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March 16, 2010 05:40 +0000  |  Personal Life Self Development Self Reflection Stephanie TheChange.com Work [at] Play 3

I thought that I might take this opportunity to post a little catch-up. I've been neglecting this blog for a while now and since it serves a number of purposes, not the least of which is personal record given my shoddy memory I should at the very least keep it up to date with what's going on in my life.

I'm busy. Incredibly busy. Some time ago Shawna pointed me to an article about how busy people live a sort of half life. We never do anything completely, are never able to invest ourselves in something whole-heartedly because we're constantly juggling too much. This has always been a problem for me, but at least now I'm starting to recognise it. The next step of course is to do something about it... suggestions are welcome :-)

So, lets chronicle this latest incarnation of "busy" shall we?

Let's start with the awesome. There's a girl. I've mentioned her before, but now that we're officially together (Facebook says so!), I want to gush a little more again. All that stuff in the aforelinked post is totally true. My heart skips when she smiles and she gets excited about the coolest, nerdiest things. We have a lot in common and this has led to a number of fun conversations and potentially a new project or two. It's all that good stuff that a new relationship is supposed to be, with the promise of some staying-power to boot. I'm going to work really hard not to screw this one up :-)

There's also the paying job, a.k.a., my role as senior programmer at Work [at] Play. They've got me doing a lot of Drupal work lately (boo!), but in the wake of my trip up to DjangoSki, there's a chance that we'll be doing a big project in Django soon (yay!). This is rather exciting, since I'm probably the best versed Python/Django person in the office, so I'd be working in more of a mentorship role rather than just a grunt programmer.

Then there's my new company: theChange.com. Bigger, meaner than a job, starting a business is exhausting work. I suppose that it wouldn't be so rough if you could build the company 9-5, Monday-Friday, but when you have to eat, it's a little more taxing. We have 3hour meetings now, twice a week, after I've been working for a previous 8, and we've broken down the "stuff to do" list into 5 (well, 4 now) week increments in preparation for our Big Public Launch in April. Annalea is super-hardcore, and an amazing person to work with... I just don't know if I have the energy some days.

Lastly, my father is working on a project of his own that he hopes will help my parents retire. It's a complex machine that requires, at the heart of it, a Sheevaplug running software I've written to handle talking to a PLC and magnetic card reader. It's some fun and crazy code, and so far, it's mostly worked... mostly.

Outside of the above, much of my former priorities are fading away. My involvement with the Greens has tapered off considerably, though that's due in large part to the absence of an election (or sitting government) for some time. My work with the VPSN pretty much died over the summer with our last cataloguing of the CCTV cameras in the city. I don't really miss the VPSN stuff, but my work with the Greens was really rewarding.

I suppose that somewhere in there, I'm supposed to find some personal time, but if I ever do, it always ends up being an evening of me wrestling with the fact that I could(should?) be working on our site. Mentally, I'm rather worn out of late.

And that's it for me. I'll do what I can to come up with something super-exciting for my next post. ...or maybe it'll be a lame meme. I haven't done one of those for a long time. Suggestions?

January 01, 2010 12:58 +0000  |  Family Self Development Self Reflection 1

I noticed a number of people posting on Twitter today with the tag #10yearsago and it got me thinking of my actions over this past decade. I started asking questions like what was life like for me back in 2000? What's changed in the world, and what's changed in me over the course of these ten years? More than anything, my father's voice keeps coming up, telling me how life moves so fast. "Blink", he says, "and you're ten years older", and he's exactly right.

Ten years ago, I was still living with my parents in Langley. I claimed to be an environmentalist, while driving 33km to and from work every day and was dying to get the hell out of this province and into the world. My understanding of who I was, and what I wanted was still quite fragile, but at least I was beginning to comprehend that knowing these things was important.

Since then, I've run away from this place and seen the world -- admittedly only few pieces of it, but more than many people around here bother to see in a lifetime. I've lived in the biggest city in Canada, embraced volunteerism and politics and furthered my understanding of the answers to those two important questions.

To be honest, it's hard not to look back on the last ten years of my life and not be pleased with my experiences. I've made a good many mistakes (even made the same ones more than once), but on the whole, I think that I've done good for this world and been true to myself and those I care about. I've learnt more about who I am and what I want than I thought possible, and have no doubt that there's still a great deal more to take in. If my next ten years are as rich as the last, I will be a lucky man.

My concern however is rooted in my father's voice. Indeed, this time has passed quite quickly: I remember having lunch with my father days after 9/11 like it was yesterday, and some days it feels like I'd only recently abandoned Vancouver for a bigger, better life in Toronto... How did I do all of that in just ten years? How much time is left?

There is a life that I want out there, a person I want to be -- is there time remaining to become that man, to build the life I want? Is it folly to try to do both at the same time, or even to convince myself that that life can be achieved? And what if the needs of the various parts of that life are in conflict? When 2020 rings in, and I am 40 years old, will I be able to look back on these next ten years as favourably as those that just passed?

It's a hell of a thing to ask so much of a mere passage of time, but this is who I want to be and what I want out of this life. It may not happen. It may all go sideways. But the path will be mine.

October 07, 2009 03:31 +0100  |  Friends Self Development 4

I suppose that this is my own fault for not updating this blog more religiously, but there are a few gaps in my personal life that I've neglected to detail here. I shall attempt to remedy one of those gaps now:

Remember that trip to Japan back in March that I took with Susan? Well it was awesome. Susan is awesome. So awesome in fact that in our time apart, we've only seen our relationship grow stronger. In fact, I usually refer to the state of "us" as being "if we were in the same city, we'd be together" if that helps clarify things at all.

It's been rough though. She lives a few thousand kilometers or about a $1000 plane ride away so maintaining anything has been difficult at best. She came up with the brilliant idea of maintaining a private blog between the both of us though and that's been helpful, as have been the frequent Skype calls that peppered the months between then and now.

Anyway, she's coming to visit... this Saturday... FOR TWO WEEKS. We're currently working out what we'll do with her time here, but since I don't have any vacation time left, there will be a number of days where she'll be solo in the city unless there are volunteers out there to show her around (anyone?).

So yeah, that's my big update. My slightly-less-big update however is that now that Matt's living with me for a few months, he's managed to convince me to go to the gym with him in the mornings... at least until Susan gets here. The idea is to get me used to the idea of regular workouts, early mornings etc. and even better food (that last one is the hardest).

So far, it's been actually pretty good (all of two days). I've enjoyed the early mornings (much quieter outside) and the cardio. I'm not a big fan of the weight training though, maybe that's not my bag. But since I've managed to get over my displeasure regarding the be-like-hamster feel of running in an elliptical machine, I find I rather like the feel of the workout... especially since the machine takes the pain and pounding away from the bottoms of my feet which were always a big blocker for me.

So yes! Big news all around. Now I have to get home to clean up for Susan's arrival. I have some more stuff to mention here, but that will likely have to wait for another late night at the office.