After being employed for 5 years, my company gives everyone 10 days of refresh leave. I received mine almost 2 years ago, but for multiple reasons, I had not actually used mine yet but it was set to expire at the end of this year. I am not alone, as many other coworkers had time that was about to expire, so for the past few months and through the end of the year, nearly every week there is someone going on their refresh leave.
Knowing if I don’t use it, I’ll lose it, but feeling that there never is a good time to take a break, about a month ago, I finally decided to arbitrarily take mine the second half of October. This ended up being very good timing. Due to multiple reasons, the past few weeks I have been experienced more stress and have been much more short in some of my interactions. Halfway through my break I feel like I’ve been able to unwind a bit. In the future, I need to be more careful recognizing my stress levels and working with my team so that it’s easier to take a break when needed.
I had some vague ideas of some projects I wanted to work on, but have been very leisurely experimenting with different things but also just playing video games to distract myself a bit.
Even though I don’t really know what I’m doing, I spent one evening playing around with kicad , converting an old circuit I made into a PCB design. Playing with circuits really makes me want to find a mentor or class I can take to learn some of this properly. Programming a micro controller is not such a big deal since I have many years experience with other languages. Circuits however, I do not have a good background and am just guessing most of the time. I really need to find some guides or something to force me to learn and understand the basics.
I spent another evening playing with a motion sensor and buzzer to answer the question “Can I build something to help keep the cats on the counter?”. I’m not sure if the time will ultimately be worth it, but doing a bit of kit bashing and code is a fun change from my normal web work. This also reinforces me wanting to properly learn more about building electronics. I’m not going to win any awards for creativity, but naming the project “DownPlease” amused me more than it should.
I like to try to drive a bit every other month or so to stay in practice, so during my break I planned a trip to Nitori and Ikea. At Nitori (and the attached pet store) I picked up some new cat toys and treats, and then a new mixing bowl. At Ikea, I had lunch and then picked up another Kallax shelf and a few other misc things. It was a good day until my traffic stop which ended in a ¥7000 lesson. I’m lucky that I can easily pay the fine so it’s mostly a big annoyance but now I know to be much more careful with certain signs. (The infraction was ultimately very minor in my opinion, but Japan seems to treat even minor infractions pretty heavily)
Had some friends visit on Saturday afternoon which was also a nice break from my normal routine. Kinu-chan got a lot of good playtime in, though Kinjiro-kun hid behind the curtains and sofa most of the time (as expected). Having visitors is also a good chance to bake some of my favorite receipies so this time I baked a batch of cookies. I’ll probably bake the same thing next weekend for another event I’m going to.
Final Fantasy XIV
Been continuing to level up my alternate classes and do various side content. I also switched Grand Companies to level up and get other rewords which was a fun little diversion. May try working on some of the Tribal Quest as well for some of the rewards.