Short Break

Short Break

Today I had a few errands to run. On the way home I decided to grab a coffee and take a short break. It is a beautiful spring day so I pulled off the highway and spent a few minutes drinking my coffee with one of the best views around. 

There’s a little park in Grand Pre which looks over the National Historic site and out to Blomidon. 

I think TAN should give me some free coffee or swag for such good product placement 😆☕️

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First Day of Spring

First Day of Spring

The first day of spring was technically a couple weeks ago, but today was the day Mother Nature seemed to get on board as well. It made a great day the sun was out and it was just about 20℃.

The drive to pick up the kids from school was enjoyable, it made good break from work and I could go with the windows down, wearing a t-shirt and sunglasses. Had the 90’s alternative radio station on. It was far from my favourite song but it still brought me back to teenage summertime driving around with friends.

Later on after dinner Noah had karate and was graded to his second yellow stripes on his way to a yellow belt. He was very proud and excited. Master Jim Maloney was visiting tonight as well which made it even more special.

It was still nice enough out at dusk for Jen and I to go for a walk while I was still in a t-shirt! We also got to see an owl in a tree right above us in a tree. Just after we were past it took off soaring away. The phone didn’t take the best picture but it was still fun to see.

Avoidance

This morning Jen called our  youngest Noah out to talk to him for a bit before school. The school library says he has a book out which is overdue but none of us can remember the name of the book and we aren’t able to find the book here in the house. She asked him when he goes to the library today to ask the Librarian if she is able to write the name of the book down so we have a better idea what we are looking for.

Noah wasn’t thrilled with this and was getting visibly upset and coming up with reasons why he couldn’t do this. She’ll get mad at me, I won’t have time, and I might forget. He would just prefer not to deal with the situation or let someone else deal with it for him.

In situations like this Jen and I sometimes compare the kids to us. Who do they get this trait from? Before she could say anything I said to her, this is from me!

When I was really young we moved around a lot. New schools, new houses, lots of change. One morning when I was about five years old at a relatively new school I was dropped off late by my Mother. If I recall properly we were coming from a friends home, maybe in between moves to our own place. It was snowing out a bit and I was embarrassed about being late, I also didn’t want to deal with the conflict and having the teacher  or principal be upset. So instead of going into the school I decided to try following the car tire tracks in the little bit of snow that was on the roads back home.

Luckily after some time wandering around a nice family noticed this lost little boy walking past their house a few times and stopped to talk to me. They picked me up and took me to the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) station who in turn took me to school.

Recently I’ve been listening to an audio book on project management called Project Management For You by Cesar Abeid who happens to be a co-worker of mine as well. He has a section in the book about conflicts and how to deal with them. One of the options is avoidance. When listening to that section it really struck home with me, as that is the way I would most prefer to deal with conflict in most situations, not only in project management.

 

In his book Cesar talks about avoidance being an OK method to use in relation to conflict if the stakes are low. In my example above trying to find my way home by myself made the stakes high. I should most certainly not have used this technique at that time and just dealt with the conflict head on.

In my son’s Noah’s example above the stakes are low. If we left it alone we may find the book and get it returned. However we’ve tried that and so far the book hasn’t shown up so now it is time to deal with it.

When it comes to my professional life, and even home life, I have to push myself out of my comfort zone lots of times to deal with conflict. If there is a tough conversation I need to have with a team member I would much prefer to put it off and see if it will resolve itself. In most cases though the best plan is to address it head on and get it dealt with. It’s my job to help everyone excel at that career, so if I don’t address something which could be detrimental to their career, I’m doing a disservice to them, the rest of the team, and the company itself. The stakes are high in a situation like this so it does no good to avoid the conflict.

Enjoying Snow

Most everyone who knows me knows that I’m not a huge fan of snow. Especially after this past week where we had two separate storms back to back with close to 3 feet of it falling. I’m over it. Shoveling the snow out of the driveway was an excellent workout but I’d much rather just go to the gym.

If all that snow wasn’t bad enough while we were out shoveling during the first storm Jen slipped and fell landing on the handle of the shovel right across her chest. It gave her some bruised ribs and lungs and has left her in a lot of pain and limiting a lot that she can do.

Yesterday I was making fun of my friend when he told me he was shoveling a path through his backyard. “Are you sure you don’t have better things to do than shoveling your yard?” But tonight we started off a long weekend with friends and family the right way by taking advantage of his hard work. The reason he was shoveling his yard was to find his fire pit! He dug it out and then created a circle bench out of snow around the pit. The temperature was nice, we made s’mores, had some hot chocolate, and of course great company.

Finally now that my back is feeling better from moving the snow out of the driveway, into piles above my head, I’m able to enjoy the snow. A little. I’d still prefer doing it on a summer night 🙂

Vegas Trip & Bruno Mars

Recently a bunch of the team leads in the Happiness division at Automattic got together in Las Vegas to learn together and work to ensure we are all working together. It was a very productive trip. I came back with things I can do right away and be better at my job, and feeling jazzed at the bonds I started or strengthened with my co-workers.

I ❤these folks #happleadsinvegas

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We stayed in the downtown area which is away from The Strip that everyone thinks of, we spent most of the time working and then quiet evenings at dinner together or socializing in one of the hotel rooms. One night though we did go down to the strip for a dinner though to experience the famous Vegas Buffets.

Ever since I caught Bruno Mars on Carpool Karaoke I’ve had one of this songs stuck in my head 24K Magic which has the music video set in Vegas on the Strip.

The night we went to the buffet we went to the Bacchanal Buffet at Caesars Palace, there was about ten of us but everything was pretty impressive. We walked through to the buffet and there was a lineup to pay and enter. Once we paid they pulled our group out of the line and started us towards the entrance. I was feeling all Bruno Mars, like yeah they know who we are, Automatticians getting the VIP treatment and skipping the line.

Instead they moved us into our own little area that was like a sad little holding pen. Not a lot of 24K Magic going on there.

Our group was sequestered in a special holding pen at Caesar's Palace. It's like they know us.

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Just For Laughs Gags

Just For Laughs Gags

My kids have fallen in love with the show Just For Laughs Gags, and I’m so happy they have. 

It doesn’t matter the type of day I’m having, putting this on at night makes me laugh. 

If you’re not familiar with the show you should check it out. YouTube seems to have a bunch of clips so you could start there.

13 years ago…

13 years ago…

I wouldn’t be able to express things as well as Jen has here. I’m a very lucky person and am looking forward to what the rest of lives together bring us.

I Dream of Summer

Next month, February, Sandy and I will have met 16 years ago! I started working at the Call Center where he was already employed. My first shift out of training, we spoke and that was the first of many conversations for us. I was in an unhealthy relationship at the time and Sandy was in a relationship as well, but was unhappy. We developed a friendship over time by being able to share frustrations and emotions with each other. It was nice to vent to someone who was also struggling in their relationship. My relationship ended and I moved to on the dating world. We remained friends. Sandy was always someone I could speak to no matter what was happening in my life.

One day, a year and a half ish after we became friends Sandy showed up at work with as many of his belongings as he could fit…

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