What’s your chief aim for today
Learning that while I’m on call for my team, I very rarely hit my targets for the day (see section on “How did yesterday go”). Not only that, but I’m drained by the end of the day, little to no CPU cycles left for studying (although this window of time is ripe, since Elliott is asleep). Nonetheless, I’ll still call out what I want to accomplish today since these little tasks, when added together, help me fulfill my long term goals (a separate page for this will be pinned up on my blog soon).
- Write and publish one piece on this blog
- Graduate School
- Complete typing up answers for assignment #1
- Edit answers for pre-lab assignment
- Watch and take notes on second module in advanced operating systems (Lesson 2)
- Review Inbox items sitting in OmniFocus
- Scan projects sitting in my OmniFocus
- Continue to chip away at writing one-pager design for a prototype for new feature at work
- Survive today’s on call and flurry of operational issues that may arise
How did yesterday go?
Basically, when I’m call, the entire day is blurry, the day flashing by right before my eyes. During the day, I’m in a completely different state, a reactive mode, dealing with whatever gets thrown at me from auto cut tickets to Chime messages or Slack messages or e-mails. Chaotic days like this put me in a despondent state.
- Another emotionally draining day, thanks to the on call operations for the week. I got paged at 12:00 AM and after troubleshooting for about half an hour, I was unable to fall back asleep for at least another 45 minutes. When getting woken up in the middle of the night, I find that there’s a very small window — about 15 minutes — in which I can fall back asleep. After that amount of time has elapsed, falling back asleep requires serious deep breathing
- Because of the interrupted sleep, I was unable to wake up early and use that morning slot to squeeze in studying before work. I’ll borrow back some time during the day to make up for it though. Oh yea, I also am a bit flustered that I was unable to comfortably hang out out with my daughter and wife and dogs because I did end up getting paged this morning (at around 07:00 am). Fortunately, we had already walked at the park so I was nearby my laptop: so no breach in service level agreement (SLA).
- Did not get to put any study time in (as mentioned above) so I’ll need to carve out time today to catch up with watching videos lectures and typing up my homework assignment for advanced operating systems.
Word of the day
remiss – adjective (adj) – lacking care or attention to duty; negligent.
“it would be very remiss of me not to pass on that information”
What are you grateful for?
I’m glad I’m writing down what I’m grateful for because its so easy for me to get trapped inside my own brain, my own world, when work (on call specifically) feels like a tornado.
- My German Shepherd dog (Metric) is in good health (she eats raw, gets daily exercise) and behaves wonderfully with my daughter. I do feel a pang in my heart when I notice small signs that she’s aging, signs like an additional grey whisker sprouting out.
- Jess ordering two delicious vegan sandwiches for lunch, sandwiches glazed with moist hummus and filled with soft chick peas. Yummy.
- As mentioned above, on call operations for my team (and many other teams in Amazon) can drain every ounce of energy. Every time my phone sounds an alarm, my body releases cortisol and stress washes over me. Granted, there are some weeks where very little issues crop up: but that’s the not the norm as of late. But is this how I want to live my life 24×7, once every 5-6 weeks? Sure, the work is rewarding and challenging and intellectually stimulating but one entire week of pure exhaustion may not be worth the cost
- Seeing my wife watch over both my daughter and niece (Maiya) sends butterflies to my stomach. She’s patient and gentle with them, two important qualities for anyone.
I’m Matt Chung. I’m a software engineer, seasoned technology leader, and father currently based in Seattle and London. I love to share what I know. I write about topic developing scalable & fail-safe software running in the AWS cloud, digital organization as a mechanism for unlocking your creativity, and maximizing our full potentials with personal development habits.View all articles