Tuesday, February 16, 2010
I fell off the wagon in a BIG way. No excuses. I know where I took a wrong turn. Albuquerque, right? No. Last summer I was rocking the healthy lifestyle. I was walking 2 - 4 miles 5 times a week, I was tracking everything, and the weight was beginning to drop. And then...
My husband got a new job. He couldn't take the kids to school anymore, which meant my morning walk was deep-sixed. No matter, I blocked time over my lunch hour to take a 35-minute walk. That worked for a couple weeks and then my project began the testing phase and I, being the test lead, rationalized that those 35 minutes were crucial to staying on task and on time. No more walks. After a week or so the rationalization became outright fantasy. That 35 minutes wasn't enough to make up for the fact that the testing team was severely understaffed. I was the one of two test leads and the other one was leaving. Suddenly I was it. I was trying to direct an integrated testing cycle with 35+ interfaced systems (none of them testing on site) and operations people doing the testing on our system. People who not only had testing tasks, but other tasks that to them seemed way more important than testing.
I'm off track. My point is that I forg0t who I was supposed to be pampering. Whose health is ultimately MY responsibility. Six months later I am five pounds heavier than I was when I last started this journey. I'm putting in 9+ hour days, and then coming home and trying to take care of my family (fix meals, do laundry, rally the troops to help clean the house) and then log in later to continue working. There just isn't time to exercise. Every precious minute is involved in trying to keep up with the enormous amount of stuff I have to do for my job.
Have a plan to take fifteen minutes at lunch to speed walk around the parking lot? Oops. Last minute meeting to discuss test strategy and how integrated testing is totally bombing right now. It's not. We're finding defects, which is the whole point.
I'm off track again.
I did get some help at work. In the form of one contractor with the title "Test Manager" and another contractor with the title "Test Program Manager" and I was given the new title of "Execution Coordinator." I'm not sure, but I think that means I'm the activities coordinator for the execution squad. And the Test Manager has decided that he needs to help with the test execution. Which means that he does almost everything and I write the daily status report.
I think I went into too much detail. It doesn't take a genius to realize that I'm over-stressed and very hurt about losing control of my phase of the project, although if I'm honest it really doesn't seem like I had much control to begin with. Runaway train is what this project has been to me.
It's time to take back the night, day...erm, whatever. Logically I KNOW it is all about me. It has to be. If I'm not getting what I need (proper nutrition, rest, exercise, love...) there is no way I can take care of my family. Emotionally I keep hitting the yeah-buts.
Yeah, but I can't take my walk without following up on those charges for testing.
Yeah, but I can't go grocery shopping tonight because I couldn't leave until 5:15, which means I won't be able to stop before getting the kids and shopping with the kids is always a disaster. Besides, I haven't had a chance to make a list.
Yeah, but I need to log in and work tonight. I can't exercise.
I'm so very tired right now. I'm tired of being unhappy. I'm tired of playing catch-up. I'm tired of trying to reach an unattainable goal, both at work and at home.
Tomorrow I am taking a mental health day. Am I sick? Yeah. Sick and tired of all the drama - most of it is my own doing. I have control over most of this stuff. I just need to take the control over my life.
My mental health day isn't going to be anything spectacular. It's going to be a morning of catching up on a couple chores, drinking some tea and going for a walk. It's going to be an afternoon of taking the kids to their dentist appointment, but not rushing to get to their day care because of a couple things at work that came up and delayed my departure to the point where I'm rushing to get to their day care. Nope. Tomorrow I will be able to take my time. No stress.
And to make sure that happens, I am turning my work email off on my iPhone. Anyone else LOVE that feature?
Like I said, I'm taking it ALL back.