Life’s Rich Tapestry

January 17, 2009 | By Paul Mackenzie Ross | Filed in: philosophy.

How about that for a positive spin on the concept that modern life’s too busy?

A perfect illustration of information overload is demonstrated by the struggle I had with writing (and rewriting) the about page of this blog. In my official day-to-day role I am a Web Designer. However, being at such a small and industrious business requires the wearing of a number of hats, a la Edward de Bono. Other duties include being the webmaster of a large and very busy business website, managing the news desk, sourcing and writing news articles & stories, conducting all the Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) tasks, managing a part-time employee and trying to project manage a website migration involving a designer in The Netherlands & a developer in Australia.

Even when certain tasks & projects are completed at work there always seems to be more tasks filling the in-tray. In order to stay abreast of developments there’s the learning curve that all hardcore web employees need to follow; are you up to date with your CSS, ready for the next version of HTML, what PHP skills do you need to brush up on, how’s your MySQL, any developments in the Google algo, have you pushed the envelope with Photoshop recently, what’s the latest news from the world of small business, what’s the next hot application that would benefit your website users? The list could go on.

Escaping from the office/studio at the end of a hectic day isn’t quite the end of it; the world of webcraft continues with all the personal websites, such as my original 2004 free-for-all blog, or the one you’re reading right now intellectualising on the ways of the world, or there’s my green blog, or the old and now feeling neglected automotive website. Did I mention that I run my own web business too?

And if all that digital debauchery isn’t enough then how about this little lot?

Tidy the house, clean the bathroom, scrub the kitchen, vacuum the carpets, sweep the floors, do the washing. Repeat. Lag the loft, shift those boxes, empty the yard, take that rubbish to the tip, sell x,y,z on eBay, advertise a,b,c on Freecycle.

Done the household chores have you? Now, about those vehicles on the drive… When you gonna get a starter motor and an MOT for the Opel Manta? When’s the Mini getting the engine steady bar modified & fitted? Got the exhaust ordered for the Subaru’s MOT yet? Got those parts for the motorbike yet? Fixed the disc brakes on the mountain bike?

Let’s ignore all that stuff for the moment and get on with some relaxing shall we? Which movie to watch? Which of the 50+ unread books to start? Have you read your latest copy of .net, Computer Arts, The Ecologist, Beer? When was the last time you played the guitar? Picked up the bass recently? How about just playing computer games instead? SNES, Megadrive, N64, Saturn, Playstation, Dreamcast, Xbox or Wii? Taken any good photos recently? Have you fixed the Fuji A350 that broke or given away the old S602 zoom you replaced with an S7000 zoom and then a Canon EOS 30D?

Been for a good walk recently? Climbed any good mountains? Got any laces for your boots yet? Cycled around the woods, have you? When was the last time you ran, or went to Karate or broke anything, personal or otherwise, in Judo?

And what about the wife & daughter, the cat, the family, the friends?

Oh, and don’t forget to breathe.

I think it’s time for some serious Zen.

Yes, I think I’ll do that. Get organised, get the chi flowing and find some headroom, some breathing space. I’ll do that in a minute just after I’ve checked my email, made a cup of tea, been to the bathroom, had a shower, checked the football results, paid this utility bill and dived into town toย  get a new USB mouse so thatย  I can be far more efficient in my use of this laptop.

That’s life’s rich tapestry.


5 comments on “Life’s Rich Tapestry

  1. beckNo Gravatar says:

    *whew* You poor thing, it seems that you’re feeling buried under at the mo. It’s a bit of a daunting “to-do” list, at least…(Mid-post I had already given up on claiming a place in the queue of things…but we DID get in the Top 50) ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. Paul Mackenzie RossNo Gravatar says:

    I think it’s a case of “last but not least”, babe. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Some of those tasks are the tips of their own icebergs; managing websites, as you know, has involved spending lots of time migrating from WordPress 2.2 to 2.7 or even Blogger to WordPress 2.7 The simple task of conversion is one thing, but babysitting the sites is another. Of course, it didn’t *have* to be done but in the long run it will improve efficiency.

    All the other stuff, OK it doesn’t have to be done and can wait (the Manta has not been driven in 5 years!) but they will all provide enjoyment when they’re done.

    But for now it’s a question of doing the cheapest and easiest options and making sure the clutter is kept to an absolute minimum. Do you mind if I build an extension, put everything we own in it and paint the whole house white?

  3. okathleenNo Gravatar says:

    I’m exhausted reading this. There’s a lot to be said for wearing an orange toga, and keeping all your kit in a rucksack..
    http://www.okathleen.wordpress.com

  4. Paul Mackenzie RossNo Gravatar says:

    Sorry about the that, I even held back some items! The burden feels a little lighter though, having aired that laundry.

    Do those orange togas come in a winter version?

  5. beckNo Gravatar says:

    *covered laugh* build and paint away, Love. You DO always seem to surprise me with a new home project when I return…. ๐Ÿ™‚

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