As I sit here and write this on a Friday evening, I’m completely exhausted. It’s funny because my job has absolutely no sense of physicality, yet by the time I go to bed every night, which is early I assure you, I can hardly keep my eyes open. There’s no doubt that the work I do is mentally draining, and I’m sure that plays a big part in it, but as Jessica likes to suggest from time to time, maybe I’m just getting old. True as that may be, my usual response is to agree with her, then gently point out that I’m still not quite as old as she is…
Tonight Jessica is working her fourth consecutive night this week and it concerns me. She shouldn’t be working that much, and although I realize that they are only scheduling her this much because they have no other choice, it still bothers me. Luckily everyone she works with is very careful not to let her do anything too strenuous, yet simply being on her feet all night this many nights in a row is hard enough on her. Luckily she has this weekend off with me, so I’m going to make sure she gets plenty of time to relax, nap, and get lots of rest. Unfortunately next week, which is Seattle Restaurant Week, looks very busy for her at work, meaning there is a decent chance she will have to work four consecutive nights again. Hopefully she can find a way to give up one of those shifts and split the week up a bit.
Not having Jessica at home all week means I’m on full-on Dad duty. Making their meals, doing baths, brushing teeth, all that fun stuff. Elise doesn’t seem to notice the difference but every so often Ava will make comments about how Mommy does things, and of course I feel bad that I may not be meeting her expectations, but I’m doing my best. I also feel like she likes to test me at times, just to see how I’ll respond. There have been a few occasions where she refuses to listen and I get a little short tempered, but overall the three of us have been doing pretty well. In general Ava is content to do her own thing for much of the evening, while Elise just wants to be with me, regardless of what I’m doing.
Tonight we were all pretty tired, and Elise didn’t seem to be feeling very well, so we all just stayed up in the guest bedroom and relaxed. Ava was keeping busy playing with her toys and watching shows, while Elise spent most of the time curled up in my arms asleep as I continued reading “Life” by Keith Richards. More often than not I’ve got some sporting event on TV downstairs, so it was nice to spend this evening with the girls ‘in their environment’.
I’ve had a couple weeks to process all the feedback I received on why I didn’t get promoted, and although it felt like a punch in the gut, I’m doing my best to take the high road by accepting their feedback and doing everything I can to mitigate their concerns, all of which are extremely technical. The problem that I’ve had to come to terms with is that I work in an organization consisting of about 600 people, yet I am the only true web developer. My organization is very much focused on software engineers, and therefore it’s impossible for them not to evaluate me as a software engineer as well. There simply isn’t a solid set of criteria for them to evaluate me as a web developer, nor is there a higher level web developer present in our organization who can evaluate me. I raised this as a concern with my manager today during our weekly 1:1 meeting and he completely understood where I was coming from. Ultimately we have a plan for moving forward and as long as I stick to that plan I have no doubts that I’ll make the cut 6 months from now, which is when I will be re-evaluated.
In order to make sure that I don’t get passed up for promotion again, I’ve already started dedicating a significant portion of my free time towards working on the software engineering concepts that were listed in my feedback. Unfortunately this means that something else has to slip, as there are only so many hours in the day. Obviously I’m not going to sacrifice my time with my family, especially since we get so little of it with all four of us present (soon to be five…), so it basically came down to either taking a break from playing guitar, or taking a break from studying German. I chose the latter. Per Jessica’s encouragement, I’ve decided that playing music is such a great outlet and stress reliever that it would be silly for me to stop. I’m enjoying it so much, particularly because I’ve already sacrificed it once recently in order to make time for school. The whole time I was in school I was saying I couldn’t wait to finish so I could start playing my guitar again, so I’m not about to stop now that I have a new set of curriculum on my hands.
Taking a break from studying German really sucks, but I don’t have any other choice. Obviously it will be there waiting for me whenever I’m ready to get back to it, but I’m bummed because I was making a ton of progress and I hate the idea of starting over again down the road. I’ve even stopped going to Jiu Jitsu because I simply can’t make time for it during my daily work schedule, and I don’t have time for it in the evenings due to my family duties and studies. While I’ve never minded being busy, and maybe you could even say have thrived on it, it can be tough at times to feel like you’re constantly behind the 8-ball with more to do than you have time for.
Luckily we’ve got a nice vacation to look forward to that is only two weeks away. It’s actually exactly two weeks away, and I can’t wait! We’ll be heading down to Vegas to celebrate my Mom’s birthday, as well as visit with family and friends. The weather is going to be a nice break from the crap we’ve been dealing with here lately, and it’s going to be so nice to just get a little time away from it all. Not only am I glad that my Mom will be getting plenty of time with her granddaughters, but I’m glad that it will be in her own home. Elise has never been to her house and Ava hasn’t been there since before we moved back to Seattle. Plus this will give Jessica a full week off work, so I’m sure it will be good for everyone.
Once we get back from Vegas we’ll need to start preparing for Ava’s 3rd birthday party. Her birthday in on a Tuesday, two days before Thanksgiving, so we’re throwing her party the Saturday before. Amy and Tom will be coming up from Colorado, and sticking around for Thanksgiving at our house. Rick and Chris will be coming into town on the evening of Ava’s birthday so they can also spend Thanksgiving with us. We also have my sister Dana and her husband Brad coming over, plus Butch and Carol, meaning there will be 10 adults and 2 kids. It’s going to be a full house but it should be a lot of fun; we’re definitely looking forward to it.
It’s hard to believe Ava is already going to be turning three, but then again it’s also really hard to believe that we’re getting close to having our third child. I don’t think either of us ever could have guessed that we would have experienced so much in our first five years of marriage, but obviously we wouldn’t trade any of it for the world. Here’s a few recent pics of the girls; they’re growing up fast.
Ava having fun in the sand
Someone is ready for Halloween…
Elise dragging Pippo around the Ballard Locks
Happy girl, as always