Orbital Oscillations

Orbital Oscillations, aka Mid Life Crisis aka WTF am I doing.

I find myself in a strange yet familiar space with my current job, career, life.

Drifting along in comfortable orbital cycles of interest, disinterest, satisfaction, dissatisfaction, engagement, disengagement.

I’m about to hit one of those milestone birthdays. I am not sure I really care or put much thought into it, or worry about it. Except maybe I do. It’s just a number. No it’s not.

I feel like I just started living my own life at 40...It’s been absolutely spectacular! Age is just a number we need to stop looking at as an expiry date

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Protect your personal life from work

ProTip: Never allow work email or chat systems on your personal devices. You won’t get sucked into ultimately non urgent work things if someone has to actually page or call you during out of office hours. That small barrier is all that’s needed.

Also, leave your company provided devices at the office or turned off when not on active call rotation. Make them work a little at contacting you for uber emergencayyyyyy.

This has served me well, except I still fall into the trap of looking at mail/chat via web browser now and then.

21st Century Problems.

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Work with people smarter than yourself

I saw this gem today when browsing company reviews on Glassdoor.

You should consider critically how difficult you found the interview process, and what that might mean for the calibre of your peers if you accept an offer.

What they are getting at is the idea of working for/with people that are smarter than you. This will push you into learning more and learning faster than you might otherwise do so. Extending this idea out to examining the interview processes of potential employers is a great idea.

See also I am a comet.

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Remember when the telephone was just bells, receiver/mic, rotary dial, and some wires going back to the telco?

This is what happens when you have a SIP phone with a VOIP provider.

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I’ve decided I’ve become a comet. Not sure if I’m ok with it, but I’ve got a long orbital cycle to think about it.

Context from a private conversation yesterday with someone I worked with just over a decade ago :

Struggling with motivation to work, as the company gets larger and team structure changes.

I’m a comet. I have short blazing periods of hold my beer watch this and long long periods of cold contemplative silence watching the changes near the centre of the company.

Have let two others be more in drivers seat as we migrate to two new datacentres. Providing my effort more often in advice or here’s how you help yourself find that answer.

There are a few items I want to accomplish for myself (and the team) before I begin the search for the next thing. I have some lateral movement possible but not to my tastes. Probably going to try to time it so I reach my next sabbatical first. I’ve got 2.5 years until then.

On the other hand, I still keep this note from a manager and friend I had around the same time as the person I was talking with yesterday. She’s no longer with us, but her words are.

Her words, quoting back my words from early on at the company I’m orbiting.

I read and re-read them every time I get into listless dysphoria funk why-am-I-still-at-this-place moods.

The stress comes and goes, but I generally force myself into lower stress modes when I recognize it’s getting out of control.

Low Stress. Steady Money. OK People.

SysAdmin Work, at least in what I’m doing or can do at this place, is not terribly interesting to me any more.

But does that really matter?

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