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Fan Those Flames

Such a tumultuous couple of weeks; my hard drive crashed Father’s Day morning. Trust me when I tell you that I basically live on my computer – social media, banking, games, learning, wondering and wandering – you name it. So it was a huge loss for me.

Certainly I could do some things on my phone. But consider the dozens and dozens of logon IDs and passwords – we tend to get lazy and let the computer store our passwords so we tend to forget them. And all my passwords are kept in a file – you guessed it – on my computer. So there were a number of websites I just could not log onto as I could not remember my password.

From a file perspective, everything was lost. However I will point out that I have two separate back up services, so I do not expect to lose a single file. (Future tense as restoration is far from complete – only about 25% back to date.)

I have a great warranty so I had on-site service and the new hard drive was installed in about a week. But that was not the end……I had bought MS Office Business installed on the PC from Dell. The hard drive they installed came imaged as purchased, but without Office. (It also came with Windows 8. I had upgraded to 10 after the purchase but the new drive was back to Windows 8 which necessitated a whole Windows upgrade again) I then entered a multi-day skirmish with Dell over whether or not Office should have been on the hard drive. They insisted that I could go download it from the web, but that I needed the activation code on the card shipped with the laptop 3 years ago – a card I no longer have. I kept insisting that they must have some means of getting Office back without having to buy a whole new copy, but ultimately I surrendered to their stubborn insistence that the license for Office was between Microsoft and me and they couldn’t help, so I ended up buying a new copy.

So that had me out of touch and off my blog for all this time and my apologies for that. It’s hard enough to write something and put it out there in hopes that people will read it; to attract them and catch their attention. So then to develop some semblance of regular readers is huge and to do so, very rewarding. And then to just abruptly stop writing is, of course, not in the best interest of retaining those readers! So please accept my apology for the “dark period”!

But wait – there’s more! Work went from somewhat chaotic and upside down to a tornado of craziness with a week that I can truly assure you, was from hell. I’ve been in until after midnight and then back in at 4:30 in the morning several times with many other days in between being “short” 14 or 16 hour days. What was to be a 5-day weekend (Saturday through Wednesday the 4th) went by the wayside as I spent both Saturday and Sunday at work, including a stay until after midnight Sunday) I am not asking for your pity – believe me. This is part of my job and what I get paid to do. I just offer it as part of the context of the last week or two – it’s been…..somewhat difficult.

And one thing the last string of events at work have made me realize is that the fight is leaving me. I should clarify; the fight is as strong as ever; the will and drive to understand, solve, and correct courses through me as strongly as ever. But as the sun declines towards the horizon, I find it is more tiring; it takes more out of me. And I hate that. To lead folks through a challenging period requires great energy, vision, and confidence; confidence it yourself and in your people. And the energy required is twofold; it is needed to solve and correct the issue. But it is also to needed to keep your personnel energized, focused, enthused, and unified. Not a cheerleader per se, but not completely unlike that either. And the more of these issues you work through, the more difficult they become to rally the troops and fight through. So I guess maybe, more accurately, I am tired as opposed to truly losing the fight in me. Either way – not a pleasant reality. And, frankly, it is embarrassing, deflating, and defeating to face yet another issue with something for which you are responsible – it assaults one’s self confidence…eats away at and erodes your ego.

But as we grow and as we age, we quickly begin to face an increasing number of such realities. Things go wrong and we need to rise to the occasion to fix those things; to resolve, repair, and remediate the problem. Whether that be with your house, your kids, your spouse, your parents, your friends, your job…….whatever…….life becomes steeply interwoven with such challenges. It is our purpose to solve and resolve; of that I’ve become convinced. Amongst all else we are destined to learn in our journey through time, through life, this is one of the lessons we need to embrace. And in fact, it is not always about how we resolved it, or even if we resolved it successfully. It is about how we chose to face it. As I have written before – let the worse of the moment reveal the best of the man. The hard part is to sustain that as the internal fires burn down to embers…….fan those flames dear reader, fan those flames!

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