[S05 E10] “Into the Woods”

I’m fine.

So as I said last week I’ve been tired. Bone tired. I’ve also been suffering from pretty persistent background anxiety for a while which had recently been ramping up. This week that all unfortunately manifested itself in not one of my finest moments at our team retreat. I convinced myself that a (with hindsight) pretty innocuous group discussion about improving our ways of working was a personal attack, threw a bit (lot) of a wobbly and then basically spiralled downwards from there. Took me two hours of sitting alone in the garden to compose myself enough to even be around my colleagues. Like I said not my finest moment.

Amongst the many reasons why this was a stupid reaction is that I didn’t really disagree with anything being said — in fact I’ve said many of them myself in the previous 10 months.

I’m not sure really where this leaves me to be honest. It surfaced a lot of personal doubts and worries I’ve had which is probably pretty good in the long run for my mental health but in the short to medium term I feel a bit bruised and diminished.

I have some time off now — and I cancelled this weekends trip to Oslo as it was clear I wouldn’t cope with another weekend away — so I can rest up and get my head straight(er) but I’m genuinely at a bit of a loss at the moment as to (a) how I let myself get into this situation (again) and (b) how I climb out of it.

The weird thing is it was otherwise shaping up to be a decent week.

Rome with H and S was wonderful — it was lovely to have travel companions for a change and the enthusiasm of a six year old is pretty contagious. Especially when they are dressed in a gladiator costume at the Coliseum 🙂

Tuesday I headed for the retreat in a country house somewhere near Minehead but really in the middle of nowhere. I’d been dreading it pretty much since I accepted the job but the first day was pretty great — show and tells and interesting conversations about pretty big, knotty issues for the organisation. I felt like I was learning and contributing and ended the day feeling like I had misjudged the whole thing.

Unfortunately I suspect now I will forever associate the retreat with the incident on the Wednesday and really despite that only being 30 minutes or so I totally forget what went on the rest of the day.

Thursday morning I gave a talk at Agile in the City: Bristol. It was nice to speak at the M:Shed again but I don’t think it went great — I was still off my game from the day before (and hadn’t slept well) and while I didn’t blow it entirely it felt a bit muddled. I never really seemed to capture the room (apart from a much appreciated little cohort of friends who came along.)

In the afternoon I got to work with my colleague Jen over at the Watershed pulling together some planning details for what we are calling Project Concorde. It was a good afternoon — productive but also fun (as well as distracting which I needed.) There is a load of prep work needed for this project and that basically sucked up my entire day Friday as well. Project planning is not one of my great skills but I have worked with enough brilliant Delivery Managers for some of it to rub off so while it was a bit like pulling teeth at time it ended up being a decent first stab at what was needed I think.

It doesn’t seem such a bad week written down like this but it hasn’t been an easy thing to write and my inclination was to just skip it totally but when you preach about openness and the power of blogging at every opportunity you rather paint yourself into a corner!

So no #weeknotes next week — just movie watching, comic reading and exhibition visiting.


I’ve now lost 2 stone 4lbs — amazingly didn’t put on weight in Rome (probably due to all the walking!) and have crept in to the stone below again which is always nice to see. I’m well on target to lose 3 stone this calendar year — maybe a little more. I did drink a bit in Rome but still managed to avoid all the desserts (including all the ice-cream!) and fizzy drinks. I have to have my diabetes eye test soon — this is the thing I am most worried about still I think. Fingers crossed.

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