Dealing with life

Make a List to Realize You’re Not Completely Screwed

by Bill Brenner September 13, 2016 Dealing with life

I’ve been going through a major bout of insecurity lately as a result of juggling so many responsibilities at once. We all go through this on occasion, so I don’t claim to be a special snowflake in this regard. In an effort to feel a little less overwhelmed, I turned to a tool I should use more often: list making. After writing it all down, I find that I’m not quite as screwed as first thought….  [Read More]

One Woman’s Experiences Show How Nasty The Internet Can Be

by Bill Brenner August 17, 2016 Dealing with life

We’ve all seen how nasty the Internet can be. Scroll Facebook, Twitter or any number of blogs on a given day and you’ll see people going out of their way to rip each other apart in the most cowardly way possible — hidden in the shadows. Many of us have stories about being attacked online. Usually, it’s because we offered an opinion people disagreed with. But Amanda Nickerson has been living with something a lot more…  [Read More]

This Wasn’t Part of the Plan

by Bill Brenner July 26, 2016 Dealing with life

This is the first in a series of posts about navigating through the unexpected. It’s based on experiences I’ve had since my father’s death last year. I’ve tried to follow the words of Winston Churchill, who once said, “If you’re going through Hell, keep going.” I’ve had shitty years before — 1984, when my brother died, the year following my best friend’s suicide in 1997, and 2004, when another close friend died and I came closest to an emotional…  [Read More]

My Impostor Syndrome Is Showing

by Bill Brenner May 2, 2016 Dealing with life

Saturday was one of those days where everything was getting to me: the myriad tasks that need doing on the family building we’re leasing out, the adjustments I need to make to my health regimen, and the general lack of downtime. As the day went on, though, I realized my inner turmoil was more about my career than my personal life. I’m suffering from a brutal bout of impostor syndrome. Mood music: I’ve been focusing…  [Read More]

Sometimes, It’s Good to be Hard on Yourself

by Bill Brenner April 21, 2016 Dealing with life

Last week, I vented frustration on Facebook after a particularly frustrating day. I was angrier than I had been in a long time. Mood music: By the next morning, the bad feelings had dulled and I had second thoughts about venting my anger the way I did. So I put this on my timeline: Yesterday I was having a bad-attitude kind of day and I let it bleed onto Facebook. I try to never do…  [Read More]

Thought I Was a Security Rockstar. Was Just Stupid

by Bill Brenner March 6, 2016 Dealing with life

In pretty much every industry of late, people of great talent, drive and achievement are being labeled rock stars. I certainly see it as I work in the information security industry. Those who get the label tend to deserve it. But there’s a dangerous side-effect: The term rock star can bloat the egos of those it’s bestowed upon. It leads to big heads and bad attitudes. I’ve watched many handle it with humble grace. And…  [Read More]

Don’t Be Embarrassed When People Rescue You

by Bill Brenner November 20, 2015 Dealing with life

I was recently talking to a friend who has had a shitty couple of years, with illness and death in the family. He noted that he’s gotten a lot of support from friends, family and colleagues along the way and that he’s embarrassed about it. I get where he’s coming from. Mood music: Whenever I’ve experienced the things he is going through, I’ve felt a little embarrassed when people come to me with sympathy and…  [Read More]

5 Realizations and Defenses from the Family Business

by Bill Brenner November 2, 2015 Dealing with life

Big pressures aside, I’ve learned much while cleaning up and selling off the old family business and managing trusts Dad left in my hands. Mood music: Until I took on this family business stuff, I’d never had to deal with lawyers or real estate people at this magnitude. I had certainly never managed this kind of money. Here are five realizations — and five defenses — that have saved me from implosion. 5 Realizations Lawyers are the best and worst of humanity….  [Read More]

Learning to Deal with the Pressure

by Bill Brenner September 18, 2015 Dealing with life

Baseball has never been my thing, but I’m learning to deal with the big curve balls that keep coming my way. Mood music: Last year, before my father’s health went into its final descent, he asked me to help him with his unfinished business interests. Since his death, the task has been something close to a second full-time job. I’m now in charge of cleaning up and selling the building that housed the family business….  [Read More]

Surviving the Persistence of Time

by Bill Brenner August 26, 2015 Dealing with life

Here I am at another birthday. I’ve been telling people I couldn’t care less this year. It’s been a rough summer with too much upheaval, too much grief. There’s not much to celebrate. But the truth is, I’m grateful to be here. Mood music: That I’m now in my mid 40s is surprising — in my mind, at least. When I was sick with Crohn’s Disease as a kid, I lost a lot of blood…  [Read More]