This morning, as Peter and I walked on to the beach I said “That canoe is just sitting – what’s wrong?”. I had barely finished my statement when I knew what stops canoes, traffic and just about anything. The humpback whales playing. Right from the beach saw several blowspouts and a couple flukes. Yes, it was a long ways off but exciting none the less. The whales have been around for about a month according to the news and several friends. But this was my first siting this year.
I’ve signed up to volunteer on a couple whale watch boats so I’m very excited about that. Peter keeps promising to go out diving so we can hear them singing.
I listen to podcasts as I run. Today I heard one about “extreme jobs”. That’s what I used to have and don’t want again! They were talking that companies are concerned because of burn out rates. They actually also referred to “brown out” where someone doesn’t quit but becomes less effective. A few of the characteristics of an extreme job include:
- Working 60+ hours a week
- Traveling often including global travel
- Having P&L responsibility
- Working with people globally (i.e. meetings with India at 9pm)
- Spend more time with co-workers than spouse and kids
I don’t remember the others but there were 7 or 8 of them. Most people I know in Silicon Valley fit several of these groups. I know I’ve slowed down here. My health shows it. I’ve now gotten to the point that I can finally actually analyze issues to resolve them. The last few nights I’ve had a hard time sleeping through the night. I couldn’t figure out why and it was starting to drive Peter crazy. He immediately thought it was that I was stressed because of my new career. I told him that there is a little anxiety but not stress. I would just wake up at 2:30 and be thinking about a million things.
You won’t believe what it turned out to be. Almost every night I play a game of Sudoku before going to sleep. It helps me relax; I often don’t finish before I drift off. I had finished all the easy, moderate and tough puzzles in my book and was into the diabolical! They strained my brain; actually I found I finished them faster if I would just guess than figure out the diabolic pattern. But somehow it was not having the effect I needed. I bought a new book and am back to doing easy/moderate puzzles… and I’m sleeping through the night again.
So if something so simple can change sleep patterns, what does an extreme job do to you? Yes, many people thrive off them but they also don’t always recognize when/why they are having issues. I know I didn’t. I knew I would survive. Yes, I survived but I wasn’t really thriving. I don’t want to go back there – ever!