50 Real relaxation

Hey, we are at blog 50! No, nothing special lol. But thats a lot of blogs; blogging for almost 5 years now. About my (Erik) his stuff, game dev, and his life in general.

This blog is, you guessed it, also about a lot of stuff. I am having a planned month ‘off’ work currently, as in: no consultancy job at the moment. With that, I have a lot of time on hand to do (seemingly random) stuff.

Let me clarify what I mean with ‘seemingly random’ stuff:

Life improvements

As you all know, I like to explore life. See what kind of things help me out to make my work more fun, to make me a better person. (And then to share these findings with you, through this blog)

I am using this month off to do things I normally would not do. Like helping out my wife and her father on their gardening company (more on that later in this blog). Or to just jump into my car and drive to Utrecht to attend to the ‘game dev cafe’ (I ask a few questions onto the end, on 33:55). Or to start a whole new chapter in my business by scheduling a meeting with Jonathan to see how we can help each other out (later more on that in this blog).

Interesting part about all this is that I didn’t plan that much of the previous work. Yes I wanted to explore working together with my wife. But wasn’t planning on doing a large time investment there.

My original plan was to work my ass off. Yes, I admit. That was the plan. To work on Find the Gnome 2, make CI/CD video’s, and spend a bit of time to find a new consultancy job.

But as soon as I was ready to start working on the CI/CD video’s, I just wanted to do easy stuff. Like helping my wife out at her company with just physical work. Shoveling sand around on a job site of them. Things like that. This stuff is so much more easy (for me) to start work on. It gives instant gratification, is very visual in what you need to do and what work you already finished. And yes its hard on the body, but I honestly do like a workout like that. Just start up slowly and take a rest when you need it, and physical work like that is ‘easy’ to pull off.

Also, finding a new consultancy job proved to be a lot more work than I initially counted on. This is important for me, so I gave it all I had. Most of my precious ‘mind’ energy did go to talking with intermediates, doing introduction talks with the teams, and then even make a test. This all was a lot more demanding on me than I initially accounted for.

So I decided to just ‘go with the flow’. Take a step back. See what my mind and body needs. Rest a bit between the different activities. Play a few games (that I hadn’t touched for months due to pressure on work: that should have been a sign lol). And above all: accept that I was doing the best I could. Even though I wasn’t “making CI/CD video’s like my original plan”.

That is real relaxation for me. To do a bit work. Find things to do. Explore new opportunities. And accept that ‘there is a time for everything’.

Those CI/CD video’s will come with time. I am already writing the video scripts. Have 1 finished. But I think I need to cut the content up differently (than I originally planned for). But that’s okay. Good things need time to grow.

On to the other two subjects of this blog.

Lets start with the ‘Jonathan plan’:

Jonathan plan

The basic premise is simple: he helps me out with my business, I help him out with his business.

He currently is the account manager of Basys. They make BI data warehousing solutions. In his work at Basys, he helps out companies get better business results by providing them BI solutions. But Jonathan is also quite technical himself. He loves automating stuff, helping people out on websites, things like that. He even has his own business ‘TG4’ that he runs on the side for 6 years now.

He wants to ‘spread out his wings’ and take off with his own business. He is building up his client portfolio with his side-business, and is on the brink of getting more technically demanding projects to do so. Our view on how business should operate and treat each other align very well. And I could help him out with my tech skills if he starts landing those more demanding projects.

At the same time, I do have things of my own that I need assistance with. Jonathan is already helping out companies streamline their businesses, and I would like to hire him for exactly that: help me get GameFeelings more profitable. And / or how my game development business could interfere with or empower my software consultancy business.

There is a lot of stuff I think that he can help with. But the basics are:

  • Accountability: have someone to account to if my plans go wrong. (And: how to recover from that)
  • Focus: gamedev, software consultancy, so much stuff to do. What do I need, what do I want to get out of this?
  • Find the Gnome 2: Release in December. Lets make the best of it.

So yeah, expect some more on this in the next blog!

And that brings me to the last part of this blog:

Working together with my wife

Another thing I had planned for this month ‘off’, was to help my wife out. She and her dad started the gardening business https://www.groenhoutvdhulst.nl/ this year.

Her dad has very extensive experience with woodwork, landscaping and likewise projects. She was looking for a new job opportunity. And they both really enjoy gardening. So they joined forces.

Currently they are working on a client project that requires a lot of manual labor due to work site accessibility restrictions. And I was like: hey, I really like that work vibe you have going on with your dad. I would like to join in. And they where like: yeah, please! This project can use some additional hands.

I personally had some moderate feelings about this:

  • My wife and her dad work together for 10 months now. If I join in, maybe this changes relationships on the worksite? I have worked with her dad before and we got along fine. But that was never ‘under pressure’ of a contracted job.
  • Would my contribution even matter? I am planning to work 1 day a week at most, and probably less. Getting me up-to-speed could negate the benefits of having me.

But things turned out to be quite different.

  • I really enjoyed the physical labor. I do have a lot of muscle strain to not being used to this kind of work. But I love to push myself. To put that manly human body of me to good use.
  • I am much less influenced by the weather than I initially thought I would be. Sun, rain, warmth, cold: it doesn’t matter. Just keep an eye out on what my body needs, and keep a pacing that matches the circumstances. There is a hot shower waiting for me when I get home.
  • I am getting along quite nicely with her dad. I am a bit all-over-the-place and have a higher pace of working. But thats okay it seems, its ‘me’ and they know that I am like that. I also tend to understand what he wants me to do, so that he can trust me. That also a good thing.
  • My contributions do seem to matter. And I am quick to learn. Or so it seems lol.

So yeah, this is turning out to be a very good experience for me. Its always good to know that I have some other job opportunities I can fall-back on if my main job would suddenly stop existing… no, just kidding. I think the physical exercise is really good for me. And I just love doing things with my hands, its very pleasing for me to work on something that i visually see being altered by my own doings.

A big part of landscaping is: carrying stuff around.

Another thing I wanted to do is become more proficient at using tools. I really enjoy working with tools (all kind of them, but the more noise the better). But I don’t have that much use of them in my personal life.

So that’s why I was very pleased with the opportunity that I got to ride this machine:

Still need to get a lot of experience and learn a lot of tricks to get good with these machines. But I like it a lot already!

So yeah, a very inspiring month so far for me. Probably going to be a bit sad when this month is over and I have to get back to ‘the usual software consultancy work’… just kidding, I now know a bit better what ‘Erik’ needs to enjoy life. So I plan on weaving a few of these newly discovered findings into the patterns of my life.

See you next time!

Published by Erik_de_Roos

Erik de Roos is a Freelance software developer.

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