I have two completely different lives–the life at home and the life I have when I travel for work.
At home, other than my stints upstairs working, it’s all about the family. My evenings and weekends are all about my kids. My wife and I don’t spend a whole lot of time together because there is so many things that need doing. I don’t have any friends around, and it’s not as if I have much time for them anyway.
When I travel, it’s all about work. I’m at the office most of the time. Sure, I hang out with my co-workers. I don’t talk to most of my friends down in the Bay Area anymore. But most of the “fun” people have either left or have been fired. Those of us who are left are growing increasingly cynical.
And then there’s Voxilla. There’s a lot of stuff going on there, I just don’t have enough time to do the stuff we need to get done. That’s the problem with having two jobs and a family.
Something is missing from my life. Something is out of balance. Or my viewpoint is wrong. And over the years, I’ve done lots of crazy shit to fill this void or correct this balance. I have to believe my obsession with gadgets and the reason I went into debt early in my adult life is related to that need. I’m sure a large chunk of the food I have overeaten is trying to fill that need. The desire to get married tried to fill that need.
I think what drives everything I do is the desire to be recognized for what I do. Praise. Love. To a lesser extent. money. Just about everything I do in my life is motivated by one of these things. Or at least everything that isn’t a responsibility or a necessity. Money is a necessity in this day and age.
My love for and knowledge of tech became a huge source of praise and recognition growing up. That, in turn, motivated me to continue to improve my technical skills. It drove me to write two books on a software product. Even today, praise and recognition for my technical skills drives what I do. Keeping up on tech is no small feat.
My weight loss was more for health reasons, but even that turned into a point of praise from others. I need to stop sabotaging myself and keep plugging away at excercising and eating less. And get a bit more strict about what I am eating. But I digress.
Is wanting, nay craving praise wrong? Maybe, maybe not. But I am depending on the actions of others to determine my happiness. One thing I learned about 10 years ago was that relying on others for your happiness is a recipe for failure. So maybe it isn’t a good idea to crave praise.
So what do I need? What will fill that need? I think I need to figure it out, but I’m not sure how I can find the time to find out. Too much responsibilities. Too many commitments. But I know that I need to if I am ever going to escape the sound of my own wheels making me crazy.