November 02, 2019

This week I wrapped up a three year stint on a client project. The client services business can be emotional sometimes. Not just the flash mobs of new relationships and entanglements you enter into, but the emotional investment in various projects as well. I often feel that more than the strategy and code, the most important service I provide is giving a shit (with a little design sensibility mixed in). And when I stop giving a shit… well… that’s probably not ideal for both parties involved.

Now I’m in a familiar place where those heap of concerns that dominated my day-to-day aren’t my concerns any more. It feels weightless. I’m already employed on other interesting client work, so it’s not boredom or an unemployment feeling, it’s more of a vacuum. My quantified list of weekly responsibilities has dwindled considerably (nearly a quarter less obligations).

Whenever a new allocation of mental and emotional bandwidth opens up it’s tempting to want to fill that vacancy. Giving into the impulse, I can come up with four big personal goals I’d like to pursue:

  • Think and Blog: I have ~60 unfinished ideas in my blog post kanban. It would feel nice to let those go or delete the backlog of mental weight. I’d also like to form some stronger opinions and build some experiments, but have lacked the ambition. I now have energy for that, but I want to be patient and not overcommit to any new projects tho.
  • Take some online courses: I have a handful of courses I’d like to take on stuff like state machines, testing, hooks, graphQL, etc. I may try to budget a day a week at this more formal learning.
  • Catch up on RSS: I’m sitting at 1974 unreads. It takes mental energy to conquer a reading list.
  • Get healthy: My back has been out for 2+ months. I need to listen to my what my body is saying to me and that may mean doing none of the stuff mentioned above.

I definitely believe that “Always be learning” is a core principle of mine. I am energized when doing learning. I will concede though that maybe the best thing I can do here is do nothing: sit with myself and stare at a wall. And maybe that’s something I will explore, but now that I have the spare mental energy to devote to learning, I’m excited to pursue it.