Who am I?

I’m an Agilist, a former software engineer, a gamer, an improviser, a podcaster emeritus, and a wine lover. Learn more.

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Paul Tevis

Entries in navel-gazing (45)


More of the Same

A year ago I said that my resolutions for 2014 were to be:

  • Present
  • Deliberate
  • Patient
  • Grateful

These, as it turns out, were a good idea. Did I do them 100% of the time? Nope. Did I do them more often than I had in the past? Yep. Were things better when I did them? Absolutely. That seems like success to me.

I think I’ll do them again, only this time, even more so.


The Coming Year

Historically, I’ve not been big on New Year’s resolutions, as I’ve talked about twice before. The research is pretty clear that setting a big, year-long goal to do something whose accomplishment requires you to make substantial modifications to your lifestyle is a low-percentage way to create effective change. I have come to appreciate resolutions, however, as a way to stake out ground in the battle to be a better person. It’s the being that I want to focus on, rather than the doing. So here are my resolutions for 2014:

  • Be present where I am and with the people who are there.
  • Be deliberate in my choices of words and actions.
  • Be patient, both with myself and others.
  • Be grateful for every minute of it.

The more I live these, the better this next year will be.

Happy New Year, everyone.


Listening To Myself

Living authenticity. Admitting vulnerability. Following your fear.

I’ve been circling these ideas for months now. They’ve got a certain power over me, and they’ve been a through-line in the tangled constellation of thoughts I’ve been been having in the waning half of this year. I don’t have a Grand Unified Theory of “Being Your Real Self By Embracing Those Things You’re Afraid Of” but I think its little brother is following me around.

In the last twenty-four hours I’ve read half a dozen blog posts from people whom I admire in which they talk honestly about problems they’re facing, doubts they’re confronting, fears they’re acknowledging. In those words, I see a courage that I admire and that I aspire to. I see people being who they really are, honestly admitting their fears, honestly assessing the difficulties they are facing (and not whining about them). About eighteen months ago my brain stumbled across what I believe to be my personal motto: “With intensity and integrity.” That is how I see these people living. They inspire me to do the same.

This blog is supposed to be a place where I’m reflective in exactly that kind of way, and I’m conscious of how little I’ve been doing that. I keep telling myself that I’m busy Doing Stuff, which is a Good Thing, and so I don’t really need to let people know what I’m thinking. That misses the point, really, which is that writing here is really for myself. Yes, if I’m willing to honestly assess where I’m at and write truthfully about that, other people will find something in those words that they can take for themselves. But the person I’m really shortchanging by not writing here is me.

I want to tell myself that I’m going to stop doing that, and yet I know that I can’t say that with certainty. It’s a thing that I feel destined to struggle with. It will do what it has always done; it will come and go in cycles. I’ll ride a wave of writing a lot for a while, feeling good about what I’m doing. Something will happen, a routine will change, a rhythm will change, and the momentum will go the other way for a while. But there is one thing that I now realize will be constant: When I’m not writing and I feel like I should be, I’m right.

Time to listen.


Waiting To Be Born

My birthday was two weeks ago. Since then, I’ve been waiting to be born.

Three weeks ago I accepted a new job. Then were were closed for the week of Fourth of July. This week I’ve been wrapping up loose ends at work; my last day is next Wednesday. A week from Monday I’ll start at the new place. I’ll be there for a week and a half before taking a few days of vacation and going to conference for a week. It’ll be the middle of August before things fall into a new routine.

The net effect is that for roughly two months I’ll be in this weird, transitional limbo. I’ve started letting go of the past, but I don’t quite have a future to grab on to.


The Best Kind of Busy

Things, as they say, have been good. I’ve been spending the last few months getting used to a) sleeping more, b) running regularly, and c) eating better. It’s amazing what this has done for my ability to focus and to get things done. This week was an intense period at work, not because of the amount that we need to accomplish, but because the kind of things I needed to do (including helping the team come to agreements about working practices that incorporated a lot of diverse and often unspoken viewpoints) were emotionally trying. Without the habits I’ve been developing, I wouldn’t have made it through.

So the reason you haven’t been hearing from me is that I’ve been soaking a lot of things up, doing a lot of inner work, and building a solid foundation for creativity. And now it feels like I’m starting to come out of my cocoon.