Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Your passion will pull you into what you are good at

I'm torn between exposing my kids to a variety of interests to help them find something they will enjoy and be good at and just letting them continue with sports that they suck at, but still enjoy. The opening of this article is a good example of a mother who continued to let her child follow her dream, knowing well enough that her passion would pull her into what she was really good at.
I've got to check my competitiveness at the door here. You can still enjoydoing something, even if you're not as strong as your teammates. My son reminded me of that today -- defensive players don't score, so why do I keep asking him how many goals he's scored? I am the one that sucks!
This is my own childhood neurosis rearing its ugly head. My parents wouldn't let me quit figure skating because they valued hard work and commitment. I on the other hand, want my kids out at the first sign of difficulty. You find ballet too challenging? Let's find you something else you'll be good at. Maybe I should be encouraging them to stick it out ... how else do you learn the value of hard work? I've got to let my kids lead on this. There are plenty of things we can learn without having to take lessons. Have faith that they will discover their talents D.

Under the bus

I've got to stop the habbit of throwing my partner under the bus when telling a story. It's like I feel as if everyone is waiting for me to give them some dirt, so I spice up my story by dissing my partner in exchange for a few laughs. This is especially true with my other mommy friends -- we really cut up our partners. And then I feel awful afterwards because he doesn't desserve it and because he would never do that to me and because I know that I embellished for effect. Ugh. Golden Rule D. I'm going to work on this.

Sunday, August 28, 2011


I really hate it when couples bicker in public. For example, he's telling a story, she interrupts because he's got some insignificant detail wrong -- "it wasn't Tuesday, it was Wednesday". He disagrees, she belabours the point. The listeners are sitting there feeling uncomfortable and embarrassed. More wine anyone? I think I hear my daughter calling me from the bathroom to wipe her bum. I joke, but this kind of bickering is just another way that resentment builds in a relationship. It's as if we need to put our partners in their place by correcting them. Being stopped short in the midst of a story really takes the wind out of your sails too. When I'm listening to someone else, I expect that they will embellish a little to keep my interest. When the spouse interrupts, I'm as put off as the story-teller.

I think that I'm particularly sensitive because I used to do it all the time myself. But once I realized it and pointed it out to my partner, we now both made a conscience decision to resist correcting one another in public. Now, if we could do this in private too, life would be a lot more peaceful. I guess that's what I really want, more than affection even -- PEACE in my relationships. My folks fought all the time and I know that I'm a fighter too. Not anymore. I'm really glad that with this habit at least, I'm at the point that I can see it in others and be grateful that it's behind me.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Keeping it under wraps

I'm way too expressive with my emotions and I can see how it often hurts my career. Like right now, I'm working on an impossible task and I feel completely over-whelmed. My manager wants to see confidence --that he's assigned this to the right person. And all I can do is procrastinate and complain. There's no getting out of this either. It HAS to get done by an internal resource. I am the fucking schmuck! This classification structure and retention schedule (yes, I am still working on it) is so daunting. Here's what I'm up against.

I've never done this before. No one at my company has ever done this before. It hasn't been done since 1962. Many have tried, but no one has succeeded. I'm not even sure it's the right thing to do. We tell our end users that we are at risk for keeping information longer than we need it. We're not compliant, we're spending too much money storing info that has no value, the crap pollutes our search results, takes up valuable office space and needs to be dealt with. Really? Paper needed to be dealt with otherwise you would run out of physical space. But why not just buy more storage? Figure out what needs to be kept in 'active' storage, give users a way to mark "the thing" and move the rest to some other area where it can still be accessed, but it won't cloud your view of the world. The 'thing' is basically the FINAL document -- the one that provides the best evidence of what you've done. It's not even the stuff I write. It's the document that gets approved by someone important. The rest is 2nd rate and should be deleted whenever, or not!

K, I digress. My trepidation: nothing I come up with will ever be complete. How can I account for every single shit scrap of information that is produced? I'd need to consult with everyone and no one will agree because it's too late -- everyone describes information differently. There is no perfect classification scheme in the sky.

I've got to figure out a way out of this somehow. Who likes working on loser projects? I need a winner. Maybe I just wrap it up and say look -- I did this much on my own using research. It's a starting point. You want to make it better, then give me a team and we'll take it on the road. Give me a technology we can put it into and then we can be done with it. I've got to stop feeling like it's all my responsibility. Perfectionism is stifling me.

K, I know what I have to do.

Thursday, August 25, 2011


My cat died yesterday and I'm not as upset as I should be. She's lived with my parents for the past 11 years, so I'm not feeling the sense of loss as deeply as they are and this makes me feel heartless.

I will miss her though. She was a real class act as far as cats go. Look at her here, even as a kitten, sitting pretty. We were single girl and cat. And I'll never forget how she comforted me during those lonely years. She also really helped my folks deal with their empty nest and gave my Mom the unconditional love and affection that had been missing in her life for years. Mom especially is not taking this well. I'm touched that my Dad is sad too. You don't realize how integral someone is to your life until they are gone. They'd give anything to have her back. This really sucks. RIP my sweet little Pooka.

Monday, August 22, 2011

I like that she is tall

My son asked me to name something about my partner that I liked, so I rhymed off a dozen or so things that immediately came to mind. He seemed to be having fun asking me to keep naming things and I was touched by this sweet family moment -- that is until he asked my partner the same question. Not one for expressing feelings, my partner stumbled awkwardly in front of us, wracking his brain for anything. "I like that she is tall" was all he could come up with, followed by "I like that she got rid of her cat when I moved in." And finally "I like that she won't be mad at me later because I can't think of anything." Sorry. I got mad. I got hurt. I got mad some more. His pathetic lame ass attempt was inexcusable. But then, after I tore a strip off of him and looked at his sad face, I remember that it truly is a handi-cap. He cannot express love. He doesn't know how. I knew it before we got married and I chose to live without it. I chose this. I can't forget that. I also have to remember that it's a small sacrifice considering everything else that we have going -- three little souls that fill my heart with love everyday. I like that she is tall -- it actually makes me laugh it's so pathetic. Thank goodness all men are not this clueless, although I think my dear partner is not alone here. I'll love myself more and keep giving what I want until the law of attraction kicks in. Who knows what could happen. xx

Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Ideal Job

Before I return "Take Time for Your Life", I want to jot down a few take-aways. When my friends and I whinge about work, we often end up asking ourselves -- "k, what is it you want then?" Huh? There's a lot of pressure to find your calling -- to be doing the job you are most ideally suited to --the one that will allow you to give more than you get, and make you enjoy it so much that it won't even feel like work. With so much of our lives spent working, it's only normal to keep questioning how we're spending our time. So when I read this list of job criteria, it helped me realize that the ideal job is more than working in a hot field for lots of money.
  • Work must never cause me to compromise my integrity. Check!
  • The required hours must allow me to have a life outside of work. Check!
  • My contribution must be acknowledged and appreciated.
  • The work must be challenging and fulfilling. (what is fulfilling exactly?)
  • I must have an opportunity to use my best talents and gifts fully.
  • I must be able to provide my input for important decisions. Check!
  • My work must serve a greater purpose. Check!
  • I must be paid fairly for the work I perform. Check!
That's pretty decent! And a few of those are almost there. I feel much better about my job, having looked at it with a different perspective. Once again, things are never as bad as they seem.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Constructive Criticism

I'm reminded of some sage advice from the book "How to win friends and influence people" -- don't criticize, ever. Tonight I approached my partner about an email he wrote to our friends to cancel a camping trip we had planned with them for next weekend. The email was all business and showed no sign of remorse. It's not how I would have handled things. In fact I thought he was going to call them. Of course what's done is done. I have no idea how they feel about it, but if it were me receiving that email, I would've been pissed. So I spoke up. I even thought about how I could gently put it to him without sounding critical. And I fell flat on my face. He got all angry and defensive and told me that if I didn't like how he handled it, then I should've done it myself. Ugh. I SUCK at constructive criticism. Even as the words left my mouth, I knew it would be a mess. Why did I feel compelled to say anything. They are HIS friends afterall. Now he's pissed and I feel like crap. It was hardly a fight, but it really got me thinking about criticism and if there ever is an appropriate time to 'correct' someone. No, there is not. The world is critical enough without having to hear it at home too.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

How to be convincing

I finally have the ear of my Bosses Boss and I'm struggling to get him to see things my way. He's a super busy exec and doesn't have much time or patience for the IM problem which has traditionally been our defense for getting funding for IM -- the loss of corporate memory, legal risk or disposing of the wrong information, the invasion of privacy of disclosing personal info, etc. So I've got to figure out what he wants and show him that my suggestions are the only viable solution. So much fucking pressure!
The other part of me doesn't want to care. Put myself out there, only to be slammed. He's an IT guy, IM is a thorn in his side that I'm sure he'd love to be done with it. How did we go from a budget of 1 million to less than 20% of that? How did we go from a team of 7 to 4? It's pointless. I'm horrible with rejection too. When I really care about something and put myself out there, I can't help but take it personally when my ideas go no where. But then again, I should take a risk. If I don't make a case for change that I really believe in then I have no right to complain. I got up early this morning to outline the business case that was swimming around in my head last night. I'm going to do this.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

In love

A couple of male co-workers were talking about how easy it is to tell when a woman stops loving you. Apparently we are so obvious about our love -- we hang on their every word, laugh at all their jokes, touch them all the time, act silly, smother them with affection ... oh please!
And when the bubble pops, it's all business -- "I'm fine". I tried to argue that it was not the end of love, but the end of the honeymoon phase. Of course neither of these bachelors have ever gotten past puppy love, so it's no wonder they don't know what I'm talking about. I sometimes wonder if I know what I'm talking about. I look at other couples who have been together a while and I can't see any of these signs of love and I wonder if their private moments are different. But then for others, I can see a certain glimmer between them. He lights up when she walks in the room, she proudly talks about something great that he's done, he hurries to her side to help her with something, she admiringly smiles at him from across the room, he rushes back to his desk to answer her email, she posts pics of them together on FB. I can tell when it's still there. *sigh*

Monday, August 15, 2011

You have a big heart

Really? A friend of mine told me this today and she's someone whose opinion I trust. WTF though. No one has ever said that about me. Ever. In fact I don't think of myself as someone who has a lot of empathy and cares about other people's feelings. But I guess my desire to be more like this is finally starting to work? Even though it was shocking, it was nice to hear. Wow, I have a big heart. ♥

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Balanced Life

We've all heard about how important it is to achieve balance in order to have a fulfilling life. But I never stopped to think about why until reading a book my Intuitive recommended --

Take Time for Your Life. There's not a lot new there that hasn't been covered in other self-help books, but there are plenty of suggestions on how to restore balance. This made sense to me: when your life is balanced you are more easily able to handle change that occurs in one area of your life, because you have the others to support you. My best example was a past relationship -- my then boyfriend was my world. I had stopped spending time doing the activities I loved, I had lost my close friendships and was devoting way too much time to the relationship. So it's no wonder that I fell apart at the seams after we broke up. Same thing goes for work. I spend way too much time thinking about work when I am not working. I would likely fall apart should my career unexpectedly change for the worse.

My life is fairly balanced today, but I could stand to devote more time to spiritual practice and fun and adventure. I look forward to making some adjustments because this idea of balance sounds very comforting.

What drains you?

Putting up and putting off -- these two acts are what drains us the most according to the book Take Time for Your Life. I always thought that having a 'To Do' list would allow me to be more efficient with my time. However what inevitably happens is that it's a reminder of what I am not doing. Even the innocuous tasks that don't require much effort, when left ignored act as a tiny sieves of your energy. I can choose to take action, bit by bit or re-prioritize. 'Someday' is not a bad thing as every task cannot be high priority.
The same goes with putting up with difficult people -- the needy friends, the negative co-workers, the depressed family members. They put chinks in your armour which wear you down. Unfortunately these can be harder to deal with. But it's not impossible. Emotional barriers help. Letting others know what your priorities are works too. Last night I reminded my partner that time alone to read was important for me to wind down before bed. It's not something I'm always consistent with, so I understand his confusion, but I'm making it a priority. I can also eliminate tasks that drain me by committing to fewer things that suck my energy and give me little joy in return. It means that I may have to let go of control and just get a house cleaner. But I think it will restore my energy which will make everyone happier in the end.