Thursday, June 21, 2012

Balancing work and life outside of work with co-workers.

I have often been the type of person who has many friends, many co-workers, gets along well with many people, but sets rather clear boundaries.  It is rare that co-workers cross the boundary into my non work social life or other areas of my life.  I have never worked with people who were my friends before work.  I have never worked with family.  Friends from church do not work with me, nor do they participate in my family life.  I could go on.

While I am still mostly the same in this regard, in the past month or so, I and several people who work in my department have met for lunch outside of work.  Two weeks ago we met for lunch at a place that sold tacos for $1 each.  Today it was a place that had an all you can eat buffet of Chinese food for a reasonable price.  In prior years, we had attended once a year cookouts or helped move furniture for one another, but now it seems that we are socializing outside of work a lot more often than before. 

The result of this seems to be an easing of tensions and hostilities at work.  We seem to work better as a team at work.  We make it a point to invite as many people from our department as we can to these gatherings.  Of course work related subjects are discussed and I admit there is gossip and opinions exchanged, but there is just as much non-work related discussion.  The most noticeable difference I've seen at work is the fact that we tend to view one another as human beings instead of machines.  We do not have a perfect working relationship, but it seems to help our departmental morale if nothing else. 

I still have my well defined boundaries.  Work is work and my life outside of work is still that, but investing a little time every now and then seems to be worth it.  I'm sure too much of it would not be a good thing, but it seems we have found the right balance for now.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

New way of looking at time

The idea for this entry came to me when someone else pointed out that today, May 1st, is 1/3 of the way through the year.  I honestly had never thought about the year that way.  Many businesses mark the passage of time in weeks, months and quarters, with some starting at different times. (Some fiscal years start in January, some in July, some in October, and some, like Wal-Mart start in February.)

So, today marks the beginning of the second Tri-mester of 2012.  I had heard of tri-mesters in pregnancy and grade-school I think it was, but not really since then.  Semesters and quarters, yes, but few people seemed to divide the year up into threes.  Still, it allows for another point of reference.  It offers another chance to start fresh.

May 1st has significant meaning for me for other reasons.  I can think of three important personal things that happened to me on May 1st in different years. 

I can say that looking at this marker, so far this year has been pretty good for me.  I have already met at least one of my goals for the year and I am making progress toward others.  I must remind myself that, like time, I need to keep on moving.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Success in letting go and adapting to changes.

I had the day off from work on Friday.  The first thing I did after I woke up was to check Facebook.  That was a mistake.  That one little act sucked me back in to the workplace mentality being seeing updates and complaints by co-workers.  It was while on Facebook, however, that I was rescued from my doomed fate.  I read a blog about the interruptions caused by cellphones and computers.  Armed with that information, I left my cellphone in another room most of the day.  I was on the computer, but tried to limit myself there as well.

I had some more small success in my discipline of self discipline by doing two loads of laundry and washing some dishes fairly early in the day and calling to set an important appointment before lunch.  One problem I had was that the weather did not go as planned.  The forecast was for a sunny afternoon, windy and a high of 70. What we got instead were rain showers, wind and mid 50s if that.  So, the laundry I hung out on the outside clothesline to dry, instead got an extra rinse and very little drying.

While I was in the process of calling for my appointment, I realized how many phone directories I had.  So, seven outdated phone directories are in a box to get recycled this coming week.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Where to start...

In the beginning, there was so much randomness that I didn't know where to begin.  I don't know how many times I have wanted to start a project, but just didn't know what to do first, and, as a result, nothing got done.  Hopefully that will not happen with my current project.

I plan on working on self discipline over the next 6 and a half weeks.  I hope to have a cleaner house and more good articles written, as well as some new material for future writing.

Today was the official first day.  Though not perfect, I was disciplined more than usual.  I did not get up as early as I wanted, but I did cook a healthy breakfast of oatmeal.  I did not prepare spiritually for the day before I left the house, but I did while I was in the car on my short drive to work by leaving the radio off and collecting my thoughts and trying to focus my attention on spiritual matters.  I may have been rewarded for this by having EVERY light between home and work stay GREEN for me. 

I did what I had to do at work, only sending out a few text messages while on lunch, and leaving right on time.  I continued a simple evening at home, resting for about 30 minutes, sending a few more texts, getting ready for recycling tomorrow, cooking a simple meal.  Instead of watching the news, I watched a documentary on The Salton Sea in southern California and a day in the life (and an interview with) a 105 year old woman.  After starting the dishwasher and heading to my room, I realized that I had not written anything yet today.  Bad discipline.

So, today was a good start in self discipline.  At least I had some luck with a low-key day and got the kitchen sink looking less cluttered instead of just ignoring the mess.  So much more yet to work on, but day one was OK. 

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Starting early, or is it late?

One of my resolutions for 2012 and other prior years was to write more than before. 

I have written more on hubpages this year, publishing something new about every two weeks or so, but I'm afraid I've been neglecting my blog.  So, 7 weeks into the new year, I renew my intent to write. 

The timing of this renewal comes the day before the start of Lent.  I see Lent as a time of sacrifice as well as a time of preparation.  Writing more often (hopefully daily) will be a sacrifice because it will require self discipline to set aside a few minutes a day and give up some other less productive uses of my time.  It will be a time of preparation because hopefully I will develop my talents and come up with some more good material for my portfolio.

I actually started Lent yesterday by going into the chapel on my way home from work.

Getting one step ahead of things.

Hmmm.  Yesterday.  Monday, February 20.  It was the day I finally gave in and started taking my daily allergy pills until sometime this Fall.  This is the earliest I have ever started taking them on a regular basis.  When I was younger, I would take the pills only when symptoms occurred, which meant I would suffer for a while before taking any action to solve the problem, then wait for the medicine to take effect.

Somewhere over the years, doctors advised me to take the pills every day during allergy season.  This seemed like a good idea, since it was likely that many days would be allergy days between Spring and Fall.  I would take the pills from about late April until mid-June, then from mid August until the first frost usually in October.

Two years ago, my Doctor surprised me when, during the dormant time of early March, he asked me if I was taking my allergy pills yet.  Puzzled, I replied, "No, not yet!"  He said it was a good idea to start taking them about 3 weeks before  symptoms start.

So, since this year has been a particularly mild Winter, and since I have had some annoying health problems in the past few weeks, I decided to start taking the pills now, just in case my premonition is right.