Things Are Going My Way

I am so glad that everything with mom got resolved, at least for now, and I can leave for my European conferences! As it usually happens, too many little things had to be done/fixed/completed, plus the new job and new responsibilities… 

I cooked and frozen as much of the vegetables as I could and gave the rest to my neighbor, Igor, and mom (local grapes are to die for! I never tasted anything like that!)ย 

I found a nail salon very close to mom’s apartment and as an extra bonus – with Russian-speaking owners, so now she can do her nails without having to go to the Loop with me. I picked up my new bike (turquoise blue with disc brakes)

I baked a plum cake because I didn’t want to throw away the remaining plums.

I am almost packed.

I worry about the state of my two October talks, especially about my new bitemporal talk, and I am not quite sure how to find time to bring it to the point where I want it to be.

I am not tired. I am happy with my work, and there are so many interesting things to do that I want to start everything at once. 

And I still found time to go to the beach today; most likely, the last time this season (unless I find some time tomorrow!)

Work-Work Balance

Once again, I am trying to maintain a “work-work balance” as professional activities of different kinds continue to multiply. 

The things which are on my radar in addition to work are

  • getting ready for all of September conferences: only half is done
  • one completely new presentation for October – not even started
  • another presentation for October together with my co-worker: it was started only because both of us pushed each other, but there is still a lot to do (about 25% done)
  • interviews for each of the conferences (only one left, but it’s a huge one)
  • a user reported a bug in pg_bitemporal
  • we just merged a new iteration of NORM, but Boris wants to rework several things, and I agree
  • all things related to PG Day Chicago
  • to build an example for my not-yet-started presentation in October, I need to create tons of new things in postgres_air
  • educational video, which got stalled back in May

You know what I want to say? If not for The Lake, I won’t survive! The daily beach breaks for the past two weeks (along with very beach weather) helped me to relax and recharge, and some days I felt like I was on summer break (although other days, I would be so tired that I would drop dead at 9:30 PM).

As I did before, I am taking some days off to do some work ๐Ÿ™‚

Approaching The End Of Summer

The days are busy but in a good way. I liked a lot how productively we spent time with Boris, especially the last three days when he was here when we went kayaking, to a concert, and to the Art Institute, and found a new gelato place, and did the bike shopping, and went for a long bike ride just before it started raining.

And now, when he left, I am still doing something interesting every day, and my work days are full. Even though I know that I am missing a lot of summer events, I do not feel like I am “missing out.” I feel like I am living this summer to the fullest.

Today I managed to go on an hour-long bike ride in the morning, even though the sun was rising later these days, and then worked with my current customer with no unproductive interruptions and went to the beach for my lunch break. And after work, I had a friend over – we didn’t see each other in person since before the pandemic.

I have something planned for almost every day until the end of the month, and it feels very good ๐Ÿ™‚

I Want To Skip These Days

I had a really exciting day on Saturday, I took tons of pictures, and I wanted to share all about it. But after the shooting, I can’t make myself write.

On Sunday, I made a huge effort to deliver the first segments of my educational video. I successfully submitted them, but now I am waiting for feedback, and I do not want to proceed with more segments until I receive it.

Today was way more productive. Not only a very good day at work, but I finally submitted one of the four talk proposals which I promised to submit. Also, I released some new code to NORM_GEN. Although I have an accepted talk for Swiss PG Day, I need to make sure I have enough of this new material to present.

And the weather was outstanding – just another gift from Nature.

How Was The Week

There has been a lot of work at my actual work in recent days – one of these weeks when you can’t lift your but off the chair. In addition, I started to resume some activities which got off my radar during the previous week. I remembered that I didn’t finish several professional-non-work-related things and put them back into my plans. I went to see the “Hadestown” in the CIBC Theater – great production, but I could not get fully engaged being in the state of mind I was. I am much better today, though. 

On Thursday, I went to the Shelter: the volunteers are finally back in March, so it was my second time after another pandemic break, and I sincerely hope it was the last one! We did a “make your own pizza” activity. The crusts were pre-baked, so the youth just had to assemble the toppings. Only about half of the residents participated, but this is a pretty good turnout! One more time, I am developing new relationships, and I hope that not everybody will disappear when I am back in April. 

And it was a great week at work! I can’t stop smiling, recalling some conversations with my co-workers; these conversations helped me get back to reality and the problems I was trying to solve three weeks ago. This week, the client I had was a true dream client, a pleasure to work with, so I am finishing the week more energized than tired. 

I hope to keep the same level of energy all weekend long :). It will not be easy having the upcoming cold spell, but I will do my best.ย 

Tulips from my neighbor

Late Night…

I’ve been very good this year about sleeping my six hours and going to bed by 10-30, no matter what:). It was not the case only when I had too much work. And yes, today is one of these days.

In EDB, almost all I am doing is new to me. I could never imagine there were so many things I didn’t know about Postgres :). To be fair, I just never needed to know them! So what happens often is that although I am full-time on a project, I spend half of the time learning things I need to know to complete this assignment, and then half of my work hours are non-billable. 

I know it will be better, but at the moment, I am still new to EDB ๐Ÿ™‚

I mentioned the visa thing… Boris decided he wanted to use the last opportunity to enter the US on the visa, which is about to expire, and so he came yesterday. It was a very sudden decision. I didn’t mind; actually, I felt very loved when he said he was coming :). It’s just for a few days, and we both have work, but it still feels incredibly good. 

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

2021/2022

I know that I am at least two weeks late with this post, but it’s only in the past two days that I found some time to write it all, although it was in my head for quite a while. Here it goes.

***

As I’ve said multiple times, what a year!!! Although all changes were for good at the end of the year, and I am ending on the positive side of things, it was too much! Because of so many things happening, I inevitably “lost” some things; that is, I had no time to do everything I wanted. 

The most important thing in 2021 was my move. I could not imagine the extent to which it would change my life before it happened, neither could I foresee many of the individual changes. It’s too early to be sure – I have lived in Rogers Park for less than a year – but I think that the impact of this event on my life may be the closest to my move to the US; so many things have changed! 

Besides the move, it was:

  • our book was published
  • I sold my car, and after 24 years of driving, became a non-driver
  • I changed job
  • Sold my old house
  • Refinanced my new house, which dramatically improved my financial situation
  • changed job one more time, and became a part of the EDB family

Both job changes were accompanied by a lot of rethinking what I want from a job, what is important to me, what I think about myself, and my impact on the Universe. 

I want to be very clear – I do not regret making the first career move this year. I learned a lot during this shortest tenure I ever had, and I will never look the same way at many aspects of database development. I have a different level of expectations: for myself and the Postgres community. On the other hand, I’ve experienced the biggest personal and professional disappointment in my life. Chad was such an important figure for me for over twenty years that I still feel the void. The irony of the situation is that many years ago, his influence helped me to become this very person who can’t tolerate the behavior he demonstrated. He is definitely my “person of the year” – in the Times magazine meaning.ย 

As for my second career move, the impact was also unexpected. I didn’t expect it to be such a big deal as it turned to be. I didn’t know how different that consulting was going to be. And in any case, I am just starting!

And one more big change of the year. I think that has been going on for a couple of years now, but I heard it in these terms only this summer. My then-new coworker exclaimed during our group lunch: oh, you are famous! How does it feel to be famous? I replied that I felt it was an extra responsibility, it’s that I needed to think twice before saying or typing something. That I know what I say makes an impact. I know that people listen and judge. 

And here are my hopes and my resolutions for 2022.

Work-life integration

  • I want 2022 to be less eventful than 2021! It was too much!
  • I do not want to change jobs in 2022. I want to stay where I am now, at least for 1.5 years. 
  • I want to use my position as an EDB employee to make many things, and especially NORM, happen in Postgres.
  • I want to resume my activities on building and maintaining Chicago PUG. I didn’t do it well in the past 3 or 4 months, and I need to change it. 
  • I need to learn to work from home. I remember that there were times when I liked it. I do not like it anymore, and there are too many things which fit nicely in my life when I work in the office. I need to learn to organize my life working from home, not just a couple of times a week but all the time. 
  • On that subject, I need to re-evaluate what I spend time on. Now that I am more financially stable than ever, I should learn to spend money rather than time in many situations, from taking Uber more often to purchasing more food online. 
  • I want to finally get on a more normal sleep schedule and not try to sleep less than I need.

Finances

  • I want to continue saving more than I did in previous years to invest more in my retirement and rainy day fund.
  • I need to stick to the schedule I developed to pay off my mortgage ahead of time; by the time I retire.
  • I need to look at how much and which causes I donate and restructure my donations. Overall, to give more. 

People and relationships

  • I want to make more time to people in my life, both “live” and virtually, not to abandon relationships because of “lack of time.”
  • I need to learn to be more patient with mom because my time with her does not benefit me if I am impatient. If I want to do something good for her, I need to be patient and supportive.
  • Allocate time for social media, both Russian and English; different media for different reasons, but if I keep certain social media accounts, there is a reason for each of them.
  • And I need to use this time more productively.

I guess, to summarize, I need to rethink what I spend my time on.

I am not writing anything about my personal life here. Not because there are no goals, but because we have goals regardless of the beginning of the year, and I hope that we will continue to work on our relationships the same way as we did in the second half of 2021. 

That being said, hello 2022!

New Job And Holiday Season

Today is one week since I started with EDB. People are still reacting to my LinkedIn posts and a job update, and the number of views of the job post is already over 4,000. I am shadowing another consultant working with a client. I see that my skills are needed, and at the same time, I am learning new tools and techniques.

And at the same time, I am still downloading and installing missing software, attending training, and learning how things are done.

The help desk is indeed helpful, but in many cases, it isn’t easy to find out what I should install, who can give me access, whether there is any documentation, etc. Most customer engagements are very short, and we need to work really intensely to deliver results in five business days.

Boris is teaching at night again:). I am putting the final touches on the house Christmas decorations – some decorations have found their places, and some will be donated or discarded. And I told Boris I wouldn’t have time to cook as I did last time, but I actually do :).
And also, it is bitterly cold outside but cozy at home.

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