Friday, August 16, 2002

Procrastination and the Big Question

Okay relax, I know there are a lot of Big Questions out there. The one I’m thinking about today is what do I want to be when I grow up? This naturally leads to: How do I want to spend my time? And what will I do to make money to pay bills?

This topic comes up a lot since I’ve got this internal dichotomy: one side that thinks I should buckle down and concentrate on developing my highly marketable technical skills and the other side that knows how much joy I feel when I am creating and expressing myself with my art. Yes, I know that there are ways to tie these two sides together. I could work to balance them using ideas that clever people like Carol Lloyd put into her book, Creating a Life Worth Living. But this all takes time, effort and sincere introspection. This would take time away from important projects like, finding the cheapest storage units in the Bay Area, or researching the best dim sum shops in town to wow out of town visitors. I am interested in catching up on the first 6 seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, so that I would know what is going on in its final season. Did you know that I have 4 more cans of chick peas and I’ve yet to master the art of hummus. That’s good cheap eats and a potentially valuable skill to show off during some pot-luck, y’know. So you can see that all I’ve managed to do is hone my skills in the fine art of procrastination.

I’ve always been jealous of people who can master skills like speaking a foreign language, cook a meal where everything is ready at the same time, and negotiate bureaucracy and office politics like they were playing hopscotch. But I am a master procrastinator. I have no problem finding things to do and can easily entertain myself for days on end. But how can I work this into a valuable and marketable job skill?

Okay, unless you think this is actually possible, don’t bother sending me mail telling me to get focused. I know that’s what has to happen. I’m working on tuning out that happy little voice that sees endless distractions for my amusement and trying to find some quiet focus. My whole simplification plan really helps. I know I can do a lot of things, but choosing not to do everything that presents itself to me allows me to keep my free-time choices relatively clutter-free.

I’ve actually started a Wishlist in my Palm to capture things I wish I could do. This way I can acknowledge the desire without quashing it outright. I know that it may never ever happen. But I’ll deal with that later.

Now don’t think that I won’t ever have time to goof around. I’ve factored in plenty of time for that. It’s just that what I’m doing now isn’t working for me. I don’t see myself doing this long-term. But not knowing what my dream job is, is like going to the airport looking for someone you haven’t seen in a while. You sorta remember what they look like but try to take into account that they’ve changed over the years.

I’m going to try to sketch out a plan and see where it takes me.
So what’s your plan?

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