March 07, 2003

A Change of Perspective

When I ran across Josh's a technology perspective entry, it really resonated with me. Allow me to quote him and then ramble for a bit.

It struck me today that the focus of my interests have changed drastically since leaving California. When you're submerged in the land of technology, it becomes etched on your mind. You live and breathe high-tech, and everything around you from the people to the local news and even the billboards are talking about the newest enterprise product from Oracle or the latest chip technology. It all has a very immediate impact -- you cringe when the Nasdaq has a bad day, and you cheer when a competitor announces declining revenues or market share. My brain was centered around technology because it was immersed in it.

It struck me because I've been thinking about that a lot lately. Not necessarily in those terms, but we're both on the same wavelength. (Maybe it's because we worked together in two jobs (Yahoo and Marathon Oil) and went to the same university.)

You might recall my longish What Should I Do With My Life? post back on Jan 1st. Over the holiday I was thinking a bit about how I've changed since coming to the valley of silicon.

Though I've stayed here, Josh and I have something in common again. In the last year or so, I've really distanced myself from the day-to-day rise and fall of tech stock prices, press releases, and the machinery that powers so much of what goes on here. (The drop in the economy has made that easier to do, but it still takes work.) And I don't work the sort of crazy hours I used to a year or so back. Many folks at Yahoo have adopted more sane working schedules and I'm glad to be one of them. Life's too short to spend it all at work.

I've also found myself growing less and less interested in the Open Source "movement" and all the pointless wastes of energy is spawns. That's all well in good while you're in college and can stay up past 3am every night, arguing on IRC or hacking on your favorite project of the week. But it's just not for me. I don't argue with religious fanatics and I'm not going to get all wrapped up in that world. (Well maybe now and then... but only on special occasions.)

In this time, I've also become a bit less bitter about living here. I used to really complain about the two things I hated more than anything: the cost of living housing and the traffic. For whatever reason, those don't bother me so much anymore.

More recently, I've been trying to figure out what caused these changes. They're clearly good and good for me. But I'd like to have an idea of where they came from. Maybe I can do something to ensure that whatever is guiding me will continue to do so.

I attribute it to three things.

Growing Up

There have been a lot of changes at work in the last year or so. A lot of folks have moved on, started families, or otherwise made important changes in their lives. To some degree or another, that's been rubbing off on me. Things have slowed down a bit. Sure, they're still crazy, but it's not like it was a few years ago. It just feels like a lot of folks (me included) have grown up a bit.

That's probably not the best way to explain it, but hopefully it's sufficient to get the point across.

Meeting New People

Ever since Jon Udell pointed me at the blog world last year and suggested I get with with the program, I've been meeting new people. I've met only a handful of you in person, but I feel like I know many more people than I did a year ago. Some leave comments regularly. Some have blogs that I read daily. Some mailed me privately and struck up conversations.

It's really amazing to think about the contacts, associations, and ideas I've been able to develop as the result of participating in the blog world. In doing so, I've exposed myself to people, ideas, and technology that I might have never come across otherwise. And I really feel like it has changed me. Like e-mail or the web itself, I really don't think this is some sort of passing fad.

Reviving an old Hobby

After a nearly 12-year break, I finally got back into flying. I've spent quite a bit of time studying, practicing, learning, and exploring. It's been a blast. When I'm up in the air, I never think about work. Ever. It's a great break. A change of scenery. There's no keyboard. No noise. It's outside. And my mental health is all the better for it.

I remember being on the phone a few months ago with one of my oldest friends. She and I have known each other long enough that she remembers when I first starting flying back in high school. In fact, I remember her coming to the airport to watch one time. When I told her that I had picked it up again and was committed to getting my license (and much more) this time, she was so happy for me. I didn't need to say any more than that. She just knew that it was good for me and I really needed to do it.

She was right. As usual.

Back to Josh

So, in response to Josh, the best I can come up with is this: Yeah. Me too.

Posted by jzawodn at 09:33 PM

Roogle is Cool

I'm impressed. Scott seems to be hacking away on Roogle his Google-inspired RSS Search Engine.

Cool stuff, Scott. And I'm not just saying that because I was in the first run. :-)

Posted by jzawodn at 08:47 PM

I passed

Yeay! It's over. I passed the test with flying colors. (I don't know why colors fly or what that means, but figured that a one-sentence entry is a bit too short.)

Posted by jzawodn at 06:06 PM