Life and Work Rush

The last couple weeks have been absolutely bonkers busy for me.  I’ve been splitting all of my available time between the boyfriend’s house and my apartment trying to get everything packed and cleaned and move-ready.  Just this last weekend we finally managed to get all the rest of my belongings into the house.  It feels good to finally be home.

This is the first morning I’ve had time to sit down and write something again, mainly because I woke up at 4 AM and couldn’t get back to sleep.  It’ll take a while to adjust, I think.  Beau works midnights and I’ve always struggled with anxiety being by myself at night.  The first night I managed to only lose one hour of sleep, but last night I struggled with waking up frequently.

I’m not sure what it is, exactly, that causes my unease.  Being the way I am, I want to examine it and try to figure out why. My main fear, when I’m by myself at night, is that someone will break into the house.  Where did this fear come from?  It’s not like anyone has ever broken into a place I’ve lived before.  The only thing I can think is that it boils down to media (thanks, scary movies) and just a good old fashioned fear of the dark.

When I think of it that way, it makes me feel pretty silly that I get so worked up sometimes.  But like with all anxiety, simply telling myself “there’s no one there, you’re fine” doesn’t cut it.  Knowing and feeling are not always synchronous.  I had this same anxiety the first time I moved into my apartment by myself.  I know that once more time has passed I’ll have gotten used to the little sounds the house makes and will become more secure.  Until then, I suppose some sleepless nights are in order.

Other than being busy with moving, I’ve also been busy with work.  I got the opportunity to go to a conference last Friday, which is the first time I’ve ever gone away for a work-related training of sorts.  I got to stay in a hotel the night before and order room service for the first time, which seemed excessive to me.  I know that room service is a common thing, but being used to staying in hotels with up to 4 people simply to save cost, and most definitely never ordering room service because of the expense, it felt like something almost forbidden.  It was the first night in over a week, though, that I had had time to sit in quiet and read a book, so that was nice.

During the next day, I attended three classes.  The first was about how using Chinese Narratives can help unlock creative problem solving.  That wasn’t actually the title of the course, but when it was all boiled down, it was about creative thinking.  I enjoyed covering some of the tools that could be used to help a creative problem solving process, but over all, it was a lot like a process one of my coworkers went through creating on her own.  Still, it always helps to have a reminder on how to look at things differently.  You can learn more about the presenter, Kaihan Krippendorf, here.

My second course was “Zen and the Art of Win-Win”.  I really feel like they just took the word Zen and threw it in there for the purpose of fitting the conference theme, but even with that, it was still my favorite class of the day.  It basically boiled down to doing unto others as you would have them do to you so that you can create strong working relationships in which both parties benefit from the relationship.  What I loved about it, though, was that he took us through the steps to create that relationship, and what creates relationships?  Vulnerability.  He had us introduce ourselves to a partner, then pointed out that all introductions always start the same.  Name, occupation.  And then some awkward small talk begins.  The second time he made us talk about our families and pointed out how everyone starts loosening up, smiling more, eyes lighting up.  Then he had us introduce ourselves to the other person using the phrase, “if you really knew me, you’d know…”  Thus, creating the vulnerability.  The woman that I was partnered with, Toni, was absolutely wonderful.  And in doing this exercise we realized that we’re both extremely similar.  If I took nothing of value away from this conference, I would at least be taking home a real connection that I got to experience, which lit up my heart.

The last class I attended was about how to work with generational gaps in the workplace.  This was a great presentation and the woman that presented was a very talented presenter.  She’s very funny.  But like with the first one, I felt that it was lacking meat.  There were tips on the generations and how they view things, but no real advice or ideas on situational events that could take place and how to apply it.  Having taken a separate generational course, I felt that this one was probably unnecessary for me, but I enjoyed it.  The one thing I did take away was that each generation is full of what she calls “generational signposts” that form shared experiences.  The problem with butting heads between generations comes with failure to remember and understand these generational signposts/events and how they’re forming the people involved.  For example, 9/11 had a lot to do with how we viewed the world after it happened, and now we have a whole generation coming up that will have no concept of it.  This is not new information, but it’s a good reminder!  You can check out more information on the presenter Meagan Johnson, here.

Overall, the experience was well worth it.  The only thing I’m sad about is that there would probably be much more value in the courses if they weren’t just trying to cram everything into one hour presentations.

So, a good week full of busy, moving, and learning.  I’m hoping to finish reading Eat That Frog! within the next week so I can wrap up my thoughts on that as well.  Thanks for reading!

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