Wednesday, July 23, 2008

bits of things, odd thoughts

Stress mostly. The job has gotten pretty stressful lately and evidence is in just about everything I do. I also realize that I am over drawn on my time and need to pull back in some.

I went to see Batman with Robin. I'll let that sink in a little. :-) I'll say this first, Heath Ledger was amazing in that movie. Interestingly enough, the movie left me with a lot to think about. A constant theme throughout the movie is the concept of a hero. Go figure right? Probably not in the way you think though. A quote from the movie is "You either die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain." As a hero, sometimes you have to make a choice in the heat of the moment and the only person that is going to understand it is you. Everyone else is going to hate you for it because they don't have your perspective. When I was an IT field engineer, I had customers that would stand up and cheer when I got on site. They weren't cheering if I had several customers down and they weren't the first one's picked. I can't be several places at once. I've had to give customers really bad news and I wasn't liked so much then either. Sometimes I would try so hard to meet everyone's expectations that I would be up all night working on several issues because I knew the next day I had still more customers to take care of. Having remote admin access to business networks is a huge responsibility to be trusted with, but you can be sure that if something went wrong you were expected to work on it all hours, or be blamed. Two weekends ago a situation came up where I was called because I had "the big picture" of a problem that had come up. I had to assess the people and their capabilities as well as the problem at hand. I suggested they make a change until the right people could be called in to fix the problem the right way. The system that was down was critical and waiting would mean it would be at least 24 more hours before it could be brought back up. They made the workaround. Since last week I have been taking heat over that decision. It had already become a difficult place to work, but I was hopeful things were getting better. Now I'm not sure. Between the movie and this incident what I have been pondering is do I need to be a hero? Do I need to rescue people? My thought is that if I am not at work, then things should run smoothly without me. If they don't then I'm not doing my job as a Leader/Manager. I don't want to think for people, I want them to think for themselves. I have learned from better leaders that I don't criticize people for decisions they make in crunch situations. We may have a lessons learned, but I'm not going to write anyone up for making a mistake in that situation. I trust my people and I don't want them floundering if I can't be reached. I certainly don't want to be called during my time off, I'm busy enough as it is. I also believe that things can be taken care of in an 8 hour day. If not, then things are mis-managed and there are unrealistic expectations. There are of course exceptions to this, but as a rule that is my expectation for my division and the people that work for me.

Have you seen the Avatar series from Nickelodeon? It is excellent. It is a terrific story, marvelously done. Buy the DVD's for your kids (or yourself) or get it from iTunes, etc. It is essentially a series of morality plays. One I saw this past week was about forgiveness. Several things have been going on over the past several months that have me thinking a lot about forgiveness. This Avatar episode just highlighted it for me. What does it really mean? What boundaries need to be set? Forgiveness does not mean trust, it does not mean acceptance, it does not mean the debts are paid, and it does not mean that the hurt is gone. To me it just means that the anger is abated and there is acceptance that whatever happened is in the past and cannot be changed. It is time to move forward and stop dwelling in the past.

This ties into subject 3: Dating Karma. Ms Single Mama wrote about this a few weeks about. Along with forgiveness, I've been pondering this too. I've read that in order to really forgive someone for breaking up with you, you need to break up with someone. You can't really know what goes on until you are in the shoes of that person. Sometimes I wonder if I need to do some of the things that have been done to me in order to forgive those actions. Where does my Karma stand if I wish that the people that have wronged me also get wronged in the same way? Is it worse if I wish I were there to see it happen? :-) In the end I know there are situations that will never be reconciled satisfactorily either because I can't fully forgive or because the other person isn't really capable of true reconciliation. Mostly I would just like to move on, free of the past, and free to chart my own course going forward. Currently the compass and gps are both broken.

Volleyball is one of the highlights of my week right now. Picture this: BEACH, BANDS, OCEAN, FRIENDS, SUMMER NIGHTS, BEER, SUNSET SWIMS, and FOOD. It is intoxicating.

Piano is going well. I'm loving it.

Dodgeball is good, but my arm hurts after every game.

Softball is DONE. Whew. We're all glad that is over. It was fun, but the season kept going and going. I may not be doing softball in the fall.

Soccer is probably not doing a summer session. I'm sad about this, but it means the fall season may start early.

Indoor Volleyball for the fall will be starting signups before too long. If I can get on a team or put one together I will definitely do that.

I got to go to Richmond last weekend!!!! The day began with Golf. I shot a 95 (or so). Not bad considering I haven't hit a golfball since going to Richmond last July. They are thinking about calling the excursion the Annual Crazy Computer Dad Golf Tournament. In the afternoon we had a brainstorm session about Managed Security Services for commercial companies. In the evening we went to BW3s for beer, food, and trivia.

Lots of events and things coming up, but I'm really missing my son and I need to start planning/preparing for his return too.



  1. karma is the statement of what is... "it is what it is."

    acceptance of "what is" at any given point in time is the key to good karma. it is not about retribution or vengeance - ever. sorry dude. haha.

    however, there is also the notion, which i happen to strongly espouse, that all things balance. you dont need to SEE it balance, but you KNOW it does in the grand scheme of things. i KNOW it in my heart and soul and there is a peace which follows with it.

    so in every action i take, i accept the balancing out of said action. i accept that everything EVERYTHING i do has a ripple effect on the collective. no, not the borg, the collective HUMAN race ;)

    i could certainly write more, but this comment is too long already. i will end with this, "What does not kill you, makes you stranger!" - The Joker


  2. As far as Karma goes, remember the golden rule is "Do unto others as you'd have them do to you"....NOT "Do unto others as someone has done to you"!!!

  3. One other thought occured to me... and I realize that I'm kind of "siloing" this one blog entry but... Reading the last part of your blog, where you list all your activities, everything that's going one... all that...

    Has it ever crossed you mind you might be in to so much that its making you ineffective overall? You'd have a hard time convincing me that your life had any focus with a list of activities like that.

  4. Robin,
    Acceptance of what is. That is certainly my goal. On the path to enlightenment, I haven't gotten very far. :-) Balance is the bane of my existence. It often appears within reach but ultimately becomes unattainable. Some Yang right now would do wonders for the Yin. Yes the Joke is quite the character, but I always say "what doesn't kill you makes you an easier target for the next thing." :-)

    As always your insights are well thought out and well spoken. The Golden Rule is always there. I'm not serious about wishing bad things to happen, but I can't deny that the thought doesn't crop up. It would be hard not to given the situations I find myself in sometimes, which I haven't really shared here. I'm quick to quench it.

    As far as my time, I did start off with "I also realize that I am over drawn on my time and need to pull back in some." :-) Focus? Nope, none at all. Focus comes back August 31. It's name is Brandon. Ineffective? Absolutely. I'm not proud of it, but it is what I need right now. A bit of chaos and lack of direction before I have to lock back on. A controlled withdrawal if you will. :-)

  5. Oh, I fully realize (well, as much as one can from reading a blog) that when your son is with you, you have to be focused... on him.

    And that's pretty much my point exactly. You have these other things you're trying to figure out about you. When Brandon is with you, you have to devote so much time to him, it doesn't seem like you really have time to solve anything for you. I'm not in any way calling Brandon, a distraction, by the way. He's a beautiful resonsiblity :)

    But then, when he's gone, and you DO have time to work on you, it sure looks to me like you don't.

    You said many, many blog entries ago something to the effect of "I should move to Utah to pursue snowboarding. It's my passion."

    So you played volleyball, softball, kickball, dodgeball, oh, you did go diving once... but what about that passion? Did you snowboard even once in those months? You know, that thing you love for you, your passion?

    My bet is a trip to the slopes would have brought you much more satisfaction than all the games you played through the summer. I bet we'll never know.

    Did the summer turn out like you hoped? Will you do the same thing next year? It's not too soon to start planning! For YOU!!

  6. well you know me, i have a lot to say and gently disagree with you on... so i wrote it on my blog so i dont clog up your comment space ;)


  7. Delightful,
    :-) Great analysis, but I'm passionate about much more than snowboarding, and there are reasons that I won't go into here that I didn't go to south america or Australia to do that. In lieu of that passion I've pursued others.

    Do I have it all together and a plan for everything? Nope. But I concentrate, when I can, on conquering a few little things at a time. Has the summer turned out like I hoped? Yes and then some. I pushed my limits in several areas to learn a little more about me... There is much more, but for a later time! :-)

    You and Robin both sound like therapists! :-) Not a jab, just an observation.

    Have a great weekend!


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