I have a huge variety of interests -- some of you already know about that. I have this photography habit that can have me looking in the river grass for the stray raccoon looking for the stray snail or clam, while balanced on a rotting piece of wood at low tide, for instance. I have this music interest that causes me to search the unpopular racks at out of the way music shops for that off-beat CD, or sends me on 300 mile cross-state trips to perform with The Ashley Gang for a 30 minute set and no pay -- or at least not enough to cover the cost of gas. I have this technology thing going that keeps me in front of my iMac for hours working with digital images, answering emails, working on my photo site, checking out friends on MySpace or checking in with my nephew and nieces on Facebook. I have this reading thing that lands my nose in a James Madison or Thomas Jefferson biography, or a Richard Russo novel late into the night. I believe that learning is an eternal, ever present necessity. I like to hike -- need to hike -- and spend time in the wonder of natural, undeveloped Florida. I'm more of a loner than a people person, but family time, grandkid time, is essential. Then there's this writing thing -- and here I am. Doing one thing and always knowing that I could be doing something else -- always worried that I'm missing an opportunity. Mental hyperactivity. So what's the difference? Why can I manage the distractions at work, stay focused and keep on a strait line from start to finish there, but not here? This is my dilemma -- my simple living challenge. I've thought about it and come up with some basic ideas...
- At work I'm an "organizational captive" -- at home I'm not "captive"
- At work I have a limited (though large) focus -- at home the depth of field is unlimited
- At work I have a set of tools -- email, calendars and schedules, a team with a shared focus, incentives, a strong ethical obligation because of the nature of the work, a distraction-limiting environment (office)
- one hour per day max with intellectually stimulating content - no American idol.
- read twenty pages of something non-work related every day.
- Tai Ch'i class on Saturday mornings (when not on the road making music)