As of a few days ago, I have retired from the career that I started (*mumble* *mumble*) 32 years ago, roughly a dozen of those years as a software developer and another twenty as a manager of software developers. It is time for me to make room so that other folks can come in and shine while I take my focus and move it to things which I want to be passionate about.
It is not lost on me that I am ridiculously fortunate to be in a position to do this, now with all the upheaval and unknowns in the world, so I take this leap knowing full well that the future is unknowable. But, what I could no longer do is continue to work just to work, realizing that what energy and passion I have was benefit my employer, leaving me what felt like a small handful of hours to work on things that I cared about or to learn thing that I’m curious about. I don’t (and can’t) know whether I have five years or 30 of useful time, but I’d rather take the chance and be wrong than not take the chance and work until I can’t any more or don’t have the means or opportunity or capacity to work on things I care about.
So, I’m going to pivot. I’m pivoting in to spending my time doing things that I choose. Things that I care about. Things that will, almost certainly, not make me any money at all. And that’s okay!
I also want to learn a lot of things and that means I will suck at many of those things as I learn them and I want to learn to be okay with that as well! (Note the recurrent theme: Learning!)
I’ve spent my career getting better at my craft, but I’m at a place where the amount of improvement I can make is getting smaller and smaller and taking more and more time to accomplish that, so the payoff in terms of improvement is low for the relatively long time spent. I’m at a place where I’d rather improve more and more quickly on a number of fronts than just get marginally better at one thing.
I’m hoping that means that I’ll be making more things, learning more things, talking about more things and sharing more things as I go!
Here’s to taking chances, to learning, to being passionate and curious and trying to do what we love!