Listen To The Signs, Leander

[Dutch Lock Down Day One Hundred Sixty Eight]

This morning’s five a.m. almost didn’t happen. It’s the closest I’ve come to going back to sleep.

And it was totally deserved.

Totally allowed.

But first the news:

My body has ways of expressing stress if I’m ignoring it. Mysterious aches and pains. Grumpiness. Lashing out to my partner. But most of them happen in my sleep. Sure, nightmares, but sometimes I’ll scratch the fuck out of my scalp.

Or I’ll chew the fuck out of my tongue.

Like last night.

Let’s unpack this, Leander.

This weekend you were super grumps mcgee to your partner and then last night you chewed the fuck out of your tongue – what’s bothering you?

Well.

Work is good. I’ve got this massive project that I’m leading up – but it’s going really well. And it’s almost done, too. And you’ve done well on it – and received a lot of acknowledgement. As stressful as that is, I don’t think it’s the core problem.

The family is doing well, too. Everyone’s relatively healthy except for that mysterious persistent sore throat / light phlegm / sporadic cough thing. But P finally feels all better so we know that it lasts three weeks and you’re on week three. The end is in sight and you know it’s not COVID. Sure, the oldest minion lost his mind on Sunday, but it seems to be a one time thing – yesterday he was his chill self again.

Ah.

Hm.

Well.

I think I know.

There are a few people I’m mentoring – for getting started with python and DevRel and moving to the Netherlands and solving problems and being nonbinary – that I haven’t followed up with lately.

I think that’s it because I just got a message from one of them last night before going to bed and I assumed it was to yell at me for not responding, but it was because they were concerned for my health.

It was right before my bedtime, so I typed quickly, “Not sick. Will reply tomorrow. My apologies.”

Then my brain dove down a rabbit hole of their problem but also all of their problems and also why can’t I keep in touch more consistently and I’ve ALWAYS been this way and AAAAHHHHHHHH…

Okay, so that’s the issue.

Now what’re you going to do about it, Leander?

Follow up with everyone. One at a time. Deep breathes, you can do this.

Okay, DevRel person is sorted… I’ll tackle the rest… tonight? Tomorrow? This weekend? I need to actually schedule it or I won’t actually get to it.

#DONE

Now hopefully sleep returns to normal and my poor tongue can heal. It feels like that was it, so I hope there’s not something else lurking in another corner of my brain.

This blog post is mostly brought to you by the work I’ve been doing with my life coach. When I have a problem or question, I work it out mostly by talking. I often ask for feedback after for course correction / to make sure I’m on the right path / get acknowledgement. I’m kind of chuffed that I’m able to do this on my own.

But what did I do?

  1. Defined a question. This morning was, “why are you chewing your tongue?” That helps my brain focus. We’re going to unpack this, Brain.
  2. Defined possible answers. Why do you ever chew your tongue? Stress. What is causing you stress? Work? No. Family? I don’t think so? That message you got right before falling asleep reminding you of how many people you’re letting down? Ah.
  3. Develop a plan. Follow up with all the people.
  4. Break it into baby steps.
    1. Reply to DevRel person (and write a blog post about DevRel getting started?)
    2. Be empathetic to problem person
    3. Write a blog post about moving to the Netherlands
    4. Write a blog post about getting started in python
    5. Reach out to Non-Binary person (and write a blog post?)
  5. Add it to the agenda. This Sunday 0900-1100!
  6. Do the first baby step to get a quick win. Keep going if you have bandwidth. While I totally replied to DevRel person, I’m going to leave the rest for later because I’d rather be hacking and I’m notorious for procrastinating when something isn’t easy and inhaling technical books is Not Easy ™.