Saturdays are the in-between days of a life spent waiting. Yesterday LinkedIn messaging left me with a message from my friend Nancy at IBM. We talked as we usually do about the frailties of work, the ideas to clear out from the current thing, and what may be awaiting around a corner, down the street, or across the world.
We all reach the point where we know work is not the thing any longer. It’s a thing but it does not resonate or build sets of accomplishment or joy. It’s what my mom would call a means to an end. Sometimes the “means” are not even clear and then it becomes a daily slog to reach the end.
I think work has somehow become bastardized into a toil, a slog, a overtime with no respite thing. We move in our desperation from times at home, to a freeway with others in desperation mode driving to or from a place they work. We arrive at the place and we know that our time is limited no matter what. Old workers know that companies position things toward others. It’s a glass wall that will never be breached and I find myself lucky that I can still deliver the work. But that wall is high and treacherous and we cannot sustain the climb. Age is the final factor in things and I’ve read on Quora where somehow when we cross an age boundary we lose any insight into technology or social networks or perhaps even learning new things. Somehow we are sentenced to lives of going to McDonalds for coffee and then back with a newspaper folded up. Not even Flipboard on a tablet for heaven’s sake.
So we stress and soldier onward with our newspapers and our senior meals and flip phones because we do not know what Linux is or what a hypervisor is or what containerization is. Dockers are pants and phones are feature phones and we are expected to settle down into some kind of non-nomadic retirement. Let me say here that there is nothing stopping us seniors from hitting the road besides the fact that we are scared to do something new. We could just as easily hit the road or the rails but for some reason, its not expected and then that glass ceiling hits us and we know it would be hard to travel the world. What’s so easy about staying here though and suffering ignominious defeats of mind? We just settle for less and that’s ok. Because we’ve delivered or done or felt or divorced or mended or are broken shells of what we once were.
I say the hell with that. I am serving notice that good enough is not. Pack those bags warriors. You know that tomorrow does not have to be like today but you don’t demand any more. Sitting around in a recliner is not the answer. There’s a world out there but it may take you a bit longer to traverse and that’s okay.
It’s not good enough for me folks. This blog is about moving onward and I will by end of next January. But I challenge everyone. Don’t accept the status or the quo. Be brave and strive to find the next thing. Don’t accept the Nokia feature phone when you can have an Android or iPhone. Strive because it almost rhymes with live. And living is not easing back on a Saturday and wondering where it all went dammit.
I don’t have a manifesto of this. I just know that we get old and we settle for that and there is no real reason. Be brave and resourceful and dump that crap. The world is still out there and you can move through it on your terms. Ride the rails or hit the trails.
The world is yours too. It does not belong to some select group of millennials that have some lock down on how it all works.