The boys have been enjoying having empty boxes to play with, and so has Pippy. They see them as toys. I see them as reminders of the move. Don’t get me wrong, I am ridiculously happy that Lancelot lives here, I’ll be happier when the move is done. And that should be this weekend. Praise be to the Almighty Ceiling Cat.
The weather here hasn’t helped lately. Lots of rain and gray skies and cool weather. I guess that’s better than blazing heat, but it doesn’t exactly make me feel very energetic.
The house is coming together as are the wedding plans, and that’s good. But I haven’t really knit lately, or done anything else creative. Lately it’s been all I can do to keep up with the laundry and making dinner. I’m feeling a whole lot of brain fog right now and I Do Not Like It.
So rather than whine any more I think I’m going to go wind up a ball of yarn and try to start a new knitting project. Maybe cheating on my current WIPs will help.
It’s rough to be Pippy. She’s had some kind of tummy issue the last few days that have resulted in PITH (pooping in the house) and that makes me and Lancelot unhappy. We tried giving her rice and chicken to see if that would help and when it became apparent that it wasn’t we took her to the vet this morning. The good news is that it is not a parasite. The bad news is that the vet isn’t entirely sure what it is. So we have some pills to take a new kibble to eat. And yes, right now she is laying in her chair in my office with her coveted stolen washcloth between her front paws. Adorable to say the least.
I was talking to one of my work friends today over Zoom and realized that I haven’t been focusing enough of my energy on gratitude. And that’s a bummer because that’s been such an important part of my routines for so long and unfortunately that’s just sort of fallen by the wayside lately.
So today I am thankful for…
the roof over my head
the food I cook every night
the job I mostly love
the fuzzy critters who make me laugh even though they take up way more than their share of the bed every night
my darling Lancelot who helps keep me sane and gives amazing hugs
I find myself wondering these days, a lot, how I used to do all of the running around I used to do. Granted, at that time my mom lived here and she took care of a lot of the house stuff, but still. I used to actually drive to see my therapist every other week, and to the grocery store on the way home from work sometimes, and out shopping just for the FUN of it. What the hell people? Just thinking about those things exhausts me now.
I do have to say, I’m really glad that I’m still driving to pick Lancelot up every morning. I’m starting to hear stories about people who aren’t starting their vehicles often enough or letting them run long enough when they do having trouble with their batteries dying. It’s not good. But I have my short little trip every morning to go fetch my honey and bring him home. At least once a week we do a grocery run. It’s not much, but it helps.
I talked to one of my faculty friends yesterday and she mentioned how she feels like now that we’re working “remote” (which is fancy talk for working at home) she’s working way more hours than she used to. She said that she’s been working at her dining room table and it’s just too easy to neglect breaks and she finds herself working until much later in the evening.
I am not doing that, not at all. I’m taking breaks regularly, I have to, my butt gets numb. I’m also trying to take an actual Lunch Hour every day. That’s usually my last opportunity of the day to visit with L before he goes to bed so that time is precious to me. But I also know how important it is for my mental health to step away from this desk and not stare at a screen.
So for anyone else out there working “remote” right now, here are my tips for surviving having the office follow you home:
Find a way to stay connected to your coworkers, particularly the ones you enjoy. Say hello to them just because you can; it’s good for everyone.
Keep as many of your regular routines as possible. For example, I get up at the same time and take a shower every morning. I also typically dress very similar to how I would have for the office. I’m not wearing makeup much these days but I do wear jewelry. It makes me feel like I’m working.
Another item from the “keeping routines” category – if you used to stop for fancy coffee on your way to work, figure out how to make it at home and then do that. I’m having iced lattes every morning and the only place I stop is my fridge.
Set yourself a regular schedule in terms of hours. Stick within the guidelines your employer sets but then make sure you aren’t working a 12 hour day unless that’s what you’ve been told to do. Seriously, unless you’re an hourly employee and they’re paying you overtime, do not do that shit to yourself.
Take time every day to enjoy your hobbies or at least something that makes you feel good. I haven’t been knitting much because the skin on my hands is is way too dry, but I’ve discovered that cooking for L makes me feel good and is just another kind of creative outlet.
I realize that not everyone has the luxury of having a space that can be dedicated for an office, but I find it helps me a ton. It allows me to quite literally “leave” work at the end of the day or when I need a break. There’s something about that physical separation from the rest of the house that helps. Plus, I have my office decorated in a way that I find very calming while still encouraging productivity. It’s actually one of my favorite rooms in the house.
We’ve been told that our campus will remain officially closed through June 1st at least. My guess is that we’ll be closed the entire summer though it really is just a guess. Fall semester will allegedly be back to at least partially on-campus but I’m not sure how they’re going to make that work. In a way I’m hoping to be given the option to continue working at home, at least for the majority of the time. As much as I found myself fighting this system when we first started I find now that I really do enjoy it the majority of the time.
What are you all struggling with most right now? Let’s see if the power of crowd-sourcing can help find solutions for all of us.
I’m going to be real honest, this isn’t the type of post I normally do. But I want to post something today and the idea is mostly appealing, and I’m not in the frame of mind to write much else. And I will admit that the trip down memory lane to find these pictures was enjoyable. I just still have a lot to do with the move and I feel kind of horrible that I still have a lot to do. Anyway, here goes…
This is a circular vest that’s mostly knit, a little crochet. The very interesting striped area in the middle was hand spun by a dear friend and was a gift in 2017 when I had my left ovary removed. We didn’t know what was going on at the time so she named the yarn “Alien Removal Remedy.”
This is sitting just behind me right now and is one of the more interesting glass pieces I’ve made. It’s 3D and really does look like a flower.
I wish I could tell you how old this picture is but I really can’t. It was almost certainly pre-diagnosis, so before 2006, but other than that I can’t recall. The hat was a first prize winner in a contest at the yarn shop I went to every Thursday night. It’s a black bucket style hat, knit and then felted, and the roses were also felted and then sewn on, and there are a few needle felted tendrils. All of the roses and leaves were done using scrap yarn. I still have, and wear, that hat to this day.
In the days before Lithium I was able to make beautiful beaded works of art. Now, not at all. I made several of these angel ornaments and kept this blue one for myself. The body and wings are made from 11/0 seed beads. She’s still around here somewhere, a reminder of days gone by.
This was a rather large fused glass plate that I did entirely freehand. It was sitting on an oblong crocheted doily that I made, back when I could still do thread crochet. The plate has since been broken by overly energetic kittens.
When I was first diagnosed the women that I met with every Thursday took up a collection and bought me the most beautiful yarn to let me know they loved me. It was many, many years later before I was able to work with it but this is what I did. It’s a raglan style cardigan with a single button closure. Still have it, still love it.
One of the things I used to do a ton of was cross stitch. This isn’t cross stitch, it’s called blackwork, but it’s very similar. I spent my lunch breaks for I don’t even know how many weeks in 2003 working on this sampler. The bands were free patterns that I found online and pieced together myself. I am ridiculously proud of this. I had thought when Lancelot moved in that it would be moving out of the basement, but he apparently also really likes it.
In the course of my life I have done:
cross stitch / blackwork
ceramics / polymer clay
So there you have it, some of my favorite things. What have been your favorite projects?
Needless to say, some things just aren’t improving much. It’s getting scarier to go to the store, and even when you do go, they don’t have all of the stuff you’d like to get. Like bread. Or toilet paper.
Seriously, what the actual fuck is up with the toilet paper thing???
But I digress. I’m still trying to get my shit sorted out, both personal and professional. Work is still taking place at home and it sounds like we’re about to the point where we’ll be shutting the campus down officially and entirely for awhile. Suits me just fine. I’m getting used to working in leggings and tennis shoes. Plus, I have a seriously hunky new co-worker.
Lancelot is moving in. Wait, no, that’s not quite right. L has basically moved in. We don’t have all of his stuff here just yet but we’ve started working on that, slowly. He’ll be totally moved in by the end of May.
This is happening faster than we anticipated but we’re both very excited about it. The dog is particularly excited.
Anyway, it’s something good that’s happening but it is change. So much change lately, seriously. Yesterday I had my therapy appointment over something very much like Zoom. It was weird though still fairly effective. Totally better than no therapy at all.
So I’m still working on figuring out what I want my world to look like, but that’s ok. I’m happy and that’s all that matters.
Yes, I’ve only been working at home for 8 days, but for fuck sake I have no damn clue what day it really is. Like, is this really Wednesday or did I skip something and it’s really Thursday?
Anyway, I’ve decided that this working from home shit just isn’t for me. I’m glad I still have work and that it’s pretty damn safe, but it sucks. The only real upside, besides not actually having to wear a bra if I don’t feel like it, is that there are a few more opportunities to try silly things, like this…
Snapchat filters on a laptop webcam, yay!
Has anyone else dried out their hands so much that their fingertips have become obliterated? No? Just me? I’m not even kidding here. My hands are so dried out from washing all the time that I can’t unlock my phone with the fingerprint scanner. It sucks.
The good thing about today? I finally feel like I’m getting caught up. When we left our offices to start working at home I was ridiculously behind in my work because there was just so much going on. Now I’m almost 100% caught up on my “normal” tasks. Hell, at this rate I might actually get some project work done this week.
My goal for next week is to get the treadmill setup so that I can get some walking in during the day.
I get up around 4:30am, like normal. I make a cup of coffee, like normal.
That’s pretty much where any resemblance to my old existence ends.
I might watch a little news, though honestly I don’t remember the last time I did. I might get the dishwasher emptied, though often that waits until closer to my lunch break. I shower and put on comfy clothes, something I used to only do on the weekends. I go pick up Lancelot, which is typical, except I never used to have to drive through a check point.
And then I get home and work in my basement, using two laptops instead of one with two additional monitors (so much nicer), and I don’t usually actually see another person in the flesh until dinner time.
This is not a great arrangement for me. I’m not terribly extroverted but I do enjoy the company of people, nice people anyway. I miss my friends. I miss the distraction of someone walking into my office just to shoot the shit for a few minutes. I miss being able to share my happys and sads with them. Fuck, I miss having a reason to wear nice clothes and put on makeup.
I’m glad that I’m safe (so far) and that no one I love has gotten ill, please don’t get me wrong. But I’m going to have to figure out what I need to do to keep from going completely bat-crap crazy. Suggestions are welcome.