Whenever you’re ready

Had lunch with my neighbour, yesterday. She’s an active, lively, well settled woman in her mid-40s (I guess) who recently got into Yoga. Now she keeps saying that I shall try Yoga. She promises that Yoga is not difficult and would change my life for the better. Quite to my own fascination, she has no ear for what I do for a living as a private teacher of Somatic Education, what my path to become such a person was, or what the pioneers of Somatic Education were.

Furthermore, I doubt that she’d ever picked up a book on the history of eastern-styled wellness practices, say for example, “Yoga Body: The Origins of Modern Posture Practice,” by Mark Singleton, or “Traditional Chinese Medicine: Heritage and Adaption,” by Paul U. Unschuld. I just think that she loved the experiences she made at the high-end Yoga retreat she participated in, and that the teacher there made a big impression on her.

However, she also told me about her son, who’s in his mid-20s (I guess), and that she put him into an educational program of 6 months, a school for “coding.” This company takes 10 students per class, is starting a new class every month, and promises a job as software engineer upon graduation.

I had to laugh when she said I ought to go back into “coding” myself, as she recalled that I used to be a software engineer. I mean, good thinking, because it would for the least provide me with a social environment and social contacts, which I lack dearly at the moment. “You could do part time,” said she.

So I started to tell her about the profession of software engineering, and how it is different for young people in their mid-20ties, and experienced professionals (like me) who grew to be 50 soon. I told her how young engineers burn, and how older ones move into management, and why. I told her about different types of software, and about engineering problems, about the gravity of design decisions in planing and design (with the example of building a house, and compared that to software), about knowing the law, about communicating with experts from many different professions, about the existence of financial aspects to software engineering projects, the importance of good communication with the client, and … the actual carpentering, which she calls “coding”. I told her about different types of jobs in the world of IT, and job experience in general—as she herself seemed to never have been burdened with working in a job. I told her about career paths and what is most fascinating about the most prominent parts in the life cycle of a software engineer.

I don’t know; I think she hit a nerve in me. But somebody had to say something. I usually don’t talk about these things. But she was so naive about working and software engineering in particular (which she simply referred to as “coding”) that it was me to say something. She absolutely loved it. I could see her eyes light up as her understanding expanded. In the end her suggestions changed from “You should try coding again,” to “You should be at that school so people can learn from you.”

Now I wonder if I’ll ever get a chance to explain to her the difference between Yoga and my work as a private teacher of Somatic Education.