next few days.  I’ve discovered that I don’t do well without a plan.  I can’t tell if I’m winning without a scorecard of sorts.

I don’t really pay attention to the statistics on any of my sites.  It’s not that I don’t care about being read but more that I haven’t thought through what it might take to increase my profile.  And so even if I’m in the only one who ever reads the posts over the next three months, they will be worth it to write.

Because I’m making a comeback.

Testing New Theme

I ran across the iNove theme today while engaged in some non-blog related activities and decided to give it a try.  I’ve been searching for a clean theme to use after spending a while with Evan Eckard‘s amazing Notepad Chaos theme.  Although I dearly love that theme, it is time to move on and go for something a bit more understated.

Those of you who consume my blog via some sort of external reader will not be affected materially.

Best Gift of Christmas 2009

Although this could easily turn into another screed about the commercialization of Christmas, I’m restraining myself.  Instead, I want to share with you the best gift I got for Christmas this past year.

Best Christmas Gift 2009

It doesn’t look like much.  An old Christmas card cut up and folded into a crude box.  Ragged at the edges where young hands weren’t able to quite make the corners work.  Just like hundreds of other small handmade items from my kids over the years.

But this one came at a time when I needed it most.  At the end of a particularly long week of working 18-hour days.  On an evening when I was having a lot of self-doubt about my abilities and the meaning of my work.  When I was ready to throw my laptop across the room in fury at myself, my company, and the world in general.

“Daddy…” came the quiet voice, usually loud and raucous, hopped up on sugar or television or some other external stimulant.  The voice that usually was whining about one thing or another or crying because of some perceived hurt or ill.  The voice that often brought woe or worry or other tidings of less than great joy.

“Daddy…” she said.  “I made this for you.”

I took the box and gave it a shake, expecting to hear the sound of some pennies or rocks or other customary offerings.  My heart began to break as I realized how I had denied my child her deepest desire, time with her Daddy, over the last few weeks.  The box suddenly looked like something out of the fanciest catalog, the most lavish of stores, the best that money could buy.

“What’s inside?” I asked, wondering what it could be that didn’t make any noise but could be worth the obvious effort she had put into the box.

“I blew a kiss inside of it, just for you” she said.

And I wept. Tears of joy for the heart that beat inside my daughter’s chest.  Tears of shame for the way I had behaved as a father over the last few nights.  Tears of gratitude for the real gift God had given me in the form of this child.

Thank you, my darling, for the best gift I could have received from anyone this year…