Thursday, April 27, 2006

Step 2: Where am I at the moment.

So. I need to know where I am now ... how far do I need to go to get where I want to be?

My daily schedule isn't actually too far out.

5am Rise

This varies between 4.30 and 5.30 and I never use an alarm clock. I have an hour to clear the overnights and set up for the day.

6am Start transition to Office.

Because I pick up kids from school, I need to get to the office early and get in as much time as I can before mid afternoon.

7am-2.45pm Office time.

Sometimes I take a lunch. Most days I just walk over to the student center and get something to take back to my desk. Lately my boss and I are trying to walk more at lunch by trekking to a local sandwich shop.

2.45-7.30pm Kid time. Dinner time. Karate classes.

My wife goes to work late so she can drop them off at school. I leave early to pick them up and fix dinner. The spousal unit, bless her gizzard, is not a cook. Luckily, I am, so I fix dinner. (Confession: we eat take out too much. I don't like it, but the logistics of making meals that the kids won't eat are killing me.) My girls study karate at the local dojo. Sometimes they don't like it, but I see how it's helping them and I make them go. What that means is 4 nights a week, I'm at the dojo with one or the other of them.

7.30-11pm My time.

I need to put in an hour on work stuff here to "make my eight" and wrap up whatever loose ends my brain can still process. I don't get too anal about it because I usually work 7 days a week. It's easier to stay in the zone than jump in and out of it. I'll spend several hours on the weekends thinking, planning, and -- lately -- mindmapping in between household chores and such.

I have a monthly subscription to the local video store and for a time, I was catching up on movies in this time slot. I also like to watch some anime here. While I don't necessarily enjoy all of it, there are some shows that have been fabulous and the cultural differences between US and Japan tweak my noggin.

11pm Bed Time.

I prefer to go to bed at 10 because 11-5 is only 6 hrs. Unfortunately, I more frequently push it to 12, leaving only 5 hrs sleep a night. It's been like that for years so I'm not sure how serious it is. Lately I find I need a bit more sleep than that. Over a week, the sleep deprivation builds up and I wind up being groggy at in-opportune times. I find myself napping in the car while waiting for the kids at karate, or nodding out in my chair in the evening.

The only way this really changes on the weekend is we don't have to deal with school or karate, and I don't go to the office. My work is largely in my head and I have almost as good a connection in my house as in my office. The only real difference is the uplink speed is a bit faster at the office. My set-up is such that I always have all my tools at hand at all times. I like it that way because it means I can take advantage of various inspirations whether or not I'm "at work."

The reality is that I'm always at work, even when I'm chaperoning the kids scootering in the park. I don't carry a computer, but I do carry a cell phone and mp3 player.

My 7 year old asked my wife if I were depressed because I never leave my desk.

Interesting question.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Step 1: Imagine It

The first step toward the future you want is imagining what it might be. Somebody said that. I'm not sure who but it seems like a good start.

So, what would a 'day in the life' be like if it were the perfect day?

5am: wake on my own. no alarm clock. I do this now so we're already on the path. Grab a cuppa from the fresh pot on the sideboard and head to my work station. I sip my coffee and contemplate the view from my various windows. Ocean? Mountains? Ocean, I think, but anything with a vista will do. Right now I spend my life in cellars. Spend an hour or so clearing the overnight correspondence.

6am: morning walk -- half an hour -- contemplation time.

7am: breakfast

8-12: writing
12-1: lunch on the veranda
1-2: nap
2-5: students and clients
5-7: dinner
7-10: r&d
10: bed.


Of course this gets interrupted with kids, spouse, yardwork, and car repairs, but as a "Daily Default" it feels pretty attractive.

One every three months I want to go somewhere. Convention, visit a friend in another part of the world, take a week off to go fishing. I don't know. The what is an 'ad hoc' but the DOING is the thing.

Normally I'd say this looked pretty boring but my "cognitive life" is massively consuming these days. I can't stop thinking about -- puzzling over -- pondering various things. How to get Education in the US back on track? How to get paid for doing good work? What is the fundamental shift in society going to do to the nature of work and career paths? Little stuff like that.

This notion isn't fleshed out enough. I haven't finished imagining but I need to publish this so I can see what it looks like. :D

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

A Year Ago

I'm a couple days late getting this post out. I've had a head cold in my brain and it's made me kinda squishy between the ears.

A year ago Monday, I got the call that my dad had died in the night. I was expecting the call and I wrote about it last April. There's nothing like being 50-something and having your mortality waved in your face like that. I expected that it would be a kind of wake up call for me.

I'm not sure that it was, because looking back over my first year as an orphan I don't know that I've really done anything better than I've always done. Heck, I'm not sure I've even done anything differently -- better or worse. I'm pretty sure it's not because I'm completely satisfied with the way I live my life.

And I know it's not because I'm a peace with the world. The closer I get to the end of my time on it, the more angry and frustrated I get with it.

Start with the little things like finding/making/carving out the time I need to write/think. Or take my daily walks - which I miss dreadfully but which are pushed back so I have more time to do -- what? Read blogs? Discard email spam? Patch computer programs? Fix stuff? Break stuff?

Heck, I haven't watched a movie in a month or more! Last thing I saw was an episode of Battlestar Galactica from season one.

Move outward to the kids and their school which aggravates me beyond almost all bearing because of the insistance on protecting kids from learning while penalizing schools and teachers for failing to perform. Which reminds me of the Ninny-in-Chief which just infuriates me more. School policy aside, how can he SERIOUSLY be thinking of nuking Iran??

But I digress.

Too much doing. Too little thinking.

Too many messages. Not enough comprehension.

Stephen Downes has retired to an island to think.

Will Richardson has gone over to the dark side.

People all around are echoing my "wtf!?" on a variety of fronts.

I've 20 years left. Maybe.

I need to think how best to use them.