On Breaking the Routine

By Radosław Miernik · Published on

Table of contents


This year was different. I don’t do New Year’s resolutions, but I do like to recap what happened. Not to bash myself, “I could have done X!” (let’s leave it for the third season of “What If…?”), but to make sure I’ll keep doing things that are good for me. Or simply more things I like.

If you’re reading my blog to learn about things, then feel free to skip this one. There’s nothing new here, just me rambling about how happy I am with my life at the moment. Weird flex, huh?

I changed my job

After more than eight years, I decided to make a change. It wasn’t that big (I’m still working on the same project), but it meant a lot to me. It may sound weird, but I think I needed to change just to prove to myself that I’m able to.

I planned to go lower with my working hours, but my wife helped me realize that I won’t magically start doing things if I work one or two hours less each day. Instead, I decided to do those things after work and see if they’ll stick.

I went on vacation more

It’s not about money or taking more time off – it’s about making more out of every break. Until last year, I wasn’t able to rest for more than a couple of days because I felt bad for not doing anything. We decided to take a laptop with us, and it’s much better.

And don’t you worry, I’m not working! But I do read even more than usual, especially longer blog posts and Reddit threads. I think I just need constant mental stimulation. (Maybe a lick mat would work too, I don’t know.)

I got back to working out

After my wrist operation back in 2019 (this thing happened), I was literally scared of doing virtually anything with it. I was trying different exercises, and with time, I got into random small-scale workouts.

This year, I wanted to do something more and tried climbing again. That, unfortunately, didn’t go well, so I looked elsewhere. A friend recommended a personal trainer focused on “getting back on track”, and it’s amazing.

I passed my PhD midterm

Even though literally everyone told me it was just a formality, I was afraid of it. Not because I did something wrong or was behind the schedule, but more because… I don’t know. I guess the fact that it was very formal, with documents filed to apply for it and everything.

But once it happened, I felt much better! Not only about my performance but about the whole thing. I’m already halfway there, and everything’s great.

I supervise my first student

While I co-supervised a few already, this is the first time I’m doing the whole thing. Similarly to the midterm, formalities here are scary as hell. But I have great people who can help me us with that – it’ll be fine.

I have to admit I got lucky, though. My first supervisee (what a terrible word) is amazing; he got really into the topic, did an awesome job coding the whole thing, the communication with him is a pleasure, and the writing is smooth so far (it’s not finished yet, though).

Jakub, if you’re reading this – thank you.

I kept writing blog posts

When I started, I had a backlog of around five topics ready to be worked on. Then, I had a topic ready by the first weekend and a whole month to write about it. Now I’m waking up around the 20th of each month surprised it’s this time again. And this very text is written minutes before being published.

In a way, it’s much easier now than it was almost three years ago. My writing got better, too. (Or at least a friend of mine editing all those texts tells me so.)

I still get paid for open source

While I quit Vazco and am no longer related to uniforms or universe:i18n, I’m actively contributing to Meteor and getting paid for that. A few people also sponsor me on GitHub, allowing me to spend even more time on open source and related communities.

Closing thoughts

There are, of course, more things. Some are so trivial I already forgot that they changed; some are so crucial I don’t want the world to know about them. Is it better than last year? Definitely! Will it be even better in the next one?

We’ll see.