When I was younger and had boundless energy, it seems that I spent vast amounts of time online. I wasn't really into games, chatting, or other social pursuits, however -- I was completely and totally obsessed with how computers and networks function. I spent that time learning various computer languages; developing a close relationship with routing, switching, BGP, OSPF, spanning-tree, and other network technologies; building workstations and servers, and so on and so forth. I don't really recall a time when there was a clear distinction between work and nonwork; it all fell in the same pile. When I was building ISPs, there was always work to be done, day and night. As a consultant, that remains true. Testing and reviewing IT hardware and software follows those lines as well. I used to joke with friends that at some point, I'd give it all up and become a goat farmer.
Now it seems I actually am becoming a goat farmer.
Perhaps I'm slowing down somewhat. I still spend at least 10 hours a day in front of the computer, but at some point I began to need a separation from that world. I have apparently found it at the other end of the technological spectrum -- I'm getting into farming.
I have chickens and pigs, bought a tractor, and find myself actually enjoying heading out into the fields and getting "real work" done. It really couldn't be further from my normal routine. That's probably why it's so enticing. I spent most of this weekend stumping and clearing an overgrown field to prepare it for three new pigs. In the spring, I'll add the goats to fulfill my tongue-in-cheek prediction from years past.
Of course, while I'm out on the tractor pulling up 200-year-old tree stumps and running my trusty Stihl chain saw, my iPhone is in my pocket, and I have a strong Wi-Fi signal in the field. There's something very odd about sshing into a server to fix a minor problem while sitting on a running tractor.