2024-01-24: just catching up, 2

the last few years i've worked from home. this was a temporary thing that became permanent. and while i'd rarely bump into people i knew before, this became especially true after. i'd leave the house to get gas, get groceries, maybe run some errands. i ordered more and more stuff online. i still do. easy to settle into my daily cadence, my weekly routines.

today i ran into my first boss (well, my first boss since moving here) while getting groceries. he passed me without recognizing me — pretty easy, considering when we worked together i had short hair, no facial hair, no glasses — but i flagged him down and we chatted for a bit.

he's doing well; he hasn't changed. after our company was torpedoed post-acquisition, he ended up working at a computer hardware company, and then got into a few different jobs all at once. 8 a.m. to 2 a.m., he said, almost as a joke, but definitely not a joke. he was grabbing groceries in a short window before needing to be online for something or other. doing well, but —

at my last job, i knew a guy who got sick, and then died, two months from retirement. that shook me, hard. what's the point of that, a life spent working? nurturing the lie that your company cares about you? money just to facilitate getting up the next morning? he's almost that age. he still seems disgustingly healthy, but your health is good till it isn't. things can turn around fast.

my first boss was tough to work for sometimes, but taught me a lot. ditto for the company. the sort of person (& place) that's easier to deal with in your 20s, when you're hungry and ask fewer questions. but that wouldn't work for me now. as i've gotten older, there's been a new kind of urgency: to write, and play music, and work on my other hobbies and projects. i want to make things, not money. i want to create, not earn. you can't take your bank balance with you.

i'm glad he's doing well.