Jeez I Must Be Getting Old

I don’t mind telling you that I’m exhausted. Aside from the stress of starting a new job – which means learning not just people but also products, technology*, process specific to the company – there’s also the stress of commuting daily in Manila. I figure I’m spending 2-1/2 hours in the car per day, 4 days per week. Podcasts and audiobooks are helping me to feel productive during that time but it’s not exactly a civilized way to spend one’s life.

*technology – I think this is worth noting. At my last job, when the new owners said I would be included in the lay-offs, I asked why and the new CEO said to me, “Well, we’re going to move everything to Amazon Web Services and you don’t have any experience with that, do you?” And he sat back with a smug smile. I replied, “I’ve been doing this for 30 years. Do you seriously think Amazon has anything that I couldn’t learn inside of a week?” His smile went away; he had no response. And now I’m managing an environment that includes AWS, Docker, Kubernetes and all sorts of fun new tools that I didn’t have in my last place. (And also managing two other teams aside from the hosting team.)

Anyway, “excuses have their uses but now they’re all used up” – so no excuses for not posting in so long. I actually did start a post three weeks ago and haven’t had the time to catch my breath and finish it off. So here it is:

Sunday in the Philippines. And at the end of the day I turned to my wife and said, “I know we didn’t do much today, but it was pretty close to a perfect day for me.” So what did I do today?

Not really much. Got the car washed. A little shopping. Dinner and a movie – at home.

And I told my wife it was almost a perfect day. I told her we got to spend the day together. I felt like I accomplished stuff. I had some time along to do some of my crap. We got out of the house for a little bit. We didn’t spend much money. There was almost no traffic getting to or from the places we went to. And mostly the day was completely stress-free, something not to be undervalued given the pressure at work.

I mean, I think about my Sundays 10 or 15 years ago (and those of you who’ve known me a long time or been reading my stuff for a long time know what I mean) and I’m not sure if it’s a sign of growing old, of changing priorities, or of figuring out what’s really important.

Though inversely … while we were sitting at the car wash, I was flipping back and forth between Twitter, Instagram and WeChat. Different stuff. Some guy in China I met last year asking me for career advice. Reading some news about the government shutdown and came across an article about The Lost History of the Yiddish Typewriter  and an editorial in The Times titled They Were Bad. He May Be Worse. (No bonus points for guessing what that’s about.)

My wife looked over at me and said, “You’re always busy. How do you manage to stay so busy?”

It’s funny because lately I’m reaching the decision that being “always busy” is not a good thing. Because I rarely leave time to just sit and think. I mean, even now, as I’m sitting here writing this, it’s a distraction from just sitting and doing nothing except thinking. And I believe I’m worse off because of that. I need to be less busy.