A couch. It had to be the couch. The bastard scurries away, unheeding in the warnings of the past weeks. Undeterred in his quest for one thing. One, insatiable goal.

To build a nest, in my "Effing" couch.

I'm talking of course about the hilariously painful reality of a 🐿️chipmunk🐿️ sneaking into a hole in my garage after being trapped there, working his way between pipes or God only knows where, and then taking up residence for a two weeks while we were away.

In the process, my couch being the real victim (he's in a better place now, out in pieces on the lawn someone asked if they could take it to their camp so... he's resting).

But with the death of the couch, there is life.. as in a life the last two weeks that I've been in near constant anxiety. I think I was interrupted approximately once every 7 minutes at work these last two weeks, and with good reason.

  1. My wonderful coworker has been able to be there (so good interruption
  2. We've had a rabid HAX adopter posting issues
  3. We are finishing up a migration off of a legacy media system that housed 5579 pieces of media used in our course portfolio
  4. I upgraded our production environment to be running ELMS:LN 0.11.0, the 1st major release for the platform in over a year and it's migrated from V0 to V1 spec web components

So, it's been a bit busy. I've been so busy in fact that I realized I haven't been able to step back and appreciate just what's been accomplished. My coworker when I said I'd been anxious said "yeah but look at everything you've gotten done".

Yeah... we  have gotten a lot done. But more importantly, I got important things done in this time frame. I've been criticized in the past for "bringing on your own pain" so to speak. That I make my own problems as opposed to others making them for me. I delay an upgrade, pain later. I demand perfection in an area, it's only my own battle to care. etc.

But the pain I brought on, that I wanted more than anything... was the pain of time crunch when pitted against greater priorities than work. I've been closing the laptop when I get home and unplugging to spend time with the family more.

Yes. In the short term and in certain scenarios, this causes more stress. I can't immediately unplug from workflows that were built up depending on me. But I can learn to compartmentalize and accept realities.

The work will always be there. Shots like this tho..

I took that photo while riding with my boys. We got to escape on a boys only weekend while mom was on her own adventure. It's the trip type A me said "You don't have time for this" while type B said "that's why you have to do it".

It didn't start on this ride, it started at Ricketts Glen State Park , one of my favorite places to go. I have many photo stills in my mind of going there with my parents. It was so far out of the way, so out of the norm for me living in suburbia, yet its the reason I love to climb rocks, get dirty and go on trails.

What little trails I did or have ever done, Ricketts was amazingly impactful most likely because of this..

Miles of trail where you walk along gorgeous drops like this, some 20-30 feet; one 94 feet. The air rushing off of the falls, the mist dancing in the sun, it's those moments I can close my eyes, breath deeply and experience my mind devoid of all thought.

The sound of the infinite. Peace. But for a moment...

Until one of the boys starts stomping off to walk in the waters. I've dreamt of going to this place with my sons since they were born. A place that we can climb away from the digital realm. A space where everything is simple and you can learn more about yourself in a scraped knee than an extra level.

A place where on a bright new day, me and the boys did something new. Something we don't do often enough - unplug from dad's laptop, and plug into one of the best days of my life.

Those golden drops of sunshine. Those smiles. Those times where they'll hopefully one day they'll talk as the sun goes down and complete the sentence:

"Hey, remember when Dad took us to..."

The times stepping away from the screen to give them something to complete that sentence are what keep me coming back here for more. Those sentences are worth the little anxiety. Those sentence keep make me whole and keep me going.