Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Cold Play

My head is a bit woozy these days. I am not sure if it’s the cold weather. The car windshield was frosted for the past 2 mornings and the climate is winter like about 40-50 F. We closed the window in our bedroom to keep the cold air out but it was still chilly. It is easy to be lazy in this weather, preferring to sleep, or just idly watch television without exercising or taking a bath. We have hot water so it’s not a problem showering. I can’t help but remember a remark ascribed to Deng Xiaoping, a chain smoker who lived to his nineties, attribute his long life to taking cold showers in the morning. It must be a an invigorating experience as I know how cold it can get in China, very much colder than the winters in the Carolinas.

But I also realize that I think too much. Too much mental activity in cold weather is not good. Maybe it’s the brain heating up with too much activity internally which conflicts with the external cold pressing into the skull. The only antidote I think is a good scotch or whiskey or any alcoholic drink that will relieve the hot-cold tension in the brain. Perhaps I should turn up the heater at home but I think it will not make any difference. I think it’s more here in the office where my feet get colds which indicates the draftiness. I can wear sweaters and additional clothes but it’s my feet that start feeling the chill. I think I should follow my boss who has a heater open near his feet. It getting cold in the office now and a lot of staff are wearing sweaters these days.

I am in the thick of my work as analyst and I will soon be working on my next project to complete the functional design. There are a lot of mails going around and I am surprised by the seeming disorganization. I am not sure if this is normal for a large project or it’s just the way things are done here or maybe it’s really a mess. One thing is sure: it’s over budget, late with operational bugs. I guess I have to be more aggressive to try my little bit in organizing things and I am afraid I will turn-off a few people who are used to the system. But I think there’s a principle being fought here which is to get back the business expertise into the company from the external contributors. It’s a delicate dance that needs to be made and I think we need to swing it.

I am reading too many things which keep my mind excited. An excited mind sometimes resorts to paranoia and I had a feeling that I am being watched last week due to the time I spend surfing the Internet. I should not spend company time of course for my personal benefit but sometimes I don’t care. I have this recklessness or just the cold logic that I will not be fired after all the trouble of bringing me here. But I need to search for information as part of adjusting to life here. But at the end of the day, I must shape up which I resolve to do. Instead of procrastinating, I will either write a blog or walk around and talk with my colleagues to discuss about work. This should keep me occupied instead of wasting time.

There is too much time spent in unnecessary things like reading and watching television. I guess I am doing it in excess. I am reading Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair and Fortune magazines. I am also reading an excellent management book on work process, ‘Managing the White Spaces’, listening to Jimmy Carter’s audio book ‘Peace or Apartheid’, David Halberstam’s ‘War during the Time of Peace’ and ‘Fool Gold’, a book on JP Morgan and the creation of the financial instruments that caused the financial meltdown. I also borrowed several DVDs and music Cd's from the library. I wanted to borrow another book yesterday about being inside the brain of the Google founders. I wonder if I am overdoing my desire to be updated and well-read. The impact is disorganization, paranoia and insecurity of not reading enough. The real problem is that I am not working on my book or investing in the stock market as part of my financial survival. Hence, the opposite effect of what my reading was intended to do which is helping me achieve my dreams.

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