Cat In A Bag

Scout knows that seeing my work bag come out is bad news. It’s a sign that he’s about to be abandoned.

He doesn’t know and probably doesn’t care where I go when I leave but he does know that he will be sad. In this moment, he was pulling pens and a notebook out of the bag and seemed to be contemplating stuffing himself inside.

Maybe he thinks he’ll go with me someday.

Luckily, he doesn’t have to worry about that today. It’s Sunday and that means we’re home to do some chores, rest and recharge for the week ahead.

Enjoy your day, friends.

Back To Reality

Vacation is over and I’m headed back to work today. Luckily, I like my job and enjoy earning my own way in the world. All the same, I will miss the leisure time and having the opportunity to get stuff done during the week.

Scout has enjoyed it too. Here he is luxuriating with his favorite blanket and my book. If he looks irked, it’s because I woke him up taking his picture. I hate to tell him that we won’t get to relax with a book and a blanket today!

Happy New Year and Happy Monday. Here’s to new beginnings.

A Fresh Start

Returning to the office last week provided some challenges for keeping myself healthy and safe after months of working from home. However, it has also provided opportunities for a fresh start with new routines and priorities.

I was able to set a new schedule that hinges on getting up a little earlier, something that doesn’t come easily to me. However, this gets me into the office before most others and it gets me out of the office earlier as well.

Even an extra thirty minutes each evening can feel like a lot when you work full time.

One thing I loved about working from home is the found time that was no longer needed for tasks like commuting or fixing my hair. I could throw a load of laundry in to wash in the morning and put it away at lunch or use my break to clean the bathroom. Instead of devoting an entire evening to house cleaning, it could be done in 15 minute increments before work and at lunch. So I have now broken up housework into smaller tasks to be done each evening.

Last Monday, by 6 p.m. I had walked two miles, vacuumed the house and was heating up dinner. By 7, my lunch was packed, dishes done and the kitchen floor mopped, freeing up the remaining evening hours to read and relax. I curled up with Scout in my favorite chair and embraced the luxurious feeling of productivity rewarded by relaxation.

Another big piece of this new routine will be working in a couple of hikes each week. Experience has taught me that I’m healthier and happier when I move in nature. Besides, a friend and I are planning a big hiking trip next fall and there’s no time like the present to start training.

For someone who likes to plan and who thrives on going out and doing things, this pandemic has been rough. All the cancelled plans and disappointments have been hard on the morale and the loss of control has potential to be paralyzing.

Luckily, there are some things within our control. Most of us have some say over how we structure our free time and what we prioritize.

Right now, my focus is on building a life that I don’t need a vacation from to be happy. It seems logical to me given that most people have only a few weeks of vacation a year. If you get two weeks for being happy on vacation, that means you’re spending fifty weeks struggling and living for the other two.

Now is our chance to turn that ship around and simply build a happy life.

Who’s with me? What are you doing to build a happier life for yourself?

Meet My Coworker

This is my new coworker. His name is Scout and he has some really annoying work habits.

First off, he steals my chair every time I get up.

And he isn’t at all apologetic when I demand my seat back.

He also enjoys sitting on papers I need and lying right next to the computer.

Plus, he spends a lot of time just gazing out the window and talking to the birds. Not very productive, if you ask me.

I’ve worked in a few offices but never had a coworker quite like this one. When I’m on the phone, he likes to steal the pen right out of my hand.

I really don’t know what to do about him so it’s a good thing he’s cute! Do you have a coworker? I’d love to hear about them!

Cancelled Plans and Quarantines

Anyone who has been reading here for a while might remember the Winter Survival Guide I wrote last fall. Well, it sadly, now contains much relevant advice for anyone who isn’t accustomed to staying at home for long periods of time.

Thanks to COVID – 19, lots more people know how to spell the word apocalypse and have such an enormous supply of toilet paper they won’t need to stock up for a few years. Many parents have learned that their kids aren’t such great students after all and that staying home from work isn’t so fun when you have nowhere to go.

The year just isn’t working out as planned.

There were a number of adventures on my calendar beginning this week so I have been working hard to coax myself out of the mindset that I’ll soon be out running around and exploring the world.

Friends, it has been a real challenge.

At this point, I go to the office and back home. Even my hair appointment got cancelled! I think I speak for ladies everywhere when I say that I’m not prepared to meet the four horsemen of the apocalypse with my roots showing but have no choice thanks to common sense and an order from the governor.

While work has kept me busy, home has made me lethargic. But I’m not the type to just sit around. Instead, I’m typically up and moving, busy with chores and trying to make the most of the little time I have each evening.

This has been a struggle as well

I have started a list of things to do/clean/read/organize/ research for a few weeks. Maybe when this all over, my house will be in order and all those little projects wrapped up.

Meanwhile, Scout is thrilled to have me home so at least someone is happy!

Stay safe, friends. Follow direction from the CDC and remember the quicker we all distance and quarantine ourselves, the quicker this will all be done and life can settle into a new normal.

There are better days ahead.

Problems And Fresh Perspective

This week has been challenging. I’m tired and haven’t felt well since getting a flu shot. Everyone needs something. Lots of people are picking at each other. Things just aren’t going well and obstacles have been the norm rather than the exception to the rule.

The key phrase yesterday was “you’ve got to be kidding me.”

A full blown tantrum has been on the horizon for several days.

But a work errand sent me to Columbus yesterday where I drove past Children’s Hospital and Ronald McDonald House. There was a woman wrangling two small children outside Ronald McDonald House and it occurred to me there are people out there with real, life threatening problems.

So I took a big breath of fresh air and decided it best to appreciate the good in my problems. That’s not to say they aren’t real but my issues right now would fall into a category that should be marked “Headaches” rather than “Day-Shattering-Tantrum-Inducing-Crises.”

I’m busy because people need me and because I have a job. That flu shot was covered by my health insurance and may keep me healthy later. Those obstacles that keep screwing up my schedule? That could all be a plot by the universe to keep me alive for another day. If an accident happens in the blink of an eye, all these delays could be preventing something terrible from making matters worse.

Sometimes you just have to pause a moment and reframe things. A good gulp of fresh air and a new perspective never hurt anyone.

Let’s see what hurdles this day holds, shall we?