Monday, July 16, 2018

Deeds Above Words

Yesterday, I broke the silence (of approximately 3.5 months) via a happy-birthday-to-you e-mail to somebody who I never wanted to have silence with in the first place. It just happened and I let it happen as that phone-call I had been hoping for that I believed would clear the air and do away with all misunderstandings never came. (And no, I couldn't just call myself, otherwise I would have). The reply was friendly, but sobering and not quite what I had hoped for. The old me would have fired off a dozen sequel e-mails of novel length to try and "understand" and "get to the core" of what I already understand only too well: that I am just not important enough to this person, never was and never will be. The new me has learnt (and no, that insight did not come overnight) that you just have to accept some things as tough and unpleasant as they may be and it's better for everyone involved if you keep those needy novels to yourself and look out for people who don't suffocate you with words, but impress you with deeds. And vice versa, of course.

Monday, July 09, 2018

One year later

This past week, I had my one year anniversary chez Household Name. Yes, I know. Time flies! Anniversaries are always a good opportunity for a bit of reflection, so here goes. In this year, I have managed to sniff out the "cool kids" who are on my wavelength and build up a pretty good network. I still miss the colourful fun, generosity and creativity of the Firm A LOT and still get baffled by the attitude of quite a few people at my current place of work that can best be described as a mix of passive aggressiveness and refusal to even consider adapting to anything new. What I enjoy most is the fact that not only does my job title contain the word "expert", but I am really treated like one. Working at the headquarter of a multi-national company now as opposed to a little outpost does make a big difference and I like that a lot.
My first months were pretty quiet, almost boring, task-wise. Oh my, how this has changed. Very recently, I gained more visibility than I ever wanted and now have turned into an executive-summary-producing, leadership-meeting-attending machine. Not really something I particularly enjoy for an extended period of time, to be honest and I would not mind if things got more quiet during the summer. All in all, though, I have learned a lot in this year, most of all about myself.

Monday, July 02, 2018

Foreboding

I don't consider myself a nervous traveller at all, despite the fact that I like to be at airports abroad so early for the return flight that the plane might not even have been built. My frequent weekend tripping also is testament to my overall love of flying.
This past weekend I was in Paris, a weekend trip with my cousin (known as Chiquita here) that I had booked months ago and was rather uncharacteristically anxious about in view of the late return flight (scheduled arrival in VIE 22:15) and the fact that when this post goes live on Monday morning I will already be facilitating an event at the office. In a nutshell, I was concerned I would be stuck in Paris due to a strike or other event that would prevent me from getting back to Vienna on time and almost wished I could reschedule. I even packed "nice clothes" and my laptop with charger in case I would be rebooked to a Monday morning flight and had to rush to the office straight from the airport.
Well, my return flight was on time, but the weekend in Paris did get off to a bad start with me receiving a message by Austrian Airlines on Friday morning, about 3 hours before the scheduled departure that the flight was cancelled. What. The. Eff?!? I immediately called the Austrian Airlines hotline and after listening to some canned waltzes managed to get the last seat on a flight to CDG via FRA, the first leg of wich actually left earlier than the original one. I rushed to the airport, only to find out the flight was delayed. As was my onward connection in Frankfurt. To cut a long story short, I got to spend a lot of quality time at both airports and arrived almost 5 hours later than originally planned.
Maybe it was a self-fulfilling prophecy that something had to go wrong, maybe a punishment for worrying to much, maybe a reward that it happened already on the outbound flight.
Be that as it may, I am definitely glad to have made it back on time and am now looking forward to five weeks in Austria.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Purpose and Meaning

totally unrelated photo from my former work-life when hardware was more glamorous...

Last week, I had an aha moment at work. No, let me rephrase this. Even though I already believed in the theory that I had been teaching in workshops at my old job, i.e. that one important "ingredient" for successful teams was that everyone derives purpose and meaning from the work they are doing, I experienced it myself again and it felt really good.
It was an aha moment, because for the longest time, I really was lacking that. Yes, I liked what I was doing, but I was not deluding myself that it created much of an impact. Recently, however, I became involved in a rather high profile project and all of a sudden not only do people know my name, but I can see that I am making an impact if only in baby steps. One side-effect is that I am much busier with back to back meetings on some days, but I actually much prefer that (as long as this is not the case every single day of the week) to having this "Whatevs" cloud looming over everything I do Monday to Friday.
Well, that only took a year...

Monday, June 18, 2018

A Lifetime Ago

This past weekend I was in, or rather near, Schladming for a wedding. I had a great time with lovely people. It was also the first time ever I had been to the area in summer, with the second of my two ski weekends there only having been this January. To be honest, this cast a tiny melancholic shadow over my visit as it truly felt like a lifetime ago. During that mini ski-trip I was extremely happy and at the time fully assumed it would be the first of many away-weekends with the person I was with. Not only that, but going on a ski trip with a love interest had been a secret dream of mine for a very long time. Less than a month after said ski trip, the situation began to turn sour rather unexpectedly and it turned out that the happy ending was not meant to be. Surprisingly, I for once handled a disappointment that would have previously caused me to turn into drama queen mode big time like a GROWN UP and followed my own advice, much to the disbelief of some friends of mine. I'm still very much in grown-up mode for the most part and overall very happy and content with my life. Sometimes, though, I am reminded by little things like smells or other non tangible triggers that certain happy times just have to be cherished for what they are (were!) and should not be over-analysed for potential they simply don't have. Perhaps this lovely wedding weekend managed to override my bittersweet memories of the area and I'll be back with "neutral" feelings next time.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Off the beaten track

This Wednesday, I had a doctor's appointment in Vienna's 18th district early in the morning. When I was done, I walked down Währinger Straße towards the centre as the trams there are currently diverted due to roadworks. Not only did I discover a nice coffee shop where I grabbed a coffee to go, but I really loved walking in areas of the city that I otherwise rarely visit. Even more so, the rest of the journey to my office with tram line 5, mainly through way less chic and gentrified parts of town was a route that was more or less unknown to me. The sight of inflated air mattresses and miscellaneous pool animals I spotted from my tram window somewhere in the 20th district made me incredibly happy and made me look forward to Nice, where I'll be in August:
Since getting up earlier than usual is not a problem for me in the summer months, I am contemplating walking all the way to the office (30 mins away by public transport) one of these days...

Monday, June 04, 2018

Projects

Whenever I visit my parents, I bring some DIY "project" or other that I typically manage to finish while there. I either do it in the garden or on the living room sofa while my parents watch TV in the evening. I am usually not that keen on the programme they watch (nor TV in general) so I either read or do something crafty. The latter is immensely satisfying and I seriously love doing creative things with my hands, but yet I rarely do it at home in Vienna, and this seriously bugs me. I am very spoilt by my parents and am treated as a guest in the sense that I don't have to do many chores, unlike in Vienna, where I have "things" to do. If I am really honest, though, this only accounts for about 20% of my creative inactivity whereas the greater part is due to me falling into a YouTube hole once I park myself on my comfortable living room furniture. I start watching one video, then end up watching more. Then it's 11 p.m. all of a sudden. Ooops. At best, I watch YouTube while doing something more productive, but more often than I would like to admit I don't get round to all those projects I have ideas for and I can't blame anybody but myself. Whether the solution is escaping from my flat that obviously triggers my idleness or unsubscribing from all my dangerous time-stealing YouTube channels, I don't know. Until I find a way of getting my act together, I enjoy the products of the little DIY I actually DO and for the record, I don't get to enjoy my living furniture not that often anyway. Which is another story altogether.
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