The Science of Motivation

The last year or so has been a fascinating study in the “motivational arts,” for me. About 10 months ago, I was working for my former boss, and I had worked really hard on a project— until midnight multiple nights, into a planned vacation. The project was problematic through no fault of mine, and I delivered it when she needed it. Simultaneously, I had introduced a conversation that let us deliver things in a way that made our customers happier, our content less likely to be pirated, and reduced our call volume by a lot. I didn’t build that second one myself, but it was through my persistence that we started thinking in new ways about an old way of doing things and advanced pretty exponentially.

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It’s hard to tell if it’s progress, or if it was just a good day. As usual, these days, I worked just as hard all weekend on not-work as I do all week on work. And Mom kept acknowledging how hard I’m working. It’s unlike her— she normally wants to compete about how hard anyone is working or how tired you are, but this time, she acknowledged it. Possibly because I came home at the end of my rope at least once last week. Hard to say.

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This Gift Horse Is About Done Having Her Teeth Checked

To torture a metaphor.

The theme for this week is “enough, already.” Mom went shopping on Saturday, after we got our hair done. To her credit, we did not repeat the situation where I told her to call me, she said “oh, just come back at x time— I’ll be done then,” and I came back and she was another 45 minutes, and then set me up to shame me to strangers. I don’t normally go off when angry, but as I possibly wrote about, I was sure she was going to get my rage all wrong, and if we were going to fight about something, I wanted it to be about the thing I was actually mad about.

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There are times when Grey-Area Guy knows things I haven’t explicitly told him. For example, his timing has always been pretty crazy— he just seems to know when to reach out and what to say when he does. Friday, I wrote here about “marathon, not a sprint,” and in our conversation later that day, he used that expression with me. It’s not the first time something like that has come up.

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I think the theme for these times in my life is “marathon, not a sprint.”

When we bought the house, a couple of years ago, they warned us that the wiring was aluminum in our area when the house was built, and that aluminum wiring can be problematic for a host of problems. It can even be a fire hazard (such a comfort when you’re buying a house with wood siding.) We got an estimate on mitigation, and yesterday, we started the process of replacing it.

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