Infrastructure

Life lately has been about making plans … my house, my job, martial arts, Dragon*Con, podcasting. It makes me think a lot about the framework I have built for my life. In business it’s called “infrastructure” and it’s something I’ve been building up in life.

For a business, infrastructure is seen as mostly physical assets … buildings, vehicles, computers, equipment. Infrastructure also extends to intangible assets, like processes and people. A business with the right infrastructure can work even when some pieces go missing. Cars die, computers crash, people quit … but business goes on.

My life has been building a solid infrastructure … home, friends, job, hobbies. Some of these things change, and the rest of the system can balance it out.

What’s hard for any business, or any person, is when key pieces of that infrastructure go missing. The main server crashes, a product fails to launch, a key employee quits … these can hurt any business without a good structure. The same is true for any personal infrastructure.

August was a month where my infrastructure changed drastically. Some of it is good, a lot of it bad and most of it caught me off guard.

The big change … that’s something too personal to talk about here. Something I wanted to make a bigger part of my life got away. A big piece of that personal infrastructure went away, almost overnight. It was a lot like wanting to promote someone right before they quit the company. Surviving that with my sanity intact is thanks to friends who are closer to me than most people are to their families.

The small change happened weeks before … a friend who was rooming with us moved out to go back to school. This opened up the guest room, which Suzan immediately started to redecorate. Having this room back gave us space to properly setup hew sewing kit and let’s me reclaim the front office.

So days before Dragon*Con, when I have video to edit and equipment to pack, I’m cleaning up my office and putting shelves in a now empty closet. Yes, I need to do other work, but a few hours cleaning this room let’s people sleep here before and after con.

A little time spent on the infrastructure makes life easier later.

So I sat in a mass of papers, photos and computer parts that day, watching the irony pile up around me like last week’s laundry. I’m filling the empty space left behind in my house to make it easier for the people in my life to enjoy their time here … the time is totally worth it, even if it could be spent elsewhere.

What about the other space left in my life? It’s bigger than any bedroom, more barren than any vacated closet. Do I leave it alone, walling it off to ignore what may be left in the dark, or do I make use of that “space” I never wanted to vacate in the first place?

No, that space will be filled. The time I spent there is now time I can spent with the key people in my life, or spent getting closer to people I should know better. That space will not be closed, neglected or left alone like that closet nobody dares open.

It’s a strong infrastructure. When things change its there to support me, and I will make it stronger.

Yes, days like this I wish I could tell the whole story … but it’s long and complicated and not as important as knowing I took the time to setup my life to help me when things like this happen. The people close to me matter, and I try make sure they know that … that’s the infrastructure I built without ever realizing until I needed it.

Time to go build more.

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