It’s been 136 days since I’ve posted.
In a past life I’d have taken this opportunity to publicly castigate myself and say how such a long break is…
I’m not going to do that. I’ve written that tome many times and, considering I just took a 4.5 month break, I’m starting to think that it might not be helpful. Probably not super fun to read either.
Plus, I don’t think my reasoning for the break was entirely shitty.
I mean, sure, I do wish that I had written more. But for the most part, I’m ok with it. Here’s why.
“Are you busy enough?”
Five months ago I was bored. And a good friend called me out for it.
Not the healthy kind of bored that happens when you forget to take your cell phone into the bathroom for a poop. But the bad kind of bored that leads you to unhealthy amounts of (farming!) video games.
In one of the last podcasts Chaz and I recorded, this friend had listened to me drone on about a (farming!) video game called Stardew Valley that was consuming large portions of my day.
At this juncture I was actually writing with some consistency. But I also just happened to be filling large portions of my day with time-killers.
This friend stopped by for dinner and at one point in the conversation asked, “Are you busy enough?”
He said he had listened to the podcast and it sounded like I was bored, struggling to fill my days up with anything meaningful.
(It’s funny how good friends can provide months worth of therapy with a simple question)
It was completely true. I was not nearly busy enough. I was absolutely desperate to find anything that would fit even a modicum of fulfillment into my day.
And that search had sadly led to (farming!) video games.
How did we get here?
The pandemic certainly wasn’t helping – that eliminated most consistent ways to get out of the house. But my work had also become wildly uninspiring.
My company was doing better than ever and I had set up systems that put most of my responsibilities on auto-pilot. Tim Ferriss would have been proud. This is what I’ve always strived to achieve.
But I had created a void that I was struggling to fill.
So after my one-sentence therapy session, I decided that I needed something to sink my teeth into.
And as much as it bothered me to accept (and still does a little bit), I realized that writing and creating were not going to be able to scratch that itch on their own.
Before then, I had a vision of freeing myself from the bondage of “work” so I could reach my full creative potential.
Yet once I was free from it, I felt lost. Rudderless. Without purpose.
It felt like this type of life – empty days almost entirely available for creative work – was like a piece of software that was not compatible with the hardware of my mind.
So what’s the answer?
As it turns out, what I realized was that one of my greatest sources of fulfillment comes from business. Building them, running them.
I love how it forces me to think strategically while having to stay organized. Using my emotional IQ to grow both partner relationships and the careers of our own team. And I love seeing the tangible fruits of my labor in the form increasing sales figures.
It all just gets me going. And I had removed it almost entirely from my life.
So after a few conversations, I took a bigger role in the business. Was charged with overseeing a part of the company that had struggled for years. Basically since our inception.
And it has completely enveloped me. In a good way.
That part of the business has grown exponentially (part luck, part hard work) and my brain finally felt like it was being used again.
I was busy enough.
This all took place in late March, just about the time of my last post. My mind moved completely away from writing and towards the business.
And I was ok with that. Until now.
The pendulum swings back
But the pendulum swung too far.
Having the challenge of business back in my life has been wonderful. But without some creativity, something is missing (I recently gave myself a 0/10 for Creativity in a Monthly Review).
So here I am. Pecking away at my little keyboard. Creating again.
And it feels amazing. Like five months worth of mental puzzle pieces are starting to take shape in some sort of coherence.
I suppose this is what life is all about; finding balance. Balance between something challenging and something refreshing.
Finding that middle-ground where you can build up some healthy pressure in your mind and then release it into a creative form.
Finding that perfect amount of busy.