Monday, March 8, 2010

Day 83

Keeping a daily journal can teach you a lot about the ebb and flow of life. You learn quickly that not every day is eventful. Joy and insight do not come as frequently as you'd like and never when you'd expect. When something eventful does happen, it lingers in your memory for weeks. A few small triumphs can influence your entire month. When you start writing down everything you do, you begin to realize that in between these shining moments is a lot of repetition. You make the bed every morning. You wash the dishes. You put gas in the car. You pay the utility bills. You code some HTML. Over and over and over again.

All this repetition isn't necessarily bad. It doesn't make gripping reading though. Maybe that's the challenge we all face. How do you turn the repetitive necessities of life into something worth writing about? Although I make the bed each morning with military precision, you won't hear me write much about it. As repetitive events go, I'd much rather tell you about walking the dogs.

I like walking. It's slow and provides plenty of time for observation. I daydream a lot and have gotten some of my best ideas while walking the dogs. I don't take a cell phone with me on walks. I just watch what's going on all around me. I've seen a large owl swoop down and grab a surprised mouse right in front of me. I've seen a water snake eating a fish that was three times its size. I've seen intricate spiderwebs shaped like far away galaxies. After a while you begin to realize that life is so complex that it can't possibly be boring.

There are days when I still miss the expense account lunches and frequent business trips. It all seemed pretty glamorous at the time, but I never actually accomplished much. Maybe I came up with a few good headlines back in the ad agency days, but I never would have made a good web designer. I didn't have the discipline. It took discipline, solitude and a reluctant appreciation for repetition to turn me into a web designer. These days, I don't think you could pay me enough to return to the ad agency world. I've got two great dogs sitting under my desk, a beautiful lake to explore behind the house and the entire world just a few keystrokes away on my computer.

Dalmatian of the Day

    Watch of the Day

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