T-SQL Tuesday #134: ROUNDUP – GIVE ME A BREAK!

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BREAKING IT DOWN

We’ve come to the end of another T-SQL Tuesday. Thank you to everyone who wrote their own post and who spread the word. And as always, thanks to Adam Mechanic (b|t) and Steve Jones (t|b) for conceptualizing, and hosting the website for, our monthly blog party!

When I volunteered to host a T-SQL Tuesday, I had a very different topic in mind. However, the incredible events of the last year, and in particular, the immense pressure that my wife faced at work, made me realise how important it is to have ways to take breaks, both mental and physical. And while we were away in December, and we both recharged, I thought it would make a good topic for this event. It was wonderful to see the response from the #sqlfamily to my invitation, and by my count 29 different people contributed to the blog party.

I’ve tried to group posts with similar themes in this summary, and since some posts fall into multiple categories, I may mention a single post more than once. Links on names point to Twitter handles, links on descriptions point to the respective blog posts.

Most of the posts focused on taking breaks whilst working, so I’ll start the round up there.

EXERCISE AND PHYSICAL ACTIVITY

Most of us in the #sqlfamily spend many, many hours in front of computer screens. I was therefore not surprised to see that people mentioned some sort of exercise as one of their methods of taking a break.

I spoke about playing tennis.

Benni enjoys getting away from his PC by playing ball-, and hiking with his dog.

Steve goes horseback riding when he’s feeling a little bit trapped.

THE GREAT OUTDOORS

In a similar vein, there were multiple people who posted about getting outdoors, and getting in touch with nature.

Alexander takes getting outdoors to a higher plane. Literally. Flying a glider seems like a fun pastime (if you’re not terrified of heights like I am).

Aaron gets out the house and spends time deer spotting.

PROJECTS: BUILDING AND CREATING

IT professionals are problem solvers, and as counterintuitive as it sounds, creators. From architecture and design, Business Intelligence and Data Viz, to presentation design, there is an inherent element of creativity in our world. I guess it makes sense that many of us have other creative/problem solving hobbies to recharge our minds.

Todd is learning about the benefits of Virtual Therapy and how it will have particular applications in the treatment of mental health conditions.

Deepthi does arts and crafts, and enjoys the satisfaction of creating something from scratch.

When Alexander is not flying, he creates and builds incredible contraptions and models with his CNC and 3D Printer.

Michael missed out on his family vacation due to Covid-19 so spent his time off building a fancy new home office.

INDOOR HOBBIES

I think we all know that the #sqlfamily comprises a number of extremely talented individuals. But the talents are not limited to technical skills. We have chefs, musicians, gamers and more.

Martha starts us off with her incredible watercolour sketching. They are really beautiful, Martha!

In a similar vein, Mala enjoys colouring books as a stress relief mechanism.

Hugo enjoys his PC gaming, and when he needs to get away from the screen, he enjoys participating in Musical Theatre Productions, and spending time playing Snooker.

Tamera enjoys cooking, and especially her Pizza oven. And once she’s done with the dirty work, relaxing in the tub!

David talks about his love of the underground dance music scene, and how he has been getting back into DJ-ing. I’m looking forward to the blog posts about your journey, David.

Deepthi writes about a number of distractions from work, including listening to podcasts, reading fables to children and watching thrillers (hopefully after the children are no longer there).

John takes breaks from work and plays pool in his new house.

Andy Yun spends his time fixing my misused hashtags on twitter (thanks Andy), and learning the guitar! I’ve heard that Andy will be accompanying #SQLKaraoke when we’re finally allowed to be together in person again.

Speaking of #SQLKaraoke, Deborah, who I first met at a Karaoke bar, has made up for the lack of organised musical events by making music at home.

Aaron enjoys his vintage video games, as well as playing Board Games with his family.

Steve has a variety of indoor interests, including cooking, learning Japanese and playing the guitar.

Rich talks us through some of his favourite PC Games. He talks about Among Us, which is a wonderful way to spend a few hours. Maybe we should set up a #SQLFamily game some time.

MINDFULNESS

Many of you wrote about the techniques you used to practice mindfulness.

Mala takes lots of walks, and meditates twice a day.

Todd is trying to get back into Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, and how blocking off time in your calendar helps to ensure routine.

Tamera practices Yoga, although she has to compete for space with her Bassets.

Andy Yun has dabbled in meditation and despite not having “got into it”, he shares some valuable tips that he has learned along the way.

Kenneth likes to change tasks often to keep his mind and body sharp.

FAMILY AND FUR-BABIES

During the pandemic, our opportunities for spending time with loved ones has been greatly diminished. But the opportunity to spend quality time with our fur-babies has increased significantly.

Glenn gets up every hour to spend some quality time with his puppies.

Eitan talks about the effects of not being able to take a break because of young children and the effects of the pandemic. His post emphasises how important breaks are for our mental health. I hope you get to take that break soon, Eitan.

Mike likes to spend time observing his young son, and watching him grow and learn. He also talks about playing with Lego, something that I can definitely relate to!

VACATIONS

A few people wrote awesome posts reminiscing about their most recent, or most memorable vacation.

Rob, who is YET TO MISS A SINGLE T-SQL TUESDAY, and was first to submit, writes an amazing story of how he spent his vacation bringing joy to others in his role as Santa.

Andy Levy talks about how the best vacations involve being disconnected from the world. Cruising, Camping, and Disney all feature in his post.

Mike mentions a couple of his favourite vacations, from time on the beach in Mexico, to a mini trip around Europe.

Chad recalls a great trip he took to Myrtle Beach, complete with finding a shark tooth and seeing Pauly Shore perform stand-up comedy.

Jess takes us on a nostalgic trip to Hawaii, as she reminisces about her honeymoon! Looks like a wonderful trip, and it’s definitely something I’d like to add to my bucket list.

Prior to a Honeymoon, you need to meet someone. Kevin recalls a fantastic trip in Australia, filled with thrilling adventures, amazing experiences, and meeting his future wife.

I wrote about 2 vacations I’ve taken recently, to Disney World, and the east coast of South Africa.

I HAVE A DREAM…

Finally, we come to people who wrote about their vacation bucket lists. I loved reading about all of your dream destinations, and hope you can get to experience them soon.

Glenn waxes lyrical about his love for WWII, and in particular, tanks. His dream vacation is to visit famous tank battlegrounds and museums around the world. For now, he’s living his fantasy through playing World of Tanks.

Deborah lists a couple of her dream vacation destinations, all of which sound amazing. Although I feel that you don’t have to “SETTLE” for the chance to go to Hawaii and sit on a beach with some tropical drink, that sounds like a bucket list item!

Benni is currently unable to participate in Karate, one of his favourite pastimes. He is able to dream about a trip to Japan to watch the World Championships, though. Failing that, he’ll settle for a nostalgic trip away with the boys.

As much as I enjoyed Greg‘s fantasy holiday plans, as he journeys through Middle-Earth, Narnia and Ringworld, it is the one that I suspect is least possible to happen. Although as he says, you can visit all your favourite fictional locations every time you open a book.

Steve‘s bucket list includes trips to mountains in South America and Africa, both of which sound incredible!

Chris wrote a very interesting post about categorising bucket list holidays to create a realistic plan for yourself. His bucket list trip starting in South America and working his way up to Canada sounds like a dream vacation. I hope you get to do it soon, Chris.

CONCLUSION

Thank you all for your posts and contributions to T-SQL Tuesday. It was wonderful to learn a little bit more about all of you, and to live a little vicariously through your dream vacations.

Look out for the next T-SQL Tuesday invitation on the 2nd of February.

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