With the end of the month upon us, I'm usually pretty busy everywhere I turn. At work I have my monthly summaries, which always acts as a reminder of all that's let to get done before the next month rolls in. Although I'm not under any quota system per se, there's still a close eye watched on my numbers, so those summaries also act as a big impetus to get what-can-be-done done and out-of-the-way.
What was interesting this month was that all the projects rolled out there month were either done by other departments, done by me alone, or a lot of old stuff that was delayed from last month. The department that I technically belong to had nothing. Not that they haven't been working frantically all month; it's just that a last minute stop-what-you're-doing kicked in and halted everyone in their tracks. Projects that were "thsclse" to finishing are now on hold because of a reaction from above. I think that it'd be best to let them wrap up rather than linger on, but then again, it's not my project. I wrapped up my stuff... helped my other clients to wrap up their stuff... and just smugly went about planning my next adventures.
And the home front, for those keeping up with THOSE adventures... I saw a little, teeny progress come through today; when the Seller conceded a little credit and agreed to leave some more appliances. Nothing like the fiery breath of Escrow to get you eager to move on, eh?
All this "completition" has got me eager to get going on so many other things too. It just feels good to have things out of the way. I'm looking around for things to finish up.
I have an idea! I'm gonna finish up this post now.
Tuesday, April 26, 2005 Swim... Sometimes what you need is upstream, and the only way to get it is to swim harder.
It's been a struggle for me lately... not in an "I-can't-do-it" sort of way, but more like "this-ain't-gonna-be-easy". Naturally I'd rather be taking the Path of Least Resistance, but for all I know, maybe this IS that path. I know what I want. I can picture it clearly in my mind. It's just a matter of whether everyone else is going to cooperate.
On the home front, the seller is not willing to make concessions. Her stubbornness is slowing down the process, and basically just making it more difficult with each new step. You'd think she'd understand how much we need each other, and that we'd get much farther if we worked together. But she doesn't see it that way.
The same with work. People aren't seeing things eye-to-eye. Heck, they're not even seeing things face-to-face. So everywhere I turn, someone is telling me how this meeting's delayed, and that project's nowhere to be found.
But rather than allowing these few ripples to rip through my plans, I'm keeping my sights on my own destination... far away and hard to get to... but I'll just keep on swimming til I get there.
Friday, April 22, 2005 Happy Earth Day We're perfectly suited to this Earth, so let's not ruin the relationship.
Happy Earth Day everyone! Today is a day to just think about this world we live in, and plan ways to stay in balance with it. It's easy to think that the world is bigger than we are; that the little things we do don't make that big of a difference, but it really does. Like the butterfly that starts the typhoon, we don't know how the tiniest thing can change the entire course of Life itself.
The important for us to do is simply to live in balance with everything around us. By using just what we need and giving back all that we can, the earth and our lives will go on.
Sunday, April 17, 2005 Puzzling... Life is filled with puzzles... and not every piece fits.
The last couple of days have been just pieces of my life strung together; some falling right into place... other pieces just seeming so out of place.
Friday was definitely a big fragment. Someone tried to sneak in some last minute material into a video and it was so discombobulated that it became simply puzzling! We had to stop in mid-shoot and go back to the drawing board. It was just not fit for human consumption.
Friday was also a day to pick up a few more pieces of my fractured career. I had to claim my territory take the leadership on a project that although I was doing it already, it hadn't been widely known by the person who was attempting to usurp my authority and disempower me once again.
The weekend's pieces were much more pleasant. The path to the new house is getting smoother, which each new piece falling into place so that it looks just like the picture on the box! If only everything (and everyone) else was this easy going...
Of course my apartment looks like a puzzle dropped on the floor a few times. With Tax Time, and Escrow Time and some Insurance things I'm working on.... there's papers-papers-everywhere. Piles of pieces and pieces of piles, and I'm puzzled by half of it... and the other half I just can't find.
But it's all good... puzzles are games after all... meant to make our lives more entertaining, right? And if I can't call any of this "entertaining" right now, I definitely know I can't call it "boring."
Thursday, April 14, 2005 Recognition... Recognition is its own reward.
I've always the known the power of praise. I've often used it to boost the morale of someone and bring out their best. When used properly, it can forge a loyalty that goes beyond anything money can buy.
I also know that as a double edged sword, if used improperly, it can sever ties and severely wound spirits for years to come.
During a team meeting today, a number of people were given lavish praise. Their contributions are undeniably deserved. We are truly lucky to have their talent, input and support. As they received their praise, they embarrassedly tried to include all the people who had been ignored by the manager's narrow focus. She may not have realized it, but the manager was saying more with what she did NOT say than what she DID say.
I know this because I was one of them who was left out.
As I listened to the others getting full credit, I knew that the manager still did not understand what I had done. I spent too much time working behind the scenes when I first got hired. I focused too much on the team, on helping out and didn't strive to get any credit for my work... so now it showed (or rather, it didn't).
I knew that I would be getting some attention because it's been five years of employment; so I sat and wondered what she would say. Would she talk about the work I've done, would she say it was a pleasure to work with me, saying that I was invaluable and worthy of as lavish a praise as the others? I didn't necessarily want that, but I also didn't want to be without it; if you know what I mean.
When my turn came up, she talked about the company's recognition of commitment. She talked about how difficult working for the company can be. She talked about the benefits of working long enough and about the form letter that comes with the pin. She didn't talk about us, and our long history together. There was no connection between us. She never forged one.
The rest of the day went fairly much the same, and I knew that not only was she having a narrow vision of my contributions, she was making decisions based on that.
That means I still have a ways to go. I'm making great progress with other teams, and they've started to recognize, and even praise, my contributions. Praise, by the way, that she never even acknowledged when they said it.
And so I forge ahead, determined more than ever to do my best work; this time more publicly. I'm working on some big ways of contributing to the entire group, that IF recognized would really make a difference. The pressure is on, but I must presevere. It's just that time is of the essence.
However on the flip side, I decided to give her some recognition. I gave her a gift to acknowledge the lessons she has taught me these last couple of months. I gave her a Frisbee and said how that she has shown me the importance of continuing against all adversity... that no matter how much other people's perspective can be damaging, you can't let it stop you... that the stronger the wind is against you, the higher you can fly.
I do hope she recognizes that, so that I still have the chance to fly.
A year ago, as I watched a Bentley drive off, an idea was left behind. I wanted to capture a moment... a simple little moment that I'd otherwise never notice. Even if I had a camera it wouldn't have gotten from the moment what I had seen.
I thought the moment was gone, 'til I realized, "hey, I'm a writer!!"
It's hard to believe that a year has gone by. It seems like an eternity in some ways... being that I went from the frying pan to a fantasy job to the fire, in such a short period of time. I got rid of debt and am now heading toward bigger numbers (they call it investing, we'll see...)
Lifewatches have helped me to see the world a little closer. I never realized that so much life happens on such tiny threads. I hope all of you have started to see more of your life by reading them.
I deliberately leave the details out. I may even erase a few lines here and there. I do that so that you can color it any way you'd like, so its not just sitting back and watching Life... it's putting Life into what you watch.
Monday, April 11, 2005 Uncertainty Nothing in Life is certain, even uncertainty.
This was a weekend of yes-no-maybe's and shoulda-coulda-woulda's, with an occasional on-again-off-again moment. I saw some wonderful potential-filled homes, made offers... and waited. Made a lot of phone calls... and waited. Went shopping... and waited. Waited... and waited.
Then finally fate stepped in. OK, maybe just the phone rang, but that doesn't sound as dramatic. A second place fell through. Slightly disappointed, I found solace in my Jamba Juice.
Then finally fate stepped in. OK, the phone rang again, but this WAS more dramatic. As it turns out the deal on the first place fell through and they were coming back to me to see if I was still interested. I was. I am.
So even though I'm keeping my enthusiasm at bay, I have more faith in the deal. Why? Maybe it's the way it came back into my life... maybe it's the way I can really picture myself living there... or maybe because I have a signed offer. Yeah, that did it.
Of course there's a long way to go, filled with twists and turns ... but at least it looks like the road home.
Thursday, April 07, 2005 There's no place called home... The mightier the castle, the stronger the foundation must be.
I could tell, when the realtor called that the signs were bad. "The seller needed to 'sleep on it'... even though they gave us the impression it was accepted last night..."
My heart sank. I know they tell you never to fall in love with a place... and I didn't. Well, maybe I did, but I didn't get too emotionally tied into the place.
And it's not like I told the world about it or anything.... wait, ok, maybe I told the world about it, but it's not like I personally called everyone I know... which is true, cause I know a lot of people; I just didn't have their phone numbers handy.
By 6 O'Clock, the home belonged to someone else. I joked around, saying that I should get to know them so that I could come visit the place anyway. But still, I knew it was time to just move on.
It was a good experience though. Not only was it a dry run for the right time, it forced me to get some things ready that I had been putting off or not even thinking about. I'm actually more ready to get a place now than I was when I signed the offer.
I'll miss that place... and probably compare a lot of stuff to it. After all, it's hard to forget our firsts... even if it was just a tease.
I pushed it all aside and went out to dinner with my 82-year old uncle and his second wife. They are so lively, so funny... and still so very much in love after many many years together (He was married to my Aunt but will always be my Uncle, of course). They've come from Florida to a trip through California, then down to Ensenada, to take a cruise the long way home through the Panama Canal. I truly hope I have as much Life in me when I reach that age, as I saw tonight.
We had amazing conversations about politics and religion and the war and social security and Alligators and cutting down trees in the middle of a hurricane (he just did that to save the house this last round). It was hard to figure out where one conversation ended and the next one began. With each new topic, they expounded a little wisdom.
"It'll happen when the time is right... there's plenty in Life to enjoy. The point is to enjoy it."
Wednesday, April 06, 2005 It's time... Timing, however short and fleeting, is everything. Make each moment count.
It's been an overwhelmingly challenging time for me. You might say it even left me speechless. I can now come up for air... and now have a lot to say.
Two worlds collided today as I raced to get them both done in what little time I had left. Time pressurized each moment until the seconds burned red hot.
A very big video project came at the very last minute from the very top. Something that HAS to be out by tomorrow morning (which of course only got thought about this morning). I simply postponed all other projects and set about getting it done. Good luck helped me out a lot today. Everything just seemed to fall into place, like it was meant to be.
And speaking of "meant to be"... it was only last night that I went to see a condo a few blocks away from my current place. It's a beautiful Tudor style, reminiscent of Shakespeare's theater at Stratford-Upon-Avon. As I walked through the front gate, passed the fine trimmed trees, all I could say was, "I'm home."
So tonight, with just minutes to spare, I rushed around trying to get my offer in before the 6pm deadline. Talk about needing to focus!
I made it just in the nick of time, and expected a quiet evening ahead. Yet barely two hours, and many, many phone calls, later I was told that my offer has been accepted!
It's so much in such a short period of time, I SHOULD be speechless.