The unforgiving giving of time for open source
Consider yourself in a queue of people at the grocery store, waiting to pay for your weekly shopping. Someone is behind you, and they seem a bit stressed. You hear a voice: "I have a train to catch, would it be alright if I go before you?". They only have one item, so you say sure - you give them 5 minutes of your day so that they can benefit in their lives.
You return to the store a year later, when again you're standing in line, and again you hear a voice. It's the same voice. "I have a train to catch. I went before you last time, so I'll just go ahead of you again". Except this time they don't just have one item - they have everything they need for a feast. Out of a sense of weird obligation, you let them past, even though you were rightfully there first, and their poor planning for train catching isn't really your problem.
You're in a cabin in the woods. You're reading a book, chilling. It's been 3 years since you went to that grocery store. You hear a knocking on your door. You hear a familiar voice. "I have a train to catch, can you let me pass you.". This time you're bewildered - you're nowhere near the grocery store, there's not a train station for miles. Still the voice feels entitled enough to demand that you somehow, again, deal with their problems.
If you've been part of an open source community, this might sound familiar. Perhaps you were a contributor to some projects, a maintainer, or you helped run an organization. Years after you were last active, there are those that feel like somehow you're obligated to help them with their problems. Working on open source falls into two groups: either you are doing it as part of your job, or you are doing it in your free time. It's been both for me for most of my working career. If it's part of your job, then you are not obligated at all to contribute once you leave that job. If it's in your free time, there is no obligation at any point. You might become a maintainer, but you are completely free to change your mind at any time. Maybe you get bored, maybe your family grows, maybe you have health problems. It does not matter. You are giving parts of your time - of your life - so that others can benefit, usually at work. You can say no at any time. The annoying thing though, is that the person - the voice in the grocery story - will get annoyed if you say no. They'll get annoyed if you stop shopping at the grocery store. Because they know that they were able to demand things and you'd go along with it, because in the past they did exactly that and got away with it.
I tell my team often that saying "no" is one of the most useful skills you can have as a developer. It applies just as much at work as it does in your free time. Say no to when someone demands you do something. Say no when someone appears at your doorstep 3 years after your last commit asking for changes. If the issue is so important, they can handle it themselves, or ask others. Say "no".