Thursday, April 05, 2018

I'm Still Here

You maybe guessed from the lack of weekend reading links last week that I was over in Arizona for my grandmother's memorial. Or maybe you didn't notice my absence at all!

But if you did notice and were wondering where I was... now you know.

We drove back to San Diego on Sunday, and I haven't really regained my footing. I had originally planned for a spring break in which the kids were over with my parents and I had extra time in the evening to catch up on some projects. That did not happen, for obvious reasons, but the projects were still here, with deadlines approaching.

I managed to get past the first deadline: I'd said Here's the Deal would go on pre-order yesterday, and it did. (I'll be sending out the advance review copies soon: if you're interested, there's still time to get a copy.)

My next deadline is a seminar I agreed to do last year, before I knew I'd be going back to full time employment. It is a slightly different take on a couple of topics I've done seminars on in the past: strategic planning and project management. So I need to pull up the slides and hands-on activities I have, see what I can reuse, and write new slides and activities as needed. I still have time to get it done, but wish I were a little further into the process. I'm feeling a little stressed by it, but not yet panicked. If I haven't made progress by next week, though, I'll be panicked!

And there are other things, too- like some book marketing research I paid to get done that I would now like to act on.

I also have lots of things swirling around in my head that I'd like to write about. I finally read Atul Gawande's Being Mortal, and I'd like to write about my thoughts. (I recommend the book highly.) I'd still like to write about why I don't try to take shortcuts to some goals. I have a post about staying focused when a shiny new idea comes along, which I'd like to write for my professional site. And I suspect if I got my writing notebook out, I'd find more ideas that I've jotted down and not had time to come back to.

But this week, I've been spending most of my evenings planning a Harry Potter birthday party for Pumpkin, who is now 11. She is so big! More than that, she's so not a little kid anymore. I don't know how many more times she'll be this enthusiastically into planning a party, and so I'm trying to join in the enthusiasm. We bought a skirt, cardigan, and tie to allow her to dress up as a Hogwarts student (she's Ravenclaw). We've pasted labels that say "Floo Powder" on packets of Fun Dip. We've ordered quidditch broom pens for the goody cauldrons. We've found or made items to represent all the horcruxes for a horcrux hunt. We still need to draw Voldemort for the "pin the nose on Voldemort" game she wants to have.

It is all delightful, but a bit overwhelming sometimes. I thought I'd carved out some time last night to write a real post, but then the allergy-induced cough Pumpkin got in AZ flared up here, too. It always takes awhile for the irritation to calm down when she gets a cough like this. And of course, she won't take anything useful. No medicated cough drops or numbing throat spray. But she couldn't sleep, and so last night, instead of writing a blog post, I made her a hot water with sugar and sat with her while she drank it, and then sat in her room reading on my phone while she settled back in to sleep.

Tonight, I'm too frazzled feeling to write anything real, but I wanted to write something... and so you get this rambling post.

Here, have a nerdy joke to make up for it:

I hope to be really back sometime soon. 


  1. Socal dendrite11:39 AM

    The party sounds fun! And, you never know, she might like parties for a little bit longer yet. When I was about 13 or so (could have been 14?) and everyone had started doing trips out for birthdays, I decided to have a more old-fashioned party at home, complete with party games. I remember being a bit worried my friends would think it was silly and immature, but everyone loved it and seemed to relish the chance to be kids again :)

    1. I'm happy to report that the 11 year old's birthday party was a success! But I confess to hoping for something simpler next year...

  2. EarthSciProf6:23 AM

    Definitely noticed your absence but it had slipped my mind about your grandmother's passing. My condolences on her passing. I'm sorry that I didn't express my sympathies earlier. I hope the memorial provided good time with family and to remember her.

    My grandmother died in November, also at 94. The steep part of her decline was a little longer than your grandmother's (a couple of months rather than weeks) and was really hard on my parents (who she lived with). The memorial events were good but her passing still doesn't seem entirely real.

    On another note, a colleague from grad school is taking on a project management role in a national lab-type setting. So I pointed him to your (beyond) management blog.

    1. Thanks! It was a nice memorial, and a nice week overall.

      Tell your friend to email me any questions! Particularly if I can answer them on the blog... but even if a private answer is needed. I'd be happy to help.

    2. EarthSciProf11:05 AM

      I'll pass the offer along. Thanks! I assume your Beyond Managing email is what I should direct my colleague to?

      Unrelated, when on the website yesterday and today, I was looking at your "Taming the Work Week" and thinking that I need to re-read it. Work life is feeling very untamed. =)


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