Labor Day = Day of Labor; Mayhaps a Lesson There?

It’s not lost on me, the irony of spending a five-day Labor Day holiday sitting at home … laboring. I took off Friday, as well as Tuesday; Monday is a paid holiday that doesn’t come out of my PTO bank.
On Friday, apart from joining the call for a quarterly board meeting for the Michigan Association for Healthcare Quality, I ran a few errands and came as close as I dared to actually relaxing. Yesterday was split between prepping for this coming Friday’s inaugural meeting of the editorial committee for Caffeinated Press and doing some contract editing work for a client. Today is “me” day — and by that, I mean catching up on personal tasks and domestic chores. Tomorrow, I do a deep prep dive into the final touches for the MAHQ conference at the end of September, as well as pull together the presentation I’ll deliver in Nashville next week. And Tuesday? That’ll be spent mostly wrapping up my 10,000-word short story for the anthology to which I’ve been invited to submit.
Lots going on. And the new job brings its own expectations that I’ll do a lot in a short period of time. Challenge accepted.
Yet one thing is abundantly clear: I have to scale some stuff back. I’m doing too much for too many, without enough time to attend to the things that fall into the “important but not urgent” quadrant of Life. Some of my cigar time the last few days has drifted toward what I need to pick up and what I need to set aside — on the choices I need to make to succeed instead of merely to tread water.
Still, it’ll be good to knock a bunch of stuff off the to-do list.
In other news:

  • I now have a nerd paradise going on in my home office. My “normal” computer — a Toshiba all-in-one with a huge touch screen and Win 8.1 — sits where it normally does. Added on the side desk are the iMac I bought last week (yes, I bought an old but excellent-condition iMac 5.2 running Snow Leopard off Craigslist; the value-add was the legally licensed copy of Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 Master Collection). Next to it sits my old, frail HP laptop; it’s actually a decent machine but the on-board display occasionally goes out. So I hooked it up to a gorgeous 21-inch monitor that Duane gave me, then wiped it and installed a copy of Elementary OS (a Linux distribution based on Ubuntu). I’m typing this post on the Linux machine, in fact. All that notwithstanding: From one chair, I can access a Windows PC, a Mac and a laptop running Linux.
  • Enjoyed dinner and drinks on Friday with my friend Stash. She became a manager a bit before I did; we had a lovely conversation about the leadership culture of our employer over happy-hour margaritas on the outside porch of a lovely Mexican restaurant.
  • Duane has moved to Texas. He’s an interesting fellow. Every three years or so, he develops the wanderlust bug and has to basically reboot his life somewhere else. I first met him more than a decade ago, in Kalamazoo. I hired him to join the opinion staff at the Herald. Then I helped him get a job at the hospital. Then he went to get a second master’s degree in California, then to Korea. Then I helped him get another job at the hospital. Now he’s off to be an assistant director at a small university in east Texas — and I wish him well. I helped him move a week ago, and I’m planning to pack the stuff he put into storage, into a U-Haul and bring it to him sometime in October.
  • Speaking of jobs: My friend Rick has moved on from the hospital. He’s plotting his next career moves, but he’s in good spirits and I wish him the best.
  • Last weekend, I attended the Michigan Republican state convention in Novi. I’m glad for the experience, although the event was a bit … anti-climactic. Only one round of balloting. Despite contention for the lieutenant governor role and pretty much all of the academic stuff (state board of ed, Wayne State trustees, Michigan State trustees, U of M regents), the results were sufficiently strong that the losers on the first ballot moved unanimous consent to seat the victors. All of my preferred candidates won — I’m especially pleased that Lt. Gov. Brian Calley showed so strongly despite a well-organized Tea Party effort to boot him off the Snyder ticket. Credit where it’s due: Today’s MI GOP under Bobby Shostak has shown a considerable amount of adeptness at not being complacent about potential political threats, and also for having a keen eye for optics. Dave Agema — our state National Committeeman who made waves earlier this year with his vitriolic anti-gay comments — was basically shut down for both the Kent County and the state conventions. On the upside, Rep. Justin Amash is growing on me. He was one of the few high-profile elected leaders who spent a lot of time being visible among the delegates from his district.
  • I bought a Fitbit last weekend. The biggest insight from its tracking data so far is that my sleeping patterns suck. I am averaging slightly more than 6 hours per night despite being in bed for about 7.5. I have “restless” periods around 2 a.m., and I have a sneaking suspicion it’s cat-related. (Says the guy writing a blog post while the Boy Cat sits next to me, meowing.)

Anyway … full plate this “vacation,” but the upside is that it’s better to be busy making progress than lazy being complacent.

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