This post includes an audio version. If you prefer that you can listen here or on the JAL Audioblog Podcast
Three weeks ago, after two intensive months of interviews, I decided to join Kape Technologies. But I asked them for some weeks to recover after that stressful period. We agreed on three weeks to enter their workforce with total energy and engagement, which was a great decision.
Since Laia was working and the kids were at school, I had three weeks for myself. After thinking a bit, I decided to do one thing I wanted to do for a long time. I will read, reflect, run and study.
I first cancelled most of my recurrent tasks on
Things.app and substituted them with my planned activities for this period. The planning included many small activities that will take too long to explain, so I’ll describe here what was included in general terms.
Due to interview preparation, I had no time to read or listen to audiobooks during the last two months. I used all my time, including weekends, to prepare for technical and HHRR interviews. Now that I have time, I’ll invest in my reading in two areas.
First, I’ll catch up with the Engineering Book Club. I bought the new books on the list and read them daily, taking notes and creating cards for review. I started using Readwise, which I’ll comment on when I have more experience with it.
Second, I’ll listen to some audiobooks on my lists. Mainly, I had two books about maths learning and teaching that I was eager to go through. Taking long walks while listening to those new books was relaxing and inspiring.
I reviewed the way I was doing things lately and where I was focusing my efforts. Revise my career goals and where to go from here.
The Teamwork layoff taught me many things. When put in a difficult situation, it is the perfect opportunity to push your limits and get out stronger. It tested my mental strength, so I became a more resilient and experienced professional.
It also showed me the great people I’m surrounded by. Not only my family but also my friends and colleagues. Thank you all.
To me, running is life. It helped me in the most challenging moments and now to calm myself and reflect. Physically, I couldn’t run every day, but I ran as much as possible, avoiding injury. I’ll keep doing it simply because I need it and enjoy it.
Most of my time went to study. I tackled topics that needed time and love.
- SwiftUI. I could finally invest in this technology that was always bothering me. I read a whole book on the topic and practised a lot.
- Algorithms. It is something that I do not do directly in my day-to-day job, but I will benefit from being better at it. I did study every day using the JetBrains Academy and Hackerrank. And I remembered how much I love coding on the computer science basics.
- Write. I want to make writing a habit, and I took this opportunity to include thirty minutes of writing into my schedule.
But I also invested in things that simply make me happy, like:
- Neovim. I did revive my study on this tool that I love, refreshing my setup to allow me to keep learning and using it.
- Typing. I return to the daily typing practice using
- Knowledge Base. I reviewed and sanitised my Knowledge base, which has over 3000 entries. It is not finished, but I’ll keep that work with the plan to clean it at the year’s end.
And I did all that and much more.
Today is the last day of this period, and I am grateful to have had this great opportunity to grow so much internally. And also that my family allowed me to focus on myself. Of course, I was there taking care of the house, cooking and everything I do throughout the year, but I was on my own during the working hours.
Reflecting on this period, having time for yourself to study and grow is the closest to being rich. I do not need more money or material possessions. Instead, I need time, books, pen and paper and my Mac.
Thinking beyond that, I would love a job where I could get one or two months a year to study without getting paid. I’ll pay myself with knowledge and self-discovery.