Technology, Work/Life Balance

Changes, changes everywhere.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Pattern recognition is one of the defining traits of the human race. It’s one of the primary reasons we’ve evolved into the apex predators of our planet. (A little light reading on the subject.) Even the name “Homo Sapiens” means, essentially,  “wise man” in Latin. Our ancestors were able to identify patterns in weather, animal migration, and other ecological areas and then either use them to their advantage or mitigate the implications of said patterns. Summer’s transition to Autumn and Autumn to Winter allowed people to plan ahead, store provisions, and generally active proactively instead reactively. Proactivity is one of the things that delineates intelligent life from more advanced organisms.

Conversely, pattern recognition is also one of the contributing factors to some of our limitations as a society. Sometimes we see patterns where they don’t actually exist and often these imagined patterns reinforce confirmation bias. Many a belief has come from seeing patterns where there actually is none or at least a misinterpretation of said patterns. Much of this has to do with our frame of reference. For example, back before our knowledge of the heliocentric nature of our solar system, the sun and moon were thought to be orbiting the earth. This made a lot of sense at the time. Likewise when stars were seen preceding/during only certain seasons, it was seen by some as the stars governing the course of events on earth, not the position of the earth making said starts visible / the effects of the tilt of the earth on the seasons. Religions, superstitions, and dogmas have arisen because of the interpretation of patterns as “signs and wonders”.

Okay, great. What’s this got to do with your blog, Eric?

Well, I have noticed in the last decade or so that often my life changes tend to come in combinations of 2 or more for me. I wrote it off as false pattern recognition, but now I have started to dig a little deeper and have come up with the theory that there’s a reason behind the combo effect. My sample size is admittedly small, so this could be bunk, but looking at the information, I am starting to believe that every 2-3 years my subconscious is ready for change and starts making small preparatory changes and shifts in behavior to set the stage for said transitions.

This is a long setup to say something as simple as “I moved and am starting a new job. This within 30 days of each other.”, but it’s about more than that. I’ve been so busy working and being on call 24/7/365 that this blog has fallen largely into disuse. There are seasons of productivity and lulls when generating content, but a large reason this is the first post in nearly 7 months is because mentally I’ve been in “survival mode” as I’ve tried to balance work and life in a job where work has demanded constant accessibility / accountability. There just weren’t enough brain cycles left at the end of the day to devote to trying to digest my thoughts, let alone share those thoughts in a public way.

I’m transitioning to a different position with a different company, in a different region, with a different mentality, in a different industry (though still in IT) with different deliverables, different project types, less reactivity and an actual on-call rotation. Just the fact that the transition will be happening in a few days has allowed me to decompress a bit and get inside my own head a lot more than I’ve been able to do in recent months.

This made me sit back and take stock of the changes and how my mind may (or may not) be doing all of this behind the scenes to try to push me to a healthier head space.

I suppose it’s an interesting though experiment if nothing else.

Hopefully I’ll have more time to invest in writing here in the days to come.

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