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Permission for anger

  • Work

A respected mentor of mine linked me to this piece when I had expressed, possibly for the first time, how absolutely angry I was/am. I would quote more paragraphs, but I might end up just copying the whole piece, so here goes.

Dalglish Chew:

The selfless impulse to take responsibility and to repair is a marvel to behold. Under the right circumstances, it is a precious gift that has the power to change lives and heal a broken world into wholeness. But without anger to remind us where we end and others begin, we have no way of knowing whether we’re using our gifts out of choice or compulsion.

Becoming less of a work-bot

  • Work

If you looked up the definition of sheepish, you’ll probably find my face right there. Mostly due to the fact that I have been neglecting this journaling habit, which was something I held quite proudly of for last year.

2021: never missing a week!

2022: does ‘a week’ mean anything, actually? what is this archaic concept of time we hold ourselves to? why have we shackled ourselves—

Etc, etc.

This entire second half of the year has been a test that I have been consistently failing, I think. I find myself buried with work, and burying myself with more of it. My free thoughts are fleeting, consumed by the things for work I’m wasting time not doing right now and the things I should be doing, but I don’t have the mind space to sit down for them right now. It’s pretty dire, and in no way strategic.

Or any good for my mental health, that I know for sure.

I talk about putting guard rails a lot, but I also kick them down on my own volition. There are things I know I need to be better at:

Better at saying no.

Better at managing my expectations.

Better at putting myself first.

Which, yikes, sounds kind of like a humble brag, no?

When life gives you different-timezone-flavored lemons…

Look at me, a whole month ago, breaking down and analyzing my “new” routine at work, without realizing that all of that was going to get slightly upended when I got staffed on a project based out of the UK.

Needless to say, I did not do very well with the whole work-life balance or integration part of things. Working with the team that is 7 hours behind me meant that theoretically, I should be starting my day way later, but I was consistently pulling 14+ hours during the past month, and readers… It was no fun.

Sometimes I feel like a fraud when I find myself reminding other people on my team to take breaks, push back, and say no to things. I know I haven’t yet mastered (or even grasped, honestly) that yet for myself, and it’s definitely something I have to work on.

Anyway, now that the hell month is over, I should re-prioritize my life again. I know that writing this weekly makes me happy, but I’m also (constantly) fretting about what the Purpose™  and value of this all is.

I want to talk about productivity and habits and personal finance and minimalism and, and, and, but it is a field that is super saturated — though I do have my own personal spin on things, but fundamentals remain that. I want to be better at focusing on the craft of writing, and on long-form essays, and that is a muscle that I’m not always using. I want to start thinking about writing original fiction again, and doing that. I want to dabble in creating for other mediums (podcast? video? social media?), and becoming more of an expert in those things.

Lots of wants in my life, and not so much time or energy to be doing those!

(P.S. On Sunday I fell flat on my face, nearly, and hurt my elbow trying to do an ab wheel exercise that my physio is making me do, so that’s a nice little bow to the end of the work week.)

Settling (plunging) into my new routine

It’s been a couple of weeks since we’ve been told we need to work from the office on Mondays and Wednesdays. Personally, my productivity plunges underground, and because I have evening calls after those office hours, I’m finding myself pulling 14 hour days. It’s very sustainable!

Worse still is how un-ergonomic the office setup is (non-adjustable table; chairs with minimal back support; no proper foot rest; monitors from the 2010s if other people get to the three HDR monitors we have in the office), and that is fucking my back right up.

It takes a whole day to actually recover from that, sometimes more, and it’s affecting the quality of the rest of my life. I’m actually finding myself leaning on medication to keep the pain at bay, instead of being able to go to my bed and do some stretches if I were at home.

This has also been messing up a lot of my habits — a lot of them presumes one that can be predicted, or that I actually have the time to do it. These are some things I have to figure out how to best fit it into the new schedule:

  • Meal prep: Because our office days are Monday and Wednesday, and I’m inclined to buy a salad for lunch, I’m not sure if I should be batch-cooking on Sunday. I have the aforementioned evening calls that sometimes end at 11pm, and I’m not sure if I would have the time to spend the hour cooking on Tuesday evening/night to make sure I have food for the later part of the week.
  • Money: This is mostly just an adjustment and a mindset shift, because of the added costs of coffee, food, transport, and general I-see-a-thing-and-I-get-reminded-that-I-want-it.
  • Writing: This very hobby. How very meta, right? It’s not just the time that I use to write these out too, but actually finding the willpower to want to, after work ends (at 11pm sometimes). I’ve never missed more than 2 weeks of posting, until… this one, I guess, since this has been in my Notion drafts for that long.
  • Gym: In the same vein of writing, it takes Monday and Wednesday out of the rotation for potential gym days — I go in the mornings because it’s less crowded, but I also don’t want to sacrifice too much sleep time (which is also a problem if I’m commuting 2 hours a day)
  • Physio exercises: These are somewhat separated from actual gym time, because they’re more localized ab exercises compared to the equipment I need at the gym. I can try doing them at night, but sometimes I get too tired and lazy, and just… don’t.
  • Snacking: This is entirely on me, but we have a snack area and I find myself gravitating towards the dried mangos and Twisties because why not? (Why yes? @ myself)

Anyway, this feels a lot like complaining and very little of solutions, and I’m frustrated. Hopefully I’d have worked something out, found my groove, and working on being just that little bit more productive with my new routine. And without a 2+ weeks break for writing!