Projects, projects, projects…

This post could just as well have been titled “So much to do, so little time,” or “What should I do with whatever time I have remaining?” No, I’m not facing imminent death (well, as far as I know, anyway), but I am in the phase of life with more years behind me than ahead. One characteristic of this phase that I hadn’t counted on was how little energy I seem to have much of the time. Or maybe I have enough energy and I just lack sufficient focus/motivation/whatever.

In case it hasn’t been clear from other posts here, I retired a few years ago from basically two careers in IT. My first career (26+ years) was (mostly) working with a “Government Think Tank” doing “scientific programming” (that’s the catch-all for “command-line driven apps that read lots of data, crunch it for a while (measured in hours to days), and spit out several to dozens of lines of ‘reduced’ data that some researcher wants to help gain insight into some issue).” My second career (11+ years) was running my own small business providing all types of IT Management and Support to small businesses in my local area. Both were interesting and rewarding, but both are now in the past.

Once I retired, I thought “now I can do all the things that I’ve been wanting to do.” And that’s certainly true… it’s just that I had no real concept of just how many things that was. Some of them were obvious: travel (my wife and I have begun an effort to see all of the National Parks), sleep late, spend more time with friends, get a bit more exercise, read more books (for pleasure or interest instead of to keep up with technology), and to sometimes stare off into space doing apparently nothing. I also knew that I’d want to keep as current and as active as possible in IT (what is all about). And I wanted to start writing more – both blog posts (I currently have a few different “personal interest” type blogs) and some creative writing, loosely in the Speculative Fiction genre.

If you’re thinking that sounds like a full-time job, you’d be right. It’s actually more than a full-time job if each is done with even a modicum of fervor. Travel, friends, exercise, reading, and thinking (aka “staring off into space”) are all parts of life that are (or can be) somewhat elastic and, in some sense, fungible, but are also absolutely necessary. And those necessities leave time for only one passionate focus, which means a difficult choice between all things IT (and the attendant “rabbit holes” and endlessly spawning projects), or total immersion into writing to see if that has a chance of panning out.

So, with wistful thoughts of coding combined with eager anticipation of this new challenge, I will be using my available energy and time writing. My intention is to make a real effort in this regard for at least six months, and perhaps as much as a year, and then re-evaluate further direction at that time.