The odd thing about being overworked, extremely stressed out and with my temper on a hair trigger as a direct consequence of having to deal with the slowly accreted frustration of trying to get things done with a (fortunately very small) minority of people who don't give a damn about the wonderful opportunity of actually thinking for themselves (as opposed to sitting around passively waiting for other people to tell them precisely and in excruciating detail what to do) is that I have less and less interest in tinkering with a computer at night.
And by "at night" I mean from, say 10PM to roughly 2AM, which is usually when I'm relaxed enough to play around a bit, read some technical articles, maybe even write some code.
The point is that the stress level is now at "I really don't give a damn anymore", and, as usual, it's a matter of balance - if things at the office go swimmingly, the extra stamina gets channelled into lines of code, artwork, writing, whatever. If not, well... Then I tend to fire up my VPN, skim through the day's mail, check my calendar for the next day, start trying to finish pending work, etc., etc.
Which, as anyone will readily tell you, is a pretty dumb thing to do, because it doesn't allow you the opportunity to exercise a bunch of neurons that are idly sitting by as the "office" ones keep firing one after another in endless monotony. So I'm looking at getting a new hobby of sorts - and, for a change, one where the computer isn't the end per se, but only a means to organize stuff (if it is to be used at all).
Besides Mandarin and Japanese (both language and culture, which are recurring interests of mine and always come to mind as things I can demonstrably learn in a slow but sure way over several thinly sliced doses of free time), I'm looking at complementing my reading list of management and Marketing titles with some History (preferably History of Economics, late XXth century), and, of all things, pure Mathematics (it's bad for my social skills, I know, but I used to pick up Calculus and treat it like one of those puzzle books, and only last week I found I'd misplaced my copy).
Anyway, I'm looking for suggestions. I've always had more than a passing interest in Humanities and social studies, although I can't see myself wolfing down Sociology tomes (at this point, I'd rather throw them at a couple of people as a form of applied research into social dynamics).
Since I haven't (completely) given up on going for an MBA (sponsors are welcome, by the way), stuff along those lines is also a likelihood, but I'd rather keep my options open.
After all, you never know what odd, compelling challenge can come out of left field and take you completely by surprise.