In real life with real people!
So this weekend I went to the DDD East Midlands conference in Nottingham and it was.. well it was lovely! I don't think I realised how much I'd missed doing stuff like this. Like, coronavirus has not been too hard on me and my family, not like some people. I've had a very stable job and reasonably healthy relatives so nothing too dramatic has happened, and I was never the most sociable person in the first place so I thought I was just doing fine.
And I was, I was fine.
But fine is not awesome.
I don't think I noticed the decline in myself over the last 18 months, but being around people who - though we may not all be best friends, or even know each other at all - feel like MY people had quite an impact on me. I realised that I'd not done anything just for myself since the last time I waltzed off to a random conference back in Feb 2020 (Front End North in Sheffield). There's been no IRL meetups, no talks about fun projects, no slightly-too-much-beer chats with randoms about nerdy things. And it turns out I need these things in my life!
'Decline' sounds dramatic, and I don't mean it to. I'm not in trouble or anything, I just realised I kind of... lost my enthusiasm a bit. I did actually speak at the conference (which was quite a way to return to being in public!) about a little project I'd been working on at home. It was a silly project about building a bot to play Guess Who against my 4yo. Now let me tell you - this project has been a monumental struggle. It's been going on for months and honestly, it was not very good. Part of that is because I completely lost any will to work on stuff in my spare time months ago, so having to have something I could talk about for a deadline was difficult.
But I did it, the reception was really positive and I secretly enjoyed being up on the stage talking about daft stuff. More importantly I am now filled with ideas of other silly projects I can do (nope, I never learn...).
So I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to everyone involved with the conference - organising and attending. It was the perfect 'first' event to attend, and I am so incredibly glad I didn't cancel at the last minute (definitely considered it while panicking over slides on Friday afternoon!).
Now I guess I should do some work, no excuses any more...