On Toes In The Water

Toes in the water, ass in the sand, not a worry in the world, a cold beer in my hands.

Toes, Zac Brown Band

I had to finish the 3D CAD design I was working on so it could get off to be printed, so it could be used for something. I remember where better than I remember what. It was at a duplex about fifty yards from some of the best beaches in the world, right on the west coast of Florida.

My body was ostensibly on vacation. My mind was at work. I was finishing an important project so we could do something by a certain date. I honestly wish I could remember why. I do remember that my wife went to read on the beach while I stayed inside, spinning a 3D representation of an object on a 15” screen for hours.

On a three-person team at a startup, it felt like I had to get this done as there was no one who could cover for me. There was no one with the skillset I had. The team was eager to see results, but ultimately it was my own sense of responsibility that led me to work. It was either my sense of responsibility or my fear of not being good enough. In truth it was likely a toxic combination of guilt, fear, shame, all wrapped up in one.

From that day on, I need to remind myself of several things.

I am not my work. My priority is my family, the people I intrinsically have a lifetime commitment to. There are always other people who can do what I do, it’s up to the business to decide if it’s worth paying them to do it. I don’t ask my coworkers or boss to do house chores when I’m at work, and I won’t do work while I’m on vacation.

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