We will never arrive

Arrival bias is a powerful thing. It’s that thing in your mind telling you “I just need to get one more thing done. THEN everything will be good. I just need to buy one more object, then life will feel better. I just need to accomplish one more task. I just need to catch up on my to do list with a few more items. Then I can finally relax. Then I will have arrived.”

This is an insidious feeling. One can recognize it then get trapped by it again in a moment. I’ve been very trapped in it for the past few months. I’ve been meaning to write to have an update to share with friends and colleagues for some time now. But carving the time in which to compose it has always been waiting for just one more thing. 

So I’m just doing the dang thing. Whats new? 

Let’s start with the good, great, wonderful in the world: family first. The Six Year Old loves kindergarten. She goes in excited just about every day. We live close enough to walk, and often do: morning or afternoon, or sometimes both. She is creative and and excited to learn and she keeps going at it. She is loving and sincere and cares deeply about others. 

On the way to school

The baby is fearless. She’s starting to take more and more steps. She’s wild. She does the things you dont want her to do: gleefully, determinedly. She crawl-runs (“cruns”) to the street from the park. She throws sand. She climbs up onto precarious spots on moving bins, on the kitchen table, into aa hammock. She eats black beans eagerly and snubs baby food squeeze pouches. She demands. DEMANDs that you read her another book. Or the same book you are currently reading to her at that very same moment. 

She has climbed an end table to give this hug

Abby is loving teaching yoga again and is very happy to be back out and at it again, and we’re glad the masks we’ve gotten for her (and the 6 year old) function as well as they do to protect our family. 

Loving Yoga

And some challenges: 

We planned for a while then executed suddenly. We swapped the kid’s playroom and my home office/guest room/gym. Now the home office/gym is upstairs between the girls’ bedrooms, and the guest room/playroom is on the ground floor. It’s getting to a pretty good state but the shelves and boxes still need a good deal of sorting. Now when my sister comes to visit we can sacrifice the playroom, without having to sacrifice the office (which isn’t really much of an option).

As a part of that move I did a good amount of network wiring and we’re still figuring it out and how things will connect and what wires must be visible and which can be hidden and how. But it’s fun to show a bit of progress here. 

Childcare is a challenge. We juggle between us and have hired a wonderful and caring person who is triple vaccinated, willing to mask indoors and great with kids. We get help from friends with rides to and from school. 

Its still a challenge. It’s so constant and seems like an endless and constant triage. 

Time management overall has been a challenge. Between moving projects, childcare, our day jobs, the constant maintenance and upkeep and cleaning that is necessary for anyone to do, it would be challenging for anyone, even us as fortunate as we are with dependable income and support from friends and family. To that I’ve chosen to add a good deal of side-project work, like volunteering. 

I’ve been volunteering as a member of the Tech Team with Team America Relief.  For the two weeks in August from 16 Aug-28 Aug things were intense. We did our best to improve the information picture and increase the confidence of official US Government groups (e.g. State and Defense) regarding the status of the people in need of evacuation, and then directing those people to the least bad gates at the airport through which they might escape. We did this because those people deserved our help. Through the strong work of the US Government organizations, the tenacity, courage and cleverness of the Afghan people escaping and the dedicated work of my fellow volunteers in providing this information channel we assisted ~400 people in escaping. And we have records of over 20k more that have not escaped. So in the 6 weeks following those first 2 intense ones we’ve been trying to sort out through what can still be done. Those of us who still hang on are trying to figure out what we can do to help, to advocate for people, to improve the information picture, to connect them to groups succeeding in running chartered-flights. 

I planned to write a separate post about this, about the lessons Ive taken from managing the product we’ve created there under the intensity we’ve seen it through, and likely still will, but probably not right now.

It sounds like the baby is refusing to nap. And the six year old may get tired of watching Tarzan and fruit salad and demand more paper airplane time soon. 

And all that is fine. There is no arrival. Only these moments in life. 

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