Wednesday 23 March 2011

Putting a foot down

And I'm not talking about bicycles, although it factors. As it should. Which is exactly where I have been going wrong, because it wasn't.

A very lovely wise lady who for some reason has agreed to water me a bit to see if I can grow, asked me what stressed me. Because we both know that I am stressed. And we can both see it coming out in anger and frustration and resentment, and that it is destroying all love I had for digital tech, social media and my job.

So here's what stresses me - not having time to play.

I need time to play and I need time to think. I also need to verbalise ideas in order to be able to sort them into the useless pile, and the run with pile. I am managing to do none of these things at the moment and as a result I am getting crosser and crosser as I watch other Councils running with things when I've been musing over them for months amongst other things, and of course the more cross I get the less people want to deal with me.

It's going to stop.

I am a human being. I am not a machine. I need sleep. I need to relax. I need to have fun. I need to be listened to. I am not apologising for any of those things. Not being allowed to have those things is a sure fire way to turn me into exactly the kind of person you don't want to have around - negative, no ideas, no spark and no happy.

I am not happy.

So I am putting a foot down. But I am also taking responsibility. It is my fault entirely I am in this mess, mentally and physically. I didn't say no. I didn't say 'listen to me, damnit' and I definitely didn't say 'shut up I'm trying to concentrate' either. I should have done. And I should have flagged that there was an issue way way before today and I shouldn't have done it on Twitter.

Thankfully, what I have managed to do is flag that there is a problem before I quit, not for good reasons, but for bad ones. So I am going to tweet about whatever I feel like tweeting about. I am going to play with geeky toys in the evening but I'm also going to ride my bike. And I wont be taking my phone or any kind of connection with me. I'm going to learn to knit, I'm going to start doing yoga, but I'm also going to start an idea which had the flickerings of a beginning last year but which needs building on this year. I'm going to try and find a sustainable way to make money so I can spend my days teaching people who need teaching how to use the web and all the wonderful toys and tools scattered across it to do whatever it is that they want to do.

But most of all? Very most of all, I am not going to feel guilty if I don't feel like doing something in my evening in my time, or worse at weekends, which most definitely is my time. I don't mind working in the evenings sometimes but I will not be making a habit of it. If someone wants me to work in the evenings regularly, then they need to acknowledge my expertise is worth paying for - currently it is not being paid for, therefore I will be spending my time earning money where I can doing bits and bobs for other people who are in a position to acknowledge that worth a little better.

Hopefully, the end result of all this will be less stress as I remember what the fun things are in life, re-establish something resembling a relationship and remember that tech is fun, that working to produce something in the evening just because I want to even if it's nothing to do with work is fun and that thinking up mad ideas and being allowed to run with them is not just the domain of work, and that if that's not practical at work right  now for whatever reason, there is no reason at all that I can't go and implement that idea out of work instead and get paid for it.

A realignment of priorities. And hopefully the retention of some sanity, the dissipation of some stress and the dissolution of my own very big pile of resentment.


  1. I hope the best for you. I was drowning in a pool I filled myself not long ago, and decided to lay out on the warm grass next to the water for a while. I swam harder and farther afterwards.

    Stay strong!

  2. My gran always gave us good advice, but we needed to be older to hear it. When we were young we just laughed and said 'yes gran. we will' but we never did.

    Eventually all high achievers reach the stage you are at. Crash or burn, or learn.
    My gran's advice was to 'Stop and smell the roses'.
    That is what we all have to do. To survive.
    Keep at it, you will soon get the knack off, and the scent will keep you going through the stinky bits.
    chris x