So my contemplation today is about reinvention.

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Growth is a process

I recently started a new job. It’s interesting how in my day to day interactions with new folks I keep bringing up prior experiences in my head and using them as the basis for new ones.

I got into a big meeting the other day about how to plan and execute work, how to deal with changes in technology, and share work smoothly.

I brought some good, strong opinions to the table. But was also open to listen. And in the process saw something that kind of blows me away.

It’s like I’m simultaneously the same person I was at my old job, and a whole brand new one. I’m reinventing myself.

Being mindfully present for it is mind boggling. I can feel myself… well, growing. It’s big things and little things. I made the decision to consistently be an early morning arrival. I decided to openly embrace learning some new technologies. And it’s just happening. I’m making it happen.

It feels so good.

Posted
AuthorMako Allen
CategoriesgratitudeNow
Ouroboros.png

So I haven't blogged in about a month, but didn't want to let December, and 2017 come to close without one more.  Today what's on my mind is well... everything.

The ouroborus symbol shows up in a lot of mythologies, and means a number of different things including, "the infinite cycle of nature's endless creation and destruction, life and death."  (Thanks, Wikipedia.)

I have a funny relationship with that idea.  As I've mentioned lots and lots of times on this blog, every single day of my life I wake up and think "oh good, another one."  I'm firmly of the belief that this moment, is the only moment, that we live in the eternal now.  Think of a desert highway stretching out to infinity, or an endless wake left behind a boat that's always on the move, and those ideas come close.

That doesn't mean everything stands still.  Far from it.  This has been a tumultuous year for me, personally.  

I've weathered some misfortunes, including my wife Missy having a health crisis (that she seems to thankfully be out the other side of), having a very long relationship end (gracefully), supporting family members through some trauma of their own.  

I've also had some great things going on.  My relationship with my girlfriend Alissa is stronger than ever.  I started a business that's still in its infancy (shush you), embarked on a new way of writing and getting it out there that is looking very promising.

Last night, Missy, Rachel, and I went to a birthday party for an old Camp Crucible friend of mine, Pete, down at The Crucible.  I saw lots and lots of folks I haven't seen in ages, because I have been sort of isolating myself.  It was kind of magical how evergreen many of those friendships have proven themselves to be.  People greeted me warmly, and were genuinely thrilled to see me, as I was to see them.

Which is not to say "same as it ever was."  Because that's not how it works.  I can see differences in myself, and even people I've known over a decade, see our growth in different directions.

Things are always on the move, people are always changing.  Things end, start, morph, grow, die.  It's this endless dance, that I don't get to sit out of, even when I sometimes have wanted to.

But today, as I consider the year coming to a close, I feel really good about this serpent eating its own tail.  The year's coming to an end, and to a beginning, too.  Just like me, just like you, just like everything.

I'm grateful for that.

Posted
AuthorMako Allen

So Moliére had this great idea: 

Step 1. Come visit him and Aiden up in New Jersey

Step 2. Get on a train, and go to New York City

Step 3. See the musical Matilda, before it closes for good the next day.  

Step 4. PROFIT! 

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Seriously, what an amazing day with people I care about. Missy and Aiden took an instant like to one another, and we all had the most amazing day. 

 

Posted
AuthorMako Allen
Categories365 Gratitude
"The miracle isn't that I finished.  The miracle is that I had the Courage to Start.  -John J. Bingham."

"The miracle isn't that I finished.  The miracle is that I had the Courage to Start.  -John J. Bingham."

This is my favorite fridge magnet.  It's a quote by John Bingham, the runner also known as "The Penguin."

John used to be morbidly obese, a smoker, and in a lot of trouble health-wise.  He took up running, no matter that he was (and is) a very slow runner, and it changed his whole life.

He's called The Penguin because while in his head he feels like he looks like a gazelle when he runs, the reality is more that he looks like a waddling penguin.

John doesn't take himself too seriously.  He's great like that.

Anyhow, this magnet is a famous quote of his, and I find it inspiring in my life, over and over.

I have a lot of stuff going on in my life.  I have a demanding job, a rich and varied home life with a big polyamorous family, a podcast, a side business, the books I write, and just my life in general.

Sometimes it sounds exhausting when I read the list aloud to others.  But you know what?  It's great.  I love that I'm ambitious in my life, that I'm always moving towards more.

Posted
AuthorMako Allen
Categories365 Gratitude

So I'm in the process of doing a big refactor at work.  I'm totally overhauling the front-end of my project.

Refactoring, especially large scale refactoring, is kind of like spring cleaning.  You rearrange the furniture, find the stuff under the couch, dust in the corners, look for ways to do better the things you're already doing.

So, not that you asked, but you're reading my blog, so you kind of did, I stumbled across something big today.  Something I thought I understood about Grails, but actually only barely grasped.  It has to do with how Grails renders a page, using a layout for stuff that repeats across multiple web pages.

<html>
    <head>
        <title>An Example Page</title>
        <meta name="layout" content="main" />
    </head>
    <body>This is my content!</body>
</html>

That little boldfaced line of text up there, that's one of the ways Grails tells a page to use a layout.  But it's not the only way.  I won't bore you with the details, if you really want to know, you can read it for yourself over at the Grails documentation.  

The big thing I figured out was that there was this resource, this layout in the project that wasn't being used at all.  I figured out it wasn't being referenced in any of the ways it could be, and that I could refactor that sucker right out of the project altogether.

On my own, by myself.

Man, that feels good.

Posted
AuthorMako Allen
Categories365 Gratitude