September 8, 2010

Marc 2.0

Filed under: Personal Blog — marcstober @ 5:23 pm

Tomorrow is my 36th birthday. It’s also the 5771th birthday of the world, Rosh HaShanah, according to the Hebrew calendar. A bit of numerology: the Hebrew numerals for 18 spell the word chai, “life.” 18 x 2 = 36. Ergo, Marc 2.0.

It’s not so unreasonable to think of this if I imagine one version of myself that became an adult at age 18, and while I made some mistakes and twists and turns (service packs, bug fixes, and enhancements to continue the software-version metaphor) I was just upgrading the same version. But as with software, sometimes you need to write a new version – compatible with the old, and performing the same functions, but with a new architecture that can keep performing into the future.

In practical terms, Marc 1.0 was about establishing myself; the fundamental design was about building a career and family; buying cars and homes. It wasn’t ever about material things, but about really growing up. The good news is: mission accomplished! I can no longer think in terms of, “when we have kids,” “when I get a better a job,” “when I get a bigger house or car” – I’ve done those things. It’s time for a new design.

I don’t know what that will be. I won’t entirely rule out a major career change, going back to school, starting a business, or anything else–indeed, those are the things I dream about. But I’ve also learned, as a software guy, the value of backward-compatibility, which means most things stay pretty much the same, while I continue to try some things that are new. Often, evolution is better than revolution.

It means a renewed focus on taking care of myself, mentally and physically; taking time for myself, and for the people who I depend on and who depend on me; and going forward unencumbered by anxiety.