Measurable progress

Jacob David C. Cunningham
10 min readNov 13, 2023


I have been aimless lately. Fear of debt always looming on my mind. I quit a six-fig job back in Mar 2023 which was pretty dumb considering I got that role without a degree and it was remote. Even more dumb that I did not have a job lined up when I quit, I just sort of did it. Fast forward to now Nov 2023 and I’m working an in-office job for 30% less. I lose 3 hours a day from getting ready/hour mandatory lunch/25 min 1-way commute and I’m exhausted when I come home. But… it’s not all bad. I had to stop supporting people I was helping out (last 3 years) so that did free me up from my monthly burden (I had to say no).

Main things on my mind: finance and health. I am in a lot of debt, not moving forward, and I’m overweight. I want to be free, no job.


I have made many apps and tallied my finances over and over… the results are always the same, I’m f’d.

I tried to automate this before it was a waste of time with regard to each company’s anti-bot detection methods

Right now I make enough to stay level. If you see on the farthest-right column I have generally stayed at the same total debt, increased a little. That’s the problem, I can’t escape and if I was fired (possible since I’ve been acting erratic lately at work) I would be super f’d. I would work at Amazon Warehouse but I would not be able to meet my needs as I am now. I’ve defaulted on debt in the past. It is not great, having some random debt collector sue you, not fun.

The tech industry is not great at the moment if you’re like me, no degree, easier tech stack, not that great experience, job hopper and mid in technical proficiency. I had a referral to a company and I did poorly on a 2-hr take home assignment.



A lot of my cards keep going over their limits with the interest growth per month… then the minimum due. So I have to figure out how much of a buffer I need where it’s the minimum… this means less min due pay overall… since sometimes a card wants $260/mo when I go over the limit. My worst one is almost $800/mo haha… that’s Upgrade (loan card) brutal.


The other one is health… supposedly I’m on a diet but I spend most of my time on a chair or sleeping. Then I binge eat on the weekends as something “fun” to do. I’ve been at a plateau with my weight as well at 250 lbs at 6' 0". I used to lift but have not done much so it’s not like I don’t have a frame but yeah, I do have a gut. I also have nasty stretch marks from when I hit 270s and from lifting too much (skip stretch marks by arm pits and over biceps).


I did apply to a job today, I was hilariously somewhat out of place but I tried. I moved the needle in that direction.


This weekend I did not do much. I had to take my car in for an oil change and that kind of ruined my full day/morning routine since I had to go sit in their waiting room/wait. I still had the rest of the day but I just decided to binge eat/watch all 3 Robocop movies from the 90s.

I usually feel ashamed/annoyed at myself when I return to work because I did not achieve something. Then I come home and I feel pumped but once I start looking at social media I’m done. So I have to stop that. I’m also mentally drained.

That’s what’s been annoying me lately is most of my free time is on social media. I mean I am pretty spent too because I worked/was in a work setting the last 10–11 hours… but still… it’s like why am I always “plugged in”. Scrolling something. When I was remote at my previous job I did so much stuff on the side. I flew my rc plane, did photography, I built robots, I did a presentation for a university about robotics…

Right now, 9:51 PM I need to achieve something, whether it’s manual data entry or I write code (unlikely).


I don’t know why but this died for me… I know it is more likely to increase your value by getting a better job than starting a business from scratch but… your own business would mean your own freedom. So yeah I need to pursue that more, a bunch of niches say each site produces $100/mo well I would need to make 20 of those to meet most of my needs outside of debt.

Before I knew how to make things, I was super ambitious. I wrote about it before. I would (try to) make the craziest stuff.

Next weekdays


My workout is comically simple. I do: standing back stretch, squat (no weights), pushups, curls with a band, laying down back stretching, situps, stretch out abs. It literally takes me less than 10 minutes but I still don’t want to do it. It’s a simple “get over it” thing and I struggle with it. I will say, last time I was going “hardcore” at Planet Fitness I pulled something on my rotating shoulder… that was bad. Was doing flys with 25 lb weights.

Monday 11/06/2023

Pros: worked out, cleaned, applied to job, started thinking about personal improvement code to write

Cons: did not start working right away after work, watched tv, did not write any significant code

Idk, I freak out like I don’t want to go to work… but then it ends… and I’m back here at home. So it’s not that bad… but yeah. I just feel like I can’t get out of this cycle where I have to work 9–5. I am fortunate. I just wish I wasn’t in so much debt that my currently decently paid job (relatively) is not enough. Aside from that, it’s what I do that also drives me crazy like technically I went backwards 5 years to what I was doing then (tech stack).

I’m looking at job listings right now on LinkedIn. I should achieve the one thing, manual data entry right now, look back at statements, determine the threshold need to keep under to reduce my card payments by not going over the limits.

I do binge eat at work often lately I have to avoid that. Not terrible I mean I don’t eat a lunch. I eat 2 packages of peanuts 290cals, and a thing of fruit/berries 190c or something. But I will do a small bag of Fritos and Mt Dew… that’s probably like 600 more calories.

10:32 PM feeling spent… need to look at all the account statements and figure out that threshold. Issue is there are 11 of them. Will be a tomorrow problem, shame.

Tuesday 11/07/2023

6:44 PM back home (woke up 7:40 AM, usual day)

Today’s bad, I’m behind at work since I can’t seem to get myself to work. So I’ll do some stuff for me now and then later around 9:30 PM or so I’ll do some more work. The thing is I was at the office for 9 hours right, but I only logged 2.67 hrs or something. So it’s like… I’m still down 4 hours haha… it’s dumb. Oh well.

Looking at jobs, need to move that needle. I’m either gonna get fired, get a new job or stay where I am until one of the two options occur. I gotta apply to at least 1 job a day on weekdays. That’s pretty low compared to the people submitting thousands lol. I got hit up by 3 different recruiters today though so maybe…

This is a waste of time this process of writing down balances… just keep it under some percent and you’re good.

Wednesday 11/08/2023

PC Gaming night with buddy who’s off on this day.

Thursday 11/09/2023

New experiment, eat early eg. 7 PM vs. 9 PM

Chilling right now though watching some YT channel. 8:11 PM

9:04 PM I am tired as hell though, this is my 4th day in a row sleep deprived. It’s how I operate my life currently otherwise if I get enough sleep I’m too bored/at ease and can’t do my job. I pretty much operate on hate/caffeine/loud music.

It’s just funny like I’m literally trying to drive my life into the ground. Asking to be fired so I default on my debts… super stupid lol oh well. I have been impacting people’s lives though as a developer advocate so that’s kind of cool. Maybe that’s what it means to be senior naturally… vs. a given title.

I should be applying for jobs. Today though is a payday period so I gotta see where the money goes before it’s all spent.

9:24 PM I’m spent man… I can apply to jobs, research stuff like entrepeur projects (I have not succeeded in completing/shipping

I did start looking into a Firefox extension because I use it quite a bit on my mac vs. chrome on win 10. These are browser extensions that hook into my local API/personal life DB.

quick way to store/search notes, context is isolated from web pages

9:38 PM oh man I’m so tired like my head hurts. This week for me has been scoping future work and reviewing PRs so I’ve just been ranting on people’s code. Refactoring, bad practices, maintainability, etc… I was annoyed at one guy like there’s a glaring problem and he doesn’t fix it because “it’s not my change”.

So Hacker News posts this “who’s hiring” which I like to look at for trends… what’s nice is the top groups have been “JavaScript/Python/C++” for a while… like year(s). And those are the ones I work with, C++ less so but yeah.

I’m going to write some short code to enumerate over these DOM nodes via console and highlight the ones that are not asking for platform/senior/tech lead/staff/etc… I don’t know… I have like 5 years of experience… but I still hesitate to refer to myself as senior. No one has knighted me as such.

This is a nasty loop but idc it’s throw away code.

Cool, easy for my monkey brain, red = neuron activate

Oh I should use green ha, green is good. OMG RGB makes sense lmao, you want red? 100 of the R letter right. I gotta exclude Europe too.

10:02 PM A little bit more code improvement

This is a pleasant green. Dayum… that is a stack, some Erlang oooo. OpenGL and Metal dude WTH shiiiiiiiiii now that’s a job.

10:14 PM it’s funny once I apply these filters, how few of these jobs I am even qualified for… damn or the location/on-site barrier.

Damn… this one is kind of a good one for me but onsite in another state… SKULabs | Coral Springs, FL | ONSITE | Full stack Node/React | 120–160k

Another one has (a16z) I get it like k8s or ally or i18n dang…

> Reach out if you’re a weeb deep learning engineer — we’re hiring.

Lol… I have the first part checked.

Well none of these 400–500 jobs I looked at for me damn.

I’m gonna go lay down and watch this documentary of Rails.

Late thought, look at my dragon fruit grow lol in my closet garden.

11:17 PM oh no I have second wind, I need to SLEEEEEEP at 1:30 AM

Friday 11/10/2023

There is a post-work event with some light drinking so I’ll be doing that then getting some McD’s to binge eat and watch a movie, that’ll be my Friday night. Then I sleep for like 14 hours straight, wake up around 2 PM. Food shopping and laundry day (every 2 weeks) so that’ll also take out 2 hours or so of my day.

Weekend 11/11–12/2023

Lately I have not been doing anything on the weekend, just watching tv/binge eating. So I usually feel regret when I have to inevitably return to work. So I have to not do that before I push publish on this post which I will not share to my few followers who subscribed for tutorials vs. ranting/complaining blog posts like this one.

Saturday 11/11/2023

1:27 PM today’s a rest day. Drank a lot last night so I didn’t really sleep. Good times though.

Sunday 11/12/2023

It took me a while to fall asleep, probably because I ate food at midnight vs. 9PM. I did not start sleeping until after 6 AM. Anyway it’s 6:20 PM now and I’m just chilling. Got my groceries/did laundry (do this every 2 weeks). Not a a productive weekend.