It’s a strange feeling but I’ve seemed to have lost the motivation to push myself and start side coding projects. Every since I started my new job (it’s not new anymore), of which the first anniversary would be in about two weeks.
I still remember the frantic days at my last job. I was constantly stressed out at a daily basic where I juggled an average of 3-5 different projects and/or clients per day. I was used to pounding out code from 9 to 5pm, with one 30-minute lunch break that I treasured, while entertaining phone calls from clients about that “issue on our website”, reviewing incoming bug reports on our company’s ticketing system, working on that brand new app due in a week (after being given the specs about the project just the a week prior), and squeezing in some time to work on that epic project that has been on-going for 3 years without any signs of ever being released to the public because the stakeholders kept changing the specs every week (not exaggerating, as we check in with them every week). I sometimes brought work home in order to meet deadlines.
I would go home every day feeling exhausted, unchallenged, unfulfilled and always constantly browsing online for the next new thing to “try” out - in my dreams, of course, since I no longer have time or strength to work on it.
Finally, I worked up enough bravery to quit the job and find a new one, which also involved moving to another city (another story, another time).
Suddenly, the heavy weight was lifted from my shoulders. The earth’s axis shifted and everything was rainbows and happy unicorns frolicking in the green meadows. I was working regular business hours, able to take regular breaks during the day and having intelligent conversations with my new co-workers, and can be detached from my work responsibilities when I arrived home.
Life was … good.
Now I have time to work on my own projects. Plenty of time. All those past ideas that I’ve planned out in my brain but was robbed of an opportunity to work on them…
Then I discovered that my drive to innovate was gone. I would rather come home and sit around to watch movies. Somehow, I just didn’t want to touch the computer anymore. I still follow the industry news as I have done for the past twenty years since I ventured into the web development world. And yet, now that I have the opportunity to play with ideas, I no longer seemed to have the drive to do so anymore.
I’ve convinced myself that I’m earning the “rest” I deserved. After all, my friends who have families to return to do not spend their time on the computer after the end of the day so it must be a normal thing, right? I’m not a college student anymore, you know.
And yet, I just wonder if I lost something when I switched jobs. I’ve always known that I worked better under stress. Without the proverbial axe over my head, I tend to get easily swayed to just be indolent because there are no real stakes. It’s true that I would never go back to where I was before (because I did eventually recognize it was an unhealthy situation) but I can’t help but think that the change in my life may not have been completely positive.