Death toll

Few weeks ago my cat died, he had some heart disease we didn’t know of. When we found out it was too late.

It took two weeks to see him die. Two weeks going up and down to the vet, trying to guess the problem, never having a solution. Leaving it all night while feeling the emptiness in the house, knowing that he might not come back.

And he didn’t. After one of the many night rushes because of his short breath it was the time. Heartbroken we had to let him go.

While this was happening my wife was pregnant and our baby was expected around march 24th. It was the 27th of February when our cat died.

During pregnancy my was commonly had some moments when she expressed some pain through the “Ahhh” during the days. I was always alert when that happened, when we crossed the “One month till birthday” mark, each of that “Ahh” raised a question in my mind “Is this the time when we’ll have a baby? Or is this a problem?”

Many if not all were neither of those.
Then it came march 7th. Rushed to the hospital because of some pregnancy issue, which led to the baby being born earlier than expected, that same morning.

On March 8th the Hospital was locked down thanks to coronavirus. Each and every time I has some coughing I was thinking if I was a possible issue, same for everyone around me.

Now coronavirus is still a problem, and I realized that the sudden death of my cat and the overall pregnancy condition of my wife (+ corona) led me to have some kind of over worrying. If she shout something along the lines of “Oh my gosh” then I’m suddenly thinking at the worst case scenario. If my baby is too still I think “Is she still breathing?” I touch her because I don’t have any signals.

And this because I didn’t have any signals before, neither during the cat disease nor during the last day of pregnancy. No evidence that something was wrong until it was too late.

All went well (well, not for the cat), but I still am too reactive to these things. It’s like death is still asking me to pay a toll, a toll I didn’t knew existed in first place. A toll that each day reminds me of how fragile we are, how we can disappear in one day, with one rush to the hospital.

And this also reminds me how much we should care for the people we love, how much we should cherish them. Because the past is always sure, while our future might not last as much.

Being a father

Being a father changes everything. It changes how you view the world. Things that before looked uninteresting, like the smile of a child now they’re nuggets of gold.
It changes you because it enables a zen mentality.

As a developer I’m inclined to find and fix bugs, bad behaviors, errors.
But the behavior of a newborn child is not the result of an issue.
If they cry there’s a reason, and even if they cry just to have your attention, you can’t blame them.

They’re not doing it just to make you sleep deprived. So there’s no way you can be angry at them. It’s this. This sort of mentality.
The fact that, whatever you’re gonna miss, you’ll handle that.

If you get less sleep, it’ll be fine. Everything will be fine.
They fine tune your senses, and show that what seemed important before it’s not as important now.

Many kinds of deaths

Years ago, when a friend lost his cat I didn’t understand it. To me it was like losing a used ticket. Not worth it.

Few days ago I lost my first cat. I understood the difference in losing something you don’t care about and something you care about.

We even feel in despair if we lose the keys of our house, how could I even think that there was no possibility that losing a cat you lived with would be a problem?

It’s because we’re narrow minded, we think based on our experiences and what we don’t know we can’t understand. So, growing, is a little bit like dying every time. Because you leave a part of yourself behind, to make space for a new one.

The you before today is different and all those differences are cells, dead in the process, changed into something new: You.

The unexpected you

My wife once said “I became what I hated the most. I own a house, I am married and will have a baby”.

Which is true. She is now becoming a stereotype of what was she thought was a “predefined” life. But is it true?

It’s like indie. You want to stay away from the majors, you want to be different because all that mainstream is labeling you.
Yet you’re indie and the indie music has some vibe you can easily recognize.

It’s not about labels, it’s about growing and having some ideas. Finding out that we might even like that life we hated. That’s what happens.

It might seem stereotypical that it happens to a group of couples together but in fact it’s quite normal because we all age together. We are linked by that kind of aging, the time passes and we all feel like we should have babies. Maybe some of us won’t., but many will and the reason for it is that we grew and found out we wanted to have children, a following, people to build a better world for.

Entrepreneur or employee

Where’s the limit? When it’s your job of employee and when you’re landing onto the entrepreneur’s land, by finding solutions that are more fitted for a different state of mind?

“If your goal is to be the head of an area then…” It’s a common phrase. We’re linked to goals, to remuneration, to advance in role and jobs.

The advance in role is so individual, so personal.
It ends where you stops, it stops when you surrender.

What if we don’t care about it? What if we care about doing a damn good job, doing our best and leaving some guesswork for others?

It’s a fine line that no one can really trace or own, but it’s also what defines us. We might be in the group of the ones that cares about the status, but if we don’t care about it, if we’re more interested in results for the team than for our status, then what we should do?

It’s easy to be trapped by these illusions, by these dreams, but they’re just that: Something that can break easily.
Good work on the other hand is stable and strong.

Who’s on your side

A key element I often find missing during business hours is transparency. We tend to hide information instead of share it, as if hiding will make that information more valuable, as if it can protect us.

What’s happening though is that the missing information goes against us, people will draw different conclusions, maybe even bad ones, thinking that maybe you’re going against them, which might not be the case.

I think transparency is important. Not to the extremes but as a baseline. It adds trust and makes people lead the way, instead of hiding errors or ideas.

A role not needed

When a meeting is filled with too many people there’s a question we should always ask ourselves “What’s everyone’s role?” Because the thing is: If we do have a role, then it should be clear what our contribution is going to look like.

If we don’t it subtly says that we can talk whenever we want, but the whole point of a meeting (if really needed) should be to align everyone on the topics, to move forward.

If we add too many people there’s always the risk that the conversation will take many detours and that’s not what we want. We should fight as much as possible to keep the conversation tidy and clean, small and concise, effective and open.

Pre flight checks

How do you deal with procrastination? One of the best advices I’ve ever came across was this: Schedule something small each day. Small enough that it won’t bother you, big enough that it’ll make a difference.

Start with this and increase the volume when you’re ready. This is a simple recipe but it works each time because doing something small makes it manageable and therefore we’re less likely to avoid or skip it.

Procrastination is often an issue with the complexity of things, or even the plan.

Once we do the plan and laid out some easy pre flight checks, then we’re ready to go.

A present from the past

I always loved presents from the past. When you make a gift to your future self. It’s why many years ago I decided to have my first tattoo. I couldn’t imagine that would also be my last tattoo, but after all its meaning stayed the same.

It’s wonderful when you want to fix a concept in time and remind yourself of that concept later in the future.

To me it was love. A feeling and way of interacting with people that, day by day, I try to remind to myself. But to each their own. Each of us might have a different story a different phrase to remember.

What would you say to your future self? What are the key things you love about yourself now, your views, that you’d like to remind to your future self in the hope that they are almost the same?

Selling connections

There’s a man where I work, it’s one of the most skilled individuals I’ve ever come across. Right now he’s the head of developments of a big company, but I had the chance to meet him long ago, when he was following a small project for another big brand.

How did he get there? Not from one company to another, but he climbed up the roles to get to head of development. He took many years, but he did it.

Today many people ask for his time, people from all over the company want his help.

Why he’s so critical now?
He got connections. He knows how to handle them. He knows how to value people.

A set of connections he built thanks to his technical and human skills, that is his value. That is what’s different.

It’s like when a startup gets bought. They’re not only buying the idea, they’re buying a team capable of communicating, delivering work, finding the right balance between dreams and pragmatism.

Being good at your job is a good start, but to be great you need to understand and explore the surroundings, empower those around you, create a network.

%d bloggers like this: