Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Why I never get anything done: Adulting gets in the way

I am so ready for some utter nonsense.

I work for a company that is pretty flexible in allowing people to work from home, or at least my manager is. Which is a good thing because I needed to be home to wait for the installation of our new washing machine. It would be even better if the washing machine was now washing part of the mountain of laundry in the garage, but it's not. Because the installation guys aren't allowed to work with corroded pipes, and evidently the pipes in my garage are corroded. (I feel like this is the beginning of a dirty joke, but it's not. It's just my life today.)

So I called our plumber ("where did you find this guy?" Captain America asks me. "From the business card on the fridge," I tell him. "It's going to cost us an arm and a leg," Captain America tells me.). The plumber cheerfully offers to come over tomorrow at 4:30. It's not perfect, but then this whole thing isn't perfect. But I can make 4:30 work because I have a flexible and understanding manager.

I open up outlook to send my manager a calendar notification telling her that I'll be working from home again tomorrow afternoon due to this plumbing debacle only to find that my internet is no longer working. I go into the office (I've currently taken over the dining room table for work because we've recently had a heat wave and the dining room has a ceiling fan but the office doesn't) to restart the router, and I press the restart button. And nothing happens. The lights don't blink on and off, there's no clicky sound of a button being pressed. Nothing.

I decide to use our old wireless router (we've very recently changed wireless service providers), which for some reason is still plugged in and working just fine, despite Captain America's cancelling the service. The old router is working just fine on my phone, but not on my laptop. It wants some sort of 8-digit all-numeric pin that the laptop is claiming is on the router. There is no 8-digit all numeric anything on my router.

So I unplug all of the routers, plug them back in, and track down about 95 different passcodes, Meanwhile, I've checked that we don't actually have a laundry emergency (Captain America has exactly one clean uniform left, so we don't need to go to a laundromat tomorrow), and I go to text him this information. And there's some sort of weird voice text bar sitting over my text box. So I can't actually see the words I'm texting. Which of course would be fine if the words I'm writing actually ended up in the text, but as autocorrect can be quite the bitch, I really can't rely on that. Fortunately, I'm just texting my husband and he already thinks I'm nuts.

I give up and call Captain America. Captain America asks me to reschedule the installation of the washing machine for Friday, and to call our internet guy to see if he can figure out what the problem is. Then some garble comes over the radio and he says "I'm at work. I have to go." I'M AT WORK, TOO, I want to shout. But of course, by this point, he's off saving the world and I'm only yelling at a bunch of uncooperative technology.

Fortunately, by this point the internet is working again, and I'm able to google my iPhone problem. And the solution is to power off my phone. Of course it is.

While my phone is powering on/off I email my manager to explain to her a) why I haven't actually accomplished a single thing since I left the office, despite being on line for 5 hours, and b) why I'll need to work from home again tomorrow afternoon. She writes back and says, "Oh. I forgot about you."

Clearly my job is impactful.

Friday, October 2, 2015

So much to do, so little time

As I was preparing to write this post, I was actually thinking, is this worthwhile, or should I not post about this and instead move on to something else? But then I remembered that I actually liked blogging, and that in the time I was spending thinking about doing it, I could just write the damn post. You're welcome.

As you many recall (or not, since I'm an inconsistent blogger), I am working on a year of transformation. One thing I've been working on is learning to see myself accurately. This is important to me for many reasons, but one of them is that I'd like to grow my career. I'm very smart. This is not the problem. But I know I don't have the interpersonal skills I need to get where I want to go. Because frankly, I don't like people. What I'm learning, however, is that I don't have to like them to get along with them.

Anyway, because of all of this, I've been reading a lot about how the brain works, especially as it relates to emotional intelligence. Which is one of the things I could be doing now if I weren't writing this.

I recently asked a friend how a would-be-writer (this is how I would classify both of us. We've both written books. We don't have agents. We know we can write. This whole rejection letter thing is just part of the process)...anyway, I asked this friend how would-be-writers managed to have day jobs (because: bills! standards of living!), find time to write, read about the art of writing, read books in their genre, query agents, and do functional things like exercise, laundry, and grocery shopping.

Her response was: poorly. Then she noted that this may be why writers are over-weight alcoholics. (Before you get all worked up over this accusation, I seriously doubt writers, as a population, are more overweight and alcoholicy than non-writers, it's just that working in more-or-less isolation makes you forget that no one else is particularly good at adulting, either.)

I'd like to get back to the "poorly" bit, though, because everyone I talk to, specifically all working women I know, feel like they have too much going on and/or they are dissatisfied in some aspect (or aspects) of their life. So much, in fact, that they don't think they're doing anything well. Obviously we're all doing stuff "good enough." Our bills are paid. Our families eat. We have jobs and dental insurance.

Here is a list of stuff, in no particular order, that I'm not doing as well as I'd like to:

  • Eating food that's actually good for me
  • Exercising enough to meet my goals
  • Sleeping enough to not be a bitch
  • Whatever my job is (I just changed roles, so I'm sort of off the radar as work is transitioned, which is nice, but also makes me feel like I'm not contributing enough)
  • Blogging enough to have a following (why do I need a following? As a social media platform for that book I haven't published yet? I don't even know)
  • Editing my book into something that can be published
  • Outlining my new book so editing it will be easier than this one (ha ha ha!)
I know. My mother is going to take a look at this list and tell me to cross half of it off as unnecessary. Honestly, this is too many things to focus on. So what I'm actually working on is getting enough sleep. 

I've been doing a lot of reading about sleep (sleep, the brain, and yet my next book is about zombies. I'm not really helping myself here at all). Everything I read says, in a nutshell, that sleep is THE THING that will make everything else better/easier/more efficient/prettier/more baconier/and in general more awesome. Sleep helps curb food cravings. Sleep helps your tummy know when it's full. Sleep makes exercising easier. Sleep makes thinking (presumably part of my job) easier. I'm sure sleep will help me focus enough that this blog isn't a rambly hot mess, sleep will make me a smarter writer. And sleep will make me less bitchy. If only I had a nap desk!