Iím feeling pretty good this Saturday morning. I had some time to myself last night to relax and gain a little perspective. There was a birthday party last night, and I sent Adam along and stayed home myself. I wasnít sick and I had no prior engagements. I felt bad for standing up my friends, but I just needed a day off.

Many of my friends are extroverts, and I think itís not easy for an extrovert to understand the perspective of an introvert. I am not shy. I am not afraid of people. Iím just happier when they are not around. I need time to rejuvenate, so when I do see people, I am happy to see them. Rather than being in my un-rejuvinated state, which is resentful that theyíre using up space and oxygen that Iíd rather have to myself and making noise that Iíd rather not hear.

I donít dislike them. I need to be away from them so I can continue to like them. I know that many people understand this intellectually, but donít really fully grasp it. So, I explain again and again, and hopefully someday, it gets through.

Anyway, I got that very valuable alone-time that I so desperately need, and Iím feeling better today. Even more so, Adam came home late last night and is still sleeping this morning. Even MORE time! Woohoo!

Iíve been feeling torn about my work, lately. As in, sometimes I just donít think itís what I want to do. Adam asked me the other day if it is because I feel that I donít make a difference.

I found that almost laughable.

I work for that evil empire known as the US Healthcare Industry. I am part of that tangled mess that makes life so difficult for so many people. Iíd be out of the job if we had socialized medicine, and honestly, if that happened Iíd be happy to be unemployed.

My job inside the death star is save the industry money. I donít come up with the ways the money will be saved. Someone else does that, tells me, and I go into the data to make sure it actually gets saved. Everything in healthcare costs slightly less because of what I do.

If I made one mistake, I could cost the industry 4 or 5 times my annual salary. I affect millions of dollars every month. Do I worry that I donít make a difference? No, I donít.

I know that there are probably obscure data people manning the ebb and flow of various numbers across the US who probably lament ďmaking a difference.Ē Thatís because itís an unglamorous, thankless, cog-like job.

Everyone has taken apart some beloved but broken appliance, hoping to get it working again, to find a broken $1.50-at-the-hardware-store piece that the whole thing depends on to keep going. A little seemingly-insignificant thing that you didnít even know you owned until it stopped working. It makes a difference to you. You just donít know it makes a difference to you.

Maybe itís my Japanese heritage expressing itself, but I like being that unknown cog. At least, I liked being that unknown cog.

But, itís not about making a difference. I think itís about being able to establish connections.

Now, here I am, starting my entry off talking about how I wish that my residence was on a deserted island, with a passing raft about once a month, to get my fill of human contact. Then going on to talk about how I think I may be dissatisfied in my job because it does not allow me to establish more connections with people.

Well, I donít know. Perhaps there are ways to establish connections with them without being inundated with them.

Despite that my best friend has always been a computer (because we just have so much in common), I think that I might want more humanity in my life.

Or something. Maybe itís not even that.

Maybe Iím tired of making a financial difference and I want to make a difference in a realm that I consider to be more significant.

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Saturday, Jan. 24, 2009 at 11:12 AM