Almost three weeks ago, I had a party to celebrate the publication of my book. In lots of respects this was a counter-intuitive thing for me to do – it involved being the centre of attention, speaking in public, celebrating an achievement, and lots of people from different walks of life in one place …
… and for every one of those self-same reasons, it proved to be one of the loveliest and most enriching evenings I’ve had in a very long time. There was deep and rich learning – it feels good to have been able to deliver 20 minutes of content, without notes, and with conviction. Another string to my bow. There was a chance to demonstrate my enormous gratitude to the many people who have inspired and supported the book, through quick conversations (none of them long enough!), a touch on the shoulder, good tunes, and nice wine. And there was a chance to exemplify, in the room, what I’m always aspiring to in my work and my writing: namely, no hiding – my whole self and people who can bear witness to every aspect of that self, showed up.
Immediately after the launch, I flew to the US for a whirlwind meet-and-greet tour as part of my still-new role with Arup. It was wonderful, utterly exhausting, and meant that I didn’t have a minute to think about the book at all.
After that, I finished my time in the US with a family road trip down the Pacific Coast Highway, and a few days in San Francisco with one of my dearest friends in the world and her family.
It’s been a big month, and one full of learning about some of the Important Things – being wholehearted and entirely absorbed in the moment, remembering to celebrate, about remembering to pause and rest.