Throughout my adult life, I’ve battled with sleeplessness. I won’t call it insomnia because I’ve never gone days on end without rest. If you see a post early morning (like this one), you can rest assured that I was just unable to decide if tiredness was on the horizon.

No, my M.O. is sitting in front of the computer until all hours because I know that if I try to lay my head on a pillow, I’m going to stare aimlessly at the ceiling while my head grinds with things I need to do, plans that need hatching, protocols that need following and contingencies that need development.

I’m a worrier; I’ve always been a worrier but it’s the worry that keeps me and those around me (relatively) safe most of the time.  I think of scenarios that might not necessarily need thinking about. Seriously, why would I need to plan out my actions in the event the group I’m wandering around the woods with is attacked by a cougar? Like where the hell does this come from? For the record, it is a scenario I’ve thought about and have a plan for. How ridiculous is that?

This is something that developed in my early 20’s and has been around for some time. People that know me might extrapolate about why it began at that time but I won’t get into that now.

It wasn’t until recently when I was perusing some old episodes of Scrubs on Youtube that I found this song being used as a plot device. It describes one man’s inability to control the worry that pops into his head and how it’s causing him some grief and sleepless nights. Give it a watch/listen.

Yeah, salient.

There’s a bottle of Jack sitting on the shelf yonder that might solve the problem but only introduce a new one.

So I sit at my battle station, clicking away into the night, keying in words, phrases and the occasional sentence coherent enough to share, all the while wondering if my brain will release its grip on my body and give me some fucking rest even if it means waking up with a keyboard imprinted on my face.

Now… what’s on the agenda for tomorrow?

A Great Change

Since the election on the 5th of May, I have had the great fortune (/sarcasm) of reading comment after comment on social media of all types about how the new NDP government is going to run the province of Alberta into the ground, jibes at the average age of an MLA dropping by 15 years, and how Alberta has now turned into a union-loving, dope smoking, everyone gets welfare sort of province.

Now I won’t say that these comments are completely wrong; on the contrary. I’m pretty sure we’re in for a very bumpy ride over the next eighteen months. But it seems as those making the most noise are those that didn’t want the change that they’d been espousing over the past several years. I would suggest that perhaps winds of change that whipped through Alberta a few weeks ago were not simply an angry electorate.

No, I’d go so far in saying that what we’ve seen is not just a matter of the people screaming “Anyone but the fucking Tories!!!” because that’s not it.  I believe the people are angry about how they’ve been treated for the past 20 years.

Don’t get me wrong: I appreciate Ralph and what he did for the province during the 90’s, and as Calgary’s mayor in the 80’s. He was a flawed leader but he lead and did not follow.  He made up his mind and went with it basing his decisions on his party’s politics and what he thought was best for the province.

I can’t say that watching Steady Eddie, Ridiculous Redford and Pretentious Prentice gave me the same fundamental optimism that the decisions being made in Edmonton were good for the province! Maybe it’s politics in general these days but all I saw were politicians posturing, arguing (NOT debating), and getting their snouts deeply embedded in the trough.

If the Notley (how long until the right-leaning press starts calling her ‘Naughty Notley’) crew can’t figure out how to appease the population of Alberta, this could very well be a short-lived NDP government and I think that’s a shame. Though I don’t hold the same political beliefs as the New Democrats, I believe that they are going to attempt to do one thing and one thing only: do better than their predecessors.

Not a terribly difficult feat but due to the inexperience that we see in the new MLA lists, it will be a challenge. Let’s hope they can rise to it and show the population of Alberta that they can do what we’ve asked of them.

To show us a different way of governing a province.

One Month Anniversary

I’ve worked at SAIT as a full employee (not contract wages) for the past month. In that time I’ve had opportunity to have one day in Edmonton, expenses and salary paid, for the ASTEK awards (second place 🙁 ), one flex day (which is a day off with pay) and one sick day, also paid.

Is this what the real world is like?  Full of perks and benefits that a lot of people don’t get to take advantage of?  I could probably get used to this.

Also, after going over the annual bank statements, it also appears that one of the more challenging times during the year was two weeks after the Xmas break where the income was almost non-existent due to the two-week hold back on reporting wages and actually getting paid for them.   Not working for almost two weeks will do that to a person. 😉

I don’t think I’ve ever had a job that paid me for time off nor have I ever been in a place where I wasn’t actually having to wait for pay for the work I’ve done.  At least two weeks, anyways.

It feels good and I really appreciate being able to experience this with Sly and take that “next adult step”.  I know it probably sounds odd but this isn’t something I ever really considered as important and,  until I’ve given it more thought,  it may turn out that it isn’t .  But I know that with Xmas holidays this year,  there will be no break in my pay;  I’ll still get the same amount, every two weeks as expected without pause.  So, in effect, I’m being paid while in Las Vegas.  I guess that means blowing a couple of bills in the slots or at the tables won’t make me feel as guilty.

Oh Happy Day! 🙂

How do ‘Mental Health Days’ Reflect Your Satisfaction?

So here I am, sitting in one of a dozen local Starbucks (I really, really hate this place) hooked up to the Telus open wireless hot spot in this area (protected via SAIT VPN) and just had a very funny epiphany.  Hopefully, you won’t think less of me after my confession, Gentle Reader.

You see, for a very long time I’ve compared myself to my ideal self.  By that I mean the self I thought I was going mature into.  You know, you go through your adolescence slowly building up an idea of what you would like the rest of your life to be like.  In some cases, you’re correct, usually the easy stuff.  Marriage, kids, house ownership.  In most others, you’re grossly incorrect but be that as it may, you still have that picture in your head of where you wanted to be and what you wanted to be doing at particular phases in your life. And by ‘you’ I guess I really mean ‘me’.

For those of us that were much less ambitious in our youth, a lot of those things weren’t pursued. I didn’t think post-secondary education was important and took a major short cut. Though there was a close call, I didn’t consider marriage until well into my 20’s and only when I’d finally met my ‘match’.

So if I say that I haven’t been completely satisfied with my life, particularly my professional life,  and some of the decisions I’ve made, I think that’d be a pretty good summation of where I was sitting… up till about six months ago.

You see it wasn’t until then that I started getting the opportunity to manage our team and aid in the direction we were moving.  Though I’m still pretty green, I’m learning all the time about skills that I truly see as valuable.  Yes, I’m getting to the point and it is this….

I haven’t had to take a single ‘sick’ or ‘mental health’ day in several months, probably stretching back to April or so.  Like, at all.  This is significant as it illustrates a willingness to overlook those shitty days where you wake up, you aren’t feeling 100% and really don’t want to go into work.  I’m not positive on this, and I’m sure Sly will correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t recall that sort of time period without me needing to take a day off a month for decompression or real sickness.

The only way I can explain this is that I’m really finding a certain degree of satisfaction with my work and I really want to be there.  I’m not at work today due to a Flexday need and I really wish I was. So much so that I’ve actually been logged into my computer at work, spending some time on a problem that has dogged me for a couple of days.  Isn’t that weird?

Isn't that veird?
Isn’t that veird?

Yeah, it kinda is. But I’m going to accept this new position and do the very best I can to fulfill the requirements set out before me. Who knows? Maybe I’ve finally found what I was really meant to be and can banish all that adolescent ‘wishing’ to the past and continue, with open eyes and fewer expectations, into the future.