Tired, my brother
Brutal week at work. Weeks like this make me feel an
old 28. I can understand why folks might wish to walk
away. What keeps you in the game? The challenge of it
all, the thrill of the chase, the idea of tackling the big
problem. You see some folks who have a job that doesn't
ask too much of them, it's something they've got down
pat, something that puts food on the table, gets
one by with maybe 9 to 5 hours. It's a gig, but not
Maybe you're married, have a wife you love, kids to
put through school. The gutter is clogged, or maybe
the car won't start. That's the thing. I can see how one
might end up a middle manager at the age of 50,
shooting for that pension, or retirement.
Me? I don't got all that to distract me. The job's the
thing. Man oh man, it eats me inside out some weeks.
Big ugly problems that you obsess over, and want
others to obsess over, because you know it's the
key to everything. You dream about it, think about
it when driving (I ran a red light the other day as
I was thinking about a staffing issue). Sometimes it
seems so large and complex I'm not even sure where
to start when I sit down in the morning.
The key? Well, I don't have all the answers. I know one
thing, you have to keep moving, bite off small chunks
every day, keep momentum. Some days, if you never
get started, you end up paralyzed the whole day,
moving from one meeting to the next, answering e-mail
in between, waiting for answers. Those are the worst.
You go home feeling like an idiot. I've learned, the only
way to avoid that is to just throw yourself into it, like
jumping into the pool or the ocean. If you don't, you just
stand at the water's edge, dipping your toes in, because
it's too cold. Once you're in, it's cold, it's unpleasant, but
stay in long enough and your body acclimatizes enough
so that you forget the chill and build some momentum.
At the end of the day, maybe you still feel lousy. String
enough of those together, though, and one day you
realize you're halfway home.
To be a good husband, good son, good brother, good
manager, good citizen, good at what you do, whatever
that is. That's a ton. I don't know how some people do
it. I have enough of a hard time being good at one thing.
When, if, that all comes around, it will be serious business.
I think I'll have to choose then.
Finished setting up my home network. Now I've got
my laptop and my desktop connected to the cable modem,
and since my laptop has a wireless card I can lie in bed
at night and tap away. Haven't been in much of a mood
to write recently. But I have yet to find too much worth
a damn that isn't a real pain to get to. There's an article
in this week's New Yorker, about surgeons, and how
it's a matter of practice, becoming a good surgeon.
How they studied great pianists, architects, doctors, and
found that everyone seems to dislike the practice
equally, but the great ones are able to force themselves
through the pain. But once their careers are over, they
drop the practice just like that.
I'm still able engaged, still willing to take the punches.
But I've learned, for me, there is nothing in between. It's
swim in the deep end with the sharks, or roasting on the
beach. You won't see me hang on too long, or end up
a lifer in any one career.
The other thing? The mistakes I make always stay with
me. Can't shake them. Maybe someday I'll stop worrying
about those things in the past, and on that day I'll be
content to lie in the shade of a palm tree sipping a
martini watching the waves crawling up the beach
for hours on end.
I've been sick all week. Yuck, all clogged up with mucus.
Feels like I've run through two boxes of Kleenex. I have
no idea what's up, because I don't feel sick, just tired.
Maybe it's gone to my brain.