When I moved into the new place, I was surprised how easily I slept. If I sat down too long, or lay down, that was it – asleep.
My immediate problem was how counterproductive it was when I had so much to do. I’d scheduled a vacation, the first real one in 18 years, where I disappear for a while – but I hadn’t realized how much I needed it.
The only way I got where I am today is through hard work and discipline. If that meant working at getting a job, or working at fixing something, or working on writing something – code or otherwise – that was what I did.
I didn’t have to like it. I just had to do it. That seems a novel thing in this day and age.
You find the parts you like and those things keep you going even when you should have stopped. The world accelerates inexorably with technology, allowing so much more to be done and most people are so busy that they don’t wonder where all that time technology saved them went.
Over the decades, I have been the one that people came to when they needed something done, like my father before me and like his father before him. It’s what we did. It’s what they did. It’s not so much what I do anymore – the world has beaten and battered me enough. The same people who I helped chose not to help during those times, extricating themselves by absence and poor excuse. Since I looked around and never saw them there, they have found I have made it official.
I, for one, feel better.
The world measures us by such things and inexorably squeezes. It takes effort to push outwards and grow, or we become the measurement of our failures. To be measured by greater failures is all we can do to grow.
Growth is tiring. Failure is tiring.
Failures are how you find successes. Fear of failure is fear of success; we focus too much on success and do not cherish our failures for the learning experiences that they should be. Success is simply the change we get from expending our effort.
Life shortchanges us at times.
I’ve pushed hard on every front for as long as I can remember. When I drove myself to a hospital some years ago, they admitted me, poked and prodded me and decided my heart needed some love. They ballooned the arteries, they stented me, and under my threat of an Against Medical Advice (AMA) form, they released me after 3 days. On the fourth day, I was at work dealing with a manager who told me I had to make up 24 hours.
Those doctors had told me that my body was suing for divorce, that I couldn’t keep going as I was going, and so on. I listened to an extent. I got better – angioplasty certainly gets you going – and eventually left that job. People who didn’t know all of this would be surprised to know how physical I have been in the years since, and how much I accomplished by brute force and force of will given that medical history. But, again:
I didn’t have to like it. I just had to do it, and I had to do it well.
That too, now, has run it’s course.
It struck me that over the years I have done so much for so many with so little that I am not sure exactly who I am anymore. I have done what I have had to do, but that is not the definition of me – a poor measurement where my successes have been discarded and my failures my measurement.
And so it is I close myself off until after the first week of next month, to figure things out, to disappear, to recharge… and to find other things to fail at.
See you next month.