Week 71-74 Retrospective

I’m tired.

Granted, it is after 3 in the morning and I’ve already been in transit for 20-ish hours, but I think it’s more than that.

For the past three weeks I’ve basically been working full time. Two weeks consulting with a tiny startup in SF. One week in Boston at my main company (Dimagi).

On top of that there’s been two 30-hour journeys, a cross-country flight in the US, and a packed social calendar. I’ve managed to sneak in a few nights of downtime and a run here and there, but by and large I haven’t really had any time for myself apart from the minimum viable amount required to stay sane.

I’m pretty sure this is just what my life was like a few years ago. Busy, full, and slightly stressed at all times.

It’s quite interesting stepping into this alternate life. I almost become a different person. I find myself checking my email at late hours of the night; reading and responding to all the work chats and emails that I’d previously deemed optional; wondering if I should turn notifications back on for all of the slack groups, github repos, and sentry projects that I had decided could be muted.

Such a huge part of my identity used to be wrapped up in being the person who was reliable, who knew what was going on at all times—and with the commitment to full time work that identity has started creeping back into the forefront of my psyche.

I don’t know if it will go away. Or whether I want it to.

What’s reassuring is that I chose this.

I decided my life was too easy, that I wasn’t being challenged, and explicitly made it a conscious choice to try and get a little more invested, committed, and possibly even stressed out by work.

And then a busy, hectic work-trip opportunity surfaced and I said “that is the type of thing that I should do if I am committed to this idea”.

So I did.

Now I’m tired.

It’s definitely not all bad. It’s definitely not all good. I’m glad I did it and I also want it to stop. I would like for things to be calm and easy for a few weeks, so I can catch my breath, get back some of that proactive, high-level, open-minded thinking, and spend some time re-mapping what I want to be doing, and why.

In my last retro I predicted that my weeks in August would look like this:

  • July 30: I caught up from vacation and now I’m busy again
  • August 6: Still busy
  • August 13: Still busy
  • August 20: Was busy last week and just catching my breath
  • August 27: Maybe I can actually strategize this week?

That turned out to be dead on.

Today I catch my breath.

Next week I strategize.

I’m looking forward to it.


Observations on America (sometimes specifically San Francisco) as an American who’s been living abroad for the last few years:

  • Personal electric vehicles are everywhere, and they are amazing.
  • Airpods are everywhere, and apparently we’ve gotten over how ridiculous they look.
  • You can charge $4.50 for a cup of coffee with a straight face.
  • All coffee shops are now required to have a payment process specifically designed to make you feel guilty for not tipping 20% or more.
  • People love waiting in line for “famous” food items.
  • You can get delicious beer literally everywhere. They have craft IPAs at Chinese restaurants.
  • Americans are still not paying for things with their phones, although if businesses took Venmo they would.
  • Everyone has basically given up on getting worked up about politics/the news/Trump.
  • There’s no substitute for family and good friends ❤