Planning

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 🙂

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 🙂

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.

We Did It!

On Sunday, we finally submitted Chapter 5, and I feel so good about it, I can’t even describe it! In the past ten days, I was so focused on that chapter that I could hardly think about something else.
I mean, I did many other things; I saw two movies, and I was at the Art Institute, and I went to the shelter, and yes, I worked. You can say that I did a variety of things, but to be honest, I felt guilty doing “anything else.”

I could not understand why this chapter takes so much time and effort until Saturday when I looked at the page count and realized that this chapter was almost as long as the previous four! No wonder!
I felt better right away :).

I have to admit that I didn’t challenge our delivery schedule because we do not have that much wiggling room until the end of the year anyway. I thought that a day here and a day there does not make a difference. And I hardly looked at the estimated chapters sizes.

The most time-consuming part was that I had to rework all of the examples, and several times through this process, I would find problems with our generated data. Then, I had to stop building examples and ask Boris to generate new data, and then I had to reload several tables and start over. And Anna had to do all her edits after we are done, and we were not done until the last moment. I am so thankful to Boris and Anna for their heroic efforts in the past several days!

We did it! And we did it well!

And we have eleven more chapters to go :).

It Does Not Feel Like a Weekend

I made a usual mistake of the long weekend – it felt like I can do everything when I have an additional day off. The most pressing thing was the next chapter of the book. The chapter which is due next is huge and very technical. You might think that “technical” is good because it is fewer words to write and more code to explain. But the problem is that with this book, I can’t use any of my previous examples! Everything has to be rewritten in our new training database. 

That means that each paragraph requires stopping, creating a new index, running an example, saving the code of the index, code of the example, execution plan, formatting everything nicely, and writing a new explanation because the tables are different. Each and the single paragraph.

I sort of forbade myself to write anything except of this chapter for the past three days. I was thinking about taking Friday off (it was the last summer Friday, so I could take just one vacation day and have the whole Friday off). But I thought that then chances are, I will have to do work over the weekend, and then what’s the point of taking a day off? 

Indeed, this half-Friday was very intense, I didn’t have a moment to waste, but now I can’t imagine how I will finish everything tomorrow. 

I have a couple of things I have to do tomorrow except of writing, so it won’t be like writing for 16 hours, and I think I will be able to finish. But I was hoping that there will be at least something else during this long weekend.

Well, nobody asked me to get involved. Or maybe somebody asked, but nobody forced me to agree!

Every Evening…

The only thing I can write today is, “I have no time to write anything, except for what’s related to the book.” I was expecting things to be like this, but it is still quite an uncomfortable feeling of “all the time I have should be spent on writing.” The first two chapters are especially hard because there is almost no code, just words. Also, it took us a ginormous time to build the test data, and we are not done. In the past two days, I’ve changed my mind about how the tables should look at least six times. And each time it means changing the DDL, recreating the schema on m local, regenerating the ERD in Navicat, exporting to PNG, and re-inserting the picture. Only to realize that I forgot to change one more thing :).

Yes, I wanted it, 🙂 But I can’t imagine it will be like that for five more months! I hope I will have some life!

A Perfect Memorial Day Weekend (III)

When I was planning my long weekend, I planned for a long bike ride on Monday morning. Then, the forecast showed rain at 6 AM. I thought I will wait, but then I thought – what if it won’t rain at six, and instead will rain at eight? What a fool I would be then! I left at 5-40, and yes, the rain started at 6-05 :), so I had to come back. But after breakfast, it was beautiful outside, and I went for the longest bike ride of this season. Actually, I do not think I ever took such a long ride all by myself. I was not even sure how the paths are going where I was planning to go :). And I had a great time!

Continue reading “A Perfect Memorial Day Weekend (III)”