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A Month to Myself

·323 words·2 mins

“What are you going to do with all that time off?” is the first thing everyone asks me.

I’m taking a month to myself before I start at SendGrid.

It’s not a vacation.

I’m considering this a part-time job, working for myself. There’s three major things I’m going to do this month:

Recover #

If you’ve worked in gaming or startups, you know about crunch time. We did almost 5 months of crunching at Beachhead and got a two week vacation at the end of it. I haven’t done any of my best work since November of last year, nor have I been very motivated.

I haven’t been able to find a lot of data on the time-to-recovery after long-term overtime. Anecdotal evidence suggests it’s pretty lengthy. Two weeks wasn’t enough for me. I want to get to SendGrid ready and motivated to do awesome work again.

Learn #

I’ve wanted to learn more Ruby for a couple of years now (I’ve never needed it on the job). This is my chance to really dig down and immerse myself in Ruby, not “just enough Ruby for Chef”.

Heck, maybe I’ll dabble in some JS, too. Write some coffeescript for hubot. Maybe even try out some Puppet! It’ll be an adventure.

I joke about always re-evaluating your toolset, but it’s actually a really good rule to live by. Since I don’t have anything “in production”, augmenting my toolset now should be a low-cost, low-friction change.

Repair Relationships #

I’ve been commuting 86 miles (about 2 hours between Orange County and Los Angeles) a day for the last year, in addition to 10AM-7PM hours and crunch time. This left me with a schedule that made it very difficult to hang out with friends, see my family, or even spend time with my wife.

No more. Relationships are an important contributor to our long-term happiness and health, and I intend to start treating them like that.