This post is one I had intended to make a while ago, but which has been pushed to the forefront for me very recently. The concept is simple: slow down. There really are only a very few tasks at a Magic event that require you to be “rushing.” Now, I am always an advocate of hustling and making sure you get tasks done in as timely a manner as possible, don’t get me wrong. Knowing when you have the option to slow down, and when you really should exercise that option, is another skill.
Say you are bringing an appeal to the HJ at a smallish event. Getting the information to the HJ is crucial, and you don’t want to waste time or words while conveying that information. You don’t need to be hectic and rushed in doing so, however, as that will actually likely slow you down, and also affects how the story is being told. Calmly and efficiently pass along the relevant information, then bring the HJ to the table in question.
Another time where it is important to not rush or appear floundering is during HJ announcements. You want to be a pillar of calm and solidarity to your events, not the reason people start getting nervous. Practicing what you want to say beforehand is a great way to deliver your message with calm and confidence.
In other aspects of judging as well, it’s important to know when you need to simply take a breather. If you have pushed yourself too hard in the early rounds of a GP, you’ll be less useful later in the day or even the weekend. Knowing when and how to pace yourself is crucial. Take that 5-minute break when you need it. Can’t get off the floor? Take a few minutes to sit and actively watch a match. Your TL and HJ will appreciate it when you have the stamina to continue working as needed afterwards.
So, I alluded to the fact that slowing down has been pushed to my attention more lately. This past week I suffered a (partially) stress-induced heart attack. I don’t share this news for sympathy, but rather to emphasize the point that sometimes we need to take our own advice, and also sometimes take life lessons to heart, and not leave them only to apply to specific areas of our lives. I have thought a lot lately about how my commitments are structured, and what my priorities need to be. I’m not quitting blogging, or judging, or anything like that, as I do truly love this hobby. I am, however, going to do my best to be less regimented about my schedules and loosen up on some of my commitments. As you may have noticed, I’ve dropped off weekly posts. I intend to keep blogging, but more as my desire to write about a topic strikes, rather than trying to force a weekly topic. This should keep my quality high, while also allowing me some breathing room.
All of this is really to say, take care of yourselves, and take the time you need. Until next week… or the week after… be well everyone.