Photo Credit: gato-gato-gato via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: gato-gato-gato via Compfight cc

I am writing this post from the San Francisco General Hospital, sitting by my boyfriend’s side, watching him code away and watch Arrested Development while he waits to be called for an emergency CT scan (only in San Francisco). The details are many, but he’s doing okay.

The diagnosis, which we’ve been waiting on for 7 hours, is less important than the realization that I don’t prioritize my personal relationships enough and I don’t forgive myself for not working. I get lost in work a lot and forget that time is precious. Earlier, Dan said to me, “If I get diagnosed with something horrible, we’ll just get in your car and drive north indefinitely.” And I kind of want to do that regardless of what the diagnosis is, just to experience something in the here and now.

That’s because it’s important to experience life, adventure, joy, and love. And lately I’ve found it nearly impossible to enjoy any of those things because there’s a voice in my head that whispers Keep going. You’re not doing enough.

That’s my own fault, and I need to change that. Part of that is disengaging for a while so I can get my priorities straight once and for all. Part of that is finding the ability to say, “No, I can’t do that right now” because my personal life takes precedence. Most of that is forgiving myself for doing only what is reasonable in eight hours instead of stretching it into 14 or more.

I get tons of joy and satisfaction from my professional community. I LOVE working (maybe too much). But the community I manage for work is only one facet of my being. I’m also a part of my neighborhood community in the Mission, the yoga community around Yoga to the People, the baking community, the hacking and startup community (by proxy through Dan), my Wednesday night community, my friend community, my family community, a community of travelers, and a community of community managers.

Which takes precedence? The answer is clear to me this evening as I sit here in this busy hospital under the harsh yellow lights.

So, community managers, I ask you: What do you do to ensure that you can truly experience life, adventure, joy, and love? Do you experience these things daily? Weekly? What are your priorities? Have I totally bummed you out? (I didn’t mean to!)

2 thoughts on “Re-Prioritizing My Personal Communities

  1. Errr, let’s see here. My greatest feelings of freedom and joy are inspired by romps in the woods, dancing in public, and listening to music loudly in any location. To ensure that I don’t get swallowed up by the abyss of a non-stop work day every day of the week, I buy concert tickets early and often. I also alternate Saturday morning bike rides and Sunday hikes. Nothing beats fresh air and sunshine (or wind, rain, snow, sleet). Although these actions aren’t spontaneous–like driving north and north and north–they do help to keep me grounded.

    1. I love that! I think it’s really important to have those things you love doing scheduled in to your week, be it travel or a movie screening or concert. I just discovered this no-tech-allowed retreat location called Mount Madonna in Santa Cruz. I might go there pretty soon to unwind. 🙂

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