Why am I so negative when doing things for the day job? This is a question that I've been struggling with for quite some time and there has yet to be a good answer beyond "Maybe I'm just a bit too selfish". Looking at the myriad of posts that I've started this month and not published, there is a clear trend towards complaining, which is the main reason the posts were abandoned and left to collect digital dust in Evernote1. If people wanted to read such tripe, there's better-written stuff to be found on the popular social networks. What I really want to do is use the daily writing exercise to focus on something that is decidedly not negative. While this isn't always the case, it's something I am for.

There is a lot to be happy about, too. The boy managed to get accepted into a good kindergarten not too far from here2, Nozomi is in good health, Reiko and I are managing our jobs as well as the household responsibilities. Several years ago everything around me today would have seemed all but impossible. So where is this negative bias coming from?

As I've already alluded to, I might be just a bit too selfish. What I want I cannot have just yet3, but what I have is better than most. It's an absurd situation and I know it. More than this, though, is a feeling of uselessness at the day job. The tasks I'm doing are important, but they're not interesting. All the interesting work has gone to other people and I have missed the boat. This shouldn't be seen as a negative, yet the boredom of writing, testing, and verifying data migration scripts day after day does wear on a person who wants to create something new. This is clearly selfish and fuelled by an ego that is probably three sizes too large. Rationally, I recognize this.

Yet for a creative outlet there are not one, not two, but three other projects that I get to work on. The first is 10Centuries, which has seen a number of pretty nice updates to the API over the last few weeks to really speed things up. There is still a boatload of work that needs to be done to make it worth using, but progress is being made. The second is an inventory management system for a client in the US. I've written a bunch of software for him over the years and this new project is different enough from everything else I'm doing to encourage some additional learning. The third is a textbook management API that will be used internally at the day job to handle the rather large library of materials that are used across the globe. It's not a particularly large project, but it's one that I am quite capable of handling. So, again, why the negativity?

There are better ways to spend one's time than being upset.

  1. Has it been two weeks already? Where does the time go?

  2. The competition to get kids into the limited kindergarten spaces is quite intense at times. That said, the boy has a number of advantages that will help him through to university … if he chooses to capitalize on them.

  3. To be self-employed, doing things that make a positive difference in the lives of some people, and earning a fair amount as a result. I don't need to be rich so long as the bills can be paid and retirement can be saved for.