Archive for February, 2010

Running in Place

I’ve had a very difficult and stressful last couple of weeks. Stresses at work and with finances have had a domino effect on the rest of my life. I’ve had difficulties with colleagues, finances, neglecting friendships, and made silly mistakes at work that I’ve been kicking myself for. I’d rather not go into great detail here about certain things. If you know me, or read my LiveJournal, you know some of what’s been happening.

And its all had an effect on my physical and mental health.

It’s been an exhausting last couple of weeks, and I’ve truly felt like as of late I’ve been running in place. I didn’t get nearly as much work done this week as I would have liked, and it’s been due to psychological stress. What money I have been making certainly hasn’t allowed me to get ahead. If nothing I’m falling behind.

After allowing myself to absolutely and positively take today off, aside from one remote call I had scheduled, I had time to reflect and consider what I’ve been through lately and how determined I am to NEVER go through the crazy combination of emotions I have been experiencing.

Simply put, I’ve been working hard instead of working smart. I’ve felt like I’ve been working 24/7 when I in fact haven’t.

I love my job and can’t fathom not going it. In fact, once I get my life together again, I’ll also be doing some part-time journalism work, because I really miss it after having graduated last April. But I will pace myself.

Suffice to say, with the help of friends and family, I’ll be making major changes in my life in the coming weeks to reduce stress and be more successful. I’m not giving up on anything, just changing my approach. Something I’ve been trying to do in parts, but life hasn’t been kind to me in allowing to fully focus, as I’ve felt I’ve been doing more damage control in that time instead. That needs to and will change.

I won’t be lacking in my responsibilities, but my forward focus in my work will change. Something I’ve been talking about for awhile, and it’s about time I did it.

However, I can’t do any of it without the support of colleagues, friends, and family. For example, I had a good long chat with my folks, who will be helping me out financially for the next couple of weeks. That alone is a huge sigh of relief, and allows me to focus on other parts of my life.

So, if you have some time, please, give me a call. I’d love to hear from you, catch up, hear how you’re doing, and even get insight, as it always helps to talk about things.

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A Day of Rest and Frustration, and Intensity

I’ve been pretty stressed out this week. I’ve made some mistakes personally and at work that have had consequences. I won’t go into full detail here. I have my LiveJournal for stuff like that, stuff I don’t want the world to read, only close friends. So if you want to read it, tweet or email me.

That said, it’s all been a learning experience, but it also kept me up with insomnia last night, especially after having a very frank, honest with a colleague on how I can avoid making the mistakes that I have. It was even admitted to me that some of my colleagues have made similiar mistakes when they first joined the company. That made me feel better. I’m not one to dwell, but I do believe in accepting responsibility and the consequences and being accountable, to make sure I don’t forget the mistake and so I can learn from them.

I woke up this morning, and decided that I needed a personal day, despite having plans. I called and canceled my plans, and made it a lazy day. My mind was finally willing to stop thinking, so it was a much needed ‘nothing’ day.

This evening, I decided to call a client that I had originally intended on calling earlier today. She wants parental controls installed on her computer, something I can certainly do. However, she asked that I call back at a specific time since she was busy. I agreed, and did so. I tried twice, but only got voice mail. I understand things come up and people are busy, but it’s not the first time a client hasn’t answered the phone when they said they would. Very frustrating. I can only hope I’ll reach her when I try again tomorrow.

[SPOILER ALERT]

Lastly, the hockey game tonight on CTV was incredible, and VERY intense. Canada played Sweden, two very skilled teams. I watched the game along with what felt like the majority of Twitter! The game ended with a [SPOILER ALERT] 3-2 win in a Shootout! I’m pretty sure all of Canada stood up and cheered!! At least according to the tweets I was saw! Team Canada’s next game is against the U.S. on Saturday. Now, that’s gonna be super-intense! Can’t wait!!

Eager to Get Back into Journalism

I’ve had the reoccuring urge lately to get back into journalism. Almost every day I encounter situations that I want to share with the world, specifically technology related, but also in my own community.

During my two years at Lethbridge College, I had the tremendous opportunity to explore different topics, some tech related, others health related, and some general news stories. I met some many great people, and really felt connected to the community. I would love to do that again!

What I would love to do is cover some local stories and morph them something everyone can enjoy and get something out of, especially online!

I’m going to put some new stories together and add them to my portfolio website, and shop them around to newspapers and websites in the coming weeks and see what happens.

My entire goal in college was to create valuable stories that people care about and get my content online. As much as I enjoy newspapers, I feel the way the traditional concepts of newspapers are changing. The smaller publications are dying off or switching to only online delivery. This makes absolute sense to me. Larger audience equals more exposure. Local stories, sure, but the audience is no longer limited. I can’t remember the last time I read a newspaper. Sometimes, I will buy one out of novelty, but I get all my information online, as do most people in my generation and the generation after me.

I will continue my work with Nerds On Site, but I’d love to get back into journalism on a part-time or spare-time basis. After all, that’s been my goal for the past three years! I took a hiatus from journalism to focus on building my business, but I’m missing it, and if I don’t use the skills, I’ll eventually lose them.

What has really inspired me lately is seeing one of my classmates, Scott Schmidt, share his experiences and thoughts on sports and the Olympics on his blog. Also, an instructor of mine in college, Martina, has her own blog, where she’s sharing her experiences traveling to the Olympics.

Are there any technology stories you’d like me to cover? Please send me an email at: kevinlloyd [at] shaw [dot] ca

Attention to Detail

(photo courtesy Google Images)

I have noticed in the past couple of weeks or so especially that my attention to detail hasn’t been the greatest. I’m aware of the situations I am in, and how to deal with them, but my moment-to-moment focus at times just has not been what it needs to be. It’s not even that I’m distracted, though that has been the case at times. I’ve been making silly mistakes, and a couple of major ones.

Don’t get me wrong, I know what I’m doing while working. I’ve just been a bit absent-minded at times.

Suffice to say, it’s been frustrating, to me, and those around me.

That said, I have booked a doctor’s appointment next Thursday to see if there’s any medication I should be taking that will bring my focus back to the level that it needs to be. I’m also going to research on Google to see if there’s anything I can do on my own.

Any thoughts on what I can do to correct this?

Learning to Drive a Standard

(Yes, it says ‘Calgary and Area’, that’s where the last owner lived. I’ll change the decals soon enough.)

I was recently given an opportunity by the company I work for, Nerds On Site, to lease a company vehicle with the purpose of building my business. The trouble is, I’ve never driven a standard before in my life, and the thought of doing so terrifies me. That said, I’m determined to build my business, and to do that, I need my own car, and can’t continue to borrow my colleague’s second car for an undetermined amount of time. That’s not fair to him or me.

Well, I traveled to Calgary to pick up the vehicle two weeks ago. Another colleague drove it back to Lethbridge, with me in the passenger seat. The idea was to get the car inspected for problems, get them fixed, and learn how to drive a Standard within the next week or so. That plan fell through when parts had to be ordered in, which took a few days to arrive and for the work to be done.

Yesterday, that same colleague, Jonathan, graciously donated his afternoon to giving me driving lessons in the middle of the day, when the Enmax arena parking lot was empty. The first thing he said was “Don’t apologize! You will make many mistakes, you will stall the car, but it’s all part of learning.”

He spent three hours teaching me how to shift, listening to the engine to know when to shift (not the RPM, that’s distracting), and mostly important, how to get started when at a complete stop. I struggled with that quite a bit, as expected. The biggest challenge for me was learning how to get going on a hill. I won’t lie, it was overwhelming, especially with cars behind me. I had to switch seats with him out of frustration.

As a result of that mentally taxing afternoon (well, it was), I spent the evening doing pretty much nothing but watching TV. I zonked out around 1am. I woke up at 2pm. Yeah, I know, Wow! Must’ve needed it though. Don’t even remember my alarms going off.

The plan today was to spend a few hours on some country roads (hopefully paved) about 10 minutes from where I live. That didn’t happen, so I’ll do it tomorrow instead, but I WILL feel more comfortable driving, and won’t stop until that happens. I’ll pretend there are cars, and finding a hill to practice on shouldn’t be hard.

At that point, I should be much more comfortable driving on the city streets.


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