Sunday Check-in #9, #10 AND #11: Where am I?

What happened between Feb 22 – March 15

Bye-bye Format [ for now … I think ]

First thing is first – screw the format. There is no what went well, what didn’t go well, and what can I do better. I may or may not bring it back.


It doesn’t always suit the check in.

Sometimes a ramble is what’s needed, and it might all be good, and it might all be bad. And as I’ve been told on more then one occasion, “that’s o.k.”

Something had to give

And that was blogging, twitter, nights out, conersing with people… all things social.

I was not a social butterfly. I had no energy to converse with folks [ though I wasn’t completely mute ], and when I needed to, I’m sure it wasn’t my captivating chipper self.

Most put up with it, and friends really came through and shined. And again I was told on more then one occasion, “that’s o.k.”

The crazy book

I forgot about a process I did when I was younger. I had a desk, and I would vandalize it [ it was mine…why not ]

I had scratches and marker all over the thing. When I wasn’t sure, or down, I would just draw on it. I called it my venting chest.

But it never made it out west with me.

So, now enter the crazy book…

It’s a large black book of empty blank paper. And on each page is layers of scratches and rambles. I let the pen run wild. And there are times when it’s fluid and bubble like. Other times like lightning and tornadoes.

I don’t sensor, I don’t judge, the hand just goes.

And the lessons come.

It reminds me of all those things I wanted to get done, but were pushed down so many times they almost drowned.

It shifts priorities. If something keeps cropping up, and I originally though it wasn’t a big deal…it becomes a big deal.

And to boot, when I’m done pouring out my guts onto paper, I feel better. I feel o.k. again.

A little escapism

To counteract my overwhelming feelings of the week, I realised that I went down the TV rabbit hole a little.

Picked up on all the shows I had missed, wanted to watch, never started.

But the nice thing was, I didn’t turn on my TV once. All online, all through the comuter and all at my convenience CTV and Space have it down. Hulu isn’t international friendly { I’m not even going to link to them, that how angry I am at that } ].

By golly I like it.

Was this good or bad? Neither. It’ o.k. I just needed some time to force myself to stop thinking, stop wallowing, and really take a break.

TV was just the tool to do it.

Body Break

I’ve written several times about trying to balance things when being a renaissance soul. When you aren’t, the world can crumble down like a deck of cards.

I’ve been playing 52 card pick-up. [ sometimes it feels like 520 card pick-up ]

My energy level has been low, I’ve been in a bit of pain, and very cranky. Why? It’s the physical part of balance. [ you know … the actual thing that does the real life balancing on two feet teetering your head on you neck, making sure you don’t fall flat on your face ]

My body is just screaming at me. [ always has … me and the body part of balance never got along ] And so I’ve been falling flat on my face [ figuratively and literally ]

And so we’ve been having a good talk: me and my body.

So, while I’m not going to do the diet things, and the calorie counting stuff, I am going to at least stock my cupboards and fridge with things that are G.I. friendly.

So, that way, no matter what I decide to slap together in a rush, I know that it’s o.k.

Anything else?

I’m sure there are loads of other things that happen. After all, it’s been 3 weeks. Internship hunts and interviews. Job seeking. Documentary organizing. And Future planning.

Nothing is ever stagnant, even though, at times, I want them to be.

End of line,
New command [ FYI: Battlestar next week should be awesome! ]

And Done

Sunday Check-In #8: Ummm

Back in my first check-in I said that these check-ins help me because:

  • I get wrapped up in things. I forget to ask where I am.
  • I sometimes bounce-back too quick. I don’t register what I learned from the last thing.
  • I forget what I’ve done. Because I’ve moved onto something else, I don’t look back.

Well, this week it’s a mix of and #3. I’ve been sitting here for a while, and I can’t remember a thing. I can’t remember if it went well, or didn’t.

I guess in it’s own right, that means it went well.

Sunday Check-In #8: Ummm

What happened between Feb 16 – 22

It just was.

And Done.

Sunday Check-In #7: Doin’ It

What a roller coaster week. I’m not exactly too sure where to begin. Well, let’s just start and see where it leads

Sunday Check-In #7: Doin’ It

What happened between Feb 9 – 15

What went well?

Connecting with people

I’m finally getting the point of connecting with people. Better people, good people, passionate people. And if you want some revitalization in whatever it is that you want to do, find them!

Just do it

I had an Interview with Margaret Lobenstine. Why? Because I could. How did I do it? I just did.

I’m kinda getting used to just going for it. And in comparison to last week, this is a great improvement. Something that James said in his comment.

You say you need to relieve the pressure. That is, you need to fix something. Something is broken. So I’m going to challenge you on that very point: You need to relieve the pressure, is this true? Can you be absolutely sure that it’s true?

Can you think of examples from your life where the following are true: “I don’t need to relieve the pressure”, “I need to keep the pressure”, “I need more pressure”. And yes, this is totally me stealing Byron Katie’s ideas but they help me so I figure why not spread the help around a little.

And it was a help. Because when I look back at my life, I’m always adding more. If you don’t, there is no growth.

Margaret had mentioned in the interview, Renaissance Souls love the learning! Love the growing process!

And growth needs to come from adding something to something else. Whether that be, knowledge; whether that be muscle or simply air in a balloon.

How do you add something? How do you grow? You soak in the sun and you just do it.

Add pressure.

What didn’t go well?

When things get tight, there is this mixed bag of feelings. On one hand, it sucks. But at the same time, I’m always reminded of 2 quotes

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger

This too shall pass

James mentioned that one too ]

Is this one of those times? I don’t know. I do know it’s a challenge.

Is this really not going well? Maybe not. Only the outcome will tell.

What can I do better


[ Oh the debate on which word to use…I say faith. ]

I think it’s all come down to a period of time, when I should “Just do it”. And in the end, have faith that it will work out.

And Done.

And thanks again James!

Sunday Check-In #6: Pressure Cooking

What happened between Jan 2 – Feb 8

What went well?

Still in a quasi-hiatus [ borderline what’s going well / not going well ]

I’m doing less, and catching up on TV. A little hibernation, so to speak. I’m enjoying the break. Taking more time for me, all that good touchy feely stuff.

But I’m at the tail end and starting to wonder, is this enjoying a break, creative rejuvenation or just flat out denial?

@nkempinski: If you ever find yourself exhausted for no apparent reason, you could be creatively spent. Take a nap, or 5.

@solutious: @nkempinski You’re totally right dude. Creativity should come with a warning about it’s soul-draining properties!

What didn’t go well?

Pressure Building

This is why I’m starting to question my hiatus. Because in my peripheral vision, I’m seeing these things pile up. And soon, if not handled will just explode.

An Example:
I’m supposed to find myself an internship by April 20. But got a few “no”’s. So did I let them roll off my back, and keep going? Hell no. Instead I haven’t called a single person.

All the while, “tick-tock-tick”

I’m waiting for the steam whistle.

Passion vs J-O-B

To start the week, I had a great [ that’s sarcasm ] conversation about money. It’s the bestest conversation for starving students to have [ drip more sarcasm ].

And so it came to the classic renaissance debate. Do I follow my passions [ All of them ] and trust that it will work out. Or, do I turn to a classic J-O-B?

[ But yes, I know I need $$ ]

I’m still torn, but in the meantime, the resume has been mailed out a couple of times.

What can I do better?

Relieve Some Steam

I have no clue how to do this. No suggestions, recommendations, no insights or quirky phrases. I’m at a loss.

[ Blink, Blink, Blink ]

And yet, I need to relieve some of the pressure building in the peripheral somehow. [ Or am I already? ]

Blog More

[ More peripheral pressure ] I know that this imperative. That when I look at the list of things I need to do, things I should do, things, I have to do. This is at the bottom.

And yet, it gnaws.

I’m chipper aren’t I? [ even more sarcasm ]

And done.

Sunday Check-In #5: A Big Breath

It’s a quickie. This was a quasi-forced-hiatus week. I’m sure there of loads of things I should have done; I’m sure there are loads of things I could say in my check in. But instead I decided it was a needed break. So short sweet and to the point.

Sunday Check-In #5: A Big Breath

What happened between Jan 26 – Feb 1

What went well?


This week was much more relaxing then last [ funny that I can say relaxing ]. I was able to get a bunch of work done, I was able to check up on how everyone was doing. And all in all, relaxed about it.

I could “breath”.

I even had a bit of a weekend. [ weird, I know ]

What didn’t go well?

A Bunch of “no”’s

In our program it’s Intern time. And so it’s time to hit the pavement and start making calls. “Hi my name is Nick, are you interested in an intern. Did I mention it was free?”

And soon I got my first two “No”’s. They were logical, and nothing personal. [ very well worded ] More like procedural problems, but “no” non the less.

I’m not crushed, I’ve been said “no” too before. But it still takes a second to shake it off and keep moving on.

What can I do better?

Are there weeks where you couldn’t do anything better? Are there weeks that I wonder “does it really matter?”.

The Low grade

Turns out I got my first very low grade. 50%.

But you know why I got it?

Because of priorities and exhaustion.

On one hand, is it something I could have done better? I’m sure I could have.

On the other, would it be worth the self torture to push myself that much further? No.

I think there are loads of times in life, that we hear that little crack in our brains. When we feel the break. But how many listen and stop to heal?

My first instinct was to not stop, to chug through, pull an all nighter, try and drip every bit of energy from my body to get it done. And then I realized, that If I had, where would the energy come from for the next week, or the week after that?

So, I could have done better on the grade. But in terms of protecting my own sanity and creativity. I think I made the best choice.

And Done

Sunday Check-In #4: Off = “blah”

An interesting piece of check-in…. And interesting week?? The check-in should help…right?

How does it help me?

  • I get wrapped up in things. I forget to ask where I am.
  • I sometimes bounce-back too quick. I don’t register what I learned from the last thing.
  • I forget what I’ve done. Because I’ve moved onto something else, I don’t look back.
  • new!: None of the above!
  • new!: All of the above!

Sunday Check-In #4: Off = “blah”

What happened between Jan 19 – Jan 2

What went well?

There are times, when that is a really good question. What went well? [ playing on repeat in my mind ] And so I sit, and stare off. Meditate. Squirm. Fidget. Procrastinate and maybe take a few more sips of coffee. And still nothing comes to mind.

Something has got to have gone well!

Ahha….got it!

Living and learning

This week was a week of lessons. It was a week of realizations of what I wasn’t doing. Of what I was missing [ hind sight = 20/20 kinda stuff ].

So, the “what went well” portion, at least for this week, is under “what didn’t go well” and “what can I do better”.

Does that mean that this week really sucked?

My week did not suck

It could have been a week of horrors. And although nothing in particular stands out as “well”, nothing particularly stands out as “sucking” either. So, in that regard, not bad!

What didn’t go well?

If nothing stood out as “sucking” why force looking at what “didn’t go well”, why not skip it all together?

Reason : These are the lessons. The things that could have gone better.
Reason #2: The week hasn’t been that bad……no sucking, curl up in a ball and hide, paralizing traumas. More like “blah”.

A series of off days

I’ve been noticing pockets were I have no sense of humour. By Tuesday, something was “off”. I realized that I was wearing CranyPants and that I’d been wearing them for too long.

And so the next step I thought was to get rid of them. But no luck. Victoria helped me look at it another way.

@nkempinski: When you have an off day, how do you get back on the right foot?

@victoriashmoria: @nkempinski I find that *not trying* to get back on track has the highest success rate.Kicking and screaming don’t fix it.Give in for a bit.

@nkempinski: @victoriashmoria It’s was a challenge when I was on air and the mic was on. But, once the mic was off … much easier.

And so I just accepted it for the rest of the week. No struggles. I just gave in. It even inspired part of my next show.

I also went around and warned everyone that I was off, and that I may not be my chipper funny self. They all took it well…I think.

A series of mad scrambles

Until Friday, every day was a mad scramble. My on-air shift, my homework, my assignments. I didn’t fail anything, which is a good thing. But I didn’t come close to my normal standards either.

teacher: Nick, I think I see your direction, but the rationale in your proposal was a tad thin and consisted of just a couple of sentences…I get the impression you didn’t spend much time on this…10/20

me: Yes, it’s true, I slapped it together at the last minute…I knew it would need a lot more thought. I’m going to send you a more thorough proposal by Friday.

What can I do better

[ Are these unconnected? I think not ]

Stay Connected

For the past 2 weeks, my job was to be the Program Director. [ the big kahuna, the big cheese, the dude in charge, the fix it man, etc… ] However, I was also, on-air from 12-3:30pm.

When I came out of my show, hardly anyone was left at the station.

And so I couldn’t do the rounds. I couldn’t hear peoples stories, find out how their day way. If I couldn’t find out their problems, how was I going to make tomorrow better for them? How was I going to do my job?

I couldn’t.

And then I realized…

Part of what I do is listen. I love listening to stories from others. Sometimes I listen, sometimes I help. Sometimes listening is helping.

This is one of those things I do naturally. It doesn’t matter if it’s part of my job or not. Part of my “off”, was I wasn’t listening to people. Talking with people.

I was isolated.

I need people.

Stay Inspired

I made an observation yesterday that was interesting.

@nkempinski: Odd… Somewhere along the line I stopped watching TED videos. My blogging stopped ’round the same time. Is that a coincidence? Hmmm.

In my mad scramble I’ve stopped taking things in. I’m way behind on reading blogs, or tweets. I’m way behind in all those little things I could do over the holidays.

And when I did watch/read/hear them, I was starting to “feel” connected. I was starting to “feel” like I was doing something.

This could be part of “Staying connected” the stories I listen to inspire me. No matter if they are stories of walking your dog. Stories I’ve heard before. Stories I’ve read before. Stories that have no ending [ “And so…………..” ].

When I’m listening, I’m inspired.

When I’m not…..

a bit of a roller coaster week. Even the check-in feels odd. Nothing close to what I expected. No matter….

And Done.

Sunday Check-In #3: WTF??

Holy Crap! It’s Sunday again! Time to check-in.

How does it help me?

  • I get wrapped up in things. I forget to ask where I am. [ a massive red marker like check ]
  • I sometimes bounce-back too quick. I don’t register what I learned from the last thing.[ not so much this week ]
  • I forget what I’ve done. Because I’ve moved onto something else, I don’t look back.[ meh ]

This week I’ve been on a mission. I’m cutting to the point a lot quicker, so let’s get to it!

Sunday Check-In #3: WTF??

What happened between Jan 12 – Jan 1

What went well?


School, school, school, school

school, school, school!

Yup. That’s been the week. And it’s been awesome!

I’m running around like a mad man, sometimes not knowing where to go first. People come to me for help. I find out if people need help. I ask, I give, I receive. It’s amazing!

Being the Program Director [ a.k.a. The Boss ] is what I want to do [ note: I am not saying the only thing, or how long, the beauty of renaissance souls is this can change tomorrow ] . And for one more week, I get to do that in the safe and comfortable environment of school. I get to learn, and make mistakes.

What didn’t go well?

No Balance

What the….! Didn’t I talk about this last week? [Just a second … let me check … yup]

Still a problem.

That’s this thing about finding balance in a crazy time. You want time to do all the things you want BUT you need time to find out how to find time AND you have no time!

Viva la Revolution!

I’m surrounded by a small revolution at school. I’m waiting for sit in’s and protests signs. [“Hell no we won’t go!”, “Mandatory Stops Here!” and “I will fail and that’s o.k.”]Ya…bad.

And I’ve been asked to say something. [Um………?]

What can I do better

Get off the round-a-bout

I get caught up in the rat race, in the game of the world, and sometimes forget that it’s all my choice to be in it.

I bought the ticket and stepped on.

The reason I have no time, is that I don’t want the time or I have different priorities with my time. I’m the one choosing to do all these things at school and at the station. No one is forcing me.

Plus looky here [gasp! awe! shock!] I’m finding a couple of hours to do a sunday check-in. How is that possible!? [ thick like peanut butter sarcasm is always lost in the written word. you may have only seen a thin amount, but I assure you, it’s dripping ]

When in doubt wait longer

I don’t have to do anything right now. I can wait. If “um” is my answer, perhaps it’s a sign that I don’t have one right now.

Sometimes there is no reason to force and answer.

Our brains are incredible. Little super computers that process things quietly in our subconscious. Sometimes we forget that we need to trust it.

Sometimes about the “tick, tock, tick” forces our hand

But stop! breath! take your time!

If my mind is saying nothing [blink blink] or “Um….” the I have no answer. And so I will wait longer.

And done.

Sunday Check-In #2: The Week

Big changes in my life. Back to school. As Danielle put it I went from “60 to 0″ and now I’ve gone from 0 back to 60. Very disorienting. This is the kind of week which is why I wanted the check-in. [ What happened? ]

And based off of feedback, the asides stay, and the little links go.

So here we go

What happened between Jan 5 – Jan 11?

What went well?


Monday was the first day back at school. Loads of laughter and high fives [ I’m sure there were even few dabs or pounds, or whatever they call them these days [man age kicks in from time to time] ]. It’s a good feeling to be back doing something I love.

The Boss Man

The way our Radio program works is that you have class as well as run the radio station [ insert plug here: ]. Class in the morning, station in the afternoon.

We get our assignments as to which department [ on air, production, news, writing, sales, promotions ] and who’s the director of each department. We then work out the schedule for the next six weeks. I am the Program Director (PD) for the next two weeks [ the big kahuna, the big cheese, the fix it man, … ].

That’s a great thing.

Here’s the part where I explain a little more about being the PD. So far it’s the one job that uses every aspect of my talents. I’m thrilled and frustrated by it. I feel on top of the world and like a nobody. In a single day there is a roller-coaster [ mostly of things going the way they should followed by something going wrong causing complete and utter havoc. ]. It is amazing! And I’m never bored [ ay, there’s the rub ].

What didn’t go well?

Too Much

Perhaps here in lays the lesson of be careful what you wish for. Because being the one in charge has me on the rampage of meetings and fixing things and finding answers. Oh, did I forget to mention that I’m the web guy, and the designer guy? I keep my ear out for music, I help out sales, oh ya, and the PD also has a daily on-air show to do?!!?!!

Now where do I fit my life in? How about the blogging and keeping up on feeds and tweets?

On one hand, it’s all me. I’m pushing myself too much and too far [ I’m trying to be the ultimate warrior of radio ] On the other I’m going crazy because of it. I starting to feel at times there is no me only school.

Enter in my next point

No Balance

Well in retrospect, this one stands out like smashing my thumb with a hammer and dipping it in acid. [ Yup, that’s a sore thumb ].

I feel like I’m in constant catchup mode. And that’s not cool with me!

Were is the line? I’ve got school and career. I’ve got personal and “work” [ school and work are kinda interchangeable. I treat both the same ]

Ultimately my personal life is suffering. Which some might argue that short term pain is for long term gain. But if I don’t get my “me” time. I get very, very, very, cranky.

What can I do better?

Have some lunch

I think something simple like walking away in the middle of the day would be good. If I think about it, I don’t do this often. Actually, I think in the week I only did this once.

I need to walk away. For 30 minutes to a full hour. Just not to do it. To relax. To chill. To max and relax. Plus if I don’t, how will I sound on air?

There is something rejuvenating about a real break. And I need more of them!

Go Home

Along with Lunch, I need to walk away at 5:00pm. I can’t be going until 6:00pm or 7:00pm. No matter how much I do, there is always more to do the next day.

Hi I’m Nick Kempinski and I’m a workaholic

[ FYI: being a workaholic has never really happened to me before, but I guess that would go under good thing, because it’s proof that I have passion ]

And done.

Sunday Check-In #1: The First

I’m taking a page from Havi Brooks. Every Friday she does a check-in[ or should I say chicken. I don’t get the joke, but she and selma thinks its funny ] Now, I admit I haven’t gone back through all 22 yet, but what I have read has been a catalyst for me.

How does it help me?

  • I get wrapped up in things. I forget to ask where I am.
  • I sometimes bounce-back too quick. I don’t register what I learned from the last thing.
  • I forget what I’ve done. Because I’ve moved onto something else, I don’t look back.

My format

For the layout I’m taking a lesson from one of my favourite Leadership teachers. [ who doesn’t appear on the web anywhere, so she can remain a mysterious teacher. Think of her like an ancient wise one who ends up turning into smoke and vanishing. Was she real you might ask? ] She asked 3 questions at the beginning of every class: What went well? When didn’t go well? what can you do better?

So here we go

Sunday Check-In : The First

What happened between Dec 29 – Jan 4?

What went well?

This Blog

I’m really starting to feel a benefit from this blog.

I’ve been dabbling with blogs for several years and haven’t felt I’ve been succeeding as a “blogger”. I’ve been trying to fit everything I do into one single blog. When I do, my marketing/radio mind says, “Hold up! You don’t have a point! People will get confused. [ Should that icon be corn flower blue? ]

In my mind it start a little war debating the freedoms of creativity and natural flow, against the logical targeted and purposeful direction for media and business professionals. Translation: I become a cat chasing my tail.

So I broke the cycle. Spawning blogs as I feel the need. [ I feel like I could be the rabbit of the blogging world ] I’ve got a great webhost with loads of space, why not!

I’m still not the awesomest blogger ever. I don’t have millions flocking to my every word. I’m still muddling my way through. But those don’t matter because ultimately

I’m really starting to feel a benefit from this blog.


Tying in with the point of spawning [^], I’ve revamped ether+nick to my media mind. We’ll see where it takes me. I’m excited to see where it goes.

Time Off

I’m a full time student at BCIT. I’m taking the Radio Broadcast program. The tempo is lightning quick. And so you never feel like you’ve had a weekend or any time off. This holiday has been a wonderful, beautiful time to sit on my ass and do absolutely nothing. [ FYI: I love doing nothing – and I mean nothing. I’ve done week long meditations and fasts. So a day here and there … a walk in the park]

The quiet has allowed me to jot down everything racing inside my head. All my master plans, and the minor ones too. Get them out so I can look at them on a piece of paper in front of me. [ Some surprise me when I see them written. In my head I thought they were brilliant. And no! there were no substances used in this process other then coffee. ]

What didn’t go well?

Time Off [ That damn double edge sword ]

There is only so much nothing I can take. Sure I said I can last a week, but this is the end of a month. At some point this week [ let’s say wednesday ], I cracked. And instead of breaking out and doing something, I slid further and further into just-down-right-lazy. Did I even get out of my chair on friday? Did I eat? I know I drank some coffee? [ I am a koala wrapped around my tree high on eucalyptus. ]

Lucky for me, I’ve got no choice but to brush off the cob webs. It’s back to school tomorrow. [ That’s not a “not going well”, that’s a f@#!’n great! ]

Pains and Aches

I believe that there needs to be balance in everything we do. The universe does it, we should to. But I struggle with the body part – always have. And something about 31, my body is smacking me upside the head. It’s breaking down with pains and aches I never thought could exist.

Probably related to the koala like behaviour [^].

Now that I think of it, it could also be the fall on the ice earlier this month.

What can I do better?

Remember “Baby Steps”

I always need to remind myself of the classic lesson of baby steps. A little every day. I know of the lesson, and yet when I get to it, I get karmic road rage. I feel stuck behind a sunday driver. I peel by and honk my horn ( and yes, sometimes I give the finger.)

[ and yes, I know that in this analogy I am both drivers in effect giving myself the finger ]

Remember “Ebb and Flow”

Just because I’m not going forward doesn’t mean I’m not moving. Again, classic lesson of one step forward three steps back, blah blah blah blah [ Hear the audio being muffled “Charlie Brown” style. I hear the volume being slowly turned down ( it’s a radio thing ) ] ( more karmic road rage on this one too )

This check-in

Well, in the sense of remembering [^], this weekly check-in is exactly the answer to what can I do better. If I forget the lessons or, I zoom by things in my rocket ship, then by stopping for a second to do this check-in, I won’t stray too far. I hope.

And done.

Question: My brain works with the asides, and I like them. Are they distracting? Is there a better way to format them? Leave a comment and let me know. ]