This is better than rejuvenation!

8 Dec

Things improved dramatically, almost all at once, to the point where I wondered if it was all a coincidence or if it was a chain reaction, a one-thing-leads-to-another fixx, if you will, where the outlook becomes brighter on everything because of self-fulfilling optimistic action.

Maybe it was all coincidence.

I’m not going to complain or question. I just know that things that felt stuck just over a week ago seem to have greased their way past the logjam. Not only am I working on one of the things I thought was hopelessly stalled, but I have a totally new thing that popped into my head that I can’t wait to work on as well, something that sounds so fun that it’s all I can do to stop myself from putting everything (including my day job, eating and sleeping — I mean my day job AND ALSO eating and sleeping, not my day job, which involves eating and sleeping for money, though holy shit, wouldn’t that be awesome?) aside to start working on it immediately.

Our girls have been behaving better lately and getting more sleep, which seems like some kind of pre-Christmas miracle because it means that I, too, get more sleep and am less cranky.

And on top of all that, work has been pretty good lately, I have vacation coming up and a friend of mine invited me to come help pitch a completely and totally separate thing that could turn into something that might be a cool thing that I would like to do and share with you should it become an actual thing!

Things! They are happening.

Also, and perhaps because of the flow of good things lately, I came out of my upside down turtle shell a bit and invited a few close friends out for lunch, a sign that I really don’t want to be at home all time bitterly wondering why I’m at home all the time. And I’m having fun writing again. That sounds like a given, but I’ve had real dread and anxiety about writing this year that simply wasn’t there before. Being able to look forward to writing instead of dreading it is kind of a radical thing for me right now. It has me bouncing off the walls with new energy, feeling renewed.

There’s renewal and newness in the air all around.

One friend of mine just had a baby, another friend is about to have one and a third friend has a slightly older, but pretty recently newborn baby. Babies are coming out, people are getting engaged, other people are breaking up or moving away or moving back to Austin or selling things or making things and for the first time in a while, I feel like I’m part of the community of things happening and people doing. It’s a good feeling, one I really missed.

Here’s some of what I’ve been writing lately at work.

Photo by Jay Janner / Austin American-Statesman

I did a column about the usability testing as it’s taught at the University of Texas School of Information. I got to meet a really great professor and some scary-smart students who are trying to make the future of product design a little brighter and smarter.

Image courtesy Acura

Last week’s Digital Savant column was about the increasing amount of technology in our cars. Since I’m not into cars and don’t know much about them, it was a bit of a shock for me to realize that this is stuff I should be paying a lot more attention to as a tech writer. A woman wrote me a terse email a few days after the column asking, basically, “What happens if you’re on the highway and you’re about to hit a semi in a collision and all this technology fails?” I responded, “You crash?” I mean, honestly, I’m not sure what else could happen.

And the column that runs on Monday (but appears early online in the blog) is about how we deal with grieving online, particularly on social networks. Every year is suck-filled with death, of course, but this year it hit me personally a few times and many people I care a lot about and I’ve been paying a little more attention to it than in the past. In the column, I reference my grandmother’s death, which I wrote about earlier this year on this blog.

Other new stuff: a Micro about making digital photo albums and a Micro offering advice on Xbox games for 6-year-olds.

I was also on the radio, speaking on the “At Issue with Ben Merens” show about holiday tech gifts. You can listen to it on this page or download the audio directly.

What else… we bought a fridge! I kinda got the bug seeing all the huge price cuts during Black Friday time and it reminded me how much I hated our fridge, which was so small and cramped and always made me curse when I’d load it up with groceries. It was so cramped I would not buy things because I knew what a pain in the ass it would be to try to cram them into the freezer or find space in the fridge. So we’d run out of stuff really fast, creating a cycle of fridgefrustration (or fridgestration for short).

The new fridge is not even as big as they come. We have a narrow space to fit one in, so a full-sized 30-square-foot one would be banging on the sides whenever the doors opened. We ended up with something smaller/narrower, but still gigantic and spacious and luxurious compared to our old one. It has French doors, but they’re not that snooty, and two drawers the kids can easily pull on to get their own damn yogurt and frozen waffles for once.

They moved our old fridge, which had not budged an inch in about eight years, and there was a Leviathan dust monster back there I had to defeat in just moments before they wheeled in the new one. Rugs were moved, doors were attached to metal frames and a burly man taught me how to push a button to magically generate water. “But don’t drink it,” he warned, like a grizzled shaman, “it’s full of charcoal.” It turns out that is temporary, you just have to drink two gallons of water before the water gets good. Mmmm charcoal. I just realized he said DON’T drink it. I was distracted by the stainless steel.

It doesn’t have a TV or Internet, but the new fridge keeps stuff cold and spits out ice and doesn’t make me not be able to buy more than one damn frozen pizza at a time, so I think it goes solidly in the win column.

Talk to ya soon. I’ll keep updating every week or two, but I’m really hoping to have some actual news/announcements to share with you before the end of the year about some old friends who will soon be returning. December is getting really exciting all of a sudden.

One Response to “This is better than rejuvenation!”

  1. dennistardan December 8, 2012 at 3:21 pm #

    I just read your en-lightening blog. I am so happy for you and encouraged that you allowed that perhaps a change in your perspective had an impact upon what you are experiencing right now. That is the core of my belief and life system and your lovely words re-validated my thesis, as does every smile I see, pat on the back, blade of grass to towering tree.

    Until the next blog… Dennis

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