Yom Kippur post
It is the new year (Jewish one) and I am supposed to be atoning and reflecting. So I pulled up some photos on flickr after trying to determine whether in my modern/Dan interpretation of Yom Kippur that it is ok to use a computer. I determined that it wasn't and that it would be best to stay away from phones, tweets, emails, blogs, and flickrs. But it was too late and if you are going to break the fast the best thing to do is eat a bacon egg and cheese sandwich for breakfast and move on with your day. But the point of Yom Kippur isn't to not eat. If that is what people are doing and they aren't reflecting then they are dieting. I shouldn't try to speak to the point of Yom Kippur as an atheist who has always felt icky about religion. But culture I like. Unfortunately they are a packaged deal so I have to sort those things out myself. But I may as well reflect that the things that are tricky in the past 12 months have been related mostly to time and priorities. I generally feel that I haven't spent enough time with my family and I have lost touch with personal time altogether. There is just a big ball of work and some family time. In looking through pictures of the world on flickr's interestingness page I saw some images of nature from national parks. I miss being out in those places. So I had a fantasy for a few minutes that I'd sell my company for enough money that I wouldn't care about anything else and then I'd go off with my family and every moment possible we would go to a natural place of wonder. Then I thought I'd get into photography with Madeline as soon as she became a little older and wouldn't break the camera all of the time. Once she understood art we could work together on projects. Photography would be a great activity for us to share because it involves the world, capturing it through the camera, and through computers ways to manipulate things to appear how we want. So back to reflecting. I have been fairly good at keeping weekends safe for kid/family time. That's a start.
I feel like I have often been gruff and grumpy with people. Maybe that's my nature. It's something I can't change easily about myself. I am a critical person and see the flaws in things people do. I want them to be perfect and when they aren't I am disappointed. But it can become a problem with my grumpiness. In reading an article by the Virgin guy he seemed like a cheerful person all the time. He has optimism built into his world view. When thinking about employees not working out he said - just assign them to a job where they will be more productive. That is so optimistic and cheerful. So I am sorry for the many times I was gruff, short, grumpy this past year and the waves of discontent it may have set off in the world. I am especially sorry because I don't want to wallow in a world full of discontent and when I am polluting the air and it is a contagious disease I only make my own grumpiness worse. So I'll look to be more positive, agreeable, and fun in the next year.
I'll see how that goes?
I need to figure out better sleeping habits. I have gotten into the habit from all nighters or deep work days of not being able to sleep in the middle of the night. Instead I find myself awake trying to do something with my time from 2am to 5am every morning. Usually there is plenty of work but it leaves me tired. Maybe I can fix those sleep habits. I don't really know.
I need to get back to reading books. I have books and read the beginnings of them but then things come-up like work or televisions being on or kids wanting to play. Maybe it is impossible at this stage of life to read books. I may need the big entrepreneurial outcome to find the time. But it seems like there should always be time to read books and it is a habit that I have gotten out of.
I am not healthy enough. I haven't taken the time to regularly exercise. Sarah has done a great job of integrating exercise into her life but I have lagged. I tend to slip into bad eating habits of comfort food when I am stressed so I'll eat my deep dish pizza and grab a cookie with lunch because it looks calming. It's more bad habits. With all of these bad habits it will take a lot of work to change so I don't see much happening on that front. I might be able to get a little better with more commitment to exercise and enough stress reduction to make the better food choices.
I can't imagine stress will go away next year. I asked for it doing this start-up stuff. As we get to 50 people and beyond my paranoia has grown over the potentials for the major adverse business event with the scariest one being that we scale-up hires but the business we scaled-up was poorly forecast and doesn't occur... and then we need to lay off great people. I've been there before. It wasn't that bad but it also wasn't great either.
I wonder whether I am drifting or rowing in my boat. I feel like I am doing both at the same time. I am rowing as hard as I can but as I do there are grander currents in the water around me for which I have made choices long ago (getting married, having kids, starting a business) that create such a force that they are really what is determining my direction, who I am, and who I am becoming. So any rowing in a direction other than to support those things isn't going anywhere. So reflecting has some pointlessness to it. At some point in life I become what I have created out of my past decisions and only major deviating decisions that would nuke major parts of my life would make much change in who I am. I can try to be nicer/cheerful/positive. I can try to spend more time on one of the major areas. I can try to carve out time for things that are important but ignored. But there isn't infinite time and most time will be spent on habits and behaviors that have built-up. Momentum is strong for the status-quo and the next big changes will likely be the logical shifts in the topology of life - kids going to school and caring more about their friends than parents, work shifting into some new mode (acquisition or other), finances being better for travel and doing more exploration, a new friend, an old friend returning. Things will change then but I'll probably still be a bit grumpy.