I’ve been spending more hours “at-work” the last several weeks. The quotation marks are on purpose. You see, I’ve worked from home since fall 2019, just about 6 months now. Some days I hit 8 hours perfectly, others spill over 15-20 minutes, but usually not more than that and never less than 8. This week I easily hit 40 hours yesterday, but it’s not what you might be thinking.

Yesterday, I was handed a puzzle knot of a project and got a little over focused on thinking through the solution. Here’s the knot, I needed to add a blog’s RSS feed to multiple aggregators. Meaning, I plugged a blog (like this one) into a website that will automatically copy new posts and paste those new posts onto the website for others to read. Seems straightforward enough. However, not all blogs are built the same, some RSS sources suck. Then you add communication issues. Client emails a recruitment email, but we respond? What if a blog is not added to one website, but is added to another or not added at all? What if they are added to all the websites and each site owner emails the blogger?

No one signs up for Spam. At least, no one signs up for Spam in bulk.

Then, there’s another issue, tracking action. We have a membership sheet. It’s worked fine for the last year, but is only good for 1 website. I even made another sheet that acts as a computer program to find specific blogs (Though it hasn’t been used in a long time). I also have a multi-tab sheet with all the other sites. That’s worked pretty well for the last 9 months, but I’m the only one using it. The biggest knot: I need to combine the two sheets.

I know from experience that handing over a new sheet is always a head scratcher for those using it. Even if the sheet is identical to another one there’s always something that user’s get hung up on. It’s not that I’m jaded by nit-picky criticisms, but maybe I am. I can handle criticism, but there is something about working for weeks on a project just to have a client or coworker focus on something minor. These types of problems kill projects for me.

Knowing that it takes one person to say, “I don’t get it”, to ruin any project, I’m putting some extra effort into this grand sheet.

It doesn’t feel like work. This is a puzzle. Puzzle’s need to be solved. This means I’m working, but not? I don’t know how to describe it. Tunnel vision maybe? In any case, it was nice to have something for my mind to chew on that required more than just “how do I say this without offending someone?”. A good healthy problem is exactly what I’ve been craving. I needed something proactive, something that I know needs done where I don’t need help from someone. I missed this.

Really, having too many “unsolvable” problems lately has been the real work. It’s exhausting to expect so much and gain so little. It’s made me anxious, even enough for me to forget my role. I’ve been letting my opinion get confused with my observations. They are in fact different. However, it’s also been the confusion of work and life, but I don’t want to dive into that right now.

Anyway, thanks for reading. I’m a bit nervous because I’m about to hit my 1.5 years at LexBlog. That’s 1 year as a business analyst. That’s 6 months as a work from home employee. That’s 1 month as “portal master”. The only job I had for longer was delivering notices for a property management company (mostly evictions and occasionally cleaned abandoned properties). Oddly, the two jobs are more similar than you’d think. I did also work for 2 years as a Graduate Student Assistant, but that’s completely different.

The point I wanted to make and may have missed, I’m enjoying the concept of work. I’m grateful that I get to work as much as I like, but I do feel pressure to focus on something else in the evenings or weekends. I don’t know how to revolve that pressure. I guess that’s just another puzzle. In any case, thanks again for reading. If you need help or assistance through this time, please feel free to reach out. Still waiting on someone to take up that offer.