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April 29, 2004



Recently, I found myself burned out and angry. I thought I was having a mid-life crisis. I was confused about who I wanted to be and what I wanted to do with my life.

Then I came upon this site, and others like it (but mostly this one). It occurred to me, with some prompting, that I needed to find more "juice" to be happy. And that the juice comes from embracing the real me (and my real spouse and kids) and becoming me again.

It's not about who I want to be, but who I am.

What amazes me is how much extra energy I've had since tweaking my attitude and perspective ever so slightly. I'm an SJ with NF tendencies, that is, when I'm fully engaged and awake I tend toward the SJ organizer, but when I'm burning out I tend toward the NF catalyst (wanting change).

This SJ wakeful vs. NF realigner balance works rather well because when I get off-track (resulting in becoming tired) I naturally self-correct. I've been doing this all my life without realizing it.

For example, instead of getting angry at my wife because I always do the cleaning, I realized that I actually LIKE to do the cleaning because I do it right and I like a clean environment. For me, creating order out of chaos (we've got kids) is fundamental to who I am. My wife on the other hand is a visionary (NT). She gets excited about my career, where we will live, how our kids will be educated, etc. -- and needs time to research those things.

If I got paid in juice, I'd like to find problems and fix them. That works for my current career because I'm a software developer, but now that I have a clearer sense of where my juice is, I can go to it in a more focused way.

My different career is to be a novelist because I love to express my ideas in writing. Here's the catch though -- and one that's always plagued me until now. I've never had anything important enough to say. Some authors have called it the "muse". I now call it the "juice". I'm looking forward to writing my first novel.

When I was a kid, I wanted to be a writer or a scientist. Today, I have a bachelor's degree in computer science, and I write code. I'm good at what I do and I'm very happy that I didn't become the doctor that my parents wanted me to be!

I love to think about processes, debug code (especially coming into a project and fixing crash bugs -- I can't begin to tell you how satisfying it is to come into a troubled project and fix things), learn new technologies, take my kids for a walk of discovery and exploration, and the thing I love most -- to see the results of my passions come to fruition.

Taking my kids for a walk of discovery and exploration is fun for me because I love the satisfaction I get from watching them learn new things from their environment and from me. I love the way they remind me of my time with my own father and the enjoyment I got from it.

The thing I love most about my current job is that I get to spend a great deal of time programming, analyzing, and improving code. I'm the guy who, as a teenager, went to the beach with his friends and read computer reference manuals (Pascal, object-oriented programming, etc.) because it interested me more than running around getting wet. I'm into this in a major way.

What do I like least about my current job? I would like to be paid a fair market value, that is, I'd like to feel appreciated financially for the hard work that I put in and get paid at or above the 50% percentile for programmers with my experience and skill.

What am I doing about my *JUICE*? I'm taking the time to thank you for helping me stay focused on my true passions. Please keep up the inspiring words and actions -- and I hope to be able to repay you someday in kind!


Peter Stathakos

I *LOVE* Oaxaca, it's probably my favorite place in all of Mexico. The people are great and you just have to sit in the Zocalo and watch the people go by to appreciate the culture.

I could spend weeks there, just walking around the city, going to the mercados and museums, eating and absorbing the rich history.

Oh, and the view of the city from Monte Alban... fugetaboutit....

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