I love the hustle, but I don’t enjoy the grind.
Five months of relentless pace, dialed up to 11, where you’re doing 50 to 60 hours of ground-breaking software development work a week.
And then a month of “let’s double that” trying to wrangle a sub-project.
Followed by a week that just wouldn’t quit, where on Tuesday, at lunchtime, you realize you’ve already worked 40 hours. Where even the weekend doesn’t give you respite. And you and a colleague went through 60+ espresso shots in one 36 hour period.
And you haven’t done laundry in six weeks.
And you’ve ate more takeout food in five days of March than you did in all of February.
And you’ve ate more takeout food in February and March than you did in all of 2021 and 2020 combined.
Where every meal is takeout.
And you’re eating a burger and fries and a milkshake at 1AM in the morning and it appears normal.
And you’ve been awake since 7AM.
And you haven’t showered in five days.
And it was considered humourous by people that you fell asleep for a half-hour in a chair at work the moment you could stop. Or you fell asleep at the dining table eating leftover takeout, alone, with your family on the other end of the phone call wondering where you went.
When you normally sleep 4AM to 9AM and consider that “fully rested” but it got squeezed to 4AM to 7AM so you can get people on the phone, or chase emails, or texts.
And you’re still staring down a very long tunnel of what’s left to do to get across the finish line. And you know there’s another finish line right after that one. Just as close. Just as high pressure. And another one right after that.
Life’s short. I love interesting problems. The hustle is interesting. The grind is not. “Work hard. Play hard.” implies there’s time left over for play.
I don’t know where I am going with this. But I know I am not heading in the direction I want to be going. Time to step back. Time to re-evaluate.