There was a time before I was before I was a Father, before I was a husband that I would go to work all day, come home, and then continue to work until I went to sleep. At the time this did not seem like a horrible life to me. I loved what I did. Troubleshooting, designing, implementing systems was a lot of fun and brought a tremendous sense of achievement to me. In fact, I still love to work.
As time went on this sort of schedule ebbed and flowed. I would have some weeks where I would do this and then some when I would be more social after work and find other things to do besides IT.
Now that I am a Father and a husband, I can no longer afford that non-stop working attitude and lifestyle. It would prohibit me from being “present” with my family when I am home, and that is not fair to them and it is also no way to live. Truth be said I promised my wife I would put my phone away while I am home so that I am not distracted by it. This is necessary since anyone who works in IT likely has Internet addiction like me. With that said, I still logon to my Macbook whenever I have a free moment at home or in my “free” time. It is not because I necessarily need to do work, it is because I love to.
Recently I began to feel the dreaded feeling of being burnt out. I would go do sleep exhausted. I would wake up exhausted. I was eating like crap. I was sleeping like crap. I was constantly distracted by constant thinking while both at work and at home. It was time for a much needed change.
I decided to take up something that would get me away from technology and everything else in life at least for a little while. I needed an escape from both work and being home, so I looked towards the wilderness and began to hike at the break of dawn 2-3 times a week. I go on my hikes without any technological device, only taking some water and maybe a blanket to lay on a rock with if needed. At first it was hard. My mind was still distracted thinking about work and all the responsibilities outside of work that I have. Soon after though, I started to learn to enjoy the wild by actively paying attention to my thoughts but also my surroundings. I did this by looking at the beauty of nature, watching animals, watching a stream flow or just meditating on top of a mountain. Now, when I hike it is a real break from it all and it recharges my batteries well.
As we get older in IT our responsibilities outside of work began to take up a lot of time in life but it is important to find time to recharge and get away to let your brain rest. I encourage anyone who works a lot in an office space or just in general and immerse yourself into the wild, even for a little while.