I’m going to start a Monday blogging ritual. ‘Monday’ in this case is slang for ‘first day of the workweek,’ so this being Tuesday shouldn’t matter (yesterday was Labor Day, after all). I’m calling it ‘Monday Musings’ – a thoroughly unimaginative name for what will hopefully help to jump-start my blogging throughout the week. Mostly I’ll ramble about whatever I’m thinking about – usually I start a post with a topic in mind, but sometimes it’s difficult to come up with topics. Rambling like this should help to jostle my brains a bit for the week to come.
When I first created this blog in August, the intention was to talk mostly about programming. I have several other failed programming blogs, so I figured ‘hey, what’s another?’ Turns out in this case that I failed before I started – I haven’t posted a single thing on programming since I mentioned that I’m a programmer in the introductory blog post. Instead I’ve filled my blog with my mental health issues, my astronomy adventures, even old dreams. That’s okay, though – I find it difficult to write about a subject I spend 6-8 hours a day thinking about. This makes sense, I think – I’ve been approaching programming burn-out for a while, as I near my 2-year anniversary at my currently employer. It’s not as drastic as all that, to be honest – software development will always be a part of who I am, for the foreseeable future anyway – but it’s getting there, in a dangerous way.
One of my goals once I leave conventional employment is to support my family via a wide range of endeavors. Blogging is one of them, astronomy and astrophotography another. I’d even like to take a stab at semi-professional poker (anyone for starting a weekly or monthly small-stakes Texas Hold’em tournament?). Software development, at least in either a self-driven fashion (games, utilities, etc.) or as a contractor / consultant, will I suspect be a large contributor to my income at this point. Given its importance (and its position as my biggest talent) I can’t really afford to burn out on programming.
I think that’s part of why I’ve removed almost all the programming blogs I used to read from my RSS feed reader. I did this maybe two weeks ago – I went through and cleaned out nearly a hundred programming blogs out of my reader. I had been skipping over most of these posts for a while, and finally figured I wasn’t interested any longer. I think I’m beginning to understand why, now: I’m changing who I am. Programming used to be a happy place for me – when I’d work I’d hyper-focused, stay inside my own world, pay no attention to anything – even my own body’s needs. I remember sitting down for a short session in the middle of the night once, and working for a solid 8-10 hours without realizing the passage of time. I accomplished a great deal – but then I slept for about a day straight, and – what’s more – didn’t finish the project I’d started.
I can’t do that anymore. With the ways my life is changing – the ways I’m changing my life – I don’t really want to do that anymore. I guess what I’m saying is that while programming will always be a part of who I am, and what I do, I no longer want to define myself through it.