December 8th, 2019

jack think

'less clutter on her mind..."

What a busy year it has been.

In March at my work I was invited to join a team of 12 employees putting together a proposal for our company to develop a diversity and inclusion mission statement and several high level initiatives around accessibility, development and advancement of POC leaders, community responsibility and supplier diversity. We spent weeks doing research and presented to the CEO, who agreed to all of our proposals and asked us to be the founding members of a diversity council for the organization. That kicked off a ton of really positive collaboration with cross functional departments I have never worked with before, multiple domestic trips for planning and training, and the dedication of ostensibly 10% of my hours to this work - which in practice actually means I am doing my full time job plus 5-10 hours a week extra on my own time for this project. But I really love this work, I have done it before at another organization, and it is so fulfilling to be making these changes to help transform our company.

Then my part time job - another passion project, you could say - expanded this fall to include a second project, with sometimes conflicting schedules. So I have been working 45-50 hours a week at my day job, and 10-15 hours a week on my part time job, sometimes more. When I recently took stock on how I am spending my time, it was surprising to find that I have been working almost the equivalent of two full time jobs. It's no wonder that I'm a little burned out, and that despite all the great stuff happening in Magne's world, I have struggled to keep up with it - even though I'm super interested in all of it. Sigh!

The good news is that at my job we have hired two full time employees to take over the day to day work involved with the diversity projects, so although I will still be involved on the council, I don't expect to have to spend any time outside my normal work hours to get things done. Unfortunately, my boss just left the company, so I'll be busy covering some of his work until a replacement can be found, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel and I expect things to settle down by the second week of January at the office.

I have learned this year that despite my endless enthusiasm and intention to dedicate myself to everything equally, the reality is that I took on way too much and I'm now completely frazzled - and on some level dissatisfied with my recent work on all fronts, because I have simply been overextended. I owe it to myself and to those who depend on me to use the coming two months to rest and re-energize myself, before my part time work picks up again in earnest.

All this to say that I can relate to the lyrics 'she longs for simpler times, less clutter on her mind', both for their contextual meaning in the song (big time), and because I personally need to simplify. I've just returned from attending Magne's 'White Xmas Lies' concert in Oslo, and the experience was so uplifting and inspiring, and I don't want those feelings to fade too soon - yet the clutter of regular life is seeping back into my mind, and it's clear I need to take some steps to prevent that :-)

Inspired by Magne's advent calendar of daily tracks on Instagram, and a pre-New Years resolution I've made to get control of the clutter in my mind, my plan is to (1) limit my time on my personal Twitter accounts during the rest of the year, because that's where I spend the most optional time online - I get most of my news about current events on Twitter, so the experience is of consuming hundreds of little chunks of (sometimes depressing and occasionally mildly enraging) information at various times during the day, which definitely casues much of that feeling of clutter in my mind, and (2) write about Magne's new music, which lifts my heart and is actually kind of healing as well. These two changes will make a world of difference in my mental well being, for sure. I can't commit to writing every day, but I will do my best to write regularly between now and the end of the year.

Thank you to the folks who visit here, looking for new random musings from me about topics related (often somewhat loosely, LOL) to Magne's work. I keep an eye on my Google Analytics accounts, and I know that visits have gone way down this year, as you'd expect with the lack of updates - but still there are two visitors who return regularly to check for new posts, one from Sweden and one from California. I won't post the names of the cities, because that's too close to being a violation of privacy in my opinion, but I just want to say that I am grateful that you come here and that you find something here that you value in some way. I wish you both - and all those who visit here in the coming weeks - a wonderful Christmas if you celebrate it, and a happy New Year. Thank you for reading!