Crohn's Disease takes its toll - back in 2023!

After battling IBD complications through the summer and fall, I've come to a point where surgery is necessary. You can learn more about my health issues in my lighthearted book about Crohn's Disease, You Only Have Crohn's Once!.

The surgery (an ostomy revision) will take place tomorrow, December 2, and it'll be a pretty rough recovery, so I'm not planning on doing any substantial work until at least 2023.

It's ironic I had just given a presentation titled Just Say No: Staying sane while you maintain weeks before learning the surgery was necessary. I was planning a video on the topic (burnout, protecting your time, and open source maintainership) this year, but I guess the blog post will have to do.

I have plenty of fun tech and software I want to highlight here and on YouTube (some of it detailed in my video embedded below), but for now it's all on the shelf waiting until my strength returns:

Just Say No

Saying yes is easy—at first.

It makes you feel better. And it makes you feel like you can do anything! And the person you're saying yes to also gets a happy feeling because you're going to do something for them.

No No No

Saying no is hard. It's an admission you can't do something. And worse still, you're disappointing someone else who wants you to say yes.

But here's the thing: none of us is a god. We're people. We have a certain amount of mental resources.

Some people are kind of crazy and can do a lot more than you or I can, but nobody can do it all. And sometimes you can burn the midnight candle for a little while, but you're just building up debt. Every 'Yes' is a loan you have to pay off.

Enabling a stale issue bot on my GitHub repositories

For the past few years, the number of issues and PRs across all my GitHub repositories has gone from a steady stream to an ongoing deluge. There are currently over 1,500 open issues across my 194 GitHub repositories, and there's no way I can keep up with all of them.

Initially, I went through each issue in each project's issue queue on a monthly basis (mind you, this was—and is still—done on nights and weekends in my spare time). That slipped to a quarterly task... and has now slipped to only happening for higher-profile projects once or twice a year.

Probot Head from GitHub Probot project

Saying 'No' to burnout as an open source maintainer

There's been a ton of writing about OSS stewardship, sustainability, funding, etc. in the past year, along with story after story of burnout. In this time, I've become very strict in my open source maintainership:

Unless it's generating income, it's for me and I'm not going to spend more than a couple hours a month looking at it—if that.

There are a number of projects that I maintain, which I'm not actively using on money-generating projects. I don't normally touch or even look at the issue queues on these projects until a CI test fails, or unless someone who contributes to my Patreon or GitHub supporters—or who I know from previous contributions—pings me directly about them. Every now and then I'll run through the list of PRs and merge a bugfix or docs fix here and there, but that only happens maybe once per repository per year.