Part of my problem is that, getting engrossed in work. Well, not engrossed, eaten. There's a less-than-nuanced difference between those two. Engrossed implies active engagement routed through a desire to do what you're doing. Eaten implies consumption on the part of one entity in the interaction. Work has eaten me.
It has consumed me. I'm hoping, quite heartily, that it's because of some company wide customer issues on top of dev deadlines, but I seem to have lost myself. I don't get much opportunity to do things for myself, personal projects I mean.
Last year I wrote a book of poetry, created dozens of art pieces, took dozens of pictures. This year just gone by? So much less. I'm worried that I've lost something because I'm getting more involved in my work, in the company, in my job.
I tried hard to draw a line between who I was and what I did for my job. They were two separate entities. The line is blurring. Work comes up in conversations more. I relate things to job situations more. It's less about other things now, about keeping work separate from me. I begin to wonder, is it possible? Can we really keep what we do for 40 hours (or more) a week away from Who We Are? I don't know any more.
Work is different now, which I think is contributing to it. When I first started, work was basic. I had a few things I did and that I could focus on at work. Now, I have so many things to do and track that I am unable to do anything to the best of my ability. I wonder that, because of this, I'm left unfulfilled by my job, less satisfied with what I do such that I am able to leave work at work. Does that make sense? Because it's undone that I can't mentally move on?
That seems logical to me. Given my personality I'm always tweaking, toying, working to make things perfect, to be the best I can get it - good qualities to have in my job. :) I can dwell on things making it more difficult to go on to something else. Problematically, I also understand my limits. There are days were it's hard enough to work those 9 hours. Sure, I can put in 10, 11, 12 hours some days and feel damn good about it. Some days it's laborious, excruciating to get 8 hours done. I leave work regardless of the doneness of projects, barring days before deadlines (though I rarely have anything for deadlines not done the day beforehand).
The point of all this is personal aspirations. I don't feel as if I've accomplished anything personal this past year, I should note that I do not lump relationships into this sort of personal category. (Yes, aetrix9, I think I'm a splitter.) I haven't created a similar volume of good work as before. I don't see myself doing Good Works that Contribute to a Greater Good. You know, I was looking forward to doing useful scientific research, contributing to the great intellectual or artistic base of the world. I'm not.
This may be a separate issue, contributing versus my level of creative output. I could be too hard on myself. This year saw a drastic change in my social life and my romantic relationships. Further, it may be ultimately irresponsible to want and to expect to keep work from becoming part of who I am.
Is it? Is it impractical to expect to keep my work from my normal life? Especially when I am so involved in the company?
I think I can forgive my creativity. I've been less rigorous for various reasons, which is something relatively unforgivable. I'm more rounded a person. I exercise regularly. I am creative. I love more. I go out more.
One question remains: Can you keep your job separate from the rest of your life?
To the artists that read my blog: How do you keep creative when everything else gets so busy? I seem to be missing that.
Sidebar: Do LJ icons count as artistic endeavor? 'Cuz if so.. damn, my output has been nutty...