The First Post of 2013


It’s been an interesting few weeks. Following a Christmas both amazing and stressful, where my father gave me a small chunk of his land to “do with what I will” and part of the barn, and a family emergency kept me up until 7am the next day, I went on to celebrate the season with a bunch of old friends from high school at an “All Years Davis Reunion” that a friend and I organized. We tried a new Facebook Event format where only the people interested in organizing get invited to the event up until a day or two prior to the event. It seemed to work alright, although we had a change of venue at the last minute and I’m pretty sure some people who ended up at the original location stayed there.

For Christmas presents, I did something a bit different this year and gave family members credits for 5 hours of my time — thanks Colleen for the motivation to get these written and decorated.  It went over extremely well, and I’m excited to be able to help my family more with the things they have going on.  For friends, my dad and I made worm buckets from a number of planter buckets from my landscaping gig (which is done and paid!), with bedding material (phone books), instructions, and live worms to start.  I started a Facebook group for folk to share tips and photos, although I’m not sure how much it will be utilized.

The morning after a friend’s holiday party, where I felt completely out of place among the couples, parents, and small children, but still managed to have a good time, I managed to hitch a ride with an old friend to Pleasanton, where I had an interview with a tutoring company.  While the interview went well, we decided (the woman interviewing me and I) that the commute would be deadly without a vehicle — I gave up my car for a while to see if it will help motivate me to use my bike more.  After the interview, I spent a few minutes outside the cafe, playing guitar while waiting for my aunt to pick me up. People in Pleasanton didn’t seem to know what to do with me. Most people ignored me, but one lady came across the street from where she was having lunch to offer me a meal. I guess I looked a) homeless, or b) hungry. Unfortunately, I was neither, and turned her down. If I hadn’t been waiting for my ride, I would have at least joined her for a conversation. Spent a few hours with my Aunt, spreading the “good news” about time-based currencies and micro-entrepreneurial ventures and joking around with my cousin, and then they gave me a ride to Oakland and bought me dinner! Had a good debate with my uncle about the “value” of time — for someone who subscribes to a religion that envisions a future gift-based economy, he had surprisingly mainstream ideas regarding the unequal value of individuals’ time. I got to show off the space we have here at Motive and preen a little before they left. It’s nice to be able to mix my worlds, sometimes.

New Years Eve arrived with a pow, and spent the evening with some good friends and roommates. Fell asleep to a mini-dance party outside my room. I made the mistake of playing music on my desk speakers in my office-nook. The sound was somewhat nostalgic, though, and reminded me of Burning Man, so it was alright.

This last week has been a bit of a blur. 4 meetings in 4 days with people off of BACE — LEED Platinum specialist/Sim City collaborator, seamstress from Minnesota who will be working on more Saddle Sax, ESL teacher in Fruitvale, and Earth Smiths — a prospective bike-cart manufacturing upstart based out of a bakery in Bayview. Today, I worked on another table for Reclaim with Nina with good progress made. I swear, every time I meet with her, we come up with some brilliant ideas about micro-business upstarts and how to go about implementing them.  Today, we focused some of our conversation on fusing community-supporting actions with micro-business in the form of workshops — an idea I will have to explore soon.

While writing this all down, it seems like, besides Xmas, only positive things happened during the past few weeks.  Really, I was pretty low at the start of the week.  The previous week’s family drama almost derailed me, and the post-holiday slump meant that no one was responding to my emails.  I found myself hungover and depressed on the first day of the year, half believing that the energy, good will, and forward momentum that I’ve been feeling in recent months are merely the effects of an outrageous manic state. Luckily, it seems that my fears were unfounded, but I gained a good lesson from a few days in a funk:

Sometimes it’s good to take a vacation from happiness, just to see where you stand.

Happy New Year, Y’all!

2013 For The Win


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