Lonely Working Distributed

Recently I wrote about having connections with my distributed team. Part of that was because people have assumed it must be lonely working from home without seeing people. It’s been rare that I’ve ever felt this way much because of my team but also because I have a great network of family and friends I can do things with and have conversations with outside of work.

Listening yesterday to the Distributed podcast episode with Leo Widrich, they talked some about loneliness. His recommendation was basically what I have, strong work relationships and a good support network at home. Overall the episode was really good and has given me more to think about.

Leo talked about dealing with stresses and how they build up over time. We all have ways to deal with it through auto-regulation like my go to: eating. Instead we need to deal with it through self-regulation. Having a partner or group you can talk with can help the process. This is something I need to look into more and do a better job at dealing instead of distracting myself or eating.

Lately I’ve been going through some stresses again and need to work through them, but also be a better partner for those involved in these with me and be sure I’m there to hear them and help them.

Each of these Distributed podcast episodes have been good so far, but this one has been my favourite and given me things to learn more on. I recommend giving it a listen.

Stressful Couple Weeks

Glasses seem to be a common thing in our family. Jen wears glasses for some things, for the past few years I have worn glasses pretty much all the time, Caile now wears glasses, and Alex did wear glasses when she was younger to help with an eye turn. So even though Ella hasn’t had any problems with her eyes yet we figured we should get her a proper eye exam.

She was pumped for the idea, in fact she hoped she would have to wear glasses. She counted down to the day of her appointment. Everything went great, but they did determine that she measured about +3 far sighted. However her eyes were able to pull things in to focus so she was still able to see everything. In fact when they had her test through lenses that matched her measurement it made things worse for her.

We ended the appointment where they gave us some of the pupil dialating drops to take home and take before a follow up appointment. They wanted to test her with her eyes relaxed to see what she could read at that point. Figuring it would be closer to what their measurements showed. Shortly after getting home though the Doctor called and told Jen that she hadn’t wanted to say anything in front of Ella but she had seen what looked like could be swelling near her optic nerve. It could be something called drusen, or something causing pressure behind the nerve. They referred us to an Ophthalmologist who works in the same building for further tests.

At this point Jen and I were pretty nervous and feeling a bit of stress wondering what could be wrong and what it would mean. Sometimes with all it’s resources the internet can be scary for situations like these. Luckily we received an appointment fairly quick and this past Friday we went in for some more tests that would be shared with the Ophthalmologist. This included more imaging of her eyes and a field of vision test. The whole time with all these tests Ella is being a champ and very interested in what’s happening and all the cool machines. Seeing the back of her own eye in a picture was one of the highlights.

We had another appointment booked for the 24th to see the Doctor and so he could run some more tests and give his diagnosis. Not knowing what was actually wrong is probably the worst part, but I was doing OK. During the last round I heard them saying that some things looked good and she was doing well etc. So when I was out for a run this morning and Jen wrote me to say the office had called and asked if we could bring her in today because they wanted to see her, that’s when all kinds of horrible thoughts and worry started going through me.

Once I was home and clean I picked her up from school and took her to the Doctor’s office. We had a fair amount of waiting and some more tests. Finally the Ophthalmologist came in and gave asked about the results of the last tests and perform his own visual inspection while her pupils were dialated and eyes relaxed. When he was done he was pretty certain that there wasn’t any actual swelling at all. It looked like things were swollen but that it was tissue and the way the nerve was looked like there was swelling because of it. Being far sighted as she is he said that it all fit. Given she has no eye or neurological problems he was confident everything was fine. The next step would be to do an MRI or a Cat Scan to get a better look to be 100% sure, but he said if it was his daughter he wouldn’t and would instead just keep an eye on it to make sure things stayed as they are. To top it off because she has no eye turn and her eyes are able to compensate so she can see fine, she isn’t even getting glasses at this point.

With great deal of relief we booked a follow up appointment for two months out so he can see her again and make sure all is still good. It is amazing how much stress and worry can take out of you. Even after being hit with the feeling of relief, my brain was scrambled for the day. It wasn’t just my mind though, I was physically exhausted as well. Thank goodness I’m starting to feel normal again now tonight, but I’m looking forward to waking up tomorrow fresh with the good news we received firmly settled into my thoughts.

Week Eight Summary

The end has come of my eight week session. The results weren’t as good as I wanted when it came to the weight loss part, but I can live with the results. In mid July I started at 225lbs, which is very disappointing because last summer I was basically where I wanted to be for weight but then fell back into old habits and gained a bunch of it back.

July was when I decided to get back on track and lose the weight again. I made it down to 216lbs on August 16th, and that’s when I decided to start this eight week plan. There were a couple weeks where even though I worked hard I saw no results and that caused me to get discouraged and slip, but in the end I kept going.

This week I didn’t expect to see huge weight loss as I held back the running so that I could have a couple of rest days before the 10k race I ran today. There were also birthday celebrations again as well as two thanksgiving day dinners. Didn’t always do well with eating right.

The week started off with a few fast 5k runs and I was worried because early on into each of the runs I wasn’t sure if I was going to finish. My energy level was very low and they took a lot out of me. Luckily after a couple of rest days I was ready for the race today.

It was pretty cold this morning, but it was mostly my hands that were bothered. After a bit into it though I warmed up and in all reality I probably didn’t push it hard enough. The pace I had in my head was faster than any 10k I had done in training, but I don’t think I set the goal high enough. Most of the race felt really comfortable and like a relaxing run. When 7k came around I pushed it harder and speed it up for the last 3k. I ended with an official time of 58:14 and a pace of 5:50 min/km. Both not as good as last year, but I’m happy with it.

Tomorrow I jump on a plane to go to a company meetup. A big part of my motivation for this was to be in decent shape so that I looked good again when I meet these people and so I can participate in some of the fitness activities without killing myself. Feeling good about how I look will help me to be less self conscious and therefore be able to get concentrate on making relationships more fully. I feel good about meeting them with where I am today.

Running not only help get me to this point of better self confidence it has also helped me clear my head when the stress for planning for this trip was getting a little much. The two rest days I took, even though they were good for the race, didn’t do well for my head. I wanted to go run so much those days to help relieve the stress. The run today made me feel much better though and I’m all set to jump on the plane.

Results:

Last week: 195lbs
Now: 194lbs
Lost: 1lb

While I didn’t make it to my goal of 185lbs in this time frame, I’m still doing well and I know I’ll get there. As of right now I have basically 20 more pounds that I want to lose to be my end goal weight. If I can make it to 175 and stay there I’ll be a happy guy.

running

Feeling the Vacation Stress

It’s the night before our family vacation and the stress is starting to set in. I’m not entirely sure why. We’ve gone on a number of big vacations with the family and they always turn out fine.

This one feels different though. I’m not sure if it is the driving distance, it’s not much further than we’ve gone before. It might be the destination. We’re planing on several day trips around where we are staying and one of them is to go into New York City for the day. I’ve been there once myself but this time we’re going with the whole family. This includes my sister and her three little kids. Maybe it’s because I just don’t feel prepared enough.

Usually we spend a great deal of time planning out almost ever part of our trip months in advance. Due to certain circumstances we had to change up our plans and shorten the trip a little. This means that things were done more hastily than I’m used to. I used to love having no set plans and just going, but thanks to my wife I learned that things with kids go a lot smoother when there are some plans laid out. I think I’ve come to need that planning.

This is not to say that we don’t have plans. Things are still well planned, and I think they are even better planned in my wife’s head than they are in mine, so that does give me some comfort.

I know once we arrive we’re all going to have a great time so I just need to relax now and start enjoying. I’m going to get to spend lots of time with my family. We’ll be making lots of special memories and seeing lots of exciting things.

Just writing these feelings out, and reasoning them through, is already starting to make me feel better. So I’m off to finish packing and hopefully make sure we don’t forget anything important.