Does Keeping Up Mean Staying Home?

I love music, but I’ve not been to a concert in years.
I love sports, but I’ve not played in years (and my girth is beginning to show it).
I love great food, but I eat garbage.
I love theater, but haven’t seen a show since I lived in Denver.
I love going out for a beer, but I’ve only been out a couple times in the last year.
I love movies, but seldom go.
I hate exercising, so I work non-stop instead. And it shows!

My Health

While meeting with a couple local businessmen, one of them talked about how refreshing his day started – he wakes up early and bicycles 20+ miles. I used to actually ride a lot… I love bicycling (though I’m not sure La-Z-Boy makes a bike seat). We joked that we really need a way to build out a computer with pedals. Guess what, there actually is something similar! Tony Little is on top of it with the PC Gamer Bike! That’s not really the answer, though, is it? Bring my exercise to my work because my work consumes my life? I think not.

My Community

Later today, I was chatting with Julie and Julie started mentioning all the local hotspots for music, art, and fun. I’m coming up on 5 years in Indianapolis and I was absolutely embarrassed that I had really not experienced any of the great things that she had. As Julie went down the list… Yat’s, White River State Park, Eagle Creek, The Verizon Ampitheatre, the Eiteljorg Museum, The Indianapolis Zoo, The Indiana State Museum, and a ton more… I hadn’t been to any. I have been to the Children’s Museum, some AAA Indian’s baseball games, a couple Pacers games and a couple Colts games… but that’s it.

In my mission to build out a fantastic blog and become a great technologist, I’ve really neglected the very things that I love the most! For 5 years now I’ve given my days, nights and weekends to my employers – and worked on my blog in between. Not a day goes by that I have someone at work or in my network pinging me for assistance, and I love giving it. I almost never say no. As I wrote this post, I assisted a young friend of my sons in setting up a MySQL database on his system using XAMPP. I look forward to helping him much more in the coming year – he’s asked me to be his mentor for his senior project developing a web application.

My Network

I’ve acclimated everyone around me that that’s why I’m here and that’s what I’m good for. Rarely does the occasion happen where I think I’m being used. It is going to be an uphill battle to change peoples’ expectations of me. I want to continue assisting where needed, but not at the expense of my personal life.

When I was out in San Jose a year ago, I was absolutely impressed at how the tech sector keeps active socially. On any given night, there were get-togethers all over the city. I listened as people talked about which place they just left, or said hello to someone they had seen a couple weeks before at another event. Many folks went to shows, restaurants, or other events together. Indianapolis, as far as I know, is lacking the ‘tech night-life’. I know we’ve got SQL, .NET and Flex users’ groups here locally but these are yawnathons. A bunch of folks sitting in a room watching a bad Powerpoint (I’m one of those guys… I’ve been juicing up my Intro to Blogging powerpoint the last couple weeks) doesn’t really interest me.

The closest I get to excitement is attending a local Indianapolis Book Club. Holy crap, I must be 80 years old! The highlight of my social networking (real, not virtual) is a freakin’ Book Club? My good friends Bill and Carla are preparing for a cruise to Europe, and I’m trying to catch up on some reading. “Earth to Doug… this isn’t working!”.

My Future

Folks ask how I keep up with technology like I do. Well? I think it’s becoming clearer how I accomplish that, isn’t it? I neglect absolutely everything else in my life. I could literally have an office in Aniak, Alaska, and have just as active a lifestyle. So – here’s the million dollar question:

Does keeping up mean staying home?

Don’t take this as a ‘poor me’ post – it’s quite the opposite. I set goals for myself and my blog and I’m successfully attaining them. I’m just not sure I set the healthiest goals! It’s time for some change.

I can keep up and not stay home. I’m going to start working on that immediately. I’m not compensated for nights and weekends so I think it’s time I stop giving them away for free. No more email, no more documentation. I’m going to a show! I’m also going to ride my (stationary) bike in the morning. And tomorrow I’m leaving work early to go spend some time with my daughter! And… perhaps a date or two is on the horizon.

Thanks to Julie for the idea for this post!!!

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