Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Power supplies, viruses, and temperature alerts...Oh My!

I am shopping for a new PC case. why?
A few months ago I had to purchase a new power supply for my PC; the fan died on my old power supply and it would boot any longer. I purchased a power supply and that was the end of it until the Virus. Sarah and I were experiencing lots of popups and virus alerts on the PC. I troubleshooted it and thought I had it removed and it kept coming back over and over again. With a little more than a month of careful planning I reinstalled Windows and got rid of the virus.
About a month after the Virus situation was dealt with my computer would start to shut down on it's own and claim that it experienced a thermal event upon boot. I troubleshooted this until I was blue in the face and now I am using a small form factor PC I purchased from my office.

I am thrilled!

Didn't expect that did ya? I am thrilled because

1. I lived with XP home on my old machine for a long time and a very old version of Photoshop which I no longer had the license for. The virus forced my hand and I not only had to get a copy of XP pro (in order to get advanced network tools and make it easier to deal with viruses) I got it for free through an education agreement at my college. Since I needed photoshop I research and talked about it with my friends and family and Sarah was able to find a very very reasonable student license for Photoshop and Lightroom.
2. While troubleshooting my hardware problem I came to the conclusion (wrongly) that it must be my video card. My good friend Augusto got me a card within days (thank you my friend! You are great!) and it is much better than my existing card.
3. The machine I got from work is a Pentium 4 3 GHZ dual core PC where my last PC was only a 2.8Ghz single core PC. I had an awesome PC in my closet and i didn't even realize it.

I am thrilled because without all these supposed bad things that happened to me over the last few months I wouldn't have this great PC! I thank God for that! I thank him for the good and the supposed bad because since he made it it is good no matter if I realize it at the time or not.

I pray:
Father in Heaven, thank you for the amazing gifts I have received thank you for all of this and realization that even my hardships have blessings built into them! You are the mighty and amazing creator and I praise you!


So now, I am shopping for an ATX computer case (the PC I am using now is a small form factor PC and the card Augusto gave me won't fit in it so I have to get a bigger case for my awesome new computer!)

Even more bright sides, the RAM from my old PC works in this one so I have 4GB of RAM, a brand new video card, an extra video card for another PC to build and 1GB of RAM from this PC! Thank you Lord! Thank you for all of the events and people that helped me to experience this and no matter what happens keep me present and aware that your plans are good.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

I cried!

I finally found a cry worthy statement
I want to make photos that bring tears
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Being ok with being overwhelmed.

The free online dictionary defines overwhelm as :

1. To surge over and submerge; engulf: waves overwhelming the rocky shoreline.
a. To defeat completely and decisively: Our team overwhelmed the visitors by 40 points.
b. To affect deeply in mind or emotion: Despair overwhelmed me.
3. To present with an excessive amount: They overwhelmed us with expensive gifts.
4. To turn over; upset: The small craft was overwhelmed by the enormous waves.

As I read this I can definitely relate. With a large amount of work, relationship, family, and other pressures of responsiblities I often have felt like I am burried, drowning, or upset or turned over. The big part of this definition that jumps out as me is:

2b. - To affect deeply in mind or emotion.

Being overwhelmed tends to be viewed with negative connotation but let's view it from this definition. If I am affected deeply in mine or emotion is this neccesarily bad? Bad news could affect me deeply but I could view this as a gift. If I have a lot coming at me and feel that I am getting too much too fast this is the time to step back and if I am affected deeply I will definitely notice that nudge.

Here is an activity I find helps when feeling overwhelmed:

1. I stop - I stop what I am doing, I give myself permission to completely stop, I let go of trying to think, do, or act on anything. Just for a moment, if I do this for 1-5 minutes it will be worth it and I have won.
2. I focus on my breath - I do this gently and simply notice how my breath feels, if my attention is taken from my breath I bring it back to it by simply noticing what my attention to and noticing if i am breathing in or out in the cycle.
3. After 5 or so breaths I start to simply notice the physical feelings of my body. I notice my tensions, my pains, and anything else inside. I treat it like a mental body scan from the top of my head to my toes. I don't try to do anything about these ailments. I just notice them.
4. I slow my breath and focus on long deep breaths, I imagine all the energy that all my ailments in my body are taking up letting go with each breath. I don't try to let go of the ailments, just the energy.
5. I say a prayer and ask for God's will in my life in this matter.

Does this always work completely? yes in that it gives me a cornerstone on perspective. I wouldn't say it is a miracle cure for all anxiety in my life but it is a good tool for dealing with the things that overwhelm me.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Dealing with disaster

What is the first thing you should do when getting bad news? And I don't just mean bad news but earthshaking, shake you to your toes news.
Last Thursday I found out that a husband of a coworker was killed in a work accident. This shook me to the core. My hands didn't stop shaking till I went to bed that night. And this all in the middle of some urgent crises at work. How do I deal?
Well I went through a lot of reactions.

*first I prayed and fortunately I was able to pray with the person who gave me the news so that was a good thing.
*I collected everything on my mind. Why? I just got hit with a curve ball, I really needed to let my mind return to a calmer state
* listed any naxt actions and sorted out non urgents to an incubate list.
* focused on work but looked for opportunities to listen if anyone else was having trouble with the bad news

It was a good day. Our urgent project didn't fall to the wayside and I was able to talk and even pray with a couple of coworkers.

What would I have done different? Made sure to slow down a bit and monitor my own feelings.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Natural planning model - another tool for fighting resistance

I was walking through my daily checklist today and noticed for the past few days I have been going numb to my gratitude journal and my daily affirmation. I was getting to the point where I looked at those items and went "ugh, I am fine, I don't really need to do these, I am grateful, my days are going well, I don't need them." I shot an e-mail to @tararodden who suggested I mix things up a bit, maybe reword my affirmations as questions, switch to a different model for the gratitude journal (Thanks for the help Tara, you really helped me, you are an awesome coach!) and that triggered my BFO!

I wasn't present I was caught up in working on my lists and not focused on the original purpose of my daily items. I needed to re-enter the basic building blocks of what I was trying to do in the first place. So I delved into the natural planning model.

I questioned:

What are the purpose and principles of the daily task in question?
I stated what the original purpose was; for example I started the daily gratitude journal to help keep me present and aware of the blessings in my life.
I then stated what purposes it formed as I practiced it:
It kept me in perspective as I was brought to focus on things I formerly thought as negative in my life but now would never change. It has helped me to stay prayerful which ties into my current purpose statement bingo, value. No longer numb!

I quickly came up withe a new desired outcome followed by some fast brainstorming, organization and I now know how to reorganize my tasks to keep them vibrant.

My advice here is if going numb to any process in GTD, your system, your projects, etc, try reviewing it with the natural planning model, you can fall upon breakthroughs in your projects and get more creative, creating even better work.

Thanks for the idea of rewording my affirmations as questions Tara, I am implementing that into my daily affirmation.