We were born to be real, not to be perfect.

This week I spent three days in class learning about ITIL, Information Technology Infrastructure library (according to Wikipedia)… or IT Infrastructure Lifecycle according to the notes I took from what our instructor told us. A great deal of what was covered hearkened back to the word salad I had to get used to for my PMP. The interesting-to-me distinction is the focus on shifting IT organizations to the service mindset–to the degree that each phase of the lifecycle has service in its name: Service strategy, service design, service transition, and service operation… with continual service improvement sprinkled over and through each of those four segments of work.

Today, then, the interview I responded to by Lorna Suzuki went live. She’s an impressive indie author with the rare credential of having had her trilogy optioned for movie rights. There’s more than a little bit of inner squeeing going on at having connected with her. And she’s consented to submit to interview questions of mine, so look for that post in the upcoming weeks.

Apart from that, I’ve managed to squeak past 39K words in Team Alpha, as well as provided beta reading feedback for two other author friends. For some reason, I’m feeling more connected to the writing community these days… and enjoying it.

Naturally, I’ve also been reading. Not only novels, but also stories that introduced me to existential therapy, a modality that sounds like it matches the kinds of questions hubs and I bat back and forth in our daily lives together. I suspect that validating existential concerns for each other in the way described in that article plays into the intimacy we’ve built with each other.

Then there were the articles that resonated with my feminist heart. The one about the 13-year-old who opened the doors of Stuyvesant HS to females 50 years ago felt vaguely familiar to me, a W&L alum who attended that university within 4 years of its decision to go coed. There’s definitely discomfort in kicking open that door, and it’s ironic to me that I’m still doing it to some degree by working in the IT sector.

On the other side of the balancing acts in my life, is the question of cooking. I enjoy it. I do it well. But coming up with recipes that match what’s in the cupboard on a regular basis is exhausting. In a review of the book Pressure Cooker, there is a thoughtful assessment of the unconscious bias and judgment in available cookbooks–and an unexamined classism that accompanies them. It was an eye-opening read that reflected on the nightly exhaustion I feel when coming home from work and faced with yet more decisions about how I might choose to nourish myself.

As we come up to Chinese New Year (lunar New Year, this year on February 5), a friend of mine pointed me to an old evaluation in the Foreign Policy Journal of Asian women born in “bad luck” years. The statistics of how their lives unfolded point to a chicken-egg question of whether there is some kind of esoteric proof of Asian astrological practices and insights, or whether belief in those assertions becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Similarly, more recent news that some Japanese pensioners are committing petty thefts to be able to be sent to jail pointed to a whole other swath of cultural assumptions that might make a westerner cringe.

So I’ll close with a link to the Rejected Princesses site, a collection of women’s biographies (both historic and modern) that don’t otherwise get much visibility. It’s fascinating to see the range and scope of work women have been undertaking through the millennia–much of which gets ignored or actively excised from history.

Until next time, I’ll continue to work toward that balance we all aspire to in our pursuit of being Real.

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