Semi-retired life is funny. It’s funny because in my business it’s not semi-retired as in I’m always working quarter time. It’s I’m working full time this week then off for three. Half time for two months, then off for six. If you’re a sports fan, you know that if your favorite quarterback doesn’t get enough snaps, he won’t be able to get into a Rhythm. And you know, when he can’t get into a Rhythm, there are no touchdown passes. So, on this Top Sites Tuesday #139, my Thought Number One is a question: Do you think that only jocks need to find a rhythm, that engineers can sit on the bench then come right in and crank those equations?
For over a year. my business partner and I have been nursing a local customer … which means we’ve been doing small jobs for them for free in hopes of getting getting paid for work later. Well, shortly after the new year, they told us that later was here … at least almost. The contract came in this week. As luck would have it, while we were in Arizona, I got an inquiry from a small company in Cincinnati about engaging my services as an expert. Yesterday it was time to get to work, do some reading to prepare for a meeting tomorrow and look at the material sent from Cincinnati. In our work we use a software package called MATLAB to test out our ideas, so it was time to re-familiarize myself with the language.
My work day started about 8:30 and the next time I looked up it was 2:15. I thought all I’d missed was lunch, so I scrambled downstairs to make a sandwich, bringing it back upstairs so I could keep working. My son says my keyboard is disgusting, mostly because I eat while working but once I’m onto a problem, I’m pretty obsessive. I read a few technical papers, sent off some ideas to my new Cincinnati customer, then called my business partner. Did you get my messages? he said. No, said I, thinking about my phone, still on the dresser in our bedroom. It was off. When I turned it on, I realized I’d had plans to meet a friend for coffee at 1:30 and missed 5 other calls. I called to apologize but he told me that’s what he gets for hanging around with senior citizens. Just great.
I’m lucky. I love my vocation. But old habits die hard … when the engineering calls, it tends to take over my life. But I love having time to stop to have lunch with Muri or coffee with a friend. I love my avocation, writing, too, perhaps just as much as engineering. So, Thought Number Two is another question: How do I get that old engineering rhythm back … and stay the happy semi-retired blogger I’ve come to be? We’ll all just have to stay tuned, I guess. And while you’re staying tuned, please push my button … gently … to make me Number One on Top Sites Tuesday #139.
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