Sunday, October 25, 2009

sitting at the midpoint while waiting to move forward

There comes a time when a person needs to make a conscious decision to let go of baggage. At the same time, though, you have to figure out what you will bring into your life to fill in the spaces left behind.

So, when you're at that middle point, when you've decided what (and who) needs to be left behind, but haven't decided what to bring in to your life, what do you do?

You wait and observe. You observe your own behavior. You observe what brings joy and what does not. You set standards f0r yourself. You back away from people who are not meeting your standards. You start to live according to your standards. Water seeks its own level; who you are is who you attract.

You learn to become comfortable with who you are, not who you were. You start to make plans about who you want to become, where you want to go. You ask questions, you seek answers. You learn to be patient.

But it takes time. Perhaps a lifetime. Perhaps all the questions never get answered. It's OK. Being willing to take the journey; being willing to step away from what might be comfortable but not right, is worthwhile.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Medical staff never listens when it comes to providing prescriptions

Most employee insurance plans in the US want you to use their mail order pharmacy for medications that indivdiuals take on a reguar basis. It's a lot less expensive for everyone.

You would think this is common knowledge in the medical profession. Yet, no matter how many times I try to get nurses and doctors to hand me a written script or send it to me in snail-mail, they always ask me for the number of the pharmacy so they can call it in.

I spoke to a nurse about a new prescription last week. She asked for a pharmacy number. I requested that she mail it to me so I can send it to my mail order program. They called me several days later and asked me for the number of the pharamcy so they can call it in. I started to explain that I wanted to use my mail order program and then, suddenly, gave up. WTH, it's easier to just let them do it their way. Because, they just don't seem to have any idea that there's such a thing a mail-order and that the insurance companies want us to go that route.

Of course, now I have to get in touch with the mail order program and get them to transfer the prescription to them. And, of course, THEY will again request a written script, which I just couldn't get.

If the medical profession would just get a clue about how what they do cost the average person extra money, maybe we wouldn't have such high insurance costs.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Careful what you wish for....

So, I'm a few months into my new job. I've sent out various drafts of things I've written. I've had some feedback, but not a lot.

At the beginning of the week, I stopped by the QA Manager's office and talked to him about making sure the documentation was added to the test schedule. The QA Manager is a very nice guy so I knew he would make sure it happened.

Apparently, he's not only nice, but efficient :-) He gave his team a mandate that they had to review the existing content by the end of this week and the QA team has been busy writing bugs. I haven't looked at them yet, but I suspect they are very thorough.

I'll be busy fixing stuff now, which is good. But, I wouldn't be surprised if I have a lot of fixing to do -- so easy to miss things after looking at the same content a gazillion times.

So, I'm glad that the content is being reviewed...not looking forward to sorting through all the bugs, though. Two sides to every coin, eh?

Monday, October 12, 2009

A moment of trust

Several years ago, I was working with a project team that was so dysfunctional, we were put through a team building seminar. In the long run, the seminar didn't really work ...we did exactly what the seminar leader warned about..we backslid.

But I did learn a few things about avoiding victim mentality (making excuses, instead of taking responsibility for ones actions) and about trust.

For trust to exist, each party in the relationship has to be willing to make themselves vulnerable by sharing something personal. One person has to take that risk first, and in many cases, the other person will recognize this and reciprocate. Thus, is trusting relationship born.

Last night, someone reached out to me and asked for my support. I was honored, indeed. This person is someone I recently met. She's a cool person and we've been friendly, yet not close friends (I haven't known her all that long). She's having some issues and needed to let her support system know that she was in need. And, she asked me to be part of that support system.

I recognize the courage and risk she took by reaching out to someone who she doesn't know very well. She is willing trust me with something that's so very personal. I admire and value that type of courage. And I have some understanding of what she's going through. And knowing that she is willing to trust me leads me to believe that I can trust her and let her be part of my own support system.

While I feel sad that this friend is struggling (and yes, I feel that I can call her "friend" now), there's also a sense of warmth that this person feels that I am worthy of her trust. A key goal for me is to BE a trustworthy person so I can build close connections with only trustworthy people.

Without trust, our relationships have so little meaning.

Friday, October 9, 2009

sleepy green will be a long day

Every now and then, my physical body makes me quite aware when I have not taken as good care of it as I should. I've been eating junk for a week or two (too lazy to cook) and last night, my digestive system rebelled...not in a disgusting way, but in an insistent and somewhat uncomfortable way.

Which led to me not sleeping well at all. I tossed and turned and just felt horrid most of the night.

Tummy pains are just about gone now, but I'm totally exhausted. And yet, here I am at work, thinking that today will be an extremely long day.

I get it, dear digestive system. More fruits, veggies, and fiber. I promise to pay attention from now on!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The specter of unemployment

Recently, colleagues of mine at my former employer were let go. Re-organizations, new management and similar activities mean that I know more people who have joined the ranks of the unemployed.

I'm happy with my current job. I hope it lasts a long time. But, hearing about good colleagues who are now going through the same shock and sense of dislocation that I went through 6 months ago has brought it all back. A reminder for me to not take my current situation for granted and to not forget lessons learned (be more frugal, please!).

I was so lucky that I found work so soon after becoming unemployed. Was it a fluke? Maybe. If it happens again, I have to be prepared. I've been trying to figure out what type of education I should be pursuing in case I'm out in the cold again. Suddenly, I feel an urgency to get serious about this and make a real plan, just in case. The odds of getting lucky again, like I was this year, are not in my favor. The economy is still bad, unemployment is still high.

I did a few smart things in the new job. I picked a new tool, which is very popular in the workplace, so it's another asset on my resume. I'm learning new technology in a very hot area. But, tonight, I'm feeling a little shaken. Feeling like I need to not become complacent again about being employed. I'm hopeful that I can hold onto my current job for awhile, but I need to stay vigilant and engaged with creating Plan B (and Plan C, and maybe Plan D).


Sunday, October 4, 2009

hobbyist vs artist vs diletante

I do have hobbies. I like to cook. I make glass beads. In the next couple of months, I'll be taking some art classes that, I hope, will help me make prettier glass and silver "objects d'art."

But, I've yet to find my "inner artist." My work in the arts is typically without focus. I sit down and do stuff. Most of the really nice pieces that I produce are accidental...without any real intention. I have no particular style.

This lack of focus and style is why I don't call myself an artist. An artist has a style, an artist has a direction, the work with Intention. I just seem to mess around without any real inspiration. I keep trying new things, thinking that I'll find my Muse, my Special Talent. So far, I'm enjoying my hobbies very much.

I do wish that I had an artist's brain. I've tried to explain this to people and they just tell me I'm being too hard on myself (the "being too hard on myself" comments that I hear have become a new pet peeve...a topic for a different post). How do I explain the feeling, as I sit in the glass studio, wondering what to do next, desperately searching my mind for some creative idea? And coming up with static. The artists that I've met don't have a lot of static in their brain.

I think about writing and come up with titles and vague story lines. But, that's as far as it goes. I'm thinking of joining a writing group, in the hopes that, with support, I can put some focus into these vague ideas.

I love creating things, but I never become an expert at any of my endeavors. Am I a dilettante in all things or just not found my true calling?

Friday, October 2, 2009

Old traditions that stick around for no good reason

Was chatting with some friends last night at a last-minute Mah Jongg game. It's become a bit chilly at night now, but most of us are resisting turning on the heat. We were talking about it last night and I was reminded of an odd tradition that I have...for no good reason. :-) I'm amused that I hang on to it.

Many years ago, when I was in my apartment rental phase, I had an apartment where the landlord controlled the heat. The heat was turned on October 15th and shut off on April 15th. If you were cold or hot at any other time of the year...tough luck. You put on a sweater or opened the windows. Now, this was quite a long time ago, before there was any real awareness about energy use, so if the heat was blasting and you had to have the windows wide open, no big deal.

To this day, I follow the tradition. I do my very best to wait until October 15th rolls around to turn on the heat. Which is incredibly ridiculous as I can control my heat, all by myself. But, still, I wrap myself in sweaters, and keep checking the internal temperature. Because, even with this odd clinging to an old tradition, if the temperature drops low enough, I'll give in and flip the switch. And if this happens before October 15th, I feel a slight twinge of disappointment. And the same thing happens on the other end of the year. If I feel compelled to keep the heat on after April 15th (and in New England, April can be a very chilly month), I feel that I've fallen short on my goal of keeping my heating dates.

The really amusing thing about this is that I don't even recall which apartment had this rule and there are no particularly fond memories that I carry with me about the place. And yet, it's as if some golden rule was written in my head regarding heat. And when I break the rule, I feel ever so slightly like a rebel. :-)

Maybe this year, I'll break the tradition for good and pick a new criteria for the heat switch on. Just to be different. Just to be a rebel.

It really doesn't take much for me to amuse myself...