Book

Book writing becomes a popular sport nowadays. I decided to join into that trend. A book has been going on in my mind like that crazy little clown on a tricicle for quite a few years. Finally, past week I took a composition book I bought last year in the US (I do love Mead Composition notebooks, but can’t find them here) and scribble the first few words.

“it’s all your choice” this is the work title for now. I suspect it will take me quite a while to write it…yet even if none ever reads it.. I will try to publish it in ebook format when time comes.  And as the title suggests – a pop-psychology/motivation will be its main focus.

Productivity fails when all you have are meetings

Much has been written on the subject. Much has been said and even more research has been conducted. I can only say that, the older I grow the more AGAINST meetings I am.

Well, maybe not ALL meetings per se… but wasteful meetings. From my experience more than half of the meetings we go through are simply waste of time. Instead of being substance only, they tend to wonder off on subjects not related to the meritum.

A lot of them are also done simply to pat oneself on a back… ergo.. see how much I have done? why haven’t you done so much? … seldom there is questions of what I can do to help you get more done?

Are you really so complex ridden to have to prove your superiority in such a low manner?

I guess in corporate culture we forget that we are part, tiny wheels of one and the same mechanism and if one of us jum up on something… the rest won’t be able to be as efficient as should, until we help that jummed up wheel to move along as well.

So stop patting yourself on the back… start looking at the larger picture and helping one another.

Balance number of meetings vs. what you and the rest of your team needs to do. Else, all you will do is have meetings and none will be actually done

.

Tatts

I come from a family where a tattoo is not a NO,NO… “why don’t you make a tattoo on your brain,  idiot”… and a tattoo means ostracism (well, not only a tattoo means that in this family). Ye.. let’s face it.. it is far from loving and accepting.

I’m nearing 40 and only just last year my parents discovered one of my tattoos.. I won’t be quoting the precise words.. there is no point in that. It’s a hate talk.. and that’s all there is to it. No willingness to understand or accept.

Now, one could ask: why? what for? what devil possessed me to do them? My response is… none. Each of the 6(well 7 but one is covered so does not really count) I have are part of my journey, part of who I am, who I was and who I am becoming.  I guess nothing special there.

I won’t be showing off all of them.. but I will drop a word or two on each.

My first one, was small and in sepia. I got it covered up last year, because over the 15 years (I got it in summer of 2000) it got, for some reason, very worn off.. looked almost as if laser removed and it’s original meaning got lost. What was left suggested something I really did not want on my body.  It was designed by my hubby while we were dating and was a symbol of a dragon-woman.  I suspect the regenerative skills of my skin are simply better/faster working than most.  Why I got it… I was at the stage of really needing to set myself free.. and it was part of the process.

It wasn’t till 10 years later until I got a second one. It is something I have had in mind for a couple of years, in sepia, Latin and still needs something added (so, I would say it is incomplete). And since my tattooist decided to quit the job I will be looking for someone else later on.

It was followed by a cross on my arm… with a text in Latin as well.

Both are symbolic in a many ways but most importantly they show my catholic roots… from which I did sail away, but which are still there.. and I doubt I will ever be rid of them. As they say here ‘ what the shell is soaked with in the begging will give out sent of in the future’.

Then came the tattoo that means the most to me… as it was overdue by 19 years when I made it. It relates closely to Myst (yes, the games… but foremost the books) – book of Ti’ana. It is green with white and brown. I won’t go into the details there of.. it was part of freeing myself from my jail of feelings and being emotional slave of my own mother.

My biggest pride is the wing one.It is also the largest and monochromatic  B-W. zydlo

Nika (https://www.facebook.com/nikatattoo?fref=ts) did really good job on it. It is here to remind that I do have wings, that they were returned to me (like to Maleficent) years after being chopped off…. and that I should use them. The wing itself is unique, there was no real pattern for it because I did not wish for it to look like a bird or angel wing.. I wanted it to be my own.. Nika even added some parts while already working on it.. so I doubt is it copy-able.

Then I covered up my first tattoo…with a much larger and way more colorful lotus. Lotus is the only one I was not sure of, the only one I had doubts . Yet, when it fully healed  it looks good.

The last one is my simplified rotor. It may seem stupid.. yet I do really love that machine/design/idea. Here it is not yet fully healed.IMG_1653.JPG

It is also one of most ironic tattoos.. for some reason (did a health check and all seems fine)  the ink simply went into my veins (as Nika said “it bleed into you”) … I have nothing against that… simply have around it a network of black vessels and it does look due to it as if it melted in. Unintended effect  (most likely due to some temporal hormonal sway of mine) but very fitting. I always liked machinery and used oils and gasoline… ;-D

Tattoos do not define me… I define them and myself… judge me for my actions not for my tattoos and looks. Better yet, do not judge at all, as only those without any fault should be allowed to judge.. and sorry to be blunt… you have not clue where I am coming from, what I have been through or where I am headed.

The quid pro quo of loving one you ‘can’t’ be with

I have read a lot lately from what one would call pop-psychology. One article particularly cough my eye. Here is the link: http://idealist4ever.com/the-heartbreak-of-being-in-love-with/?fb_comment_id=1001026003290783_1001978256528891&comment_id=1001978256528891#f1e2b90d94

Although one has to grant it much right… I could not have stopped myself from commenting on it as follows:

“And some people do not fight… simply give up and leave believing that advises of their friends and family are to be trusted… they don’t even give it an honest shot and claim that “maybe it was not meant to be”… if you have not tried how can you believe in that… unless you were raised on Disney princesses and bs of that sort.”

Seems quite a few agree with me on this (judging from the likes). So, I decided to take this and develop into my own post.

Having spelled the background for this, I would also like to say that I’m writing this from my own experience, from my own subjective and  biased view. Yet, having the opportunity to go back in time and talk to my former self I would have told her to screw it all and jump that train even without a passport, visa and tickets. I do also have to stress here that I do not blame anyone anymore …there is no point… I only wish my soul remembers this well into the next life and does not allow circumstances to stop her.

What I am trying to say is that nothing in life comes easy or free. It’s either something you have to pay for up front, while at it, or after. My life has never been precisely easy, but that’s not the point here. I often hear a question ” ohh, why me?”… I can tell you why… whatever is going on at this point is one of the 3 things:

  1. it is happening to teach you something, and if you do not sit down, think about it, learn from it.. it will keep on repeating in your life until you do learn.
  2. if no.1  does not seem to ring the bell then there is no.2  – it is cumulative result of your actions, inaction, negligence and indecision or decisions …. again you can only learn from it and avoid re-runs
  3. it is effects/ripples in the fabric of the world caused by clash of your decisions, negligence, wants, needs with those of others. Ok, you can’t do much about others… but you can do hell lot about your own list.

In either of the 3 … it all comes down to your own choices and doings or failures.

Over the years I have learned that there is nothing as destructive to young human mind as the sweet and pointless fairy-tales we show our kids. A lot of young people of my and younger generations are raised in belief of being “princesses’ and ‘princes’ … yet “Disney” ( I will use the name as a synonym of certain syndrome not so much as the company itself) seldom shows that princesses were on regular basis ‘sold’ in marriages already in cradles; seldom if ever show the dark side of love… of the need to fight for what one believes… and feed the young minds with “meant to be”.

Let me tell you what I believe “meant to be” means. Someone said to me sometimes ago “maybe we were not meant to be”… I say BS… why? simple logic.. what would be a point of showing you a tiny piece of cake and slowly pulling it away from you? Why would God, or any other power, show you how deeply, how strongly you can love and then simply force you two to part with slim chances of ever seeing each other… yet still loving one another?

My cold and calculated math of today tells me… that it was one of those things that came easy.. but you did have to pay for them or fight to keep them. Here is where we failed. I , being as young as I was, feeling what I felt,  yet knowing deep inside I should have fought, I gave up for I saw only darkness before my eyes… parents in opposition, reaching as far as illegal ends to stop me from following him. And he. Older, but still young, faced with the possibility of struggles related to finances foremost and ‘good advises’ from his friends and family.  I’m not sure about his feelings on this matter.. we never really had a chance to talk of all that later. Yet, if he felt for me what I felt and still feel for him… he also must have sensed that although their advises were rational they have no real hold in this situation.

20 years have passed. I’m married and have a kid… with my option B…far from what you would say happy…keeping busy with hobbies one would not consider fully safe (such as taking up on drifting). He…single…seems drained of his old courage,  drained of will to fight for anything… keeping a happy clown mask on even in front of himself it appears.

Not that I regret anything… it is too late for any regrets..it is time to learn. Let this be a warning to all… things that are NOT MEANT TO BE simply do not happen… universe, God, or whatever power there is, is efficient and hates wasting resources.. hell, even nature hates to waste… so whatever happens, be it love, be it accident, be it loss, or be it a gain… it all happens for a reason… ERGO IT IS MEANT TO BE. Now, remember IT IS ALL YOUR CHOICE… stop blaming God, Devil or destiny for things you have failed to do yourself. God only helps those that help themselves first. Be a fighter! Show him you are worth of his aid!

ps. advises of friends and family are good, but you have to remember that they are only as wise as their own lives…they do not know your life or soul fully.. ONLY you can answer your own questions; ONLY you know the right answer for yourself.

pps. one could say ” but you never know if you would be happy together”… my response is “true, but you never know if you don’t try”.. and the only regret there can be is regret of not giving it an honest go.. simply giving up

 

work and life balance- on paper

There is simple math to life. There is only 24 hours in a day and 7 days in a week. A month is composed of 4 weeks, year of 12 months and 56 weeks. There is no time to stretch that.  Neither me, nor anyone else can have more time. Thus good time management is essential.

Much has been written and said on the subject. With some I agree, with others I don’t.   Let’s do a little math.

  1. first thing that one needs is sleep. Adults need on average 6-8 hours. Results of not getting that for a long time are disastrous to our health. Also if you can’t get that squeezed in your daily plan.. most likely you are doing something wrong. Thus  from our 24 hr .. 7 (average again) is gone.  We are left with 16-17 hours.
  2. Another big chunk of our day is work. It should be taking you between 8-10 hours. In all honesty, I have not seen a person who would stay focused and really productive for as long as that.  I for instance divide my work-time into several areas that are interrupted by certain events allowing me to refresh and refocus. It is my daily routine, which I find best written down on paper and on side of my desk.

My work-day plan looks something like this:

4:00-6:30  work + snack and coffee

6:30-7:00  getting my son ready for school and sending him off

7:00 -12:00 work + breakfast while doing concept work on paper

12:00-13:00 break (usually spent on studying for coming up exams) usually with a tiny lunch

13:00-15:00 talks/phone calls/meetings

15:00-17:00 at least a few minutes exercise and study time

17:00-19:00 dinner with family and help with school work

19:00-21:00 usually household stuff

21:00-4:00 sleep

Of course it varies from day to day due to other arrangements such as different school day start time for my son, his extracurricular activities, my lectures (as I am 2nd year student of law, which means that Thr/Fri evenings from 15:00 till 21:00  and Saturdays from 8:30-19:00 I am away).

3. As you can see there is little to none time left for me and family although in theory there should be at the least 5-6 hours a day. There was a time I worked at an office. Commuting, on top of 8 hours at the office, took me 3 additional hour a day and it was rarely possible for me to get any time during the week for my loved ones. Yet I did make a point of it to leave work on time, if need be I would take projects home and work on them when family went to bed.

Here and again I have proven to myself that time alone and time with family is needed and no planning is the golden rule. With a carefully planned week in a hand you can work out almost anything. In today’s economy it is hard to change a job, yet there are other options that might be a solution for you.. just need to look for it and include it in your daily plan.

Remember, there is no way to stretch time, there is no way to recover the time you have spent working instead of being with those you love. We have just one life.. thus do plan your days- it helps.

Pulling myself together

It is true that old habits die hard, yet there is nothing that can really stop you except for yourself.

Since December I am running an experiment on myslef and I can say that at the least in my case the rule of 3-weeks for a new habit is BS. I guess I am weird. Anyway, that has not worked… what did work out.. it seems is my new approach to my self organization.

Yes, I work at Nozbe, and yes I have a lot to do with GTD on daily basis. Yet, it never quite kicked in on my personal life and personal struggles. Perhaps because I have tried hard to separate the two worlds. Regardless, I have decided to make a bit more sense and give my day a written structure at the end of last year.

Here is what I did:

  1. I bought a physical desk calendar, one of those large ones where you have a whole week on one page and the page next to it is for notes.
  2. I started to keep regular notes of what I do each day in it and what I plan to do … there are things I have already in plan for June or September. ( I do have them in Nozbe as well, but due to work related matters I seldom have time to look at my private ones).
  3.  I do have some financial worries ( it is not precisely easy to be the sole supporter of a family of 3, on a rental and with 2 cats and studies to pay for)… so I started to record everything I spend and to cut out things I can live without on regular basis. I do admit that damaging my car is not going to help my finances in scope of another 6 months or so… but ohh, well…effects of stupidity do tend to be painful.

How I do it:

  1. I record any events as soon as I can in it; and I check on daily basis all the info on them as recorded. I also keep a Google Calendar to be able to update the information on the way, but somehow the physical on-paper version works better on my mind.
  2. I use the blank note page for calculations of finances and recording all the spendings
  3. In a month I have 4 of those pages, so I really use only 1 max 2 of them for the finances. I actually split the page in halves. One for the spending, other for remaining matters.
  4.  Each month after receiving my salary and any other income I might get I run through my account at the bank, pay all that I need to pay and NOTE down in my calendar precise sum that I am left with (if any) .. if it is a debit…I write it in red
  5.  I seldom check my account after that point… as not to get too down in dumps and I do have it all in my physical form.

What I hope to achieve:

  1. I hope to avoid forgetting any appointments ( I have always been ‘on time and on spot’ person but somehow my boys have managed to get me to be late on more than one occasions…I really do not like that). – So far so good
  2. I hope to slowly pull myslef out of the financial issues at hand… of course a 2nd working person at home would be of use… especially after 5 years +… really tired of that. – and here, except for the unforeseen accident, things were going slowly but rater good.
  3. I hope to cut some time out for myslef and things I really wish to do:  a) return to studying Japanese; b) get more time for exercising; c) get time and funds for practicing drifting ; d) add more structure to my study-time as the amount of material covered at the university raises exponentially it seems. — so far rather minor-to-none in terms of results.

I have to admit that I have been raised in times when Internet was not so readily available. I have to admit also that what I wrote in the past about switching to Nozbe ( or any other virtual time management system) is still valid and for one though since early the value of paper and physical calendar …I guess I’m tired of fighting it, although I do see still much value in the virtual system. I can see that the next generation is rather allergic to pen and paper. Yet, after so many experiments on myself, I decided to give this another go… and in combination with virtual tools I think, I hope it might finally work.

Thus far this method has been more effective and more old-habit-breaking than anything else I have tried.