What is Life?; Part-time work

I and my colleague at work have this running joke between us that one way to know if you’re so stressed and exhausted with work is if you reach a point where you get to ask yourself “what is life?” Followed by the question, “why did I become a programmer/software developer?”

It has been a really exhausting 2018 so far that resigning from work has crossed my mind although it’s never going to be an option, at least not yet.

I realized that even though solving problems is hard, being a dev team lead is more stressful. It’s even more stressful when I need to do some small coding work on the side because I can’t really focus on coding when I still have to think about other dev admin work like merging code of my teammates to a release/hotfix branch. After which, I have to test them and to report bugs.

And too many times this year beyond my fingers can count have I found myself asking what life is all about. It pops out more frequently when I have headaches. Not sure what that really means but I know it means I already need to stop working and have a break. The problem is that I’m having a hard time sleeping lately, thus the running joke I told my wife that “Sagittarians would sleep when they’re dead.” LOL

So back to the question, what is life? There are two ways to answer this question. One is to answer it by being really specific to your personal experience. Second is by giving a general answer that applies to everyone, like saying “life is what you make it.”

I prefer a general answer to questions like these. Personal experiences are well and good, but I think a general answer is harder to find, thus, it allows one to think really deep.

What is life? Life is about living. It is moving. Naturally, it can have different phases that can differ from one person to another. How people react to what happens in their lives also differ. It’s easier to deal with things that people have planned or started. However, how people choose to face things beyond their control is another significant part of life. More often than not, one’s life is shaped by how a person reacts to these situations.

It’s easy to point out how one should really react, but it’s part of human nature that emotions would dictate how one reacts. Some people easily react, but others have an internal struggle on how to react. One special group of people though can easily adjust their reaction. They only think about on how they can properly and rightly deal with the situation, no matter how difficult it is.

After realizing how extra income really comes in handy, I’ve started doing part-time work again since June. It’s also beneficial as I can code again even for a few hours each day.

So with more than 12 hours of work I’m doing each weekday, weekends seem like long weekends to me. I always try to find time to play PS4 with my kids and I really prefer going out at least once with my family, which I rarely wanted to do before.

After all, life isn’t just about work, it’s about living with my loved ones.

 

 

 

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Losing the Fire

After having been a dev team lead for the past 9 months, I’ve started to feel that I’m losing interest in the work that I do. I would like to attribute it to fatigue but I know stress is just a consequence. I believe that all kinds of work can be tiring but it’s only by loving what you do that you ease, if not lose, all the stress because of working too hard.

I think the only thought that keeps me going is my family. The job pays well enough so I can’t just decide to quit on a whim. Having a new job entails another period of adjustment and I’m not even sure if the working hours will be as flexible as my current one.

I think I can make it through this small hump on the road. It’s not like I’ll be like this forever. I guess achieving small wins in one or two of our projects will be enough to keep me motivated.

Dev Team Lead; PS4 Weekends

It’s been quite a while since I last posted and a few things have happened already since May.

Dev Team Lead

First off, I’m now the Dev Team Lead of the company (home-based) that I’m working for. It’s only a temporary position for 3 months. I’m not sure if my boss would want it to be a permanent one but if he does I’ll definitely ask for an increase. It feels like having a part-time job as the stress levels are actually similar.

PS4

And because of stress, I’m always looking forward to weekends because I get to play with my kids on PS4. We’re so hooked up with the local multiplayer game mode of Call of Duty Black Ops 3 and Magicka 2. It reminds me of my childhood years when I was playing SNES/PS1 video games but usually alone.

Lectors, Psalmists and Commentators Guild

I’m now regularly assigned as a commentator in our parish every time our group is the assigned group. I still prefer being a lector as I find it easier and less stressful. 🙂

 

Healthy Lifestyle

It’s been a month since my wife and I have started following a weight loss program in Herbalife. I now avoid pork and beef. I only eat seafood, chicken, boiled egg, nuts, and vegetables. I only eat dark chocolate once in a while. I do workouts in the morning in the nutrition club and drink lots of water.

After a month, my weight has gone down from 74.9kgs to 69.75 kgs. I think I’ll be able to reach my ideal weight of 67kgs in a couple of weeks (hopefully). My big belly has shrunk and lots of clothes fit again. I feel light and I can now jump like I did 5 years ago. ^_^

I hope my wife and I can keep going at this even after we reach our ideal weight and other vital stats like visceral fat % and muscle mass.

 

 

WFH Benefits

One of the benefits of working from home, to be more precised, of having a home-based job that doesn’t have a fixed work schedule or at least the bulk of the work schedule is at night is that I can find some free time in the morning. My mornings are usually free unless I need to do a deployment to production or if it’s Thursday (I play basketball in the evening so need to work as much during the day) and so I can do errands, which usually deal with driving for my wife if she needs to buy things for the kids or to just do grocery. And if there’s nothing to buy we can just eat snack in our favorite cafe or restaurants. It’s like having a date everyday.

Another benefit with my schedule is that I can now adjust the pace of my work to my own liking. Unlike before when I still have a part-time work, I can now take short breaks. Gone are the days where I just face my monitors for 5-6 hours straight without leaving my desk. It’s such a big help especially in lightening up my brain’s load.

Since I now have more free time, I can now also play with my godson, who’s my wife’s nephew who lives across the house. It feels so good to play with a 1-year old, totally refreshing. Too bad he doesn’t have kids to play with as his siblings and my children are in school during the day.

There are other benefits with my work setup but I think these things are the ones that I love the most.

Focusing on One Job

With my recent headache bouts, I have decided that I will stop working on a part-time job. Surprisingly, it’s the part-time job that I’m going full-time with and leaving the current full-time one because I feel less stressful with the latter. I also don’t like being micro-managed by getting asked about my work almost every hour every time I work.

I can now finally start doing other things like the following:

  • Learn Unity game development (focusing on mobile games)
  • Finish the video workshops on photography by John Greengo
  • Start writing about a couple of stories that I thought of before
  • Talk and play more with the kids
  • Help them in their studies (though my wife and their tutors are already more than enough)

Exploring Other Options

Since having a sideline that is still related to software or web development is taking a toll on my brain, I’m trying to think of alternative sources of income. I’ve decided to only focus with my full-time job (whichever it is that I will choose in the next 2 months) starting January 2017.

Some options that I can think of:

  • Blogging
    • PC games
    • An on-going story sort of like a web comic (with no illustration as I don’t know how to draw) released weekly
  • Mobile game
    • Learn how to develop games using the Unity platform
  • Affiliate marketing
    • I have no idea what I want to market though

Other than these I can’t think of anything else.