I’ve been on sick leave this week, and will be for another three weeks. I’m exhausted, which I believe is the result of a combination of recovering from COVID-19 and dealing with burnout. I likely haven’t fully emotionally processed the impact of the heart surgery1 (1 see Weeknotes 2023 W40: Lucky heart ) yet, either.
The burnout is likely the biggest part, though. Last week, in Weeknotes 2023 W45: COVID recovery, I said I was teetering on the edge of burnout, and I was right. I had some burnout leave two months ago,2 (2 see Weeknotes 2023 W36: Burnout ) but that wasn’t nearly enough to deal with it properly.
I’m not sure how things will go for me, but I know that I need to prioritize health — and mental health is absolutely part of that.
After pushing it off for far too long, my Brompton bike finally had the maintenance it needed: a new chain, new sprockets, new tires, new brake pads, and upgraded handlebars.
It wasn’t cheap — closing in on €300 — but cycling on a bike after maintenance feels so good. It was worth the money.
I am horribly out of shape, though: after cycling for just ten minutes, I was nauseous and out of breath. I haven’t really exercised since September, but that’s not a surprise given the heart surgery and COVID. I did not expect to be this out of shape, though.
I have dropped, unintentionally, the whole topic of acting lately. Between burnout, heart surgery, COVID, and a few other complications, I’ve not had the mental energy to give it enough attention.
A while ago I signed up for an acting course that would run until December, but that one got cancelled last-minute. Since then, I’ve been kinda stuck. Having classes like these that run for an extended period of time is what I wanted, because it creates momentum. With long-running classes, all you have to do is show up; there’s no point in thinking about what to do next.
Right now, however, I have no momentum, and I am stuck thinking (or overthinking) about how to proceed.
The big question on the back of my mind: what do I want to get out of this endeavor? This is tough to answer, because acting skills aren’t immediately applicable; you can’t sit down and just do some acting. The idea of turning it into a career does not appeal to me at all, and I’d much rather use the skillset to create my own material — short films that I write myself, for instance.
But until I get to the point where it is feasible for me to do so, I’ll need to continue honing my skills, and I’m rather stuck on how to proceed.
My writing has been taking a back seat, too. The primary reason for it is a lack of energy.
I write because I enjoy writing. I don’t intend to make money off it, let alone a career. I have no goals for writing except to improve, and to create pieces that other people could enjoy.
Another reason why my writing isn’t making progress: I have lately been spending good amounts of time reading books on writing, rather than doing any writing itself. The books aren’t really helping. I know how to write, so maybe I need to simply get on with it.
My backups hadn’t been running for two months. Arq stopped working at the end of September, with no warning. That’s not great, is it? I had to reinstall Arq to get it working again.
I’d love to have a way to verify that backups are happening as expected; a way to get alerted automatically when no backups have been created recently.
In the mean time, I’ve set up automated backups with restic. This doesn’t solve the problem of guaranteeing that backups are happening, but it’s good to have more than one distinct backup method: the chance of all of them failing at the same time is a lot lower.
I started sleeping on the other side of my bed. I’m calling this the Denis Mattress Wear Leveling (DMWL) technique. Patent pending.
I tweaked the design of denisdefreyne.com a little. The changes have been a long time coming. I’ve also fixed the way the sidenotes are handled in feed readers.
I was pleasantly surprised to see that VS Code’s
file-icons package has an icon for D★Mark, a markup language I invented a while back. I had assumed barely anyone else uses the language, but I’m glad to be wrong and to see that it is important to other people too!
I signed up for Disney+. I’m going to watch all the Pixar movies now.
I watched Finding Nemo for the first time, ever. It is very good.
A Cure For Wellness was average. It is too long, and has a plot that is too far-fetched yet feels derivative.
Season 2 of Loki struggled to retain my attention. It’s too chaotic. The MCU now has so much going on inside of it that it’s impossible to keep track of everything.
I picked up The X-Files again and watched the 1998 movie. I think I’ve had enough X-Files adventures for a long time.
I finished Alan Wake II, and now I am replaying Control. Both top-notch games.
I went to see Sungazer — my first concert since the start of the pandemic! I enjoyed it a great deal, but had to leave early because I was exhausted. But hey, leaving a concert early is fine; I got what I wanted out of it.
Can You Be Productive Working Only 45% Of The Day? (Jack Kelly): Even 45% seems optimistic, in my experience.
How can we keep domains working long after our death? (Chuck Grimmett)
The Interface of Kai Krause’s Software (Matthias Müller-Prove)