Just spent a couple of days reading this on vacation. Really fantastic book.

Long story short, an astronaut gets stranded on Mars. He engineers and potato farms to survive while NASA and his fellow astronauts try to figure out how to get him home.

Shawn Blanc:

We mustn’t be afraid of failing nor of being rejected, and we must place more value on the act of creating so we can find joy in the journey and develop a lifetime of experience in making things.

Shawn has some great advice on creativity. I can feel every one of the stiflers of creativity that he mentions getting a foothold in my work. I’m going to try to be more intentional about keeping those things at bay.

Matt Gemmell adds

Creative people, in my experience, are plagued with doubt. This is awful! they all think, definitely including myself. It’s a very personal thing, and it’s insidious because you’re the only one who gets to see the first drafts, and the refinements, and whole, messy stop and start and double-back of producing something worthwhile. It’s hard to keep in mind that the first version of everything is garbage, and the final version of everything is still garbage to the person who made it.

I absolutely struggle with this every single day.

So no, I’m not required to be able to lift objects weighing up to fifty pounds. I traded that for the opportunity to trim Satan’s pubic hair while he dines out of my open skull so a few bits of the internet will continue to work for a few more days.

Hilarious. Depressing. Accurate.

My father used to always say, “Ask questions, don’t make assumptions.” Questions invite conversations, stimulate thinking, break down barriers, create positive energy and show your willingness to understand and learn. Questions show humility, acknowledgement and respect for the past, and give you greater insights into both the business and individuals. And don’t be afraid to ask personal questions or share a few of your personal details.

Some great advice that I could follow more often.

Miscarriage

I had originally planned to call this post “Surprise”, because that’s exactly what it was when Lauren and I found out we were going to have our first child. But as we neared our 6th week, and our first ultrasound, our excitement was turning into fear. Blood was coming when it shouldn’t have been.

A week and three ultrasounds later, our baby was gone.

The emotions of going from “oh crap we’re having a baby” to “I can’t wait to have this child” to “I don’t know what’s happening” and finally to “Your baby isn’t there anymore” are brutal.

When we first found out Lauren was pregnant, we had to allow ourselves some time to grieve. Not to grieve the new life we created, but to grieve the loss of our plans for the next couple of years. This wasn’t supposed to happen yet. I wanted to get a dog first. But that very quickly changed to excitement (and then quickly back and forth between fear and excitement).

The doctors told us that this isn’t uncommon, and happens more than 20% of the time. Usually it happens because of severe genetic defects, and the body stops the pregnancy before it gets going. I have to marvel at the wonder of God’s creation. That He makes our bodies stop these things when He has to, to prevent pain and grief down the road.

Conversely, I have to think about the babies born with various defects and disease. We may question why God would put those babies and families through that. But God keeps those babies going because he knows they are strong enough and their purpose important enough to bring them into this world.

We are so thankful to the close friends and family who were around to love and share this with us. While we’re heartbroken, we’re glad to have the opportunity to talk about something that just isn’t talked about enough, failed pregnancy.

I was driven a bit mad even in the few shorts weeks we had that I couldn’t tell people. I found the idea of waiting until you’re far in and complication free absurd. And now, after this experience, I find it even more ridiculous. You’re denying yourself the support and love of people around you. Is it uncomfortable telling people you lost your baby not long after you told them you were pregnant? Absolutely. But I’d take that every time over dealing with this fear and pain alone. Having to tell my parents, “oh by the way, we were going to have a baby, but we had a miscarriage” was way worse than if they had been there through the whole experience. I’m SO thankful for the people close to us in Orlando who we told and were there to support us through every scary moment.

This child was created in passion, when… certain precautions weren’t taken (ew.. sex.. right?). Before the miscarriage, I’d had a dream that we had a girl, and that’s as good as anything to go on, right? We wanted to memorialize her, so we named her Emma. One of Lauren’s supervisors at school said that she must be a full and passionate woman with God now. That is a thrilling thing to think about.

I can’t wait to meet you one day, Emma.