So the new main panel went in yesterday, and man is this sucker huge. Here are the before and after shots:
Seeing this makes me feel like I’m getting ready for some mad scientist experiments. Or maybe a Delorian projects:
On a more serious note, I’ve been astronomically depressed at work over the last couple of months. My company actually has amazing benefits (free health care, great pay, bonuses, etc…) but more and more I seem to be depressed sitting at my desk. I am getting tired of sitting in front of computer screens for 10 hours a day. Taking the train to and from the city. Being too tired to play with the kids for the 20 minutes before their bed time. It all adds up to this:
I’m not happy with what I do for a living.
That said, without this job, I couldn’t afford to purchase tools or upgrade electrical. So I feel even more unhappy because I know I am trapped. In order to afford the hobby, I need to be unhappy and depressed for 40-50+ hrs a week. I know this might sound selfish because there are a lot of unemployed people out there, but I’ve worked extremely hard to get where I am today … and I’m not happy. It just feels like a big disappointment.
I would be dramatically more happy if I could work part time to pay the essentials, then spend the rest of my time in the shop. My work is not professional by any means, but I’ve received orders for my radiator covers simply because of the close knit community we have. They are functional and clean looking, which appealed to a lot of my neighbors and friends. Unfortunately, I have to decline these orders because I simply don’t have the time. I would love to build something on commission … and I’m flattered that someone liked my work enough to want to purchase one.
So I had a talk with my wife about our lifestyles and what we want to do. She is on the same page as me, we’d rather be happy than be wealthy. She is very crafty and as the kids get older and she has more time on her hands while they’re in school, she is going to start expanding her crafts & design projects. She likes to make bows and accessories for our daughter. She is good enough that she can sell the bows through local channels without even trying. Granted there isn’t a ton of money to be made in small bows, but it is very satisfying work for her.
So part time consultants in my field (development, quant finance, modeling) actually earn about double what I make as a full time employee. Granted I have benefits and all that jazz which I need to consider, but I could easily work 20 hrs a week and bring in roughly the same pay as I do now. That would free up all my other time to skill building and working on projects. And if I get orders for some projects, I could tackle them and actually earn money on the side and start to grow a business slowly.
Anyways, sorry for the rant. I feel like I’m having a mid-life crisis at the age of 29. Except instead of buying the sports car, I just want to work with my hands and be constructive instead of a computer zombie.
The good news is the electrical work will be completed today. I’ll post more pictures of the finished project with the sub-panel in the garage. On a funny note, my garage sub-panel is the same size as the original panel for the whole house. Gotta love overkill.