In May 2020, for the first time in my life, I stopped work with the explicit goal to focus on my home life and personal projects; to take a sabbatical. In the 6 months since then, I’ve accomplished more of my todo list than I had in the previous 5 years combined.
The net result is a number of ideas and projects, but the most significant of my brain capacity is between these two things:
Home life renovation
Work has traditionally been a wonderful distraction from having to confront any of the emotional and physical baggage that I’ve picked up over the years. Since my todo list has been absolutely ravaged, many of the loose ends and someday-projects (like digitising old home videos) have come to pass. I have a multitude more of these tasks, including handling the aftermath (selling the digitising equipment) as well as other tasks around the house that I’m less keen on (like fixing shower leaks).
I have, and continue to, put deliberate focus on friends and family, and carving out time to spend with them. I’ve enjoyed being significantly closer to my friends, and haven’t felt this personally connected to people for a long time.
Being freed from others' agendas has also given me the emotional space and freedom to just be. At the time of writing we’re in the third lockdown, and while my Christmas spirit has never been very high, it’s been laid particularly low. 2020 generally has been (and unfortunately continues to be) a very challenging time. So emotionally, there is still work to be done.
Work as play: Hyper Rational Technologies
I lasted 6 days on my sabbatical before I applied for a job, so ignoring work or attempting to retire was never going to be a long term strategy for me. I had a few interviews - I was rejected for some, I rejected others - and each one taught me an interesting thing about myself. Right now I don’t feel excited to be a manager so until something significant changes, my career is about to take a big shift.
While I was tinkering around with hobbies, chatting to friends and otherwise just getting on with living, ideas started sprouting in my mind. A confluence of events occurred, and finally after a dear colleague and friend got in touch, Hyper Rational Technologies was born. It forms my full time job right now, and as I’ve told numerous people: I have a fantastic job, it just doesn’t pay anything, yet.