What i can't figure is why i can't do the programming. I'm actually going to be paid for that and it's really only a few hours here and there, but i just can't motivate myself to do it. It doesn't interest me intrinsically, and i know it's just going to frustrate the hell out of me. Programming makes me angry, at my computer, at the tools, at the whole industry. The process isn't rewarding for me, only the end product - the knowledge i can finally go home knowing there are no more bugs waiting to fuck me. Perhaps when i'm depressed i'm less inclined to start things i know i won't enjoy until they're over.
But do i really enjoy the process of cooking... of cleaning? I guess perhaps i do. There's a clear defined set of stages between not done and done. It's not like programming where sometimes to solve a problem you have to throw away all the work you did previously. I like seeing the progress of my work - what you see is what you get and what you get is exactly what you did. That kind of connection between effort and pay-off relaxes my mind, makes me feel at peace while i work instead of frustrated. I wonder if that would translate to a profession?
I always enjoy the challenge and learning curve of new jobs, but then it fades and it's back to the grind i hate. I expect to be stressed - that's normal at work, it's why they call it "work" - but goddamn, why can't i be stressed for the day and then come home feeling good because it's done? I know the social factor is always going to be one source of stress, but in my last job i'd come home not only frustrated at co-workers but also bummed i couldn't solve the day's problem. And then i wasted my nights all zombie-like pondering solutions in the back of my head instead of writing or playing music or just fucking living.
It's a great way to avoid dealing with things, letting your work consume you night and day. And in certain careers - those with big long problems to solve - it's easy to do. I'm sure all the happy detectives and lawyers and politicians out there have learned to deal with it somehow... But i haven't figured it out, after 8 years i'm still not a happy computer programmer.