Week 12: spring break begins 

The week started off fast and furious as work was dominated with the organization change happening that were facilitated with meetings upon meetings to talk about what’s changing and what’s not changing. To add to the tension, Jackie and I were also working on a secret projects where we’re getting slammed with new engagement requests left, right, and every which way. I had previously planned to be out on Thursday and Friday from my 9 to 5 job and attending another workshop, which meant a shorter work week. It’s okay as I’m working towards my end goal, and if I were to leave my job, the work I would walk away from would continue and would be handled by someone else more capable than me. 

At the tail end of my short week (Wednesday), we were given a blow by one of our product owners in that he was taking a job outside of our company, meaning the momentum and traction one of my teams were finally getting could slip as the PO role is critical in driving solutions. 

Now prior to the unexpected announcement, there were plans to merge my two teams as it logically made sense based on the services provided for both teams. To this end, I had created the transition plan that merged the two teams over the next three months. All the reorganization that I had laid out for the two teams had to be reworked so that the transition took place with only one product owner. Change is the constant in my life. 

Luckily I finished the first draft of the new organization by Wednesday and we would just tweak it to begin merging the two teams into one. That was something we had already planned to do, but we now have to escalate the timeline to within a month as opposed to having the team’s merged by beginning of the fiscal year (June). 

Focus shift…

By Thursday morning, all the turmoil at work was all behind me as I was refocusing my energy to my new venture. It appears as I progressed to the next training levels, the number of attendees were fewer than the last workshop, in where had close to 80 folks in attendance. This past weekend, the number of attendees were 11 folks where 8 of them made up husband and wife teams, leaving three single folks including myself. 

The learnings taken from this workshop delved deeper into the mechanics and processes of running the business. My only disappointment was most of the information was theoretical and ‘how to’ and left me wanting more of the actual doing. Also we only walked through the sample exercises once and I, as well as most of the other workshop attendees, wanted to run through the process a few more times. I’m ready for non-theoretical and more into the physical act of doing something concrete that results in an actual transactions. I don’t learn by telling me what to do, I learn by doing it.

Now I’m not saying the three day workshop wasn’t worth it, I just wanted more. The workshop went by too fast and I can say that for the exercises I was forced to do, they did the job and pushed me out of my comfort zone, which meant I grew, learned and performed things I typically wouldn’t have done. Learning the traits on how to be successful in a new business is always great when taught by folks who have pioneered the roads before me. I’m excited and scared at the same time, which is a great motivator. I just want it faster. 

Time with S and her kids…

After the workshop, I was off to S’s house to spend the remainder of the weekend with her, who of her kids were around, and the last minute planning. I had planned for staying through Sunday night which meant i would be commuting to work from her house on Monday. 

Part of the weekend plan were to also go to the beach, but was dependent upon her children’s schedules. Since it was the beginning of spring break week, her children’s practice schedules were postponed until after their break. We also talked about planning out the various house projects she wanted to do in her backyard, front yard, and the interior of her house. However, since it was spring break week and her daughter wanted to go to the beach on Sunday, regardless of the weather forecast, there would be little time for deep project planning. So high level planning was all we could squeeze into the already tight weekend schedule. S also needed her younger son to get his essay completed for his summer trip to NYC, a great opportunity I thought for him. So maybe the weekend would be staying local to get things done. 

Saturday night was thankfully low key in that S, her daughter and I went out for dinner at a local restaurant. Her oldest son met and joined us, but her younger son decided he wanted to play tennis with his friends. It turned out it was an actual practice that he neglected, or intentionally omitted, telling his mom. Nonetheless it was a pleasant evening dining out as the two children who dined with S and me get along well with each other. At one point after dinner, her oldest son laid his head on his sisters lap with no fireworks. If it were the youngest, there would be WWIII. 

The after dinner plans were debated between mother and daughter with the daughter winning, as is the case when I’m there and when they are civil to each other. Her oldest took off and hung out with his friends so it was only the three of us who went to the local cinema and watched the clever, comedy, thriller called “Get Out”. 

Sunday….

Unfortunately, the civil communications with her youngest occurs few and far between. The next day’s plan were to postpone the beach trip until noonish so that S could help her younger son with his essay. As always, the conversation between S and her younger son became explosive as her normally lazy youngest teenager didn’t want to work on his scholarship essay. So fireworks ignited and violently exploded in the form of harsh language exchanged between her and her youngest child, which I should be accustomed to by now. But Nope!! I’m not. 

I don’t think I would ever get acclimated or accept the attitude her younger son exhibited to S as it’s very different than when I were his age. I know he’s angry at something and he doesn’t know how to articulate it. The two of them are very similar and highly emotional and stubborn that neither were willing to concede. So off to the beach we went without her son as S needed some distance from him.

After picking up her daughter’s friend, we decided to eat breakfast before we headed to the beach. Now prior to leaving s house, S found a person on Craigslist that was selling flagstone pavers. S was able to negotiate the price and our plans now included a trip an hour south to a city named Eugene, OR to look at the pavers, which would be used in her front and back yard projects. 

By 3PM, we inspected the massive amount of pavers (about 8 pallets in total), paid a deposit, arranged a midweek pickup if the pavers, and were headed to the Oregon coast, mainly so that her daughter could put her toes in the chilly water. A few hours later, we reached Nye Beach, OR, where there were beach access. Normally her daughter would plunge herself in the chilly Pacific Ocean, but not this trip. I’m from Texas and couldn’t imagine the thought of plunging myself into any water colder than the balmy waters of the Texas Gulf Coast. 

We had just enough time to stop in the Nike outlet store in Lincoln City before they closed. To fulfill her daughter’s request of watching the sunset, we ate dinner near the ocean that had a view of the sunset, then took her daughter’s friend home, and then drove back to S house all before 10PM hour had begun. 

After making and sipping my evening coffee (and yes coffee at night doesn’t affect me), I went upstairs to get ready for bed. Her daughter was already upstairs, showered, and locked away in her bedroom, which I’m understanding is the typical teenage girl these days. 

Apparently, the battle between S and her youngest son was on simmer and again erupted, which was put on pause with her son leaving with his friends. I learned of the incident as S came up and into the bedroom in a fluster and began describing the ordeal which eventually led to her screaming in frustration. I shut her down and told her firmly, “don’t yell at me!”

Moments later she was in bed sobbing. We talked and I helped her understand that she needs to change her style of communication with him as he’s not like your other two children. She quickly and angrily bit back, “why do I have to change my style of communication. He needs to!”

I calmly reminded her of my job as a project manager and that I always have to adjust my communication style in order to keep projects on a forward momentum. She became quiet and sobbed more. I held her as she cried. She held me back. 

The Monday commute from S’s house have become a weekly routine for almost a month now. Which is fine as my commute have been uneventful and provided a calm picturesque scenery through the countryside, especially as the sun shines on the awakening farmlands and rolling hills. That’s until I hit traffic forty minutes later as I entered the first of the bigger towns along my commute called Forest Grove, OR. 

Personal thoughts…

Parenting is tough for both the parent and the child. However, I think single parents have it tougher. I should know as I was a single parent for almost 5 years after my first wife passed away after losing her fight with cancer. It’s sad to see families go at each other when you know the root cause is hurt. S’s youngest son is longing for his dad who isn’t supportive and not really present outside his court appointed weekends or Wednesday afternoons. I’m hoping they both get therapy soon before their relationship becomes insolvable. I’m glad that I the calm in their lives. 

Until the next update, stay safe online and offline…

#life #lifeasiknowit #lifeasithappens

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