So I bought a 60G Photo last year at Apple... the first time I bought a real, honest-to-goodness iPod. Yes, that's sad. I've been an Apple fan almost as long as I can remember - but I didn't own a real iPod (I had a Shuffle, though).
Suffice it to say, I was blown away by the difference that the real iPod made. I always knew they were easy to use, etc - but I hadn't really experienced it first-hand. I ended up using it a ton, and dropping it several times (hey, these things happen!). Something in it became fairly fubar'd, and even after getting some friends over in iPod land here at Apple to repair it for me, it still kept flaking out. But I was holding out, since the new iPod Video was still only 60G - and I didn't want to spend money on something that brought me little perceived benefit.
And then the 80G came out.
At 60G, my iPod was almost filled to the brim with music. I had stopped purchasing music and was thinking about trimming down my collection. But the 80G... I could put some of my TV shows on that I had purchased. I could go back to having my photos on the iPod!
So I took the plunge. Not only did I take the plunge, I figured I'd go all out. I ordered it in Black, and engraved. Unfortunately, the engraving can only fit so many characters, so my inspirational quote had to be trimmed to a point where it was still meaningful to me, but the random observer would just shrug:
Decide what to do with the time that is given to us
It's actually Tolkein paraphrasing Lenin through Gandalf's mouth, telling Frodo (unfortunately, this is from the movie, as I can't find the quote at the moment):
So do all who live to see such times, but we can't choose our time. We can only decide what to do with the time given us.
And in that, I have. I bought the iPod shortly after starting my latest job, and seeing its back constantly reminds me that, yes, my job is incredibly hard. Yes, I don't have the skills or experience that the entire rest of my team does. Yes, I am trying to work like a dog for the foreseeable future, with nary an end in sight. But I know what times were given to me, and I'm at a fork. I choose the road more difficult, but supremely more rewarding.
I just have to keep reminding myself that.