Back to the blog

Three weeks into the new semester, I’m still getting past the inertia of the break to get back to blogging.

The break was really great, restful, and needed. Had lots of family time, rebuilt our home computer, and committed my extra energies towards a major phase of the Salesforce implementation in progress at work.

I had intended to go back and finish a couple of blog posts left undone from last semester. At this point I’ve decided to just leave them undone and move on. Part of my inertia in terms of getting back to this blog has been my tendency to feel sometimes like I can’t move forward until all pending work is complete, and in this case I need to just fail at that. The former perfectionist in me cringes, but I’ve learned over the years that perfection can be dangerous when it gets in the way of moving forward with something that’s good enough.

What I need to re-focus on is how the core purpose of this blog (the reading and notes summaries) served me well last semester. They were grueling but valuable exercises that helped me reflect on and process information, which resulted in resources that I relied on heavily when writing papers. I got good grades last semester, and I think that the work put in on this blog played a big part in that. So I definitely feel like I should continue doing what worked well.

I also think I’m not the only one who faced some winter break inertia. The class I’m taking right now didn’t send out the syllabus in advance and didn’t have the Moodle site setup until after the first day. Was a little worried about that since each of the other classes I’ve had so far had readings due before day one, thought maybe there was some mistake with my registration or I didn’t get added to a list to get the info. When I showed up on day one I found classmates who were in the same boat, and we were all a bit relieved that it wasn’t just us.

My class group from last semester’s Strategic Planning class also experienced a bit of collective inertia. When we turned in our group paper on Determinants of Success in Equity Strategic Planning last December, we had plans to come back together a couple weeks later to incorporate feedback from our professor, fancy up the paper formatting, and then send it out to our contacts in government who provided input in hopes that the paper’s conclusions might have some impact. But then the professor’s feedback was delayed due to their travel, everyone in our group struggled to follow up promptly in discussing how to move forward, and it lagged. We actually did get back to this over the past week though, and as of two days ago got it finished and sent out to people. The work I put in on that this past weekend did, for the record, bump back my plans to crack into this blog again.

The other thing which has taken precedence has been my professional work. Thursday night, after getting home from class, rather than summarizing my class notes I stayed up late digging into the spreadsheets I’ve been working on for the last big data migration of this implementation phase. I had time scheduled with our consultants the following day and really wanted to have those done so that we could get them pushed in the system during that meeting. As it turned out, there was a precursor dataset which needed to get in the system first and delayed that push. I worked over the weekend to get that one sorted out, then got that and the big one done on Monday. When it was complete, we had successfully migrated decades worth of fundraising transaction history from our legacy Raiser’s Edge system to Salesforce. Our development department is now officially cut over to the new system. It continues to be a proud moment.

Work flared up again last night when a major website bug was reported, and I dug in late to research that in hopes that with good information our web developers can include a fix for it along with another batch of changes scheduled to get pushed to the site today. I emailed them at 2am this morning with a thorough explanation of and report on my efforts to troubleshoot the problem. At 7:30am I received good news back that they should be able to fix it today. And now it’s a little past 10am and I’m not yet in the office, writing this blog and keeping an eye on email instead (with working @ home marked on my calendar in case anybody’s wondering where I am).

I need to leave for the office shortly, and not going to get my week two class notes or week three readings summarized before tonight’s class. Then I’m staring down the readings due for my half credit Stakeholder Analysis skills workshop this Saturday, and it seems likely that the best I’ll manage is to just get that reading done (probably not summarized here) in time. But I am determined to catch up this semester’s summaries, and that will happen in the next week or two. To put it in perspective, at this point last semester I was just finishing getting this blog created and didn’t have the material caught up until week four.

“Life is about balance,” I just typed as my three year old scrambled onto my lap sweetly asking me to read her a story. After a quick story, and my spouse coming back downstairs to take over reading, I’m back here to finish up. 10:30am now and I put on my calendar that I’d be back in the office at 11. So yeah, life is about balance. As the new semester ramps up I’m reminded of the importance of prioritizing the school work while staying productive at my professional job, spending quality time with family, and getting enough sleep. It’s hectic and I’m never gonna say this is easy, but being mindful of what’s important seems like a foundational part of surviving and thriving during this busy time. Onward and upward.

Written on February 1, 2018