Friday, March 7, 2014
I'm one of those people who like to do many things... Apparently I get bored easily. Vast diversity of interests, or just enthralled by shiny objects. Only the Shadow knows.... mwahahaha. Okay maybe someone should keep me from blogging when I have a migraine. My point, and yes there is one, is that I've always wanted to write. I enjoy writing short stories, poetry, pretty much anything. I'm so stupidly busy however, that I have to be very decisive as to what my priorities are for allotting time. This particular interest has resurrected itself thanks to some of my co workers/friends. Well former co workers as they are now stationed out of the tower, and I'm still by the airport. Anyway, one of my friends wants to be a professional author. She works tirelessly on her book and is always researching how to get published, listening to seminars on getting into the industry, and making contacts with other authors and agents. Couple that with (in my opinion) her talent, and I have no doubts that one day I'll be buying her work. The other is less focused on becoming a professional author, but he is still very committed to his creative process. All told, being around them has reignited my interest. Last month they both entered a contest on the internet from a publishing house. I don't have the details of the contest, but what I do know is that they had to create a short story with a maximum of 750 words and it had to begin with a certain phrase. Sounds easy enough right? Let me assure you, it is far more challenging than it sounds. They both worked hard on their stories, and had me do a proof read for them (which I thought was fun) and sent them off. The other day, I was cleaning out my email and came across their stories. I thought to myself... Self, that could be fun. So I took a bash at it. Sure enough it was fun. I sent my story to them and they both enjoyed the read. I sent it to my sister, and she texted me to tell me I made her cry. She then sent it to her husband and he said more or less the same thing. (It was a happy story, but with a sad ending). My sister and brother in law both encouraged me to keep writing. Please filter that with the fact that they actually like me. Many years ago, I started a novel... but who hasn't right? And due to it not being a high enough priority, it stagnated. I've been thinking about it a lot, and of the dedication that my friends have displayed. They practice mastery in their chosen venue. I am proud of them, but more importantly I am inspired by them. Maybe it's finally time to start revisiting this interest. Something to think about.
Friday, February 28, 2014
So today was the last day for my original team leader. She is transfering to another department and will be working out of the Tower down town. She starts Monday in her new position, well promotion really. As always, we had the last day send off... we all sat around for an hour and had pizza and such. I am taking over a lot of duties for her in our, well my, current department. There was a lot of last minute cramming this afternoon to make sure I had everything I need. I have no doubts there are a lot of things we will discover as we go that I need to learn remotely from her or from others in my office. She left a pretty big foot print. This I knew. What I didn't know... or know to the extent of which, is how much I'm going to miss her and our daily dose of stupid conversations. I can't even begin to count how many times we were "informed" that we were laughing REALLY loud... as in shut up in the nicest most possible way. She was a kindred spirit of sorts, and though we will still be in contact through work, she won't be right next door working with me on projects and keeping me entertained with her ever twisted sense of humor. We will still see each other when we plan girls night out, and all that, but it still feels kinda empty. I know, pity party table for one, but this is what's on my mind at the moment. First Megan changed companies, and now Lary has moved onto bigger and better things. Last "man" standing from Team South. Not that it's all doom and gloom. The auditing is going as one can expect, and yes my brain is now an over cooked mashed potato. I am taking on developing process charts and some of the manual building duties for the new hires this spring. And I'm working with a new set of team mates. All in all evolution is bound to take place. I'll miss my old team mates, but it's up to me to make the new team as strong as possible.
Friday, February 21, 2014
Well it's blog night... and I got nothing. Our blogs are to show the journey. To ensure accountability. To give us a reference point of where we started to where we are going. Our evolution of thought, life style and focus. Anyone who has seen my blogs in the past are well aware that I have always struggled with this particular forum. Writing a journal holds no interest for me, and being a private person writing a public journal holds even less. As a kid in school, I always failed the journaling assignments. My journal would have about 10 entries (if that) about my horses, dogs, or some mundane child experience (a lot of tree climbing)... then I would get bored and just leave it. Even if we were given time to write in class I would eventually devolve into drawing pictures, making paper puzzles or my version of origami.... which was really just mangled paper. When I participated in the I Ho Chaun the first year (then it was called UBBT) I was positive that I would hold true to form and fail that requirement miserably. Write a couple of blogs because the gun was to my head and then go merrily on my way "forgetting" to do it after the 3rd one. The thing is, I actually succeeded... and believe me, no one was more surprised than I was. Blogging for me is like some form of punishment. I hate doing it, and I sit at the computer and indulge in a healthy dose of self pity before every entry. But I digress. What I learned from sticking with blogging is that it is full of benefits. Being able to look back and read my thoughts helps me to be proud of how far I've come, but to also give me a game plan for the future. I can see where I have room to grow, and when needed a reality check. I'm the biggest whiner when it comes to this requirement, but I also am a firm supporter of it. I see the value and have bought into the idea... kicking and screaming... but still have bought into it. So my journey forward will hopefully be helpful. I don't promise Shakespear, but I'll try not to bore anyone either. I guess part of the game plan is to find something I'm interested in to share. I'll try to keep it relevant, but when I'm having a dry night I'll make an effort to ensure I don't take the rest of you down with me. So yaaaaaa, I guess that's it. Until next week anyway.
Friday, February 14, 2014
When I took this "new" job almost a year ago... wow 10 months, can it have been so long already? ... I was placed into the prime division of southern Alberta. There were 3 of us. Myself, our direct supervisor Larysia, and my co-hire Megan. We were hired as temps and were guaranteed work until September of last year. That is when we became Lary's Angels.. but that's another story. By Fate, Royal Cockup, or Design, Megan and I have made it this far. Since September, Megan and I have been getting the monthly (sometimes weekly) updates as to how long we can expect to be guaranteed work. It was a little stressful, but we knew what we were in for when we took the job. We worked hard and have set the record for the longest running temps in our department... A record that I am planning on setting so high it will stand for a long long time. As we are revving up for the "dig" season again, and there are all the new hires being screened for interviews, we have been granted another option to stay... guaranteed work till September. Two dig seasons back to back with out the winter (slow season) lay off... Not the norm by any account, and that should be very hard to beat. Sadly, Megan has accepted another job. Her last day was today and we had our traditional send off for the temps, which I have come to learn is a bit of a ritual. The department manager bought treats (today it was breakfast sandwitches and hashbrowns), we ate together around the meeting table, and then Megan was presented with her card signed by everyone in the office. One filled with well wishes for the future and sentiments of regret that she will no longer be with us. The usual good spirited teasing followed... everything from threats to hide her vehicle keys to gluing her to her chair. But she finished her day, did her farewell hugs, and has moved onto her new opportunities. So now team south is a little worse for it, but we are still 2 strong... for now at least. Larysia is getting a promotion and will be moving into another department in the beginning of March. I have been given an in department "promotion" of sorts. My title is "Prime for Account Audits for ELC". Not bad for a temp. I have also been given the green light to sit in on the interviews of the new hires, with the intention of participating as part of the hiring team. Obviously the department manager will have final say, but I am very excited to have been able to participate. There are a lot of people who are permanent staff with much more seniority who have shown interest. The fact that our manager has chosen to split up the interviews between us (so as to include me) is something I am both excited and proud of myself for. Today I can say, I done good. I'm still up to my eyeballs in account audits, and chained to my computer... anyone who knows me is cringing right now... but these experiences are good for me, and I'm seeing doors open. There is a lot of possibilities and opportunities here, and even though I'm going to be the last Angel standing very soon, I'm proud of my co workers for the things they have achieved and excited for them. We had a great year together, I have some valuable new friends, and I'm improving - learning - and growing in a job that I really do like.
Friday, February 7, 2014
Practicing the martial arts is an accurate statement. When you stop practicing, you stop being a martial artist. Like any skill, with out use and maintenance it will atrophy. The knowledge you get from being disciplined or skill in any medium begins to fade as time passes. This is not unique to any one action, but is a constant of human make up. But I digress. The point, and yes there is one, is that it is possible to attain a degree of mastery with hard work, but that does not make it a permanent change. Continued time and effort are needed to maintain your prowess. For example, I clearly remember having conversations with my great aunts Erna and Clara. They were my grandfather's sisters and were visiting from Germany. At home we spoke English, German, and French when I was growing up. My grandfather died when I was 6, and the German speaking at home slowly disappeared. After getting out of junior high school, I no longer took French classes and so the practice for that language also stopped. I remember enough to get buy in a pinch, but I am not longer multilingual. For many years I assumed that since both of my grandparents spoke English, my great aunts did as well. It wasn't until literally a few years ago that I found out that they did not then, now, nor ever speak English. When I spoke with them, it was because I spoke German fluently, not the other way around. To this day, I regret that skill has left me. And not just the German, I have also allowed myself to lose French. These losses have closed doors that didn't need to be closed. But that is another story. In a more direct Kung Fu reference, there is the IHC requirement of doing a form 1000 times. This is an excellent tool. However it is only as useful as you allow it to be. If you spend the first half of your IHC journey banging out the requirements to get them ticked off the list, and then never think of them again... What have you gained. The moment you walk away from something it begins to atrophy. The saddest part is that it is a choice we make to allow it to happen. Clearly we are not sitting there thinking ... hmm I'm going to work on this really hard and then let it go to pot... but as we shift our focus - choosing to replace one challenge with another, we are choosing to leave it behind if we do not find a way to maintain what we have achieved. Sound like a lot of work? Yes it absolutely is. Is it worth it? That's up to you to decide. How are you going to find a way to keep it all together? By setting priorities. But they are up to you. No one can force you to choose one way or other. Others can encourage or discourage you, but again you choose what action to take. We always think of the rewards of our actions, but do we think of the consequences of our in-actions? If you practice, you won't progress - this we understand. But that's only half of it. If we don't practice, we don't just stay where were left off... we go backwards, and a lot faster than you would think. I'm not advocating to slow your passion or efforts. Just advocating to maintain what you have achieved. That takes planning and dedication. But anything worth doing does.
Wednesday, September 4, 2013
WARNING: this youtube post has a lot of swearing in it. However if you forgive that, he makes some really good points about relationships and our approach to them. I think at one point or other we have all experienced what he is talking about. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5rZu-tBi7DM
Thursday, June 6, 2013
So much of our lives depends on our point of view. It makes such an impact that we don't even see it in ourselves. Yet it is there. Today I had lunch with the girls I used to work with. These people were a huge part of my life for a long time, and we stuck together through a very unhealthy work environment. Emotionally and physically, the work we did was very hard to face everyday. But we pulled together and faced it united. We did our best to hang on so that we wouldn't let each other down. 3 of the 5 of us have moved on and found other work. One of the remaining ladies is expecting a baby (yay for her) and will be out soon as well. The last of us, well she is close to retirement age and from the sounds of it, is going to try and ride it out. I was very excited to have our girls lunch today. As the first to leave the job we had, there were things happening that I was brought up to speed on. Nothing surprising, but still unpleasant. There is no need to get into the specifics. My point, such that it is, is every one of us were so excited that we no longer, or soon would no longer work in that job. We all expressed similar thoughts... we no longer had to deal with that environment, and we had no idea how badly that environment had been affecting us. Impacting ourselves and those around us in very strong ways. This got me thinking. I've always known that what we think and choose to act on affect our lives and the lives of those around us. What I didn't realize is how severely and environmental influence can affect it. I consider myself fairly level headed... I have a wicked hot temper, but that's not the same as being lacking in common sense. Yet I know that my decisions are so much more clear now, and that I'm smiling and laughing all the time. It actually makes me a little self conscious and doubting if things are really that funny. But I haven't laughed and joked and smiled this much since I was living over seas. I felt so free and there was no pressure or stress then. I thought it had to be a phenomena of being on an extended holiday. I had gotten so used to life being one big stress ball that it was white noise. But it turns out, a change of environment and perspective is the true answer. One doesn't have to survive that way. And I do mean survive... none of us were living in that situation. But now that we are out, it was like looking in a mirror... these guys has the same stupid smiles and happy eyes that I did. These ladies that I worked with are very treasured friends and I am grateful that they are part of my life. I would not trade the negative experiences and circumstances of our meeting away, because that would mean I would have to give them up as well. But I am glad that we have maintained our bond even though we have gone our separate ways. Something I hope we continue to nurture and maintain. We are going to do a road trip... I'll make sure we get that done. Too easy to say someday, So we will have to set a date, and see it through.