More of the Physical, Less of the Cerebral

June 30, 2020

More of the Physical, Less of the Cerebral

It has been over a month since I posted anything on the blog and I feel that I must come clean - not for my non-existent fanbase, but rather to hold myself accountable. You see, I just haven't been doing a lot of coding outside of work lately, and there's less to blog about as a consequence. So how did this come about?

A brief history of coding as a hobby

For about 3 years I found myself immersed in a variety of situations and environments that really made me want to code 24/7. Hence this blog and my Twitter handle @brbcoding, both harbingers of my personality. It has been a fun period during which I learned a ton of stuff, and hopefully I was able to spread some of it around.

During this time I was anticipating a moment when I would burn out and take a break from all the coding. This moment has come, and it coincides with the COVID-19 crysis.

A new job, a new pandemic

While history undoubtedly will record a few extra volumes for 2020, one thing that changed in my professional life was my day job. I had worked as a Laravel dev for the past 2+ years but earlier this year I changed it for something more... sustainable. I am still a full-stack dev - I continue working with PHP and JavaScript - but the stack has no relation to Laravel, Vue, or any of the stuff I've been talking about here and on Twitter.

In other words, work is more intense and not as fun as working with Laravel. At the end of the day I am drained mentally, and it has become harder to make myself code as a hobby.

While the pandemic has transformed certain people into super-makers, whereby they've been cranking out one software product after another, I suspect some of those people were also part of the large amount of layoffs during this period. I would love for my side projects to be my day-job but thankfully I am still employed full time and none of my side projects have generated any money. Until that changes significantly, the day job is my main priority.

Social distancing in the great outdoors

I will admit that quarantine and social distancing haven't changed my life a great deal. In fact, strictly on a personal level, it has been mostly improvements.

In the US, things haven't been locked down to the extent of other countries, for better or worse. This means that going outdoors remains an option, as long as distancing procedures are observed.

As summer rolls in, I'm feeling the call of the outdoors. There's something very cathartic about being alone on a trail, with nothing on my mind.

Lots of cycling

While trail riding is my main passion during the summer, it is highly dependent on trail conditions. To compensate, I've renewed my passion for road cycling, and I've been doing a lot of both.

As I write this, I've exercised for 10 days straight - a mix of trail/road cycling, and weightlifting. I entered a rhythm where I feel bored if I stop even for a day. Ironically - well, not really - I eat a lot more, but I'm getting leaner. So it's a win-win: I get fitter and healthier while eating anything I want in large enough quantities.

In July, I plan to step it up even more. I even signed up for a 600 mile/month cycling challenge, but realistically I don't know if I can pull that off. It's all in good fun though.

I don't plan to take part in any competition, but I'm a firm believer in self-improvement, so training for me is a way to get progressively better at a thing.

A little reading

One of my favorite ways to unwind after a hard training session is to read a book. The latest is Dune, which I am revisiting after 25 years, in anticipation of the 2020 movie. Reading it as an adult makes me appreciate this timeless classic a lot more.

A little gaming

I think of myself as a gamer but that is only one aspect of what I like. The past month I've indulged in the final installment of Terraria v1.4, Journey's End. Terraria holds a spot in my top 5 games of all time, and the v1.4 content update does it great justice. For the fans, I completed a full run-through and even managed to craft Zenith, the most powerful weapon in the game.

A little coding

I still code outside of work, but no more than ~30 minutes a day. My desire is to release SVGX to the public sooner rather than later, despite not being jam-packed with all the possible features. The problem, however, is that preparing for a launch is such an overwhelming task that I keep postponing it. Truthfully, I cannot say when the product launch will occur, but if you are interested you can sign up with your email to be notified.

More tweeting, less blogging

Blogging is very time-consuming, and with my changing priorities and mental state, I've been very inconsistent about posting. As such, I'm shifting more towards a micro-blogging sort of approach, by tweeting developer-related stuff that I find interesting, rather than spending hours crafting a blog post. I rarely tweet non-developer things, so if you like your dev content focused, give me a follow 👉 @brbcoding.

It's all good

Life ebs and flows, and so do our interests and priorities. I will go where it takes me. See you around!

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