When I was young and free (and stupid, let’s be honest – we were all quite stupid when we were young and free), I dreamed about living on the top of a hill, far away from any civilization, in a small wood cabin, building my own balcony and growing my own tomatoes. I thought to myself: “Who needs to work? I can just enjoy life by watching the sunrise every morning, taking a walk down the hill once in a while, picking my own tomatoes for dinner, watching the beautiful sky…” – you get the idea.
Many years have passed since then. The hill cabin is not that attractive any more. Actually, it sounds quite boring. It can be a great idea for a vacation, but not as a way of living. Besides, I have a family to feed and a house to pay for. I need to work. I have been working as a SQL Server DBA for the past 11 years in various positions. I learned to love this job. As weird as it might sound to you, I enjoy designing a new database, solving a performance issue or troubleshooting a deadlock. About 3 years ago I decided to take it one step forward. I started my own company. I had two main goals that motivated me to do so:
Pick the people that I work with and the projects that I work on, so that I enjoy work even more.
Work less, so that I can spend more time with my family.
Today I can proudly say that I achieved the first goal. We have a great team of experts, and the work is interesting, challenging and fun (well, most of the time). Regarding the second goal, well… There were times when I worked 4 days a week, from 09:00 to 17:00, or even 16:00, and I had plenty of time to play with my kids.
In the last few months, I’m working around the clock. I’m embarrassed to tell you how many hours I’m working in a week. There is a huge distance between the hill cabin dream and the way I live my life these days. Extreme is never a good thing. We should always find the middle path.
Last week, my 4 year-old son asked me: “Dad, why do you always come home so late?” Bang! It was like a slap on my face. That day I made a promise – to my son and to myself…