Home > Fatherhood, Navel Gazing > Productivity




There’s nothing like your child starting back to school to make you take stock of what you’re doing with your life. Nothing a three-year-old does is pointless. Play is a deadly serious endeavor. Make-believe is as dramatic as any HBO series (except maybe The Leftovers). And when she decides she’s actually going to get upset about something serious, like Pepperidge Farm Goldfish or the flatness of her blanket… look out.

Unlike my wife, I don’t have a job that (always) requires me to work after hours; so I often find myself spending the evenings after Harriet goes to bed in less than productive ways. There’s nothing inherently wrong with this. I like to think I watch high-quality TV (most of the time), and I do my fair share of reading. I pay the bills. Sometimes I even sleep.

But I still can’t help but think that, in adulthood, I should be taking my play a little more seriously. Maybe not as seriously as Harriet does, but still with a purpose. The best way I know to do that is through writing. Almost every dollar I’ve ever made and almost every professional joy I’ve ever had have come because of it. And it’s fun. If that’s not productivity, I don’t know what is.

Subject matter is a little more difficult. Fiction has come in fits and starts; I find myself gravitating more toward essays and opinion writing, as much for the economy of the thing as any other reason. The older I get, the more my attention span suffers. This is a byproduct of too much time at computers and too little time spent in actual reflection. Again, I hope to do something about this.

So I’m resurrecting this blog. Again.

The format will be loose, with one caveat: 500 words per post, max. This will hopefully be easy enough to keep me interested and regular (call it the fiber-writing plan), and short enough to keep you interested. There’s value in a 2,500 screed, but who has the time or the energy to put into consuming it, much less actually do the writing? So 500 it is; a goodish length that you don’t feel guilty sharing, you can wedge into the last five minutes of your lunch break, and fits neatly into most overhead compartments.

I’m open to topics. You’ll probably see lots of Lost, baseball and current events, as well as thoughts on parenting and the life and career of a 30-something who is at, for all productive intents and purposes, the halfway point of his career. Where will I wind up? I should probably figure it out in the next dozen years. In the meantime I hope to use all the other non-family time to the fullest.

In other words, start acting more like a three-year-old.



Categories: Fatherhood, Navel Gazing
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