That’s the blog prompt for today. It’s a hard one. I’ve been put into the position of leadership over and over. I don’t think I’m all that good at it, though, because I spend a lot of time figuring out how to lead and keep those I’m leading happy.
You really have to accept that sometimes your leadership may not make everyone happy, though. I know trying to protect people I’m leading has cost me a couple of leadership positions.
I’ve been repeatedly told I’m not a good leader for horses, too. I’m not interested in showing them who’s boss. I’d rather lead by being the cream member who sets direction. I think I’m getting better at leading horses appropriately thanks to Tarrin’s excellent leadership (ha ha, that’s a good segue).
I see leadership as teaching others to lead, like a good horse trainer or supervisor at a job. The best leaders are more like mentors, and I’ve been good at that sometimes (sometimes not).
I find it good to be a follower sometimes, too. Not a blind follower who just does what they’re told because some authority says so, but rather a follower out of trust and respect, both of which must be earned.
Yeah, I think that became clear reading my diary from 10-11th grades. I sure didn’t follow the rules or orders of teachers I didn’t respect. But it was quite obvious how I’d do anything for the good ones.
Now, if this question was really about whether I’d rather go first or last in an activity, my answer would be different. I prefer being in front, where I can see my options, unless, of course, it’s a nature hike. I’ll end up following far behind on those. There are just so many plants, bugs, and birds to observe, plus rocks!
Sometimes my days seem schizophrenic. There are so many highs and lows that it makes my head spin. More accurately, I end up with a full-blown anxiety attack, complete with shaking limbs (that make me trip over a dog then drop and break a pretty bowl) and chest pains. Nota bene: I know it’s not my heart, no need to tell me to go to the ER.
See, I’m also prickly and can get annoyed for no good reason, like imaginary unsolicited advice. Let’s back up.
I went to work at the Red House, since I had a training to do and didn’t want to drop the meeting suddenly. That was fine, though I left my mouse at home. Does anyone actually LIKE trackpads? I’m all ready for the training. Suddenly I hear chainsaws.
There’s my kid and his coworker. They inform me they’re going to cut down the dead and dying trees in the yard. These are HUGE trees. I was dubious. But they did get a lot done, plus got limbs away from the roof.
All was well, though, since no one could hear the cutting and thudding but me. I made the mistake of looking outside and seeing the two young men on top of the house. I was scared for them and got sorta nervous. It looked pretty dangerous. I mean, they aren’t arborists, just guys willing to do what they’re asked to do. They also admitted to being scared. That’s a healthy admission, I think. As far as I know, they survived. They have good sense!
I also unpacked a box of glassware from the Austin house. I do dislike doing that, but it was nice to see my Starbucks mugs and favorite green glasses. Lucky renters will get to use them.
Things continued to go downhill as I raced home to get ready for my horse lessons. It was extra hot and humid, which didn’t help. The horses were hiding, because they don’t like welding, which was going on in their pens. (Too bad, I’m very happy the pens are getting worked on and think they look great.)
I sorta got Drew cleaned up, then trudged back for Apache, who was sweaty as me. I was deeply involved in trying to de-sweat and de-mud him when our welding friend called out to me. I nearly jumped out of my skin, which is weird, because I knew he was there! It turns out Mabel had braved the welding area and walked out. I had exactly zero minutes for chasing after her, so I probably looked like a nasty old woman running around cursing.
Mabel responded to food, of course, but Apache never did get groomed. All this prelude leads to this: I had a great lesson on each horse, learned a few things, and really felt calm and together, like I’m getting a clue. Well, when Drew started to toss me around because mares were running up, I yelled at Tarrin that I was going to die. But I didn’t. She got me and Drew back on track. He actually settled down after being frisky because the weather changed.
Im so grateful for Tarrin’s help, and I think the horses are, too. Apache hates to leave her training area! And we get to laugh at cantering cows and thank the weather for cooling down the moment my lesson started. It’s good stuff, the horse training.
By the time we got home, Drew had managed to kick everything around in the trailer and break his trailer tie. That allowed him to mostly exit ungracefully without me unlatching him. That got me all worried he was hurt. That guy! But he’s no longer the ranch baby, because Sully had her baby today, a little filly! I can’t wait to see her.
By the time I finally got the horses fed, I was starving, which probably led to some of the shaking. I just feel like I was not my best self much of the day, but at work and with the horses I was great. Eh, that’s probably normal.
Now to settle that chest pain down. I’ll pet Carlton. That will help.
…you answer a blog prompt? Ha, no. I just thought the question was so easy! I wind down by blogging and knitting. Writing and handcrafts both involve repetitive motion and take your mind off other things.
I’m happy to report that today only started out demanding, however. I dragged all my computers out to the Red House (our vacation rental) because it now has wifi. I was able to actually get a lot done, though, plus I was able to finish the laundry and sweep the porch.
However, I still hadn’t heard from AT&T about replacing my router. So I called the special line for my equipment. I talked to some woman who tried to sell me equipment insurance and somehow I got rid of her and was able to talk to a reasonable person. The news was bad. They no longer make my equipment.
Folks, I was truly annoyed. I was extra frustrated. I have wasted a week trying to get something replaced that couldn’t be. Why didn’t someone say that last week? Grr.
I was so patient. I just took a deep breath and ordered a wifi hotspot to use until we figure something else out. I think we will do another service. Stay tuned.
The day got way better after I finally made a plan and could get off the dang phone with the AT&T people. I ran home to get the horses ready for a lesson, and somehow got them ready (-ish — Drew still had globs of mud in his mane but I got the majority off his body).
Lo and behold, Apache wasn’t sick and Drew was in great form! All of us had a really good time. Apache is learning to speed up and slow down correctly and stay straight. I’m so proud of him and so glad he is no longer all inflamed. I succeeded in helping him!
Drew was a relief to ride. He has gotten over whatever was up at the last couple of lessons. Tarrin wonders if maybe he wasn’t feeling well when he was acting so funny. Today was fun. I felt like we were working together.
It was beautiful watching Tarrin ride him after I was done. He cantered so well and easily. I love watching him move. He looks fancy!
Today was long but fun. I left last night to go to scenic Round Rock, Texas, so I could visit the Mother Ship of Dell Technologies. I worked there before. It’s where I met Lee!
After a night at a Hampton Inn that was not the best in its genre but was okay because it had no barking dogs, I entered the iconic Round Rock 1 building. And I was blown away.
They made good use of the pandemic off time by completely renovating the building to make it less of a cubicle farm and more of a place people would like to work. Even me!
I didn’t take many pictures, since it’s a workplace, but I really liked the way workstation groupings were interspersed with seating areas, brainstorming places, and snack stations. It is a lot quieter, too, thanks to really attractive heavy felt hanging dividers. The planners did so well!
I was there to finally meet some members of the team I work with. It was gratifying to meet my boss, Bob, and some of the folks I see in Zoom weekly. They all seemed pretty happy, too. Note: you can’t tell how tall a person is on Zoom—I was surprised by a couple folks. We had a very decent lunch in the new cafeteria, once we found the stairs.
Next we did our weekly staff meeting in a Zoom Room where the technology appeared much better than the ones at my last place of employment. We geeked out happily when we saw that the camera both showed everyone in the room AND a head shot of each person around the table, along with the virtual attendees. That’s pretty cool.
My headphones stopped letting me hear others talk, so I got to use a little meeting room for my last meeting. How fancy! Speaking of fancy, lots of the good number of folks who were there had actual work clothes on. Glad I dressed up.
That takes me to seeing things. My glasses came in, so I picked them up on the way home. I’m wearing the most controversial pair above. They are a unique shape, and wireframe, not like my usual ones. They sure are good for vision! I also love the new computer glasses, which are more “Suna.”
I had a third pair (they were all 50% off) but they arrived all wonky, so the optician is sending them back to be redone. That’s the nice part about going to a real specialist. They do quality control.
Since I have my prescription and had credit at EyeBuy Direct, I got two pair from there, and they also arrived today. The pair above has silver foil in it. I like the size a lot. I was happy to find the prescription was good on them and they fit. They look more like my usual weird picks. But it goes with my hair. And the other ones are more subtle.
You can’t really see that the frames have blue, purple, and pink in them, but it’s there. I was just happy to find a modern large frame that didn’t dwarf my wrinkly old face. And they are also comfortable and focus right. Maybe it’s because I got the higher quality progressive lenses.
I got all these good glasses for really reasonable prices, so I’m set. I can sure SEE better now. But I’m tired. After all the meetings, taking longer than expected at the glasses place (I let someone go ahead of me, then mine had to be processed), and doing my horse chores, I’m zonked. Hey, 7 am meeting tomorrow! But at least it’s from home!
I’m getting tired of toting two laptops wherever I go. It really makes my computer backpack heavy! And it seems silly to bring my personal laptop everywhere I go, when all I really want to do is blog, check email in case there’s a message from a human on it, read social media, and search for stuff. I can do all that on the phone.
I just solved that problem by finally getting a new keyboard that will attach to either my laptop OR my phone. As a matter of fact, I’m blogging on it now! That pleases me very much, because, as an old person, I type way faster than I can use a phone for entering text. I just haven’t gotten the hang of using my thumbs, or whatever it is the quick people do.
I got a little Logitech keyboard K585. It lets you switch between a laptop and a phone with relative ease (once you figure out how to set it up). The computer was easy, once I realized I had to turn the keyboard off and on again to connect and figured out that my USB unifying receiver didn’t like to share.
The phone was harder, because even though I pressed the button to set up the second device and turned Bluetooth on, there were no instructions for entering the magical pairing number on the keyboard. I kept entering the numbers and nothing happened. About the fifth time, I just pressed the Enter key when I was finished, and sure enough, it worked. I wished the instructions had SAID to press Enter.
Now I’m a happy keyboarder. I like blogging on the phone, because I can upload photos straight from my camera images rather than putting them in the media library from the phone and then accessing them on the laptop.
My computer bag will be much lighter tonight when I go to Round Rock so I can work at Dell HQ tomorrow. I’ll get to meet some of my coworkers for the first time, AND when I’m done with work, I can pick up my much-needed new glasses. That will save me a separate three-hour trip. I’m a winner all around.
The only problem will be that I can’t put Apache away for the daylight hours tomorrow, which I’m trying to do to help his inflammation. Fingers crossed I can get someone both willing and able to do it for me. By the way, he is displeased. I thought it was really sweet of Drew to hang out with him when I first put Apache in there after his morning exercise.
Very few seconds after this scene of companionship the tussling began. In the photos it looks like Apache is going after Drew, but in reality, Drew started after Apache’s sore back. I realize the medication has honey in it, but I don’t think it’s actually tasty, due to other ingredients. But, Droodles will be Droodles!
Thanks for all the good thoughts headed toward my family. We appreciate it very much. There’s always something going on around here.
PS: If you read the blog on WordPress or the Web, you’ll notice I took the ads off. I was making a small amount of money from them, but I got reports that icky phishing and scammy kinds of ads were appearing, so I decided to be kind to my readers and dump that stuff. You’re welcome. Let me know if there are any other oddities popping up, or if the ads persist.
…a job, that is. This blog prompt is probably too easy, since I’ve done a LOT of volunteer work, some of it hard and thankless. My favorite one, though, has always been reaching people to knit and crochet.
I loved it so much that I taught at a yarn shop way longer than I should have. I did get paid some, but mostly I did it because it’s so cool to take someone who’s never held a needle or hook and a couple of hours later end up with someone who has a new lifetime hobby. You’re never bored if you have a project.
Now, at the same time, I want to assure you that I believe teaching these skills is worth paying for and that professional knitting and crochet teachers deserve to be compensated. I happily spend money learning new skills from amazing and creative folks.
I’m not sure if blogging is a “job,” but I do know folks who make lots of money doing it. For me it’s a practice, not a job, so I’m happy to blog for free. Writing is so important in my life that I just have to do it, and I enjoy sharing what I write with a few folks to exchange thoughts with.
Enough of jobs I’d do for free. I guess if I retire my job will be to keep learning and growing. It’ll probably cost me, not earn money, but that’s ok. I just hope I can afford to keep the horses!
It finally stopped raining, but wow is it muddy. So, no horse riding happened. I was able to set up for the stuff I’d hoped to do all week, though. And I played with the chickens, down to seven, sniff. They got to go out and forage a bit.
They were all out at the horse pens, but when I called them, they ran with those little children legs and followed me into the chicken run for a treat. That’s more responsive than certain horses.
I’m glad for a day where I could be out with the plants and bugs, knit on my blanket, and hang out with the family. Plus, we have a guest, so I got to leave the house and eat at a restaurant! Woo.
Here are random photos from the last two days. It’s been wet, but relaxing!
It was a long, long day full of minor hiccups and irritating happenings. But, spoiler alert! Almost everyone lived!
I didn’t know the answers to any questions at work. So I took a break to put a new office chair. That was not a break. I sweated my butt off and tweaked my back, but I have a chair to replace the one that’s in the RV.
Then it was horse lesson time. It was fine, but I was already tired when I started. I was in no mood for Apache to decide he didn’t want to load in the trailer. Drew went right in. whew.
Tarrin was also having a challenging day with a bunch of young horses, so we were both happy to see Apache do a great job in his lesson. We are both improving, so maybe his next show comments won’t say “hollow” on every line. At least I now know what that means, so I can learn to fix it!
I’m proud that my old buddy is working so hard with me. We are literally starting from the bottom and slowly getting better. He got a 28% on his disastrous trail test at Sara’s, but Tarrin said I did well keeping calm with him. He apparently isn’t great so close to home, so next time I’ll film at Tarrin’s! I know Apache enjoys this stuff when he’s not nerved out.
How did Drew do? Well, he also was having a DAY so I didn’t ride him. I guess I need to get his dentist appointment and more body work. Or wait for him to grow up. He’s calmer in the round pen with me, but Tarrin is teaching him, which is less fun than me. I just sit there and look at how pretty he is.
Plus when I got home I found a sick chicken. No clue what made her sick. Maybe the snake bit her? Well, they are living longer than my first bunch. I’ll try to help her. I put her in isolation.
I’m ready for another day. They can’t all be great! I have lots to be grateful for.
To be truthful, the number one thing I’m grateful for is my tack room. It smells pretty good in here for a room full of horse feed.
Number 2: Happy horses. Apache is calm again today, Drew has been running around with Dusty, and Mabel has let me rub all over her.
Number Three: Good health news about dear friends. I was so relieved to learn a former neighbor is recovering from a bad stroke, and my friend Jeff got his eye worked on again.
Number Four: Returning birds. I was greeted by the sweet sound of a red-winged blackbird this morning. Plus, the barn swallows are swooping and chattering outside my office. I love that sound.
Number Five: I got to see some local friends when I went to get a prescription filled. I was off really early because I’d started work at 6 am today. You can edit a lot of job aids in that silence.
I’m Not Grateful for…
Why was I working so early? Because I was awakened by the familiar horror of skunk breath. Yep, Goldie got another one. Once more I had to remove pitiful remnants of an animal who was where it shouldn’t have been. Once more Lee and I were trying to deodorize a giant dog. Ugh. But the rest of my day has been fine.
Honestly, the blogging software asked, but I was also asked by my contact at the company who contracts me out to Dell at my current position.
Yes, Bertie Lee, I do. I like it as much as I liked my previous job before they replaced my amazing boss with, um, someone else. I’d figured I’d stay until the contract ended next September then “retire.”
No, I’m not. I like having something to do, and if I’m helping people out, I feel good. In my current job, I help people use confusing yet powerful software to get their own work done. And I help my team get their work by answering questions so they don’t have to.
No, Bertie Lee, they thank me by giving respect and autonomy. There’s no micromanaging on our team, just encouragement and support. It helps that everyone is great at their jobs, of course. It’s been a great last hurrah in corporate America.
I’m just saying that if this job continues, I’ll keep going for another few years, though it’s tempting to have more time for horses and travel. I guess the month that Medicare kicks in is pretty much guaranteed to cause introspection!
I’m only as young as I feel, but other than the lingering wheeze, I feel as good as I ever have. And yes, I like my job.
PS: I only had time to take chicken pictures today. Much work followed by long-overdue grocery shopping filled the time. Good news is Zippy Bippy, the new car, can hold a LOT with the seats down.