The past few weeks have been incredibly tough - and like a little sissy, I've spent most of the past few weeks avoiding confrontation with my problems. Excluding my call-to-arms post (which was friends-only, an incentive to join Tabulas if you have not done so already!), I've largely felt like I've been losing control of my life.

Rather than post another generally vague entry about potential problems, I'll talk about them directly.

First off, I'm overstretched with stuff to do. I've had to pull extra hours at work, and spending eight+ hours a day working on one thing in front of the computer has been testing my patience. I've also picked up a freelance side project (I had some massive bills to pay off from last month), and it's been destroying my after-work life. With whatever energy I can muster after that, I've spent it on updating the Tabulas control panel.

Normally this type of work schedule wouldn't bother me, except the hope of an upside is quickly diminishing. I've been questioning lately what slaving at my job has yielded to me at my current salary level besides personal anguish and a lot of stress. I think the company has significant upside, but I've been feeling a bit frustrated about how much of a windfall that will yield for me - I've been slaving away and I just don't feel like when the windfall comes, I'll be able to partake in it in any significant manner. There are days when I think I'm being used, and other days when I love my job.

I'll save my views on Tabulas, for I have iterated them time and time again.

On a social front, I've been feeling much more isolated lately. Most of this is my doing, but as time goes on, I find myself wanting to actively maintain less and less friendships. There are a few people who I still consider quite close, but those are getting few and far between.

The undercurrent to this whole issue, to me, is that nobody really understands the types of pressures I'm going through. It's very easy to generalize my life into these simple terms (and I do count my blessings everyday), but these are contrasted sharply with the things that I've been struggling with on a daily basis. I really want to break out of this hobbyist role and start making significant changes in the things I do - but I'm just not finding the support from people in my life. I think there's a difference between people who want to support me, and people who do. The former I have many, the latter I have none. It almost seems to me like there's a passive "wait and see what happens" among the people in my life, rather than "what can I do to help?"

Understandably, I'm also reaching that point in my life where everybody I know is hitting crucial points in their lives - I don't doubt for a second that everybody in my immediate life is having some inkling of these types of feelings. The transition away from the simplifed general collegiate environment to this specialized career... is hard.

I've never been the type to actively sabotage a friendship; I'm more the type to slowly let a friendship die due to a lack of interest on both parties ... but there has been one situation during the past few weeks that I've been actively seeking to destroy. What really sucks is that on a certain level I felt a connection to this person and felt that maybe she could fill a certain void in my life (I'm selfish). There was a situation where I felt betrayed by this person, and I really blew it out of proportion - in a sense, I had a case for being miffed, but the length I've been holding the grudge is unnecessary (this I know) [I have the horrible character flaw of holding grudges for a LONG time]. I feel what I'm doing is still right, even though it hurts.

So the real solution to this whole problem is to go out and meet new people - it's pretty simple. The difficulty is finding time away from the computer. I spend about 8-9 hours a day at my job. I spend another 4-5 days on personal projects and life things. Things have gotten to a point lately where I have to literally schedule a casual dinner with friends a few days in advance. Where is the time to meet new people?

I've been flaky to a few people in my life, and for this I feel horrible. I've missed out on multiple events I was supposed to attend ... I feel like a jerk, but sometimes I'm just too exhausted to make it out to these events. It's starting to get to the point where I've largely given up on myself to attend any type of events, so I just tell them I can't make it.

I feel like I've stagnated in growth lately, and there is no longer a catalyst in my life to spark some time of change. All I can see in the upcoming months is working; the only difference from the past couple months is more people are leaving this area and I'm destroying some existing friendships with my flakiness.

Well, our company ships another release shortly. I should wrap up my freelance project and a small fun exercise I've been working on by next week.

I've been looking at renting a cabin somewhere for a month and just locking myself up until I finish a significant amount of work. Part of me hates living in this room 24 hours a day (I spent probably about two hours a day outside my room), and I think that's part of the problem.

I knew 2006 was going to be tough ... but it's been straightforward hellish. But I must keep strong!

Posted by roy on April 27, 2006 at 05:51 PM in Personal | 5 Comments

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WillR (guest)

Comment posted on April 28th, 2006 at 06:00 AM
Roy, get the cabin but leave the work. I've been where you're at, professionally, a number of times over the last couple decades. It took me time to realize that there's always that our profession is so open-ended - that there's always something else that needs or could be done - that no matter how much time you put into it "seems" that it's never enough.... N+1, right?

Luckily, life intervened on my behalf...

You don't need my advice, but ;-)....finish that freelance, merciously triage what you have to do to get that release out (there's always another release)...and tell your boss your taking a couple sanity weeks off...if you can, try to go somewhere bewildering - like Bali - and decompress.

Take care, Will
Comment posted on April 28th, 2006 at 01:32 AM
good luck man.
Comment posted on April 27th, 2006 at 09:12 PM
let me come and infest your command center
Comment posted on April 27th, 2006 at 08:05 PM
Roy, if I had a million dollars, I'd give it to you so you could spend a month finishing your projects. Alas, I have only enough for lunch for the two of us. When can I treat you to a meal and listen to your concerns?
Comment posted on April 27th, 2006 at 07:55 PM
thats really crappy when the only people you have in your life that you should be able to count on just arent meeting your need for real support. i think its good you are already asking these questions about your life though, some people work themselves to death into their 30s and 40s only to wake up and realize they hate their lives. just take 'er easy as much as possible, and spend more time with friends. we here at tabulas can all wait longer for a new control panel if it means your well-being. =)

*angles for friend status* ok, maybe i am selfish...selfishly interested in what you have to say! :P