Ben is a lifelong Nintendo fan who likes to build websites, and make video games. He buys way too much Lego.
A lot has happened in my life in the last year – so much that I’ve probably missed some things. In an effort to remember what’s happened I thought I’d break the blogging silence with a post summarising how and why I have had to grow up over the last 12 months.
As of August 2015 I was made redundant from Miniclip.com – a company I had worked for since 2004 – so I switched to working on my WordPress themes, at Pro Theme Design, full time.
In February this year my son was born – and I became a father. It’s made working from home a challenge – but the bonus is I get to spend time with the tiny man (who is currently sitting on my lap – fidgeting away).
Last Friday we (Britain) voted to leave the EU – which I am more upset about than I had imagined. I’m still quite frustrated by the whole thing, and concerned for the future of the country I was born and raised in. Hopefully we’ll muddle through – but at the moment it doesn’t look like anyone knows how that will happen.
All of these things combined have made me reflect on my life, and forced me to finally grow up.
I haven’t blogged much in the last year. And by much I mean at all! 🙁 This is something I hope to change in the next year. I am hoping to publish at least one post a week. We’ll see how that turns out!
Since Jo became pregnant (around this time last year), I have started cooking. Previously Jo had always done the cooking, but the pregnancy made her feel really nauseous so I took over. I’ve done 95% of the cooking since – and I really enjoy it. I had cooked a number of times before, but not as often as I do now. I’m now at the stage where I’m experimenting – I’ve learnt the basics, and so I now like to add extra ingredients in and see if Jo notices (hope she doesn’t read this :)).
Working part time
While Jo was pregnant I was working 5 days a week, but if we wanted to go out for the day we did. Not having to answer to a boss means I can take any time off that I like.
Since my son was born I’ve been even busier – and have now switched to working roughly 3 days a week, and evenings (after Jo and the baby go to bed). This means I can spend lots of quality time with the family and see my baby boy grow – something I consider myself lucky to be able to enjoy.
We’re hoping that in the coming years, before he starts school, we’ll be able to travel more and give him a solid start to life. Something we can enjoy as a family, since I can work from anywhere there’s an internet connection.
Better Time Management
Now that my working days are fewer – I am a lot more efficient. I have always considered myself quite efficient – but now I realise just how wrong I was. Having to juggle looking after the house, with looking after the baby has made me more focused than ever.
So what have I done?
In the last year I have, released 5 themes (Romero, Exhibit, Monet, Passenger, and Carmack), and submitted two free themes to wordpress.org (am now waiting for the theme review). I have also redesigned Pro Theme Design (twice), and reignited the social networking for the Pro Theme Design brand in the hope that it will increase sales. I’ve learnt about task runners (specifically Gulp), and have switched to SASS. I now use SVG’s instead of icon fonts – so I made a set of them to use in my themes (I’ll be releasing it later). Around my birthday I made a short game, and I’ve started planning a bigger version of it. I completed Rise of the Tomb Raider.
Writing it all down now, I’m not sure how I managed to fit all of that in – but it makes it feel like I’ve been more productive than I realised.
We live in an age where it’s acceptable for grown people to play video games, and not take work so seriously. The increase of the internet has meant working from home or remotely is a lot more common – especially for web designers. As such I’ve spent the last 36 years having fun – and I hope for that to continue (I got Lego sets for my 36th birthday) – but having a son also means I now need to grow up and start doing serious things like making wills, and child proofing my house. Things I had never considered before.
It’s an interesting change, and one I am looking forward to exploring more as my son continues to develop. Plus I’ll get to play with Lego with him! 🙂