Sunday, March 30, 2014

Work, Life, Balance

The words WORK and LIFE combined with BALANCE are critical to living a fulfilling life of peace and happiness.  If work and life fall out of balance there is a pretty good chance that you will burn out faster than you would like to.  You won't be productive at work and you won't do very well at home either.

I'm fortunate in the fact that I have an employer who understands the work/life balance.  I feel like I give 110% when I'm there and I'm a very loyal employee. But when I'm not there I need to focus on my family and give them 110% as well too which can often be a challenge.

I have this habit (and I'm not sure if it's a bad habit or a good habit) where I get very close to a job and it becomes part of the very fabric that I'm made of and becomes and operates very much like a family unit. I need to separate that family from my home family.  There was a time when radio was my "family" now the dealership is my "family." 

I do miss my radio "family", but many of them have all moved on to new endeavors outside of the industry.  I won't use the term "bigger and better" because we lived large and it was a good time. There are 20 years of memories that I'm still legally not allowed to mention, even on a private blog.

Going back to my employer... The owner & general manager work with me in terms of my schedule so that I am able to maintain a sane safe balanced lifestyle because of my condition with bipolar disorder. For anyone who doesn't know what it's like, try to remember your mother going through 'the change' where one minute she is laughing, the next she is crying and there is no reason why.

I'll spend the better part of a Sunday trying to please everyone and trying to make family time with each individual child.  If I veer off my plans for that day, I spend the rest of the night beating myself up for what I didn't get to do, and for the fact that it will be another 7 days before I have this chance again.  (I also often worry that something bad may happen due to an accident or something where I won't be able to make up for that lost time.

So why am I writing this? Well for one I'm making the long drive from work to home so why not be productive and dictate a blog. Number two, I left a little early today with my manager's permission so that I can attend my children's scout awards ceremony.

When I leave "on time" or even early, I often feel bad because I feel like sometimes I'm not giving my 110% because I'm not staying after hours. In the same token I should really be feeling guilty on nights where I close and stay late because I'm not making it home as fast as I should and giving them 100%.

That's where the work/life balance comes into play.  I have a career, I don't have a "job"... and I hope to God that I never have a "job."  I've been very lucky in my life to have 2 careers, one of which has followed me into this career and allows me to still practice radio for 20 years now!

I just don't want to be one of the people who sit in the parking lot waiting for 10:00 to punch in.  And I don't want to be one of those people who punch out at exactly 7PM as they go flying out the door. THOSE are the people with a "job" and that's so NOT me.  

So here is my question to YOU.... how do you have a successful career and maintain a healthy fulfilling home life?  Any thoughts or feedback would be greatly appreciated.  I would love to see how you do it.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Watch Your Back!

By Jerry Smith

Baseball great Satchel Paige once said, "Don't look back. Something might be gaining on you." Good advice, maybe, for a seemingly ageless pitcher, but not so good for motorcyclists, especially when they're stopped at an intersection and don't see the distracted driver bearing down on them from behind. It takes more than a working brake light to prevent being bunted into a busy intersection or squashed like a bug between two bumpers. Here are some tips to help you avoid getting caught in a squeeze play.

As you decelerate for a stoplight, check your mirrors to see if the traffic behind you is slowing down, too. Touch the brakes several times to flash your brake lights. Be extra vigilant if you decide to stop for a fresh yellow light in case the guy behind you decides to run it. And while we don't generally advocate running a yellow, that's your best course of action if it's clear that the car behind you is planning to.

Now that you've stopped, be ready to go again in a heartbeat in case the space you're in seems in imminent danger of being occupied by a speeding car. Position your bike on either side of the greasy center of the lane. Leave the transmission in gear and hold the clutch in. If that's not practical, put your right foot down, leave your left foot on the peg ready to engage first gear, and cover the clutch lever.

Always have an out in case the car in your mirror is becoming alarmingly large, alarmingly quick. If you're turning left and there's a curb or a median to your left and a car in front of you, position your bike on the right side of the lane so you can slip around the car if necessary. But be aware of through traffic coming up behind you that's not slowing down to turn. Stop far enough back from the car ahead to give yourself room to maneuver. If your front tire is inches from a bumper, you won't be able to turn without backing up first. That's a bad place to be.

In addition to bike placement, bike equipment can help tip the odds in your favor. Keep your mirrors clean and adjusted properly, and if all you can see in them is your elbows, swap them out for ones that do what mirrors are supposed to do. Check your brake light and taillights often, invest in some auxiliary brake lights, and add some reflective tape to the back of your bike for night riding. Every little bit helps.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

"Where are you riding to?" vs "What do you do?"

by:  Rocky Marks

Back in 1998 I remember taking a sociology class. One of the things we talked about or statuses, hierarchies if you will.

Today status is common forms of jobs where you are in management where you aren't in management and many people judge you based on what it is you do or do not do for a living.

For motorcyclists that's different though, the traditional what do you do for living turns into where are you going or perhaps what do you ride? The what do you ride doesn't necessarily indicate a status is simply a question to get the conversation started between two people that have a common bond on the road.

It's been my experience that most of the time people learn what other people do once they are gathered around a dinner table and start talking about work family and children. After that is still does not change the makeup of the crowd

I shouldn't say I should say does not take up the dynamic makeup of I should say that it does not change the dynamic makeup of the group

I've been on rides with the unemployed disabled the hourly workers the minimum-wage workers salaried employees middle-management upper management CEOs CFOs and Supreme Court justices. And you know what they are all the same.

They are riders. Whether it is you're around seasonal or just a few times a month they are riders and they enjoy the fellowship on the road the investment they have between their legs and the camaraderie that they share with other riders

I'd rather not get into the question of what is a real rider.  Usually those debates are started by those that are insecure about their own status as a rider.