Friday, September 15, 2006

Over the hump

It's been nearly three weeks now since I came back from a ten-day Vipassana meditation course. My psoriasis has returned, the cold I picked up during the course persists. But I do nonetheless have good news to report. Before I went on the course, I was in fair enough health, but my economic standing was in question. Perhaps not too much question, but these sort of questions have a history of reducing me to a stressed out wreck. During the course, it came to me what sort of approach to take with my lead client to move things in the direction I needed them to move. Namely, I decided to invoice him for some work we had long talked about - even when I visited him in his home country way up North - but that had never actually been assigned, much less done. I would reason that since we had in principle reached agreements and work needed to begin, starting with the signing of documents and proceeding with the necessary ramp-up, it would be best to settle the initial payment first; thence keeping a good thing going. And my first working day back, this is just what I did.

Well, it didn't sort out exactly as I wanted - and I'm still not happy about that - he did quickly start feeding me other assignments - which tied in neatly with my other activities. This set the stage for three weeks of rather intense activity on my part: web research, telephone interviews, face-to-face interviews and the writing of two reports and three articles for publication. Moreover, all the organisational requirements behind all of this - and there was quite a bit - all had to be done by me. What's more, another revelation of mine over the course was how neat it could be to launch a bi-weekly collumn about energy issues for the Budapest Business Journal, something I also followed up on. So this landed me with more writing (two of the three articles mentioned above) and another face-to-face interview and a business lunch (more pleasure than pain).

Through the course of this all, my cold persisted. I wasn't getting enough sleep. On top of this work, I still had to prepare family meals and wash the dishes, put my son to bed 2-3 times a week and do the grocery shopping. I did however stick to the meditation, twice a day for an hour. I even attended a day-long mediation mini-workshop last Sunday. I worked diligently and effectively, maybe not as well as some, but very good for me. It felt all the while like I was climbing some very long ridge of mountains. I knew I would see no rest until I finished, but that the reward would be handsome once I did. OK, if not handsome, then decent enough to relax for a spell. And now I'm done.

My cold is still with me, although perhaps, hopefully not as bad as it was. Tonight I attend the 40th birthday party of an old boss. He's holding it at the big Mexican restaurant he partly owns and all the food and drinks are free. So I'm going. I won't overdo it, though. On Monday I leave for Turkey to work on another assignment for the same lead client. Once done and paid for, there will be some breating room. But not the breating room I had hoped for. But with luck, that can be negotiated in the days that follow.

Eldar continues to do well in school, although his enthusiasm has taken a bit of a dip. Today we go to the baths: Lucia, Eldar and I. Our friend Adriano arrives from Sweden this afternoon and will attend the party, too.

How nice it would be if my head cleared up and my ears stopped ringing!


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