I landed on my own Github profile the other day, which is a pretty rare occurrence as I'm usually looking for repos in my company's account, but I was in search of a tutorial project I had done a while back. It had been a minute, and I noticed the Github wizards had further expanded the contributions panel (yay, code reviews are finally acknowledged!). But I also saw something more disturbing: too much green.
Let me explain.
I started coding for a living in 2018. This is what my contributions look like from that year:
The big gap in May is the period between finishing code school and getting a job in June (during which I went to Mexico, because YOLO). There's a gap in September when I took a week off to meet my parents in San Francisco and drive up through the redwoods with them back to Portland (highly recommended), and then a winter holiday break in December into January 2019.
Next, there's 2019, my first full year of working as a software engineer:
There are some solid gaps in there: May 2019, when family from Poland came to visit and we toured up and down the West Coast. October, when I flew to Germany and Poland for more family time and a wedding. Another couple of weeks off for the holidays in December-January. Good times.
And then... 2020.
I suppose this one won't be too surprising - there was this little thing about a global pandemic and all:
Wow, so solid green it would give that subway station envy. Ok, there's one little gap: in October, around my birthday, I took a road trip to the Alvord Desert (also highly recommended). But that didn't even last a full week.
And yeah, it makes sense. We were in lockdown. There was literally nowhere to go most of the year, and a pandemic killing millions that made even weekend trips seem like unnecessary risks. Understandable.
But what I saw that disturbed me was my 2021 so far:
Pretty dang solid. And possibly on the road to burnout (anyone else feel that?).
Luckily, I'm now fully vaccinated, and taking my first full week off next week to go on a road trip (by car, to a pretty remote area, because the pandemic's not over). Even planning it a few weeks back felt strange, as if vacations are another thing the pandemic took away. But that doesn't have to be the case.
So, for whoever needs to hear it: this is a gentle reminder to take a vacation. Even if you can't go anywhere yet, your mind and body need time away from the green squares. You'll thank yourself later.