One of the things that I've found this year was a search for comfort. I'd lost a lot of what drove me while being burned out and feeling sorry for myself for a lot of the decisions I've made (paths not taken, opportunities, missed, etc.). One thing that brought me out of my funk was a post on Atari Projects about Atari Pilot. Atari Pilot was a language that was designed for children to get them up to speed with programming. Atari had many different languages for their computers but the most widely used one was BASIC (Atari BASIC in particular). I never really felt the need to play with Pilot, thinking that it was somehow not powerful enough for a kid like me. So reading through that article and playing with ostensibly a kid's language was just... fun. I knew I wouldn't make anything serious, and watching the "turtle" draw a pattern on the screen was just the sort of fun that I needed. I don't know how to explain it but those little exercises helped snap me out of feeling like everything I need to program has to have an audience or needs to be with a more "mature" language. Fuck that. The only person these programs needs to make happy is me. Sure, I might blog about them someday but for now there's no pressure to do anything with them other than to give me something to wrap my head around. That's also why I've been playing with the Atari computers and reconnecting with them. I've found some books that explain the vagaries of the Atari and how things work (which I'll blog about later on).
Sometimes the best things we can do are just to amuse ourselves. I wish I remembered that more often.