As I sit here in the Denver airport watching people go by, I am struck by how different and wonderful each of us are. I have this rare moment in time where I am just sitting and waiting. Waiting for my time to board my plane to head home from #SQLSatDenver. Instead of spending my time playing a game on my phone or catching up on the news (that I have been blissfully avoiding this weekend), I chose to just sit and do nothing.
Learning that No is okay
I learned something really important this weekend from Jes Borland’s session “Busy is a Four Letter Word.” I learned I can say NO. hard no, soft no, easy no, not really a no but a no…..I have all the power to say NO. Funny how it took flying so far away from my home (read that as total comfort zone) to be assured that I can say NO. I can even say NO to MYSELF.
This morning I have practiced that. I told myself to not check the news, not spend my time waiting by playing mind-numbing games. I told myself to embrace the stillness of my life at the moment. There is no dishes or laundry to clean, there is no pet to feed, there is no child or spouse to attend to…. this time is all mine. So, I sat, and I watched.
I watched as frustrated men in wrinkled business suits drank dark beers. I watched as an older lady, traveling alone, enjoyed her “well-shaken” martini. I watched as a sweet married couple shared loving glances and giggles over coffee. I watched as an angry couple fought over “petty but still frustrating” things that had happened in their past week. I watched as the staff of the United Club busied themselves with picking up after people who were just too busy to find the trash can. I noticed that not many people stopped to smile or say hello to the staff. How many people do they see each day that do not acknowledge them?
Acknowledge being Blessed
This made me think “how many times a day do I not acknowledge myself?” Back to saying no… Jes, thank you a million times over for this session. You have changed my life and the way I look at myself. I have been too busy in my life to take care of me. Always busy saying yes to everyone. Always busy doing everything; thinking I need to be Wonder Woman. You know what? Even Wonder Woman took time to go to a party! Ok, granted she went to the party hunting evil, but still, she went!
I am blessed to be surrounded with amazing, wonderful, loving friends, family, and my SQL community. Thank you to Melody Zacharias who reminded me this weekend that Confidence is the Fuel for Action and is key in success, and I am stronger and smarter than I know. Thank you to Wendy Pastrick for her session Moving Past Imposter Syndrome where she acknowledged that sometimes there are outside forces that bring us down and it really isn’t just all in our heads. Thank you to the countless numbers of SQL Presenters who travel to spend their Saturdays sharing with the community they so love. I am so very blessed to have been welcomed into this amazing community full of people who truly care about what they do, and the people they are with.
SQL Saturdays are a great place to network and learn; however, they are so much more. SQL Saturdays give us a chance to reconnect with what has made us fall in love with the data industry. They rekindle our passion for the newness and excitement of it all. They give us a chance to refresh and renew. They give an opportunity to say NO to the every day and YES to fun, learning, and adventure. We see old friends and make new ones. We get to give in-person hugs and hi-fives to our twitter compadres. We come together for so many reasons, all with one goal. What an amazing group to be a part of, grow with, and love.
In this community, I know that I am not alone. SQL Saturdays remind me of this every time. I am not alone in my concerns, fears, insecurities, or challenges. I am not alone in my frustrations or pains. I have friends, I have colleagues, I have a family beyond DNA. SQL Saturdays also remind me that I am worthy, that I have so much to contribute, that I have a voice and a story will help someone else. I am worthy. I am enough.
What I Take Away
No matter who you are, no matter where you are in your career, you need community events. SQL Saturdays are amazing because they are all volunteer events. What greater gift of love is there than the gift of your time? Take that with you, my friends. Your time is sacred and valuable and worthy. Keep some for yourself, give some away, share your time with someone you don’t know. Smile at the United Club staff. Say thank you to your Uber driver. Don’t be afraid to write a blog or present a session. Bless someone else with your blessings.
Go forth and be awesome! And by all means, remember that you can say NO.
It is wonderful how so many of the #sqlfamily are talking about our own mental state. When my kids were young, all 3 are in their 20’s now, both Joan and myself saw the benefit of looking after ourselves so we could look after others. We all want to do the best job that we can but we cannot do that if we are TOO BUSY. Knowing Jes, I fully understand why she made the presentation. We can only do our best if we are rested and prepared. Please take time out and have other hobbies and interests than just work.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Thank you for reading and sharing, Chris. I am so glad you realized this so long ago. I am doing my best to work on this!
This is a great post. I’m so glad you took this away from the event in Denver, and sorry I missed you.
I am sorry I missed you too. It is always a pleasure to see you. Thank you so much for reading my blog.