I travel for work. Do I claim that I do not have a choice? NO. I do this with a belief that I am creating many future possibilities for my ‘career growth’ . I really do. I travel not with vengeance or anger. Not with the intention to prove a purpose. I travel with the belief that this window of opportunity lined up due to constraints and restrictions that overlap with other constraints for others. When constraints overlap in real life they merge. A constraint for one person is the perfect opportunity for another.
I do not even want to elaborate on the lessons I am learning as a single mother in balancing career (including carving time for learning, budgeting, picking up new skills, being in touch with the professional community) and returning to family life during the weekend (time with my children, time with friends, time for myself, and recognizing that I need to be the mom-dad role to children even when they are young adults!)
In this scarce space for time, I still decide to facilitate the Agile meetup at Geekdom in San Antonio during Saturday afternoons frequently. Saturday is not a good day for a professional gathering. Especially during the middle of the day. But that is the only time I have.
Not being in San Antonio during weekday evenings to schedule sessions and meet a larger population is my first constraint
Scheduling the session on a Saturday afternoon is the second constraint
And now that downtown free parking spaces are dwindling and folks pays $10 and above is a bigger third constraint
In addition, people who show up must be beating similar constraints of time, cost, priorities etc.
Given the constraints for everyone who shows up I am sure you can recognize my sense of responsibility , commitment and a strong desire to ensure that who ever shows up leaves with some value addition. That is my promise to them. Sort of an MVP for them.
During the end of 2014, in a particular session, there was just one attendee and I. It was one of the best sessions of 2014. I recognized the joy and satisfaction he derived from discussing risks, prioritization, negotiation and communication that happens with his team. That day I was a great listener. Clearing questions about agile and agile transformation was most rewarding. Helping him identify opportunities to enable conversations was most joyful.
And then another opportunity came by this afternoon…. After finding a very small window of opportunity in their day filled with many obligations and time constraints… when two people showed up, our conversations were powerful yet gentle and full of kindness.. I felt the power of constraints. And then I also recognized the super power of people who create windows of opportunities in these constraints and navigate them. It seemed like we 3 created the perfect opportunity merge and overlap our constraints to create a perfect learning opportunity for each one of us.
I have begun to love and cherish constraints. They unleash something new in me. Something different. Something very creative and positive.