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buster


Buster Benson

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bird poops on plum branch
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Sometimes I gotta brain dump just to clear things out a little.

So, yeah, last October I got married, and McLeod closed shortly thereafter. I spent a couple months figuring out how to get out of leases, handle the pesky IRS, collection agencies, etc that were after me. I built an iPhone app that had surprising success and helped pay off the most urgent of my debts, miraculously. I quit my job at a company that I helped start 5 years ago due to differences of vision, and decided to strike out on my own (3rd time's a charm right?). Figured out how to reduce our costs, get private health insurance, and attempt to live within our means... barely.

The iPhone app, while successful, wasn't going to be able to pay the bills ongoing, so I had to find other work. Found a cool gig building something awesome for bars and restaurants that I think could be really successful, but is also a HUGE amount of work. Meanwhile, Kellianne gets pregnant, and we decide to try to sell our house and move to a new neighborhood and a house with a bit more space while hopefully also costing less (see pesky debts). Selling the house has proven to be a little trickier than it should, since it's basically the worst time ever to be selling a house.

Found a great business to partner with that will invest in the product while also giving us good contacts for future business. I'm the only developer, and it's about 10 months of work to get to a point that we feel we can say we really have something. Of course, that lines us up perfectly with the baby's due date, since everything needs to happen at once.

Already noticing that the impending adventure of fatherhood is taking root in my brain and trying to take over as much space as possible. How will I be as good of a father to my child as my father was to me? Am I being responsible enough? What do I need to learn in the meantime? How should I change and improve in order to meet the challenges with my best self? Of course, having only one brain, this has made the HUGE amount of work I need to do a little more difficult. I've found myself a couple times sitting at my desk facing this huge task and being unable to type the magic code words that equal work in my profession... because I can't stop researching brain development or parenting tricks, or thinking about where we will live, whether it will work for our family, social life, and work lives. Brain is sometimes maxed out with merely trying to remember everything it should be thinking about, much less thinking about them.

Which led to my conversation with my work-mate today about trying to launch our work stuff earlier, with less functionality, than we were originally planning. Launch something now, and build on that. Seems to go more along with my general philosophy for how things should be done. Get it out there, learn, keep going.

Basically, get out of the woods. The woods, to me, are the woods of uncertainty. The woods of plans unrealized, ideas unmaterialized. Those woods are no good. Run as fast as you can into your unavoidable fears, catch them off-guard, tackle them.

billetdoux made a comment at one point at the end of a night in NYC that he probably doesn't remember about how I must be happy to have all of my ducks lined up: married, about to have a baby, off the ground with a new business, etc.  I sort of brushed it off, but have been thinking about it because having ducks in a line is something that, 5 years ago, I would have said I never wanted.  Of course, now, it is something that I not only want very badly, but pretty much have.  And I don't take that for granted.  It is a testament to the infinite variety of life that it can change so quickly, and not only change itself but change me too.  Priorities are so difficult to change, but then one day they have been changed for you.  Why is that?

Time seems to be moving quickly, maybe because things are changing.  And they're always changing.  And that's a good thing, but it also causes me to think back on all the things that have changed, and how each still moment between all of the changing things has been a thing in itself.  Something to appreciate, something to learn from, something awesome, beautiful, terrible, scary, whatever it was.  I am not one for much nostalgia but sometimes I feel a glimpse of it when it comes to this feeling that we're all just planets in the same orbit and sometimes those orbits intersect for a while, and then the orbits move away, or just change angles, like Pluto, and it feels like we should all be appreciating every moment more than we are.  Being real in every friendship, trading war stories, sharing the same cup, highs and lows, swearing to die for each other, so that it's apparent that we are all really on the same ship together, and we know it, and will never forget.  That's how I feel about people, even if we don't feel that close all the time, I know that at the core of each of the people in my life is this shared boat that we're all on and it's too cheesy and idealistic to mention it unless you're going through really tough times or just really drunk, but it's there and it's something worth writing songs about and embarking on adventures for and howling for as you leave the shore.

So there's that.


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Given what you said about how you would have felt five years ago, do you see within yourself that this current lined-up-of-duckness occurred with any intention (subconscious or not)? Or has it happened more spontaneously, cobbled together from disparate desires/intentions?

Good question. Meeting Kellianne and the resulting relationship gets 100% credit for switching me from a lost soul who could get married but would prefer to live in separate apartments and thought of babies as "passing the buck" on living an amazing life into someone who actually wanted to merge lives and make crazy babies together.

As for what's intentional or not intentional, my intention remains that I want to live an amazing life full of rich experiences and meaning, it's simply that the strategy has changed on how to get there.

5 years ago I couldn't imagine a strategy as I currently have it working... it seemed like too much of a long shot to find someone that would not only support the search for a rich experience of life full of meaning, but add to it.

I guess it comes down to, I didn't let myself create too fanciful of a vision, I wanted to keep it practical, and in my control, and therefore I had to imagine something different that relied less on luck in love.

your stuff about brainstorming for a baby remind me of Away We Go. I watched it on a plane and liked it a lot, though a lot of reviewers thought that it was somehow condescending and precious.

Oh, KA and I saw a poster for that at the video store a while ago and wanted to get it but it wasn't out yet. Now it is, and it's at the top o' the queue.

Life is funny: there are times when everything comes together beautifully, and other times when everything falls apart (and sometimes both happen at once). I feel like when the good stuff is happening, you need to savor that magical moment and build up your goodwill toward life, like a bank that you can draw from if/when disaster strikes.

It's so great that you had a good role model for fatherhood in your dad -- that's a leg up from a lot of guys.

It is funny that way. It's usually falling apart and coming together at the same time... maybe that's the nature of growing, or whatever it is we do.

I'm trying to savor every moment these days.

Yes, I feel very lucky to have had an awesome father. I realize that it's pretty rare.

You're the best and Kellianne's the best and I believe that both of you will do exactly what needs to be done. And change is my favorite, so Good job!

I agree with Carinna. You both are the best!

If you count the fact that you and Carinna are the best also, we should probably not ever drive in the same car together lest there be an explosion of best-ness.

PS. Was there a movie-watching event on Sunday? How did it go?

You touch on one of my parenting issues which is the balance between wanting to provide stability/safety/security for my unborn kid VS. wanting to model a life built on independence, creativity, and self-motivation.

Yeah, I want to encourage growth rather than simply be a protector. I'm sure every parent does. How are you going about pursuing this interest? Are there parenting classes or something that teach this particular trait? A book? Or is it just practice?

I'm thinking about it mostly in regards to the career choices I'll model for my son. Will I go corporate so that he's got health insurance and stable $$ for what he needs? Or will I go indie so that he's got a model of creative entrepreneurial spirit?

Indie, indie, indie! You know that's where you belong anyway.

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