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Communication Vortex

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Do you ever feel like you’re in this vortex world where no matter what you do that day, it just feels like you can’t do anything right and everyone is criticizing you? Yeah, well, I do. Today is one of those days. Maybe it’s because I’m communicating with others via email and messages instead of face to face or on the phone. I used to think I was a good communicator via email until recently. Sometimes I just can’t seem to get my point across or the story is so complicated that it’s really hard to relay via email. There are some topics that just need to be discussed in person. But sometimes those people who need to know are not available face to face or by phone. I’m trying to wrap my head around it and figure out a better way to communicate via email when I have to. I can try to save the topics for an in-person conversation but I know that the conversation will not happen for a long time or the issue needs to be addressed right away. I’ve never been a good phone person even though I know that picking up the phone to discuss a topic can be so much easier, and shorter. I always remember my dad making comments about not understanding why people don’t just pick up the phone or walk to the other person’s office. Maybe it’s my generation.

One tool we’ve started using in the workplace is the SBAR tool – situation, background, assessment, recommendation and when used properly it can help give the receiver the information needed to make a decision or weigh in on a particular topic. But if not used regularly, the SBAR tool can be clunky and cause more work than is necessary to use. I’ll have to explore other options that might be useful. I typically write in such a narrative manner that it can be hard to get the point across sometimes without feeling I’ve left all of the context and details out. But I can understand from the receivers point of view that when you’re busy and being asked for your input, you really just need the concise details. I also think that sometimes I’m not quite sure of the actual question I want to ask and am circling around it in email. I’ve been known to shoot off emails and then have further thoughts afterwards and send multiple followup emails. I know that this is annoying and can be viewed as a waste of time; it’s something I’m working on. I’m just so quick in my initial thoughts that I have an itchy trigger finger. I’ve started waiting to respond to emails and think through my response but it doesn’t come naturally to me.

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Turning 35

Today I turned 35. I remember when I turned 30 and had a mini meltdown at work, feeling lost and thinking I’d never have a family of my own. I remember last year, wishing that I could be pregnant and feeling so down about not being a mom yet. Last year, I wouldn’t have guessed that I’d have a beautiful daughter before I turned 35. I remember praying and hoping that I’d have a child before I turned 35, and it happened. Today, I cherish my gift. Each year I will remember my wish from the past and treasure my daughter. She is more than I could ever wish for. So perfect, beautiful, soft and sweet. Of course we have our moments but one smile wipes away all the stress and worry.

I already feel like I miss her or that I’m going to miss her. Going back to work in a few short weeks is going to be tough. I know it will take time. I am trying to enjoy our time together now and not worry about the future but I do already miss her. I shed a tear today thinking about how hard it’s going to be, to be away from her. But it will just make me cherish our time together more. I know that this is how it has to be. Last year, I’m not sure I could have guessed how hard it would be to face work. I do like to work and be busy but it’s all different now. I have different priorities. Now I will work to ensure that we can enjoy our time together worry-free, invest in our future and take fun trips together.

Now that I’m a mother, I have to compartmentalize my work at my job and my work as a mom. Never before have I had to separate home and work so much. But I feel that to be successful at work this will need to be the case. Of course I will be talking about her all the time with my co-workers but in order to get anything done there, I will need to focus on that part of me. It’s like I lead two lives: one as a career woman and another as a mom. This will be a new challenge for me.