Taking Time to Create Something Good: Go Slow

(Can someone find the level to check this? Eh, it’s good enough.)

As someone who found his calling early on in childhood coming up with new structures and objects out of Legos or Lincoln Logs to build thriving cities in games like Sim City 2000. 3000, and 4, I still find myself enjoying that creative process as an adult but in different outlets. Sadly, the days of playing with Legos is in the past. Though if the opportunity of time and space to build was available, I’d jump at the chance without a second thought and the spend the day coming up with something amazing.

I continue to create, but at a slower pace and with greater focus and an intentional purpose behind it. I am very aware that my time, energy, and attention are all limited resources. Even the time I spend writing here on the blog is less frequent but purposeful when posted. It’s important to me to be picky in what I invest in, so that I give my best.

Living in the programming/tech world, part of my job is to create and support things and help my team do the same. Websites, networks, phone systems, databases, whatever is deemed necessary or requested by a paying client. The goal is to plan projects out carefully and build properly the first time around so that whatever we make will last and stands up to scrutiny and a good beating from end users. If you don’t invest some time and effort in up front, that type of project doesn’t hold up too well in the long run and you end up looking bad in the process for not making a better product in the first place.

Recent events combined with shifts in culture surrounding the idea of creating things has consumed my thoughts for some time. I will expand on this in future posts, but the theme remains the same: slow down. In many ways, this theme has been permeating my life starting some months ago leading up to my sabbatical trip then planting deep roots while I traveled. It’s clear there’s something to this I need to dig into. Who wants to grab a shovel and join me to see what we find?


The Need to Rely on Others

Steady….. steady….. can we take the picture now?!

Something I thought about as I prepared to leave for Europe and while I was out roaming the streets of cities was that I was not able to take the trip based only on my own efforts. There were many people who helped me go without worrying about my normal responsibilities. I think of my roommates who watched the house, kept it clean, and cut the grass; of my mom who kept in touch with me and checked my mail to let me know about bills I (still) needed to pay; of my coworkers who had to really step it up in my absence and sit in more meetings than they imagined (I’ve heard there may be a greater appreciation for my role now); of people at church who covered for my role there as well.

Without so many hands supporting me back home, going away for a month may have never happened or have been as refreshing to my soul. Which brings me to a larger topic. Whether or not I want to admit it, I need to rely on others to live my life. No matter how independent I think I am or want to be, I will never be able to do everything by myself. This important fact became very obvious to me while away. I admit that I need others for all sorts of things including life advice, help moving heavy furniture, determining what color shade something is, or simply someone to hang out with and talk to once in a while.

As I mentioned in a previous post about depth of relationship, not having the ability to communicate with those around me illuminated how being connected to my fellow man (or not due to language barriers) can make you feel isolated. Even for this introverted writer, my independence and time separated from people I know has its useful limits. How I find the right mix of staying connected and forging stronger relationships while not overwhelming my introverted self is something I’m working on. Let’s hope I can stay on the balance beam most of the time.