I woke up sick on Friday morning and spend that day and most of Saturday feeling sorry for myself. By yesterday afternoon I was going stir crazy so I decided to write some code—nothing essential, just a few improvements to something I wrote last year to translate Markdown to LaTeX. After an hour or so I decided to tear it all down and try a different approach. By dinner time I felt like I was on the right track, and after a few more hours today it was back in working order and much tidier than before.
Was it worth five or six hours of my life? I think so: I took pleasure in doing something that I knew how to do and in creating something that would fit my needs perfectly. Sitting on the couch listening to Andrés Segovia I was reminded of how my mum used to knit while listening to the radio. We all had more sweaters than we could ever possibly wear, but she enjoyed knitting for its own sake, particularly when she had been on her feet teaching all day and couldn’t concentrate enough to read. On days like this I code for comfort, and Emacs and Python are my yarn and needles.