Always be ready

Hello there! It’s 4am in Montreal as I am starting to write this post. This is what insomnia feels like. It almost never happens to me. Watching Breaking Bad before going to bed and dreaming about it did not really help. So I made some coffee and I’m just going to start my day a little earlier. And since it is early and I have nothing planned until later today, I thought that I could bother you with a new post.

It’s about why I actually love doing dishes. Not really that I enjoy the fact of washing dishes but I like it when everything is done.

We had a dishwasher before. Actually we got it almost for free when we moved in this apartment.  After a year or so it started to make weird noises. I tried to repair it but completely failed. So one night I put it on the sidewalk and some scrappers took it after 15 minutes ; that’s good efficiency on the part of these scrappers  considering there was a snow storm that night. (Note: I’m not really the kind of guy who just put a broken dishwasher on the sidewalk, I would normally take it somewhere to be recycled but I called the city recycling department and they told me: “put it on the sidewalk, some scrappers will take it” and that’s what happened).

Since then, we have washed our dishes manually like normal people (and I mean ‘normal people’ in terms of “Humanity spent more time doing dishes by hand rather than using a robot”) and I’ve started to find an interest and even enjoyed it. I think it started with something that my Grand-Father taught me when I was a kid. He was a cook and one of his “secrets” was to “always do the dishes as soon as you can, this way everything is always ready to use”. You need that pan? baaam, here it is! So that’s why I do the dishes as soon as I can now. The good side of this is that I usually get a really small amount of dishes to do at a time which is always better than a sink overflowed by dirty plates. I still don’t really like the act of doing the dishes so just a little amount is fine with me.

Everything always ready? Of course I can do this with other stuff:

  • Why not trying to answer this email right now instead of waiting for emails to pile up? (I don’t understand how people manage to have several thousand unread emails in their inbox by the way).
  • Why not fixing up this little bug in a software instead of waiting the end of the project?
  • Write a blog post as soon as I have an idea (or an insomnia)?
  • Why not put this dishwasher on the sidewalk right now instead of waiting for another recycling option?
  • And why am I waiting to give this phone call when I am playing Angry Birds?…

It’s really incredible the number of little things we can do quickly. After all, every (EVERY!) project is just a sum of small tasks that can be done really fast as they come up. Would we be able to work in “real time” with tasks done as soon as a problem emerge and always be ready for the next thing? That would feel great.

Let’s work on this… but first I have to wash this coffee cup.

(Final note: I am not perfect and  I am not that good with other domestic tasks but I am working on it… I’ve experimented with the laundry but I ended up with the famous red sock that got lost with white laundry and coloured everything in pink)

When work happens

I have a hard time dedicating some time to actually get some work done. I can type stuff or classify files or whatever but creative work or real work  does not get done when I want. It just happens.

First the concept of work is a little strange to me. What we call “work” is not really work… It’s usually just an amount of tasks. Work is not a task, work is bigger than that. For example printing is not work. It’s just printing. It’s just a work related task but not actually work (except if you work for xerox). How much time is spent printing worldwide during ‘work’ time? It’s easy to consider this part of a job but, come on, wouldn’t you prefer to actually create instead of print?

Now, what percentage of tasks like printing is considered as work? Update your OS, going up in the elevator, recharging your laptop, etc.. And when do we really solve problems that matter?

I have been struggling with my yoga practice during the whole month of June (I know it’s not really “paid work” but yoga is still some kind of work even if the benefits are not money-related). In May I was on vacation and I must admit I ate and drank more than usual. I almost did not do any kind of physical or intellectual activities. So I suppose it’s not surprising that I felt like I came back 6 months in past when I started yoga again. I was still “understanding” what was going on but my body was simply just not following. I kept up practicing, I made some progress and came back to my before-vacation “level”. Since then the progress have continued (… bonus!) like if was still on the same learning curve. What is strange though is that I was feeling comfortable before my holidays but making progress at a relatively slow rate… After this month of struggles, I have never felt so good practicing yoga than during the past 2 weeks.

I also have the same kind of feelings with my creative work (read programming). Some days are filled with problems with no answer. During these days, I want to give up everything, I question myself, I believe I will fail. And during some other days everything falls in place almost magically, everything seems obvious.

So when does work happen? Is it when you are struggling with problems or when you actually get stuff done with ease?

For me work happens when I accept to deal with issues and not expect anything in return ; just deal with it. Most of the time the task is not difficult. What is difficult though is to accept to dedicate time to get it done. Most of my work ideas happen when I take a shower or when I eat breakfast for example – I just need some time in the morning… and I literally wait for it to happen. It’s at this time that I think of the day/week ahead of me and accept what will happen. That’s when creativity is really at work. I usually have the idea of what needs to be done to attain a goal. Real work is just about accepting the straight line, the one we know is the best and continue following it even during dark times. Yes in the end, it is just a matter of deciding to continue.

When does work happen for you?

A new beginning

Hey!

I’m back to blogging again… Welcome to this new platform. To be honest with you I was bored with In Space We Trust and the main reason was the name. When I created the website I was trying really hard to find something that was defining me as an online person. I wanted something abstract, futuristic, etc… At first “in space we trust” sounded good but it felt more and more lame because it was simply not me (and I was not in the abstract/futuristic theme anymore)

That’s why you are reading me here now . And mloigeret is me (or more exactly my twitter name, but it is pretty close).

Launching a new site is not easy. Multiple questions come to mind. You wonder if people will follow or not. You try to define a coherent theme from what you did before and what you are now, etc… Like every project it’s easy to get stuck trying to perfect everything. And guess what? it’s never perfect. I could easily spend two other months working on how the first post would be like. I’m sure you can think of a project you got stuck with for the same reasons.  And the fact is the more you get stuck with an idea the more it’s starts to rot inside you. I’m really (not) good at this. When I think of why and really analyze what is going on in my head, I figure that I don’t try to perfect everything just because it has to be perfect but because launching is scary.

Every project, every decision when they are made or launched put yourself in a status of uncertainty. Will people like it? Will they criticize?  Perhaps they won’t even care, that would be the worst. All these feelings are the rotting agents that are at play before launching. So at some point you just have to ignore everything, press publish and work on the next thing.

That’s what I’m doing here with this first post.

So what is this site about? What are you going to read here? If you read my previous blog, it will probably be a continuity of what I wrote before. I have changed a little though. I am more involved in managing my freelance developer career. I’m also more involved in yoga than before (I will start taking teaching classes next October). So I suppose these changes will influence what I write. Or perhaps not, we’ll see in the next posts.

As the name of the site is more me I also want to share things that matter more to me. Previously I think I worked too much on trying to follow a trend. I don’t really know why but it contributed to this sensation of not being at home on my blog. That’s just stupid and really uncomfortable so I want to put less effort on trying to please the audience and more in being authentic (which, I suppose, will indirectly results in pleasing the audience, ha!).

Finally why is this blog bilingual? In case you did not know, I’m French… And I simply don’t think the same way in French and English. Sometime English feels more natural and French more spontaneous. So I want to be able to play between these 2 languages. That does not mean that every post will be translated in the other language. Different subjects (sometime similar ones) will be discussed here but often with a slightly different point of view. If you read both languages it’s a bonus! But if you just want to stick with the english posts you can stay here and subscribe only to these posts (same thing with the french posts).

So yes that’s it for this (re-)introduction post.

If you were reading me before, you can leave a comment to tell me what/how/where you are with your life now. I did not read a lot of the current blogosphere in a while so I’m kind of lost. If you are new here, just drop a line to say hi!

Have a good day!