Friday junk drawer post

It has been quite a busy, hectic, crazy week at work. And at home if I stop long enough to contemplate my whole days and whole life. All good things, just all good things happening at once this week.

Workload at my office job. Things are particularly busy right now with new clients and incoming work and other cases suddenly heating up and consuming a lot of time and attention. We have new staff that have had to hit the ground running from day 1, and I think everyone is happy to be immediately billable, even if they did not quite know how to report their time in and expenses in the billing system (that’s today’s training from me). For the most part it’s been working out pretty well – they are green enough to be happy to do the tedious reading and compiling of information and yet experienced enough to be mostly trusted under supervision. They also have bazillions of questions when I’m juggling a lot of tasks myself, and I finally just all the new hires for a how-to-succeed-administratively training course this morning. It actually went pretty well. I went over everything from how to input their time, guidelines for request time off, what to do when they are sick (stay home, call in ASAP to get coverage for anything needing immediate attention, and we will try hard not to bother you with phone calls and texts), payroll and payroll issues, expense reimbursements, when they can expect formal reviews, who to talk to about office supplies, the upcoming move, formal and informal chain of command, and how cubicles and office spaces are assigned. For the most part, it went very well, all their questions were answered, although there is always someone who is dissatisfied with the responses I provided and wanted to either discuss it in more detail, as if it were negotiable. She does have quite a lot to learn.

Office relocation for my office job. Our firm is moving to a larger office space in December. The actual build is starting in 2 weeks, but before that happens there have been reviews, changes, and approvals of plans, etc. I hate moving. I really hate moving in the office sense. While our new space will be a welcome relief of the cramped space we are presently utilizing, the logistics of finding, securing, and now building a new space are endless. Now that the majority of the actual physical space decisions have been made, the logistics of selecting a replacement/updated phone system, office equipment, office furnishings, updating stationery and updating our address in literally hundreds of places. It just seems like a lot of information and requests for quotes all arriving in my physical or email inboxes all at once, following by the phone calls and follow-up emails to ensure I received the information and have any questions.

My own small business – I feel like a rainmaker! Zero complaints about this, but I feel overwhelmed and over my capacity for work on my own little business right now. It is truly a temporary, transitory thing, with a couple of client referrals bringing in very specific and very time-consuming projects. I am adamant about never becoming so … ugly … as to have resentment toward clients for referring friends and business associates. That said, I am one person; I am my whole little firm. And for the most part I like it that way. I am already utilizing subcontractors I trust for a couple of larger jobs that really only require my review of final deliverables. My 2 most recent clients had interesting projects and for the first half of the month until they are wrapped up I have a lot of material to review and reports to prepare. But it’s okay; the projects are likely one and done situations and the follow-on maintenance work is just a few hours per month. I can grin and bear it and be grateful for the work.

New-to-us car for M. It has been a couple of months but M and I have been seeking a new-to-us 4WD/AWD SUV for him. He already drives a Honda CRV, which has proved to be a bit too small and light for where he likes to go, the running and camping type hobbies he likes to pursue. Last weekend we went to look at a 2008 Toyota Highlander, which was probably the most perfect vehicle of all our previous viewings. It was a private party sale, which tends to be complicated. Anyway, we looked it over, ran the VIN through Carfax, looked through his maintenance records … and walked away without committing. Since I buy all the cars in our household (I tend to be calm and reasonable during negotiations), this is our strategy. We knew we wanted this particular vehicle – it was well maintained, in good shape without being so perfect M would be reluctant to take it out for fear of scratching the paint. But it was FILTHY inside and out, and I felt it was overpriced. However, it had been listed for a few weeks and the people were moving soon, and I wanted to do some additional research and test my theory that they would call me back before I had a chance to contact them about it. Took a couple of days and some back-and-forth, but we finally came to terms on a price and picked it up yesterday. It’s still filthy dirty inside, but nothing that some soap, water, and elbow grease will not cure. The negotiating, the discussions with M, the picking it up and now doing the paperwork to get the title changed also gobbled up more of my time than I anticipated this week. And again, no complaints; M got a vehicle he really, really wanted at a price we are both happy about. And M will be the one with the bucket of soapy water supplying all the elbow grease to clean up that bad boy. I would be fine taking it somewhere and having it professionally detailed, but M’s perfectionism would surge forth and he would be nitpicking the results. Better he just do it himself and then tell me about all the work required to get it cleaned up to his satisfaction. Hearing about his cleaning efforts is far preferably to his complaints about a detailer we have hired.

August cardio challenge. I knew this would be a challenge for me and for others, because finding an extra 30 minutes per day is not super easy when in the midst of a very busy month. But I am managing, between lunch hours and ability to expand my time in the gym on Saturday and get a walk in after pilates on Sunday. While not so much for me personally, I am super excited about this for the level of participation and conversation going on in my realm right now. It’s nice to see those who exercise regularly trying to fit more into their schedules and encourage others who are trying or just getting started to get off the couch.

Better health quest and tests, test results. This week was great to be done with breast cancer screenings and investigation for at least another year. The doctors appointments, the conversations, the reassurances that all is will no matter what – it is just another line item on my to-do list. I am extraordinarily grateful that people care and the ways they express it, and why it surprises remains one of life’s enduring mysteries. But it does. I feel very fortunate that it was not cancer or anything worrisome. Hopefully the trend continues forever.

Better health quest in general. Making a note to myself to not do shoulders/abs and chest/triceps Lists back-to-back on consecutive days. Perhaps it means something that upper body felt sort of weak this morning after yesterday’s shoulders and abs go-round? Nothing terrible happened, just felt different and probably should have flip-flopped tomorrow’s legs List with today’s chest and triceps. Living and learning, I suppose. And the mysteries of weight loss continue to perplex me. I eat pretty much the same stuff, day after day after day, and suddenly the scale is on some sort of determined march downward. Possibly, probably it is the additional activity, with the walking with my associates, or maybe it’s just time for body to release a few extra ounces each day.

Balancing their crazy with my desire for mainstream normal in a public space. The nutty guy who has been coming into the gym and the room where I typically work was back again this morning. Anymore he tends to leave me alone, other than a random greeting, but he runs around the room, climbs all over the TRX frame, shadowboxes, and talks loudly to invisible friends. His workouts are distracting and disruptive to my practice, a problem I accept is likely more my issue than his, because the second I notice his presence I lose my focus and not in good ways. However, I do not want it to escalate, because what can really be done? I do not foresee management having a conversation with this guy, because in truth he is not doing anything wrong enough to warrant that type of intervention. J is aware of him, and how much he tends to bother me (because in truth this kind of crazy seems to bother J as well), but again, the guy may be crazy but is seemingly harmless otherwise. I have found myself with a plan B for dealing with him to get my stuff done … and kind of resenting having to have a plan B in the first place. This morning I was early enough to be finishing up my List of the day when he appeared, so I was already fast-tracking to somewhere else in the gym to work at a couple of nemesis stable exercises. Maybe he is on a 2-week trial and will decide against signing up as a paying member. I can hope, anyway.

Being a sounding board for family members and friends. K had a difficult meeting with the aunt who took her in and raised her when her biological parents were incapacitated with drugs and alcohol. She arranged it with her therapist, because K felt meeting privately with her aunt was unhealthy. My admiration for my future daughter-in-law grows as the days pass, as her self-awareness is maturing and she is working on building up and strengthening inherent weaknesses from her childhood and family of origin. Unfortunately the meeting did not go as well as she had hoped, and she was left with the realization that she truly dislikes her aunt as a person, that the negative toxicity is not something she wants to be around, particularly when the aunt seems to have no interest or desire to alter her behaviors. Listening to her, talking about about this situation with her through the last year, I have come to realize that while we are family now, the trust she extends toward me is genuine and personal, not merely a token of respect for my place as G’s mom, that she values my input and thoughts. It’s humbling. I have rarely thought much good would ever come from my own childhood of Very Bad Things. From there we cross over to friend J, who called me about something else and me, horrible friend, ended up laughing out loud at some of his descriptions of the situations and emotions he is working through and coping with right now. Repeating it to M and I was laughing just trying to spit the words out, all the while feeling kind of terrible and horrified with myself for seeming so unsympathetic. But I am sympathetic and did talk him through the range of stuff he wanted to discuss; I just wish he had used more serious-sounding terms to describe the issue. But he still loves me, still trusts my judgment (mostly), and will never let me forget laughing when trying to discuss this existential crisis. (And yes, I am laughing now just thinking about it; not the actual crisis so much as the terms he deliberately chose to frame and describe it.)

I often joke about me and my first world problems. Because I really do not have problems right now; the issues in my life are temporary situations that will resolve themselves in short order and are very small cakes in the big picture. There is always going to be something worth worrying about or obsessing over if I allow it, and suddenly my very small cakes issues are elevated to Very Big Deal problems inside my head. I remember times when it was hard to get out of the tarpits of worrying about financial or relationship or parenting problems facing, trying desperately to find solutions when only time, patience, some level of sacrifice, or simply accepting the problem was not mine to solve was the only long-term cure.

Occasionally it’s good to recognize, and appreciate, being me.

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