Lately, I've felt like the old Maxwell ad. While it's nice to go with the flow, ease with the breeze, the Maxell effect is something different: kind of like being in a wind tunnel, blown away, holding on for dear life, else I'll end up somewhere in Kansas.
There is so much going on around here. I'm presently working for two amazing places, and it keeps me on my toes. The toes of my left foot are immersed in my lifelong passion -- education -- and the toes of my right foot are immersed in my newfound excitement -- the startup world. Writing about what folks are doing in mobile development these days is mindblowing. "There's an app for that" is an understatement. There are apps that are really saving lives: cancer detection apps, for example. Life is getting easier and easier at the touch of some buttons because of the ingenuity of mobile developers. I'm in awe.
Watching CNBC yesterday, I saw Maria Bartiromo interviewing Twitter and Square co-founder Jack Dorsey, whom I've long admired, gushing about how both of his tools offer simplicity of connection with humankind. His description of his focus not on when to IPO, but, rather, on how to invoke systemic change over generations had me on my feet. Yes, I thought, I drink that Kool-Aid! And I'm meeting those people, the folks changing the world like that. To quote my teenaged self, it is so cool!
And then, I'm also home, wearing my other hat: Mama. Oftentimes after school, that Maxell effect continues a bit: Dash's soccer practice, Petunia's game, meeting here, picking that up there, etc. But somehow in the early evening, we make it home, and ahhhhh. The wind stops blowing. The lights dim a bit, and we sit around a table. Lately, we've been enjoying our fireplace -- something we hadn't used in 4 years -- and it's been magical to curl up with a dog and a book and two kids eager to hear about the adventures of The Genius Files kids Coke and Pep. (All Dan Gutman books are great -- can't recommend them enough!) And then they go to bed, and I give myself half an hour before I burn the midnight oil returning to one of my two work-from-home jobs.
In that half an hour before the fireplace, I focus on the good in the world. The kids who say the darnedst things. My girl on the cusp of becoming a woman and so fiercely independent. My boy determined to stay little for as long as possible and so fiercely snuggly. The friends who have become family. The family whose help has exceeded expectations. The hope I have to love and to be loved again. The reflection of the flames on the piano I didn't used to play enough -- the instrument at which I now sit daily and play my heart out in memory of a time in my life when I was something else, someone else, someone whole and certain and filled with curiosity about the next note, the next tune, the next chance to perform in my own right.
In the quiet moments, I remember what I used to be and think about what I might become. I could focus on my fears, but, instead, as the flames die out and my attention shifts to the night of work that lies ahead, I focus on my dreams. I get to have some new ones now, and that's something about which to be excited.
The Maxell effect returns, and my quiet moments fade into another harried day, but I carry that peace -- that hope -- with me now in a way I never did. One day blends into the next, and I carry on.