Saturday, October 22, 2016

Are You Neglecting Your First Client?

Actual locker-room talk today was with my friend who is one of the few other guys who practices Saturday's "Barre Basics". We were talking about life and stuff, and in particular we commiserated about waking up in the middle of the night and worrying about the infinite amount of work yet to be done for our clients.

I presented my theory: You wake up in the dead of night for any reason or no reason. Maybe older guys just don't need as much sleep, maybe we just hit a shallow point and woke ourselves up with a snore. Then, there I am, awake and my brain needs an explanation and something to do. Worrying is easy, so away it goes. And then I blame the worrying for being awake, when it's really the other way around.

He allowed how that might be possible. He really did have things to worry about. He had what he considered a small number of clients - let's say "N" - they took all his time and more than that. He started work an hour early and worked late and it was still not all done. He was exhausted from this but there was more to do.

I told him, You really have N+1 clients. And you're neglecting one of them."

He laughed. It's so true. For all our talk about self-care and needing to take care of ourselves so we can take care of others, we just don't think of ourselves as our clients, and don't give ourselves as good care as we do our other clients.

The solution is obvious.

Just not easy.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Personal Political Rules

Before going to Optimist for the *Best*Debate*Party*Ever* I posted the following on FB:

I love all of my friends equally, whether they support Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump or Valdemort. I may disagree with you. But I will never defriend someone for their political, religious, ethical or any other type of beliefs.
Here's my deal: be a fan of Trump, Stein, Johnson, Mike-The-Mover, or anybody you want. Just don't bore me. For every post about politics, show me a picture of your cats or baby or woodcarving or whatever. Tell a joke that doesn't involve hurting somebody. Make our relationship something more than just being nasty over politics.
That said: Trump will be reborn a dung beetle.

Toast Mastery

Last night I stopped by West Seattle Toastmasters to see if Toastmasters was as fun as I remembered.
Back when I was at MassMutual (Springfield, MA), I very much enjoyed the company-sponsored club. I don't know why I didn't seek out another group when I moved to Seattle, but I was pretty busy with other stuff.
A few weeks ago, Adela (the barre instructor at the Y on Saturday) was talking about it to someone else at it struck me: I could do that again. It was fun. It is a change. Why not?
Well, the meeting sold me totally. The most important thing for me is that it was 90+ minutes of unrelenting positivity and mutual self-support. It was also very organized; we didn't waste a minute on bullshit. The speaking skills are useful. The evaluation skills are even more useful; the practice of observing a speech and coming up with useful and helpful coaching is something I want to develop.
Finally - I just love the stories. Each speech was a little slice of life enriching me. I would go there if it was just a bunch of people sitting around a fire telling 3 minute tales because I love stories.
Obviously, I'm going back.
I've been thinking that most of my environments and human contacts have had a negative shade. People ask me for help and I chip in and usually they're suitably grateful but the capacity to payback generally falls short. As a result I am mostly surrounded by people who draw from my bucket, as the saying goes, without putting back in. DAV in particular has been a sinkhole of effort with like to show for it but aggravation.
I have little cause to complain; I made these choices. And it's not totally negative: I love my house, the Y, my housemates and my cats. But I need to engage in some self-care and part of that is seeking out people and environments that refresh me. On the evidence, Toastmasters is one of them.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Color Memories

When the internet was new, I had a boss who insisted that I make our organization’s website use the same green that she saw when she printed a webpage. She correctly pointed out that the green on her monitor was different from the green on her printer. No matter what I did, this was true. I briefly tried explaining the difference between emitted light and reflected light, but it didn't take.

This was after the gig where a retailer had the brilliant idea of scanning color swatches and mailing the images to manufacturers on another continent to match. Now to me and to a lot of guys one pale yellow looks pretty much like another, but to merchandisers there is a huge huge difference – even I knew the project was doomed to failure. The genius who had thought of the idea was a grandson of the founder – his hair was perfect! – so I soon shut up and took the paycheck.

The project was officially a success because the organization had learnings.

One The First Day Of Furlough, My To-Do List Said To Me ...

* Help a neighbor pack to move
* Look for work
* Do some crowd-campaigning for Hillary
* And Zumba In the Evening!
Sounds perfect!