Big Picture Thinking, Part 2

For those that missed a couple of days, I’ve been involved in a lot of detail work in my job lately and wasn’t feeling very innovative/creative…and this is a time when I probably should be doing some big-picture thinking about who I am and what I do. In my professional circles, they call this stuff like “vision-casting.” So, I read a book written for grownups to kind of get you thinking like a high-school guidance counselor might get you to think about your future/life.

It has a few creative exercises that I thought I’d work through here at The Diner. And, as I said before, if you’ve got a blog and want to tag along, consider yourself “tagged” and have at it.

Anyway, here’s today’s question:

What would your life look like, day to day, if you had $100 million in the bank?

Most all of my days would start much the same way they currently do. I’d get up at 5AM, shower, spend time devotionally reading the Bible (I use “The Message” for my devotional reading) and pray. Maybe journal if the mood hits…sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn’t. Then I’d read the daily miracle that is a newspaper. Generally speaking, all this is done by 6:30AM or maybe 7AM. I get more done in the quiet before my family gets moving.

Side note: This book’s author says he stopped reading a paper and watching news and checking internet news sites and listening to news radio. Said it freed up lots of time…and he gets that information from social interaction asking questions of people. Close to election time he e-mails knowledgeable people in political fields and “targets” the information he wants. I’m a bit different…the local paper gets my brain engaged. I think of it as an on-ramp to the freeway of the day.

Then, I’d spend two hours in my writing area of my downtown loft. It’s hard to write creatively when there are blow dryers and
iHomes cranking out iTunes and such and Good Morning, Texas! people with their fake happy mornings. I truly believe that creativity requires discipline and routine (which may be why I’m not all that creative, but my particular creativity comes in short bursts at the same time every day).

Followed by an hour and a half of P90X and lunch after that.

After lunch, I’d spend studying and reading for my doctoral work…and since I’d probably be some sort of teaching assistant as part of that process, my guess is that I’d probably teach a class in youth ministry on Tuesday/Thursday afternoons. My Wednesday/Friday afternoons would be involved in actually doing my youth ministry I currently do. So, there might be preparations for Bible studies or the various teaching times I have with my students.

Early evenings would be set aside for ministry with my students…you know, going to coffee and such.

After dinner, I’d spend another hour writing…this is another time when my creative bursts happen.

This would be followed by my evenings free to do stuff like go to hockey games/baseball games/football games with friends or family (this is why I wanted six of the ticket packages–it’s not really all that fun to just go by yourself). Or go on real, live dates with my wife and/or daughters…even if that’s just sitting on the roof of my downtown loft (you really don’t think I’d be in the middle of the building if I had $100 million in the bank, do you?) with them. We might imbibe from my really cool bar in the media room or we might not, or if the weather’s bad we might watch a game/movie/show in that very media room. Or we might go out to great restaurants and such. Whatever. My nights, from like 7PM on, would be relational fun stuff. Of course, some nights might just be reading or extra writing.

Naturally, there’d be breaks in all this…like if I were writing a book that required significant travel or speaking at conferences and such. But, that’d more or less be my days.

So, it’s funny when I re-read this because I’m surprisingly close to what I’d consider my ideal life. I mean, sure, the reality is that I do have a suburban home with all the warps and woofs of that…and I have a job that, in order to do it, requires about 6 office hours and 4-8 after-hours to do that, depending on what one-on-one or family meetings I need to have. But, an awful lot of the elements are kind of there already.

Maybe I don’t have all that much creative vision-casting going on. Maybe I’m in some sort of rut where I can’t see out to do something more ambitious and big-picture. This I’d blame on my father. He was a blue-collar steel-working guy who went to work so he could hang with family or spend his weekends hunting/fishing/sports-watching/golfing. At least this was my impression before he died when I was 13. Maybe my worldview is too small.

Or maybe I’m just closer to doing what I want to do than most people are at my age. Without the money in the bank, anyway. Maybe I’m generally happy.

Either way, that’s what my days would look like.