Last Friday was my last day at Carfax. I awoke at 3:30 AM and couldn’t go back to sleep. I had a new simple song in my ear, so I fleshed it out over the next few hours before it was time to go to work. I recorded a demo.
At work, I didn’t have a chance to get emotional about it because I was busy finishing up stuff for the business. There were lots of tasks for the business I wanted to get done before I left.
In particular, there was a service we were “lifting and shifting” from an old cluster that we managed to a new one that was managed by a separate team. And when I had just a few days left, we were still mid-transition. Since I had spent the most time over the years working on that service, I didn’t want to leave the team with a bunch of stuff to learn about the old cluster when it was going to be soon destroyed.
So I made it a point to finish the transition and destroy infrastructure before I left. The final delete was my last command issued at Carfax. It was kind of nerve-racking to do that in the last hour of the last day, but everything leading up to that was smooth, so it felt right. And now the team is in a better place.
On that last day at Carfax, I discovered that the next after was the annual 24-hour gaming LAN party. In previous years, I attended this event to some degree and was kind of bummed my last day was the day before. It was always a ton of fun bringing computers to the lunchroom to game out. After telling that to another ex-Carfax friend, we decided to have our own. So I pretty much broke character and played 2 video games all weekend: Rust and Starcraft 2.
I have a weird relationship with video games. I’ve never classified myself as a “gamer” because I don’t follow game development or play new titles. And I can’t get over the feeling that I’m “wasting my life away” when I’m playing a game.
That moment of realization came when I was grinding Runescape 10 years ago. I had played RS on and off since it came out on my 11th birthday in 2001. But 10 years ago, I was putting in regular time to achieve a particular goal: to “max out.” After a lot of time and focus, I achieved that goal in 2010 (and recently re-uploaded the video of the “maxing out”).
Towards the end, though, I remember telling someone about my goal, and they mentioned that they used to “play [a similar game] to pass the time too.” That incidental comment instantly made me feel like spending time gaming was the equivalent of being on a deathbed watching TV waiting to die. I’ve been critical and careful about how much time I spend gaming ever since.
If I game now, I do it for a day or two in a binge, usually with friends. I go months or years in between binges. If I do it this way, it feels more like an experience than an addiction. I guess that’s an improvement.
Another week off
I start at EquipmentShare next week, which means I have this week off. I’m taking this time to get organized, work on my time tracking system, do some writing with Caleb on our show idea, and catch up on work for the final Sizable album.
Back to work!