I recently inherited some money, and as a consequence was able to pay off most of my long term, PITA, oh god how are we ever gonna get out of this, debt. The day I went from website to website zeroing everything out was supposed to be a good day; it turned out be be wholly unsatisfying in every way.
A month or so ago, I started a new job where I put in 40 hours a week, every week, and nobody has so much as intimated that night & weekend work should ever be expected. Not even for "crunch time". While that is a definite upgrade from my last job stress-wise, it is, as of yet, unfulfilling.
Also just recently (what can I say, Q4 2013 was Change City for me), I've stopped submitting to speak at SharePoint Saturday events, as I'm no longer doing SharePoint work, and have no want to do that work.
As a result, I've been miserable.
I know. Read on.
My wife pointed something out to me the other night when I mentioned to her that I seem to be kinda depressed at the end of the day, and I didn't seem to have any good reason why. She told me, without even a split second to think about it, that I probably feel like crap because right now I'm at the lowest point in being responsible for anything than I've been in years.
And you know what? She's absolutely right. I'm only responsible for myself at work; nobody to lead, nobody to review, nobody to mentor. I've got no responsibility towards the tech community right now; no presentations to prepare, no events to plan. Now, with the debt (mostly) gone, I have no overbearing, oversized superproblem to work out to fill in the gaps between things.
That place in which I put my focus outside of work hours, is completely empty. My brain, lacking something on which to focus, still freaks out as if I'm procrastinating on something big. So, I wind up feeling like crap instead of being able to relax at the end of the day.
This is all a temporary condition. Come the end of January, I can start planning SPSNYC. Sooner or later, there will be local Code Camp events to sink my speaking teeth into. Also at the end of January, I'll be taking up mobile development in a formal way, training and all.
So really, I just need to learn how to chill, and not be "on" all the damn time. I need to stop comparing myself to kids in their 20s, still finding their way, working on ALL THE THINGS because they haven't found the new things that leave them satisfied. I need to allocate some time to be responsible to myself, and not make that my very lowest priority.