It is 6:45 and I am on a high-speed train pulling out of Roma Termini. We have just passed the strange tall chimney with its spiral staircase wrapping around outside, though I can barely see it. The train’s final destination is Bolzano but if all goes well I will transfer in Verona and then again in Munich and I will end up in Nürnberg at about 19:00.
This, for me, is self care, though I don’t call it that. I call it having fun.
Perhaps I am very privileged, or lucky, or both, but I seldom think of the things I do as self-care. I’ve reached a stage in life where almost everything I do takes care of me. I work as much as I want to, nap when I choose, ride a bicycle, bake bread and cook, walk, potter about on the terrace, do a crossword puzzle, visit museums, each of which might, before, have been considered self care. Each of those still gives me a sense of purpose and of mastery, even napping. When I was working more than I wanted, they did the same and that, really, is all I require to take care of myself.
Of course there are treats I afford myself. A monthly pedicure is one of those, for which I would gladly give up my daily cappucino; isn’t that how one measures treats? I could also argue that a pedicure is pretty essential, as I don’t enjoy cutting my own nails and I certainly don’t want them curling under my toes as time goes by. But I know it is self-care.
And then there are trips like these, once or twice a year, when I can take long train rides, usually to a meeting that attracts me and where I hope to learn things. Last time it was to Budapest, for agricultural biodiversity. This time it is to Nürnberg for border:none and IndieWebCamp. I have no expectations of border:none. I know the talks will be absorbing and I will meet interesting people, but whether I will be able to put anything I hear to work for myself, I have no idea.
IWC offers the chance to meet old friends in real life and to work on something for my own internet presence knowing that smarter people than I will be around to help. I’ve been dithering about what to work on. One thought is to polish the little thing I started that produces a snpshot of my travels on a chosen day. Could I create a month of snapshots programatically? Another is to fix Known so that it once again can display a map for a location check-in. That would be more widely useful, though selfishly the most practical thing to do would be to fix Known’s data export. I would also like to learn more about how to use remote servers, including the Raspberry Pi sitting at home, to do things for me. I’m by no means a digital nomad, and it is a bit late to start now, but on this kind of trip I do dream of what might have been.
The sky is brightening now, and I can see the lights of the drivers going the other way, and maybe I’ll even succeed in posting this from the train. I hope they take care of themselves.