Friday, January 19, 2007


I have felt out of sorts this week. I am naturally a pretty introverted person, but I have felt more quiet then normal. Additionally I have been a hormonal whack. I have been snippy with people, easily angered by small things and over-emotional. I am feeling more stressed as I see how quickly the weeks are ticking down to the birth of our second child. There is a lot to do still… (you can check out my list on my other blog…)

Hormones are really the only explanation that I can offer up, and I hope that most people understand. (Some, well, I just really don’t care and maybe I meant my snippiness!) I really have had a pretty spectacular week all in all, so no real reason to have been down in the dumps.

1. Early this week I got a phone call from my manager. She called me while she was on travel to inform me of what my salary action is for this year. This means, of course, that I can’t expect my staff development review anytime in the next two weeks before payday, of course. But given the raise she quoted me over the phone, I suppose I can rest assured I haven’t ticked people off! It is about double what I expected. It is even larger than the “best case scenario” I have been quoting to AB. I really hope the words, “you’re kidding me” really only floated through my brain and not out my mouth. After I got my haircut on Wednesday night I scheduled a pedicure for next weekend to celebrate.

2. I had a meeting late this past week that actually may have contributed some to my mood. It was just a meeting I really stressed about. Was I doing the right thing by initiating the meeting? What will the response be? How am I going to manage my wild mood swings during this half hour? And how do I answer the inevitable questions that I know are going to come up… specifically, why? Out of fear mostly, AB was the only one who knew what was going on. The thought of “what if I am completely shot down?” took up residence in the front of my head along with the big letters… F-A-I-L-U-R-E in the back. Failure is my biggest weakness and fear.

I went to a manager of another group, in another directorate yesterday with my CV in hand. A few months ago, I was at my wits end after a meeting with my manager and a handful of fellow group members. It was one of the first group type meetings where I raised my hand and was quite vocal about what was being said and proposed. It frightened me. And it probably frightened me more that my mentor, a strategic hire with his own program and initiative was in the same boat. Why would they care about lowly old me when they are treating him in the same manner? Especially when he has other, and very obvious, options!

At that point I committed to myself that one of my personal goals this year was to start exploring other options across the lab. I stumbled upon one last week and knew that I had to push it forward. My meeting went very well yesterday. I let the manager talk some, I answered his questions while bloodying one side of my tongue and letting the other half run, albeit selectively restrained. I got the impression I didn’t tell him anything he probably didn’t already have a pretty good idea about. I think I came off well and learned a lot. I learned that this directorate will be undergoing a major reorganization this year and how the chips will fall is very unknown at this point. He offered me a few pointers on my CV, pointed me to some other people to chat with, told me he had heard nothing but good things about me and knew that nearly half his current group had worked in some capacity with me at some point, and further that he liked (obviously) that I would bring 50% of my own funding with me. He hung his hat upon “once the reorg is done we’ll talk again and see what we can figure out”.

The door has been opened. There has been no invitation to enter. At this point I can choose to stay on this side. Or the option likely exists in time, for me to walk into a different world. Time is on my side right now as I decide what I want and see what unfolds for AB.

3. What else could top off a week than to be offered an opportunity to take a hobby that I love to the next level? Blogging as it exists right now for me is therapeutic. The fact that it is entertaining (at times) or informative to others is just a side benefit. If no one read my blog, I would still do it, which is what makes it a great hobby.

Taking it to the next level of blogging professionally I view as a challenge. There has to be focus (far more than this blog has), a purpose (why should you care?), honesty (because you will get called on it), openness (no anonymity), some wit or other entertainment value (to keep people coming back), a time commitment (no one returns to a blog that is updated once a month… ok, maybe I do, but normal people don’t), and a good sense of style (which has nothing to do with Coach purses).

I am surprisingly thick skinned (and sometimes skulled) thanks to eight years of participating on discussion forums with bridezillas, hormonal pregnant women, hormonal not pregnant women, people who I vehemently disagree with and friends. I can deal with negative comments (I think). I read other professional blogs and I know what keeps me coming back and what very nearly makes me vomit. Applying this knowledge while merging with my own style is what I view to be the difficult aspect of this new, exciting side occupation.

Stay tuned, as this unfolds I will detail more.

So there, I really have had a pretty good week all in all. So why my mood has been in the dumps can only really be explained by a little bit of stress from putting myself “out there” and my catch all excuse, pregnancy hormones.

This weekend should be good. We have a few small plans. AB has a massage scheduled for tonight, mine is for tomorrow afternoon. Leif has swimming in the morning and we have a good size list of errands to run afterwards. Leif needs new shoes and daycare requested new mittens. Ok, they just asked that we keep his very favorite Bear Paws mittens there because he likes them so much more than the other Target ones and doesn’t get so discouraged trying to keep them on his hands. We could live with the one pair, but I prefer not to have to haul them back and forth everyday (meaning don’t make me remember anything more than a full lunchbox and my child every morning, please). A trip to the mall to return a pair of pants for AB and to see what we can find on sale for Leif in the next size up (3T) is on the list. He grew nearly 2” in the last two weeks I swear. I am pretty sure he was trying to squeeze in one more growth spurt before January 29th when I plan to measure him and double it to get his supposed adult height, provided, of course, I can get him to stand still.

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