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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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)

What Lies Ahead

At this point of my life I’m wondering what I’ll be doing in the future. Will I be a developer forever? Will I have my own business? Will I develop an app that I can publish in the mobile app stores? Right now, I’m far from making any of these a reality. I’ve just started web development 8 months ago and I just started learning mobile development through Swift (an iOS programming language). I don’t even have any idea on what app I want to make. It’s the same with starting a business, my mind is as clear as a white bond paper.

This is what so hard and challenging when you become an adult. When I was still studying I only care about getting the highest grades that I can get. With adulthood, you make your own road map. You make your own curriculum to follow and what’s more? You’re not even sure what curriculum to write. Sometimes you don’t know if it’s right until you’re in the middle of it.

Despite of this, I can still manage to smile and tell myself that it’s going to be fun no matter what lies ahead.

2014 in Review

2014 was full of roller coaster rides. It’s definitely the saddest so far in years.

Downs:

– My father-in-law died in a motorcycle accident. This is the reason why 2014 is the saddest year since 1995 (the year my father died). There are no words that can explain the grief that engulfed our family.

– A family problem that will probably go on for years. I have no idea when it will end. It’s too complicated. Well, the person is complicated.

– The company that I was working for closed our Davao office, leaving us all scrambling to find new jobs. Most of us are working home-based right now. I knew that it was coming but I never thought it was that soon. Some of us even looked forward to working there until they retire but I had a feeling it wouldn’t last that long.

– Major, major bumps in the last project. I was the last developer standing when the project was over

– I resigned before the company’s closing date expecting an offer from a new company. Turns out they can’t hire me yet until 2 months after

Ups:

– Before the company closed, I was appointed as the manager of the Davao office. It was only for 3 months but it was memorable. It was a struggle to keep the team afloat after we got the bad news

– Got a job within 5 days of rapid searching

– Got a raise in just 3 months of working with the new job

– I have finally moved on from being a .Net Windows application developer to a .Net web developer

– Fireworks again! Woohoo! Lol!

– Most of all, I was finally able to be with my family since I’m now working home-based =)

– Got a new insurance

– Finished some books (The Ringmaster’s Daughter, Gone Girl, The Solitaire Mystery, Apprenticeship Patterns Guidance for the Aspiring Software Craftsman and The Briefer History of Time)

I’m looking forward to a better 2015. I hope the downs are manageable compared last year.

Naruto

Naruto was the first manga that I’ve read. I got to know about Naruto through the anime first before finding out the website that hosts the scanlated versions of its weekly chapter release. Ever since then I added more manga to my weekly reading list. I even read those that were already completed before I started reading them that I would do a manga marathon for days. Finishing hundreds of chapters in a day was nothing unusual especially when I tried to catch up with One Piece.

Naruto was special. It’s not the greatest nor the best of all time but it was special for me because of how the story unfolded and how the main character grew over the years at almost the the same time that my life has unfolded. When I started reading Naruto, the main character was nothing special as a ninja. I was a sophomore in college back then and I was just learning how to program in Java. By the time he became a descent ninja, I was already into my 2nd year working as a SAP consultant. Four years ago, I went back to .Net and Naruto was training to become a sage. Now, I’m here with my family in Kidapawan and Naruto ended with his dream fulfilled of becoming a Hokage (head ninja).

So much has happened over the past 12 years and even though Naruto has ended there are still a couple more that I’m following as I go through the rest of my life.

Break, Time Travel and Gaming

I have ended work earlier tonight than usual. My head’s about to burst from exhaustion so I got no choice but to stop coding. It’s been a while since I had breaks like these even with a headache such as this one. Often times I’ll just ignore it and continue with my task, but just for tonight I felt like breaking the pattern.

I finished Stephen Hawking’s A Briefer History of Time last Sunday while I was on my way here in Davao. There were two topics that really piqued my interest: time travel and the unified theory of physics. It’s impossible not to be interested with the idea of traveling to the past and future time. As Stephen says, mathematically-speaking, traveling towards the future time seems more possible than traveling back in the past. Personally, I still don’t get how traveling in the past can be possible even at the speed of light. I have no doubts with the future time traveling because it’s already been proven that time runs slower when traveling at the speed of light.

The holy grail right now of physicists, or theoretical physicists to be precised, is achieving the unified theory of physics or more popularly known as the theory of everything (or as Hawking names it the quantum theory of gravity). Based from what Hawking said though, it seems to me that it’s a more difficult task than achieving time travel even though there are already a lot of theories that led to the current state of this quest. What’s so interesting about it? For me, it’s more of the physicists’ quest than the goal because even if the theory gets to be formulated, it wouldn’t really make such a big impact in our lives. There are still uncertainties out there that prevents us from predicting future events with 100% accuracy.

Last week, I started a break from most of the games I’ve been playing for the past month and only played NBA 2K14. Sniper Elite III and Watchdogs needs to be on hold because things are getting busier now with the part-time work. The new laptop has held its ground really well with these games and except for that Win 8 blue screen last Monday, I haven’t experienced any other hiccups with this beast. =)