week that was

Today we celebrated Tara’s 4th and welcomed the holiday season with our little Bay area family. A few of Tara’s friends, a few of our friends, and us 😀 To be fair this is the 3rd celebration of Tara’s bday which was on Monday last week. We celebrated in Mexico, then on Friday, at her school, and finally today, at home with friends.  

It was so nice to see the sun come out in fully glory, and bless all of us with an afternoon outdoors, building gingerbread houses, mulling wine, drinking hot chocolate, enjoying yummy food, and chatting about random things. Tara thinks this was a fancy party. And she wants to downgrade to Pizza, Cheetos and Juice next time. Sigh! 

My favorite moment today was when I heard the four musketeers (Tara’s friends who have been together in the day care since they were babies), screaming in unison in Tara’s room. None of us knew what they were up to. But they were enjoying some unadulterated fun 😉 I love seeing toddlers run around in my house. [As long as only one of them is mine, and the rest will go home after the party ;)] The joy of delighting these little souls with some hot chocolate with whipped cream on top, or just a simple and silly broccoli, is enough for me to take on the arduous task of hosting a party of this scale at home.  Agam doesn’t get it. But he doesn’t stop me 😀 

We always end up hosting this party the weekend we come back from our Thanksgiving trip. That makes it a little bit of a logistical challenge. But I did so much better this time by catering in food, and ordering the cake from Paris Baguette. It was a lot less stressful. At some point I will have to learn to not spread myself so thin. But until then, let’s party on. 

In other news, I had a very interesting week at work. I find it surprising when someone appreciates you for doing your job. The immediate thought that comes to my mind when that happens is – “Isn’t that what I am being paid to do? Crap! What did I miss here?”

But then, I am one of those people who doesn’t think of a job or a role as a set of defined responsibilities. I like it to be more fluid than that. Work in today’s context, is very fluid. It is one of the reasons I love working at Google. No one ever reminds me of what my role, level, job description. If they do, I strike them off my list. We are all solving problems at varied scale from time to time. I happened to be solving some problems for someone. I don’t need to be called out for that. I have a P in my title, the P stands for problem solving – Program/Project/Product are all different ways of representing a problem. It should be an expectation that I will solve the problem. 

I want to figure out how to make more people think like that. Because personally, I find this mindset very rewarding and empowering. I wait for people to tell me that something isn’t my problem to solve. If they don’t, that means I must be doing something right. If they do, then I make sure that they can be trusted with solving the problem better. But this mindset needs to be multiplied in organizations. Time for some experimentation 😀

Anyways, I struggled with this middle management mentality of “let the plot boil”. It does not work for me. I am a little (read quite) impatient with that approach. Most of my bosses figured that out and did not stop me. But they also could not really help me. I am past that now. I am led and surrounded by people who have a more seasoned approach –  “jump into the fire, and put it off, or find the right person who can put it off. But take the accountability. Don’t be a by stander”.  That’s what I like to do 🙂

It’s been a rewarding and yet exhausting week both on family and work front. I never have Monday blues. But I do wish this was an extended weekend so I had one more day to recoup some energy.  Instead, I am just gonna sleep at 9:00pm and get an extra hour of sleep tonight.

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