On Leave

There are grubby handprints all over the lower-half of our Sony TV.

Sunday morning: Kit is having his morning nap, James is meditating, I’m having some quiet blog time, the dog is asleep in the sun.

I think, still, one of the most important things that I can do for my brain is to leave my phone on Airplane Mode in the morning. Something happens when you get all your notifications and app badges displaying new content… your brain is no longer on the big/wide picture, your brain just goes to specifics. This-person-did-this. This-scientific-breakthrough. Need-to-reply-to-that.

In my quiet morning time, I’m trying to maintain daily journalling too. It encourages that big/wide picture. I wonder how many men, compared to women, do daily writing?

Random thoughts.

* I had to close down Girls Club xo, because I needed help running it and couldn’t find a solution. I tried a few different ways to ask for help and recruit co-leaders, but none of it worked out, unfortunately. We had a great run – two years of monthly workshops, lots of fabulous friendships made, and I’m really proud of GCXO and the whole experience.

* I’d like to find some more blogs to read, but I’ve trawled through Bloglovin’ and Googled things like “melbourne blogs” and haven’t stumbled upon anything good yet.

* I wanted to do another Coursera course, because I found the Think Again: How to Reason and Argue one interesting – and the brain workout felt good. I ended up choosing Interaction Design, which has 7 courses (subjects) and then a “capstone project” where you have to combine all of the skills learned in one final project.  The first course is “An Introduction to Human-Centered Design,” which is stuff that I know already, so it’s easy, but I’m still enjoying it. This week, I had to peer-review user research interviews done by three other students – one was Brazilian, one English, one Australian! Pretty cool.

UX has become really hot since I went on leave a year ago. General Assembly is doing a UX course in Melbourne, and more people are getting trained in it (or just coming at it from other angles). I could see it needed to get hot – companies were clamouring for UXers all over the place – but I couldn’t see how the supply/demand thing was going to sort itself out. La voilà, it has! There are quadruple the number of UX-related Meetup groups, and quadruple the number of people in those groups. UX Melbourne, one of the original groups, now has over 1,000 members! I remember when there was only UX Book Club (which ended up becoming UX Melbourne), and I’d go along and mayyyyyybe 5-10 people would show up.

I’m particularly happy to see two groups supporting women in UX: XX+UX (cute name!) and LadiesThatUXMel. After being on a kinda holiday for the past year, I’m going to a couple of meetups soon, which might be weird.

* I’m also doing a book class at the local community centre. Yes, it sounds supremely dorky, and it is! I had no idea what to expect, but there are about 10 retired women in the class with me, and they’ve all taken the class before – it’s become a weekly activity for them. They all know each other. We’re studying Pygmalion and random short stories and poems. It’s always nice being forced to study literature; dog knows I wouldn’t do it on my own.

* Most of the new mums that I know have gone back to work. Two mums are full-time, the rest are part-time. I wouldn’t want to go full-time (very tiring, plus all of the diseases from child care!, plus it is often super fun being around a wee kid) but I like the idea of part-time. I’m envious of these mums who have a job that they love… they’re really happy back at work. I hope to find a job like that one day.

Kit is awake. Time for lunch and then we’re going to a wave pool!

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