It’s hot. I’m tired. I’m going back to bed.

Namibia Desert
It feels like I’m slogging through a desert, sometimes. But there’s an oasis in the distance… I think.

It’s a beautiful day. And it’s hot.

I have been getting about 7.5 hours of sleep a night, for the past several days. I’m behind. I didn’t get my nap yesterday, so today it’s time to try again.

I love weekends like this – when I get all my chores done early Saturday, then I have 24 hours to chill. This afternoon, later, I’ll take care of my last few things.

And then supper.

Then bed.

Then back to it.

I’m really proud of myself. I’ve earned a rest. Yesterday, I did something stupid when I was copying files to and from my computer. I got a prompt asking me if I wanted to do something as an “administrator”, and before I stopped to think, I clicked “OK”. And my computer slowed to a grind. I have NO idea what I did, or how it affected my computer, but I thought I was going to have to take it in to get serviced.

And I have no money to get this laptop serviced. I don’t even know a good place to go. I was pretty panicked for most of the day, yesterday, because this is my new, good computer, and I can’t afford to mess it up.

So, I searched around online a little bit, and I found some basic instructions for some things I could do. Run a diagnostic program. Stop some of the processes that start when I turn it on. Defrag. Check the disk. Make sure it doesn’t have too many things running behind the scenes, to slow things down.

I experimented with some things, and I removed a handful of old programs that were just taking up space. Now it’s running much faster. But I’m pretty wiped out from the anxiety and panic and feeling like an idiot.

Now I get to relax. And take a nap.  I feel like I’ve been slogging across the Namibian Desert, in search of an oasis. I’ve also been concerned about work, and I did some research on jobs that might work for me. I found some, but the money’s not as great as I want. I may have to go back to taking the train to a nearby city, if I’m going to earn at the level I want. That could work. It would give me time at the start and end of the day to chill. Read. Blog.

I’ve got some work ideas to “sleep on”. I’m giving a lot of thought to what I want my next job to be. I can’t make the same mistakes I’ve made before, where I described what I’ve always done, rather than what I’ve always wanted to do. I have a lot of good experience, but I tend to not use my imagination in moving to the “next level”.

I hope to change that, this time around.

And I can.

I’m not being rushed, not being pushed, I’ve got some breathing room. And I’m coming up on my one-year anniversary, which means I can then safely make a move without it looking suspect.

I don’t want to be over-cautious, but I don’t want to be stupid about things, either.

So, onward…

Woke up in a panic at 2 a.m. – then I remembered, I’m going to be fine.

vultures-overhead-modI woke up this morning in a cold sweat around 2 a.m. I was starting to panic about the prospect of looking for a new job. I’ve done this so often… and I was hoping with all my might that this job I have now would be the very last job I’d ever have to look for — because the employer was supposedly so stable and dependable.

Then, three months in, they announced that they’d be merging with someone else. And becoming bigger, “leaner” and supposedly better.

It doesn’t feel hopeful to me. It feels like vultures are circling overhead. Waiting to see who will get picked off. It’s already been happening.

And it’s a problem. Not just because it’s sucking all motivation and joy out of the work I love to do, but also because it makes everything I do there feel like a waste, rather than an investment. I feel like no matter what I do, it’s not going to matter, in the grand scheme of things. And all the effort I put into it is going to waste.

That’s not something I can afford to do, at this point in my life. I need to stay current and sharp. I also need a team to work with.

One thing that this job has taught me, is that I really do thrive in teams. I never used to be that way, until I started my TBI rehab in 2008. Before that, I was always a loner, always on the outside, never really able to connect with others, because of my communication problems — slow processing speed and poor short-term working memory. It’s really hard to work effectively with others, when you constantly forget what people are saying, and you also are so wiped out at the end of each day, that the cumulative fatigue just kills whatever spark you have, by the time Thursday rolls around.

I’ve been muddling along, with maybe 2-3 good days per week, for years. Small wonder, I never felt up to the challenge of working with others.

But since I’ve done my mild TBI rehab, I now have ways to augment my limitations and work around them. I  now have ways to compensate, improve, and also avoid situations that wreck me.

And as it turns out, I work really well with teams. I’m a great team leader. I’m a great project manager. And I absolutely thrive in the company of geeks and nerds and people who the rest of the world thinks are odd.

This job that I have now would have been perfect for me, 10 years ago, when all I wanted to do was find a corner to work in and not have anything to do with anyone else. Just do my work in isolation, not worried by communication disconnects, not concerned with memory issues, because I was off by myself.

Now, though, I realize that I really do need to work with an established team. I need other like-minded people to interact with on a regular basis. And I need to be in charge of leading people towards a common goal. Hands-on, in the trenches, together with other joyously iconoclastic oddballs, like myself.

So, this job has been a great lesson, in so many ways.

Figuring out what you don’t want to do is the first step to figuring out what you do want to do. And now I’ve got that first part figured out.

Onward.

Oh. What. A. Relief.

relaxed-catI’m feeling really relaxed, tonight.

I’ve figured out what I want to do about my job.

I don’t want to stay on, for the long term. I don’t want to be part of a huge company. I don’t want to “help take the company to the next level” and “make history” or whatever else they think they’re doing.

They’re starting to ramp up for the new integrated entity, and it’s making me feel ill.

I don’t want to be at group photo shoots, designed to get different divisions on film, so we can all be photoshopped together. I don’t want to send out greetings to my counterparts across the globe. The whole thing feels juvenile and demeaning, like we’re supposed to work up all this enthusiasm for something that is completely, entirely out of our control.

I don’t want to be part of it.

So, I’m updating my resume and reaching out to recruiters who contacted me, months ago. I’m reaching out to former co-workers to see if they know of any opportunities.

I don’t have to rush. I can take my time.

It’s enough that I know I need to get out of there. And at the end of July, I’ll have been there a year, so it won’t look terrible on my record.

What’s next?

What’s next?

I’m starting to feel some hope.

Off to a great start this morning

I didn’t get quite as much sleep as I wanted, last night. After dinner, my spouse and I ended up watching a documentary about people who left a cult, and it was so fascinating, I couldn’t look away.

Kind of like a train wreck. But the film was really well-made and engaging, so it wasn’t all bad.

Anyway, I woke up around 6:30, which means I got 7 hours of sleep, and I rode the exercise bike for half an hour or so. I read a couple of little ebooks and listened to music and also lifted light weights while I was riding. I have a couple of wrist weights that slip over the handle bars of my exercise bike, that I can use to work out my arms.

I have a pretty exciting weekend ahead – with lots of lounging about, going for hikes, and resting — and no, I’m not being facetious. I really am looking forward to being able to just get off the leash and kick back. Unwind. Not worry about much of anything. Work on some of my projects. Finish some things that I haven’t been able to finish… and spend time just hanging out with myself without any pressure or requirements, other than what I want to do.

Pure magic.

It’s funny… I was having a conversation with a co-worker yesterday afternoon. We’re both contractors at the company where we’re working, and we both feel a huge amount of pressure to constantly perform at our highest. They said, “I feel like I’ve been on a 2-year-long job interview,” and it’s the truth. There is such a cultural divide between the permanent full-timers and the contractors, it’s wild. And we are under constant pressure to perform, because we’re so marginalized.

One of the projects I’m working on this weekend, is putting together a portfolio of projects I’ve brought to life at this company. I really have done some amazing work, which nobody could figure out how to do. There were some projects that had gotten started, and then just died on the vine, because nobody followed through. But I stepped in and got it done. I’m not getting egotistical. I’m just saying…

And it’s happened a number of times.

Anyway, I need to collect the evidence of that, add a description of the situation, the hurdles, the challenges, and what the eventual outcome was. Some of the things are amazingly cool. Others are interesting only to the 15 people on the planet who care about the inner workings of obscure technologies. But they all show results, and that’s what I have to lead with.

I think, if anything, this is going to put things in better perspective for me. At least show me that I have something to show for all my work. Because in this company, everybody seems to have amnesia — except for when you screw up.

Folks remember that stuff forever.

And I need to send out my resume to folks I promised it to.

I need to have a standard response for all these recruiters who contact me. Kind of like a form to return to them that tells them what I’m looking for, when I’m looking, and how best to contact me. I’ll attach two versions of my resume – 1 full-length, 1 condensed – along with my portfolio of “solutions”, and have it saved to an email.

Then I can just reply back to all the recruiters who contact me and send this packet along. And I won’t have to think about it each time. Practically automate it. Or maybe I will set up another email address that has an “autoresponder” on it, that automatically delivers my package for me. And I can tell all the recruiters to go there, instead of contacting me at my main email.

Yes! That’s what I’ll do. That will make things a whole lot easier, so I don’t have to manually send out a new resume all the time. What a pain in the a$$ that is. And I need to update my resume on all the job boards to use that new email. It will simplify things considerably, I believe… save me from having to go back to my home computer after a long day at the office.

Sometimes, the last thing I want to do, is network after a long day. Or a long week. Or whenever.

….

Okay, I got that set up, and now I don’t have to worry about “stuff”. And I don’t have to get into digging up past copies of my resume, every time someone reaches out to me. That’s such a pain in the neck.

Anyway, yes, my day has gotten off to a good start. And now it’s time to wash up my breakfast dishes and go for a walk in the woods.

100 Days and Counting

And the count begins

The reality of my situation is starting to sink in. There is a very good chance that I will be out of this job by mid-June. It occurred to me last night, when I was thinking about the money I just spent on a replacement van — what kind of money I’m going to be making over the next few months, how many hours I’ll be working, etc. It occurred to me that I need to not bank on this job being around, six… no, three… months from now.

Oh, we got a really good van, by the way, for about $2,000 less than book price, because it doesn’t have all the power “bells and whistles” that people come to expect, and it’s been sitting on the lot since September. I really feel like I got lucky, finding that van. It’s smaller than the one we had before, so it’s easier for my spouse to drive. Plus, it’s a 2005 with under 100,000 miles (I know – where did I find that?) and it only had one accident reported on the carfax. Pretty amazing. I managed to cobble together the money to pay for it in full up front, and we even have a couple thousand dollars left to live on.  It’s not much of a safety net — 1/6 of what we had 24 hours ago, and if anything catastrophic happens, we’re pretty much screwed — but I get paid on Thursdays, so there will be money coming in from this contract for at least a little while.

Yep, we got lucky.

And now my luck continues, actually, because I might be out of this job in another 3 months, after my major projects are delivered, and the company switches over to a new technical infrastructure. What makes me think so?

  1. Nobody has added any projects to my docket after my two big projects launch at the end of May/beginning of June,
  2. My boss has been spending an awful lot of time at corporate HQ and has stopped going out of their way to be super nice to me,
  3. My boss’s boss has been dismissive towards me and cancelled the 1-to-1 meeting they scheduled with me when they first came on the job, and
  4. Nobody on the “new technology infrastructure” team is making eye contact with me.

That’s what my keen observational powers are detecting, anyway.

To be honest, it’s a relief to think I’ll be out of there. I’ve really been disliking the work environment, with all the political changes going on, the rumors, the gossip, etc — and the company switching over to an “open” workspace configuration. God, that sucks. Talk about fresh hell. The wild thing is, for all the technical environments I’ve worked with, and all the teams I’ve been part of, this extended team is the one I like the least. They’re okay as people, but they’re not the most inspiring.They’re more interested in feathering their nests and keeping up appearances, than kickin’ it in the technical sense.

And I just don’t relate to that.

But in another few months, it’s probably going to fall into the category of “not my problem“, which will be wonderful.

I’m sure there will be other problems at my next job, but this team and the dynamics will not be one of them.

So, I’m getting proactive and gussying up my resume, updating it on job sites, and also updating my other online profiles. I’ve reached out to folks I used to work with, to see if they can keep an ear open for me. I also have talked to recruiters and put them on notice for June timeframe. Even if I don’t get shown the door, I’m probably going to shift out of there, once my big projects are done. I have no enduring loyalty to this company. I don’t actually like the products they make. I just like the paycheck and the commute. Other than that, I’m fine without them in my life.

It’s funny… I’ve had this nagging suspicion in the back of my head for some time, that the 2-3 year contract they set up was not going to be fulfilled on their end. They’re letting other contractors go, and with a “last in, first out” approach, that puts my head on the chopping block next, because I’m the most junior contractor left.

Now that it feels more definite, I feel like things are freeing up for me.

Ideally, they’ll just tell me what the deal is ahead of time, so I can get a running start. I’m already talking to recruiters… And I’m not waiting for them to come clean, because they generally don’t — and probably can’t. If I hold my breath, waiting for them to do things the right way, I’ll probably suffocate.

So, it’s onward and upward.

100 days to go (max) — then I’m free to go. 🙂

Gotta get moving again

Ouch. The past short week with all the long hours — 5 a.m. till 7 p.m., most days — has been kicking the crap out of me, and I woke up this morning feeling like I’ve been beaten with a stick. It’s all those old sports injuries from my past, including a very sedentary lifestyle in my present. I do manage to get up and move, throughout the course of the day, but lately I’ve had to do work that has me sitting for long periods of time, just hunched over the keyboard, and that just plain sucks.

So, I’ve got to do something about it. I have been going to physical therapy to help with my neck and shoulder, which I injured a few months back and has not quite healed yet. I’ve learning some exercises to do, and I have a printout to follow. Now, I just need to put it where I can find it and remember it. I got it a couple of weeks ago, but it ended up on a pile underneath some other papers — out of sight, out of mind. No matter now often I tried to remember to dig it out and consult it, I kept forgetting.

That being said, I just retrieved it from my pile and it’s sitting here on the desk next to me. That’s an improvement already.

I also did some exercises this morning while I was making my breakfast — not the usual exercises 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10 and repeat… that gets boring — but just moving around, loosening up, getting my bones cracking and my blood pumping. I get a little too staid with my exercises, first thing in the morning, and they don’t feel that great, so I back off. And then I end up doing nothing… Unless I’m doing chores around the house and yard, in which case I’m moving a lot, lifting and pushing and pulling and really testing myself.

Feast or famine. And then I end up with a lot of pain and stiffness and I get sedentary… and I end up like I am now — stiff and sore and one bit instance of ouch.

Ah, well. So it goes. At least I know I’m alive, right?

I’ve heard a lot of friends say that this is the year they get their act together, health-wise, and I’m in the same boat. I feel like the last few years were just all about survival — hunkering down and keeping a low profile and just soldiering through. Just staving off disaster, nothing more, nothing less.

This year, it feels like things are loosening up, all the upheaval in Ukraine and Venezuela notwithstanding. All kinds of crap is breaking loose all over the place, but in my little corner of the world, things are actually normalizing. Granted, I have come to detest my job all over again, and I can’t even begin to say how crazy it makes me to work with people who are arrogant, entitled, and utterly incompetent because their bosses have been letting them slide, lo these many years. It’s truly pathetic. There is a cost for coddling slackers. And I’m sick of paying someone else’s bills.

On the bright side, this motivates me all the more to step up and actively manage my own career and make some inroads where I can. I’m just going to keep steady with my own work and my own path, and let everyone else figure it out. Seriously, it’s not my job to win the hearts and minds of everyone around me. They can manage their own damn’ selves. I’ve got work to do, and I’m going to do it.

Now that I’m looking at my printout of exercises, it’s coming back to me… my physical therapist showed me some good stretches to do, and some of these I can do at my desk, as well as in the car while I’m driving. Or I can just step away from my desk for 10 minutes, every couple of hours, and do them. It actually wakes me up a bit, to stretch, and it frees up the blood flow and energy — gets everything “talking to each other” much better. So, it should help me in the course of my daily work.

Despite my bitching, the simple fact remains that people who can do difficult work get paid the big bucks. Those who can take on impossible challenges and deliver, are the ones who are most valued in a large company, and rather than dreading and avoiding challenges like the ones I face each day, I should be welcoming them as a chance to grow and improve. There are a number of things I really dislike about this job — the workforce, the arrogance of management, the overwork and underpay, as well as the travel which destroys my quality of life. But if I can work around those things and focus on the parts of it that I want to really emphasize, then I can make this work for myself.

Having to soldier through all the muck and weeds is incredibly taxing, but that’s just part of living and working. I need to just suck it up and get moving, make the most of the situation where I find myself, and really focus on the gratitude for what I do have.

And take care of my health. I’m going to see my doctor today about my headaches. I suspect they’re just tension headaches, but it could be something else. And they come on when I exercise — I can start out feeling pretty decent (headache at a 2/10). Then I’ll start to exercise, and when my heart rate goes up, my headache kicks in harder — going up to a 6 or a 7 out of 10. It makes it a little difficult to get excited about exercising. I thought it would just go away over time, but it hasn’t. And so I need to check with my doctor.

This coming June, it will be four years since I started at this company. It has been a wild ride. I’m not sure how much longer I should stay, actually. And later this year, when I have revised my resume and goals and objectives, and I am more clear about the new direction I want to go in, I can start looking. Right now, it makes no sense for me to move. I just need to stay focused on what I am doing and stay true to myself.

And not let others hold me down or cloud my judgment. I’m surrounded by people whose judgment doesn’t seem to be that sound. I can’t let that affect me and blur my own vision.

So, yeah. Onward.

 

 

Seven hours and a splitting headache

So, I got seven hours of sleep last night — two hours more than I’ve been getting, for the past several days. I would expect to feel better, but I woke up with a splitting headache. It’s probably a change in barometric pressure, which tends to bother me. The weather is turning stormy over the next few days, so headaches are part of this season for me.

Not to worry, though. It doesn’t stop me from doing things. It’s just an annoyance. I’ve had headaches for so long, I often don’t even notice them, unless they’re affecting my vision or making me sick to my stomach. But even those, I can work through. I can’t worry about it. I just have to keep going, regardless, and get where I’m going.

I’m starting to loosen up a bit — knowing that I can now move on to another job, and that I’ve got some good skills to trade on, as well as connections with a number of good recruiters, I feel a lot more relaxed. Also, some of my business ideas are coming to fruition, and that’s very exciting. I feel like I’ve been stagnant for so long… just biding my time, hassling through all that crazy work overload with my current employer, never quite able to stem the tide of Things That Need To Be Done… never getting a break, even when we do reach the finish line… That constant level of stress and busy-ness for its own sake… it’s really taken a toll, and I’m now really seeing that clearly.

But it’s all going to change. That’s for sure. I’m getting my ducks in a row, putting my house in order. I moved a bunch of books off my bookshelf last night before going to bed, to make room for other things that are tucked away. I’m mapping out the path I want to head down, and I’m figuring out the steps I am going to take to get there. It’s very clear to me, what I need to do. And as I actually do it, even more becomes clear. It’s really good, this whole process. And it’s bringing me back to life.

Stagnation is the worst. When I get stuck in a rut with work and activities and the same routine, day in and day out, it makes me crazy. To some extent, I need to stick to a basic framework for my life — the essentials I can put on autopilot, like getting up and washing my face in cold water, brushing my teeth, and then making my breakfast of a cup of coffee and a fried egg. I also exercise a bit — stretching or lifting — and I think about my day. Having a loose framework for my daily routine is good. I just can’t have it get too rigid, or I start to lose interest.

It’s a fine line between automating my life so that I don’t have to think about every little detail, and getting stuck in a rut. Routine is so important for folks with TBI, but it doesn’t come without its “occupational hazards”. If we’re not staying engaged and interested in our lives, it can really hold us back. So, we need to find something within the framework of that routine that really invigorates us.The whole point of having a routine, is so you can devote more energy to the complex things, not just the simple everyday stuff. So, you need to fill in the gaps with things that bring you satisfaction and happiness.

My life, of course, is often invigorated by some unexpected and complex event or another. Things never stay the same with me for long. There is usually something not going according to plan… some unexpected turn of events… or something falling through the cracks. Or there is a pleasant surprise or a change of direction that I didn’t anticipate (not always bad). When I have my routine in place and it’s balanced and healthy, I can roll with those changes. When my routine is just a rut that isn’t bringing me anything interesting, and I’m bored out of my skull, just slogging away at the grind, it makes it harder — and it often feels impossible. Even worse, is when I’m feeling like I’m not in control of my own life, and I’m being victimized by the changes around me — like the job changes of the past several years.

The thing that makes routine less invigorating is getting enough rest. When I am not rested, and I am just pushing through without any mindful engagement in my life, everything feels like a chore, and it’s a total drain.  When I’m not rested, even the best things in life don’t interest me, and I take everything for granted. When I am rested, though, I can really get actively involved with my life, and I feel like I’m really making progress.

That’s kind of where I am today. I’m feeling pretty strong, despite my sleep deficit. It’s Friday, and I have a bunch of exciting things ahead of me for the next few days. I’m organizing myself and re-setting my direction, and it feels absolutely awesome. It’s like I’m free again. I’m still in that terrible job, and I still have a ton of boring-ass crap I have to do, and nothing is certain, but things are loosening up. I can feel them. Positive change is coming, and I’m ready for what comes. My head is hurting less, now, but either way I feel like this is going to be a pretty great day.

So, yeah – onward.

Pacing is everything

Better plug in soon
Better plug in soon

Okay, so I’ve got the majority of the hell-work out of the way for my day-job, and I’m itching to get back to the other projects I’ve had going on the side. Up until about three weeks ago, I was able to juggle everything pretty well, coordinating my schedule so that I could do a whole lot in relatively little time.

Then things got insane with the day-job and I had to drop a lot of other things I was working on. Not fun. It was pretty much non-stop focus on those two massive deadlines I was balancing. I got it done as much as humanly possible, and the most important things were completed on time. Unfortunately, there were numerous links in the chain that broke, for one reason or another, so it wasn’t a seamless, uninterrupted process, and I’ve been wrangling with leftover issues for the past several days.

But the bottom line is, I made the deadline, and life is good. Pretty much.

Now I’m eager to get back to what I was doing before, but I’ve got to check myself. I’m pretty well exhausted by everything that went on, and I’m just not myself these days. I’ve been running on adrenaline for weeks — and I’m still pretty amped-up, since little things still keep breaking — so I’m in no shape to get back to doing the things I was doing before, all at top speed.

I need time to rest, relax, and recharge my batteries. If I had a battery indicator on me, it would be flashing red, with a little tiny stripe of power left at the bottom. I’ve still got some juice, but I need to do some serious recovery, before I get back into things.

And that’s hard. Because the other things I’m working on, really bring me a lot of satisfaction and happiness. And they are time-sensitive, too, so I really need to keep on track. But seriously, if I dive back into everything right away, it could get really ugly really quick. And there is too much riding on the other things, for me to just rush it.

So, here are my priorities:

  1. Rest and relax and rejuvenate and recharge. Recover. Not later. Right away.
  2. Do an assessment, while I am on vacation next week, of what I’ve accomplished and where I am going, and what I need to get done, so I am clear, moving forward.
  3. Get back to my routine and my regular schedule that lets me do a lot in relatively little time. That includes regular exercise and good nutrition.
  4. Focus on updating my resume and cover letter, and reach out to headhunters and recruiters with my most current information.
  5. Take care of everything that needs to be taken care of in my current job, tie up the loose ends, and get ready to go.
  6. Take good care of myself, so that when I am presented with more opportunities, I am in decent shape to respond positively.

That should do it for the short term. I really need to get myself on good footing, before I head off into the sunset. There’s no point in me starting on a bad note, and if I push too hard too soon, that’s what can happen.

Looking for a new job can be extremely challenging and anxiety-producing. So can starting a new business. I need to be the strongest I can be, to make the most of the opportunities.

And now, off to start the rest of my day.

Onward.

Getting back to my own life again – what’s next?

Ah, that’s better. The two projects that I finalized on Monday have had some ongoing issues, which has kept me up late for days on end, and the problems seem to just keep rolling in. At times, it seems like everything is broken and there is no relief — then I remember… everything is not broken, and I can go back to my regular schedule and become a real person again.

I’ve started back with my job search, communicating with some headhunters and thinking about how to better position my resume. I got a tip on an excellent opportunity on Friday, but I was so busy with these deadlines, I missed the window of opportunity to submit my resume. Drat! It would have been an amazing opportunity that would have given me great skills. It was exactly what I was looking for, too — in the right area, the right industry, doing the right kind of work.

Oh, well. At least I got the projects done.

Sort of. Things keep breaking through no fault of ours — the technical system itself is rickety and so customized that it’s a wonder it works at all. In a few months, this will not be my problem, however. There will be other problems, I’m sure, but this will not be one of them.

So, it feels good to be able to get up at a reasonable hour when I just wake up (instead of having the alarm wake me), do my exercises, have my breakfast, check my email, shower, and go into work after rush hour. The other “regular” way of doing things — which is the standard way for everyone else who is on the same schedule — is a killer for me. I don’t mind staying later at the office, if it keeps me out of rush hour traffic. Anyway, my life has shifted to a few hours later than everyone else’s, so it works for me.

And when I find my next job that does not involve 45-60 minutes of driving, each way, so much the better.

Yeah, I’m looking forward to it alright.  I’m already much more relaxed, and I have this underlying sense of euphoria that almost brings me to tears. I have to be careful driving, because that’s when it comes up the most — when I am by myself in my car, and the emotions become almost overwhelming. Sometimes I just pull over and let it all well up in me… then I compose myself and get back on the road.

It’s all good. It’s a little scary, but not nearly as scary as the thought of being stuck in this job indefinitely. The idea of getting out… that’s a good idea, indeed.

Onward.

Go away, uber-uber-boss, go away

Yes, please.

As a person, our uber-uber-boss is a great individual. They are interesting, caring, personable, and they have everyone’s best interests at heart.

As a boss — especially an uber-uber-boss  — they are a train wreck. Seriously, this person is just about the worst boss I’ve had the misfortune of reporting to, however indirectly. They are so intent on “connecting” with us, making sure we feel cared about and supported. But they have no idea what we do, they are about 15 years behind us in proficiency and familiarity with the business we are in and the work we do, and all they do is hold us back and subject us to their profound ignorance.

Holy crap, I can’t wait till they go back. I’m working remotely today, so I don’t have to be around for their last day, and I can actually get something done. I’ve been making great progress on work I have to get done at the office, but I’ve been so swamped with handling collateral damage from the uber-uber-boss’es visit, that I have had no bandwidth at all for doing anything other than work-work.

I’m tired. And when I’m tired, I get really distractable. And then I lose my way and end up wandering around in a fog for days on end, unable to remember what I was supposed to be doing. Oh hell, that’s what this whole job has been like for the past three years — one rush job after another, peppered with distractions out the wazzoo that just drain me. Big time.

I think I’ll update my resume this weekend. That will make me feel so much better. I’m going to finish up this massive deadline, then I am going on vacation for a week, then I am going to finalize my next job details, give notice, and I should be out of there by mid-October at the latest.

In the past, I was in a huge rush to go. Now, I am just moving at my own pace and confident that when the time comes I will have the right opportunity at the right pay level, and I’ll be able to extract myself from this distraction marathon that has been this *)%$(&^ job source of pain, activity, and income in my life.

To be fair, this job has taught me a lot, and it’s brought me out of my shell a great deal. I do feel like I’ve become a lot more social, as a result of working here, and I do really like and care for the majority of the people I work with. But the company itself is run by buffoons who have no truly loyal people reporting to them. Everyone just tells everyone else what they want to hear, and the trickle-down results are sad. Very sad.

Oh, well. In a few more months, this will fall into the category of “not my problem”. I’m actually learning a lot about certain disciplines that I can turn into more $$$ along the line. And I’m learning a ton of things that I can apply in my own work and personal projects, as well.

The main thing is keeping myself rested and well-fed. I’m doing well with the nutrition piece of it, I believe. I could do better with it, though – I don’t eat enough vegetables. And I’ve been having some weird skin reactions, so I think there’s something I need to fix. I have cut out wheat from my diet, which was actually easier to do than I expected. And I’ve been doing good about not snacking a lot in the afternoons, when it seems to not metabolize at all. But I need to eat more rounded meals, that’s for sure. I’ve kind of crossed over to the meat and potatoes and a pile of green beans side of things, and that’s not at all balanced. I do feel better, not eating a lot of junk food and keeping away from bread, but something seems to be missing for me.

I’ve heard a lot about people taking pre-natal vitamins for an extra boost — women take them to strengthen their hair and nails, and men take them because they supposedly help keep hair from thinning. As I get older, I notice changes happening in my chemistry — especially my skin and hair — so I need to do something about that. I’m going to try pre-natal vitamins and see how that works.

Changes, changes. Just little minor tweaks to my life, that make all the difference. And now that the uber-uber-boss is going away, I will have more psychological bandwidth to deal with things. One of the nice things about them coming to town, is the huge relief that comes when they leave. Seriously, it’s like a huge block of time and energy gets freed up, and it feels amazing. Expansive. Ah, freedom.

It really is amazing, just what a drain the uber-uber-boss has been, all this week. They started being a drain last week, with the team anticipating their arrival. Chit-chat and drama about what they’re going to do next… woo hoo. Then they arrived at the office, stirred things up with their big plans that have nothing to do with anything we actually need to get done (and are probably never going to happen, anyway), and whipped everyone into a frenzy with their bogus posturing and promises. I wish I could just block them out and ignore them, but they’re right there in front of us, and we have to deal with them. I’m hoping we can all just go back to work next week and not have to think any more about them. That’s all I want. Peace in the kingdom and quiet, so I can get these last few projects out the door. And then leave in October.

It’s hard to believe we’re already 2 weeks into August. Next week we’ll be in the teens of the month, which is crazy. Everything is flying by so fast, and I have so much to do. I set all these goals for myself, some more reasonable than others, and it keeps me busy. But I need to be able to shift and change and adapt to changing conditions and not get down on myself when things don’t turn out the way I expect them to. I need to be more flexible and factor in distractions and set-backs — like the uber-uber-boss coming to town and trying to “insert” themself into our process. I also need to be able to see past the immediate problems they cause and roll with it. I get caught in the weeds, so to speak, and I end up flailing around and getting all bent out of shape about things which will pass soon enough. That especially happens when I am tired, so things can escalate pretty quickly when all is not to my express liking.

Well, it’s all a lesson to be learned. One after another. The main thing is that I keep tabs on my mindset and keep myself from short-circuiting with unrealistic expectations and all manner of imaginary issues that are the invention of my mind alone.

The mind is such a powerful force. Using it for good instead of evil seems to be the chief challenge of the whole human race.

So, it’s back to work now, to get the last of the last done. I have some time to spend this morning looking at everything that’s in front of me that I need to get done, listing it out, organizing it, planning my “escape”, and figuring out the next steps to follow to get there. That in itself helps me regain my balance and not feel so out of whack. It gets me up out of the weeks and gives me perspective. And it’s probably one of the best uses of time I can imagine.

That, and not eating constantly. I had a lot of free food within easy reach of me yesterday, and I really over-did it. Now I’m hungry. Time to stop that slide into darkness…

Onward.