Relaxing During The Holidays (or Disconnect to Recharge)

For this repost, I review why it's OK (and sometimes mandatory) to take a little time off to recharge for the holidays

Written by Jonathan "JD" Danylko • Last Updated: • General •

Fireworks above a city

This is a repost from 2015-Dec-14 titled "How Downtime Can Make You A Better Coder." I wanted to freshen it up a bit to show it's still relevant (and sometimes necessary) to take a break and relax in our industry.

It's that time of year again.

When we decorate the tree, hang the lights, and prepare for the holidays.

It's also that time of year when I take a little break from blogging (and the newsletter)...

...and being a CTO for a startup,

...and self-publishing ebooks,

...and from my full-time job,

...and running a part-time web business,

...and my open-source projects (ok, I may dabble with some projects during my downtime).

While I try to blog every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, there are times when life sometimes gets in the way and I can't do all three days.

This leads me into the subject of how COVID affected me this year.

Things have changed for me since February (2021) though. When my family was hit with COVID in February, we were all sick for a week solid (I'm actually surprised the cat was fed properly). Each person was confined to their own room.

Once the family recovered, we were immediately vaccinated and on the road to recovery. However, I lost my smell, taste, and my energy levels. I'm now considered a "long-hauler." (STILL haven't fully recovered yet).

People who knew me before February knew that I was always doing something and running at high energy levels. When I was affected by COVID, I started having fatigue, cloudiness, lack of focus, and concentration. Now, after a day of work, I need to take a nap when I usually didn't have to.

And it was becoming apparent.

For my readers, you may have noticed in this quarter alone, I only wrote one post.

One post.

I've tried to keep up with writing 1-2 blog posts a week, but as you can see, it hasn't happened.

Every year (since 2015 anyways), I always take a break at the end of December for two weeks.

I usually need it and this year is no exception.

Why I Disconnect

Let me get back to the original reason why I wrote this post. 

Every year around this time, I take a break for a couple of reasons.

1. I need to recharge my batteries/need downtime.

When I started blogging, people would ask "how I can continue to write content every week?" While I work full-time as a web developer/consultant, I also head home, relax a little bit, and do what I call "recreational programming" (programming that doesn't take much thought or is simply experimental to test out concepts).

The only time I have downtime is at the end of the year where I schedule time off. 

2. It's the holidays. Time to relax and spend time with family.

Throughout the year, every holiday creates downtime, but there is always a moment when you want to check the blog, and make sure you are answering any questions your readers have for you.

Right now, this time of year shows the extent of everyone's mentality of work. It's time to slow it down and prepare for the holidays (oh, and the in-laws) for Christmas and New Years.

3. I have a number of ideas for the site and need some time to include those changes.

I always use my site as a testbed for experiments. This would give me some time to flesh them out a little more so I can provide my users with ways to improve their websites' functionality using new techniques for their site.

4. It disconnects me from the online world (translation: it gives your brain a break)

Have you ever been working so hard on a project that you can't think of anything else but that project?

But what happens when you don't work on your project and your mind starts to wander? You start getting ideas injected into your brain at the weirdest moments.

It's happened to all of us, don't deny it! ;-)

A Great, Big Thank You

Before I take my leave of 2015 this year, I want to thank a very special person for always showing up and giving me inspiration, motivation, and dedication to write on my blog...YOU!

Yes, YOU!

I've received a lot of emails from my readers asking how to accomplish a lot of things in ASP.NET and it has been a challenge.

But for those who know me, I love a challenge.

Thank you so much for your readership and I hope to spring back into form in this coming year.

Crank up those resolutions and I'll see you next year!

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Picture of Jonathan "JD" Danylko

Jonathan Danylko is a web architect and entrepreneur who's been programming for over 25 years. He's developed websites for small, medium, and Fortune 500 companies since 1996.

He currently works at Insight Enterprises as an Principal Software Engineer Architect.

When asked what he likes to do in his spare time, he replies, "I like to write and I like to code. I also like to write about code."

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