Quick Note About BarCamp and Burnout

BarCamp 6 Kick-off
Excited BarCamp attendees during kick-off session. Photo by www.cesarpinera.com.

I’ve been feeling really burnt out and for several weeks, if not months. In fact, it’s been a tough couple of years: job changes, marriage, family crises, health challenges. In other words, Sherri and I are going through a bunch of life crap just like everybody else is.

Lately I’d started questioning why I was spending so much time on my unpaid community work. I spend upwards of 20 hours a week organizing events and running our new non-profit, the Stumptown Syndicate. And I’d been feeling as if no one was noticing our work, no progress was being made and I was just getting more and more worn down.

And then we had a BarCamp. And I was reminded why I do all of it.

Because I get to work with talented, dedicated organizers and volunteers.

Because I get to help facilitate conversations about lock-picking, maps, 3d printing, working in tech, teaching code, writing interactive fiction, building distributed systems, graph theory, letterboxing, fiber arts, applying martial arts philosophy to every day life, and more!

Because attendees care enough to come up to us and say things like:

“Portland BarCamp 2012 is one of the best Barcamp experiences I ever had. Kudos to the Stumptown Syndicate for their amazing production team.”

Because I get to see faces like the ones in the above photo: engaged, alert and happy.

So, thank you again everyone who helped with this year’s BarCamp. Because of your contributions I feel a bit more energized and I know that people are paying attention and do appreciate the work that we do.

I feel privileged to be part of our awesome community.

One comment

  1. Tristan Nitot

    This describes pretty accurately why I keep contributing to Mozilla after all these years (even as paid staff). It’s much more than a job :-)