One of the best things about working a job and doing open source development is that you have something to show for yourself, constantly. You are, in the industry jargon, shipping. Self-esteem might vary, but at the end of the week, something exists that didn’t exist before, and if you identify as a builder, that’s deeply satisfying.
Recently I’m spending time undoing that. Learning, reading, running, gardening - things that don’t fit into market-system framing - are a quiet rebellion against self-as-product, and a shift back toward people being ends in themselves.