The last couple of years I’ve given myself to my work. Six years ago I was working at a job that marginalized my talents and efforts. I was relegated to a corner where I wasn’t working on anything meaningful. I had enough of just maintaining this horrible code base. The things I was passionate about weren’t the things that I wanted to work on. In the middle of a major upgrade to some ancillary systems around it, I gave my notice, and I quit. I shocked my manager when I told him I wasn’t happy and wanted to leave.
I left to go work at start-ups and Fortune 500 companies that had created start-up companies within them. I found out that I was talented, and I stood among my peers with my work ethic. I was and still am working on the most hottest technology out there. I was aggressive, still am, and I wanted to lead. So I did.
I found that I was searching for an identity in my work, but I didn’t know it at the time. This cost time, energy, and my family. My kids suffered while I was on this chase, and I didn’t realize it until last year.
There were times where I wasn’t wise with the most important things in my life and those things suffered. A year later, I finally realize what I had done, and, by God’s grace, it wasn’t too late. My kids are amazing. They forgave me.
Now I enjoy their company. We play games, go to the park, talk, homework, watch movies together, and go to the pool. Instead of just working at nights or the weekends, I spend my time with them.
There are more important things in life than code or the newest technology. One of things that most people don’t consider about tech is the commitment needed to stay with it. For me long weeks with work crazy outages and bugs aren’t uncommon. Everyone see the demand, the money, but they rarely see the things that costs you.
You can easily lose yourself and your family in it. I had a friend that was a really good consultant–He was amazing. But he told me none of this is worth it without family. He worked so much to provide for his family that he was gone all the time. His wife had affair, and now he lives across the street from the house he paid for, and the guy she slept with lives her. He told me none of the work was worth it. His kids spends the night on weekends. He had so many regrets. Unfortunately, he passed away a couple years ago. I often wondered what his life would have been like if he was present, in the moment, stepping back from work. I wonder what his relationship with his kids and wife would have been like.
I don’t want that to be me. I don’t want this for my kids and family. Kids are amazing, but you only have so long when they aren’t kids anymore. For me, I don’t want to miss this.