Published: Wednesday January 21, 2015.

21 lines of code

Last Saturday evening I wrote 21 lines of code. Jen was next door video chatting with Aaron, and I would frankly have done anything to not sit in front of a computer as my mood was particularly low, but needs must. These 21 lines took an hour or to so write, but they solve a problem I’ve been toying with on an off for a two years. It’s a one-size fits all approach to displaying the title of a web page in your browser. You know, the thing that the vast majority of people don’t ever look at or care about. I made a block of code that I can drop into any of my Textpattern website builds and it will handle the <title> tag in a wholly context-sensitive way.

I tell you this because it’s very easy to become detached and alone with depression. Quiet time can be a blessing or a burden, depending on the brain chemistry of the person involved. On the one hand, these spells can be very efficient at blocking out all the noise and distraction from everyday life. Conversely, they can also stop all the other stuff from having an effect, too. This is especially hard to handle when on any given day I’m thinking about all manner of topics and, given sufficient run-up, I can hold my own with the professional big dogs. Going from thoughts and actions at high-speed (best days) to essentially mental toxic sludge (worst days) isn’t a nice thing. 21 lines of code was a win for me, especially with Saturday being a more sludgy day in recent times.

These 21 lines of code will turn into a basic website template and I’ll have this site up and running properly in spring. It’s low in the priority list, but it’s something I need to do. There are two big e-commerce site builds I need to complete first, neither of which I have any genuine interest in doing. They’ll get done, of course, but I don’t care about either. There are additional business projects that I’ve got lined up, too, and they will likely take a higher priority than this site. The podcast I was planning to (re)launch in January won’t be done in time, so that’ll slip. The book I started is way behind schedule. There are probably other things in my personal life that I’ve let go over the winter sludgefest, too. It’s been pointed out to me that I lose my way or get derailed far more over the weekend. Those two days where I’m in the working-or-not hinterland. I used to have bad Wednesdays, but now it’s apparently the weekends instead.

The best anti-depressant is exercise and completion. Getting out for a walk and getting things done. Both of these things can be lone pursuits, or sociable. Given a choice, and that’s what I have, I choose the solo route. I have a gut feeling of some fairly big life changes happening in my near future. I don’t know what they’ll be, but I have an inkling they’ll extend to far more than writing 500 words each day.