daze of productivity

So, I don’t really know where to begin. I’m not good at this writing thing… or that following through thing… or consistency… or… whatever. I suppose I’m writing this now because if I procrastinate it some more I won’t be as motivated to write it later.

About a year ago, or thereabouts, I was introduced to the idea of #The100DayProject. After about two weeks of mostly sort-of participating in this idea, I lost steam. Big surprise there. I think I was trying to think too hard about what to do, and my shitty self-loathing ideal of “do it perfect or don’t bother” got the better of me. I wanted to do something original, and, well… that’s not possible. So here I am a bit less than a year later trying again?


I dunno. I’m just tired of not doing anything. I mean, I do a lot. Truly, between full-time work, side-work and mentoring I’m at more than 60 hours of tech-related work a week. And then I get to be a father to a delightful three-year-old, and a husband. And friend. And son, brother, uncle. And somehow I find time to be sort of a car enthusiast. I like coffee too, more than some. I try to get out and do personal things. And… well, you get the idea. Life is busy for me. (Keep telling myself I am not unique in this.) I think what I mean to say though is that I don’t *feel* like I do anything… substantive? long-lasting? endearing? outside of my familial duties, I mean. I want to have an impact in tech.

I think I gave up tech hero worship recently to some meaningful degree. I still hold role models and mentors in high regard of course, but I stopped thinking they were super-human at some point in the last year. About that same time, I gave my first big conference talk. Oh yeah, I also run a local web developer meetup group (my inspiration for said conf talk); add that to the list of things I do above. What was I talking about again? Right. Meaningful impact in tech. I kind of think I can do that. Maybe. What does that even mean though?

I think part of it, and one that I have a great deal of personal conflict with, is being consistent. I admire people in the industry that are on-message with regularity. I’m not good at that, at least I don’t think I am. This is me trying to get better. Who knows if I’ll even write again. This could very well be a one-and-done.

I don’t know that I want to write about tech stuff, specifically. Like… I program, and so do a lot of people, but it’s pretty prescriptive. I follow some rules, investigate a little bit, write a few lines of code… and I’m some sort of super hero? There are days when I’m intensely grateful that this industry pays well, encourages extracurricular learning, lets me work remotely, etc. ad nauseum, otherwise I don’t know what I’d be doing. Probably shit work. Maybe literally.

The thing is, I don’t know that I’m above that. Some of the happiest and most fulfilling times in my life I’ve been doing manual labor. There’s something to be said for busting ass, getting lots of physically taxing work done, eating a hearty meal and then passing out on the couch. But societally, whether we like it or not, we’re moving beyond this sort of thing to a large degree.

Please keep in mind, I have no idea where I’m headed with this post; I’m kind of rambling, and at this point it feels good, so I’m going to continue.

Oh, right. Doing something meaningful. Yeah. So I’m in one helluva lucky position. Bring on that gratitude again. YES. Life is good… So how can I bring up those around me?

I need to be more consistent. Full circle now. I think I mentioned this above. I admire consistency. Maybe I can do this. Yes me, even when I feel like slop and don’t want to move. There are those days, after all. Don’t we all go through this? So here’s my effort.

In upcoming posts, I may talk about: coding, surviving coding (yeah, it’s tough sometimes), remote work, co-working, meetups, conferences, public speaking, and other tech related stuff. I may also talk about: parenting, coffee, cars, beards (can we get more stereotypical here?), privilege, compassion, gratitude, sharing, teaching, mentoring, learning, listening, and probably some other stuff. I mean, really. The list could go on. My life is fucking awesome and I want to share this with y’all. I want others to be able to experience even a fraction of the awesomeness that I live with, because life doesn’t have to be mundane. I want to teach others that THEY can teach others, because we all have something delightful and unique to offer. I want people to be HAPPY. Some days this takes real concerted effort. Some days, if you practice well enough on those difficult days, it’s genuine and wonderful. I want tech to be more like life; we don’t live in a bubble. We are not unique as an industry, and ought to broaden our horizons a bit.

Some of the stuff I post here may really just suck. That’s ok though. I’m not writing this for you. Some of it, I hope to be inspirational. Mostly, right now, I just want to change this sick feeling of lacking productivity within me. Because, it’s not that I lack productivity as much as I have obscenely high standards of myself, and when those aren’t met (read: rarely are they ever met) I beat myself up. I doubt I’m alone in this, so maybe this will resonate with someone.

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