I don't really think that technology carries the burden of blame for this "lack of sight", because we've always been on the bleeding edge of technology as a race. If you look back far enough there has been one "Revolution" after another when it comes to technology, each one coming quicker than the last. Fire. Stone Age. Bronze Age. Iron. It goes on from there, each major change cropping up faster than the last. Industrial revolution. Automobiles. Microwaves. Personal computers. Fiber Optics. The Internet. So on and so on and so on. There has been so much accomplished in the last 6,000 years or so it's sometimes hard for even a cynic like me to believe there's not some sort of guiding force at large in the universe. The way things are going it's almost like there is something that's leading us along by the hand like a parent with a child, building upon one lesson with another, and then another, and then another, accelerating as the pupil becomes more and more receptive and able to reason for her or himself. But I had better leave the theological discussions for another time, since I'm digressing from my point. It's not the fault of technology that we're losing sight of the small things that can impact our lives. I think more that it's just a general attitude of society as a whole. We want everything faster and faster. We've come to expect our dinner to be ready in the time it takes us to go to a drive-through. We want the news on when we want it, so there's a cable channel dedicated to it. Deadlines never get pushed back, they're pushed forward because of some urgent new piece of news. Everyone has to be ahead of everyone else. Don't believe me? Watch traffic carefully the next time you're driving home. I guarantee you will see at least one stoplight where somebody keeps inching forward, bit by bit, just waiting to get the jump on the stoplight like they're a race car driver on the drag strip. If that's not impatience I don't know what is.
Since I've only lived in the US, unlike some other people I know (such as frysco or plonq) I can't really say if this mentality is one that's afflicting only the United States, or if it's maybe a North American continent thing. Hell, maybe it's afflicting only people in the Northern Hemisphere. I can't really tell for certain. All I know is I've got to force myself to step back, take a deep breath and not partake in the same silly games everyone else is playing with their cars, their bank accounts, their clothes, their mortgages... I just don't want any part of it. I like having a somewhat leisurely pace of life. When I was living on the farm I was never rushed like I feel I am these days. I have to get over to the pool hall by 8 PM to meet up with roho and enveri because there's a cover charge after 8. I have to get back to my desk from lunch by a certain time because my manager checks my desk to see if I'm there, thus gauging my "usefulness" as an employee. Etc, etc, etc. This didn't go on when I was living back on the farm. That's not to say that it was a lifestyle where I could get up anytime I wanted, wander around, and maybe be productive during the day. No, I had to get up, the chickens had to be fed, the dogs let out, the horses fed and watered, we had to get hay done that day or the combine greased or any number of other things. There was lots of work to be done -- sometimes hard work -- but it didn't have the same sort of urgency to it that my lifestyle has outside of the farm.
Like I said, I need to work on addressing that, and trying to get myself back to center. It's not a goal of mine to work myself into a stroke before the age of 30 by any means.
When I left work yesterday for home I was in a foul mood. I had a lot on my plate and I wasn't doing a particularly good job of coping with the minor (but not as minor as a fluctuation in gas price) change that had been lobbed my way. Fortunately a few people have seemingly made it a mission to come out here and thwack me with a ClueBat, and if that doesn't work they seem to be more than willing to lend a hand with me moving. Yes, points, I'm talking about you in particular. I'm thrilled to have you come visit, as are the roomies -- but I'm definitely Not Thrilled about the idea of you taking time out of your schedule to visit and then end up working by shoving boxes and sofas around. That's patently Not Right, and I won't allow it. So prepare to relax and enjoy some of what Chicago has to offer, okay?
I spent a good portion of my evening after I got home talking to LiinSara, which was very agreeable to me once I'd calmed down. I don't think the words exist to express my gratitude for her patience with me yesterday. She's got a way about her that is just magnificent. She'll say something that's kind out of the blue. She chides me when she's angry with me for being down on myself. She doesn't hold my faults against me. She wants to equip Roho and Kestral with a cluebat to beat me over the head with every morning and evening. That's pretty remarkable, I think. Well, except for the cluebat part... that's downright funny.
We talked for a while, the topics ranging from personal to just silly. It was a good way for me to unwind and relax, and an excellent opportunity for me to get a grip on myself again while getting to know more about her. Ultimately the evil of time zones came into play and she had to slip off for the night, which gave Roho, Kestral and I an opportunity to head across the street to our local diner for a quick meal. Monday was my first day on the Atkins diet, and today is my second day. I don't feel remarkably different, but again... I can't expect instantaneous results. Dinner last night was scrambled eggs with lots of pepper and Tabasco sauce, with a side of sliced tomato (lots of salt for flavor) and ham off the bone. It really hit the spot. I was surprised at how good that tasted, and wasn't even really aware that I was all that hungry until I finished and realized that my appetite had been sated.
Today was something else entirely. To borrow a phrase, "I would not have predicted this!" I guess I deserved a bit of a shakeup for the way I acted last night, but I certainly wasn't expecting today's events. To be honest I'm still not sure how to write about it because I'm still trying to digest it all. There were some good things that happened at work, like my finally beating a reluctant module into submission so that it understands the concepts of "on-call schedules." My network monitoring solution isn't terribly good unless it knows how to direct ticket notices and the like. The workaround I came up with is really a very ugly kludge, but it's the one that does the trick so I won't complain. I feel very smug even now about that little success, because yesterday saw so little movement in any of the projects I was working on. I also managed to keep my helpdesk ticket queue low, somewhere around two to three tickets are open at this point for me to work on. I'm pretty pleased with myself for that because it's a far cry from the old days when I had twenty or thirty all scrambling for my attention. I've learned when it comes to these things at the office I should take my small victories and be happy.
Another event occurred this morning, albeit on a much more personal note. That's the one I'm still trying to wrap my head around, I guess, because it seems to be something quite wonderful.. It comes as a total surprise to me although certain people have just grinned at me and said "See, I told you so." I'm not sure how much of it I feel comfortable writing about at the moment, because I still don't have a firm grasp on everything yet. I think the best thing to do is just say that I was taken utterly by surprise at an offer that was made, and some of the things that were said afterwards were sweet, intriguing and subtle. All in all it happened rather quickly and left me grinning dazedly to myself as I sat at my desk. Hell, it's hard for me to believe that it really happened. I feel sort of silly, but I keep going over it in my head and thinking "No, that couldn't really be what was said. You're reading this all wrong. It's not possible. You're not that lucky." You guessed it, my world got flipped upside down again -- this time for the better.
Let's see where it leads.
It might be hard for the devil to do