Still Catching Up

Several things took way longer than they should have, including waiting for the eye doctor for 45 minutes (!) (and she didn’t even apologize). Also, on Friday, I was pulled into a couple of meetings where my presence was not needed, and lastly, I spent over an hour in attempts to check in only to figure out I couldn’t and will have to do it in the airport.

Packing took longer than I planned (and I am not done yet, and I am afraid to look at the clock, especially having that we are switching to Daylight saving time)!

The good part is that my eye is pretty much healed, and I will resume wearing contacts in a week, maybe even earlier.

Going to have four hours of sleep now and will go back to packing!


My life is pretty dull these days: most of the weekends are spent on writing and getting ready for multiple talks. Today, except for some physical activity, checking on mom, and talking to Boris, it was all writing. I finished the presentation for my weekly Advanced Postgres series at work, rehearsed the talk I will present at Chicago PUG on Wednesday (and made some edits), sent the pdf of my presentation for CitusCon, and rehearsed it twice – they will be recording me on Thursday. I worked on the article which I am writing for yet another professional website – I received a lot of questions/comments/editing suggestions from the editor, and it took me almost two hours to go over all of them.

And now it’s bedtime, which I religiously try to observe because neglecting it negatively affects my productivity.

Tomorrow, there will be several things that I need to do during business hours, including the PC committee meeting, finally, ordering conference T-shirts, finalizing the speaker’s dinner, and calling about three different appointments for mom. All mom-related things take forever: call to schedule an appointment to get a referral, make this appointment, call to see why there is no provider specified on the referral, call and leave a message to a provider; after they don’t return your call, call one more time, to find out that the home visits are not covered by Medicaid, and NY referral is not good for the office visits… and we need to start everything over again!

Then, I do not have time for everything work-related during work hours, and I am doing work after work, and I do not have time to do the edits over the weekend, and the cycle repeats. Sometimes I think that if I could do mom’s calls over the weekend, it would help, but most likely, it won’t work that way. After all, it’s not like I have any free time any day of the week πŸ™‚

Time Is Still A Non-Renewable Resource

Time-time-time… You can never get the wasted time back. And you never have enough time t do everything you want to do. Ok, I am not sure about you, but I definitely don’t!

One of the newest things I am trying to fit in my life is this: I have the option to write about pretty much anything I want. And not only to write but to be published. And not only published but also paid for it.

And I have so many ideas! In fact, I, like many others, write these imaginary articles in my mind when I walk around. I feel like I already wrote something, just to realized that it is still all in my mind πŸ™‚

Today, work came on it’s way. I had to start something at 6 AM, hoping that I would be done by 10 AM, and ended up being barely done by 4-30 PM with still some cleanup having to be done later.

I still hope to find some time during the weekend to write at least one article. I swear, it is almost written! I just need to type it up πŸ™‚

Pre-Holiday Traffic

As I already said, Friday went completely wrong. Skipping all that was wrong in the morning, I will start at 3 PM.
When I had the exterminator on August 21, he said that he would check the situation with the trap on September 2 (initially, he said – in two weeks, but I told him that I would be unavailable then, so we agreed on September 2).
On August 31, I decided to call and check whether my inspection is scheduled, and it turned out that it was not and that there were no more openings. By then, I knew a mouse was in the trap, and it started to disintegrate.
Finally, after checking all the possible options and redirecting me three times, they told me they could schedule an inspector to come between 3 and 5. I told them that I would need to leave at four at the latest, so could they please make sure that the inspector would come before that?
When nobody showed up by 3-40, I called the company, and they said that the inspector was stuck in pre-holiday traffic and won’t be there till five!
I was desperate – there was no way I could find somebody to wait for an inspector, and I had no time left before the train. Frantically, I called Igor, and he agreed to come to my house after five, although I had already tasked him with three things that had to be accomplished on the same day.
Then I called Uber and was shocked to find out that the usual 30-35 min trip to Union Station is projected to be an hour long, and the wait was about 10-12 min. When the app finally responded that the driver would be there in 4 minutes, I rushed downstairs with such a speed that my Apple watch asked – did you fall?
The train departure time was 5-08, and all along the ride, the projected arrival time was something like 5-04 to 5-06. I called Anna saying I am missing the train; there was one more train three hours later, and Anna suggested I exchange the ticket until it was not too late, but I decided I would give it a chance. The driver was awesome; he used each opportunity to advance in the traffic, at the same time not doing anything risky. We arrived at an unbelievable 5-02, which allowed me not only to make the train but also not to be the last person who jumped in!

And the exterminator came to my apartment at about 5-20, just when Igor arrived. Because I didn’t instruct Igor properly, he didn’t ask about the hole, so the question of what hole to patch remains open.


The last couple of days were the days of major planning. All of a sudden, all my subscriptions came due for renewal. And since all of them had to be altered, I had to call each place instead of renewing online. I am converting most of the subscriptions to one instead of two. Now that everything is open and people have more options, it has become harder for me to find people interested in attending shows with me. Also, I am out of town pretty often, and other people are out of town from time to time. So I figured there would be shows I won’t be able to attend, and I will be able to exchange these tickets for a second ticket to other shows. That’s my math:).

Also, it looks like I figured out my travels until mid-June. There are so many things I want to do this summer! As usual, before summer starts, I have tons of plans, and then I have trouble fitting them all in. And I didn’t even look at Ravinia and Grant Park Music Festival programs!

The only thing I need is for the weather to be cooperative. There will be a year since I moved to the city in a couple of weeks, and slowly but surely, I am starting to take advantage of everything Chicago has to offer.

Gorgeous sunrises – I will have them for more than four months!
My new favorites from IKEA

About New Year Resolutions

Speaking about my New Year resolutions, I am very determined to put them into action and have already made multiple changes to my daily activities. For one week, I did what I hadn’t done for a while – recorded all my activities through the day and what I spent time on, including things I do in parallel, like exercising and listening to an audiobook.

Another thing I am trying to be consistent with is going to bed before 11 PM, preferably at 10:30 PM. I am up around 4-30 AM regardless of the day of the week, and I know that although for a while, five and a half hours was enough sleep for me, now it is six hours. I didn’t sleep enough in December, and it negatively affected everything in my life. There are still only a few days when I go to bed at 10:30, but at least it’s always before 11.

And yet another thing I am trying to be more aware of is the time I spend on social media. Funny story – most people think they should do less of it, while I know I need to do more :). There was not enough of my professional presence at the end of 2021. I am allocating enough time to do meaningful things on LinkedIn and my professional blog. Also, I started using Twitter because it is professionally required. I am still struggling to do it in a meaningful way :).

Also, I am working really hard on not abanding relationships I have with many people, in real life and virtually. It’s easy to say, “I have no time for this,” but it goes both ways: people need me, and I need them. I am trying to reach out to those from whom I didn’t hear for a while because I understand that sometimes they also feel uneasy to contact me because they think it was “too long” and “I am busy.” So far, it proved working πŸ™‚

Stress, Chocolate And Me

I hoped that this weekend would be a “return to normal,” but it ended up being anything like that. On Friday evening, after I already spent two days trying to resolve upgrade issues, I realized that I would have to work on Saturday. At that point, I thought it would be just a couple of hours (it ended up being eight).

I had a million things to do in the morning, so I told my co-worker that I want to start the next upgrade at one. That still put me on a tight schedule since I also planned to talk to Boris before work started.

I was trying to lay out all my morning moves in the best possible way, including the fact that I had to go shopping with mom.

The point is that I was trying very hard to keep my schedule and be home at noon to talk to Boris, and I had ten stops to make.

As a result, I forgot two things. One is that I forgot to apply my birthday coupon at IKEA (it was valid for the whole month of January, but I am not planning to go there one more time). And the second is that I forgot to pick up my Brazilian chocolates at the w=Winter market. They are only there for two hours every other Saturday, and they only deliver pre-orders. Not like I do not have enough chocolate at home, but I thought it would be nice to support them, and my birthday is a good reason to do so.

So I ordered a box of brigadeiros and two packages of alfajores and figure out that between mom, post office, and IKEA, I will be able to stop by the Winter market. And I forgot!
Moreover, it turned out they texted me fifteen minutes before the market was over, and I didn’t see this message because I was already late for my online date:).
I only saw this message two hours later, when I was already deep in work and texted then a million apologies.

Their reply was: we are glad you are OK! I realized that, knowing me for a while, they could not imagine anything stopping me from picking up chocolates! And then they texted me that they will deliver, and they did.

ANd it was so good to have all this chocolate at the end of exceptionally stressful day!

New Product Launched, But Life Is Still Crazy

I’ve already mentioned that for the past several weeks, the workload was ginormous. All the efforts were geared towards launching a new product and then making sure everything works as expected.
Launching a new product was a big deal, and in the pre-pandemic times, we would have a big celebration.

Since we are effectively remote these days, with only a very sporadic appearance f people in the office, our leadership team came up with a very special way of celebrating our success. Each of us received a FedEx delivery of a limited edition champaign bottle, and on Friday after work, we had an online event. Our CEO talked about our plans for the rest of the year and the next year, and then people with different business functions talked about their challenges during these weeks.

And after that, we had a remote toast:

Continue reading “New Product Launched, But Life Is Still Crazy”

Work And More Work

On Wednesday morning, we submitted one more book chapter. Now we are half-through by the page count, and almost half-through by chapters. If not for the work crisis, which is going on for almost three weeks now, this chapter could be enjoyable. I mean, it was, but not without drama :).

I am very tired, I do not have time for any human activities, but I know that I am doing the right things. Unfortunately, I can’t share publicly most of the work things, but I am confident that I am doing everything the right way/ I just need a second life πŸ™‚

A Short Description Of The Past Several Days

Working around the clock on a critical project at work (launching tomorrow 6-30 AM). Around the clock – literally. At the same time – trying not to miss a next chapter deadline with our book (had to ask for three days extension). The past nine days were the planning miracles because I managed to get it all done and have this Art Institute outing.

Today was all work, with no lunch break and no coffee breaks (all in front of the computer). Then, I went to my neighbor who lost her daughter, and when I came back, I saw more messages on the work slack. Which I am going to ignore for now because I need to do a couple of personal things, and I also need to prepare some teaching materials for tomorrow. OK, I didn’t ignore them :). But I told them, that I can’t allow this thing to go to production:).

And now I am going to spend the next forty minutes doing stuff fo myself, and another forty minutes to prepare teaching materials.