Its already March!

Somehow this year seems to have flown by and simultaneously be just about right for March.

I started the year with a bang and a host of resolutions.

I started running (again)  and built all the way up to 4km before being tapped on the shoulder by an achy foot telling me to slow down. So I slowed right down and stopped everything for 2 weeks. Boy was it hard to get started again! But I have, from scratch, super slowly with more yoga in between to stretch me out. Currently on 2.5km… slow but at least still moving forward.

We also decided to try and eat more veggies. Luckily we love veggies so loosely this translated to a mostly vegetarian diet, and on occasional outings we will have meat or whatever we desire. That meant the weight started slowly falling off – yay, 3.5kgs! I noticed just how much diet affected me this past weekend. We had a big 40th party for Concetta and basically ate only cake, meat and alcohol for 3 days – not a single vegetable passed my lips. It was great on day 1, ok on day 2 and by day 3 I never wanted to see cake, meat or wine again. The scale agreed as I picked up 3 kgs! Three days back to vegetables and an occasional glass of wine and 2kgs have dropped right back off me, thank goodness. I feel better too, lighter and brighter if that makes any sense. The meat, cake and alcohol diet left me feeling like grey cardboard. I’m hoping by writing all this down I will be reminded in future 🙂

This was also the time that we found land and successfully put in an offer. It will be all ours this week. After 20 months of looking at so many houses and land all over New Zealand, I am glad the hunt is over and that we can now focus on making our dreams a reality. We started off with a dream of our ideal living situation about 3 years ago and have been through ups and downs.

Three years ago I created a picture of what I called the “farm-dream”.

This is me – super happy, tanned and feeling free looking at my home in the middle of nowhere, with mountain, and greenery all over. The requirements grew a little over time. We also wanted a stream, and no neighbours within view or hearing distance amongst other things. We got tempted by many beautiful properties that didn’t meet all of our criteria, and thankfully talked ourselves away from the dotted signing line. We held out and are soon to be proud owners of our own little piece of paradise. We have hill and mountain views, some flat ground for the house, a little creak running through, and no neighbours for a few kilometers. Perfect. Soon the fun part of planting a native forest and setting up vegetables gardens will begin, followed by much saving for a solar system so that we can actually live on the land.

So this is day 65 of 2020. When I say it like that I’m surprised at how low that number is for everything that has happened this year. And I’m excited to see what else this year will bring.

How has your first 65 days of 2020 been? Everything you hoped for? Some surprises?

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!

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.