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Boom and Bust

The cycle of life continues to go round. Hence the phrase. I mean you wouldn’t say the “square of life” as that just doesn’t work, mainly because squares, due to the fact that they have corners, don’t go round all that easily and if they did, they’d go ka-THUNK, ka-THUNK and, quite frankly, I can do without the headache.

Hang on, is it cycle or circle? No, definitely cycle. I’m not discussing death and rebirth. At least not today.. mind you, the idea of being re-incarnated does hold some appeal, although that’s largely presuming that I get to choose what I come back as and I don’t think that’s quite how it works.

I digress.

I’ve spent 12,188 days of my life on this planet, and it’s only now that I’m, slowly, beginning to understand the patterns that repeat, and repeat, and repeat, and repeat. Only now that I’m beginning to fully comprehend and embrace the familiarity of my own moods as I swing from moment to moment, day to day, month to month. Busy one minute, quiet the next.

It seems that I spend my weeks balancing on the razor edge, one slip and I’m cut to shreds. Sometimes I pause and look back at where I’ve been, look back at that afternoon spent watching old movies, that long lazy lunch sipping coffee and watching the world speed past, all the times when it was quiet and calm, with endless possibilities hovering on the horizon.

I do this during the busiest of times. The busier I am, the more I yearn for the quieter times, wondering why, all of a sudden, I’m so busy I don’t know where to turn, so busy my head is pulling me in so many different directions, so busy that I can quite find the common thread and things start to unravel at the edges.

And when it’s quiet? When the cacophony has abated? What do I do then? Isn’t it obvious? I plot and plan and devise ways to make myself busy. I say “yes”, and “of course” and “I will” in an instant. I commit.

Sometimes. Not always.

And then? Then I procrastinate at length, postulating the possibilities, when perhaps I should pause and ponder and … ahhh wait!! Don’t you see?! That is where it all starts. No, not the schoolboy attempt at alliteration. The “perhaps”.

Maybe this, perhaps that, swiftly followed by the “I could” and “I should” before the inevitable last minute rush to complete something that I agreed on long before I fully understand what it was, what it entailed.

My eagerness to be busy, to stay busy, fights my desire to do nothing, to retire.

And such is the cycle of (my) life.

That’s how it’s always been, with me at least. I consider myself lazy by nature, and I have to presume that subconsciously I continue to make plans, continue to commit and agree, in an effort to not be that lazy person. Or maybe, perhaps, it could be that this is just the way I am, this is how I am wired. Always having to be on the cusp of being too busy so as to give myself the ability to enjoy those moments of nothingness. Those afternoons on the sofa, the indulgent days of black and white movies and endless rounds of toast.

So, on the one hand I seem to be hell bent on pushing myself over the edge, embracing the suffering of stresses, maybe even quietly desiring the attention and sympathy of others. Martyrdom by appointment. Whilst on the other hand I long to do nothing. To while away my days pottering, reading, lazing.

This post should not be taken as “woe is me”, nor as a cry for help. It’s merely an effort to stall the ride at the top of the rollercoaster, to pause before I plunge, once more, into the abyss. It’s yet another attempt at understanding why this is the way it is, it is not a complaint. I’m comfortable and happy, just wondering if the cycle of my life needs a little attention, a little alteration perhaps… just wondering… always wondering.


See more like this: Personal Musings, or link to this post

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Recently, over at leisa’s site, I bemoaned the fact that most “web” events and conferences that take place in the UK are centred around London. So imagine my annoyance when I discovered, today, that there is a BarCamp happening in Edinburgh at the weekend.

The day AFTER I made plans to visit family and friends on the very same day.

Bloody typical.

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Movable Type – I’m dabbling with this at the moment for a client, and ye gods it’s … well… different. I’m used to WordPress now and things just don’t seem to make sense the way MT has them laid out. Most odd. Any pointers to good tutorials and the like would be very much appreciated. I’m not looking to do anything particularly code heavy, just a design/template.

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My routine is broken. Already. Two late nights meant that the 6 a.m. alarm was ignored, meaning that, by the time I get into the office, it’s too late to go for a run. That might mean I go out tonight. Maybe.

But it’s AWFULLY wet today.

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My home PC is dying. That may mean a new PC and … Microsoft Vista …

I’m still not sure if I’m that bothered about the OS anymore to be honest. XP has served me well and I’m sure, in time, Vista will be hacked and tweaked to my needs as well. As long as it stays out of the road enough for me to use the applications I need then it’s fine by me.

It’ll definitely be a desktop, not a laptop, and with that in mind, it probably won’t be a Mac.

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Got your “handsfree” headset for your mobile phone? I hope so as they are increasing the fine for using your phone whilst driving AND chucking 3 points onto your license. What a shame it’ll make absolutely NO difference whatsoever.

After all, it’s been illegal to use your mobile phone whilst driving for.. how long now?? Quite a while but I see at least 4 or 5 people a day doing just that.

How to stop them? Don’t double the fine, quadruple it, hell multiply it by 10! And why only 3 points on the license? Why not 9? If you want people to stop doing things, and believe that the only way to do that is by introducing higher fines, then don’t do it half-arsed.

See more like this: General, or link to this post

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On being professional

Since starting my new job I’ve been getting re-acquainted with a lot of the different facets of my profession (that’s Technical Communications for those who haven’t been playing attention). I’m working on the basis that if you don’t ask, you don’t get and, to that end, I’ve put myself forward to be part of the Usability team. One step forward.

Expanding the empire

I registered a new domain name the other day, it’s in keeping with my “brand” and will form part of a triumvirate of sites which I’ll pull under the same umbrella at some point in the future.

I love that word “triumvirate”. TRIumvirate. TriUMMMMvirate.

The new site will host my musings about my “profession” and it will, naturally, be a blog. Technical Authors dabble in many areas so I’ll be writing about (amongst many other things) usage of industry specific software (mainly FrameMaker), writing techniques and approaches, planning the content, creating graphics, indexing manuals, working with developers, and everything else that makes up part of my day job.

It’s an outlet for a lot of the thoughts I have about my profession, most of which I don’t post here, but will not ever be specific to the company I work for and I will be telling them it exists. The aim is to post regularly, but not once a day, and to keep it focussed, much like many other professional blogs.

That’s the plan at least, but it’s very much a baby-step at the moment, more of an experiment than a commitment. Time will tell if it is successful.

I wonder if anyone can guess the URL?

Umbrella? It’s not raining!

As part of the above, and further to some of the ideas I’ve mooted here (another great word MOOT MOOT!!) I’ve been trying to figure out a way to link the sites I run. A little bit of cross promotion if you will.

I think I’ve found a nice, subtle, way of doing this. No details just yet but it was sparked by watching a demo of the Apple iPhone the other day.

Hey, if you are going to steal, steal from the best, right?

It pays to seize the initiative

As well as taking some bold steps with my employer, my ‘other work’ is benefitting from my new found enthusiasm.

A flyer for a local computer services company was posted through my door last week. The kind of thing I generally glance at then throw straight into the recycle bin. For no good reason (other than the fact I’m considering getting a new PC before my current one dies) I looked it over. It was a fairly crude job, and I spotted that whilst they had an email address listed there was no mention of a website.

I nipped upstairs to the computer and when I tracked down their website (using the details after the @ in the email address) I was presented with one solitary page which was an image of the very flyer I had in my hand. Not great.

So, taking the bull by the horns, I emailed them to suggest that, for a modest fee I could provide them with a simple website. A couple of emails later and things are underway. As it happens, the guy I’m dealing with knows one of my previous (oneman) customers and as we all know that word of mouth is THE best marketing method, he was quick to say that he was happy to be doing business with me. This is before he’s even seen the design brief!

Sometimes living in a small world helps!

See more like this: Diary, Professional, or link to this post

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