FYI – A Is The Oldest Child

Photo by Phil Desforges on Unsplash

I’m sitting at a cafe across the street from a physical therapist here in Haren and I completely forgot the doctor’s referral that I need to make an appointment for the tension headaches.

At home. Again.

The extra clothes that belong to A’s after school program that need to be returned have been sitting, clean and folded, by the back door for literally weeks. I remember to return them before school (when they’re closed) and when it’s time to pick him up, I forget them there.

Every. Single. Day.

I’d like to write every single day and yet I haven’t thought about what that’ll look like logistically within the current rituals that happen on a daily basis, rain or shine.


There are always ‘puzzles’ and looming #ToDos on the horizon wearing us down and sticking in the back of the brain and it all boils down to not prioritizing it.

Or a lack of focus.

Or something.

Photo by Nicolas Tissot on Unsplash

One of my very first tech talks was Leveraging Procedural Knowledge.

The abstract was very fancy pants.

“On the road to senior developer, one has to learn multiple languages. This often seems like a series of massive obstacles wherein each new language resembles a new beginning. However, developers may often underestimate the extent to which procedural knowledge from one language transfers to a new language. In this talk, I will demonstrate that the process from Red Hat Technical Account Manager to Django Girls workshop participant to OpenStack developer was a series of procedural knowledge transfers, wherein the obstacles to learning reduces with each new technology that is learned. I will provide specific examples, from using editors to troubleshooting issues, and conclude with practical recommendations on which programming language to start with and how to create a coherent plan for transitioning from one language to another.”

The basis for this talk was that I had given birth to A and in the Netherlands you’re allowed to switch jobs to part time and the job I had at the time #WasntAllowed to be part time so my job became finding a new job.

Part of that involved exploring programming languages and tech conferences and a lot of self reflection and this talk was effectively – this is what I’m doing right now and you can, too.

If you’re keen.

Someone was.

A gentleman raised his hand and pointed out that his wife had also recently given birth and he would also like to become a python developer and did I have any recommendations on how to juggle newborn plus career switch plus life plus current job.


I still remember my answer because I was SUPER IMPRESSED when it came out of my mouth, “If you want it, you’ll make time. If you don’t, you won’t.”

Upon reflection, I’m thinking I heard it somewhere and was simply parroting it, but at the time #TotallyImpressive

A year later I was giving another talk at the same conference about this peachy keen python project I was diving into, OpenStack, and the person introducing me, in charge of that particular room, bounced up to me and thanked me.

It was the same guy.

He had worked out a schedule with his partner and his work – had learned and practiced in his copious spare time and was now a professional python developer.

I was floored.

I think part of my stress is that I have all these puzzles and problems and looming deadlines going on for ages that in reality would only take fifteen or thirty minutes to solve or resolve and I’m just not doing it.

I’m not prioritizing these things.

Can you relate?

First, I’m so sorry if you can. Cause #DAMN this be a lot of stress.

But, second, let’s knock it off, shall we? Focus. Prioritize. Make a list. Write a blog post and tell on yourself.

This is part of why it’s so popular for people to post their food and exercise accomplishments, because the food and fitness industries figured out that the more people told on themselves, the more they #DidTheThing

Which leads to a lovely upward spiral of marketing and influence and such, sure, but also you actually #DoTheThing

So let’s tell on ourselves.


Photo by Devin Avery on Unsplash

What have you been putting off for, like, forever?

That you really should do NOW?

I’m going to do the things I listed above, cause #COMEON and I want to hear what you’re doing next.

Make them SMART goals with specific measurable tasks that you can break down into smaller tasks and plan out the logistics.

Guarantee your success.

And THEN brag about yourself.

I know I will.



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