My life is pretty cool you guys. I should write more about it.

I’ve been feeling some internal pressure lately to blog. I don’t really enjoy blogging anymore, but neat things keep happening, and I want to share those things. Social networks are good for those, and I post to Instagram and Twitter and even occasionally Facebook, but the audience there is limited by nature. If I blog, it goes out to everybody.

So this ought to be my hub for sharing stuff. That just makes sense. A lot of what I want to share is work-related, though, and I’m going to keep that over at Meta-Manage. Yes, that’s actually a thing, and it’s going to happen. I’ve scheduled one blog post a week for the next three weeks, and I’ll write more before they’re done so that trend continues. You’ll see announcements about it in all the usual places because it’s important to me, but I decided to keep the work stuff there.

Why two blogs instead of one? I could just post about work-related stuff here, but I decided that I’m going to keep project management and Atlassian and other worky writing over at Meta-Manage. Part of this is because I want to build that brand and have it serve as a portfolio. Another part is that it’s not really personal, and I’d rather keep this blog focused on what’s going on in my life in general.

So if you want to know what’s going on at work, subscribe to Meta-Manage. For everything else, stay tuned here.

What’s next in education

I finished my master’s, and I decided to not finish the Graduate Certificate in Conflict and Dispute Resolution. The graduate certificate required one more class, and as near as I could tell, the only thing finishing it would buy me was in how I described my education:

With: I have a Master’s of Science in Project Management and a Graduate Certificate in Conflict and Dispute Resolution

Without: I have a Master’s of Science in Project Management with an emphasis in small group communication and conflict and dispute resolution

Now I’m working on getting some certifications. I’m going to get the PSM first because I’ll be helping write an Atlassian Agile cert in March so I figure I ought to prioritize this one. Once that is done, I’ll pursue the PMP.

Why bother getting these? They seem like good things to have, and we don’t have kids yet. I figure if I’m going to get them, I ought to get them now because they’ll be easier to maintain later instead of trying to get them later.

What’s next at church

Things are going really well at Vineyard. The Goekes have returned to Springfield and are now part of the pastoral team, and Josh has taken over the website and prettied it up. We have also partnered with The Gathering Tree and they are now meeting 5 nights a week in our building.

I’m still playing djembe and bass on the worship team, and I’m still a member of the Strategy Team. I should probably write a whole separate post about church strategy and our focus, but I think that needs to come after the next team meeting, so I’ll hold off on that topic.

How’s rowing going?

This was a social media thing rather than a blog thing, but my graduation gift to myself was a rowing machine. I have been gaining weight since my freshman year of college, and it has gotten as high as I ever want it to be. Between November 2015 and the end of January 2016, I rowed close to 90 miles. I also lost 0 pounds.

As it turns out, exercise without any sort of diet control doesn’t work. A few weeks ago, I began tracking my meals using MyFitnessPal and I have lost 6 pounds so far.

I’ve also decided to dial back on rowing a bit. I was trying to row an hour every night, but what invariably happened is that something would come up and I’d miss a night or two because an hour is a lot of time and it’s hard to do that. And then the next time I rowed, I’d only manage 20 or 25 minutes, because I need to build up to an hour. The lack of consistency wasn’t helping my fitness journey, so I’ve decided to try and do a half hour every day. I think it’s a lot easier to fit in 30 minutes, and if I can stick with it, the consistency will make a huge difference. I don’t burn nearly as many calories in a sitting (because it takes 10 minutes or so to warm up), but I think the long-term result will be better than only rowing 2-3 nights a week. And since I’m tracking what I eat now, I don’t overeat, which means burning calories has more benefit now than it did before.

Prison visitation

In May of 2014, Tim preached a sermon that included a reference to the people we are to serve: widows, orphans, foreigners, and those in prison. And I realized that we do a pretty good job with the first three groups, but we absolutely ignore the last group. When I finished my master’s, I wanted to look into joining a prison ministry.

I have applied to, been interviewed for, and been accepted to Prisoner Visitation and Support. I still need to fill out the second (or third?) round of paperwork and go through training, but I’m excited to join this group. I’ll be going one Saturday a month and visiting 2-3 prisoners each time. From what other people have described, we mostly just go and listen. The value of listening to someone is another subject I should probably write more about some other time.

I won’t be writing about the visits here, but I’ll probably share a bit about the value of visitation. Let me know if any of you are interested in getting involved with something like this.

Other writing

I gave up the dream of being a writer a few years ago. After much struggling and reflection, I realized that writing didn’t make me happy, which meant it wasn’t worth doing.

Except now, I have something to write that is worth doing. You’ll see some stuff on Meta-Manage about this if you ever go there, but in short, I have been helping write some Atlassian certification exams. And now that the exams are starting to go into beta testing, I’m writing materials that will help people study for the exams. It’s not really fun, and I don’t really enjoy it, but I think it’s important work, and I think I’m uniquely positioned to do this work. Not many people were involved in writing the certs, and I happen to have a graduate level education, a background in writing, and a ton of experience at this sort of thing. Study materials need to exist, and I feel like I have a duty to write them.

So that’s something I’m working on now. I’m trying to figure out the right balance between offline and online writing. As noted above, I want to blog more because I’m doing cool things (like writing certification exams and joining prison ministries!), but I also need to spend a lot of time studying and researching and writing and rowing. And most blog posts take around an hour for me to think through, write, edit, and schedule. We’ll see how this all shakes out.

Gaming

And somewhere amidst all of this, I’ll continue to fit in video games. I’ve been playing a lot more since I finished writing my seminar paper (which I plan to publish online soon; my professor encouraged me to submit it for publication, but I feel weird about that for a variety of reasons, so I’m just going to put it online), but as of last night, I think I need to curtail that a bit. All that stuff I wrote about above is going to take time, and lately I keep thinking to myself, “This is pretty fun, but I’m never going to get a certification if I don’t stop playing and start studying.”

When I am playing, it’s mostly Elder Scrolls Online, Rocket League, Civilization 5, or Pillars of Eternity. The last is a new one to me, but as someone who absolutely loved the Baldur’s Gate series when he was a kid, Pillars of Eternity is absolutely fantastic. The writing is good, and now that I’ve gotten past the learning curve, I’m really enjoying it.

But yeah, I’m tempted right now to turn off my laptop and not turn it back on again until I’ve gotten the PMP and written a book. There’s a lot I want to do by June, and it’s not going to happen unless I start doing it.

Until next time

Hopefully I can get into a weekly schedule. I want to share more with you all about the stuff going on because many of you are my friends, and we don’t talk often enough because there are a lot of you and maybe you’re in another country or we’re just busy or whatever. Also, it’d be swell to keep these posts under 500 words instead of the 1500+ I’m looking at right now. I suspect you all agree.

I’ll give that a try next time. Until then, adieu.

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