Last week I headed north for a family funeral. The funeral was for my father’s uncle, who was quite an old man. It wasn’t terribly unexpected that he had died and he had been sick for a while.
In a way it was a good chance to get the family together. I got to meet an uncle’s new wife for the first time. I also met a cousin who lives in another country and who I haven’t seen for many years. I was living in London for a few years until 2012 so I missed a few family get-togethers.
In a way it was also a little depressing. An interesting man had died and I probably hadn’t seen him for abut 10 years. Maybe more. He had been surrounded by a vibrant community in a small town who all mourned his passing yet the death doesn’t really change my daily life in any way.
Also, it felt like the family was the most important part of the funeral and related events. We had parts to play in the funeral service. We were treated well by local people that we met.
But I felt like a bit of an imposter. I hadn’t seen my great uncle for years but because of a blood tie, I was considered more important than his friends that he saw every week.
Funerals are a useful time to reflect on life of the deceased and what they have achieved. Remember that you can’t take those achievements with you unless they are shared with others.
Funerals are also a useful time to reflect on your own life and where it is going. Are you going to be the only person at your own funeral? Might pay to work now to avoid that.
I’ve been trying to keep busy at home the past few weeks by writing an iPhone app to try and learn some new skills. This has been an interesting task after years of working as a database developer because of the need to learn a whole different style of programming.
I have got a nice simple app to work on that provides some useful GPS data in a simple format. I’ve been working on it for a few weeks now. There is probably only about one more week of work before I’m finished but I’m struggling to get that week of work done.
Last week I was investigating using the computer to generate BitCoins (well DogeCoin actually). That might’ve been a good idea a few years ago but now my computer can’t process anything fast enough. I even rented an Amazon server for a couple of days at $0.15 per hour to generate coins. I’m now the proud owner of 1900 DogeCoin (worth about $2) and an Amazon server bill of $5. I am no Satoshi Nakamoto!
The week before that I was mostly just distracted and didn’t get much done at all.
I’ve learnt a few things from my time spent trying to program:
1. Finding the focus to stay motivated without a boss telling you what to do is pretty hard. I have been good quite a bit of the time but am starting pretty late in the morning and wasting quite a lot of time.
2. Without a client setting the requirements it’s pretty hard to pin down the functionality that I require. I’ve got some features added and want a couple more but I’m having trouble actually designing them. Making progress but only slow progress.
3. My skills are pretty limited and being a one-man development shop requires a wide skill base. Even just simple things like designing an icon or doing other graphic design tasks are outside my usual skill set but I need to find a way of getting them done (without paying someone).
So? Where to from here? Next week I need to make a plan, decide what progress I need to make and actually complete this application. How hard can it be?