After three weeks off work to recover from surgery, I go back tomorrow. My commute is about 10 steps. If I actually had to drive to an office for work, I would have needed at least another week off. I am still sleeping 12 to 15 hours each night and taking pain meds, so we’ll see how it goes.
I am recovering from a life threatening illness that was luckily caught and treated early. There is no doubt at all in my mind that I’ll be around for many years to come. It seems like no matter what life throws at me, it always could have been much worse. I always end up being pretty lucky.
There is a lot of debate today about the advice to “follow your dreams” or “follow your passion”. On the surface, it seems like good advice. Why spend your life doing something you hate or that is not fun. Unfortunately, most people’s dreams are art related. Maybe it is acting, music, or photography. Can you make a living doing those things? Well, very few people can. For most people, these pursuits can be nothing more than hobbies.
The advice I have been hearing lately is to find something you are interested in, that you can also make a living at, and then become passionate about it. Did I dream about databases when I was a kid? Not hardly. I dreamt about writing books and being a teacher. As a teen, I developed an interest in science and decided that pharmacy would be the perfect career for me.
While I made some lifelong friends in college and developed communication skills in that career, for the most part, becoming a pharmacist is the biggest regret of my life. I am very lucky, because eventually I figured out what would really make me happy and was able to switch careers. I’m not saying it was easy or that it happened overnight. I had to figure out what to do and worked extremely hard to develop the skills. I also took a 25% decrease in pay the year I became a developer. You may be thinking that since I am woman, that pay difference was not a big deal. I am and was the sole breadwinner in my family, so it was quite a sacrifice. I have never caught up to pharmacy salaries, but you couldn’t pay me a million dollars to go back.
Taking three weeks off to rest and regenerate away from SQL Server has been good for me. SQL Server was the last thing on my mind shortly after my surgery. But now that I am ready to go back to work, I am so thankful that I get to work with such amazing technology. My work is challenging and fun. And, I also get to write books and teach just as I dreamed about when I was a child. It’s amazing how that worked out.