Today has been one of those days. I’ve been a little out of sorts and my body hasn’t felt quite right. I’m hoping that this evening I’m able to relax and feel settled.
I gave the last of my “official” workshops today and that will help with some of my stress. I don’t mind doing workshops but I much preferred the days when it was safe to do them in person. I have learned a lot about this method of delivery just by trying things, and that’s how I tend to learn best. The hardest part for me is when I don’t have anyone with their webcam turned on so I don’t get any kind of non-verbal feedback. I didn’t realize how much I adjust what I’m saying/doing based on that.
At any rate, it went well and now they’re done. So yay. And Eric came in this afternoon to chirp at me and give me little head-bops. I love my furkids. Dinner is (shocking!) in the crock pot already. New recipe tonight that I’m hoping turns out well. Last night’s curry was excellent. I’m trying to pull together some “5 ingredient or less” crock pot recipes now so that I can do some truly easy stuff.
I’m behind, like seriously behind. I had thought, stupidly enough, that because I only have one meeting today I would have a chance to catch up.
In the time from when I left Friday afternoon until about an hour ago I’ve gotten 17 emails from ONE professor. Make that 18, another one just came in. So now I’m about to get to convert a PDF full of scanned text into a Word doc, fix the mess that’s going to happen with the text that’s clear, add dates, recreate it as a PDF, and upload it. Because I have nothing better to do. Oh, it’s 41 pages worth.
And I’ve got another one who has sent probably 10 emails today and doesn’t really seem any more inclined than the other one to actually listen to me.
This morning something smelled like it got into our AC and died, so that was a fun adventure. The thermostat for that part of the house isn’t cooperating, which means I have the service people coming out to take a look, which isn’t going to be cheap.
I got to go to the bank today because I had to cancel my account and immediately open a new one. Long time issue that I finally got fed up with. So now I have a shit-ton of brand new checks I’ll get to shred.
And I was reminded that our Fall workshops start this week and I’m up first.
On the plus side, the weekend was pretty decent. And I think I’m going to make myself some eggs and toast for dinner. Total comfort food for me.
I’m thinking today is mostly a wash at this point. I’ll get up early tomorrow and try to get some stuff done while the rest of the world sleeps.
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…
Oh wait, wrong story. Let me try again.
For a first week of the semester this hasn’t sucked ass too badly. We did have some serious tech issues to start things on Monday, but that’s been the worst of it. So that was good.
And I got some knitting done. I actually managed a lot of knitting, including this beauty.
It very desperately needs to be blocked but I don’t even care. It’s amazing. Then this morning I pulled this out of hiding and finished it.
It did end up much longer, like scarf length, which was the plan. The next project on the block is either going to be another scarf that’s in pieces and just needs assembled OR it might be a pair of cabled fingerless mitts for my friend K. Those currently consist of a single ribbed cuff.
It feels good to be finishing some projects. Yesterday I didn’t feel like I had much mental capability so I cleaned up my office. It helped. This afternoon before I wake L up I’m planning on tearing apart the guest bathroom off the main hallway. There’s an overabundance of junk in there.
Lancelot and I have lived together in this house a little more than four months and we’re still working to get everything in place. Sometimes you just have to take your best guess as to how you’ll want things setup and then step back for a while and see how it goes. I’m finding myself at the point where I’m ready to make some changes. The other day I swapped the contents of two drawers because they just weren’t working.
Perhaps I’m mental. Perhaps.
Perhaps I eat a lot of chicken curry. Yes, yes I do. I’ve decided it’s one of the easiest dinners I can cook without really cooking anything. I do everything except the rice in the slow cooker so it’s total minimal effort. And I found the tiny naan at the grocery store. They fit in the toaster so you can easily have them nice and warm. It’s perfect!
This week’s cheap and cheerful grocery store bouquet. I’ve decided that having fresh flowers makes me ridiculously happy and is well worth the small price tag.
Last week was rough. No, ROUGH. On Tuesday I picked Lancelot up from work early in the morning, came home, and crawled back into bed for three hours. I spent my work day in pajama pants and a t-shirt. I’m not sure if I was coming down with a cold or if I’d just gotten too run down or what. But it wasn’t good.
Is anyone else at that point where you freak the hell out any time you sneeze?
Anyway, I finally started to feel better when I realized I actually do need to take care of myself. I started a new shawl, I started eating a little better, and I let myself wear pajama pants a lot. It was good and it helped.
The pattern, not that you can tell a damn thing right now, is Tumbledown Mountain and the yarn is Mille Colori Sock and Lace. The colors are WILD. The pattern is fairly sedate to start with so the stripes are going to be amazing. So far this is just what I need, delightfully relaxing knitting that I don’t have to think about much.
I’ve also been trying to get some stuff taken care of around the house that I’ve been neglecting. I’m not one that normally lets the laundry get out of hand, but I had, so I got that caught up. And we got our wedding pictures printed and framed, which was nice. All in all it was just a very good weekend.
Garth approved. Garth usually approves, unless Pippy is chewing on his tail. He actually snuggled with me most of last night. It’s nice except he likes to bite. I did get a really nice surprise yesterday from my stepdad.
A Child of my very own. And he likes Prickly Pear Red Bull Refreshers from the coffee shop. We’re going to need all the caffeine we can get. Today is the first day of the semester for us and there have already been some massive technical issues that have impacted a vast portion of the planet. Nothing like starting off having one of your most critical tools take a shit right in the middle of your breakfast.
This was the last creative thing I’ve done, and that was on Sunday. That should tell you something, not only about how busy I’ve been but also a little about the state of my mental well being.
It ain’t good.
I guess cooking counts. I whipped up a batch of curry earlier this week. I like to make this in the slow cooker because I can dump everything in and walk away for a few hours and come back to delicious. These days if the cooking isn’t happening while I’m working, it just isn’t going to happen. I’m afraid to say that my health in general is suffering these days.
Last night I had Pippy and Eric curled up with me on the couch. My evenings tend to involve having a little dinner around 6:30 and then watching a little TV with the furkids. I just don’t have it in me to knit or do laundry or anything much. I’m exhausted.
We’ve had a fair amount of rain lately and this morning it was rather horrible. We had thunderstorms so bad that the dog got freaked out, and storms seldom bother her. I didn’t hear quite how much rain we got but my guess is that it was several inches.
So our semester starts on August 24th which means part of what I’m dealing with in terms of being so busy is just normal start of semester stuff. Part of it though deals with the plague. I’ve been working with more faculty moving courses online that ever before. It’s been exciting but well and truly exhausting. I’ve been starting my days around 6am and not quitting until at least 6pm. My days are lots of meetings which means the actual “work” has to get done outside the normal hours when people expect to meet. Today my last meeting is at 4pm. It’s been rough.
Wish me luck y’all, I’ve got a few more days to get through…
Good news first… The hematologist was very nice and not concerned that I have some scary blood disorder. He ran a few tests just to be sure but his opinion is that I’m just fine.
Other good news… We’re less than 2 weeks from the wedding. I would tell you exactly how many but me and math, it’s just ugly.
COVID friendly wedding favors. (and no, his name isn’t really Lancelot)
Prototype decorations to line the path from the driveway up to the garden. I think it needs more green tulle.
My bouquet is wood flowers, that I purchased already assembled, so I made the flowers for Lancelot, Mom, and R. Not horrid.
My assistant this morning, performing vital paperweight duties.
I spent a few hours Saturday morning working, another four or so yesterday, and then today got up and started around 5am. And now they’re doing some damn email migration nonsense so I can’t get in to my email. Not good.
I’ve worked for the same university for 20 years, more if you count the time I worked there as a student. The start of the Fall semester is always busy. Always. It’s indescribable. All you can do is keep your arms and legs inside the ride and hold on for dear life.
Now, let’s toss in a pandemic, just for fun. More classes than ever are going to be taught online. That means my particular skill set is in HIGH demand.
Now, let’s toss in my health not being great. And my mental health, under control yes, but still tricky sometimes.
Now, let’s toss in my wedding which will take place in FOURTEEN DAYS.
Yesterday I quit work at 6:30pm (I started shortly before 8am) and I ate ice cream for dinner.
I don’t want y’all to think it’s all bad. It’s not bad, it’s chaotic. And tiring. But I am still knitting, slowly. There’s nothing like a top down shawl to make you question your sanity.
Reyna is beautiful but I’m to a point where finishing a single row is an accomplishment.
Lest you think everything is shit… Lancelot found this little headpiece I got in Dubai and we had this moment of pure joy the other day during my lunch break. It’s the pieces of magic like this that make my life worthwhile right now.
My life is perhaps a little unusual. I go to bed most nights around 8pm and then my alarm goes off in the morning at 4:15am. Part of this is just my body clock and part of it is because Lancelot works 11:30pm until some time in the morning. It used to be 7:30 but then the plague hit and now it’s usually more like 5:30. He takes an Uber to work at night but then I get him in the morning. Sounds way worse than it is.
But lately I’m just tired. Pippy hasn’t necessarily been cooperating with bedtime and my work is getting busier. I’m actually awake and at the computer this morning at… clock says 4:30am… and I’ll be starting to work shortly. There’s just too much to get done with the start of a very unknown semester starting in a little more than a month.
Oh, and did anyone remember that L and I get married in a little less than a month? So anyway, sorry I’ve been absent. I really have missed writing. Here are some pictures to hopefully cheer us all up.
Anyway, life is life and I’m still totally thankful but GODDAMNIT WHY DO I WORK WITH FUCKING MORONS???
Sorry, that was 100% necessary. Really, it was. I’ve got a good person being held back by red tape and a fucking monkey holding the tape dispenser. I hate it when that happens.
And it’s time for our annual performance evaluations and I really hate that. Yes, totally glad I have a job right now and that this job allows me to work from home during The Plague. Honest. But I always get seriously freaked out about losing my job, partially because they just eliminated 13 positions in our unit. Some of those people had been here for their entire careers and were on the verge of retirement. I shit you not.
Yes, I am wound a little tight right now, why do you ask? And I find myself in need of a stronger word than “fuck” because that’s just not cutting it anymore.
On the plus side of things – I don’t have to cook tonight because I have a variety of leftovers in the fridge. I have a quilling kit from Lancelot that I haven’t opened yet but might try to get into tonight. I got to see Mom this morning and get a hug. And I have lots of music I can listen to that will hopefully help soothe this savage beast.
I just need to get myself through the next few days, I can do that, right?
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.