The aviary, anxiety, and getting on with it

Mish-mash catch-all post with updates on various happenings in my life. Busy days this shortened work week, but before I get too engulfed by various things I wanted to provide a quick update on current events.

Cheepers

I wish I’d thought to take a more recent photo, but Cheepers is still with us and appears to be thriving. That said, I have concerns about his longevity, visions of setting him free in the wild only to be snatched on his first freedom flight by the hawk, the big bad boogey bird of the greenbelt behind our home. Or worse, crashing down and within reach of our cats, who then dash off to consume him in private and well out of reach of M’s wrath.

He eats pretty well when M feeds him, drinks water pretty well from an eye dropper that M puts in his beak, and can fly a bit when M launches him from the floor a couple of feet off the ground. Other than that, Cheepers is pretty much completely dependent. He’s not a terrible housemate – he either stays in his box (in the air conditioned comfort of the house) or on his paper plate (when we are at home to ensure he doesn’t fall off whatever surface his plate is resting upon). He goes outside in the cage for a few hours each day in the nice temperatures of the mornings and evenings. Overnight, he sleeps uncaged on his paper plate on M’s nightstand. He starts cheeping for breakfast when the sun comes through the windows, but even with me rustling around getting ready to leave for the gym at 4 in the morning that bird stays with beak tucked into his wing and happily sleeping.

I’m not sure what will happen to him, frankly, but I can envision a future with us having a bird pet for however long he lives. It’s now been 2 weeks, and while other birds of his species – that may or may not be the parent birds – are out in the yard, they seem pretty indifferent to him and he to them. Birdy-Bird, his predecessor that also fell out of the nest and ultimately died in our care, was older when M found him and would interact routinely with his parents while ensconced in the yard in his cage. Cheepers was younger and likely abandoned, so essentially M is his parent and family. Unfortunately M cannot teach him how to hunt and feed himself. M cannot get Cheepers to eat food or drink water he places in front of him.

I think M has become, by necessity, a helicopter bird parent. And unfortunately, I see little hope of getting him “launched” successfully and safely.

Yep, M enables him. Cheepers goes off in his cage to jobsites or on runs with M during the day, his worms in their own cooler for snacks and lunch. There are certainly worse fates for the little bird, but he seems far too domesticated and tame now to survive on his own in the wild. Time will tell.

I have always been a dog person if I were to have a pet. Now I have cats outside and a bird in my house. The bird is unlikely to live a long life either way, and the cats were already adults when we met them 6 years ago, so they are settling into the “mature” cat years now. But after this, I want no more pets.

Anxiety

The Big Law Firm (BLF) transition was paperwork-ly completed last Friday. Monday began the first day for remaining staff as new employees with BLF, and of course yesterday was a paid holiday. I had really, Really, REALLY hoped for a soft landing in this change and that despite my personal misgivings and worries about it, that the staff would find the experience positive or mostly positive. I really wanted future communications with them to contain sort of tempered excitement at worst, that they miss working with me but things are so damn great even without me it’s hard to contain their enthusiasm. I also really hoped the first day would be more off-hand and casual as they all adjust to the new normal.

Yeah, Pollyanna still lives here.

Monday was fairly brisk for me setting up my own new normal as far as self-employment continuing and restart with client work and appointments, so it was a rare mid-morning to late afternoon period of not reading texts except those from clients I was meeting or expecting to be hearing from about schedule-related issues.

I had 117 texts from various staff members when I finally sat down to read them. About 30% were of the “so weird without you here” and “we miss you already” and “it’s lunchtime – where are you?” type messages, which made me smile. The rest were descriptive about the changes being implemented from day 1 and how it felt like BLF had executed a military coup and drafted all of them. Or worse. Change is hard.

I wish it were different, but reminded them that change is difficult at first and to give BLF staff a chance. They do operate differently than we did, than I did, and it’s a new era and practically a new job, so be patient and smart about learning the new systems and procedures. Give BLF a chance to not only adapt to a new firm, new cases, new staff, but also a chance to evaluate the office work flow and adapt to and incorporate some of our best practices. While I am realistic about there being no place for me in the new business world order of the firm, I know these are very smart and talented attorneys. They will adapt to the new culture and the culture will adapt to incorporate them as well.

Even the former partners are having to adapt somewhat. In their roles as consultants and advisors they will be in the office periodically for meetings with clients and consulting/transitioning ongoing matters, but they too are having to adapt to not being primary decisionmakers and expected to be somewhere throughout the day. As I will be assisting them with the wind-down of the firm throughout the next 6 months to a year, I will still see and speak to them regularly, although of course it’s not the same as it was. But as I have reminded myself hundreds of times since this all came about, things are constantly in a state of flux and nothing stays the same forever, nor would I desire that.

But I am also facing the reality of my new normal. Monday I was busy with work-related things both planned and unexpected, as is typical for all aspects of life. I have had 3 clients that I had to cut loose back when I accepted full-time employment express happy-happy-joy-joy at the opportunity to return to the fold, and before the calendar even turned I was already engrossed in resolving a bigger problem and found myself with a short-fuse deadline for today that I was only able to get extended to Monday and even then only because the regulator knows me well and is delighted to have me back on the case. While grateful for the reprieve, I’m furious at the person who spent more than a year collecting fees for work she was not actually doing. I am actually so furious about it I am making a list and planning to market directly to her clients, probably all of them.

Because I tend to hate marketing, this is an added layer of stress. Fortunately for me, all my work has come from referrals from people I know or clients I work with or have worked with in the past. I am not very good at talking up my services or expertise; I am pretty black-and-white about what I can or cannot do for someone. Schmoozing is not normal or easy behavior for me, especially in a marketing-type capacity. While I can and do negotiate (I buy all the cars in our family because M hates dealing with salesmen), I dislike the process.

Beyond that, though, I have some concerns about what to do with myself all day. I mean, right now I have plenty on my plate – through the end of July my to-do lists overfloweth. There is just this sense that a “regular” workday and workload will be inadequate to fill up my typical work hours. What do I do then?

In my experience, the anxiety is unfounded. It is the mostly unknown workday right now, and being such a schedule-keeping creature of habit, I dislike that uncertainty. So, I have decided the only course of action is to stay on some semblance of my presently normal schedule. Stick to my regular wake-up and exercise schedule, plan my workday around its normal timeframe. I have more flexibility to actually meet with clients in their offices now, although I imagine my Tuesdays are pretty well set and will continue.

My routine-loving stress puppy will be soothed by sticking to what we know. For at least the month of July, that will be good enough.

Life (and Work) Does Go On

I am cutting myself some slack on my present-level of anxiety over the changes in life and career. While I am not at all worried about finding enough work, being capable enough to do the work, or even juggling and managing my time to ensure stuff gets done, change is hard, even change I have been anticipating. Unfortunately things have been sort of ethereal in nature during that period, and now that July is here and full-time self-employment is again a thing, I have to get busy wrapping my arms around it and sorting it into orderly priorities.

This week I have appointments outside the office with existing, returning, and potential clients. Which means I have to be on best and most dressed-up behavior most of my days – none of my favorite capris and tank tops at my treadmill desk much this week. This is one of the true perks of working from home into the future and I’m impatient to start enjoying it.

From the messages and support from friends and clients alike, I am lucky to have such great influences from those who populate my life. I am not “losing” friends by leaving the firm so much as gaining a different slant on the friendships built there.

Between the negotiated severance package and terms of my separation, money is not even top 5 of concerns I have about this transition. In that, I am extraordinarily fortunate and genuinely grateful. While so far from “frugalista” I should probably consult the dictionary regularly to refresh my memory when my brand of financial restraint seems too confining, ours is a pretty simple life. Biggest splurges are probably training for me and fuel for M’s travel to and fro to run, both of which have a direct benefit on our overall and ongoing health.

That said, I always do have a bare-bones budget in mind, our go-to in the event of financial famine. I update it regularly as our circumstances change, but typically very little changes unless we have acquired new debt (ha ha) or have become gazelle-intense about saving for something or paying off the mortgage.

I am mostly chasing my tail because big changes give me some sense of anxiety. Since this is not a change I wanted but more one I had to implement and accept, it makes adjustment that much more difficult. I am and will continue to adjust to the new normal, and from there I expect less aimless frothing on a spin cycle and more productive use and practical applications of time and energy.

Onward, ever onward. The adventure continues, even with me whimpering and weakly wiggling my feet in protest.

 

The discipline of predictability

For the second day in a row, I woke up/got up late for my morning gym practice. Yesterday was okay and even practical. This morning was just another episode of shaving sleep and paying for it by not dragging myself out of bed with the alarm.

On the surface and for most everyone this is not a big deal. So I am late to the gym a couple of days out of 365 and perhaps have to either cut my practice short or do a briefer, quicker List. The normal person rationalization of why this is not the end of the world as I know it is understandable and possibly even warranted; I have used it myself countless times with other people and even with myself in similar situations. However, it’s a dangerous and slippery slope, one I know all too well. While substance abuse and alcohol addiction are far more serious conditions, my adherence to routine is critical to my ongoing success in getting regular, consistent doses of exercise. My regular routine is not something I take lightly, and even 2 days of not heeding my alarm and getting myself up and out the door is cause for concern, even if it is only an eyebrow raise and resolve to get to bed on time and not allow myself the luxury of shutting off my alarm and not immediately getting out of bed.

The last 2 days have also brought forth other deviations from the norm as well. Once upon a time and not all that long ago, deviations from The Schedule would have sent me into a dizzy tizzy panic and set a wrong tone for the practice and the balance of my day. I am pleased with myself for just rolling out of bed and having a back-up plan, knowing that today’s List was 6 exercises long and could be comfortably completed in an hour with the 10-15 minute warmup prep. While mildly fretting about being late, my backup to the backup plan would be to ruthlessly cut post-workout dawdle time after and run through the shower and workday prep if needed. Today it helped knowing the List of the day was the glute-focused 6 exercises and that and warmup could be comfortably completed in 75 minutes. Comfortable to breathe a small sigh of relief that my personal sky was not falling.

Except for the second time in these 2 mildly challenging days, I was thwarted by other members who are blissfully ignorant of my schedule and Lists and pursuing their own exercise/fitness agendas. Yesterday it was a couple of small things – the benches I am familiar with and feel comfortable using were both occupied, so I returned to my little room space and used the bench in there. Then, while working my final 2 blocks on the cable machines, I had another member wanting to use the straight bar I had carefully collected and hoarded for my final exercise. Rather than giving up my bar upon request, I said I would do my sets and then relinquish it, maybe 5 minutes? He was agreeable to the compromise and I simply switched the order of the last block. Problem resolved, I did not go away from the encounter feeling like an unreasonable, spoiled, entitlement Princess.

Shortly after relinquishing that and returning to the rope for my new final tricep exercise, I have another guy wander over to use the other side of the cable machine and he had extreme (to my nose) personal hygiene challenges. Held my breath to finish my set and then abandoned my cable post for the sanctuary of my little room and a substitute bench tricep exercise. Yep, waving my full-on Princess flag yesterday and not apologizing for it, either.

This morning, there was a couple using the squat machine (first block on today’s List) and another guy using the Freemotion machine (second block), so I retreated to the other side and got to work on block 3. This involved going back and forth between the assisted chin-up/dip machine (only using it on the legs) and the adductor machine. Another member had apparently been using the same 2 machines, because she glared at me while I was using the adductor machine and used some other shoulder-focused machine nearby. When I returned to the chin-up/dip unit, she plopped down on the adductor machine. Used it, rested, texted, used it again, texted more … and on and on and on. So I finished all 4 of my sets on the chin-up/dip machine and then gave up on the adductor and returned to the now vacant squat and Freemotion machine. I went through the sets of the List, even if I did not do it in the precise order dictated by the List.

I really do not understand her attitude and hostility; maybe she needed coffee? If she wanted either of the machines I happened to be using all she needed do was ask, not glare at me in passive/aggressive malevolence. I am among the nicer, more simply intimidated in the gym, and at worst I would have tried to work out a reasonable compromise, but just as likely I would have fallen over trying to get out of her way.

Again, I am pretty pleased with myself for not falling off the edge and into a complete and total spin cycle of gym crazy. But it bothers me that people cannot ask or explain politely what they want or need with regards to equipment.

But oh well. Other than disorganizing my List for today, no lasting or lingering harm done.

It’s curious to me how rigid I have to be to get this far on my exercise track. I console myself that if changing habits is really hard, getting myself up and off the couch is worse in the difficulty range.

Just lately, I am feeling some degree of backlash for my choices. Yes, I spend more time than the average bear at the gym or the yoga studio; it is a choice for a healthier me. It is a choice I made without completely understanding the implications and consequences, yet I have zero regrets about it. How could I possibly regret it? My diabetes is under control without the use of medication. I am stronger, fitter, perhaps the best shape of my life thus far, and I have barely dipped a toe into the health and fitness pool. Mentally as well, my confidence has increased and my positive outlook expanded as well. But being less available to listen and sympathize and being the rah-rah cheerleader for various friends is not an unreasonable trade-off in my opinion.

That said, the last month was challenging in this regard. Because I get up so early and work the way I work, my time is somewhat limited and constrained. Even M, who lives with me and has watched and applauded me in my better health efforts has lately taken to subtle sabotage. With the change in seasons and a recent injury, M has not been on the same early morning running schedule. Consequently, he stays up much later, which is fine, but when I have to sleep earlier to ensure I get enough sleep, M is awake and pursuing his own hobbies, which he wants to share or to show me on his iPad. When I need to be going to sleep to get up at 3:45 to 4 a.m. to get to the gym on time.

We had a conversation about it this morning while I was getting ready for work, and M have come to an agreement to ensure I get enough sleep and to the gym in a timely manner. He gets it. He’s been right here with me and had not really realized how the impact of our adjustment in schedule. It’s sort of insidious and creeps up into our lives without either of us really recognizing that it is occurring until I am tired and frustrated and having a meltdown because of it.

A couple of my friends are having a really tough time in their lives and in need of friends and support. I do my best to return phone calls and texts in a timely manner, to be a good and supportive friend. However, I am the first to admit my life is different now, my availability is not as it once was. When their resentment and frustration leaks out into our interactions, I have grown up a little in that I feel me taking care of me is the best thing I can do for anyone else in my realm.

Until this last year, I would say my predictability resulted from the habit of a lifetime. I have wanted to be a good person, to be perceived as a good person. I value kindness and compassion toward other people, and those are qualities I have tried very hard to cultivate and grow in my own methods of dealing with others. For the most part, I am a pretty good person. I try very hard to take care of those I care for and about, often to my own detriment. I suppose after so many years of my being a go-to person for many of my friends, my stepping back and being more judicious in protecting my time and availability is a change of pace.

The balance can be awkward and challenging, particularly for those resistant to change. In the last month I have had some candid and frank conversations with a few people about the way my life is progressing and the conscious choices I am making. It’s partly why I am headed back to TM’s office, to reconcile my choices with the hardening attitude I have had to take toward others.

I am okay with being this level of selfish. I am okay with how hard-hearted and “changed” I appear. Heck, I’d be very good if there was an intervention on the topic rather than some veiled and not-so-veiled statements that I am self-absorbed and narcissistic in my pursuits. The statements have been hurtful, and my own self-confidence still unstable enough to make me wonder if I am doing the right things at the expense of other aspects of my life.

But I don’t think so. I am still kind. I am working on balance in all things, including the types of relationships I have with other people. My husband, my family, my tribe either understand the shift in my priorities or we have an honest conversation about it. The rest of those who dwell in my realm, I want them to continue to matter to me. I do not need them to be 110% behind me, rah-rah cheering me on and out of bed every morning, but I do need them to no sabotage my efforts and to understand that taking care of me makes me a better, stronger, more capable, more supportive friend.

Despite what it may sound like here on the blog, I am not terribly preachy in real life. I suggest to friends troubled by depression or anxiety or worry that they get some physical exercise. But since I myself am just now feeling respected for the work I have done in the gym by a select group of friends who pursue crossfit or other trendy exercise programs, I understand how difficult it is to get off the couch and get started.

It has occurred to me more than once that this pattern of behavior is repeated throughout several of my close friendships. If the problem occurs and I am the common denominator, the problem quite probably begins and perhaps ends with me.

Considering that, I am also likely the driving force behind my current conflicts with these various friends. I own that. My behaviors and my habits from childhood until now are well documented and ingrained. There has been little discipline involved in that level of predictability. Changing the habits of a lifetime is hard, and not everyone is willing to step up and do what I am striving and trying so very hard to do right now. I own that, too.

At the end of this level of navel-gazing and introspective mucking around in the mud and the muck that is my messy way of thinking and processing, I own that I have courage and willingness to try to be better and improve my overall health and quality of life.

No amount of frictioning with family and friends or sleep shaving or gym crazy or fear and intimidation of interacting with other members is going to take that away from me.

Not quite goodbye, but change is in the works

My life is not a mess, but it pacing has been relatively brisk the last few months, particularly the last several weeks. Part of it is my own doing and design, and part of it is just the nature and fluidity of life.

But what does that MEAN, you could possibly be thinking?

My focus in 2016 has been heavily slanted toward my adventures and ongoing health and wellness journey. It’s not at all what I anticipated when I began this blog almost 3 years and 1000+ posts ago, but little in life is truly predictable. This not me apologizing for changing directions, going from mostly non-themed chatting about anything and everything that popped into my head to talking endlessly about exercise and eating strategies and health improvement stuff. But I admit to coming to the conclusion that my better health quest has taken on life of its own in my blogging endeavors.

I like writing about it. I like sharing it here in blogville. However, I am feel the weight of this being my personal blog, where one post I am giving you a training recap and the next day I am venting my spleen about the young whippersnappers at work or talking about shopping.

It is because of that dichotomy, I have come to the conclusion that change must happen.

So coming soon to a browser near you:

http://www.makingprogressgettingfitter.com

Yep, this will be a completely separate blog devoted to my better health quest and all that entails.

This new endeavor does not mean I am or will be abandoning this space anytime soon. I may not be posting as frequently or with such long tomes (thank goodness, they all said in unison), but this space will return to what I originally intended – my safe, and personal, space to sort out my stuff. I will most definitely still be around and writing about the rest of my life and times. But if you’re here to read my perspective on what we did in training or my latest arch nemesis in the gym and instead find me whining about my first world problem of nothing to wear in a closet stuff with clothes, a separate blog on health and fitness is a huge relief.

Once I get the new blog up and running – possibly as early as November or as late as the first of January – my training recaps will be going up there as well as anything and everything else about my better health pursuits. To round out 2016 and well as direct attention to my new gig for those with an interest, I will be posting links to the new blog once I begin publishing training recaps over there. However, since that space will be exclusively devoted to health, exercise, diet and eating, I hope to will have opportunity to explore and encourage guest posts from those in my realm and to highlight aspects of other types of fitness and health going on around me. For example, my son coaches a training group primarily focused on people who have never run a marathon before. M is a retired ultramarathoner and many of his/our friends are still active competitors and racing frequently throughout the year. Friend J and RD have both participated in weight lifting competitions, something I find both fascinating and horrifying at the same time. Trainer J directs my attention to books, articles, even other blogs that I want to write about and/or promote. I meet interesting people doing intriguing things at yoga and pilates and would love to share more of their stories. My experiences as a diabetic and details of things I glean from my medical team may be written in more detail sometime as well. Products – believe it or not I have actually been asked on occasion to try products in exchange for writing an honest review. To date I have declined such offers, because while hugely flattered and more than willing to write an honest review, it seems weird in a personal blog.

No, there are no plans underfoot to sell my soul for a lifetime supply of amazingly tasty but not very good for me protein powder, but there are things I use now that I like and would talk about in a more a dedicated forum. Again, no expert here. If you want to know whether or not something works well or is nutritionally balanced, there are far more credentialed experts out there. If you want to know if I think something tastes good or like soap, I’m happy to share my thoughts and experiences.

Truly, I think my perspective as average middle-aged woman trying to improve her health is my primary (maybe only?) selling point. That and I am not an audience blogger; I write for me and hope you read or find something interesting or useful in my content.

The possibilities to be more direct and (even more) verbose about my fitness endeavors seem endless to me. It’s not a passion or a hobby; this has truly had to become a way of life for me. What you have all been witness to the last 15, 16 months is my accepting that I have to exercise and alter a life of less balanced/less desirable eating habits. I am learning to embrace the reality of that, while feeling its overall challenges become less drudgery and more fascination. In this I feel very average Jane, but I also know I have had to practically reinvent myself to make it this far. Perhaps there are others out there who have more ideas and experiences to share with me, that we can learn from one another. But even if I am some super special special snowflake in all the world, I have enjoyed the process of writing about it, even if I were the only one reading. Looking back, reading posts from this time last year, I marvel at how far I have come and how infinite the road ahead.

And because this is a personal blog, I do not highlight or promote it, never ever plan to monetize it in any way, shape, or form. I am presently on the fence about promoting or even attempting to monetize the new blog, because making money from the blog is very low on my list of objectives for writing. However, I like having options, and right now, here, I feel very limited in what I can or am willing to give up for my more defined writing efforts.

As of right now, I have purchased my domain name and gotten the basic shell of a blog started. There is still a lot more to do before official launch. But as I said, hopefully the grand opening will be the first part of November. Not to worry – I will be announcing it all over the place when it finally goes live.

♥     ♥     ♥     ♥     ♥     ♥     ♥     ♥     ♥

In other news, my daughter and son-in-law are both impacted by recently announced Verizon’s call center closures. While this was a bit of a shock, it is not really much of a surprise considering California’s prohibitively expensive business climate. C and A have made the decision to relocate, because it is a really great opportunity to see/explore/live in another geographic location with the advantage of relocating for jobs and relocation expenses paid. It is definitely a more advantageous to just moving to get away from where they live right now.

M and I are 110% supportive of their decision, so much so that when I read about the closures in the local paper I immediately asked M where he thought they should go from the choices listed. Turns out there were other options available, but nothing is known yet except they are ready and willing to relocate to remain employed. As of right now we are all anxiously awaiting more details on their choices for where they are going and when, whether it is before the holidays or after. In the meantime, they are looking at all their belongings with a very critical eye of whether or not they need to cart it across state lines to their new life. Of more concern is their multitude of pets – moving out of state with several cats and dogs is not ideal under any circumstances. Since I work with a couple of nonprofit pet sanctuaries that care for as well as rehome pets, I have put them in touch to “interview” their cats and dogs so C can be assured they are not going to be lethally injected 5 minutes after she and A leave town. It is hard enough to have to leave the vast majority behind (C’s first kitty will probably go with them no matter what) without worrying about euthanasia. Fortunately their animals are relatively well socialized and get along well with people and other pets, so the likelihood of finding suitable homes seems good.

No matter how positive a spin we strive to put on it, this is a very big change for them and for the rest of the extended family. M and I are pretty laid-back and accepting, but A’s family – Freaking. Out. This sister in mother-in-law-hood is not tactful or measured in her reactions, and she told A that they would never visit because C doesn’t like them as well as expressing her anger that they talked to me about their decision-making process before her and her family, indicating that poor A has been brainwashed by C and her machiavellian parental units. Okay, I’m extrapolating that based on what I was texted while the conversation was happening, but honestly, in my most overwrought emotional state I would never say that to either of my kids, even if I privately suspected it might be true. To be fair to me, I might and probably would state bring up the thought and ugly feelings that come with it when calmer and capable of having a rational discussion.

But the kids are adults and capable of thinking for themselves and making sound decisions. I may wish my daughter were not soon to be living in another state, but planes fly to the locations where they could end up every single day. In my most selfish, I view this as another opportunity for M and I to expand our choices for vacation destinations.

Primarily, I want the kids to be happy. They both like their jobs, enjoy the work they are doing, the promotions and advancement opportunities they are chasing. Corporate ladder-climbing is not for everyone – been there, done that, bought and shredded the damn t-shirt – but for them at this point in their lives it is work they enjoy and allows them to pursue personal objectives simultaneously. All good. Living in another state is an opportunity to expand their horizons and see what life is like elsewhere in the US. I mean, it’s not like they are moving to Dubai or Bosnia; they are talking about Arizona, New Mexico, South Carolina, Florida. Each has its drawbacks – hot and humid immediately come to mind – but probably not terribly different or unsafe.

So … change is coming. I’m both very excited and a little apprehensive, but change is inevitable and resistance is futile. I am well armed with big girl capris and ready to step forward into a brave new world.

Now, if I can only find enough bigger blocks of time to make it all happen ….

The morning after quitting my job

When I finally went to sleep last night I wondered how I would feel this morning. I did not actually sleep well, though, because I woke up at midnight and could not go back to sleep. So after reading emails from my very supportive personal and work friends, I wrote a quick post and went back to bed and stayed asleep until the alarm so rudely interrupted my rest.

Once I finally pried my eyes open and dragged myself out of bed, I find I felt … fine. Perfectly fine. Maybe I am unemployed, maybe I still have a job, but any anxiety is tempered by a sense of relief that my feelings are clear and out in the open.

I logged in from home to check my email, i.e., to see what the owners said about my proposal for remote/part-time work. I fully expected a response from both of them, even if it was just to say let’s talk further. Yes, there were replies. Both owners agreed to my proposal with little fanfare. Midwest owner wanted me to call, local owner said he would be out of the office again today and to let the staff know about my change in status.

Typical behavior for them, yet I still expected something more. I am not at all disappointed by their low-key acceptance, but I suppose I was braced for something worse.

Midwest owner said he had time to sleep on our discussions yesterday and “maybe” they had pushed their own agenda a little too hard. (Ya think???) He reiterated that neither he nor the local owner wants me to leave, and they are both hopeful that my change in status will be temporary and “cooler heads will prevail” over the next month and I will reconsider and return to my normal, full-time role with the firm. Those “cooler heads” will have to take up residency in freezing Hell to make that happen … which is what I was thinking, not what I actually said. I was very non-committal about it, said I felt the firm was heading in a direction that I could not support and if that changed, perhaps I would change my mind as well at that time.

My inner diplomat is apparently on duty this morning.

Still, it’s a huge relief. I drafted a new employment letter for myself stating the terms and conditions of my continued employment, my updated job description, rate of pay, PTO terms, cell phone and internet service reimbursements, etc. I have sent it off both owners for review, and unless they want to tweak wording or something, I will be officially part-time/remote as of next Monday. I am in the office today, all alone because everyone else is out in the field or on vacation. And once Comcast installs our new phone system, I will be able to make and receive phone calls from my office phone at home on my laptop or on my cell phone, which makes this transition that much simpler. It’s nice to be here without staff today – my office will be absolutely pristine without a paper out of place by the time I walk out of here tomorrow.