Maybe it’s the current pandemic climate, a strange combination of massive change overall against a backdrop of ongoing “no change” day-to-day. Maybe it’s the fact that it is 1:30 a.m. in the morning and I’m still awake, and I’m choosing to type instead of drifting off to sleep. Maybe it’s that I’m sitting in a basement full of boxes around my new office setup, and I haven’t quite organized everything yet. Or maybe it’s simply the fact that I just finished watching S2 of Jessica Jones where much of her backstory was about feeling untethered in her world.
But untethered seems like a great word to me tonight. It isn’t about being unconnected, although there is an element of that. It is about being adrift, untethered to a True North sense of direction.
There is a phrase from the US Declaration of Independence about holding certain truths to be self-evident. And in our current pandemic world, some of those truths are not quite as firm as they might have been. » Read the rest
I have been thinking about friends, death and goals this past week, albeit not necessarily in that order. Our friend Jeremy passed away two weeks ago, a sudden death. An aortic aneurysm. One of those potentially “here one minute, gone the next” type medical events that can occur with no warning whatsoever. Inexplicable. It happened during the night while he was asleep. And today, June 24th, would have been his 50th birthday. This is not a pseudo eulogy or tribute to Jeremy, his story is not my story to tell, nor even attempt. I can only ever tell my story, and here are some of my thoughts and experiences from the last two weeks.
I don’t feel like I knew Jeremy as well as I should have or would have liked. I have been close friends with his wife for over 20 years, we met through work, I took a course from her father. » Read the rest
I am an analytical introvert by nature, and over the last few years, I have let myself become somewhat socially isolated, partly by choice, partly by laziness, partly by circumstance. The pandemic, of course, exacerbates that condition. Even without it, though, I tend not to reach out to people to go out and do things. I do my own thing, often online, or with my family. It’s “easy” to do nothing to arrange social events when you’re an analytical introvert. It’s my default mode.
With the impact of Covid, I’ve been reading a few posts online about social connectivity, and how for many people, their network has changed over the years as they aged. At one point, it was likely their class list at school. Or a sports team they were on. Maybe later it was an address book, or perhaps an email list or contact list. But in the same vein that Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook and saw it expand, many people use their social media contacts as their “network” for friends. » Read the rest
Unless you have been living under a rock, you would know that one of the latest pushes in all management circles — public, private, C-suites, academia — is to figure out how to improve workplaces so that they are supportive of good mental health. But part of that push is recognizing that we are not there yet, and even if we were, life happens outside of the workplace too, and eventually, even the most awesome place to work is going to deal with mental health issues with its employees.
Analysis without resolution
Earlier today, our branch held a half-day management discussion on mental health issues and included a desire for us all as managers to make a personal commitment to what we would “undertake” to improve our support on mental health issues. Some of them range from the obvious (don’t look at your phone while you’re talking to someone) while others are more complex (how to manage performance when there is an undiagnosed but suspected mental health issue on display). » Read the rest
Words. That’s mostly what my blog is. Just words. Once in awhile I include some photos, maybe a table or a graph, but mostly just words. And while words can have power, be given power, be powerless, or be used by powerful people, in the end, they are still just words. And words don’t scare me. Not really. They are my friends. They comfort me. Finding the right phrase or word is like falling in love.
While some topics or issues might scare me, I’ve found ways to deal with those fears, partly by using my words to take away their power. To identify them, to shine light on them, to drag the fear of change, the fear of success or failure, the fear of conflict, even the fear of fear into the bright light of a post. To say that the fear that hides in the shadows will not hold power over me, that it will no longer dictate my actions. » Read the rest