Last week I was contracting on a great project at Philips. I'd been there since December, and before that I was working on something else, and before that something else.
Time was passing by, and part-time projects were piling up, gathering dust. This last year I'd really dug into ReactiveCocoa, but as a consequence I hadn't really learned Swift yet, and I hadn't been making any open-source contributions for god-knows how long. My portfolio site needs updating, my side-project Tacks.io app lies long since forgotten. I've been living in the Netherlands for 18 months, and hadn't started a Dutch class yet - though I'm pretty hot on Duolingo - challenge me ;)
Contracting is really great, but at the end of the day you're tired, and by the end of a long week coding 8 hours at a desk in a skyscrapper, you just want to relax. I've known for a long time that I work better during the afternoon & evening, and if I can do some decent exercise in the morning then even better.
A few months ago I opted not to renew my rolling three-month contract - WWDC was coming up and I wanted to make a huge gesture to myself, to give myself some time to actually attempt the things I 'never had time' to do. Watch the WWDC videos the week they come out! Write some example apps based on the new stuff! Read through my 120+ Pocket'd programming articles. Finish Design For Hackers. Release my long-time-in-the-making-and-still-objc pet project app Tacks.cc. Working towards being an 'indie' developer with recurring income streams.
Keeping myself a strong and skilled developer involves investing in myself. So now I've got a big block of four weeks 'self self-employed' time. Amazing.
(I've started my Dutch class, too)