Ben Barbersmith

runner · developer · entrepreneur


— Last updated on Mar 29, 2020

I turned 33 yesterday. Not being allowed to leave the house except to buy essential goods and take one form of exercise made it pretty weird.

I’m slowly adjusting to the new reality of lockdown amid a worldwide pandemic. I always wanted to work from home 100%, and it’s nice to do so — but I wish it didn’t have to happen like this. It’s bizarre not being able to leave the house except for my daily run. I’m just grateful that my wife was already a full-time mum so I don’t have to worry about juggling childcare with work.

Speaking of childcare, my daughter blows my mind every single day. Her speech and vocabulary is evolving at a ridiculous rate, and her “danger baby” approach to athletic play is awesome. I’m so proud of her, and it’s a joy to watch her grow and develop. I’m a very lucky man.

The insane economic uncertainty (not to mention the crashing stock market) has put the kibosh on any plans I might have had to quit my job and work on my own business. Trying to build a business when you don’t know what dramatic changes might happen to our society in the next six months seems like a fool’s errand. I’ll revisit that dream when we’re out of lockdown and returning to normality.

Despite that, I’m still working on on Caster Level before my daughter wakes up each day. The goal continues to be to grow it 6x from a hobby business (£4k/yr) into a sustainable lifestyle business (£24k/yr). I’m currently spending my free time trying to grow the MRR from Spell Tracker for Pathfinder 1e.

I’m also continuing to work on my Go skills. I completed the Exercism Go Track and had several hours of mentoring to improve my code quality. Next I plan to make a few toy web apps.

I rediscovered Discworld novels while I was on vacation a few weeks ago, and have been re-reading The Watch books. They really are laugh-out-loud funny. Highly recommended to anyone who wants to escape reality for a while.

I’m currently running around 50km per week, but I’m not really following any particular plan. Some weeks I run half marathons, others I just plod along for 5-6km every day. All my ultramarathon races have been postponed to the second half of the year, and they all clash. I’ll have to choose between a 100km or 50 miler in June, then between a 50km and 100 miler in October. At least I don’t need to start training too seriously yet.

I’m continuing to try and watch my weight, but it’s hard to resist the urge to eat more than I should at each meal. I’m still 3kg heavier than I was at the end of my paternity leave. That said, I do have a perfectly healthy BMI. I guess I should try to remember that and be grateful for my fitness.

(This page is inspired by Derek Sivers’s post The /now page movement.)