As you may have noticed I’ve fallen woefully behind on my posting duties here. This is not for lack of trying however. I have at least a dozen “drafts” in my blog feed that are in various stages of
total crap completion. Though finding the time to complete a thought, not to mention a whole blog post, is running scarce lately. I suppose this would seem a good problem to have, but as I continue the flip-flopping from day-job to moonlighting the problem I am most often running head-long into is one I haven’t experienced really since my freshman year of college:
meet my deadlines or sleep.
If you’re an Architect or designer or artist or professional of any flavor, you know as well as I do which one of those wins out almost 100% of the time. Deadlines. After all, if we didn’t meet our deadlines our clients won’t pay us, nor will they be likely to bring more business down the road.
Some of you know my story. The short version is I work full time for a small commercial firm in Jacksonville, Florida; I teach at a local community college; and I moonlight as a Architectural Designer. I’m also a husband to a very VERY understanding and sympathetic wife, and father to 3 seriously awesome kids. The question I’m asked most is “How do you balance everything and stay sane? What’s your secret?”
Well, first, who said I was sane? Anyone who willingly takes on the kind of schedule I do is clearly not playing with a full deck of cards.
As far as “my secret”…I really don’t think their is one. To illustrate what I mean, my wife has me hooked on this new reality show called Breaking Pointe about a ballet company and the “behind the scenes” workings of the ballet biz. And by hooked, I mean obviously she wants to watch it so if I wish to sit near her I must watch also. In the show one of the dancers is describing the difficulties of dating outside the ballet world. The frustration centers around regular people not getting it or thinking that dancing is more important, blah blah blah. Stay with me – the thing to note here is that when you are passionate about your profession, your art, your craft, whatever, then you simply make it work. There is no secret formula, no magical vortex that I step into to freeze time and multiple my productivity (that would be so sweet though). I just get it done.
The simplest truths are always the most profound. Architecture, like any other profession and art, takes a dedication that very few people understand, nor can they sympathize with our desire to spend countless hours in front of a computer or hunched over a drafting table scribbling out one design idea after another for clients with even less sympathy than the average person for what we put ourselves through in order to meet a deadline. But it’s what we do. It’s what we’re called to do. I can be exhausted and annoyed after 15 minutes of just about any activity, but 18 hours straight of nothing but architecture and design? Hell, I’m just getting started.
Anyone else feel this way or am I all alone? :-\