Routine resumes #Life #Mentalhealth

Finally had a full week. The kids had a full week of school. I had my first full week of work on the floor. The kids were mostly able to return to their normal sleeping arrangements. About the only thing missing was the regular Monday events because of the crazy wind storm that shut the schools down. It felt good.

My first full week of regular work went very well. I continue to shine in the basics. With most every call I can feel myself getting better. The calls get easier. I can foresee doing this for quite a while.

The kids all made it through their first (mostly) full week of school. Which went well. No traumas. Jimmy even had a chance to wrestle with the Varsity at their dual. He wrestled well but lost. The kids all seemed to adjust to the new reality of Dad working again.

Kim even undertook the project of getting our room rearranged. Setting up her new entertainment options in there. The goal being for her (and us) to have the option of a place where we can go and hide away when necessary.

I don’t want to go overboard, but I feel good about where we all are. I don’t have the same feelings of boredom and tedium I had at my last job. While there is a general undercurrent of worry about politics it is not a constant preoccupation. I am not letting sports occupy my time either. (Although I am impressed by the choices my teams made for their new head coaches.) In general, my mind has happily been focused on work, and role playing. Which is a good place to be in for me, living in the now where I have control of what I am doing.

It is still just the first real week of the New Year, but the return to a routine felt good. And the new elements of that routine are improved and manageable.

Adjusting to a new world #Life #Job

I spent the last 15 years of my life working for a software company. Immersed in technology. I saw a lot of changes. I now carry a computer in my back pocket that is probably more powerful than what I was using for a personal desktop when I started back then. From just dabbling in the internet for things like sports news and fantasy football I am now on it all the time. It really is a new world.

Now, instead of the internet just being a source of news and information, my life depends on it. Since I now work for what is effectively an Internet marketing firm. It is my job to help people use the internet to improve their business and thus their lives. Many of those people are not tech folks. They do not

Many of those people are not tech folks. They do not use the internet all the time. And yet they are now seeking to employ this tool in their lives. Some of them are savvy enough to grasp how this all works. Others are not there yet. Which is what drives my job. Finding new and different ways to explain to these folks how this all works.

But this week has been all about reps. In my mind, I think of this like the early days of Jimmy’s wrestling career. Every call is like another match. What I need to improve my skills are more matches. I need mat time with my customers. With every call, especially the challenging ones, I learn a little. I refine my skills.

This is why, when we saw our first productivity numbers at work this week, I had such high numbers. Because every call is like another match. And I know the only way to get better is the experience of more matches. So my goal is to get out there and challenge myself.

While every call is different, like every opponent is different for Jimmy, there will eventually be patterns. And styles of callers. From the angry ones to the logical ones. My challenge will be to develop ways of detecting those patterns and then use my skills to give the correct responses. I know that will come.

It is a new world. I have to adjust. The great thing is that in many ways I have been preparing for this my entire life. From all of my time just absorbing all the potential of the Internet. All the years of just taking calls of varying kinds. All the time I have spent working on, or hiring folks, to work on my own home. And last from friends and family who work on the fields that my customers work in. I have a challenge in front of me, but I have a vast number of resources available to help me take it on.

Marking another milestone #Life #Mentalhealth

So here we are, another year gone. There are plenty of reasons to tell 2016 to get the hell out of here and don’t let the door hit you on the ass on the way out. Far too many disappointments and sadness for most years. On the other hand, I had some real positive things happen over the past year that I prefer to think of. And on the gripping hand, a year is just a year, a metaphorical placeholder to mark the passage of time in our lives.

I lost some people in my life. A friend of mine whose life was lost far too early in a tragic death. A loved family member. In both cases, I think of those left behind. In one case, family members who will have to live life without that person around. In the other case, it is the young children who will have to face life and continue growing up with only one parent.

I lost a job I had held for quite a while. Forcing me out into the cold of job hunting and starting over. In the big picture, though, that was as much of a blessing as it was difficult. I was able to have some time off to do a lot of things. Enjoy time with friends. Be there for those who needed my assistance. And make some necessary personality adjustments. At this point, I prefer to think of that unplanned change as more of a positive than a negative.

I reunited with many old friends. Strengthening bonds that already existed in some cases. Made some new friends (or turned acquaintances into friendships.) In the end, I think that the year was definitely a net gain in this department.

Politics was dreadful. So very many disappointments. One of the true positives of my new job is the lack of daily internet access, which is slowing down the firehouse of doom and gloom. None of it has changed the facts of what happened or what might happen. But at least I am not as deeply immersed in it all.

Sports was different. I accomplished my goal of not letting my obsessions with sports control my emotional and mental well being. I was happy when my teams did something positive, winning games. But I took it in stride when they did not. That was a continued journey.

Now I can face the next milestone with good cheer. I am doing all that I can to make my life better. I am also happy to be doing things to make others lives better. From welcoming new kids to my games to organizing grateful farewells. I even get the feeling that my job has the chance to help other people in a way that my old one did not. I am embracing the hope that the future will be better, rather than focusing on all the tragedy and frustration of the previous year. And I am doing all I can to ensure that brighter tomorrow happens, instead of letting myself just drift with the prevailing winds.

Strange how easy it is #Life #Mentalhealth

Just finished a shortened week of regular work. At first, I was not sure how it would all go. It seemed easy in training, but you never know. And I was coming off a very full weekend. So I was cautiously optimistic. After a week of full-time work, I have to say it is surprising how easy it is.

As a self-proclaimed serious introvert, it would seem a job where I spend all of my time talking with people would be difficult. But it actually went very well. I was even beginning to develop some regular patter to use for certain situations, It all felt good and almost natural.

I first need to thank my friend Rebecca for getting me the interview. I wouldn’t be here without that. So thank you for that. Second, we had a great training program, smart, well done, not the normal baby steps that some call centers use. Last the leadership is excellent, with serious attention being paid to things like core values and morale. Not every company does that or holds to that standard.

About the only obstacle is the natural result of the long layoff. By the end of the week I was beginning to his a ‘rookie wall’. Wondering when I can go back to sitting around the house. But that is natural and can be easily overcome. I just have to get into a routine. Which will not really happen until the kids return to school this week; and when I get to full work weeks instead of abbreviated ones due to the holidays.

The best part came yesterday: I received my first paycheck! Few things really compare to getting paid for actual work. That is a real mental health boost as well. Getting out there, doing something, even helping people, is a good thing.

It is going to work out #life #Mentalhealth

Training complete I am feeling very good about my new job. Being smart about my condition in order to keep it that way. An enjoyable holiday season with lots of great visits. Generally just feeling good.

My training effectively ended Thursday. We all went solo and active on the phones for about 6 hours. I was and still am confident. There are quirks that I still have to learn. But nowhere near as many or as complex as a software package. More like doing taxes again. The time did flow very fast and was busy so there is none of the tedium that I was dealing with over the last year of my previous job. It will be repetitive but there is a difference between repetition and tedious. And with the many opportunities available to me I think it will be a very good fit.

The Xmas holiday is over. It was a busy and active week or so. My brother came up from Phoenix with his family. It was great to see them and spend time with them as we had a couple of evenings her at our house. And then we all were up in Denver at my other brother’s house for most of the day on Xmas Eve. Which was really nice. Lots of visiting with various family members. Lots of kids running around like crazy people. Loads of good food. It was really great.

Then we hosted the other side of the family at our house for Xmas proper. Which meant a very full house again. With a Nerf battle amongst the kids and adults. A sit-down game of Risk Europe. Loads of good food. Lots more visiting with folks. It was also enjoyable.

One of the perks of the new job is that I had a 4 day weekend for the Holidays. And there was some talk of my taking the kids back up to Denver today for more family time. The kids were kind of ambivalent about that. But as the day ended last night and then when I woke up this morning I realized that I needed to be smarter than that. I am just exhausted from all the extended social interaction. While I would have enjoyed more time with my family and the kids would have been fine I realized that would have meant going to work completely done in. Which would have been foolish on my part. So in the interests of self-care I chose to remain home and take a day to recover. There are plenty of things for me to do here to get everyone ready for the week.

Life is good and promises to get better. We all had a good holiday season. I have a good job that I enjoy. I just need to be smart about how I live and handle everything to keep all of this under control and continue to enjoy it all.


It is a dark and snowy morning to ponder the week past #life #Mentalhealth #Kids

Got up especially early this morning. Had to get Number One son off to the bus for wrestling. Freerangewife will then take Number two son to a Scouting event, Later a trip to Denver to watch aforementioned wrestling will be on top. While Freerangewife takes the girl for some shopping and then eventually her own scouting event. All of this activity will take place on a morning and day where the expected high temperature is barely out of the single digits, and there are a couple of inches on the ground and drifting into higher levels. All of this activity is a frantic way to spend the first true weekend day that the Freerangegeek has to experience in nearly 4 months.

It was a different week for the Freerangegeek. For a variety of reasons, he prefers not to give the actual name of his new place of employment here. But he is quite pleased with how the first week went. It was a full week of rather intense training. He made sure that he grokked what was being taught by taking the time each evening to type out all his notes.

It will be simultaneously similar and very different work from what he has been doing most of his adult life. He will be in a call center taking inbound calls from customers. He will be tethered to a computer and desk. In these ways, his job will be much the same.

But he will be allowed, encouraged even, to have real conversations with his customers. And he will be speaking to them about real life things instead of focused on the esoterica of their computer software issues. He is excited about this difference. Because he is at the right stage in his life, with the kind of life experiences that will make this much easier.

Not surprisingly he has found that he is surrounded by people younger than him, in some cases much younger. This does not bother him as much as it could. In some ways, it even energizes him. And it also allows him to shine as his maturity and experience make a real difference.

The schedule is also encouragingly busy. With fewer breaks and shorter lunches. There is less of an opportunity for him to fall back into certain bad habits. In fact, it even looks as if there will be a chance to develop better habits as he can eat better and take advantage of the exercise equipment available to him.

His biggest concern, that spending all that time surrounded by people, would overwhelm him. That has not bothered him as much as expected. He handled it well. And there promises to be ways for him to escape when needed. Most importantly, this job prizes the traits that he possesses: punctuality, ability to focus on work when he is there, and work hard.

All in all, it was a good week. Work went well. The family adapted well to his absence. It is an especially hectic time of year to make this transition. But surviving this at this time will only sharpen everyone’s ability to make the best of it once everything else settles down some. He is very encouraged by how well it all went, and for the first time in a quite a while he is excited by what the future holds for him, not just his family.

Not sure what to expect, but expect silence#Blog #Mentalhealth

Celebrating the last day of silence for what could be a while. Greerangegeek is not certain what to expect. But it seems reasonable to expect that there will be no internet browsing on company time in coming weeks. Which means that his writing time and windows will be smaller. Therefore, expect silence through most of the weeks to come.

He will want to keep posting when possible. He knows that he has an audience. There are people who look to this blog for news and, dare say it, inspiration. It is okay to do that. Being aware of that audience Freerangegeek will endeavor to find a time and space to post his thoughts and news.

He is also aware how important this blog is for mental health. It serves as a form of diary. A place to spew out the darkness that sometimes accumulates. It has been very healthy for him to come here and share his thoughts and feelings. For this reason, he will be certain to find a way to post when he can.

What he will not do is endanger his focus on his new job. He knows that this a great opportunity. To demonstrate his hard earned skills and talents. So it is imperative for the Freerangegeek to focus on the work and learning as much as he can. To learn what the job takes. To really lead by example amongst his new peers.

For all of these reasons, this blog will remain. But it will not see new posts on a daily basis. Fear not gentle readers. The Freerangegeek knows the importance of all things. Freerangegeek will seek to balance his life. When the balance is found, there will be a return to  sharing his thoughts.