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March 27, 2010

No More Hooey!

Have you ever had a job where you love the actual work you do -- but for some reason, you come home at night at just bitch bitch bitch about all the things that are wrong at work?   I feel like that has been the story of my life.  I am a pretty upbeat and positive person, and I try to stay focused on the great things we're accomplishing at work, but inevitably, when dinner time rolls around and the family starts talking about the highs and lows of our day, we linger a bit too long on Mommy's lows -- which really stinks, because I LOVE MY JOB. 

Well, after all these years, I think I may have figured out why this keeps happening to me.  I'm a result-oriented person living in a clock-watching world.  And here's the kicker -- I don't even own a watch.

I've always known I was result-oriented -- I mean, afterall, it's one of the bullet points under the "Professional Profile" of my resume :-) ... I just didn't know how it sucked the life out of me to work with clock watchers.  But as I'm reading this book, Why Work Sucks, it's all starting to make sense to me.

Why Work Sucks and How to Fix It: No Schedules, No Meetings, No Joke--the Simple Change That Can Make Your Job TerrificAll I can say is God bless Andy Levine from Sixth Man for mentioning this book at a recent conference he spoke at.  I'm pretty sure I would have taken one look at the cover (and title) of this book and written it off as a bunch of hooey.  But even though I'm only on chapter 3, I really believe it's going to change my life.  In fact, I think it already has. 

Just for the record, the full title of the book is Why Work Sucks and How to Fix It: No Schedules, No Meetings, No Joke--the Simple Change That Can Make Your Job Terrific.  If you have ever felt like you needed some help dealing with the people you work with who measure your worth by the number of hours you're at your desk every day, or the number of meetings you attend -- instead of the value you bring to the organization -- you really really have to read it.

I know it might not be fully implementable if you're not the "big boss" of an organization -- but I think there are elements we can all apply to our lives.  And there is no doubt there is a truth to this book that should make everyone stop and think about how to work smarter in every aspect of their life.

OK...I'm rambling...and there is no point to that.  Get the book.  Read it.  Live it.

I'm off to make things happen!

March 7, 2010


...not a roadtrip gone awry, and not the TV show that has the world so entranced with its final season.

Just a bit about how I've been feeling lately.

On the one hand, life has been just wonderful since I started my new job in November. The work I do is meaningful to me, and I know I have a tremendous opportunity to make a difference with this organization -- and Lord knows the work is plentiful, which leaves me with a strong sense of security. However, I can't help feeling a little lost because life seems so out of balance lately as work has somehow overcome my every waking moment.

I don't want to come across as complaining -- because I really love the challenge of it all. But what is exhausting though is that I just don't feel like I'm getting anywhere. Each week I come up with my list of things I need to get accomplished, but then somehow the working hours get filled up with meetings, where little is really accomplished. I find myself arriving early and staying late every day to actually get the work done. By the time I get home each night (after a 40 minute drive), I am spent -- and have little energy for anything that requires thought or human interaction.

I find myself sitting and staring blankly at a television screen, or "catching up" with family and friends through Facebook -- hardly a meaningful exchange.

If I'm smart I get myself to bed at a reasonable hour, but more often than not I fall asleep on the sofa watching TV. When I wake up a few hours later (usually around 1:00 a.m.) I've had just enough rest that my mind starts going again -- usually racing with thoughts of what needs to be done at work the next day.

When I turned the page on the calendar to March, I realized that another month had gone by with little to no time dedicated to really living.

I've been down this road before, and I don't want this to become the norm. I can't let this become the norm -- because there is nothing normal or healthy about a life out of balance. But what do I do to find better alignment?

God, grant me the serenity...