For the longest time now, when someone has asked how I was doing, the only reasonable response was to say, “well, I’ve been really busy”. Which doesn’t really answer the question, does it? It leaves it up to the person asking to guess how I’m actually doing. And much of the time, the response is “that’s great”! Because in their eyes, it means that business is good.
The truth is, I have not been doing well at all. I mean, I have attained a certain level of satisfaction, and even enjoyment out of helping people with their websites. There’s no denying that I love helping people. I’ve always enjoyed helping and educating people, and I have no reason to believe I’ll stop putting myself in places where I’m helping others in one shape or another.
The problem though, is that I’ve had to be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year to deal with all manner of problems. That critical customer call can come at any moment. Like when I’m out watching a movie, playing a game with my son, relaxing at the beach, or deep in a most excellent and rejuvenating dream adventure. The interruptions, or worry about possible interruptions have been substantial. I don’t remember what it feels like to live without this constant stress hovering over my head.
Even when the calls are not coming in, I absolutely can’t let a single day pass without spending an hour pruning my email inbox, lest it become immediately overflowing and take weeks to clean out all of the maintenance and customer requests demanding my attention.
Then, while trying to catch up from a day or two of inbox neglect, having some critical issue arrive, like an unexpected hacking event just throws me that much further behind.
I have always loved computers and programming, and I believe that I still do. However, when I’m interrupted by hackers, the occasional irrational customer demanding that I cleanup after their mistakes, or a tax or business related deadline requiring my attention, it quickly detracts from the things I enjoy most about this business I’ve been in.
I have been trying for a few years now to find a way forward that doesn’t involve stepping down, and I’ve come up empty at every turn.
For the sake of my health, both physical and mental, I have decided to sell my web hosting and design business and step down from running any kind of business at all for the immediate future.
The first question that I’ve been asked by friends and family is, “what are you going to do”? So I wanted to answer that question here. In terms of work, or a job, I’m going to do absolutely nothing for at least 4 to 6 months. The reason for this is because I don’t know what I really want to do. My mind is so fucking cluttered up with chatter that I think I may actually take some sick enjoyment out of stressful work. I need to decompress from thinking that I must always be checking my email and knocking items off of my to do list. I need to quiet my mind for a while so I can gain some clarity.
Outside of work, I plan to focus on being more healthy. I quit drinking alcohol in 2009, but I’ve continued an unhealthy relationship with food that I’ve never managed to address. I will always be at risk of type 2 diabetes and I need to develop healthy habits in accordance with that understanding.
I’m going to take the summer mostly off and do things with my 11 year old son without having work as an excuse to neglect him or not spend time with him. I’m going to cook for him, the same healthy meals that I’m making for myself. I’m going to play games that my logical grown up mind thinks are stupid, because he finds them entertaining. I’m going to laugh about it.
I’m going to pursue a dream that I’ve held since I was a child, and have been too afraid to follow through on. Ever since the time my dad flew me on a float plane out to his boat on the Alaska peninsula I’ve held this dream and tucked it away deep inside. I’m going to pursue getting my private pilot’s license and get certified for float planes as well.
I’m not holding too many expectations when it comes to all the details, and I’m not going to stress about it. As with my epic solo bike ride of 2014, where I didn’t always know where each day would take me, that’s what I’m going to do for a while. I’m just going to see where the general focus of health, parenting, and piloting take me. Oh, and I might do some writing too!