Recently I keep running into limitations. My knee started acting up again, and is, in fact, still slightly hurting. I have to face the reality that as I get older this will only get worse. My days of mountain climbing are not quite at an end, but I'll definitely have to start taking it more seriously than I've done in the past. In this case I am comparing my performance against that of my past self, and have to accept that I can't expect to magically have the same body as I used to have. It's something I have to work for.
Another limit I'm thinking about recently is work-related. There's two areas of work where I'd like to improve myself in and, again based on past experience, am expecting more of: intellectual fulfillment and income. But this feeling of wanting to have more does not come from comparing myself against my past; I'm earning more than ever before, and since I joined Potato my work has seen millions of users. But at the same time I've been imprinting on myself the same ambition that so many of my peers have: that of being your own boss, having your own company, doing your own startup, setting your own rules.. The people I look up to in life all have moved in this direction, so naturally I am steering myself towards that goal as well.
But that's not something you can do blindly and expect it to work. Everyone has their own personality, their own quirks and their own hidden goals that they may or may not be aware of. In my case I've devoted a large part of my life to being flexible in where I live. This has affected some of my career choices, of course. Besides that, a lot of people in my profession can never let go of programming. Whenever they're not working (late) they're doing some side project at home. I'm just not like that. Usually after a long day of work I don't want to do any programming any more, unless there happens to be a side project that I'm extremely enthusiastic about. Occasionally I do get a random urge to program, but it's nowhere near as often as other programmers I know. Activity, like the place where you live, should be flexible.
Everyone is walking their own path, but when you have so much in common with the people around you it's sometimes hard to see where theirs ends and yours begins. Programming for me is a tool that enables me to live the kind of life that I want to live. It's a means, not an end. And that's ok.