Things About Me

There are things about me that other people consider weird or anal.

  • I don’t like leaving hair in my hair brush
  • I always put things away exactly where it’s supposed to go 
  • I separate utensils in the dish draineR
  • I cook egg yolk and egg white separately

These are just a few things. I’m not extremely tied to these habits; I won’t throw a tantrum if these things didn’t go the way I wanted. But the strange preferences are still there.

Farm Life

Things I’ve done in the last 6 months that I’d probably never do if I weren’t living on the farm:

  1. Raised some Guinea fowls 
  2. Saved a little chicken from freezing 
  3. Picked up a baby goat

Been A While

Currently writing from a remote farm in Western Australia. We managed to get internet here thanks to my current job at a digital advertising firm. They were willing to pay for the monthly internet fees in exchange for having me work remotely. This contract will last until the end of February.

I am also currently 5 months pregnant. ūüôā

Starting Over

Not going to lie, I’m pretty scared of how this will actually turn out.

I have just scrapped a writing project I’d been working on for four years (how did it take that long??) and started it over because it would work better as a modern story rather than a fantasy.

I realised that there were so many themes at play in the project that keeping it as a fantasy story was actually distracting from the theme. I wanted to tell a more relatable¬†story and having “ye old time” dialogue just simply wasn’t doing it for me.

It’s scary to scrap it at this point because I’d had already gone so far (over 200,000 words!) into the plot. Although the last 100,000 so words of it was pretty much garbage because I had been hating the story while still forcing myself to work on it.

So far I am enjoying the new start. Whether it’s just the excitement from working on a “new” project or actually having something that works is still hard to tell. But hopefully it’s the latter.

 

Deer In Headlines

That’s how I feel right now. My decision to quit my job without having a new job was made abruptly, and I don’t regret it. But I still can’t stop myself from feeling the terror of unemployment.

How will I take care of myself?

Sure, I have a family, a husband who loves me and supports me in my decisions. I have a roof over my head and food to eat.

But what if I didn’t have any of those things? What if those things suddenly disappeared tomorrow? Then what would I do and where would I be? It feels strange to know that I am¬†this close to homelessness.

Well. I did leave my job with some savings. I wasn’t totally crazy. I also do have some prospects I am trying to look into. But the terrifying thought of being¬†unproductive as a citizen of the world simply does not go away.

Unproductive. What a word. The very idea that I am not turning today’s 8 hours worth of work into money that would then sustain me as me being¬†unproductive… how did it come to this? When did we begin weighing our value in work and money?

Whatever happened to doing the work because we enjoyed it? Whatever happened to just having enough to live on and actually living our lives?

My father’s CEO voice in my head is asking me, “how dare you pull out of the Rat Race at merely 31 years old? Get back in there and keep going!”

It felt strange today not to commute to work in the morning to work. Not to sit down at a desk I’d been sitting at for five months (five months! was it really only that long?) and clearing tickets.

Tickets. A word to summarize the endless demands from people who supposedly pay our bills. I got used to measuring my days based on how many tickets we closed. In this last job, I became jaded. I didn’t bother getting to know the clients. I knew none of them. Their names and the names of their companies all blended into one giant demanding monster. All of the requests were the same; their website looked ugly. The site went down. They broke another page trying to edit it.

Meanwhile in other parts of the world, people are actually dying. They are being bombed and people are losing loved ones here and there. Real human suffering is taking place all of the time while people over here worry about how their website looks and how much business and money they’ve lost because the color of their navigation menu is not the same green they originally wanted.

How did we get here?

Allowing Your Clients to Drive Your Product

From my years working with SaaS platforms, I have noticed one common trend; the danger of Software as a Service to slowly become Software as a Slave.

At the rate that technology is advancing, the public is generally under the assumption that there is nothing that code cannot do. While that may be true, clients and owners alike should understand that in programming and software development, like astronomy, is an on-going science.

This means that while the limits of what we can do with software is unlimited; much of it may still be unknown. There are consistently new programming languages developed, for example, the recent emergence of Sass, or Syntactically Awesome Stylesheets, saw a great improvement in webpage load speed.

So why is it important for those running a SaaS company to be aware of the common misconceptions of what technology can do?

Software as a Service is generally set up as a pay per use product. This means that your business is no longer just about signing up an account and getting that one time (or maybe two payments) squared away after project goes live; Software as a Service is about maintaining an on-going relationship with your clients and being “open” to their requests and needs.

This means that as a salesperson or an account manager at a SaaS company with a global platform, your job is to¬†set your client’s expectations of the CURRENT limits of technology. To your clients, YOU are the expert. While you may come across high maintenance clients who think that you have computer wizards up your sleeve who can deliver anything they could possibly want, it is still your job to educate these clients on what is currently possible and what is not.

In my time working with SaaS companies, always in Projects or Support presence, I have seen account managers or sales being talked into promising features and functions that cannot be deliverable within the time frame given. As a result, the company as a whole receives the reputation of a company that cannot deliver quality on-going service.

At that certain point, the company has to make a choice and change their business model to letting development drive improvement rather than relying solely on client requests. At that time it would benefit the business to invest in Research in technical advancements so that the company is advancing its technologies on its own without relying on client prompts.

After all, it is better to have a service ready before clients even hear about it rather than to have your clients tell you they want something that you don’t already have. It is also better for the growth of your company to rely on internal structure rather than solely on customer needs.

Leaving

It’s now less than two weeks before we leave.

Over the past weekend, we’ve packed all our things in the shipping crate. Then we squeezed the rest of our portable things together into 4 large suitcases and 1 carry-on.

The house we lived in the for the past three years is now empty. It already feels like someone else’s home.

I was saying to Jamie earlier this morning–the more empty the house becomes, the more displaced I feel.

I am terrified. I foolishly believed I had grown up, that this childish fear of rootlessness had been conquered when I first moved to USA. I was wrong. Moving to USA from Canada isn’t really¬†moving. You’re still on the same continent. You can still travel between USA and Canada on your own two feet if you really wanted to go home desperately. If there was a end-of-the-world apocalypse, I could get to Canada without a plane.

Moving to Australia from here… I can’t come back easily. I can’t just jump into the ocean and end up back home. Of course practically I can fly back to Canada, but really, how often are you going to go home if you have to make such a long trip?

The mature side of me would argue that Jamie is my ‘home’ now. Selfishly, I need more than that. I need more than a person. People can leave you, but¬†stuff can’t.¬†Things can’t just get up on their own, decide you’re not good enough, and walk out of your life.

It’s ridiculous to feel this way. I know the Hows and Whys. Fear of displacement, abandonment–all common things to suffer from when one is the product of a dysfunctional family.

I even have the tools (writing about it is one of them) I need to help me stop feeling this way. I know how to talk myself down, I know how to remind myself that I’m an adult and that childish fears and resentments don’t dictate my life now.

I guess knowing how to fix something doesn’t make me stop¬†hating the idea that I need repairs to begin with. The knowledge that I will always feel like this is frustrating. Yes, it’d be the adult thing to do to learn and accept our short-comings and lots in life–but that doesn’t mean I can’t complain about it.