There’s a lot I didn’t say in the Open Letter (which I cross-posted here for your commenting pleasure) about the year I’ve spent working out of my home as a cartoonist.
At the top of the list is how much more I appreciate my family. I’m with them all the time, these days. As I write this I can hear Patches and Gleek (2-year-old son, 4-year-old daughter) playing together in the family room. Patches keeps saying something about the “Daddy Car,” which is one of the two green “new beetle” toy cars we have. I think he’s playing a game where Daddy drives very, very dangerously. I’m afraid to go look.
Speaking of driving dangerously, I totally and completely do NOT miss commuting. The pleasure I get from my automobile is now unmitigated by hundreds of hours of my life spent wasted on the freeway. Driving is more fun these days — especially when I take care to not hit certain roads between 4:30pm and 6:30pm.
Another pleasure is cooking. We can’t afford some of the really fancy ingredients I used to love (it’s hard to go wrong with fresh tiger prawns, for instance), but with the money we save not buying pre-packaged crap (you know, that stuff YOU are eating, RIGHT NOW IN FRONT OF YOUR COMPUTER) we can still afford things like olive oil, rice vinegar, and coconut milk — key ingredients in some of the fun things I’ve learned to cook since leaving Novell. Often my “lunch break” here at home is 90 minutes long, and involves cooking something complex, aromatic, and delicious. Equally often I do something simple, like grill burgers on the back deck. Sandra and I get to eat together a lot.
There are things I’m not doing right. I waste a lot of time in front of the computer. I don’t get enough sleep. I’ve not gotten decent exercise in several months. But these are all things over which I have complete control. My schedule is my own, and if I want to create better sleep and exercise habits, I don’t have to clear it with the VP of Product Marketing first.
And now, I need a shower. It’s almost 9:00am, and I’m still in my underwear.