6 months off

Note to the reader: I wrote this article back in 2016 and never published it. I never took 6 months off from open source. Instead, I changed the project I am working on. I am happy and fruitful again.

I decided to stop — stop repeating what I do on a daily basis. My daytime job requires me contribute to an open source project but today I am taking 6 months off from open source.

  • I don’t want to be burned out due to the communication overhaul. No 24/7 issue tracker, mailing lists, slack or IRC.
  • I don’t want to be praised or criticized for just doing your job (tm) by a wide range of people who has no context about that work. Not having to have patience to explain your goals to a wide community of people who wants to unsee the sort or problem you solve selfishly for yourself.
  • I don’t want to get lost in dismissive debates. Not having to argue for hours to commit a change requires several minutes to be done.
  • I want to be able to get offline and stop reading the Github notifications for an extended period of time. No inbox anxiety. Having weekends truly off.
  • I don’t want to let Github misjudge my worth. I felt urged to contribute more for a greener profile page at the cost of little or no actual value. Not being exposed to people who are bragging about Github stats :-/
  • I need less distraction and less context switch as a result of being able to disconnect more often. Being able to tackle long-term design issues, harder problems; getting into more of philosophical debates and do more experimentation.
  • I want to be able to unsubscribe from the social issues in the communities. Another burn-out point for already burnt-out individuals to be exposed to the negativity and the lack of quality communication.
  • I don’t want to to read the comments. No Reddit and no Hacker News.
  • I don’t want any ambition to do more. Not caring about how popular the work gets and how much of what is adopted. Programming for the sake of programming, not for the sake of popularity.
  • I want to lose 10+ pounds.

There is nothing new in the list but what I can learn from the absence is that my self-worth is not measured by how much I serve the masses. Once you expose yourself, you are expecting from yourself to bite off more than you chew. Once you sign up to deliver because you can, you forget that you can give up. I am tired of this delusion.