Where did my work/life balance go?

So, my December post didn’t actually get done until the end of January. Now my January post is being written mid, er, late February… er, early March (the date of the post is when I started writing). Last year I would have lots of adventures in and around Montreal to share and explain the relative silence on my blog. This year, work has once again taken over too much of my life. Why do I keep winding up here?

Annual performance evaluations consumed a big portion of December and January. The process started late and everything was done in a rush. Considering I have over 35 employees and I take evaluations and compensation seriously, the rush was intense. We’re also feeling the global economic backdrop, so the raise and bonus discussions were not exactly fun. Most of my team understood why the raises and bonuses were small, but there were a few who didn’t. Fortunately, I have enough “it could be worse” stories from my days in the telecom downturn.

The final stretches of shipping a game are usually intense. Strategic planning and organizational changes at the same time don’t help. I think my current role has changed two or three times over the past few weeks. Add in a meeting or two from hell and it’s been a fun February.

Probably the most interesting work adventures were the customer visits. One visit prompted a lesson in Japanese business etiquette. The lessons were interesting, especially since the coach perfectly represented Japanese culture. The visitors wound up being a mix of traditional Japanese and the Japanese gaming culture. There was no way our coach could have covered the latter.

As much as my life has been absorbed by work, I have had some fun. Friends have entertained at home mainly, so there have been fewer restaurant outings. I was introduced to a good Indian restaurant downtown and a great Mexican restaurant around the corner from my place. The MEETin gang went ice skating in the Old Port and snowshoeing at night on Mont Royal. Just this past week, a few of us attended a play in an old church literally behind the building where I work. The German language group has been getting more active, with a movie night in January and a great e-meeting in February. Yes, resurrecting my German has been messing with relearning French. I do have a great French teacher right now and I’m starting to think my French is making some progress.

When things get stressful at work, I like to have something fun to look forward to, so I’m planning a vacation in May. I’ll write more details as things firm up. Meanwhile, my mission in March is to get my life more in balance. Wish me luck!

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