So, I’m finding that I’m not particularly happy at my current job, but my various constraints make it very hard for me to find something else that would suit me better.
In particular, I have fibromyalgia which makes it difficult for me to do a huge amount of typing and, even moreso, limits what I can do in terms of oncall or crunch-type work. I’m also at a point in my career where I’m no longer enthusiastic about relearning everything under the sun for the flavor-of-the-week UI framework or whatever, and the chronic-pain brain fog makes it hard for me to juggle a bunch of external dependencies or manage other people.
I love programming and problem-solving from a “How do I do this difficult thing?” standpoint but the day-to-day of actually Getting Stuff Done is getting harder and harder for me to do. What are my options?
I definitely don’t have the right brain skills to be a manager, for example. And while architecting a new system from the ground up is absolutely in my wheelhouse, that's not really something that's a career path so much as the initiation of a new project — something you do when you're already established at a place.
I already tried the "do my own thing, try to make a career out of it" thing, for two years. While I got a lot of stuff done that I care about (particularly my web publishing pet project and a bunch of games and music, I never managed to turn any of it into a sustainable source of income. I have a decent amount of savings, but not enough to last me the rest of my life by any means.
I'm at a loss for what to do next. I'm in my early 40s, and I'm tired — exhausted, even — and burned out and disabled. I have so many things of my own that I want to make but I don't have the energy to do any of them, and I don't have the wherewithal to make them things that other people do either. I've worked hard all my life — harder than I should have been capable of, if anything — but now I feel completely spent and I don't know what to do.
There are many things I'd love to do and which I think I'd be good at, were it not for the issues my disability brings, but anything that puts me on a rigid schedule that can't accommodate how my body is doing from a day-to-day basis is an absolute no-go.
So, given that, does anyone have any ideas for what I possibly can do?
(As a note, please spare me any medical or ergonomics advice; I'm already working with doctors and trying to address the fibro issues as best I can. There is no one perfect cure for this poorly-understood condition, and if you haven't lived with this condition you definitely don't understand its implications on what I can or cannot do.)