A Blue State of Mind

"The biggest adventure you can ever take is to live the life of your dreams." Oprah

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Location: The Western U.S, United States

I spent 48 years caring about what people thought of me. I'm not spending the rest of my life caring about that anymore!

Friday, June 22, 2007

All Tuckered Out

I'm all tuckered out. I have worked longer hours than my fathers did picking cotton (ok, that's an exaggeration). I've not visited most of you the last few days because of time constraints and my being just too exhausted to try and do anything more strenuous than undressing and showering.

Let me tell you about my life these last few days. Got a minute? Good, 'cause this may be a long post.

I work for a company that handles "sensitive information". It's nothing like government secrets but it's handling information that should not be made to the public. In order to maintain the security of the information my company handles, employees are given access to this information only as it relates to their position. All employees signed agreements acknowledging we would work under surveillance while we're at work. This means every time I log into the computer, every time I enter or leave the campus, every time I use the telephone, every time I breathe in and out, I'm being recorded.

Blogs are especially a hot spot right now. I'd rather the company not know about my blog and because the company closely monitors our whereabouts online, I can't access Blogger because then they could find my account. I also can't read most of your blogs because of the content (i.e. nudity, off-coloured jokes, all the stuff that makes us individual blog owners) could cause disciplinary action. Except for Dragon's & Dave's sites, I don't access you from work. And when I do access the two above-mentioned, I'm anonymous. I have missed you all and hopefully things will return to normal quickly.

My company is undergoing very aggressive initiatives that requires a lot of imput from people at every level in the organization. I'm blessed that my leaders have chosen me to help review some of these changes for their impacts to my particular dept. This means I've had to reduce the amount of time I spend w/my direct reports. It also means meeting after meeting after meeting. Last Monday I sat in on a five hour meeting, then met w/my leader for an hour to discuss what happened in the five hour meeting. Then I had to go back to my team and see about them, or direct them to my peers for anything they can't problem solve on their own.

I have seen my work week change from apprx 42 hours per week to 55 easily. This doesn't include the meetings I've had to join from home via phone and the work I've had to do at home to prepare for other meetings. It's really gotten me behind in a lot of stuff at home:
>I haven't done laundry in two weeks. I now have two piles of clothes falling out of my closet
>I have eaten more McDonald's and fast food than I have in two years and I can feel it. I
should point out that McDonald's has an excellent Oriental salad that I've eaten almost
every day.
>I've drunk more Starbuck's than water and that too shows
>My Vegas pedicure has faded. I did re-apply nail polish to cover the new growth though.
I'm not that tacky to walk around w/undone toes
>I've not cooked my own lunch. Even eating those Ramen noodles when fast food was killing
me and everything else was unappetizing.
>I have about seven NY Times to read

So today, my day off, I stayed in the bed 'til about 9:30. Got up, cleaned the kitchen, cooked me some fresh salmon and lemon/garlic/blackpepper mashed potatoes, washed it all down w/cold water, read my NY Times and relaxed.

I thought about showering and running errands but it's going to be 114 degrees today so I nixed that and here I am, still in my night gown, unshowered and listening to my David Lanz page on Pandora. I've got a lot of stops to make today. Can't wait to see how you all have been doing.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Different Strokes for Different Folks

This Paris Hilton thing's gotten so big even I can't ignore it, especially when two of my favourite Bloggers have chosen her as posts and giving it almost the same title! See Dragon's and Dave's articles for reference.

I'm not mad at Paris for being free. I don't spend any of my time wondering about the lives of the rich or very wealthy. I wish I could be rich or very wealthy and live above the law, but that's not my reality. My reality is that I was born to two working-class parents. We didn't get everything we wanted but the house was filled w/love (I know, it's a cliche, but it's true).

Yesterday I had to term the employment of an employee with more than 18 years tenure. I'm feeling very sorry for her because she's in such a bad place. She's living in one of those kitchenettes, her car's broken down, her daughter's a drug addict and she (the employee) keeps allowing all the wrong people in her life. In the four years she's worked for me she's been arrested and jailed, robbed, physically abused and all sorts of other horrible things.

Yesterday I wondered why our lives could be so markedly different. She was born to two middle-class parents, received an education, married and divorced. Somewhere she made choices to have a tumultuous life-always running from the law, running from creditors, being evicted from homes and apartments.

I think I've answered my own question....

I couldn't live that life because I'm too much of a princess and too selfish. I hate being inconvenienced, I hate the idea of "doing without", I don't like to share my toys and I'm not taking care of grown folks.

All the same, I certainly hope she'll be able to make something of her life before it's too late.

Work/Life Balance

End of a busy week, the beginning of a busy weekend. Sometimes the lines for being busy disappear and just become busy. I like being busy w/work more than I like being busy w/my work life because there I'm only busy 45-50 hours a week whereas in my personal life I don't have as much control.

At work I can allow the phone to go to voicemail. I can schedule or ignore meetings. I have people that I delegate tasks. At work I can walk away from the cube that is my desk and leave for a few minutes to an hour without being missed.

At home I'm enduring church services, grocery shopping, family meals, community work. During the week I don't have travel issues because I work 'off-hours' so I'm never in rush hour traffice so during my time off whenever plans are to meet after 5p, I'm stuck in traffic, pondering my place in the universe.

It used to be my work life and my personal life never intertwined. I was always a pro at leaving work at work. Now though, I've been awarded more responsibilities and more deadlines which require me lugging home my work laptop and working from home-on my days off. I'm very good at limiting how much work-at-home I do because I've got to go to church, meet for dinner, etc.

I guess the alternative would be being overworked and having NO personal life. I'll ask you, are you more busy with work or with life?