Monday, November 28, 2016

What I’m thinking about today…Frustration

I’m a computer geek by trade.  This writing thing is new to me.  Everything I’m reading about writing is to write a lot.  They say to write every day.  I’ve got too much going on to make that a reality, but here I am writing.  Today the thought on my mind is frustration.  I’m going to write about frustration.  It’s funny because over the long weekend I had been thinking a lot about gratitude, I thought I’d write about that now.  Instead I’m going in pretty much the opposite direction.  There’s a lot of frustration today.  It all seemed to start last night when I started thinking about work again.  I knew it was looming, I knew today would be hectic, as most days are lately, and I started to get that pit in my stomach.  The same pit I’d get when I was younger in school after Christmas vacation or an especially great weekend, and I didn’t want the real world to start again Monday morning.  That feeling carried over to this morning.  I guess you can say I didn’t start the week off in an especially great frame of mind.
Monday started whether I wanted it to or not.  The meetings started, the messages started coming in, the requests for everybody’s urgent matters started pouring in, and within an hour I had forgotten that I even had any time off at all.  It got to the point where I jumped from issue to issue all day and never really got anything accomplished.  Hence the frustration.  The good news is, I’m two paragraphs in on something to write about.  That’s worth something right?
I know what the answer here is.  It’s all stuff we’ve talked about before.  Take little pieces.  You can’t solve everything at once.  Struggle and get better.  Blah, Blah, Blah…  A lot of times in the middle of it, those are very hard things to do.  You end up freezing up and making the problem worse with a particularly unproductive day.  Just like at the end of good days, all you can do is walk away and hope to do great things tomorrow right?  In a sense, this is a lot like weight loss, you’ve got good days, and you’ve got bad days.  Whatever kind of day you’ve had, you can’t let it affect the next.  You need to show up and do what you need to do.  There’s a guy, a quite impressive guy, that’s I’ve started following lately named Jocko Willink.  I’ve heard him say it’s “discipline, not inspiration” that’ll help you get where you want to be.  Well today was definitely not a red letter day in either of those categories.  Here’s to working to make sure tomorrow is different…

Thanks for humoring me with the venting… 

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

What I’m thinking about today…Decisions

We’ve got a big project going on at work.  We’ve got a couple of them actually.  All these projects have tight timelines, too few resources, no room for mistakes, and all the other fun that goes along with work of this nature.  All things that most of us are far too used to.  There’s decisions that need to be made in order for each project to move forward, too often these decisions don’t come soon enough.
While I’m on calls where I need to concentrate I like to either doodle while I take notes, or I play Tetris.  For those of you who are either too young to remember Tetris, or have been living under a rock for the better part of the last 30 years, Tetris is a game where you’re given different shaped objects and you need to stack them to fill in lines.  As you fill in lines, they disappear and you’re given new pieces at a faster and faster rate.  You need to make decisions.    
     You can see the correlation.  Whether playing the game, or dealing with things in life, the more decisions you make, the quicker new decisions come.  In most cases you can deal with a bad decision that you’ve made, leaving gaps in Tetris parlance, you just need adjust the next few choices you make.  If you’re lucky, that bad decision is wiped out and you recover to fill in the gaps.  In the game, as you start getting toward the top, which at some point is inevitable for everyone, the music speeds up, colors change, and you can feel yourself physically tensing up.  I’ve noticed myself doing that same thing quite a bit while sitting at the computer at work.  I’ve got a bunch of decisions that need to be made, and they’re coming faster and faster.  I’m hoping just like in the game, I can take a breath, spin the pieces for a second to figure out the next few moves, and get things back down to reasonable levels.

In a post a few months ago, I talked about wanting a simple life where I would like to eliminate some decisions, like what to wear, or what’s for dinner on any given night.  I’ve also talked about how getting to a certain spot in life is through deliberate choices.  Decisions are important, but sometimes it’s not so much what the decision is, but that one is made.  Don’t get yourself bogged down on making the right choice, in a lot, if not most instances, you’re better served making a decision and moving on.