This may be a shorter workweek, but it has been a busy one for me. On Tuesday morning, I woke up at 4 am, left home at 5 am to catch a 7:21 am flight to Connecticut for business. There is a first time for everything, but it was my first time to get a rental car and drive on unfamiliar roads in a different state. I made a few wrong turns but managed to get to where I needed to be somewhat frazzled. After my presentation, I headed back to the airport, made a few more wrong turns and ended up driving on the very narrow and confusing mountain roads. Thank goodness for GPS! It faithfully guided me to the airport. I returned the rental car, went through security again and finally settled down in the waiting area, heaving a deep sigh of relief.

Wednesday and Thursday were spent on catching up with work. Today we had a team outing. We spent the morning at Garfield Farm Museum, working under the sun, separating artifacts from rocks and cleansing the possible artifacts using water and toothbrushes. It was interesting but tedious work. The museum volunteer Helen has a real passion for these dug-up treasure. She explained to us how to distinguish a rock from an object made by human beings such as a piece of porcelain or brick. She showed us how to wash, label and store them in order for the archeologists to take a final look before discarding the rocks. Helen gave us a brief tour around the farm before we left. We saw some interesting animals and how the Garfields’ lived in their tavern around 1835. I plan to take Jake there sometime when they are digging for artifacts. I think he’ll enjoy that.

My new Indian boss treated us for lunch in downtown Geneva. He isn’t the easiest person to work for but I am learning to manage his expectations and handle him more effectively as time goes by. A few months ago, he asked me to do a deep-dive analysis on the decline of the in-home repair business. I started the project with a blank sheet of paper. Whatever I came up with, he said it wasn’t what he was looking for although he couldn’t verbalize what he wanted. He was annoyed that things were not moving along as fast as he expected. I was frustrated with the lack of direction and the twenty other projects I had to work on simultaneously. Then he scheduled a meeting on my calendar to present the findings to his peers, giving me little time to put the presentation together. I did the best I could and showed him the deck during our one-on-one meeting. He eyes lit up before I even got to the second page.

“This is elegant, excellent analytical insight!” He exclaimed.

“After putting me down all these weeks, this finally makes you happy?” I turned to him and looked at him in the eye.

He laughed. “When I see elegant work like this, I tell you too!”

So I’ve turned the corner with my new boss. Things have improved between us. The funny thing is all I did with the deck was combining four charts on one page and making the title and description more compelling. By doing that, I sold him the story. Easy!

I’ve been communicating with Michelle everyday. She is doing extraordinarily well. One day she even said she liked all her classes because they were interesting. It was music to my ears. Michelle has always been a solid student but she hated school. I often wondered how much better she could have done if she liked school just a little. It seems that she has arrived at that place on her own. I asked Michelle if she would be happier if she were at University of Michigan right now. “No. I love it here. I’ve made some good friends.” My heart simply rejoiced.

Jane is getting busy with her i-core marketing classes. She has polished her resume and started the search for summer 2014 internship.

Jake’s second grade is getting off to a good start. I met with his teacher Mr. Elder last week and we had a good chat. The goal for Jake this year is to produce quality work and stay focused in class. Jake understands the higher expectation and is taking the time to do his schoolwork instead of rushing through it because it’s too easy for him.

The busy life will continue into the new season for me and my family and I am loving it!

Image Credit: