Weeknotes: s2 e10

It’s impossible, being both a parent and a worker all day.

It’s impossible, being both a parent and a worker all day.

Over the thanksgiving weekend, my toddler’s nursery had a croup outbreak and he was sick at home for over a week. Once he was well enough to go back, they had to close due to a positive covid case in one family.

I always feel overwhelmed and unsupported in these moments (which are so frequent now) but this time around I’ve been lucky to have space to take a different perspective and remembering this has made me feel calmer: I’m not a worker trying to parent, I’m a parent trying to fit in work when I can. Also, gratitude: Being home for a week with croup (*unconfirmed since we don’t have a dr here) meant he wasn’t in contact with the child at his nursery who had covid.


Three things that went well:

  • I discovered that some of the research work I did back at GDS has been looked at and taken to heart with the new identity product they’re developing. Honestly, this is probably a top 5 career highlight for me, knowing that this important work is going somewhere. It made my heart soar. It also made me a bit nervous for the state of the documentation I left for them to find, but I have to remember that I was doing the best I could at the time.
  • I finally launched an event for the Human Centred Design community in the BC government. It’s a small, low effort event, but it’s a start. BC gov people can sign up here.
  • I’ve been volunteering for FWD50 and spent a bunch of time creating documents for them. It’s been a bit mind numbing but also kind of fun — as a designer I like hands on creation work, and also sometimes it’s nice to have a clear, easy task that I can just switch off my big problem thinking for.

Three things to work on

  • Accepting thanks and praise. I was in a group call where a bunch of people thanked me for some work I had done, and I felt so uncomfortable that I babbled on about “oh it was easy” (it wasn’t), “it’s fine, it didn’t take long” (it did) and “oh I had lots of free time to do this” (I didn’t.) Why is this so hard for me?
  • I’m worried that both covid and a few years of being a newcomer without friends in my city has made me afraid to socialize. I used to live for being social (although I found it exhausting afterwards.) Lately, on the few occasions I do make plans, I find myself thrilled when I can’t go (usually because one of my kids has a runny nose.) So I’m wrestling with the question of how I work on building my social skills back up while honouring my introvert needs at the same time.
  • Focus. I cannot focus on things. I get so distracted, so easily. I’m usually like this same of the time, but recently it feels like it’s most of the time. I hope it’s just a season that will pass.

Three things that have inspired me

  • This great (really great!!) thread on advice for researchers.
  • Sean Boots’ blog post and website that documents end to end digital services in the federal government. I’ve already asked the question in BC gov about getting this info, I find it so helpful to understand the service landscape of the org I’m in.
  • This question on weeknotes from Lou Downe got me thinking about my own purpose for writing these. I definitely write for myself, and my future self. I don’t think anyone reads them and I am ok with that — actually, I like that perhaps nobody reads these, it feels like less pressure to make sense or be relevant to anyone else. But if you are here, Hi! I’m glad you’re reading.

Watched, listened, read

  • I watched Squid Game. It’s grim (kind of feels like watching the Red Wedding from GoT but in every episode) but I loved the cultural aspects, the characters, and the harsh lens on consumerism and society.
  • Heavyweight, my favourite podcast of all time, is back so I’ve been listening to that when I can. The episode John is a doozy.
  • I’ve started reading Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams, and, wow. It’s eyeopening and excellent, a really raw perspective on being black in London. Loving it.