Why "totality" is overrated

Why "totality" is overrated

This eclipse was no Y2K bust.

On August 21, millions of people skipped work or school. During the buildup, they shopped for or made protective eyewear. They overbooked and rebooked hotel rooms and campsites. They descended on small towns that made big profits thanks only to their fortunate location along totality's path.

It was over in minutes. And after witnessing this miracle of science, the exodus began. People sat for many hours on clogged highways scanning their phones for the best eclipse photos from around the country. I know. I did it too. 

 Kia with the eclipse tattoo and Becky's Mom, in whose backyard we camped.

Kia with the eclipse tattoo and Becky's Mom, in whose backyard we camped.

Don't get me wrong: totality was totally worth the drive from Denver to Glenrock, Wyoming. After camping in the backyard of a friend of a friend of a friend, about 30 of us packed up and relocated to the local nine-hole golf course. Over bloody Mary's and breakfast burritos, we waited. As anticipation built, Kia showed off her eclipse tattoo. Children made crowns from rosemary sprigs that had flowered.

And then totality came.

An astronomer let me peek through his telescope. Before the light returned, a herd of animals ran mad in circles in the distance. I sat in the grass and wept. The emotion was inexplicable, really, but for the fact that since leaving my job I had been traveling on and off for six weeks and teaching myself to camp. I was with new friends and my tent was in my car. I was open to the magic.

The traffic on the I-25 South was ridiculous. It took four hours (not 45 minutes) to inch from Glenrock to the Glendo exit, where the big brown sign promised a reservoir and campground. My new schedule had nothing on it.

 Solitude at Glendo Reservoir campsite after the eclipse.

Solitude at Glendo Reservoir campsite after the eclipse.

New at the camping gig, I'd never tried a walk-up site but I was feeling lucky. People with day jobs were heading in the opposite direction. 

Setting my tent, I thought about totality in the context of starting this blog. My new place in the gig economy. The life I am about to launch.

When will I be totally ready? When will work I do for a client (or writing of my own) be totally perfect or complete? What might total success look like?

Of course there's no such thing.

Entrepreneurs launch when they have "minimum viability."  As @grahamashton, founder of Agile, wrote on his blog: "The goal of the Minimum Viable Product is to begin the process of learning, not end it."

Now we're talking!

So...Welcome to Flamingo Strategies, my new business to help clients connect their vision to storytelling and voice. And this, Hacking Away at Happiness, is my new blog.

Rather than planning or hoping for totality, I begin today with sufficient features to satisfy early adopters. That's you! Let me know what you think.

 The ordinary, extraordinary sunset, eight hours after the total eclipse.

The ordinary, extraordinary sunset, eight hours after the total eclipse.

Giving away the trampoline

Giving away the trampoline

On beginning again, and again

On beginning again, and again