Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash. Leonard Cohen I have this feeling that in 2018 I burned more life than previous years. Lots has happened: I worked for a startup most of the year. Demanding and rewarding. (1,324 contributions in the last year, says my GitHub.) I went on with restoring the house. Not totally done but happy with what I did.
There’s plenty of books, podcasts, classes out there about staying focused: How to not waste a minute How to make most of your time How to get in the zone Mostly in response to the concerns that many of us have: I can’t focus I am busy I have so many things to do I’ll do this when I have time There’s nothing wrong with acknowledging a problem and looking a solution.
I spent most of the last week harvesting grapes. Yep, I don’t just make software. I also make wine. Moving many crates can take a toll on your backbone. In spite of that, harvesting is fun. The best part is that, while you harvest, you can chat. I was lucky to spend time in the vineyard with my parents and some of our neighbors. I have told and listened to many stories, jokes, adventures, struggles and dreams.
As adults we try to avoid it. Imagine yourself stumbling on a step and falling in the middle of a crowded square. Even if you didn’t do it on purpose you feel stupid, right? We (adults) probably forgot how we learned to walk. .. on the floor, every day, trying it out Seth Godin source And with no fear of feeling stupid. As a developer practicing the art of business, being of the floor and trying it out is the most important thing for me these days.
So how was my 2016? Rewarding I have learned a ton, especially how to pick the right tools for the job. Even more important I have learned how to quickly spot weaknesses in tools, so I am much more effective in making my decisions. I also consolidated my knowledge on a specific technological stack that I can use with confidence. So now I can easily focus on building products instead of pondering over tools.
I am thankful for: my wife. Friend, supporter, companion, accomplice, lover. my kids. Thanks for disrupting most of my plans, for waking me up in the middle of the night and for draining most of my energy. I didn’t know I had so much patience and so much energy under my skin. You are helping me to discover parts of me that I wasn’t aware of. And you are teaching me discipline.
Scott Stevenson is putting together a great initiative to thank Daniel Steinberg. If you spare a few minutes please put together a short video following these instructions To contribute a video, send a download link to [email protected] • Use your phone or any camera • Please record in landscape • 1080p is best, but 720p is OK • Max 15-30 seconds long I am sure Daniel will appreciate.
These days I am on vacation with my family and friends. As we checked in and got in the rooms we started complaining that they were small, that the elevator was slow and that the wireless was clunky. Yeah, first world problems. I got out a bit to breath some fresh air and skimmed through my Twitter feed. My first world problems were immediately washed away as I read this post by Daniel Steinberg.
Would you speak at our conference? Can I pick your brain about this? Dinner out? We booked a chalet for the next weekend. Feel like skying? Saying no is hard. It really is to me. I don’t particularly love packing my luggage and take a plane. But I am willing to do it if I know I am gonna meet somebody interesting when I land. Taking some time off to listen to somebody’s idea is not my best hobby.
Maybe you can relate to the feeling. Everything, or most of the things happening around you, point you to the same direction. And yet, you have doubts. I remember the first time I visited New York City. It was 2002, a few months after the Twin towers attack. My hotel was midtown, on the 31st. I arrived very late, on a Saturday night, jaded. Sunday morning I woke up, willing to visit Ground Zero.
Motivation. It has been my fuel many times in the past. I’d wake up in the morning and let her feed my engines. No complaints. Really. Now I am living a phase of my life in which motivation is not enough, it’s too much ups-and-downs. I’d have highly productive days mixed with horrible days, in which I can’t get anything done. So a while ago I switched fuel. Now it’s discipline.
A few weeks ago a friend of mine died. He was 89 but I’d still call him “friend”. He was even more than that. A mentor, a person that knew me well and saw me grow. I have been lucky to have known all of my four grandparents and I spent a great amount of time with them. I like to think of my “friend” as the fifth grand parent.