On the verge of a Rehabbin’ Cabin epiphany. While working on the steps from the back door, I had a distinct thought: this is not me. Meaning: as much as I’ve enjoyed the renovation — and I do particularly enjoy the rough carpentry — it’s not something I want to do forever. Not for a living. It’s not what drives me.
So what does? Yes, I love the challenge, the puzzle-solving, the lateral thinking, the doing-more-with-less, the lifelong learning — yes, yes, all that. But the MAKING. Ah, there it is. As we pivot from full-time rehabbing to that thing we loosely (and so far, very generously) refer to as “making a living,” this epiphany comes not a moment too soon.
When I was a designer in dot-com land (Career 4.0), and then in enterprise computing (Career 4.5), my energies would flag with the proliferation of MRDs, ROIs, and NAAs (“not another acronym”). My solution was to lean on my bosses for more “creative” work, which naturally translated to pixel-pushing (and a few frustrated bosses).
But no matter how “pictorial” or “creative” the work became — though I certainly had a blast with several excellent UI challenges — it was almost never a “making.” Not directly. The path from my pen to the finished feature release was long and longer. And it’s not that I craved authorship; I see now that there’s something in me that desires — nay, needs — that direct, complete experience of visualization becoming realization.
It’s critical that I get this right. We made this whole move, in part, as a way to get back to our passions, to ensure our labors fed us both literally and figuratively. When we started, in Virginia, almost exactly one year ago, we called our discussions “path.” The path brought us here, to this foundation. This launch pad. The lesson of the rehabbin’ cabin is: Makers make.