Since October 2008, a blog written by Steve Albert.
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Sunday, May 9, 2021
I can't think of a better way to title this posting, so I am going with the above-mentioned "Adjustments". It has the benefit of at least being factually correct, which makes up for it being on the boring side. Anyway, there are a lot of adjustments to talk about these days.
I miss my cat. I know, that may sound odd coming from a 57-year-old male, but it's simply true. I think about him often. In a lot of ways, he is one of the reasons why I am here today typing this posting. Had he not come into my life when he did, I know my life from November 2010 until now would have been different. Granted, I am not talking about currently living in a utopia, but compared to what my life could be like, well, I am in a relatively good place. Jean-Luc gets some of that credit. He was unfailingly loyal to me and always attentive. As I mentioned in my last posting, he knew me and knew when I needed him. With him gone, well, the world seems just a tiny bit less friendly.
I've also made a job and ultimately career change. The names will be changed to protect the innocent, but I've taken stock of a few things and made the conscious decision that at this stage in my life, it's time to prioritize my physical and mental health. This means a bit less work stress, although I absolutely recognize that most of that stuff comes more from inside me than anywhere else. If anything, my hope is that I'll be able to work on that internal stuff more in the months and years to come. My professional life has admittedly been on something of a rollercoaster since 2016, and it feels like I should be consciously trying to do more of what I truly enjoy along with paying less attention to my inner dialogue that insists on measuring success against others, etc. I know, that sounds very new-age, but it's the best I can do under the circumstances. Who knows, I may decide in a bit that I want more of that kind of pressure in my life, but for now, and for as far as I can see, the right thing to do is more of what I enjoy and less of what I don't.
Finally, I am adjusting to working from home now. I've never been the biggest fan of that, but the reality of working life in 2021 is that for many of us, it's here to stay. To make that more palatable for me, I'm almost done re-configuring my office so that I have a dedicated desk just for work. This now means that my small home office has two dual monitor set-ups and probably draws as much power as Shamokin (Pennsylvania), but so be it. My hope is that I can view the work desk as just that...my workplace and my work time.
In the end, it's all about the adjustments.
Looking forward, there is some work for me to do. For starters, work just needs to be an emotionally smaller part of my life. Put another way, I desperately need to separate "me the person" from "me the working professional". If I can do that, and I am hopeful, maybe there will be room for other things that bring me some amount of happiness. I also have to think about the fact that I honestly don't have a decade more of full-time professional work in me. At some point, maybe in my early 60's, I am going to make the decision that it's time to have a full-time job of simply being me (also known as retiring). The next few years need to be a part of that transition.
Lastly, on the work front, I could absolutely be making a horrible mistake now. There is a part of me that is always in competition. The problem with that though is the fact that the very nature of competition implies that there are "winners" and "losers". When it comes to a constant competition against a notion of what I should be doing and where I should be in my career, well, I don't think there can ever be a winner. As so well noted in that classic piece of cinematic vision (War Games)...
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