Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Standing Tall

The weekend with the (non-cycling) girls was very fun.  Too much food, too much wine and too much Cards Against Humanity.  I'm still recovering from all of it, I think.

Just got my raise letter for the year.  I am so grateful.  My boss really went to bat for me.  A very nice thing to do on his way out the door. 

I've been in/on/beside my standing desk for about a month and am really loving it.  It makes such a difference in my energy level at work, which is a nice unintended consequence.  Leads to much more collaboration, etc.  Who knew? 

Haven't completed killed the Diet Coke habit, but it's down to one or two a day.  Far cry from what it used to be.  Water consumption is way, way up.  That's good.

And in an interesting turn of events, I'm attending a lecture tonight with Professor X.  And I'm sort of over it. 

Take good care of yourself.  Be kind to others.  Stand tall.


Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Bruised Something

Well, that certainly didn't go as planned.  I was actually really excited about going to training, both for the opportunities to practice being social and to learn a new skillset that I need for work.  Turned out, it was like a flashback to grad school in the quantitative classes - me being the only non-engineer person in the room.  Here, I was the only non-developer in the room.  With an instructor who was teaching his first class, after becoming certified in March and graduating from college in December.  Boy, I sound "hey kid, get off my lawn" and I feel old and fucking stupid after that.  And I get to go in and do it again today.  I don't know how much was poorly taught, how much was me being the only beginner in a fundamentals class with a group of developers who had been using the product for several months and how much was me not being as sharp as I used to be and unable to pick things up as quickly as I once did.  But goddamn, it does gets old and humiliating to have to stop the class and ask questions. To be that woman. I do not handle frustration very well.

And the thing is, I do need these skills but I don't know how to get them.  At least not this way - and I don't know how to complain. I have been in a multitude of training classes over the years and this one is the worst, but without raking this man over the coals, I think I'd like a do-over with a different instructor.  Trouble is, the training isn't available again for months.

So my ego is bruised.  And last evening was one of those times where it would have been nice to have someone help repair my frustrated self.  As it was, I survived, albeit with a chocolate chip cookie - which didn't help one bit.  But I am writing this all down, as I need to process it and be able to go in and do it again today.

Monday, April 6, 2015

How To Work A Room

I'm going to be out-of-office for the next two days in training for a graphics software package.  My boss was the stats/graphics dude for the office and now I need to step up in that area.  I've always been the dataminer - now I've got to make it pretty and dashboardy.  Well,  he didn't make things dashboardy, but it needs to be done that way.  So, the bottom line is that I will be walking into a room full (I suspect 10-15) people today and I have a great opportunity to stretch my newly-uncovered ability to work a room.

See, that was the deal with "mountain man" - yes, he was interesting and could talk - but what I was misinterpretting as interest in me was his being at ease around me and me making the conversation flow like magic.  When I re-assess, the energy was all mine and I was masterful at managing the conversation at our table, with he and the other diners.  And I was thriving off MY energy, as well.  

When I think back to the meeting with Professor Plum - the situationw as similar - it was MY energy, me creating the connections, however fleeting.  And I LOVED doing it.  So today, I get the opportunity to work the room.  Let's see if I have the courage to actually follow through!  I will rely upon the skills of two of my cycling buddies - both of whom have great skills in the area-and who have each admitted to me privately that it is not as "natural" as it seems. And all this time, I thought it was everyone else who had the skills! I have the skills, they are just not my default position.  My defaul has been been "cool and aloof" - and nobody likes C and A.  

BTW - I bought How To Work A Room by Susan RoAne at the used bookstore.  It offers some good tips on improving social skills.  For me, it's mainly just opening up - my face, my posture, my smile - make some eye contact and initiate contact.  To hell with that "they" might think.  And the great thing about life?  I get opportunities to practice this each and every day.  Well, not yesterday, as I didn't leave the house :-).

Take good care of yourself.  Be kind to others.  Create a connection.


Sunday, April 5, 2015

Over The Moon (Roof)

What a lovely weekend!  I had Good Friday off and took advantage of the great weather to work in the yard.  I got the bright idea to 1.  save my back and 2.  get in a workout by concentrating on doing deep squats as I was pulling weeds.  Think really deep, almost butt on the ground squats. Five lawn bags worth.  Follow that up with wielding the hedge trimmers up and over my head for what felt like hours.  I had to drop out of the planned ride on Saturday because I was in agony.  No amount of Aleve and hot bath could make the pain go away.  So I took it easier on Saturday - just mowing and edging and using the leaf blower.  At the end of the day, I drove out to a local nursery and got several bags of mulch to start replentishing the beds.  On the drive out there, I noticed, perhaps for the first time, that my car - that I've owned for almost two years - has a moon roof!  I figured out how to open it but then couldn't figure out how to close it.  I had to pull over to the side of the road and get out the owner's manual!  Turns out, I can open all my windows AND my new moon roof using my key fob!  Who knew!  Certainly not me.  Lesson for the future?  RTFM.

Sunday was spent in the house, watching it rain and taking it easy.  I did spend some time switching out seasonal clothes, rearranging closets and trying to style some new outfits.  I tend to have a lot of solid color pieces, so the inspiration needs to come from scarves.  So I got out my summer scarves and tried to put together some new outfits.  Ordered myself a pair of navy work shoes.

I also spent some time reading up on how to keep my hair from frizzing.  All the styled outfits in the world won't look decent if I look like Doc Brown.  I did the spa day thing, deep conditioner, mani and pedi,

I've started taking some vitamin supplements, designed for thyroid support.  It will be interesting to see if I can feel the difference.  I've been pretty successful in weaning myself off the DC.  I'm down from 8-12 a day (yea, I know) to 2.  And when this case is gone, that will be it.  Now if I can remember not to automatically order it at restaurants.

Take good care of yourself.  Be kind to others.  Learn something new.


Monday, March 30, 2015

Let's Go To Luckenbach, Texas

I had a wonderful weekend in the Hill Country.  The LBJ dealio was spectacular, as usual.  Ended up with seven of us going.  Great, great time.  I am worn smooth out.  Too much time with the wine bottle and too much time spent with my head stuck in the feed trough.  Today was back on the straight and narrow.

Have I mentioned I'm quitting Diet Coke, again?  Yeah, well, I'm making another run at it.  Of course I decided to do that just after I bought nearly three cases of the stuff at Costco.  I suffer from dry mouth, which leads to other unpleasant things.  Basically, the metal in my mouth from my dental fillings/dental work, etc - coupled with a near constant addition of acid (Diet Coke) - creates my very own organic battery.  So it is time to give the acid a rest.  And the water has to be good for me, right?  Right?  Oh, man, do I hate just drinking water.  But I've been doing it.

Nothing new or exciting to report.  I've got one weekend to recover, then I have another (non0cycling) girlfriends' weekend out of town.  I'm getting to old for this!

Take good care of yourself.  Be kind to others.  Regroup.


Sunday, March 22, 2015

The Alchemy of Others

My Flying Fish Roe sushi
Returned from Nashville with a sore back.  Thankfully, I was traveling with a couple of close friends - one who had a pain pill to help me get on the plane and get home.  I'm feeling much better - been doing lots of stretchy things - and now have a standing desk at home (cobbled together) and at work (ready made).

I was away for five days.  The first two days, I damned near starved to death!  There just wasn't enough convenient, appropriate food available.  So I went off the rails a bit for the next two days and then righted myself again on the last day.  Been eating in a way that makes me feel good for the last several days.  It's amazing how long a "baked good" hangover lasts these days.  I feel fairly sure that the inflammation caused by my indulging in conference food played a big part in my back flare.

It's been a crazy busy work week - I've implemented a new program at work and it's required a lot of babysitting, educating and tweaking.  It's been highly successful just not perfect.  I worked a few hours on Saturday morning and then decided to spend the rest of the day SOPing (sacrament of putter - tm Anne Lamott).  I had signed up for a meetup dinner at a sushi place across town but, as usual, was wavering about walking into a group of strangers.  Luckily for me, a couple of the folks with whom I attended the Irish festival were going.  Great!  At least two friendly (known) faces.  So I went.  And I walked in at the same time as another gentleman and we ended up sitting together.  I got up and introduced myself to the other dozen or so people there and came back to sit down and visit with Bear.  A real outdoorsman - not in a hunting way, but in a hiking, climbing (ice and mountain) and biking way.  Oh, and a phototaker, as well.  Some amazing landscape pics.  Thanks to smart phones, one can make their portfolio completely portable.  Anyway, interesting, interesting man.  I rather fumbled the end-of-evening by not giving him my social card but he did say that he hoped to see me again and I said that I did too.  I got a nice email message from him later on in the evening (through the group), so we'll see.  Or not.  The interaction made for a great evening.

This week promises to be another busy one, as it will be a short one for me.  I'm taking at least a half day Friday to start to travel down to the Hill Country for the third annual "start of the cycling season" ride.  Always a fun time!

Take good care of yourself.  Be kind to others.  Just smile, dammit, give off positive energy and see what happens.