Navel gazing

Despite my cold, it’s obvious I’m feeling better than I have been in the past few days because I’m getting all existential over here. Last night at a dinner party I found out that an ex-coworker was having a pseudo-midlife crisis and struggling with the question “what makes me happy”. And today it hit me that I’m not certain I could answer that with any modicum of confidence either.

I love my job, by in large it makes me happy — likely because it allows me to be my OCD self in an arena where that’s accepted. And for the past 12 years I’ve leaned on my job for keeping me happy. But this suffers several deficiencies. One is that I’d like to share what makes me happy with someone special and doing so with my kind of job is nearly impossible. The number of gay men who would revel with me in my excitement about improving the speed of cluster creation by ~20% is equal to the cardinality of the digits in base 2.

The second, and in some ways more important, is that some day in the future I will retire, and I need something to make me happy after that point. I see my father who lived his job, mostly happily I believe, and see him wondering what to do when he retires — if we ever really get him retired at all.

You can see I’m muddling “hobbies” with “things that make you happy” in this context and I think that’s mostly fair.

You’ll have to excuse me over the next month or so if I get all navel-gazy.