Journal

What a busy past two weeks it has been! Between two trips, being quarantined while waiting on COVID results, and then helping family over the weekend, I was completely exhausted. Getting caught up on chores Monday night took until 11 PM and I decided that I probably shouldn’t shouldn’t overdo it by adding a post on top of that!

This being said, today’s quote was:

“Regardless of how you feel inside, always try to look like a winner. Even if you are behind, a sustained look of control and confidence can give you a mental edge that results in victory.”

Arthur Ashe

I’ve been feeling a bit beaten down and uncertain about a lot of things recently, and recognized this morning that how I’m presenting myself is suffering from this. Taking some time to focus, critically review my options and path forward, and trying to find a win in there somewhere should help. I may need to take a little more time this week to keep getting caught up and rest, as well, so that I don’t trudge closer to burnout.

With a thought-out and intentional plan, I should be able to draw confidence from more stable footing.

The first thing that I think I need to address is areas where I’ve experienced failures recently. I discovered that issues I had fixed here on Learning Log are suddenly not working correctly again, like search and my reference lists. I also feel like I failed from a project management standpoint on TD Collection. Both of these are fixable, and rather than feeling guilty about it, I need to run them through the Focus Funnel and consciously decide when I should address them.

Now I need to determine my next steps. There are six main initiatives to address:

  • TD Collection
  • AGWSU
  • Portfolio
  • Personal “win” project
  • Existing project polish/updates
  • Progression entries / FreeCodeCamp challenges

To be able to contribute to TD Collection and AGWSU in their current state, I need to revisit learning Redux and Firebase from the ground up. These are skills that I really want to get up and running on soon, as the lack of them is definitely holding me back from creating more interesting interactions.

My portfolio is outdated and looks…well, awful, so getting that polished and looking better should be a high priority to focus more on my brand. Neal has offered to help review and critique my UX designs, which would be very helpful. I have some ideas, but I’m not completely sure how to execute them. The risk of charging towards this is that I spend far too much time on it initially, when I could be building more value into finishing projects. Maybe I could set some smaller and self-contained targets to hit and improve things in smaller steps. I would definitely like to try to wrap up where I left off on 11/4 before I forget where I was, so I’ve added a task for that below.

I haven’t made any fun projects for myself since 4th of July, where I made a web scraper to collect cocktail data used in my favorite cocktail app. I’ve been itching to build a system to better manage my home bar (I’m a hobbyist bartender) and track what I’ve made, so I would be highly motivated to work on a system like this and would very quickly get personal utility from it. Likewise, I heard that there was a November Game-Off hackathon going on with a theme of “moonshot,” and I’ve had an idea for an incremental resource management game that would be part of a bigger universe of characters, locations, and inter-related games and media that might be neat to finally try building something towards. Not much related to the “moon” specifically, but the grand scope of how everything could eventually come together is very much in the “moonshot” realm.

Hook Clock was a small win in terms of learning something new and putting it to work. It definitely needs a few small fixes, but I feel like it is approaching a “complete” status and is the most “complete” of all my projects so far. It could also use things like prop types, better documentation, and testing. Many of my other projects in my repositories need similar updates so that my GitLab isn’t polluted with a bunch of junk.

Finally, I’m concerned that I might be getting too wrapped up in frameworks again without continuing with my fundamentals. It may be good to stop, take a step back, and continue with FreeCodeCamp and progression entries from where I left off. There is a ton of work to be done here.


Now that these are all written out, it seems like Redux and Firebase learning will ultimately be the most impactful things that I can work towards right now, and are critical skills for AGWSU, TDC, and my bar management app.

Tonight, I will try to take some time and work through some more chores, clean my physical and digital workspaces, and mentally ground myself better. I’ve reached out to Neal to see what his bandwidth and interest is like for either of our shared projects, and plan on moving forward with learning regardless.

Tasklist