Weeknotes S03 Ep09

The Crush

Depressed charmander

Overarching feeling of the week

Tired. Depleted. Overwhelmed.

This might be exacerbated by a drink on a Monday night which always throws out my routine, and a long day-trip to DEFRA on Wednesday. Oh, and another mid-week migraine. Yay.

On Thursday night as I walked home I started making a mental list of what was making me feel unsettled:

  • General worry about home and whether or not I am being a good parent.
  • A feeling of going from being at the top of my game at work to being at the bottom of it.
  • East London architecture, building works, street art, advertising, visual noise. The crush.
East London architecture.
  • Uncomfortable public transport.
  • Feeling overwhelmed by other people’s intelligence. (Huge admiration coupled with crippling imposter syndrome).
  • Migraines, worrying, mental health.
  • Learned extroversion.
  • Feeling as though I have given away too much of myself (this list is unlikely to help with that, but if I don’t get it out of my head…)

They are vague and general but they are creating a bit of a whirlpool at the moment.

I am trying to keep swimming and pull myself out. I have a feeling that I just need time at home and a break.



On Thursday I had my first session with Nimalan (Nim) as his mentor rather than as his manager.

I’m really pleased that he wanted to keep in touch and I’m really hopeful that I can help him to think about where he wants to go, what he wants to achieve. I’m really looking forward to it.

You can do this.

When you’re feeling a bit “out of sorts” it’s really hard to meet new people. So I’m listing the various coffees I’ve had with people here as achievements: Alex, Steve, Keith, and Peter.

All good people with interesting stories to tell. Topics covered included Julian Barnes novels, “druggy” schools, and what happens when the queen dies.

These weren’t just jollies though, we spoke a lot about what it is like to work at GDS. But it was good and helpful for me to understand and recognise people as people.

Coffee time

Peter also gave me a big long list of other people who I should meet, so I’ll be working on that too…

On Friday afternoon there was a strategy meeting for One Team Gov and even though I really thought that I couldn’t go [1]. I managed to find some energy. I may also have been spurred on by a significant amount of FOMO. Either way, I’m really glad I went because it ended up being one of my week’s highlights.


A drink with Olivia on Monday night was a genuine highlight and a pleasure because I have missed her perspective and sensible take on things.


The aforementioned One Team Gov strategy meeting on Friday was an absolute highlight. It was great to have so many engaged, passionate, caring people in the room.

My energy was low but those people helped bring me up, I had three hugs. DavidBuck, Morgan, and Jenny — I needed them, thank you.

Jenny has written some brilliant thoughts about the session which you can find here:


In particular being in that room really helped me to see everyone and their strengths and skills. I participated where I could and I listened and learned. Then I jumped on a bus, ate a satsuma and longed for my bed.


This whole weeknote feels like a bit of a lesson doesn’t it?

I need to stop, breathe, think for a bit. Eat better, drink more water.


In other news…

Massive shout out to the One Team Gov North team for what looked like an exceptional and brilliant unconference. Biggest props to Debbie who helped to organise, you’re amazing Debbie. Keep doing what you’re doing!

You can read all about it here:


So much inspirational stuff on the web this week, it’s impossible to list it all. These kids continue to speak (or not speak) so powerfully, it’s beautiful to see:

This is a really interesting, brilliant tool for checking your writing:

Louise has shared this great reading list:


Massive props to Cat for speaking out about this and making us all more aware:

If you’ve stayed this long, thank you.

[1] Couldn’t in the sense of, didn’t have the mental energy, not a diary clash issue.

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