running as fast as I can but one foot is nailed to the floor

Seriously, it’s not Friday? Are you sure? FUCK.

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?

 

 

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.

why is meatball tuesday not a thing?

While I was trying to get the dog to come in the other morning, something that’s becoming more of a challenge, I managed to get this picture of a bumblebee in the grape hyacinths. And that’s good because those flowers are being destroyed by the dog. If she’s not digging in the beds she’s laying on the flowers, sunning herself. I’m not exactly impressed.

In other news I have pretty well lost track of how long I’ve been doing this “work from home” thing though my research this morning suggests it’s been since March 23rd, so that’s roughly 1000 weeks, right? Don’t get me wrong, I feel very fortunate to still be employed and earning a salary, totally. I’m not exactly excited that we’ve been told we’ll be operating like this likely the whole summer. Not thrilled.

I have to admit that it’s nicer now that I have a proper office space to work in and I have an extra monitor for my laptop. That’s actually helping a lot.

The house is coming along nicely. The only area that’s still being worked on is Lancelot’s man cave, formerly known as my office in the basement. He’s got a LOT of DVDs and books and we still haven’t moved everything in yet. It’s a process. But progress is being made.

So here’s something those of you who have never been in a relationship with someone who does shift work have thought of – meal planning, how? Consider… I work days and so eat my final meal of the day around 6pm. He works nights and so eats his final meal of the day around 10am. I hate cooking for myself and I don’t want him to have to cook for himself.

My new criteria for “dinners” are that they make enough for both of us to have at least one meal, preferably two, are considered at least a little healthy, and that they reheat well. I am not finding this as easy as I had hoped I would. Enter the Crock Pot.

Some of you may know this culinary wizard as a slow cooker, same thing. And it is my new best friend. Right now I have a batch of meatballs cooking that I will later throw over mashed potatoes. These are frozen meatballs taking a bath in beef broth, cream of mushroom soup, and Lipton’s beefy mushroom soup mix. I have high hopes for this.

building a life worth living

There’s a tenet in DBT that basically says you should be trying to build yourself a life that’s actually worth living, based on what’s important to you. It’s a weird concept for many of us with mental health struggles, but it’s well worth embracing. I’ve been trying to remind myself, a lot lately, that the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel is that life worth living and I alone get to decide what’s included.

More importantly, I get to decide what’s NOT included.

My relationship with my sister has always been tenuous, even back to when we were kids. She likes to have her own way. No, actually, she always insists on having her own way. When we were young she would hit if she didn’t get what she wanted. As she grew older she used words. Mean, spiteful, hate filled words.

I have to stop to insert a bit of happy news. My mom is getting married. She’s known R since they were 9 years old, he’s a very nice man, and I have never seen her this happy before. I am 100% over the moon excited for them, and so is Lancelot. Hell, so is everyone who knows. Everyone except my sister and the kids.

Somehow she’s convinced that it’s possible to cheat on a dead man. I don’t get it. R’s pastor doesn’t get it. “Til death do you part” means that when one of you dies the other is no longer married. But, not in H’s mind.

Over the course of the last week all hell has literally blown up. There’s been screaming, crying, cursing, and declaring people dead. That’s the point at which I blocked her number and decided that I really don’t need this bullshit.

I’m fairly sure that it’ll be a very long time before I see my nieces again, if ever. H has always used them as a weapon, and that’s unfortunate. I just can’t tolerate the hate she keeps spewing. Sometimes walking away is the victorious thing to do.

Pippy says that sitting on people is also victorious.

In other good news, this is my last day of work for a whole week. Lancelot and I had originally had this week off to dog sit while Mom went on a trip, but that was before the world went sideways so now we’re going to use the time to start moving him in officially. I’m very excited about that.

I’m hoping that once life settles into a bit more of a regular routine I’ll be able to start knitting again. Right now by the time I finish working for the day I have just enough energy to make something to eat, watch a little news, and then crawl into bed. Once we get things cleaned out and organized, oh and moved, I think that’s going to help.

On a tangent, does anyone else live somewhere you can now get cocktails to go with your carry out order? L and I did carry out fajitas from our favorite Mexican restaurant a few weeks ago and got blue margaritas to go with them. That is one of the odder, yet nicer, things to come out of The Rona.

out da window

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.

what damn day is it anyway?

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.

what is normal anymore?

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.