Sunday, October 24, 2010

Things my Screen Saver Taught Me

I spent yesterday at UMB working with my IT Project Management group on the paper that's due Tuesday and the presentation that we have to give Tuesday. It took all day. I came home and spent a few hours editing the paper and then spent all of today editing the paper and talking with teammates.

As I pulled up various documents I couldn't help but notice the changing backgrounds on my computer's screen (the background is set to use photos from iPhoto's library and change them regularly.) Earlier today it showed a picture of me and my ex-boyfriend from Thanksgiving 2008. Now it's showing a picture of a family friend at a party my parents had in 2009. A month or so after I took that photo, the family friend (who was in good health and is younger than my parents) had a severe stroke while out jogging. The lesson I'm taking away from both of these photos is that time is short. Make sure you are spending your time in a worthwhile fashion.

As I mentioned I spent yesterday in a classroom at UMB. Even though it was a beautiful October day I don't think my time was ill-spent. I spent the day refining ideas with my team-mates. That is time well spent. It's fun to think together. It is the one thing that makes the rest of the pain and suffering (loss of sleep, loss of weekend, loss of social life, living on Odwalla bars etc) worthwhile. Yes, getting to put MBA after my name will be nice too, but in the meantime I have this-constructive collective thinking and good partnerships to keep me sane.

Last night I talked to one of my teammates on the phone about a paper part. At one point he asked me "are we having a discussion about capitalization?" I responded "Yes, we're having a discussion about capitalization at 10:30 on a Saturday night." Because we were having a discussion about what needed to be capitalized in the Work Breakdown Structure that he was working on. I did not say "and that means we both need to get lives" because neither of us would be where we were (discussing capitalization on a Saturday night) if this was not where we wanted to be.

I spent all of today editing a paper and discussing the paper and the presentation with teammates. As a result I'm beat. Would it have been more fun to have done something else with my Sunday (anything else-including cleaning the bathroom) absolutely. Do I feel like my time was ill spent? No. And in the end that's what counts. It's more important than grades or the name of the institution that gives you letters after your name.

But there are other components to time well spent as well-I dropped my Summer II course because two of my best friends were getting married last August. Getting an MBA is important to me. But I can take statistics anytime-I only had one shot at being a good friend to my friends who were getting married.

I am doing my best to make sure that my time is well spent. Right now that means doing a bunch of things that aren't much fun (paper editing & accounting problem sets) but I can't help but feel that i am putting my shoulder to the right wheels. And that's a nice feeling-perhaps it will help me unclench my teeth a bit.

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