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How to Work When Others Don't Want You To

A situation I run into frequently, including right now, is being around people who would prefer that I not work all the time. They understand what I'm doing and are supportive of it, but they will make short term decisions to avoid me working. In other words, I'm visiting my family and if I were to ask, "Should I go get some work done or have fun with you?" the answer would always be fun.

This happens around friends when traveling sometimes, too. Maybe they came for vacation, but I travel so much that work has to be a regular part of my schedule, even when traveling. Whether with family or friends, it's a tricky balance. I'm not great at maintaining that balance, but I've been doing it for a few weeks, which has surfaced some thoughts on it.

One skill I've found to be really useful is to really be able to discriminate between things that must get done immediately and things that need to be done eventually, but not now. Right now we're moving Sett to a new server. I'm coordinating with Todd, and this is a high priority, so it has to be done now. Other things, like working on my habit book, can be delayed.

On the other end of things, I've been trying to evaluate family activities by a similar measure. Is this really quality time, or are we just sitting in the same room watching a movie? Is my participation central to this activity, or am I just another body in a room?


On Stuff in a Notebook

I scared my roommate today, when I suddenly turned my headphones up very loud, yelled, and began slamming my pillow against my bed and dressers and the floor. She didn't know how to react, so she left the room. A minute later I opened the door and told her I was done.

I took a midterm today, and I failed it. I mean I actually got a fifty percent. Now I am not one to dwell on grades. I'll get disappointed in myself and then I'll get over it. I decided long ago that I would not let grades dictate my emotions, and I would not let an unsatisfactory test grade ruin my day. Generally, I live in the present. I take things hour by hour, day by day, week by week.

But today things were a little different. All of a sudden, a tsunami hit me.That test is was the midterm for a class that is a prerequisite for a degree program that I want to get into. And that test was the last straw in a long volcanic build up of stress: homework, midterms, family problems, social stress, registration for next year, etc.

This semester has been a tough one so far, and with three days until Spring Break, I am thoroughly looking forward to getting away for a while. I have one midterm tomorrow and then I just have to make it through a few lectures before I reach freedom. Over the past weekend I withdrew myself from everyone else. I put in some headphones, locked myself in my room, and for the most part just took some time to focus on myself. Clearly, it wasn't enough, and at this point I am well aware of the fact that I just need to get away for a while. I need some space, a change of pace, I need new things. After being stuck inside for the majority of the winter I am ready to get outside, I am ready to see the sky again.

I will not let my momentary freak out ruin my evening. I will not let this test ruin my day. I will not let today ruin my week. I will not let these past few weeks ruin the rest of my semester. And I will not let this semester ruin my career. I can do this. I will do this. I am prepared to do this. I am leading the charge towards the opposing army.

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