131 // Thinking About What I Think

Today proved a bit more productive than yesterday, or, perhaps not. Perhaps it was only productive in a different way. While yesterday I could find the time and focus for personal pursuits, today I had to return to work obligations and expectations. It was hard at first and I regret not allocating time for writing when I could but it felt good to make progress in other parts of my life too.

We’re hiring in my department and I’m thinking about what it means to have power and privilege over choosing people. I don’t hold much sway in my workplace but my opinions are at least heard if not always considered or heeded. It feels overwhelming to think you could play a role in someone’s employment. That you could help decide whether they have more work or less, more money or less, or are considered for more opportunities or not.

I’m thinking about what I think makes a good employee or coworker and by what criteria do I choose to recommend someone be brought on or let go. I think I lean too much on my gut and rate social or personal personality traits far too highly. I think too much about whether or not I will like a person and not enough about whether or not they can perform the work.

Whether or not I like them personally is a “me problem” just like if someone doesn’t like me I consider it a “them problem”. I come to my job to perform a function and receive a paycheck that’s all. It is a transaction and whether I enjoy the work or like my coworkers is besides the point, mostly. My point is being liked and making friends is not what I am being paid for and it is not essential to the role I play in my workplace. I should not expect more from others than I believe should be expected of me.

I should see people for their capabilities, their enthusiasm, their contribution to the goals we set as a team and leave the considerations at that. I also should use what little power I do have to further normalize this kind thinking when it comes to who should be offered advancement opportunities.

Be the change and all, you know?


It’s a gloomy, rainy kind of day today. Neither my wife or I wanted to get up and go for a walk, but the dog was begging so badly I decided to take her on a quick jog around the block. It was misty and miserable out when we went, but I’m glad we did. I’m trying my best to get outside, to get some sun and get moving every day and as good as it feels I still find every excuse not to go.

A little cold, a little tired, a little sore or grumpy, all to me are reason to skip it but once I’m up and moving I see how flimsy those reasons are and how easy they are to overcome. That is, I’m learning to see through my own bullshit.

I don’t know if it was the clouds, the late nights lately, the new daily walks, or the IBD flare-up I’m worried is coming on, but I am feeling especially exhausted today. After lunch I found myself overwhelmed by the urge to curl up under a blanket and sleep. I could not have fought it if I’d wanted to. I’m glad I didn’t try though. I need the rest and without it I know I would have spent the evening dragging my useless body around and accomplishing nothing.

Sometimes we have to fight ourselves to get anything done, and sometimes we have to give into ourselves for the long term good. Much of life lately is spent trying to discern between the two.