I sit every day at one computer or another for anywhere from 5 minutes to 8 hours a day depending on whatever it is that I need to do. I develop training curriculum as well as facilitate training classes, so that puts me on a computer, but I also write blogs and stories and I am working on my novel, so that puts me on a computer. My entertainment system features a computer as the media player and blu ray player.
I also serve as tech support for friends and family. I spent this evening with a friend who I met through my troubleshooting activities. I was over at his house so often that we have become like family. He still calls when he has a problem (which is often) but these visits have become just visits, which makes it more worthwhile. Tonight, we sat around their table talking and joking and enjoying Chinese food. Five minutes of tech support with two hours of good company.
My mom calls frequently whenever she has a technical problem with her computers or network, and employees at my company call me regularly whenever they are stumped by a computer related problem. I have always had a knack for computers, from the first Apple II computer I laid hands on in high school, throughout my life with the innumerable computers I have interacted with since. I have other interest as well, but it seems to always come back to these machines.
I like movies. I like cooking; and by extension eating. I like woodworking. I like riding a bike. I have aquariums. I like photography. My life is full of things I like to do that have nothing to do with computers. I have so much that I like to do, I find it hard to find time to do everything I like. You know, as I say that, it strikes me that it’s a particularly good problem to have. I can’t think of a better conundrum than to pick which fun activity to do at a given time.
Yesterday I attended my writers’ group meeting and I like to take something new I’ve written to share with the group for critique and feedback. The problem I had was that I was struggling with the latest chapter in my novel; having been working on it for more than a month. But after staring at the screen off and on for a couple of days, I sat down at the netbook one last time about two hours before the meeting, and the damn broke. I was able to generate enough text to fill three more pages in time to rough edit and print and get to the meeting on time.
The chapter was not met with rave praise, but I did not expect it to. It got the kind of critique a piece spit out in an hour should get. Kind of the same feedback you would give undercooked chicken. Luckily, the cleanup is easier. But the good thing is that I need negative feedback. I can’t get better if someone doesn’t point out my shortcomings in my writing.
So, what does this all mean? I don’t know, but it occurs to me that no one calls and asks me to help with their cooking, or their woodworking or even their writing. But it is nice to have one thing that others value enough to call you about, and if it can create and build relationships that can transcend tech support, well folks, that is just gravy.