Drupal

Hi everyone! I've been super quiet on here lately and I've been meaning to tell you why:

A) I'm still sick as hell. I'm actually working on getting comfortable with the word disabled and the reality of the situation, since my doctors have essentially given up on me and told me this isn't getting better. Of course, I'm still going to continue advocating for myself and trying to get at least somewhat better, but I am also focusing more on how to have a fulfilling day to day life despite this reality, which brings me to...

B) Bruno and I built a website, it's called Textillia! We've been chipping away at it as time and energy allowed for over a year and finally launched it in mid-November - a super early Beta launch - lots yet to do but we wanted to let people start using it! For anyone who knits, the easy explanation is that it's a sewing site like Ravelry... Or maybe more accurately like what Ravelry was 8 years ago when it started out! Textillia is still a fresh-baked little website, but we have big plans for it!

Textillia homepage

I wasn't going to write this post, but I feel like I need to. I originally didn't know how I could do it without a classic "flame out", but I think enough time has passed that at least I can write it from a fairly removed perspective. 

As friends and regular readers will know, I'm taking a break from most everything to rest and try and get my health into a better place. I stepped down as co-lead of Drupal's documentation team over a year ago, and left my previous job as a project manager at a web development company last April. Since then, I've been on what I'm calling a "health sabbatical". I haven't been attending any tech conferences, networking events, or much of anything else since then either (aside from occasionally tagging along on trips as the partner of a Drupaller, aka. a "Drupalganger", but not attending the event itself), and I don't plan to anytime soon.

After all the great feedback on the previous post on Burnout, and Randy Fay's excellent talk (video included) and blog posts.

A few things that I can say for sure:

Randy Fay is doing a session at DrupalCon on Burnout:

We have an incredible group of people who invest deeply in our common project. Some significant portion of this group is near burnout at any given time, and we've lost important contributors, some famously, as a result of this.

The more general problem is: How can we help our contributors to manage their work so they don't get so close to burnout? How can we help people find (or regain) balance while dealing with the technical and social problems of contributing to our great project?

Proposed solution:
- Begin a concentrated initiative to grow and keep our contributors, and to keep them happy.
- Make this a goal a key project responsibility.

He just posted a blog post, on defining burnout and signs of it, this week as well.

 

So, what have I been up to the last couple months? You know how it goes... Drupal, work, Drupal, work... and then Bruno arriving here to stay for the entire summer!

He arrived just over a month ago and will be here until August when we go visit his family in Belgium and then go to Drupalcon in London. The plan after that is that he'll be coming back to Vancouver again, and then we've got a window of about six weeks to hopefully figure out something more long-term, ie. getting a work visa or extending his visit if that's possible.

ICE CREAAAAAAAAM

 I had so many favourite moments the week before last at DrupalCon Chicago, I started jotting down a list so I wouldn't forget them all. Here are some highlights...

Freezing! (crazyhair c/o Chicago wind)

The weeks (months) leading up to the Christmas holidays continued to be really busy. We'd been really cramming at work, and I was also doing a lot of Drupal work (we had a big Documentation meeting/sprint weekend the weekend before holidays that people flew in for, and it's also been a big push getting the Drupal 7 docs done for its release which is coming up this week). I was definitely running on fumes. Thankfully we'd made the wise decision early on to shut down entirely at work for two weeks over the holidays, so we could all take a proper, well-deserved break. I went back to Saskatoon for a full week and a half, to have Christmas with my parents, and basically just do what Frankie says (ie. relax).

box chaos
Decorating the tree with my mom

So first, a little catch up from before my last posts... back in June, I went to Saskatoon for a weekend to go to the wedding of one of my next door neighbours from where I grew up. The Sulatyski family lived next door to me my entire Saskatoon-life (plus a couple years after I moved to Vancouver), and are like my second family... sometimes I feel like I grew up more Ukrainian than any other culture!

Me and the boys

Before we get started, here's some new LCD Soundsystem for your listening enjoyment...

Much of my thoughts go like an agile retrospective these days... project management is permeating my thinking patterns.

Good

What's that? Oh yes, that is the smell of sweet, sweet VICTORY!!! 

Photo Booth

And just like that it's over. It's a small miracle that I actually made it to San Francisco for DrupalCon SF.  As I mentioned before, I caught the flu just over a week and a half before I was supposed to leave for the conference, and was SOOOOO sick. I got a fever, then the worst cough I think I've had since I was a kid.  My mom saved my ass and came out and stayed with me for a week, I hardly left my bed the entire time. She went back to Saskatoon about three days before I was supposed to leave for SF, but I was still pretty sick, and was about 5 days into a week of having lost my voice. Making the con did NOT look promising.

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