Four Dials

Recently I’ve started listening to the podcast Hello Internet - if you’ve not had a chance i recommend you listen and actually try and stick through it as its a pretty good conversation between two interesting hosts.

Just finished episode 3 (although I’ve also listened to a few of the later episodes, and then jumped back) but the concept of 4 dials or light bulbs in ones life was discussed. The concept stuck with me however what I realised is that actually my dials are different due to my physical location. So to recap the original four dials:

  • Family
  • Work
  • Health
  • Friends

What I’ve realised is that while the first 3 items remain relevant in my life, the last one however has dropped effectively to 0%. In its place my comic book work has taken its place.

When we moved over to Doha the idea of starting fresh with no support network to start from was a daunting one. The truth is, we’ve not actually really developed this support network in any way since we moved here 3 years ago. Apart from the guys in the office, I’ve really not ventured very far in this realm. I try and maintain my connections with my friends, but seeing as they are far away, this was one aspect that I knew was going to take a hit. The concious decision was that we didn’t expand that circle at all.

By the Numbers

This is effectively what my percentages look like at the moment:

  • Family: 30%
  • Work: 50%
  • Health: 5%
  • Comics: 10%
  • Downtime: 5%

Will I ever become a professional cartoonist? Not when I only am dedicating 10% of my energy to the task, it’s really at best, a hobby, a simple side project. My job as an engineer isn’t going away any time soon and my family time and health time are as low as I’m going to go at the moment.

The only part that I could take away is the downtime (watching movies, television, surfing the internet, reading a book or magazine). Those things however are important to keep you sane.

The problem I have with this breakdown is that the reality of the situation is such that I am actually using that 10% and doing wonders with it. I’ve been able to create multiple websites that I run quasi-regularly. I’ve been able to create a web comic that I’ve invested an incredible amount of time to write, draw and now publish. I do acknowledge however that this has been at the expense of other things, and that’s fine for the moment, but it’s not going to stay like that for very long.