Take some time out

Niall Deakin
02 Oct 20

I honestly do aim to write blog posts more frequently. I’ve got a notification set for Friday, 3.30PM, every two weeks called “Blog Post”, but alas, I’m not consistent with it.

I have several drafts and notes written down, but finding the actual time to write something informative and fun isn’t the easiest I find. I think it comes down to inspiration and motivation.

Anywho, I want to introduce you to some new friends of mine.

The first shoal: Neon Tetra

Why am I showing you these guys? (I’ve tried to sex them, and I think I’ve got 3 pairs).

Well, in complete honesty, it’s to bring some peace and relaxation to my day to day.

This past few months has been all go for me; overworked, scope creep, clients changing their minds, the usual. I’m not complaining, much, because it is nice to be productive and make my clients happy with a job well done, but I needed something to pull me away from work.

I’ve been listening to “Turtles and Chill” on Twitch most days. It’s soothing jazz, and some cameras pointing at a tank with fish and turtles swimming around. It’s a relatively pleasant community there, albeit not that talkative, so it helps fend off the loneliness from social distancing, but isn’t that distracting.

Why get fish?

I’ve had fish before, generally cold water goldfish, and they grew massive, but I was young and they were a nightmare to care for because I didn’t have the best setup for them.

This time, however, I’ve gone for something different; small tropical fish in a planted aquarium.

The tank, once setup, but not complete

I mean, just have a look at the tank. This wasn’t quite complete (I was waiting for some clips for the heater, and it has changed a little bit since), but it already looks so calming.

Sometimes I just get lost in watching all the fish go crazy during feeding time, watch as the Harelquin’s swim upstream (literally against the filter outlet flow) and see who out of the bunch is hiding away (there seems to be one out of each shoal).

It’s a relaxing and easy hobby, once you’ve got the correct setup and do things the right way.

The Harlequin Rasboras are eager to meet!

What about a dog?

Oh, you mean this dog?

Follow Stan on Instagram!

You can’t have him.

Having a dog has been great; an excuse to get out of my chair and outside for some exercise. He’s the perfect fit. Daft, playful, but also sensitive and cuddly.

When he’s out, he’s got all the energy in the world, and when I need to work, he just curls up either on his bed or mine and goes to sleep.

My life is all the richer with him in it.


In all honesty, the only reason I am talking about my pets is simply because it takes me away from the computer. My days are usually 12+ hours in front of some form of screen.
Even when I’m not working for clients, I’m either working on my own projects, playing videogames, or chatting to friends online.

What you need is a hobby, something that takes you away from the busyness and allows you to reset; don’t shirk your responsibilities, but don’t run yourself into the ground either.

So, if it’s going to the gym (or in my case, aikido [when we’re allowed again]), walking the dog, walking yourself, aquascaping, painting miniatures, art, reading a book, whatever, take time out to do it.
I have been far more productive after a decent break/rest from the strain of work. Even a 15 minute break to make a cuppa and stare out of the window allows my brain to have a rest, and I’ve found whatever problem I’ve been smashing my head against for hours prior, I suddenly have a solution for.

Be kind to yourself.