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


Work

We are approaching perigee on cutting everything over to the new data centers. Things are getting more intense now that we’ve started to give the old data center provider notice that we are moving out.

The major revenue generating properties were moved already. That was a big wheel to turn. Now all that is left to move are minor revenue properties and internal corporate operations supporting services.

Career

I’m still not certain I want to continue being a systems administrator. Just not getting the satisfaction out of it anymore. There are periods of troubleshooting something new or learning something new that give interest but over all it’s just daily applying my experience to the same shit in a (sometimes) different pile.

Moving to a different job with even substantially different operating environment or industry won’t really change this feeling after the familiarization stage is complete. I know, I’ve felt this before and tried the greener grass on the other side of the fence with the same results.

Entering into any kind of management position is a no-go for me. I’m horrible with people other than 1:1 or small teams in both technical lead and technical resource roles. Management would be a career change, not a promotion. It’s a completely different thing.

I’m pretty sure I am substantially older than the rest of the department and the management chain all the way up to CEO. That doesn’t bother me terribly much, it’s an interesting thing only. I don’t have to manage upwards or correct them too often anymore at the current employer, and that’s good enough on that subject.

Definitely in my peak earning years now, and not wanting to rock the money boat as we experience some expenses at home recently and I’m trying to put more and more away for retirement. Still, I am wondering how hard it would be to jump to a new company at this point (and if ageist practices will be a real hurdle now) versus stay in the well worn groove (or maybe it’s a rut in the road) at the current job.

Life

Nearing the end of a $Renovation at home that’s effectively gotten us into paying down a mortgage again. Upgraded a vehicle and camping unit to pull with it – guess we’d better get out camping at least 3-4 times a year now to make it worth while! Got a bunch of clean up tasks to do like putting the old motor home up for sale.

The yard has had minimal effort put into it this spring due to going on a trip in May, and there’s stuff to do out there before we get into the prolonged heat of summer. Maybe I’ll get the fences stained this fall. I bought the stain a year ago now…

The garage needs a clean out and tidy. Leftover things from the renovation in there to deal with like getting the nails out of the salvaged hardwood flooring before putting that on the shelves.

Furry family members passing on, new ones entering our lives. Saying goodbye is hard. Saying hello is also hard as it brings memories of the previous dogs. Also joy at new and old memories.

Health issues coming and going in family and self.

Life things, same as many others have.

Acutely aware these are mostly first world problems.

Course Correction

Perhaps it’s the milestone birthday, or maybe reflecting on last summer’s mandatory time away from work to destress and reset my mental state. Course corrections already well underway from that and more to come.

Certainly I can continue in the job and career so far. It’s what I know and can get paid well to do. That being said, I have mostly successfully backed off being full on over engaged and always super directly hands on with the job. I am acting more and more in an advisory and mentoring role with the juniors and being explicit in showing how I find/fix issues. That course correction has been good overall for me and for the company, in spreading risk and knowledge and ability for others to handle things themselves. I get called upon often enough to save their bacon, that my ego still gets it’s fill.

Meanwhile, I want to put more energy and focus into my photography hobby. Create and finish real projects and make a portfolio. Do a gallery showing perhaps. Do photography for non profits probably. Build skills and reputation and social credit/goodwill to carry me through into a thing to do in retirement.

Thinking about trying pet photography for the local shelters and rescue groups, to improve the chances of their animals getting adopted more quickly. Or something completely different but of similar idea.

First, I have to get off the couch and play with the new puppy.

See also
I am a comet
Protect your personal life from work
Meaning
Less work, more fulfilling

Down another rabbit hole I go

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