23 April 2024

37 Emails and 3 Phone Calls

 Historically, I am busy in the Fall; late August to late October usually.  Then there's a lull and it picks up momentarily at the new year only to lull again.  I define busy as there is a running to-do list, deadlines, and lots of need from other parties.

It usually happens again in May, when advocates and managers realize that the school year is ending and there are requirements still to be met.  

Then 2024 happened.  Work has returned almost to the pre-pandemic levels so I'm consistently busy.  It's not unwelcome, but it's an adjustment.

Then this week happened.  It started out kind of a weird day with requests requiring second steps and unclear communication.  I ended the day with a to-do list and a plan but still feeling like I was running behind.

This morning I started work at 5:30 in the morning, as per the usual.  I worked about two hours but my brain was struggling to engage.  I decided to go lay down with Lucy and rest for a bit.  I set my alarm for thirty minutes, knowing that it would probably take forty-five minutes to re-engage.

At the 45 minute point, I checked my work on my phone.  FIVE EMAILS requiring attention.  I got up, sighing "So this is how it's gonna be today..." and went to work for another two, almost three hours.

It was a constant onslaught.  My job partner was doing monitoring.  When I do it, I call it audits.  So if a team member gets an audit email from me, they know it's serious.  Monitoring is also serious but they know if it then gets to me, whew.  All avenues have been exhausted and they have work to do.

Lucy and I went for walkies about mid-day, even though I had work to do.  I left, knowing that I was coming back to light chaos.  And I did.

I finished my day at 5:00 by walking away from the computer but still getting texts and requiring one trip back to the computer.  I told Kevin that he could watch whatever he wanted tonight because my brain is exhausted.  I want to play on my phone then go to bed.

But before that, one of the text conversations prompted an idea and now I have this waiting for me in the morning:

Color coded because I knew that 5:30 a.m. me would not understand 7:00 p.m. me.

Welcome back to the New Normal.  

22 April 2024

Happy Earth Day


The one who plants trees, knowing that they will never sit in their shade, 
has at least started to understand 
the meaning of Life.

02 April 2024

Missed My Turn, Ended Up in Footloose

 I'm on spring break this week.  It feels odd to just have...time.  Time on my hands and really no big projects to do.  Well, that's not true.  It's just that I had two projects planned and I finished them the weekend prior to spring break.  Hooray me?

Anyway, it's Tuesday and I'm a little listless.  Not in the I don't feel well kind of way but in the whiny, school-ager "I don't have anything to dooooo" kind of way.

This morning I went to the chiropractor because I woke up in a zig-zag pattern that was uncomfortable. I didn't take Lucy because she overdid it on Sunday and had a gummy then slept on the people bed instead. Once I was done being straightened, I thought I would go to the antique store.  But I just went last week so it was unlikely there were new treasures.  Then I thought I'll just go to the book store and the second hand store across the street. 

Then I missed my turn.  Like really, really missed my turn. I was on the one of the main roads that heads out into "the county" where yes, I could turn around but there wasn't easy side streets to backtrack.  I did finally get to the main road again but now I'm well past the book store and no where near where I could easily head home. I'm now on the opposite side of the county, if you will.

There's an estate/junk/antique store in a little town further out that I follow on social media.  I decided that the universe had spoken and I would just travel the additional...twenty? minutes out there.

I'm sure most of you have watched Footloose...either version, it doesn't matter.  This town is exactly like that town.  More churches than any town should have. Blue laws still on the books...as in you can have a  bar, but not dancing. Loud music is not a thing in cars or houses.  No cursing.  For example, you know those tourist signs that say "Boardwalk - turn left, historical district - turn right, museum - go forward" kind of thing.  There was one of those but for FOUR DIFFERENT churches.

This is not a place that I'm comfortable.  It's not a sundown town but it kind of has that vibe.  Maybe more of a Stepford town.  Like a stranger pulls in or walks into a restaurant and everyone turns.  I turned down my music when it changed to AC/DC, for example.  

I found the store and went inside.  I was the only customer and as predicted, I was just eyeballed with no greeting.  I should have gone to the antique store instead.  I walked around and saw some interesting things but nothing I couldn't live without.  

There was music playing and it was SO LOUD, which I found beyond ironic.  And it wasn't soothing, smooth jazz or soft rock. It was like loud alternative music.  But CHRISTIAN music.  I sighed and tried to tune it out.

But a lyric popped through my filter and I actually laughed out loud. It was a band that was like a bad Fall Out Boy band.  It went something like "Jesus was saved...because of a...a...a... Gravedigger"

MY HAND TO GAWD.  I was momentarily stunned...I mean, what. It's entirely possible that I'm not accurate with the lyric but it's awfully close.  Now I'm all "OH HELL NO" unironically and I start for the door.  Not before flipping over a book that was left on a table of how to be a good WOMAN.  And the description was A woman is not a woman without gawd.  SIGH.

Suffice it to say, I will not be returning to that store. And I unfollowed them on the social media.  They used to be in another town and had more of a junk store vibe that what is now.  Now it's a weird mix of junk, antiques, and way too many signs referring to wine.

I left disappointed and started to drive back out of town when I spotted a second hand store and a book store literally right next door to where I was.  I had parked the opposite way and in my haste to get out, I hadn't noticed.  I debated then circled back around and parked where I was parked before.

The second hand store had some stuff but again, nothing I couldn't live without.  They greeted me as I left, which is more than the other store.  Also, there was another customer in the store who laughed when I said "Accidental pun" in response to her stating a vacuum wasn't bagless and "that sucks".  Also, that's some strong language for that town, I must say.  

Next was the book store, which was a branch of a fantastic bookstore in the city.  I wondered if it was going to be different because the bookstore in the city is Very Open Minded, in a rainbow kind of way.  And it was; a clearly a scaled down version but very basic bookstore.  I bought a book from the used rack (The Little Paris Bookshop), some puppy chip-clips that I don't need but wanted. (Swistle, I still have three Pusheen chip clips!!!)   Then impulse bought two stickers. At the bottom of a bowl of stickers on the counter were low-key rainbow stickers, more pastel than primary colors.  A little subtle  (yet deniable) sign of support in a town that probably isn't welcoming.

It wasn't a waste of time as it was nice to be a tourist and not have anyone or anything waiting for me.  I just go without the Footloose/Children of the Corn vibe.