Human User Error

In the world of IT, human user errors are sometimes comically coded to the likes of IBM error (Idiot Behind Machine), PICNIC (Problem In Chair Not In Computer) or ID-10T (Idiot). It’s reserved for people who overlook the simplest solutions. They call for help frantically explaining that their computers won’t turn on, only to be asked the most obvious of questions first: “Is the computer plugged in?” After a brief moment of silence and unintelligible utterance, the phone line goes dead. Problem solved!

Taking time off from my routine for the past 16 days proved to be an interesting experiment. One that I would code as ID-10T. Over the past year, I’ve operated on a fairly strict Monday – Friday morning routine to set me up for my work days with mind, body and soul prepared for the day ahead. I’ve learned that I operate at my best when I stick to the routine. The struggle I experienced over my extended intermission was that when there was no “work” to get after, with 8+ hours of my day being spoken for, that I would become bored with all the hours ahead of me. So I opted to sleep in, not journal, not blog, not meditate, and not read. I exercised occasionally. I ate worse, and imbibed more.

Along the way I realized I have lost passion for all things outside of work. I realized that I felt no true motivation or purpose beyond my job. My days off were relaxing and productive, but mostly in form of errands and housework. I failed at doing any work on myself, actively seeking to get better, learning new things, reading more about what interests me, or being creative. I failed at maximizing the time and appreciating the freedom of more hours to get more done. I feared those unspoken for hours and let my fear drive me lazy.

The good news is that I don’t regret it. The good news is that I’m at peace with this failure. Why? Because it’s given me perspective. Every morning is a battle to get off on the right foot, and has been for as long as I can recall. However, knowing empirically that I am a better human when I am structured is wonderful data. Knowing that I serve the people around me better and am kinder to myself when I stay on a disciplined path is not my New Years Resolution. Being resolute is my solution for all my years ahead.

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Aspiring Stoic and Doting Father

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