Amazing to think I have been writing this blog now for four years. What started as a place to share about my freelancing has blossomed into a platform where I not only discuss freelancing, but I also share about life as a caregiver, my hobbies, provide a platform at times for others, and ramble on about other random musings. This blog has been a place where I can share and build relationships with you all online.
This year focused on finding a rhythm to life as compared to 2017’s year of changes. We know some big changes are coming to our lives in the not-to-distant future with our daughters having summer internships, college graduation in a couple years, and who knows what beyond that. But as 2018 nears its end, this year has felt like a year of settling in for a long haul. Angie’s Multiple Sclerosis has settled into a new stability while she is in the second year of a new MS medication. At home, both of us are starting to get used to life as partial empty-nesters, while I have been finding a balance of caregiving responsibilities with the normal rhythm of work, home, family, and hobbies. This has been my second school year as the Director of Academic Technology / Associate CIO at Taylor University. Now that I have a better feel of the ebb and flow of the school year and my responsibilities, I have had much more time to focus on building relationships with faculty and academic leadership, along with developing strategies and roadmaps for the future of instructional technology at Taylor. I have continued to be an adjunct faculty at Taylor also. Last spring, I taught Game Studies for the second time, and will once again be teaching Writing & Editing for Gaming in the spring 2019 semester. I feel much more comfortable teaching both of those classes having learned a lot the first time teaching each of them. My freelance work has settled into a much more consistent rhythm as I now have an ongoing contract with Stronghold Games to focus on helping them grow as a result of their merger into Indie Game Studios. I have been assisting with the development of new communication procedures and a style guide, along with editing and proofreading of their games.
Through all the change of last year and the finding more stability and peace this year, I have two things that I have really impacted me.
- Patience – Not a virtue I manage as well as I should, and it appears that is the lesson I am to learn now. Through the struggles and challenges of last year’s changes, I really could not find stability and peace like I was desiring. When life gets that way, I tend to want to bear down and fight my way through it. What I am learning is that sometimes you have to just bend with the wind and wait for things to calm down. Be patient. As much as my stubborn, fiery side wants to step to the front and get things done no matter the cost, I find if I can step back and listen, accept help from others, and let some things slide for a while, that I can find some peace and calm. Those things that I thought HAD to be done now waited just fine. That thing I wanted to accomplish, and fought so hard for so long, didn’t come until I quit forcing the agenda. They came within their own time, and in the proper manner. I am having to learn to be patient and accept that I cannot accomplish everything in the time I desire, and some things have to be set aside for another day (or perhaps never). Not something natural to me, but I am finding that the more I accept patience, the more at peace I am, which makes me a better person.
- Simplifying Does Not Mean Less – One of the things my wife and I have been working on together this year has been simplifying our lives in many areas so we can have more time together and more time for other things. Yes, that old adage “Less is more” can be true in many ways. As a caregiver, if we can make my responsibilities (like housework, cooking, etc) simpler, then it frees up time for me to do other things (like hobbies). Culling my game collection has allowed me to focus more on games I am really passionate about, and provided some wonderful additions to the campus library’s game collection for others to enjoy. But what has been fascinating and pertinent to this blog, simplifying my freelancing has led to increased work that I really enjoy. How does simplifying lead to more work that is more fun? This Fall I stepped away from my open freelancing, especially RPG work, to focus on assisting Stronghold Games as a part of their merger into Indie Games Studios. Rather than seasons of extremely busy times and then times of drought, I now have an ongoing relationship and consistent work with Stronghold Games. In fact, I am actually doing more work overall but spread out in such a way that I can manage it much better with my job and caregiving. So I have simplified my freelancing, but increased my effectiveness and enjoyment of my work.
Your comments and words of encouragement throughout the year inspire me to continue writing this blog. Thanks for journeying along with me and listening to my musings. I am blessed to have you as readers and friends.