The Autumn That Nearly Drowned Me

For more than 5 years I’ve managed to average at least one blog entry a week through fluctuating workloads and even through changing employers. And then came this autumn. The combination of a couple of large clients and going into holiday peak period for a couple of retail clients, collided with the IDUG EMEA conference where I was presenting two new sessions nearly combined to do me in.

I somehow managed to earn a spot in the top 10 speakers at IDUG in Malta, and I have no clue how. I felt like it was not my best. I also took on presenting a friend’s presentation when he was not able to attend at the last minute. That was a new experience for me. I had never given someone else’s presentation before. I achieved a decent rating on it from the audience, though, and I feel like it helped me grow in confidence as a speaker. Honestly any Db2 consultant should be able to give a presentation on the common security issues, though.

Someone at my company asked me for something on Cyber Monday (a day I worked 16 hours) and I feel like the laugh they got from me teetered on the edge of mania as I said in front of my manager that whatever they wanted sure wouldn’t happen that day.

My clients came through the highest peak of the holiday period with flying colors, though, so at least I accomplished that.

I’ve had a week or two to recover and feel like I’m coming out of a fog and finding all the little things I let fall by the wayside. I’m also realizing I’m a tad burnt out. I’m taking a few days off for a couple of weeks, and then a whole week off between Christmas and New Year’s. Hopefully that will be enough to pull me out of the current funk. Writing my annual performance self-evaluation came during the busy time, and one draft stated my goals for next year as “Get new business for employer and not get fired and stuff.” Just the grammatical errors in that statement are so out of character for me. I managed to pull something together that sounded more professional than that, but it was the least thought-out and shortest performance self-evaluation I have ever written.

In October, I realized that the only thing the Probability class I was taking through MIT and EdX was really doing for me was causing me to basically not see my kids and to make me feel like a failure. I decided to drop it and try again at another time when it is not so crazy busy. It was sad that I had to drop it, because I was seeing how the topics covered really fit into my everyday work life, and could help me in other areas. And the problems were interesting and fun. I am now deciding what to pick up in January – do I go forward with the MIT MicroMasters? There’s another MicroMasters from UC San Diego that also looks good. I’m not sure yet which direction I’ll go, but I am sure that it is a direction that I need to continue to move in. And to figure out a way to keep moving next fall despite the busy time for my clients.

Perhaps the biggest weight on my shoulders is that it has been over 3 months since I’ve posted a blog entry. I assure you, the hiatus was for my own sanity. I plan to start generating some new content and come back strong in the new year. Blogging is still the center of who I am, professionally, and I am worse off for not having found the time to spend on it.

Ember Crooks
Ember Crooks

Ember is always curious and thrives on change. She has built internationally recognized expertise in IBM Db2, spent a year working with high-volume MySQL, and is now learning Snowflake. Ember shares both posts about her core skill sets and her journey learning Snowflake.

Ember lives in Denver and work from home

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  1. Hear you Ember! Thank you for continued support at IDUG. Hope the Xmas break gives you the much needed time out for your self and family.

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