Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Finding Rod

Among the other patterns of dreams I've had over the last couple of weeks I seem to have been dreaming about computers and the internet a lot. Nothing specific, just the sense of having woke and dreamt of the computers and the internet. That is kinda...weird. Of course, it dawns on me that it might be an extension of the communication dreams I've been having.

I've spent the last two years (actually, a closer to three) under the shadow of two very big and highly stressful projects at work. In 2006 we started a big project that replaced a core system with an outsourced vendor hosted system. I was brought onto that project late and so played the infamous game of catch up and squeaked my portion of the pie under the wire - it involved an way to much overtime. That project ran through 2006 and culminated in November of 2007 with a successful roll out. I followed that up with The Project That Almost Broke Me, which culminated for me in December (and I am slowly spinning off it as I close things and hand them to the team that has O&M).

Now, at work, we are sorting through and lining up the projects for 2009 and I have a few, but none of them threaten to be either the size or the scope of the preceding two (of course, the year is young). When I am work now I actually feel like I accomplish things during the course of a day. I am working full hours and a little overtime, but the workload feels manageable, which is great.

That has sparked my New Year's resolutions which are all largely external resolutions - I thought that was a curious pattern that emerged as I wrote them down, but it is definitely something that I feel I need - I have a powerful need to be outside and doing "stuff".

Adjacent to that is the need to spent some quality time "inside" - reading, thinking, praying, meditating, contemplating, writing. Overall I think having been badly unbalanced for the last coupe of years, I feel the need to return to balance. I think that I am on the right track for that, but I think only time is going to tell there.

One of the strange things that I thought of is that there are people in my life who have only known me in that relatively high stress time. There are whole aspects of my personality that they simply have not seen at play. That is kind of a weird thought and it made me wonder, of those same friends and acquaintances, how many of them I have an equally distorted picture of - having only known them through a certain period of their lives. Would I recognize their "other selves"? Will they recognize my other self? As I return to my normal patterns and habits and happinesses, will they see that change in my as a change for the better or for the worse?

Let me give you one example - I am a huge fan of the impromptu road trip. They once (three or four years ago) made up a significant portion of my life - just, toss a bag in the car, pick a direction and wander. I've laid some memorable road trips on in the course of my life. I have actually driven through every state in the US, every state in Canada, and most of Mexico. I once drove from San Jose to Quebec - and back - in a weeks vacation (and yes, it was mostly spent on the road). But, in the last couple of years, the farthest I have driven has been Lake Tahoe (which is only about four hours away). I could tell I was starting to return to my old self when I made my last trip to Lake Tahoe - my friends were up there and I drove up over the weekend and combined visiting with them and going to Hot August Nights in Reno on the same trip. That was nice.

I used to spend several hours a week at the library - just stopping there on the way home and reading random books and periodicals. I haven't done that in a long time. Because of the heavy workload, there have been rather large aspects of my life that fell by the way side, that were just put on hold, as I struggled through those twin projects.

One of the things I am definitely looking forward to this year is spending time indulging that part of me. Centering. Finding Rod again. I remember that guy and I kinda like him.

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