Thirty Green Squares

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#mentalhealth

I just got my 30th consecutive GitHub square! While it doesn’t mean much in the grand scheme of things, sustained motivation is tricky for me. I’ll take my little victory, thanksverymuch.

I hadn’t set this as a specific goal, which I think was the trick here. I tend to fail miserably when trying to do challenges like this up front. I just had a bunch of stuff to work on last month, I guess.

I’ve noticed in general you can sorta-kinda get a birds-eye overview of my overall mental health over time by looking at my GitHub squares. When I’m not doing so great, I stop producing, and vice versa.

2018 went pretty well:

2018

2019, pile o’ “meh” with a few punctuation marks:

2019

2018 was better, but none of those blocks ever hit thirty straight days - I think I maxed out at 27 in July-ish.

My day job got (and stayed) significantly more stressful all at once around early Dec 2018, and it took me a long time to stabilize from that. Even after April I kept stumbling. I’ve also been in school for all of 2019, but I don’t think that’s been a huge factor in terms of time management. Even when busy, when I’m my best self I always make time to work with code. If I’m not making commits, it means I’m letting all my energy pour out to the non-technical rest of my life and have nothing left over for creating. Perhaps that’s not a groundbreaking observation, but I like what it says about this month - I’ve never managed to streak this long before, and it was a busy month outside of my text editor too. That’s gotta be a good sign!

I like that GitHub makes me look at these streaks and lapses for a whole year. Getting your square for the day doesn’t necessarily mean you did something impressive, it just means you did something. And in those rougher periods, sometimes that’s enough.