a strong sense of duty

I remember those initial few weeks/months at my out-of-college career.

In those days time wasn’t yet the prime commodity it became in the later years. The days weren’t yet too-short for all the work I had to get done. In fact, I remember looking for work… something to fill the “spare time” I had during the day. I would try to read or learn something job-related, otherwise I would go home, often early, feeling guilty, like I betrayed “the job.” I suppose I have a strong sense of duty.

Today I feel that again – having more day than work to get done in it; having “spare time.” I am quite aware that the fact I am “adjusting” to this is a thing of privilege. I mean, this is precisely why I left my former job (at least, it’s one of the few things you’ll hear me alternatingly say was “precisely” why I left) – I just didn’t expect it to be this tricky to actually “own” the return to the vibe.

But I’m working on it, and I do believe I’m making good progress. Things which I, in my old Silicon Valley paced career, may have scoffed at are now things I enjoy: bringing my lunch to work in a sack, taking a break during the day to walk around the lake or read a chapter in my book or do a corner of a crossword, getting in when I want, leaving when I want, not doing anything work related when I’m not at work.

So I am learning, I just don’t quite “own” it. I suppose maybe I’m a concerned that I’ll go too far, end up not contributing commensurate to my wages. I know this for irrational and at-odds with my character, but again that sense of duty signals.

That first career would end up lasting nineteen good years. From it I learned some great habits and skills, but I also took away some bad conditioning.


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