When my sister and I went to get our other sister from the airport yesterday, it made me realize just how much of my life I’m not living. For the first time in a long time, I realized that I’m allowed to live my life and I shouldn’t be made to feel guilty for doing so.

When I first started out in web development, I loved it. I looked forward to the next new project and the next cool person I’d get to work with, but not any more.

Don’t get me wrong, I love to help people. Knowing that I am able to bring a smile to someone brightens my entire day, but I’ve discovered that you deal with two kinds of people when you work in a service based industry:

  • Those people who have a debilitating ‘me’ complex. They believe they are the only person in the world who you should be devoting your attention to, period. No family, no friends, no, not even yourself. And when you do manage to complete something for them, or take massive chunks of time out of your life for their benefit – they are ungrateful.
  • Then there are the wonderful kind people who understand that you’re a person too. They understand that you’re not a superhero, they understand you have a family, that shit happens, that you are doing everything within your power to help them, that you can only do so much, and they still appreciate you for it.

I love dealing with the latter. I’ve actually been blessed in that regard. I can safely say that at least 80% of the people I’ve worked with are in the latter category and those people have actually become people I consider friends. But somehow, the 20% manage to suck out more of me than the 80% can put back. So, with that, I’m getting out of the web development business – sort of.

This time of year gets me thinking about my life, the direction it’s heading, and whether or not I’m truly happy deep down inside.

A typical day for me looks like (and my family can vouch for this):
7:00am – Wake up, excercise, eat breakfast, shower
9:30am – Hop on the computer, load up Dreamweaver, Photoshop, and StyleMaster – open current projects
10:00am - Read and answer emails (I also continue to do so throughout the day)
1:00pm – Begin current client projects
4:00pm – Sit down to lunch…at the computer
5:00pm – Field another onslaught of emails (this is just about the time I try to figure out how Darren keeps from going crazy because I know he must get a million more than me…)
6:00pm – Continue working on client projects

Sometimes I force myself to stop around 8:00pm, but some nights I don’t find myself finishing until well after 10:00pm. And instead of going to sleep, I work on my own projects (truth be told, I’m writing this blog entry and it’s 11:30pm). Most nights I don’t find myself in bed until roughly 2-3:00am.

I dread Mondays and look forward to Sundays because Sunday is when my body refuses to function…period. It’s also the only day I truly get any rest. The stress is also the reason I gained 20 pounds over the last year — my body is just out of whack.

So, like the fabled Santa Clause, I’ve made a list. It’s a list of the clients and friends I will continue to accept projects from, but as of Monday January 9, 2005, I will no longer be accepting any clients outside of that list – that is…unless they can give me a pretty damn good reason to.

My goal is to deal only with those people in the latter group described earlier and get some semblance of my life back. Wish me luck.