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What should I do with my free time?  From burnout to good health. An internal monologue.

In the past couple of years, for more than a decade, I have been focused on achieving. I did not unplug. I was in the hustling mindset. Now I have come to a point where my body refuses to keep coop with me. I feel burnout, my thyroid had given up, my blood sugar is high, my belly fat grew, and my blood tests revealed plenty of abnormal values.

I feel I can tolerate less stress as I follow my old habits. On the good side, I managed to buy a house; I managed to buy a car, I have a wife, I have friends, and I have a professional future. But I need to change my focus on things that matter to me more and that my body allows me to do.

As a programmer, I love my profession. When I have the challenge and the freedom, I easily get into the zone, and I enjoy that time flies quickly. When I have the perfect day, I feel I have more energy at the end of the work day than I had when I started.  Not the other way around as I  hear others complain. Although, I like the sense of progression. I like when the system flows easily and efficiently. It wears both my mental and physical health down when I am working on a project that does not allow me to get into the flow, and management does not allow me to improve on processes to clear up problems. I also like to be in charge, and as just as Albert Einstein said

“I speak to everyone in the same way, whether he is the garbage man or the president of the university.”

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That sometimes gets me into trouble because not everyone likes that. There are hierarchies at workplaces. And where there are hierarchies, there are expected levels of respect. You have to bow and accept everything from people above your position, and sometimes it is expected to look down and misuse people who are below in rank. Fortunately, the latter is up to us, that helps, but sometimes we can get into trouble if we don’t. That is something that burns me out.

So these are things that I have to get away from and find a way to recharge my energies.

Thinking back, I had many dreams. I wanted to start blogging when I started university.

I liked to draw since I was able to hold a  pen.

I wanted to learn to play guitar or any instrument before school.

In the past decade, I only managed to set up my blog, many blogs actually, but I did not give myself the time to create content on it. I had ideas, but I always found that hustling was more important.

On the drawing side, I stopped drawing when I had to start thinking about what do I want to be when I grew up. Just a hint, it was a long time ago. But I purchased some books, how to draw, how to animate. Inspiration books, nice sketchbooks, nice pens with fancy travel holders.

I never managed to learn an instrument, but I bought a used guitar, a new entry-level electric guitar, and an old “piano.” More precisely an Electone Organ.

And that was that.

I have to find a way to keep programming because I find myself enjoying doing this. I also have to incorporate all of my childhood passions into this. And not for money; I earn enough to live well. But for my health, to live long.

By Botond Bertalan

I am the founder of
I started my programming studies in 2010 and started to work professionally in 2012 before graduation.
I love programming and architecting code that solves real business problems and gives value for the end-user.

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