I have never been a bookworm.
My interest in computers always kept me away from the written word. I would spend all my time pouring over new frameworks and churning out code till all hours of the night. But that was the old me, the one who was young and thought the highest pinnacle I could reach would be the title of “Developer”. It’s funny that when you are chasing the car you never think about what happens when you catch it.
So what happened when I reached my dream? I looked around and realized what I had always wanted was not worth the price. All the hours I had poured into technologies that fell by the wayside. The endless nights carefully building and testing things only for them to be replaced at the first sign of something newer. All of the missed hours with family. Is the pay nice, I suppose so but I would trade it all for a few more hours with my children as babies.
In Buddhism there is a term Anitya which means impermanence. It is the idea that everything is in flux or impermanent. Heraclitus touches on this with his statement about never stepping in the same river. The Stoic Epictetus furthers this idea with the notion that everything outside of ourselves is borrowed and will someday have to be returned. I say all of this to explain how someone with a tech background found his way into some dusty old books and found peace. A very large part of that is letting go of the idea that anything outside of my own control has meaning or importance. I am rooted in the idea that it is where the motivation to do things come from is more important than what we accomplish. I don’t know if it makes me a better developer, but it makes me kinder, more tolerant and happier overall. And I guess that’s all that matters.