I turned 41 at the end of April. Another pandemic birthday in the books. This one was special thanks to grandparents coming to visit which allowed my wife and I to escape to a hotel for a night. A small relief to be off parenting duty for ~18 hours after fourteen months of so much parenting. We ate Korean food, drank cocktails, and watched Deadpool in our hotel room. A tranquil birthday.

April was a bit of a hangover from March work-wise. My project load carried over and, while they’re all great projects, I found myself working in my spare time on the larger side projects to feel caught up. This is less than ideal but the energy-stress tradeoff was intentional. I’m working on quantifying and minimizing the work I do, but that’s hard to do when you run your own business and are building a startup on the side.

On nights and weekends where I didn’t work, I intentionally chose non-productive “time wasting” activities. Video games, watching lots of YouTubes about video games, and even picked up a TikTok habit where I watched TikToks about video games. TikTok is a fun place for distraction; a little bit horny but I appreciate the short, Vine-like format where people attempt make a goof. It’s quality content and their algorithm is impressive in its accuracy. I’m also back on the eSports train watching Overwatch League on weekends despite how much that game disappoints me. Big month for embracing the gamer lifestyle, I guess.

Intentionally being non-productive helped in non-tangible ways. It gave me time for some introspection (as one tends to do around their birthday) and I wrote down some broad life goals, I’m pinpointing sources of stress and anxiety, and lots of other grownup actvities.

  • 📖 Reading: Not much. Read a good comic series called Truth.

  • 🗣 Speaking: I spoke at An Event Apart: Spring Summit presenting my new talk on Web Components called HTML with Superpowers.

  • 📝 Blogging: Published 3 posts and created 6 drafts.

  • 💪 Fitness: Not great, but did okay at working out on Apple Fitness.

  • 🎙️ Podcasts: Did a Live ShopTalk at An Event Apart. That was fun. Had a small panic we lost an episode of Aside Quest, but we saved it!

  • ⌨️ Open Source: I made a not-for-production web component that turns a list of lists into a kanban. I also helped my nephew over FaceTime debug a Java game he’s working on even tho I don’t know Java.

  • ⚖️ Budgeting: Using Lunch Money is going well. Probably the most significant turningpoint is I’m able visualize when we spend our money.

    Bar chart of weekly expenses showing a spike in expenses on the first week of each month

    That first week of each month is rough! Half our expenses leave the bank account and it compounds to create a feeling of being behind all month. Knowing this, I can now see a similar, related surge in my email inbox at the beginning of the month with Patreons and other monthly services sending charge notifications to my inbox. I don’t know if this changes my life any, but I wasn’t able to quantify or visualize these trends before, and now money and email makes a little bit more sense than it did before.

Onward to May which is well underway. I hope to publish more blog posts this month, but doing nothing productive was so rewarding I may repeat my April performance.