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I sat around yesterday with a coworker/friend of mine on the phone whining a bit about workloads and schedules and unreasonable expectations and poor management and all the things that work-a-days have whined about since somebody first suckered other people into calling him boss. We’d gotten on a bit of roll when I had to stop. Now everything we’d said was true, and there are a lot of things that are pretty broken. But I asked, ok, so what other team would you rather be working for? What other company? What other career? Here we are, work on cutting-edge stuff in a field we love. We get pressure to work more after working nights and weekends, and we get fussed at for this and that, but it’s all just “fussing.” There’s no real danger of losing our jobs. We get a team full of really exciting people to work with. We get to work out of our homes if we want. What exactly would “good” look like if not this?

And then I figured out some of it. It’s the fear of losing it. The fear of our team being broken up and forced to work on stupid things. It’s the fear that they’re going to make us come into the office. it’s the fear that “senior management” may not look on us with favor in the future. It’s not that it’s happened; it’s the fear that it might. I think this is why some rich people can be pretty miserable. You’ve got everything you want, but now you’re afraid you won’t be allowed to keep it. You’re afraid that others don’t think you deserve it enough and that they’ll take it away. My whole life has been like this. I live in a city I love. But it’s growing very rapidly, and my wife and I know that we won’t be able to stay here for long. Maybe only another 15 years or so before it’s just too crowded, but it’s fun while it lasts.

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Life out of balance. Unbalanced life.

It is time for a change. Five months since I’ve come here. At first it was because I was ready to change what drums I beat upon. For a time I had little to say on these things. Then it became habit to stay away. And then came unbalance.

We have so many roles in life. Worker, philosopher, lover, volunteer, parent. And I had all these balls flying in the air, and I was pretty happy with it all. We’ve built most of the huge treehouse, I’ve convinced dozens of people to fly to Ireland to rent a castle with me, I’ve had a great time camping with my oldest son, I finally replaced the kitchen door. But for a while now, I’ve let The Job take over. Out of balance.

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As I work on a more comprehensive review of the excellent (though occasionally flawed) The God Delusion, I’ll throw out some thoughts on the two books I’m currently reading. Read the rest of this entry »