Archive for the ‘work’ Tag

Monday-ish Monday Positives

This is a very Monday-ish Monday. It’s a dark, gloomy, rainy, cold day. Started with a 6am conference call full of sales guys asking for exceptions to process because they left doing their job too late for Q1 close – ugh. One of our internal risk guys raised a false alarm on a contract because he was working from old information, and now my team gets to spend half a day fielding panicked calls and filling out forms to say there was never anything wrong – joy.  And I’m still spending way too much of my time managing outside counsel requests for information on litigation matters that should never have occurred if our customer (in one) or partner (in the other) had acted reasonably and with the integrity you’d expect from even a random teenager – fun times. 

Needless to say, I’m a little on the grumbly side today. 

But, I’m determined not to let the Mondays ruin my positivity streak. Here are a couple good things, even if they are weaker than I’d care to acknowledge right now:

  1. I’ve been thinking a lot about my writing. Even though I’ve hit my weekly posting target all of this year, so far, it’s still not the regular, ingrained habit I’d like it to be. So I’m going to try bullet journaling. After reading quite a bit about the technique, I think it’ll kickstart a habit of writing that is distinct from my writing here. My theory is that if I have a habit of recording my thoughts in a couple of different media, the mental ‘muscle memory’ should fuel the habit of creative writing that I want to develop. We’ll see. If nothing else, I’ll have a fun time doodling in a new notebook. 😅
  2. I’m struggling with my taxes this year and don’t know why. I’ve been doing them online for eons without issue. I haven’t changed anything about my life or finances that would affect how I file. So I’m at a loss. However, instead of panicking, I used my reasoning brain and did what adults do and made an appointment with a tax preparer. I feel very grown-up with this decision (which is good, considering my age) and proud of myself for not stressing out over it. 
  3. I have successfully made it through half of Monday without strangling any sales reps. I count that as a win! 😉

I hope you have a great Monday and week, and find a few good things to balance all the annoyances you encounter along the way. 


It’s All Good 

This weekly posting goal is more of a challenge than it really should be, some days. I get so caught up in the bustle of every day life that writing about it doesn’t seem to even make the to-do list. Crazy how fast life seems to move. One day you’re busting your hump to get to vacation and before you know it, vacation is over and you’re back to the grind. Days slip by so fast when you have your head down jobbin’.  Almost so fast that you don’t realize how much energy you’re spending on the parts of your life that shouldn’t matter that much and how little time you’re spending actually living. 

But, it’s all good. It’s all about personal growth and moving forward. I’m still working on it, especially that posting goal. So, to that end, here’s a list of a few good, even great, things in my life lately. 

  1. I had an epically awesome time with a good friend last week. Getting away is always a refresher, but getting away to do nothing but enjoy the company of friends, relax and breathe is the best thing ever. Bookstores and libraries and board games and amazing meals and great company – what better way to spend theee days off?
  2. While I was visiting my friend, I was blessed to experience a community where Butch visibility was everywhere and welcomed. That is extremely rare in my life. You don’t know how much impact visibility has until you realize how absent it is in your daily life. Said another way, it is astounding how meaningful it can be to have your identity and presentation validated by seeing yourself represented in the every day public. Walking down the street or into a public space and seeing yourself in others, not compromised or edited, but exactly as you are on the faces and in the forms/bodies of total strangers, is profoundly moving. 
  3. Prosciutto mozzarella pesto sandwiches are my new obsession. They are proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy. 😉
  4. I got my performance evaluation today and my boss rated me higher than I rated myself overall and in 4 out of 5 core competencies. He said I set the standard for my role and for a senior leader for our company. He said my leadership has a material impact on my company’s success. So, basically… I’m AWESOME! 
  5. It’s almost Spring and there has been sunshine for at least part of every day this week. Sunshine lifts my spirits and turns my eyes to the sky to appreciate the heavens. This was the sunrise this morning as I arrived at my office:

I hope you are having a great week and take a moment to appreciate the number of great and good things in your life. Keep smiling, my friends!

Boss Positives

Continuing my focus on good things, positive things in my life, I thought I’d share a quick list of positive things related to my boss and job. 

  1. First, a bit of an ego boost. The other day my boss unintentionally (I think) paid me a really flattering compliment. He had come into my office to vent a little, as he was stressed and frustrated. After listening and finding a way to make him laugh, I offered to help with anything he could entrust to me. He looked at me a little oddly, but didn’t have anything for me. Then, a few hours later, he asked me to take on a project that was time sensitive and that he didn’t have time for right then. Then he said that I am the only other person in the company he’d trust with this, besides himself. Coming from an A-type, high-control personality, I take it as a very high compliment to have earned that level of trust. 
  2. On a related note, I count it as a significant accomplishment that my boss feels comfortable with me and trusts my discretion to such a degree that he will use me as a sounding board and vent to me the frustration that he feels constrained to discuss with others. It tells me that not only has my personal standard of integrity and discretion translated into a trust that he relies on, but that trust makes me as much an adviser as subordinate. Feels good to be relied on. 
  3. Lastly, I am happy to note that my boss values me as a contributor. I’ve been blessed with recognition and advancement, as I’ve written about before. That’s super motivating and gratifying. Validation of hard work and accomplishment is such an important part of fostering employee engagement. But my boss has gone a step further than validation, into advocacy. On a couple of separate occasions in the last few months, I’ve come to find out about instances of my boss advocating on my behalf. From taking up my arguments for funding an additional attorney on my team, to arguing to the board of directors for changes to equity programs that will benefit me and more of my employees, he’s been working hard to support me. I’ve always felt and acknowledged his support for me as a manager. It’s nice to also see the evidence of his support of me as an an individual employee. 

I hope you are having a great week and feeling appreciated and supported in all your endeavors. 

5 Things

Here’s a quick list-y post to keep my posting streak alive. I’ll do a more substantive one soon, but don’t want to miss my weekly target. So here are 5 things I want you to know:

  1. A chance to get some sunshine and a break from snow and ice is a welcome reprieve in mid-winter. I’m lucky to be enjoying a week in San Diego for my company’s Global Kickoff and have found at least 10 minuets each day so far to sit quietly and enjoy the sun.
  2. Apparently quinoa is real food and not fake food. I had some today and didn’t die. Or puke. Second time in my life trying it, I think. Feels like an achievement.
  3. Even straight guys appreciate a well-tied bow tie. I’ve only been asked to teach or tie one for one person this year. Maybe my annual Kickoff bow tie tying tutorials are finally paying off!
  4. Never trust an event planner when they tell you not to worry about preparing remarks because you won’t have to speak on stage this year. You always have to. Just assume that before you go to the event. Avoids the crushing disappointment of getting called to the stage at the last moment. 😅
  5. Friends who encourage you and support you and bravely offer to help with even the most delicate issues without a concern for their own embarrassment or discomfort are rare and awesome. I’ve been blessed with such friends. What a lucky Butch I am!

Starting Small 

The blogging goal I set for myself last year (post something at least once a week) proved too ambitious for me to meet. I beat myself up quite a bit over that failure. But that self-criticism isn’t productive. I’m going to call it a good start and start over. 

It’s now 2018. A new year and a new chance to be a more productive and consistent writer. I’m going to try again with the weekly goal. But im going to be even more generous with what “counts” as a worthy post. I figure if I’m not as hard on myself about posting late or just a quick list or some random thought, I’ll be more likely to actually do it. Guilt, especially self-imposed, is a mighty de-motivator. Hopefully, permission given to myself will be as powerful a motivator. 

So, I’m starting small. Baby steps, as it were. I set myself a small, achievable, finite goal for today (I’m taking a couple days off work to rest), something that has a tangible outcome. I promised myself that I’d start decluttering my bedroom, starting with my underwear drawer. I got rid of every worn-out, ill-fitting pair of undies and socks, and old bras and under-shirts. There was a surprisingly big bag of trash afterward. 

I’m glad to have completed the task. I feel a little conflicted about the trash – feels a little excessive somehow. But it’s a start.

Next I’m going to tackle the top of my dresser and chest of drawers. Gotta make room for the watch box I received for Christmas. Again, a small goal but with a finite outcome. Achievable. An outcome I can visualize. 

Next blog post isn’t finalized in my head yet. But a post of some kind next week, even after going back to work after a few days off, is achievable.  That’s a small, finite goal. I can do that.

I hope you had a great holiday season and find ways to achieve all your goals this new year. 

Tiny Bit of Catch-Up

It’s been too long and too much has happened in my life since my last post to truly catch you all up. But I haven’t forgotten about this blog or any of you faithful readers who still remain despite my neglect. Here’s a quick hit list of a few things I want to share with you all. 

  1. I had a neat experience today. I was asked to move into an office in the executive suite. While it puts me very close to my boss, it also puts me in a situation I’ve never experienced before – I now have the support of an executive assistant. It was weird to have her bring my mail, ask if she could help with my unpacking, and generally just be very supportive. Honestly, I’m not sure how to feel about it, since I’m so used to fending for myself. But I’ll admit it’s pretty nice! 
  2. Stress is a fact of life for everyone, to some degree. It is an unavoidable facet of being a corporate executive and attorney. I’m used to it in some ways. But it’s been sustained and even building for months and I’m exhausted. Balance. It eludes me and taunts my mind. I very much want to get back to a balance (or semblance of it) between rest and demand. I need to find that mythical happy medium of work-life. Dunno how to get there. Anybody got a map?
  3. It’s fall again. Soon (tomorrow!?) it will freeze and my eyes will stop itching and burning to the point of rage and I’ll be so happy! It also means better, more colorful skies, especially at sunrise and sunset. That I’m usually at my office for both events is a bit sad. But look at these pics from this week. Almost worth always being at work just for this! Mornings on top, evenings on bottom: 
  4. Blade Runner 2049 was a bitter disappointment to me. I know this is an unpopular opinion. Too bad – they could have done so much with the talent and resources they poured into that movie, but settled for what I can only describe as pedestrian, predictable, gratuitous flash over substance. What a shame. 
  5. My Vikings don’t suck too badly this season…yet. I have my annual hopes up and fervently hope they don’t dash them to pieces. Fingers crossed!
  6. BONUS:  I’m sticking with my moratorium on social media. Though this blog posts to Twitter, I haven’t been on Twitter or Facebook since the election – nearly a year and I don’t regret it. Even though I miss the interaction with friends, the hate and stress and anxiety I don’t miss. It’s just too hard on my heart and mind to be so saturated by all that negativity. So, I’m waving hello to all my Tweeps and online pals as this posts. I hope y’all are doing well. But I won’t be back online any time soon. 

Peace and love and light to you all. 

Drinkin’ from the Firehose Again

Dang it! 17 days since I last posted. Not meeting my weekly post goal is becoming a habit. Gotta re-prioritize and do better. 

Here are some good things:

  • Was called a “kick-ass attorney” on a conference call today. 👍🏻💪🏻😎 Always nice to be appreciated publicly. 
  • Did some deeply satisfying, intellectually challenging, executive lawyering in a strategic planning conference last week. I love my job most when I feel my contributions have meaning beyond just checking a box. It’s also immensely satisfying to be included among the senior leadership as an equal and recognized as a strategic partner to the business. 
  • Found a new Thai restaurant near my house. Had dinner there with a group of friends and was impressed that the picky one, who always finds something to complain about, loved it and had not a single negative comment to make. That’s a keeper!

I hope your day is full of recognition and validation and good things to eat. Be happy my friends. 

A few things 

Here we are, more than two weeks after my last post, and I’m copping out with another listy post. Truth is that I want to write more, better, and more frequently, but I am in my own way. My inner critic and the demands of my daily life sometimes overwhelm my creative urge to express. The simple goal of one post per week for the remainder of the year seemed so reasonable and achievable when I set it a few months ago. But it has proved much more challenging than it should be. 

Still, I want to write, so I’m writing. Even if it’s just that paragraph and the following list, it’s something. I set the goal for myself, so any progress is also for me and I’m counting this as some (small) progress. 

So here goes, a few things I want to share:

  • Wil Wheaton, actor and author and Internet personality, is someone whose work I admire. Truthfully, on the basis of only his public persona and online commentary, he himself is someone whom I admire, in addition to his creative works. I’ve followed his blog for a couple of years and almost always find in it something to think about, laugh at, or learn from. I love the wit and intelligence I perceive in his writing. This week he posted, as he does not infrequently, about his struggle with mental illness. I so admire his honesty and willingness to be vulnerable about his condition for the sake of helping others. Read his post, please. Even if you don’t struggle with depression, this is a message on self care and realness with yourself that everyone needs to hear. I got a lot out of it and I hope you will too. 
  • Summer time is awesome. I don’t do as much outside as I should, but I still appreciate gorgeous blue skies, warm breezes and sunshine. 😎☀️👍🏻
  • As my work responsibilities have increased over the years, I have grown to deeply appreciate the exceptional benefit that is the work of a good executive assistant. The amount of burden and bother an EA lifts off the shoulders of anyone they serve is enormous! I’m so so lucky that my boss’s EA does so much for me. She’s just volunteered to do a job for me next week that is absolutely not her responsibility, but will save me a half a day of lost productivity, the value of which far surpasses the dollar value of my time and hers. It sounds overly effusive to the point of being fake, but I am genuinely overwhelmed with gratitude that she’s taking that off my hands. Perhaps that speaks somewhat to the level of stress I’m working with right now. Probably. But it also says a lot about how valuable a good assistant is. 

I hope you have a wonderful weekend, full of sunshine and things to feel grateful for. 

Positivity Quickie

Here’s a quick post of positivity to keep my commitment to myself on more frequent posting. 

Since my last update, reporting a little progress after a bad beat on the job, I and my team have been drinking from the firehose. Not only as a little bit of of overcompensating for the perception of failure (even though my team had zero to do with the decision that left us all so stunned), but it’s once again quarter-end and the workload is super high. That’s left me with little time or energy to post or do much of anything. 

But there are some good things to focus on:

  1. It’s summer time and that means a little more sunshine and breezes. It’s been unusually mild the last week or so and I’m enjoying not melting in the blazing heat when walking to and from my car and the rare lunch break on the patio. 
  2. The hard work I and my team are putting in is being recognized. It’s not much, but it’s nice when the execs and sales leaders take a second to say “Thanks for all the help, you guys rock!” Just today, I got a bit of an ego boost when my boss spontaneously came into my office while I was finishing a call with our President of Global Sales. He was just  in time to hear her thank me and compliment my team’s great work and my “wise counsel”. 
  3. There is a 4-day weekend at the end of this very busy, very frustrating, too-long week. I’m really looking forward to it. 

I hope you’re able to see and celebrate the little positives in your life today. 😎🙏☀️


It has been gloomy, hot and humid ever since Friday’s Dark Day. Hot, yucky weekend followed by humid overcast early week. In fact, it stormed all night and well into this morning. Buckets of rain and growling thunder made for a tense night of restless sleep. 

Yet, it’s getting better. The storm clouds have passed and the sun is shining. A robin has been visiting the ledge outside my office window, serenading me for the last hour or so. There’s a light breeze waving the bright green trees adorning the lawns surrounding my office building and fluttering the flag at the entrance to the campus. 

Seems like the physical changes might be reflecting, or even driving, the mood shift around here. What seemed so dire and intense on Friday has largely eased into a determination to overcome. A few words from the C-Suite, a pep-talk of sorts, has set a better tone and a challenge to win despite taking an unfair licking. That’s a welcome change and a goal I can get behind. 

I hope your week is looking positive and you find something good to appreciate even when there’s gloom. 

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