I shared in a post a few days ago how we had come to buy a home in Lake Tahoe. To make a long story short, the primary motivating factor was that this is where our friends are. It took us leaving for a while to really figure that out. In the grand scheme of things, I am happy we left and came back here very intentionally. Buying a house wasn’t a flippant move or a matter of convenience. This is where we want to be.
But after three years of quasi-nomadic living and six years of constant moving and change, why have we decided to settle at all? That’s what I want to get into in this post, and it has to do with channeling your life energy.
My very good friend Bryan was our realtor and our lifeline in a very complicated home purchase, which was further complicated by us, the buyers, being 500 miles away. I told Bryan after we closed that I still didn’t know whether he was a good realtor or rather an exceptional friend. During the escrow I lamented to him how much I looked forward to the margin in my life that a home would bring.
I’ve never been super into productivity hacks. Maximum productivity has never been my goal. But in recent months I found myself increasingly frustrated by a lack of productivity in my life. I had this pent up energy to work — to produce something — and I felt like all that energy was being wasted on where I would work, or where our family would even live.
Bryan paid me a tremendous compliment at this point. He was confused by this comment because he said he felt like I had someone manged to clone myself. That I had somehow managed to continue being a present and active father, that I had become this fitness feen, and that I was kicking butt in my primary work gig. From his perspective, I was already super productive. He saw production, what he even described as a high level of production.
It was a great compliment because the three areas he highlighted have been my focus for some time. Here was a close friend observing my life and what he saw — the output that he observed — it the very things I had been focusing my life energy on.
So I had enough time — enough margin — in my life to do a really good job at those three things. But I was spending a lot of time on a fourth thing, that fourth thing being where I would live and work.
Let’s start with work. What coffee shop will I go to today? Will the wifi be working? Will it be crowded? What if I need to make calls and it’s loud? The books I need to reference, the files I want to review? Where are those? Packed away in a storage unit somewhere?
And we’ve spent a lot of time figuring out where we would live, not just in recent months as our living situation in Santa Barbara got upended and we were working to buy a home. It’s been that way constantly. It’s the tyranny of choice. Everything is possible. Let’s spend a month in Guatemala and then do a road-trip through California and then go camping. Or should we rent a house in Lake Tahoe? Or go back to Santa Barbara. Endless options, endless time spent analyzing the options.
I wanted to take all the time I was spending figuring out where I would live and work and instead spend it on actually producing a body of work. This past fall I wrote this post — What am I doing with my life? In a sense, that blog post, which I wrote before we had any idea we could possibly buy a home at this time, is one answer to why we bought a home now.
The timing, I think, is perfect. (God’s timing always is). This frustration with the ability to get into a good work flow — and the ability to channel creativity — has been a frustration for a while. But maybe it was good that I wasn’t able to get to some of the things I wanted to do two years ago until now. Ideas have marinated. Thoughts have processed. Perspectives have changed.
I want to continue channeling my life energy to be a good dad, to continue to make physical health and wellness a priority in my life, and to kick butt with my primary professional work. But all that life energy that I was using to figure out where I would live and work I now want to channel into writing and creative work. More books, more private letters and correspondence, more time writing in my journals. I want to write letters now that I will be able to give to my children when they are older. I want to write down some lessons I have learned in the past few years before I forget them. I want to go through some of my old writing that I’ve never published. I have boxes and boxes of journals and notebooks that I have filled over the past twenty years. And I want to delve into new mediums, including podcasting, but maybe other mediums as well.
I think the next few years are going to be very exciting.
This past fall I shared with a mentor that I had no desire for extended travel right now. I’ve loved the long stints of time we’ve been able to spend in Thailand and Central America and road-tripping across the United States. But right now all I want to do is be home and in a groove, and then travel somewhere for a week or two and then come back and get into my groove again. It won’t always be this way. But for now I am happy to be home in Lake Tahoe with family and friends, and yes, to work.
Clark Vandeventer is the author of the book unWorking, available on Amazon and wherever books are sold.