Mindful Moments: Stories and Lessons of Procrastination

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Life as a slacker.

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OK, if this blog is about sharing stories then maybe I should share a story.

I guess my story is about life as a slacker.

I was always a slacker.  But that doesn’t mean that I don’t like doing things that other people think are tedious.  Something about the way my folks praised me or the time I spent entertaining myself as an only child whose mom didn’t do the mini-van thing must have set up those apparent contradictions.  She made sure I got my homework done, but it was up to me to care about quality. She has loved everything I’ve ever done, regardless of quality.  And she held the Ohio state record for fastest joyful tears.

Tests at school always felt like fun games and that meant good grades.  My slacker nature went undiagnosed until my buddy Becca (who made Sheep Beats) correctly noticed that I preferred eating snacks to reviewing calculus problems.  I felt like the secret was out.  Well, the secret has stayed out since then… and life continues to be funny and good.

So how have I paid the bills if I don’t keep a regular job?  I was lucky enough to get the following advice from Dennis Adams (whose art is a more perfect history) when he was my adviser in grad school:  “The secret to being an artist is to keep your expenses low and you’ll be fine.”  His crooked smile and that reminder.  How to keep expenses low on a slacker lifestyle?  Well I don’t have kids.  I live in the same town as Harvard and MIT, same town I grew up in.  But I don’t hop back and forth to San Francisco nearly as often as my former classmates.  So there’s always money in the bank and elite flavored organic foods on the made-it-myself plate.

Let’s jump to the ending of this story where my wife and business partner Lucy has come to accept that I don’t get work done at all unless I’m enjoying it.  When I’m not on a roll my time gets divided between a wonderful array of hobbies and low key vices.  But I’m always learning.  And I do all right.  btw, Lucy keeps a blog about her experience creating the technology behind ProcrasDonate.  She’s working and playing always and bursting of web dev joyfulness.

So what’s your story?


Written by clayward

November 22, 2009 at 6:49 pm

Posted in slack, stories