Self-Care during Agile2019

In a few weeks I will be jetting off to Agile2019 in WashingtonDC. I am the track chair for the Self-Care track and so I was wondering about how to care for myself during the conference. I have over the last 9 years come up with tricks for dealing with this very large conference.

For most of us just looking at the program is overwhelming!

https://www.agilealliance.org/agile2019/program/

There are 22 concurrent tracks, plus other activities happening and evening events. Not to mention the THOUSANDS of people.

Here are some tips to make the most out of the conference and look after yourself – all tried and tested by me 🙂

  1. Look at the program schedule and mark your top talk each day that you MUST attend.
  2. For those talks arrive early, as the rooms fill up on a first come basis, and some talks are very popular filling up 30 minutes beforehand!
  3. Now mark the WOULD BE INTERESTING talks. Allow these to overlap, and pick as many or as little as you would like.
  4. Look at the evening activities and decide which you will attend.
  5. Hydrate! Carry a water bottle with you and drink plenty of water, even more if you are partaking in all the evening festivities!
  6. Always have a notebook and pen on you. If people hand you business cards scribble on the back something to remember them by.
  7. If you would like to buy a book or two visit the bookstore on Monday and do that. The popular books sell out within hours!
  8. At some point it will all become too much. That is ok. For me its usually on Wednesday!  See when there are 2 time slots in a row where you can check out of the conference, any of your WOULD BE INTERESTING talks fall into this category. Plan for that! Go to the pool, go for a walk, sleep in.
  9. If you have family at home expecting a call – put reminders in your calendar. At these events you tend to forget time and that the outside world exists.
  10. The hotel is huge and you will be in it for 5 days and nights. Make plans to get out and get some fresh air. Take a walk, hang out at the pool. Check twitter, many attendees organise morning walks or runs.
  11. Every evening set aside 30 minutes to reflect on your day. What did you attend? What did you learn?
  12. Remember to have fun. Meet new people, be convinced to try a different talk or topic or track. Be open to new ideas and thoughts. You may end up surprising yourself!

 

Please add your self-care tips as comments below.

The damn lesson

Today I am feeling very sorry for myself and whining to anyone who will listen and even to those who don’t want to.

I’m trying to apply for pre-approval for a home loan and all the hoops and paperwork is driving me insane.

Then on my annoyingly reflective train ride home I realized that this is happening because there are a few things I need to learn.

Like being humble vs entitled. Being grateful vs expectant. Being patient vs rushed.

Dammit. Yes, I need to learn all those things. They are my weak spots. I’m decisive and committed and expect that of others, and most just aren’t. I’m actually a real pain in the ass. Now I’m actually feeling sorry for those banks and brokers that have to deal with me. Hmmm.

PS I love these doodle images. You can visit them and buy prints!

What do you want?

What do you really want? This question has been top of mind for me for over a week now. It seemed so simple… I rattled off my dream life. And then I spent 19 days pondering if that was my ideal life or if what I thought needed to happen was influencing it.

As an example I said I’d like to work for a few days a week or just a couple of hours a day. This is because I really enjoy my work. But if I stopped, what would happen? What else might I discover that I really enjoy when I have more time to explore?

And then I pondered if I was setting up future Sam to live her perfect life, what would that be? And in setting it up… why could I not just start living my ideal life?

Yeah, I know… deep 👀

But it did help me make some decisions. Some that enable future me to be closer to my dream and allow current me to also step closer. Of course there are trade offs. But I’m tired of planning for my dream. I’m impatient. And I want to start living it now… or at least as close as I can. ❤️

The ideal day/week

Today I find myself sitting in an airport, waiting for an early flight to a client for 2 days. The lounge is full. Overfill actually, there are not enough seats for all these road warriors that do this regularly.

What would your day/week look like if you could design it? What would you include and exclude?

I have been thinking about this for a week. It is way more tricky than I thought. As an example: would I work? I really like my work and it gives me much pleasure. And if I didn’t do it, I would find another way to get that pleasure I think. So the question becomes one of everything surrounding work and if I want that or not. Like: invoicing etc. and then I delve into, what would the ideal work look like?

Hahaha slippery slope… I have much more thinking to do

Crawling, walking, running

I’ve had a few good weeks. I’ve been calm, interactive engaged. I’ve been reading more and taking the odd run, even just relaxing and smiling. But in the background the darkness lurks. I can feel it there sometimes.

It reaches out as anxiety when I’m worried about some clients work, or finding property or something else in the future. Sometimes it’s just exhaustion coupled with a sliver of depression, not wanting to move or do anything except climb into a warm tent and hide from the world.

These are now feelings I can identify and label. Oddly when I do pause, observe and label them, they lose some of their power over me.

I’m defiantly not in that sunshine rainbow unicorn filled place where I wake up energized and bounce out the house for a jog followed by meditation. Nope. My path to recovery looks a bit more haphazard. I’m just listening to my body and mind and trying to do things when I feel I want to as opposed to coming up with excuses.

I surprised myself this morning. I was standing in the bedroom procrastinating and about to watch tv, but I looked puzzled. My wife asked ‘what are you thinking’. Out of my mouth popped ‘that I might go for a run’. Huh I thought, that’s interesting… ok I guess. I got dressed and went. It was lovely.

No deliberate practice. No routine. Just acknowledge what you honestly want to do and do it. It’s more difficult than it sounds. My inner voice has great ideas and thoughts but my mind tries to drown them out.