Where did that 15 minutes go?

Open browser to look something up on intranet.

See something funny in Helpdesk system.

Think about tweeting to a friend about it.

Open twitter.

Get distracted by shinies.

Realize you haven’t checked Facebook today.

Open Facebook.

Look at a cute picture.

Realize that you’re not getting work done.

Close browser.

Open email.

Remember why you were looking at intranet.

Open browser.

Notice funny ticket in queue.

Remember why you got distracted in the first place.

Compose tweet about it.

Tweet is too long.

Consider deleting it and getting back to work.

Make blog post instead.

I need some blogging advice…

Hello to my patient long time readers and random new readers!

I have want to start a separate personal journal sort of blog which will focus on some sensitive subjects. There have been a couple times that I’ve started, but then realized that I had something that needed to be sorted before I published anything and ended up not actually publishing anything.

I want it to either be not tied to me or to be private (invite only), and this is where I need some advice. I have already set up a private blog here on WordPress, which will work well if I keep it private. But if I decide to publish anonymously, the blog that I’ve set up here won’t work because it is tied to my WordPress account (and thus my Gravatar account and anything else related).

I need to make a decision between public/anonymous or private/invite only. Do you have any experience with private or anonymous blogging? What are your thoughts on bloggers who don’t link their blog to their true identity? Do you have any advice or anything I should think about before I decide to start journaling on an anonymous or private blog?

Happy long weekend!

Holy cow… where has the time gone?

I’ve definitely been unmotivated to post recently, but I didn’t realize that it had already been five months! I’m kinda embarrassed with the visitors I may be getting from Syp’s blog, given that I haven’t posted in so long…

So, what have I been up to?

In April I spent a weekend in Seattle with friends at SakuraCon. It was a great time! Lots of anime, people in cosplay (but not me, I’m not that brave), really fascinating panel discussions, and good food, drinks, and laughs with friends. My favorite panels were a couple of panels put on by Roland Kelts about Japanese culture (I’ve been enjoying his book Japanamerica in bits and pieces since then), and a lecture by The Librarian about the symbolism in Spirited Away (Hidden Away by Gods: Rediscovering Miyazaki’s Spirited Away).

Work has gotten more interesting too. In my last post, I vented my frustration with not getting to project manage an implementation project I’d been looking forward to. Well, in late March or early April, that changed. The project manager was no longer available, so I’m leading the project again! Fun work, but overwhelming because my other workload hasn’t decreased much.

In June, Hubby and I were sent to England for some work on the implementation project. Hubby was there for some training on proprietary development tools for the ERP we use in the England office, and I was there for some discovery and training with our UK team. We were there for two weeks, and had a great time. Maybe one of these days I’ll share Hubby’s photos from our day in Bath.

Hmm… Nothing else major has been going on. I’ve been reading the A Song of Ice and Fire series (A Game of Thrones is book one), and am trying to complete book four before the next one is released in a couple of weeks.

Oh, and I’ve been playing Rift. Hubby bought Rift just after it came out, and about a month later he gave me a trial. After the first time I’d closed a rift, I was hooked. I made it to max level faster than I have in any other MMO, and am still enjoying it.

For the rest of this weekend: Today I’ll be doing some reading, visiting my EQ2 guildies, and maybe doing some PvP or dungeons in Rift. Tomorrow we’ll be visiting friends, BBQing, and blowing stuff up, as everyone should on the 4th of July!

If you haven’t seen it already, I wrote a silly little post for Syp, and it went up on I must warn you, it’s cheesy, and I’m not very creative.

Pen and Paper

I use To Do lists at work all the time. I have a list of every project or issue that I’m working on. My work To Do list is a combination of a list of projects that are in progress and actual tasks that I need to do. It can be overwhelming at times, but it helps me remain focused.

Throughout the week I check off tasks that are completed, update my notes on things that are delayed and add new items. Every Monday morning I review the previous week and create a new list. I may have to set things aside to deal with critical issues or new projects, but at least I’m organized when I am ready to pick up from where I left off.

I used to be organized and productive at home too, but when I returned to school in 2005, my approach to home life changed. When I wasn’t working or studying, I did just what was needed to get by; cooking, laundry, etc. I’ve been officially done with school for just over a month and had expected that by now I would have gotten rid of the clutter in my living room and kitchen, set up a little studio space somewhere in my house for when I feel like painting or being crafty, begun work on a painting I abandoned two years ago, and finished two books that I have half read.

Sure, the holidays happened (and for my family the holidays didn’t end until mid-January), but I’ve also been playing games until I’m beyond bored and watching shows on Netflix when I actually feel like being active. Heck, it has even been two weeks since I my last post (It’s a Post a Week challenge, not a Post When Ever You Get Around To It challenge).

It has become apparent to me that I really need to break the bad habits I formed while in school and become more disciplined. Now this isn’t to say that I’ve been ignoring my New Years resolutions, but I know I can do better.

I know. I’m rambling again.

What I’m getting to is that the way I approach things at work is completely different from how I approach them at home. Thinking through all of this helped me to realize that one simple thing can help me gain some momentum: A To Do list.

My approach will be similar to what I do at work. I’m listing my Resolutions (projects), along with the short term tasks that need to happen (Such as cleaning and rearranging/reorganizing the living room), and any other things that are going on that week (such as: games with friends Saturday).

Also, like at work, I’ll be preparing my To Do list in a pen and paper format. I know there are advantages to making a digital To Do list, but I’ve found that making my To Do list with using pen and paper helps me remember my list and helps me avoid the distraction that my computer can offer (look, StumpleUpon! ooh, shiny!).

Of course, it also takes some discipline to actually do what is on my list, but I don’t think that will be much of a problem.

Resolutions for Twenty Eleven

Oh yes, it is that time of year again. I might have forgotten if it had not been for Stargrace sharing some of her resolutions.

Last year I made three resolutions: To take care of myself, complete my bachelor’s degree, and work on my blog every day. I did complete my degree, but I am disappointed in how I did with the others. There were weeks when I didn’t even log in to WordPress, and months where I didn’t post anything. I may have been a little better at making “me” time while I was in school, but I was also worse at taking care of my health. I gained about twenty pounds.

I do expect and hope that it will be easier this year, since being done with school gives me so much more free time. This year I’m going to focus on the things I missed and neglected while in school.

In 2011 I plan to:

  1. Spend more time with Hubby
  2. Spend more time with family and friends
  3. Give myself more “me time” – Painting, Reading, Walking, or whatever else I want to do
  4. Study for PMP certification, but at my own pace.
  5. Take better care of myself and Hubby.
  6. Participate in the Post a Week challenge

Perhaps when I’m lacking inspiration for my at-least-weekly posts, I’ll share my progress.

I’m Posting every Week in 2011!

I’ve wanted to blog more for quite a while, and now that I’m done with school I actually have the time. Rather than just thinking about doing it, I’m starting right now (and jumping on the postaweek2011 bandwagon).  I will be posting on this blog once a week for all of 2011.

I know it won’t be easy, but it might be fun, inspiring, and motivational (at least for me). Therefore I’m promising to make use of The DailyPost, and the community of other bloggers with similiar goals, to help me along the way, including asking for help when I need it and encouraging others when I can.

If you already read my blog, I hope you’ll continue to encourage me with comments and likes, and good will along the way.


What is YOUR dream?

I started writing here in November of last year. Ten months ago. I have made 38 posts. Thirty-eight posts in ten months is less than what I had hoped to do when I started, but now that I have been writing here for a while I am getting more comfortable with a routine of writing.

I continue to write here both as an outlet. I wouldn’t call it a creative outlet, because I don’t feel creative at all in what I’ve written here. It is more of an outlet for my hopefulness and anxieties about the dream job and for the many other thoughts that bounce around in my head at the end of the day (or even during the day; such as when I post about frustrations at work). It is actually helping me sleep better.

I also continue to write here because it is a constant motivator toward the dream. Each post seems to make me more resolute that I will achieve the dream.

Recently, I’ve felt a little self-centered in all of this dreaming. I write about what I want to be when I grow up, or the different fun things that I’m doing to (hopefully) help me get there. I talk about it with friends over drinks. But I don’t ask anyone else what they want.

I am going to change that. I am starting here. (If you just got Man in the Mirror stuck in your head, you’re not alone.)

What is your dream?
What are you doing to work toward it?
Do you have a plan?
What motivates you?

I know it’s weird that some random internet person is asking, but it’s amazing the motivation that can stem from kind comments from someone you barely know and from knowing the dreams of others.

Hello World!

ahem… Hello?

My name is Amanda. I may also call myself Murren or AmandaRain.  I’ve wanted to blog for a long time, and now I’ve decided to dive in to it.  I am a student at Capella University, I am a Business Systems Analyst for a smallish international company and live in the Bellingham, Washington area.

I’m writing this blog for a few reasons.   I use Facebook to stay in touch with close and distant friends and family, but blogging will give my friends and family a way to get to know a different side of me.  I’ve always wanted to write (more…)