So many dots. So little time.
Consider this a fractional update on my first week back to work in two months. What was supposed to be a sort of time capsule post the night before my first day turned into a series of fragmented updates over the course of a very busy, yet very fulfilling week. It kinda gets me thinking it would be fun to put out a single, almost newspaper-themed post once a week, but that’s probably just my creative brain wanting to go overboard again.
Starting a new job, making connections. My new teammates, my new technology. I might have worked remotely for the last three years, but I’ve never onboarded fully remote. Consider it a symbolic concern. First impressions and whatnot.
New flavors of impostor syndrome! Workiva seems filled with people who actually give a shit and genuinely enjoy what they do. There’s gotta be a catch, a downside. I mean, besides overcoming seven years of OSX muscle memory on a Windows keyboard. And yet, what’s the work-life harmony end game? Mr. Wonka, remind me what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he always wanted?
We’re adding a little something to the bujo these days. As you may know, bullet journaling–at its core–is a simple way of staying organized. In addition to the day’s meetings and priorities, I’ve been pausing to set three intentions for each day.
Four days in, I notice my intentions shifting from the tactical vanity of first impressions to more strategic harmonies. “I’m here to help, eager to do the work, and you can count on me to do it right” evolves into more of an organic response to questions like, “What am I trying to do today?” and “What kind of energy do I need to put into the world today to make it happen?”
Mom was here a month and should be headed home to LA soon. Then again–maybe not. Iowa City magic, she got an offer she couldn’t refuse on a house and might be living here by the end of the year. Also, she missed her flight Monday and then her flight Wednesday was canceled. I have no idea where she is right now to be perfectly honest.
V went back to Phoenix again this week to see her sister, see another concert, and check on a few loose ends. She gets back Sunday evening.
P starts 4th grade Tuesday, which happens to be our 60th day in town. She’s already done a one-week theater camp, signed up for acting and dance lessons, seen Mama Mia twice, and been part of a musical number at the end of a friend’s three-performances show.
Meet the Teacher night was a success. The only new kid in the only fourth grade class, she’ll be sitting with four other kids known for being friendly and eager to make new friends. The shy little first grader who wouldn’t let go of my hand at the gate until the bell rang disappeared into the hall with one of them to find her locker. Parental phone numbers were exchanged.
Until this week, I hadn’t had this much unstructured time off since high school. I miss the relative structure of work. I need external commitments. It’s not that I need to be the center of attention, but if nobody seems to care whether you do something or not, it’s easy to find other things to do instead. Like take naps.
Change seems to swing like a pendulum. You bring a list of 10 things you’re gonna get done to the first standup. You barely get to five of them, so you only commit to three the next sprint. Of course, now you somehow get six things done. The point is, big changes mean big waves. I’m pretty sure my work-life pendulum is about to swing deep into the work end of things.
That’s a good thing, because being fully responsible for the use of my time is fucking exhausting. Summer vacation has been outstanding this year, but I’m ready to hit the books and get back to business.
What’s all this mean for TGP? I don’t plan on stopping this newfound momentum. This place is my creative outlet. And I need my creative outlet. I’m gonna keep on trucking.
Lately I’ve been thinking about how to make my work here more relevant, interesting, and useful. I mean, if I want anyone to care about any of this, it’s the least I can do, right?
At some point, I want to get into the weeds about adapting modern automotive tech to older, legacy vehicles. I’d also like to talk a bit about work and life and what it takes to bring your whole self to both. Appropriately. And not just because of the potential for better results, but because that’s how I want to live my life from now on.
Where I can get into those weeds or share those insights, I will. The reality is, I’m clearing my plate to make room for my livelihood and my family. You can expect this place to focus on those when and where I have time and something hopefully relevant, interesting, and useful to share.
In the meantime, here’s a few things I’m working on in the weeks ahead.
- Aug 20: Iowa Auto Club West Summer Car Show, Iowa City
- Aug 27-29: All Mitsubishi Cookout, Ramsey, MN
- Sep 18: Trombone Shorty, Iowa City
- Sep 24: EV car show, Iowa City
- Sep 30-Oct 3: The Shootout, Norwalk, OH
- Oct 17: Jake Shimakuburo, Iowa City
Beyond that, I’m literally getting into the weeds, as I figure out just what the hell is growing in my yard.
Not pictured: a metric shit-ton of trumpet vine, amaranth, velvet leaf, dock, foot-tall grasses, and black walnut saplings. Meanwhile, Darren (the oak) and Silver (the maple) are slated for about $3k in pruning and healthcare this winter. Because they’re the biggest trees I’ve ever had anywhere I’ve ever lived and I freaking love them.
Winter is coming.
I’ve also got to winterize two vehicles, build a parking space for Fezzik, get Chuck comfortably into the garage, buy a snowblower, and figure out a hot tub situation. It’s not that there’s nothing going on, or nothing worth talking about. It’s all just a matter of getting my shit together and nailing down a schedule of sorts.
The best is yet to come.