Here is what I have on the eve of Thanksgiving. The training is completed in terms of it is written, but I still have several examples to rework because they bear too much of the company specifics. Also, it needs more proofreading, formatting, etc. And one rehearsing together :). Also, I still have to prepare my big talk on the second day of the conference, And also, there are several important tasks to complete at work, and if they aren’t done today, they will spill into the long weekend.
Other than that 🙂 … Both fridges are full and barely closing:). I took the turkey out of the freezer to defrost on the lower shelf of the fridge, but as of last night, it was still stone-frozen. Moreover, since two boxes of mixed greens were placed close to it, they were utterly ruined by being frozen!
It’s our family tradition, that no matter how hard we try, we need to run to the store at least twice on Thanksgiving morning because something got forgotten. This time, it started even before Thanksgiving: I already made two “forgotten stuff” trips to the Eurofresh store. We’ll see whether there will be more:)
I’ve ordered outrageously expensive but also outrageously good pies from Vanilla Chicago, and they are already in my fridge (yes, apparently, my fridge is elastic :)). We had a Thanksgiving lunch at work yesterday, Anna and her family, and Boris are coming tonight, so it’s all good except for (or because of:)) life is so busy.
This week was even worse than previous. Although I work through most of the weekend, I didn’t have enough time to prepare for all of the training I wanted to run this week in the office. Thereby I constrained myself to not doing anything, except necessities, and spend each and a single minute I had “extra” on the training development.
I didn’t help much (maybe partially because, in reality, I was doing something extra, like going to the performance of Montreal Metropolitan Orchestra on Tuesday). So now, at 11:15 PM, I have a little bit more than half of tomorrow’s training ready. I’ve already booked 2.5 hours tomorrow morning to complete it, but I am ashamed of myself.
Still, today after work as was at the Open Door Shelter. Last week, a group of youth from the Open Door Shelter had a field trip to the Christkindle Market, and I asked to message me when they will be close – my work is just a block away. We had a really great time at the market. One of the girls mentioned how much she loves German potato pancakes, and I told her we can make them next time.
Today was the next time:), and we peeled and grated 10 lb of potatoes, and made beautiful potato pancakes. And I had truly amazing conversations with some of the youth. And when I was walking out of the shelter, thinking about these conversations and smiling, I felt that this is something I can never let to disappear from my life…
Summer was approaching, and it was time again to apply for summer sessions at the University boarding house, but this time around I had my part-time job at Urbansoft. John was still OK with me working remotely, but I didn’t have a modem in a boarding house, in fact, there was no landline.
That’s how it worked. I would write my code without the option of debugging at the University, using our department computer and copy my work to a diskette. G. would come and pick up a diskette and copy my files to his computer. Then he would try to integrate his work with mine. At the designated time, I would call his house phone from the payphone in the lobby. He would read for me the errors he was getting, and I would tell him how to change my code, and then we would continue this remote debugging until done. It sounds impossible, but it worked!
On the topic of the time management, 7-30PM was the bed time for the kids, and then my workday would start. Till whatever I could last with 6-30 AM wake up time:)
My historical posts are being published in random order. Please refer to the page Hettie’s timeline to find where exactly each post belongs, and what was before and after.
It has been a week since I’ve returned from my trip to Helsinki, and I made some positive improvements in my life this week. I can’t tell for sure why these changes would be connected to my trip to Helsinki, but I think they are. Most likely, the reason is that as it usually happens, such trips allow me to look at my life from a distance, to judge better, what’s a real source of stress, and how I can deal with it.
One positive change I made was getting back to my 5 – 5.5 hours of sleep per night. That had been my norm for many years, and I know that even half and how less affects my productivity. However, for about three weeks before ai left for my trip, I would sleep only four hours or less a night, including the weekends. I was telling myself that I do not have an option since I have so much work every day. But the reality was that I could not be productive. So for the whole this week, I’ve followed a simple rule: when my “time to go to bed” rings, I would stop whatever I am doing (maybe finish a sentence or a paragraph first) and proceed with all my before bed to-do list. That helped a big deal because I would wake up at my normal 4-30, not tired, and was way more productive during the day.
The second thing might be questionable for many people but works perfectly for me. I m always saying that my work-life balance is such that my work is my life :). However, for several weeks before my trip, I felt like I can’t do anything besides work if there is still some work to do, and this would last forever. I didn’t like it because it would take away other vital parts of my life, but I didn’t know how to break the cycle.
So what I finally decided was that I switched to one “master” to-do list. I think I am enough big girl to judge how important are different things in my life relative to each other, and I know how to prioritize. And if I feel OK doing some work stuff at 10 PM, because it is important, I should also feel OK to do some non-work stuff at 1 PM, if this is the right time, and the task is high enough in my priority list.
That was a life-changing decision. This week felt like no other. As I like to say, nobody gives me more than 24 hours a day, but I felt like I’ve accomplished a lot this week, and didn’t leave any essential tasks behind.
It was an incredibly intense week. Each day at work was packed with meetings from 9 to 5, some days covering the lunchtime as well. The two days which I worked from home were even more intense, with my and Mom’s doctors’ appointments and the same amount of work which had to be done.
All my time was work because when you have meetings all day long, you need some time to do the actual work. Oh, and on the top of it I was dealing with the consequences of the loss of my Jumpcloud password, and subsequent reset of my Apple ID, all passwords on the computer, and finally – a disappearance of “My Documents”…
I am mad about yesterday, and this week in general so here is an unlikely rant of mine. This week Vlad is in Finland, ridiculously precisely at the time when Boris is not. Vlad is flooding his Instagram with the videos of Finnish forests, mushrooms, rowanberries, moonshine, and salmon smoked on the plank.
At the same time, Boris is in Croatia, participating in a workshop which I believe just being an excuse for spending time on the beach :). He is sending me panoramic views of the harbor, the Medieval town and the mountains.
And I did not manage to go to any of four conferences I could go to in late August – September; work is being crazy, and Mom has been difficult. And yesterday I’ve canceled my after-work activity to make sure I am done with one extremely important thing at work and managed to mess up and spent all this time fixing without advancing any further. And on to of that my trainer canceled today’s morning session.
That’s the day you need to work hard on staying positive and not to yell at people 🙂
To cover the past two weeks: it was crazy at work. An interesting fact is that it was mostly good stuff. Good things were happening, and some decisions I’ve been waiting for for a long time were finally made and approved. But it was tiresome. When you need to sit at the meetings for 6 to 7 hours every day, and not just “sit,” but actively listen and participate, you are done by the end of the day — so done, as if you worked 16 hours straight.
There was also a lot happening outside work — things related to the December conference in Chicago, which I am heavily involved in. Boris and I were finalizing yet another paper submission. I was trying to make sure my direct report will present our work at another conference, which I am unable to attend. All stuff with my Mom. All things with my volunteering.
And then I took two days off and went to Madison to babysit my granddaughter Nadia. I can’t remember another moment in my life when I would gladly disconnect from my work email, Slack, etc. I checked what was going on a couple of times (literally!), but without any hesitation replied: this can wait till Tuesday.
It still took me some time to relax, but by midday Saturday, when I was leaving, I already felt pretty good.
I returned home to my long weekend to-do list, but I am keeping thinking about everything that happened during this visit, most about my conversations with Anna. A couple of months ago, I started to write a post about Anna’s and my parenting styles, and then put it aside. I think now I will be able to finish it :).