Taking a break

When I finished my last talk a couple of weeks ago, I took a break.

I was tired and non-functional, and that was the best thing to do in order to be back to normal.

I was not meant to be working, and as such I stopped checking work-email, which I used to sporadically check even when I was on holidays "just in case" or to "delete stuff" so the comeback would be less terrible.

I also stopped participating at Twitter. I deleted the app from my phone and removed the Direct Message to SMS texts. It still took a while to shake off the habit of 'checking Twitter'. There were days I would open it just to check if someone wanted something from me and was trying to reach me that way, but I'd go to the "notifications" tab, see there was nothing urgent, and close it.

Some days I would glance at the stream for a moment and, after a few days of not actively participating in Twitter, it started to look like a cacophony of disjointed conversations I just didn't care about. It  simply didn't make sense, so I would glance for less and less time each day.

I didn't look at tech stuff during these days. No technical blogs. No technical discussions. I didn't talk to tech people either--just people outside of the 'tech industry'. No one demeaned me or insulted me or my work to start a conversation. No one got all enraged and worked out as they fixated on something I said or did that wasn't entirely accurate. People asked me questions and I replied to them, maybe I asked them something back as I was genuinely interested in them. It was all kind, polite exchanges. I felt very relaxed and happy.

I spent time doing DIY stuff in my place. Cooking. Going to museums. Sketching. Running. Servicing my bike. Biking. Going to the gym. Reading. Playing games. Not caring about irrelevant technical trivia that will be outdated in a couple of months. Getting fascinated with the weird weather (SNOW in April!). E-mailing friends and relatives. Watching silly comfort movies. Listening to music...

Today I went back to work and I've already facepalmed a few times. Inconsiderate comments on blog posts, toxic emails that assume everyone is wrong on the internet and don't know any fucking better, and Twitter hasn't got any good in the meantime---still the same mess.

What a shock after a week of being treated with respect and kindness.

I'm so glad I took a break.