I'm a software engineer. I'm not a ninja, samurai developer, and I do not disrupt the industry. I enjoy building things. I think it is about the act of creating something, the feeling of making something from nothing. I had had a similar feeling when as a child, I've built a house using Lego bricks (how incredible was that!) and later when I soldered my first PCB board and later on when I wrote my first computer program. That feeling of lowering the surrounding world's entropy by putting my cognitive energy to create structure, order. The issue with reducing entropy is that it requires energy. At first, when you have motivation, vision, goal, and support, it looks easy to do but with time, when these things fade away, the energy levels you have to burn to get the same results are much higher, sometimes to the point of exhaustion – some folks call it burnout when it happens.
I've been looking for ways how to deal with mine. It is not like it just happened one morning. It was a process building up for months. I'm experienced enough to know now that changing jobs is not a solution, changing role or team neither – already done that in the past and it helped only for a short period. This time I decided to take a different approach. I took a month off from my work but not only for the sake of having time off. I decided to find joy again in building things. Without rush and commitments, I started with a few things that I've had to improve in my summer house, fixed a leaking roof there, cleaned up a massive mess in my garage, renovated one room in my flat. Done all that (and some smaller things) at my own pace with time to enjoy the small steps I took to accomplish a bigger goal.
Did it work after all? I think it did. I re-learned to enjoy the process of lowering entropy around me and appreciate the small steps I have to take to make it happen. It is not about how much time off you take but more about what you do with it. Not sure for how long that feeling from childhood will last, but I managed to revive it, and this time, knowing how it feels to lose it, I will pay more attention to care for it.