It's 2008. My big database system at work went live today and I have never been more overworked in my life - and yes this includes four years of honors college with three jobs , two majors and a Math minor. The fact that every single person was able to use the new system to do their jobs without any major problems is sign enough that my non-traditional, over-ambitious strategy of "doing-everything-myself-and-my-way" worked. As with any large system, there will be issues to deal with on a regular basis but from all I can see, the system works exactly as I had planned. There is a lot more to be done in the coming months.
My entire family (including uncle, aunt, and cousins from New Jersey) is in India right now, touring the temples and palaces in the state of Rajasthan. My dad asked me to explain what exactly I was accomplishing in life living 10,000 miles away from everyone who loves me, spending Christmas and New-Years alone at work. I tried to sound cheerful and optimistic but it wasn't easy. Launching this system successfully was a personal goal, not a mere to-do-list for work. Now that I've done it and moreover, now that I know I can do it, the challenge is gone. It's exciting to climb Everest but I wouldn't want to shovel it after every snow-storm.
With not much left to motivate me now, it was hard to argue with dad. I could be making the same amount of money doing much less work in India and with the dollar continuously declining, probably even more there comparatively. So what am I doing here? I don't know. But know I'm ready to get back on my kayak soon with 21 vacation days for 2008.