Thursday, March 23, 2017

Time Off

You're not your job.  You're not how much money you have in the bank.  You're not the car your drive.  You're not the contents of your wallet.  You're not your fucking khakis.  You're the all-singing, all-dancing crap of the world.  Tyler Durden (Fight Club)

I first heard that quote in 2000, when I watched the movie for the first time.  What struck me the first time I saw the movie was the extent to which a man could live a dual life.  I was 3 years into my first real job, I was massively in debt and not catching up, my truck was 6 years old, I had a few dollars in my wallet, and a couple of decent pairs of khakis.

In the intervening years, I recognized that my job was an unnervingly important part of my self esteem.  Despite getting married, buying a house, raising two children, participating in countless hobbies, volunteering in the community, forming a relationship with God, I still find myself on my heels after being laid off in January.

Looking back on my life, I have always worked extremely efficiently and diligently when in crisis mode.  I had casually looked for jobs while at Oracle and navigated my career to make sure my work was interesting and my skills were current.  I rarely looked outside, because I could not command my salary at an external company.  My salary held me back from exploring opportunities.

With a blank slate, I found myself looking at job boards the way I look over the menu at a restaurant.  I know what I would usually order, but was curious as to what else was on the menu.  Were there foods I had never tried before?  Were there foods I had not eaten in a while?  In the job market this translated to looking at jobs in Biotechnology, Oil & Gas, Healthcare, Finance, Consumer Products, Business Products.  It meant looking at manufacturing, design, program management, business analysis, software security, software reliability.  The past two months have been an absolute whirl wind.

I have also enjoyed being a homemaker and feel like I will transition well into retirement in another 20-25 years.  I have enjoyed going to the gym, swimming, CrossFit, bicycling and running.  I can manage the laundry, dishes, cleaning up around the house, running errands, picking up the kids from school doing homework and the other activities of daily living.  I have enjoyed watching television and catching up on books.

I am not sure what the future holds, but this much is clear.  I am not my job.  I am a husband, father, son, brother, friend, volunteer, and athlete.

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