trip to nowhere

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.

Where are we going and why am I in this damn basket?

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.

the smell of a plan first thing in the morning

I will make a plan for you Mama! I am good with the computer!

In all fairness, this is not first thing in the morning. First thing in my morning was probably around 3am with Dogzilla woke me up to go out. She was slightly more gentle about it today. We started by squeaking the toy that Garth had thoughtfully left on the bed for us. Once she realized I was half-conscious she put her paw on my shoulder and looked at me.

Have you ever just known that a dog was looking you square in the face even though it was near pitch black in the room? It’s a scary thing, even if that dog is a 21.6lb black puppy with very curly hair. And it’s scary because it’s the look that means “I will pee on this bed if I have to, try me.”

I digress, as usual.

I would love to have a plan today but it’s Monday and I’m still a little wore out from the weekend. We had dinner with Mom and R on Friday night, mostly so I could deliver her Mother’s Day flowers a little early.

She loves fresh flowers and this big ol’ arrangement had a little bit of everything in it. What you can’t see in this picture are the cluster of Stargazer Lilies on the other side. She’s carrying a bouquet of those when she gets married next month.

His smile really is what I fell in love with. He’s such a gentle soul, and a good son-in-law. Those flowers were overly full of cold water and he wore a significant amount of that on the drive over.

Anyway, Saturday we took the pup to the vet for an allergy issue, ran errands, then I ran all over the neighborhood because the pup got out and was being obstinate. Good times. And then on Sunday we did brunch here at the house. I made a breakfast casserole that my mom and L really like and a batch of peach bread pudding. It was a lovely morning.

Aren’t they adorable together?

So are we. And yes, now that my hair is short in front I’ve decided it can be curly because I’m not interested in fighting with it. I’ll leave you with one last delightful little image…

This is my kitty and I loves him lots.

it’s a thing I do

I was finally able to get my hair cut today and DAMMIT did I get it cut! The front is way shorter than it was because it had gotten so fucking long that half the time I could only see out of one damn eye and it annoyed me. ANNOYED. So today I told my stylist to hack that shit off, and the shit was hacked, and I’m happy. It’s cute. And Lancelot likes it, so that’s all that really matters I guess.

Yes, it’s May and I’m wearing a sweater. The wind has been blowing like an F5 tornado here and it’s cold. I don’t like to be hot but I’m also not keen on being cold in May.

I’ve still been doing my meal planning stuff and apparently doing a good job. L has loved every meal I’ve made. Granted, he has kind of low standards if you ask me, but still. I’m doing my own invention tonight and I have high hopes. I’ve got pork chops in the crock pot with a can of Coke Zero (it was lingering in the fridge, don’t judge). I’m about to go add a healthy amount of chunky cherry jam to it. I’m thinking it would work well with sweet potatoes but I don’t know if I have any.

Wish me luck!

These two are lazy. This is where they spend damn near every afternoon. Once L goes to sleep they get bored and hang out with me.

my coworkers are jerks

Garth is turning into quite the little micro-manager. I still love him though.

So things are getting interesting around here. In the “petty nonsense” category I spent the better part of my team meeting this morning prying my solar nails off with the file attachment on a pocket knife. I also have no fingerprints left, thank you obsessive hand washing. And right now I can’t really do the work I need to be doing because the system I need to access has pretty well tanked. Thank you global pandemic.

Saturday Lancelot and I stayed at my house and watched the entire first season of The Mandalorian. I had watched most of it so I let him get caught up and then we watched the last two episodes together. I can’t wait for the next season.

Being here meant he got to spend time with Dog Blossom. He loves that pup, and she loves him. I do not necessarily love sharing the bed with him, and the dog, and both cats. That’s a lot of creatures in one queen sized bed. But it was a good weekend.

This is week two of working from home for me. I still don’t love it, but I’m managing. I have been tracking my weight, just to make sure I’m not putting any excess on. I think I’m going to see if Mom will help me get the treadmill setup so that I can walk in the mornings before work. A little more activity will be good for me.

I honestly can’t remember if I’ve mentioned this or not but I’ve been taking a picture of myself, or having L take one, every day since my birthday. I’ve been referring to it as “Day # of Being 44” and I post it on Facebook. I honestly don’t give a shit what anyone else thinks, or if they bother to think anything at all, I’m doing this for myself. This year is going to be odd, to say the least. My birthday happened in the middle of a fucking pandemic. So yeah, things will change. Plus, there is personal change coming. Knowing all of that I want to document what the change does to the outside of me.

Will I smile less at the start and then more when I’m closer to 45? Will I ever wear makeup again? Will I keep my hair this short? I don’t know any of these answers any more than y’all do, and I’m curious. Besides, it’s a minor distraction from the chaos that we are literally surrounded by right now.

 

working from home

I am not super excited about working at home, it’s just not my thing. But I’m trying to make the best of it.My coworkers are kind of jerks sometimes, but it’s nice that they’re spending more time with me.

My biggest issue is that I miss my friends on campus. I chat with them off and on but it’s not quite the same. I’ve been able to see Lancelot the last two mornings and that helps, a ton. I know he’s worried about me, and I know why. He’s sweet.

The birthday wasn’t what either of us had planned, but I really thought it was good. L got me two gorgeous necklaces and a really cool resin skull with Celtic knot designs all over it. Mom’s friend R got me a baby Yoda coffee mug.

It’s not the stuff or the place that makes an occasion, it’s the people you’re surrounded by.

 

trying to find normal

Pretty much everything around here is closing. Restaurants, bars, churches, schools. I’m thinking it’s just a matter of time before I start working from home. And then this morning when I picked up Lancelot they had blocked a section of the parking lot because they’re going to put in tents and screen everyone before their shift starts.

I’ve been screened twice, once before each doc appointment I’ve had this week, so I get it. We’re worried, rightly so, and checking for a fever is a fast way to help reduce the spread. But it’s a little scary.

So I’m trying to keep things as normal as I can.

I’m taking silly pictures of the kitties. Garth has been picked up by Penelope a lot so he’s taken to hiding on top of the linen cupboard in my bathroom.

This morning I spent a little time with my fella watching the Dropkick Murphys concert from last night. If you missed it you should definitely go out to YouTube and watch. It was phenomenal.

As much of my life as I can keep the same I am. I’m having to make a few adjustments like everyone is, but I refuse to let this get me down. My 44th birthday is this Saturday and I’ll be damned if I let anything fuck with that.

 

insert catchy title here

I had my first date with Lancelot on August 12, 2018. It was  pretty much love at first sight for me. Those big blue eyes, that gentle smile, the sarcasm. I was sold.

We’ve had our share of rough times since then. I’ve left the country three times, started and then stopped a second graduate degree, and he’s worked a fuckton of overtime. But we’ve stuck together because we love each other.

Life around here has been interesting. The university has decided to give students an extended spring break and then everyone is moving to online. I think it’s only a matter of time before the campus is shut down entirely.

I don’t necessarily object to working from home. I would have the boys around.

And I could for sure pick Lancelot up every morning.

I would miss my friends though, and the structure of work. I think that’s something a lot of people aren’t really thinking about yet. Kids, and people like me, need that structure. When we don’t have our regular routines we eventually suffer.

I can already see it happening with me.

I have a serious backlog of laundry, the sheets desperately need to be change, the plants need to be watered, pills need to be filled, and I haven’t knit in what feels like forever. Today I’m at work but I’m in jeans, no makeup, and the only jewelry is my ring from L. Kind of feels like a rock bottom to me. And that can mean only one thing.