As 2018 is starting, I wanted to take this opportunity to write a quick retrospective of the year that just happened, going through the highlights and the lessons learned. I hope you can benefit from it.
I wish you all a happy new year!
The year started super messy. I was in charge of an important project at BestMile, and I faced several challenges I wasn’t used to: high stakes, ever-changing requirements, critical colleagues leaving, all at the same time. Altogether it wend kind of OK, but with a lot of sweat. I took this opportunity to work with Adrien Dalang, a personal coach, to help me structure my work, priorities, relationships and overall energy. I learned how useful it is to plan every day the day before. How to improve efficiency in chaotic environments by protecting important time periods, applying techniques to reduce and postpone context-switching to appropriate moments.
I participated in the recruitment of fantastic profiles that joined our company during this year. People that I simply enjoy working with. But I also had friends in the company that I saw leaving. The “problem” with great colleagues is that they also make great friends, and then, it’s hard to see them leaving. I saw that in an environment where colleagues are also friends, collaboration is fostered, but the system is more fragile: one single colleague feeling bad can have a much significant influence on the rest of the team than if colleagues kept a professional distance. There is no judgement here. I think we just need to be aware of that.
In terms of roles, I started the year as product manager, but after six months I moved back to a developer position. I felt the need to keep on programming some more. I wanted to keep on improving my hard skills. Thanks to a great team and a supportive management, the transition happened fast and well. The lesson I learned here: do not underestimate the time it takes to strengthen your technical foundations, and even if you feel that management is the direction for you, then make sure you’re not leapfrogging stages.
Lately, I wanted to have more interaction with the outside world, and got some responsibilities in partners support and integration. I started working with people working in different time zones, with different backgrounds, and especially, different goals. I learned about negotiating win-win objectives with partners, and got a glimpse into the “political” strategies behind apparently innocent moves. Lesson learned: everyone has its own agenda, and not everyone cares about win-win solutions. It’s always your job to make that happen for sustainable relationships, especially if the partner doesn’t want. Sometimes it’s simpler, because the partner cares, but sometimes it’s harder.
In love relationships
There is a lot I could say here, as this year has been pretty intense. But I’ll summarize it in two lessons, which may sound silly, but that were pretty
fun interesting to experience:
1) The more girlfriends you have, the more break-ups you’re going to have to go through. It’s plain maths. However, it’s been a hell of a ride and I would definitely not change anything. I learned a lot.
2) If you are in an open relationship, there is a significant likelihood that either:
– Your partner(s)
– Your partners’ partners
… will face terrible jealousy. And if only one of these person is not ready for it, it’s going to be a mess for everyone. I’ve gone through this twice this year. And it wasn’t fun at all. I didn’t learn much, and it was mostly just… frustrating and painful.
In my spiritual life
On the 31st of December 2017, I had a very special meditation. Not because of what I experienced, but because it was my 365th consecutive day of meditation. And with that, I achieved my new year resolution for 2017 to meditate one hour every day, kept my commitment 100% steady, and succeeded with the promise I made to myself.
I did that in order to establish strong foundations for my practice, and I can really feel that I have reached that. Meditating one hour every morning has become simple and effortless. Even better, I now feel the desire to meditate in the evening, and I am happy when I have an opportunity to meditate more than once during the day. A year ago, it was not like that.
However, keeping this commitment wasn’t easy at all. I had to meditate in crowded trains, while being sick in bed, or waking up an hour earlier before everyone else while trekking after an exhausting day. I almost failed one day, and I learnt a precious lesson at the same time: funnily, this happened on a totally normal Saturday. I was at home, I wasn’t sick, wasn’t busy, and I was alone. I woke up and didn’t have much to do during the day. As I was a bit sleepy and hungry for breakfast, I thought about postponing the meditation to some later time during the day. But then, as I was having breakfast, a friend called and suggested an activity. “Ok, I’ll meditate after”. The day went on, and finally, when I went to bed at 11PM, super tired and ready to sleep, I just remembered that I forgot to meditate this day. And I really, really didn’t want to meditate at that moment. I just wanted to sleep. I realized how much the routine and regularity protect the practice. How chaotic is the day, compared to the first moments that follow the wake up. How difficult it is to find the energy to fight against your habits when you’re tired at the end of the day. If you want to do something regularly everyday, do it in the morning, and don’t postpone, unless you’re ready to take the risk to forget or skip your duty.
I’m stopping here. I could have gone in much more details into any of the above-mentioned topics. I could have written about my experiences with polyamory and open relationships, my zero-alcohol-consumption challenge, all the CouchSurfers I’ve hosted, learning how to play accordion, my 8-days volunteering in a Vipassana meditation centre, or even my opinion on the future of autonomous mobility…
Is there something you want me to write about?