No. I think it came down to having an extremely addictive personality and work just became the latest iteration of my mental modus operandi. I tried every distraction to wean myself off of working 7 days per week which I had been doing for the past 10 years, but absolutely nothing worked, not even for so long as a single day. The only thing that ever kept me away from my computer on any given day were hospital stints.
I think it just came down to the fact that I love to create things, especially from a germ of an idea - usually something that others declare as impossible, not in relation to the feasibility of success or failure, but rather due to the complexity of the project and the amount of work that would need to be devoted to the project, especially since I prefer to do as much of it as possible. I rarely do things to 'make money' as that usually sucks the joy out of working on them. Sure, making money is always nice, but not a prerequisite to tackling something.
I learned long ago that as soon as you assign tasks to others, you instantly become dependent on their competent and timely delivery for your own success or failure. Since they were never as personally invested in my projects as I was, the effort would usually be nothing more than perfunctory and wholly unsatisfying. I would usually spend an inordinate amount of time tweaking their efforts if not starting from scratch to achieve my stated goal. Simply put, a total waste of time and money. I haven't made that mistake in the past two years which honestly has slowed me down, but that is counter-balanced by being much happier with taking charge of things myself and making them happen - my way - right or wrong. When wrong, at least it only cost me time and not money to learn the error of my ways and if you want to say that 'time is money,' a belief that cause a high degree of vacillation on a daily basis in my mind, at least the time was spent learning something that would increase my earning potential, going forward - and not just for the current project, but for all future projects.
This is not to say that I am a perfectionist. I learned decades ago - many decades ago, that there is no such thing as perfection and that we live in an imperfect world and everyone in it is flawed in one way or another, both as a person and in their work product. It's more about vision and self-confidence. I want things done the way I want them done, without compromise. My lack of self-confidence in relation to my technical abilities, has always been a bone of contention and created that universal conundrum of 'should I learn it,' or, 'should I farm it out?' As there are an infinite number of disciplines which one could master if they had all of the time in the world, in practice that doesn't seem a realistic pursuit.
A few examples. I have never spent a minute of my life doing even the most basic SEO implementation. Angsting over SEO strategies is something I decided long ago that I would never devote a minute of my life to, nor would I ever pay anyone so much as one thin dime to do it for me. Almost 100% of my business is (or should I say, was) generated via telemarketing to local businesses and the growth of my business was enhanced through the power of learning how to ask for referrals and working them. I have never needed anyone to 'find me online." I find them. I have never stopped being amazed at the amount of stress that people create for themselves by the constant need to partake in what they believe to be, the latest and greatest advance in SEO, (this month). Am I saying that SEO is not a good thing. Of course not. What I'm saying is, it would never work for me as it's to cold and impersonal to entice me to immerse myself in it. We only have so much time on the planet and I'll be damned if I'm going to spend any of mine doing SEO, when I know I can pick up the phone and have a much better chance of getting work, because while SEO may help someone find your website, that's all it does. Period. My website does little to convey my warmth and charm (fake it 'til you make it). That's what the phone is for. I may look like Harvey Weinstein, but on the phone if you close your eyes you'll think you're talking to George Clooney. That's why I make every attempt to never actually meet any of my clients in person. Why ruin a beautiful illusion?
Another example. 'Building a list.' I have never needed one, so I have never built one. Do I have a list? Of course. But it's totally comprised of people that are already my clients. lol There's not a single name on it that belongs to someone I have never worked for. Do I email them? Sure - once a month on average to make them aware of things I feel may be relevant to them running their business - but never as an attempt to sell them anything. Never! I would never think to mail them more than once a month unless there was timely, critical information which needed to be disseminated, immediately. Should they call after receiving my email for additional information, I still don't try to sell them anything. I answer their questions, or allay their fears and should they ask if there is something they should do or buy to deal with any issues, I always attempt to tell them they shouldn't unless there is potential for a problem going forward. The main reason I do that is so when I do tell them, "Yes, you need to 'invest' in this product or service," there is never any pushback at all. They say, "Please take care of it for me." Done! No one has ever unsubscribed from my list, nor complained about receiving email from me, including folks that I haven't done work for in a good while. Obviously they consider my mini-missives as important and worth a few minutes of their time to peruse.
I make it a point to unsubscribe from any Internet marketer who mails me more than once a week, especially when their only goal is to try to sell me something. A totally worthless annoyance. I have lived without the crap they are hawking, just fine and I'll probably go to the grave having never missed it. So, if anyone ever tells you that building a list is the single most important thing you can do in business and that you can't survive without it and that you should bombard your list twice a day with offerings that they are also getting from dozens of other sellers - just make it a point to understand that what is right for their business may result in utter failure for yours. Make your own path, follow it religiously, don't be swayed by false promises of instant riches and to thine ownself be true. Don't live your life according to the whims or dictates of others (including myself. I'm just one good head bump away from being classified as a potted plant). Most people crave having their own thoughts on any given subject validated, even when predicated on misconceptions.
I'm highlight these two points, although there are others, because as a well-respected member of the forum posted, today - "there is no 'one right way' to market your business. That is such a simple truth, yet people will refuse to accept it and are determined to get others to believe that there is only one way and that one way is 'their way' and if you will only follow their lead you will reap huge profits and if you don't agree with them, you are destined for failure. And folks think me arrogant. lol
OK. At this point I'm rambling, as this diatribe started being about my past inability to actually retire from the workaday existence that has become ingrained in my daily life. I'm looking for permanent distractions to actually achieve my goal of stepping away from the computer.
In May I had two stents put in at Deborah Heart and Lung Hospital, as I was walking around with an 80% and a 100% blockage. I already have a pacemaker/defibrillator implanted for congestive heart failure brought on by Agent Orange (Dioxin) poisoning from my service in Vietnam, so this was simply icing on the medical cake. Since then I have lost 35 pounds and I am making an extremely concerted effort to reclaim my physical health. (I'm afraid there's no hope for my mental health). So, I'm going to join a gym with a heated pool, tomorrow and plan to lose 20 more pounds by year's end, and then another 20 by the first day of spring. Can I do this? Certainly. I have lost over 100 pounds twice in my life and although you would think that is something to be proud of, nothing could be farther from the truth. If you lose 114 pounds, once, that is something to be very proud of. If you have had to do it a second time, that is something you should only be ashamed of. Having to lose close to that for the third time is going to be a major challenge, but it is a goal I will achieve. I am committed to this because the doctor who operated on me told me the following; "Almost always, when someone arrives here in your condition, they are being wheeled in on a gurney with an EMT straddling their chest delivering heart compressions. All that's left to do at that point is for me to walk over and declare them DOA." I drove myself to the hospital, and as I watched them install the stents on the operating room monitor, the doctor informed me that it was evident by the number of new blood vessels that were being generated to bypass the blockages, that I had been walking around that way for at least two months, possibly three. Yes, I did feel as if I was going to die at any minute before deciding to drive to the hospital. I chalked it up to being old and fat, as well as sitting at my computer for 8 to 10 hours per day (I do love it, so). I am not a religious person and am sure that many of you who are think it it is probably time for me to rethink my beliefs, or lack thereof. That won't be happening, but apparently the universe is indicating that I have more to offer. :-)
I'm looking for other things to do. I do have an Internet radio station that I have done for the past 10 years. I want to go back to doing a live show a few hours per day, but that is just more sitting. Not sure if having your favorite DJ broadcasting while walking on a treadmill will go over well. I do believe that the personal enjoyment will offset the additional sedentary problem. Somethings you have to do, just because you enjoy them.
I covered a lot of ground, here - in what many may consider nothing more than manure, but my heart was in the right place. lol If even one sentence has a positive effect on your life, it will have been worth the personal investment of my limited and to me, precious time.
I'm off to begin the journey of the final chapter of my life. I'm going to approach it with an open mind, an open heart and with absolutely zero expectations. I hope I can step back from the computer and learn a new way of living. The first thing I am going to do when my eye open in the morning is tell myself, out loud, that I am officially retired and it's going to be the last thing I do at night. I have had an intense relationship with my computer life since 1984 when I discovered that a machine could truly be an extension of your personality, creativity and dreams. I'm not looking for a divorce. Something more along the lines of an amicable trial-separation. We'll see how that plays-out.