Published: Thursday January 29, 2015.

Spark

Two incidents of the past week have stuck in my mind, for good reasons. A couple of days ago, I did something for someone. They said ‘thank you’ afterwards, and it was sincere. No money changed hands, I wasn’t on the clock or mentally preparing a bill for when they inevitably ask ‘how much do I owe you?’. I haven’t yet been able to pin down exactly what was different about that interaction, but a spark happened in my head and it was great.

Someone else, and I have to be a bit careful how much I say for client confidentiality reasons, was having another problem. I presented an (unsolicited) idea for a solution, and worded it along the lines of ‘this is what I would do’. The problem this person was having is a problem I had, and solved. The icing on the solution cake isn’t yet in place, and I haven’t yet made time to get it done, but a simple article with a link from my emails will get that job done. This person has already done this bit of writing, pretty much exactly how I would do it, and that brain spark happened after I read it. I smiled, too. I’m mentally preparing how I want my version of the same thing to look.

Over the weekend, I made a code commit (a modification, if you like) to Textpattern. It was a bit ugly, but sort of did the job. A member of the development team accepted the code commit a couple of days later, and that brain spark appeared again. He then changed part of the code that I’d written. Someone else then added some other stuff to that change. It would have been trivial to deny my commit, write the (correct and/or optimised) code himself and just go about his day. I don’t know if this was a charitable gesture for the newbie (me), or whether it was genuinely easier to have this code merged in and then tweak it, but I’ve made a change to Textpattern that doesn’t involve fixing documentation or something that’s slipped through the net.

These three people, the ones who triggered the spark, are people who play a part in my daily life to a lesser or greater extent. It’s been far too long since the brain spark happened, and having them appear in quick succession like this over the past week has been a refreshing change. The spark has made outlook on other things more positive, too. Whereas previously I was bemoaning things taking so darned long to progress, now I’m paying more attention to the positive changes and not so much of the snags or hurdles.

I went to the beach today. I don’t recall being down there since the new year. I took an empty bag with me and filled it full of plastic, rope and other crud strewn along the strandline. I estimate about 2kg less junk will float back into the Atlantic after high tide. Add that to the 2kg or so that Jen gathered, and that makes 4kg. Two full bags of trash and a deformed hula hoop that are now taken care of.

That’s change, that is.