Time

Sunset at Ægissíðan, darkness always preceeds light

Sunset at Ægissíðan, darkness always precedes light

“Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so.” – Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy, Douglas Adams.

There are not enough hours in the day, not enough days in the week, and not enough weeks in the year. At least, not for all things I would like to do.

Work receives the majority of my focus in life right now, which is a good thing. I thoroughly enjoy what I do. Most especially when I learn something new. Which I have been doing of late. Learning means growing. As I grow older, growing further has even greater significance for me. There is inherent life, inherent vitality, in growth, and I want to feel alive, who doesn’t?

In youth we grow with very little effort, it is natural, simply part of the order of things. As we age, however, it does seem to take somewhat more effort.

I just had a thought though … what if it is the case that when we are young, we play more, we are less serious, and that with this approach to life it is just naturally easier to learn. As we age we take on a more serious approach to life, we play less, and learning becomes more difficult as a result. Hmm …

When I walk on the beach, I don’t take the easy path over the grass that lies above the beach. I walk along the sand, and I clamber over the rocks when I encounter them. It’s the sort of thing I would have done in my youth. It’s harder. I have to choose every step carefully, keep my balance, watch my timing, from stone to stone. It’s harder, but it’s also more fun.

In my youth I would be making sandcastles with the sand, even though it is black sand, and quite different from what I grew up with. I do write in the sand on each visit, which is at least somewhat playful.

I would benefit from lightening up more, it is on my to-do list, but it needs to be to-done, finally. I don’t want to be childish, but being child-like, in some senses, would be an improvement.

It is too heavy a burden to feel so responsible, to ‘carry the weight of the world’, to expect so much of myself. I do strive for excellence though. I am not a fan of mediocrity. I have said I have unreasonable expectations of myself, but sometimes … I live up to them.

I don’t want to be a disappointment to anyone, least of all myself.

I used to program in Z80 Assembler. Self taught as a programmer, self taught in Z80 Assembler. It is something I wanted, something I sought, and so I reached for it, I attained it.

Now I seek programming once more, this time it is Objective-C (iOS). I taught myself again, it is something I wanted, finally, and I reached for it, I am attaining it. I am getting some help this time, which is greatly appreciated.

I will not be satisfied with just ‘getting by’, I want to be able to do everything that I want to do, everything that is asked of me, and more. That is the way it was when I programmed in Z80. My project manager at Sega of America, Ed Annunziata, would ask me “Paul, can we do this?” and I would reply “Oh, I don’t know about that, Ed.” Then I would proceed to find out how I could do it, and get it done. I often surprised myself at what I could achieve. Those days will return.

So I am learning a new programming language, and also a new spoken language. Something even more challenging.

I have a lot of incentive (people I care about a lot). Incentive is a good motivator. However, I probably need to be more playful and less serious in order to achieve what I want to. Fun and games is probably going to win out over yet more work.

Fun was a great part of the appeal of working for MicroProse back in the day (1988/89). A feeling of ‘family’, doing things together that weren’t work. Staying after work, getting some Ben & Jerry’s from the local 7-11, and playing the 1830 Railroad board game or M.U.L.E. on the old Atari with the boss (Sid Meier) [blatant name dropping, because it was so cool]. Just ‘hanging out’. It went a long way to making the workplace far more enjoyable.

The place I am working at now has a similar atmosphere to MicroProse in the old days, and I feel a similar attachment. It is probably the best reintroduction back into the industry that I could hope for. I am really appreciative for the opportunity.

I want to learn how to paraglide too. Which brings that up to three things I really want to be learning and excelling at, and I will too. In spite of everything. In spite of circumstances. In spite of time. I enjoy a challenge.

I am not making things easy for myself, but then anything easy would probably not be worthwhile.

Bless Bless og Sjáumst!

2 responses to “Time

  1. I love this, Paul. I describe myself the same way you do with the walking on the beach bit. Keep on keepin’ on

Comments are closed.