Friday, June 20, 2008

Progress / Victory in Project Management

'Victory' for me means managing to do and not run away from tasks that others would either take care of for themselves without a thought, or have their spouse or secretary do, but that are huge and scary for me and there's generally nobody else I can ask. When it comes to making logistical arrangements, phone calls, etc., I'm on my own. It makes me feel like an idiot to be tripped up or stressed out by such mundane tasks, but there you have it: I am.

Today, though, was quite the victorious day:

1. I booked plane tickets for my next int'l trip. SE Asia here I come!
2. I got my car repaired (having broken off one of the side mirrors backing out of the garage!)
3. I made an appt. with my dentist to get my teeth cleaned and a crown put in.
4. I had a Skype "interview" with Steve in Europe, whom I mentioned before. He is overseeing a research and writing project which I'm eager to be part of.

Whew! There's nothing like the feeling of checking stuff like that off the list. I need to cultivate an increasing taste for that feeling! Sometimes I feel like such a complicated, hard-to-deal-with person. If I could avoid having to deal with me, I just might do it. However, this is not an option, so I might as well stop feeling sorry for myself, buckle down, and learn how to manage. Really, I like many of my traits. I can be a delight, a doll... but I am not so reliable as I'd like to be. Definitely a work in progress.

In spite of my fears, the delay in doing these four things did not carry the big cost they might have. Isn't the Lord merciful and compassionate?

1. The plane fare came in at about $1600 (not bad, considering it's a round-trip to Asia exactly three weeks from today) and the itinerary is much less brutal than it might have been!

2. The mechanic was able to turn around the car repair in just a couple of hours, and it cost less than $200. So, that went pretty smoothly...

3. The dentist says I need two appointments, but found time slots for me next Friday and July 9, so I can head overseas safely 'crowned.'

4. And the research project? I wondered if I was too late to get in on it or if it had morphed in one of the potential directions that would have counted me out (as the last project I pursued with their organization did). But no worries there. They DO need people like me, and the project still sounds like something that would capitalize on my strengths while also providing opportunities to learn and grow.

Moreover, this may be the perfect time to jump on board. J.E., a woman I greatly respect but have never worked with directly, just yesterday signed on as senior/managing editor for the project. She's working on writer's guidelines right now. Steve, the guy I was talking to, is leaving the country for a couple of weeks but he gave me J.E.'s contact info. I think she'll recognize my name and that I won't have to prove or explain my odd background to her - she's done a lot of the same kind of stuff, and we have dozens of mutual friends. I'm hoping to be in touch with her next week.

So, with all these things and others in good shape, I can go into the weekend ready to rest. I am teaching Sunday school this weekend, so there's some prep. with that but not a lot of stress. I just went over to the church to try out my technology and set up my classroom, so that's done.

I do need some down time. Have had precious little of it in June. Most months I'm pretty good at keeping my work week at about 45 hours. But in June, not a single day has passed in which I did not work, and often 10-12 hour days. So, one of my goals for the summer is to get a sabbath every week, regardless of where I am or when it falls.

1 comment:

Megan Noel said...

you should definitely take some time off! i think i am taking monday off -- to get fun medical tests! rah! but i am going to the fremont solstice festival today. pictures later!

i will call you soon, or if you have time this weekend you could call me -- and i will call you back, i have tons of minutes i never use.