I have a lot of catching up to do so here is what you might have missed.
I love challenges. At an interview for a company I was once asked if I prefer project work or putting out fires. I answered putting out fires without hesitation. As stressful as some folks consider that I thrive on it. I enjoy the fast burn that comes with an outage or crisis. The crash from it is inevitable but after a proper rest I am recharged.
Tech changes fast and I have never been destined to be a long timer anywhere. It takes a few years to get into a groove in a position. You have to tweak it, setup scripts, improve processes, and help the systems to run themselves. The problem with efficient systems is after you get them to the point where they are self-sufficient there isn’t a lot of challenge left. There is always maintenance, upgrades, and revisions but the fires are far and few between and things get, well, comfortable.
To challenge myself I started dyeing yarn. It started with a few skeins a month and before I knew it it was hundreds of skeins a month. I get all the math and logic that comes with the science of textile dyeing and the creative outlet as well. Both sides of my brain are happy. Whenever I need a new challenge I set myself to a new colorway or design.
You ever have one of those days where you do nothing and you are completely exhausted from the nothing? I am not one for the mundane – it leaves me exhausted. Enter day-job career burnout. Add in several years of personal health challenges, top it off with a year of family health crises that flipped my whole world upside down, a part-time business that was already working me full-time and my fun meter was tapped.
It was time for change for not only my happiness and sanity but I missed my kids and I missed my partner. I was chasing my tail and it wasn’t good for anyone. Time with your partner and children are things you can’t get back. You start missing all those important things and they are just gone. One day your kids are 7 the next they are leaving home and you don’t know where the time went.
A sacrifice had to be made and the day job got the cut. I was tired of office politics, 500 mile a week commutes, and expenses associated with the daily grind, plus my heart just wasn’t in it anymore. My yarn business gave me face time with my family, flexibility to meet the needs of those I care for, all the challenges I cared to present myself, and the power to control my own destiny. It’s darn hard work for not nearly the financial payout but there are some things you can’t put a monetary value on.
It’s been nearly four months since the big switch and while it’s still the honeymoon period I can’t say I regret the decision yet. There are more than a few 12 hour days and 7 day work weeks but I am here with my family and accessible to them. My spouse and I have learned how to reconnect and my family has gotten involved in the business. We have made new friends, learned new skills, and look forward to each new day.
I didn’t expect recovery to take this long so perhaps the change was long overdue. I am finally finding a good balance where I can enjoy tech again. My business runs on open source – that has never changed – and I pride myself on it. Connections I have made with other artisans has taught me a lot about what the industry has to offer and what it is lacking as far as tech goes.
There is an opportunity for open source to jump in and meet the needs of a growing market by offering alternatives and improvements to the available marketplaces where artisans showcase and sell their creations. I have been talking to start-ups about their products and plans for development and I want to begin sharing with a wider audience. I’ve found my niche & my passion and now it’s time to hit the circuit.