Aggravated, crazy, sick to my stomach – TGIF

Probably the title should read “Ms. Crankypants has taken over the blog.” But that might be more negative than is actually necessary? Maybe, maybe not. It’s just been a very long week and some irritation must be vented and bled off.

Aggravated

Tuesday brought acquiring firm people into the office to kick-off the transition with introductions and reassurance all around about how thrilled and excited they are to assimilate us into the collective. Lots and meetings as a firm, in groups, and individually over the course of Tuesday and Wednesday. The administrative partner – she was a corporate suit with a resting bitch face that never seemed to fade even when she smiled and spoke. Had she been nicer, less dismissive and condescending I would not be so harsh in my assessment, but reality bites.

In truth, I am a hopeful person; I want a positive spin on everything, particularly work when such big and upsetting changes are in the works. This woman, though, was my worst corporate nightmare in very expensive shoes. She heads up human resources and is an employment law partner, so I suppose her credentials are impressive. However, her people skills, for those of us without a Juris Doctor degree, are horrendous. Going forward, I will simply refer to her as Hellbeast. The rest of the non-attorney staff in my office have far worse monikers for her, but I am trying to strike a balance here. Yes, I get that I am biased and failing miserably. But oh well.

The way she spoke at me, I thought at first she was just not good with women, or not good with people in general. Then I observed her talking to my bosses and the rest of the attorneys, and while her tone and demeanor changed depending on the staff level, she was still essentially civil and somewhat engaging. Professional snob, yes, but I have worked with worse.

Dismissive, condescending, and even mean – she is probably demanding of service staff and tips poorly. And I have a really hard time with that. Poor service, sure. But to brush off and actually speak sharply to my receptionist for doing his job – inexcusable. My receptionist is the lowest paid staffer among us and will gladly, happily do just about anything we ask him to do. One of the partners had sent an email that he was expecting a high priority phone call and to find and interrupt him no matter what he was doing, which is what my receptionist did in a respectful way, knocking at the open door, waiting until she finished speaking, and then starting to tell the boss about his call – only to be barked at by Hellbeast that he was interrupting when she was not finished talking. My receptionist immediately apologized, but she got up and closed the door in his face.

Hellbeast. I think I am being kind.

My receptionist was understandably upset. He’s young, this is his first position in a professional office setting, and he’s done a terrific job for us. My horror at her actions was written all over my face, and if there was any doubt it was erased when I stood up, excused myself, and left the very informal meeting we were in, ostensibly so my boss could take his call in private, but really so I could (1) regain my composure and diffuse my own flash of anger, and (2) check in with my receptionist to ensure he knew he’d done nothing wrong. He can be a little sensitive about making mistakes.

Things went downhill from there.

When it was my turn to have a one-on-one with her, we went over the things that needed to be done in the transition and how my accounting functions would be moving to the centralized headquarters office and all my office/business management responsibilities for contracts, leases, and purchasing as well. Reporting relationships would be changing – attorneys assuming more of an administrative and supervisory load. Essentially, everything I expected to happen would be happening.

We went over my employment letter for the balance of 2017 because of the firm change, and where our present document is 3.5 pages long, the new one runs 12 pages. There was also the temporary portal to view their employee handbook and office policies, of which I was expect to read and document having reviewed these documents. None of this was a surprise; new firm, we are essentially being absorbed as new employees and have to get set-up in their systems.

I told her I needed a few days to review all those documents, but would likely have it back to her next week. She pressed, wanted to have as much of this done this week, preferably before she left on Tuesday. I pushed back, pointing out that as an attorney, she should not want me signing anything I had not read and understood thoroughly. Did not stop her from asking again before she left the office later that day.

When it was my turn to voice questions or concerns, I asked very directly what my role in the firm would be for the next 6 months? Essentially, my day-to-day workload was being transferred to corporate. I am not a paralegal, and I would be the most well-paid office clerk if that was what they envisioned. She hemmed, hawed, gave me the canned “we are still figuring out your skills and how to put them to use” type answer, but in such a way that was vague and about as clear as mud. So I reframed and asked again, and she finally admitted she was not sure how they could use me. She also pointed out with her creepy smile that my base salary was higher than their highest ranking non-attorney staffer, and I responded that was likely because I have superior skills and experiences and am paid a competitive wage to manage a firm professionally and efficiently. She did not like that, at all.

But oh well. In her words, we are here to do a job, not necessarily make friends.

Before meeting her and knowing most firms do not allow their employees to moonlight or have other forms of paid employment, I already knew I would be having my personal attorney review any employment agreements and the documents referenced therein. To protect myself and my self-employment clients, I have a waiver from my present bosses on file, and every time I acquire a new client that may present a conflict with the firm, I let them know and they sign off. My doing accounting work for other firms, including 2 other sole practitioner attorneys, has never been an issue. But we are a small firm. I have daily, direct contact and interaction with the principals. They know me, I know them. The new situation is big law firm, and I did not imagine them being so flexible about this typical clause in employment agreements. Hence the review by my personal lawyer. I wanted no unpleasant surprises.

Hellbeast is not amused or happy that I took this step. Wednesday we had occasion to talk about a couple of things by phone, and both times she asked me about my documents. On the second call, I said that the acquisition was effective July 1, so she would have my documents on or before June 30. That was “unacceptable” to her, because they need to get me and everyone else set-up in their system. Having done payroll and knowing the time and billing system both firms use inside and out, it does not take up to 3 weeks to get 25 people set-up. Maybe a day, if they are working at a leisurely pace. But I refused to back down or budge. What I didn’t say – you’re not my boss, yet, and if my existing bosses tell me I need to get this done this week, then I might be inclined to try harder. But my existing bosses? Take my time, read and review the documents, ask questions, let’s just shoot for June 25 to be courteous to the new firm. Done.

My attorney said not to sign anything without getting a solid waiver on my self-employment. He wrote an email to Hellbeast, the BLF partner moving in to our offices July 1, and my bosses as well outlining his concerns and changes he wanted before he would allow me to sign the document. That was Wednesday evening. My bosses here are fine with it, even applaud me for being proactive and protecting my interests, said the changes requested are actually quite minor and other than the waiver for my business, they did not see it as a big deal.

Crickets from Hellbeast and BLF. Which is fine. I can wait.

This morning I come in to 6 different emails from her about various documents I submitted, letters I wrote to various vendors and holders of office equipment leases with our firm – all at the direction of my partners here and with their review and approval of the missives prior to release. Her “dressing down” tone was in my view quite inappropriate, but I admit my bias. I replied, with cc’s to my bosses (who along with the rest of the attorneys are out of the office today) and consider the matter closed until they return on Monday.

Crazy

Crazy is my catch-all term for anxiety and apprehension about things inside and outside my sphere of influence and control. The decision about the merger is reality and I believe I am doing my best to take care of business and serve both our clients and the partners and staff through the transition. I am also doing my best to take care of myself, and in truth that is the primary source of my present job crazy.

I have a plan B, because I have little stomach or desire for a role in a large corporate organization. Been there, done that, learned it does not make me a happier, better, or even more balanced a human being. Now that I have this much time invested in my ability to help, influence, steer a business to success, I am reluctant to become another tiny worker bee in the a corporate hive. That’s my personal preference.

However, I also have a good understanding of the parachute and severance package negotiated as terms of the merger. I will protect my rights to that and not allow anyone to try and remove it from my grasp. If I have to spend the next 6 months counting paperclips because that’s my new role, I will be the best damn paperclip counter anyone has ever met and continue to collect my salary and have my health insurance paid. However, I am unwilling to relinquish my self-employment clients. It was not a problem for my existing bosses and does not seem like it should be an issue for the new firm, particularly since all aspects of my employment agreement now in place should transfer to the new firm. How far they want to push it remains to be seen.

I dislike conflict. I am open to discussion of divergent points of view and trying to find an acceptable compromise. But I’m not feeling anything by contentious conflict from the Hellbeast and it’s stressing me out. I dislike being bullied myself, but professionally, I have enough self-confidence (and self-control) to manage the situation. However, when it comes to bullying someone who lacks standing or experience, I tend to get very angry very quickly. Concerns about my receptionist and the paralegals in my firm are genuine. The paralegals are professionals and will land well whatever happens – they are good at their jobs and will find another position if it comes to that – but my receptionist is a good kid and still quite green when it comes to big corporate politics. Perhaps I will be around to help, perhaps not. But whatever happens, I will be around outside the office if he needs help or resources to find something else.

I feel sucked into the type of toxic environment once more that I left years and years ago and allowing it to make me crazy. Which upsets me even more; I am allowing it to get to me. On the one hand it has been really great for my gym workouts and daily 300 kettlebell swings; the emotional aggravation tends to get drilled down to massive focus on whatever it is I am doing with the weights or form with the swings. On the other hand, gym and kettlebell swing takes up only about 2 hours per day. The rest of the time I have this “oh shit” sense of dealing with merger-related matters.

I hate that “oh shit” sense of anything, especially when it stretches out in front of me for at least the rest of the month, possibly the rest of the year.

Sick to my Stomach

This morning, woke up with a mild stomach ache and feeling not quite right. I thought it might simply be hunger – small dinner last night. Drank my protein shake and did not feel better. Went to the gym for my practice and found my stomach starting to roil, so I finished the slo-mo huffy-puffy and called it a day.

Now, I blame Hellbeast, just because I can. My temporary stomach ailment has nothing to do with the questionable lettuce I ate for dinner last night and everything to do with my aggravation with Hellbeast and her bullshit. I so rarely have any sort of upset stomach that is irritates me more that just about every other sort of sickness. Especially since we’re going out to lunch today and I will have to limit myself to even blander food than usual. We’re doing Japanese, and I figure plain white rice and miso soup should be fine. I can box up the rest for dinner or tomorrow.

But oh well. It’s the company that counts, and my peeps – the company is excellent.

TGIF

Glad it’s Friday. Busy weekend ahead with client events tomorrow night and Sunday, plus lunch and furniture shopping/browsing with K tomorrow.

Happy weekending everyone!

Sick, not sick

I woke up Tuesday with a sore throat. Not a big deal, because this happens routinely every year when the weather changes and the heater begins intermittently turning on overnight. Went to the gym as usual, worked from home, ran some errands, and bought allergy medicine. Just in case.

By the end of the day the pressure in my sinuses was overwhelming, I was sneezing regularly, and my sore throat was much more pronounced. Took said allergy medicine and went to bed early, and several hours later got up and took another dose.

My alarm went off at 4 Wednesday, at which time I made the decision to stay in bed and sleep another couple of hours instead. Yep, blew off midweek practice, an Event all on its own. When I actually got up and moving around, I felt fine, albeit with allergy symptoms. No more sore throat and no fever.

But because I am a hyper-responsible weirdo, I texted J that cancelling our session Thursday was a possibility. If I was indeed sick then I would be fine with cancelling, although I would always prefer not to do so with less than 12 hours notice. Gym policy is 24 hours, but it’s at trainer’s discretion whether or not I get charged for the session for violating (J would let me off on this one, because I rarely even reschedule, much less cancel).

Day went on, and despite blowing my nose constantly and sneezing when the allergy meds started to wear off, I was fine. Thing was, I could feel the sudafed wearing off, so I just resigned myself to taking them every 4 or 5 hours as directed by the box. Definitely worse things in life that being stoned on sudafed at work. And a bonus for allergy meds: absolute appetite killer.

Went to the gym last night for a rare evening practice, because yes, I am all kinds of obsessed about keeping on track with my exercise pursuits. But took it really easy so I would be capable of my regularly scheduled Thursday session. I am always struck by the different vibe of the club in the early morning and club in the evenings. But it was fun because I crossed paths with another tribe member – always so fun to see her and catch up on what she’s doing and the the progress she’s made – and all the machinery I wanted to utilize was available for me. Win win!

But I am slowly realizing there is headcold kind of crud going around. J had it a couple of weeks ago, several of his clients are enduring it right now, and several of the staff in my office also texted in sick this morning. I know they didn’t catch it from me, because I have had no fever. I’m doubling up on my vitamin C and have a freezer stocked with juice bars – just in case.

So while I am currently speaking with a voice a couple of octaves lower than usual and sporting a Rudolf-esq red nose, I am 99.99% certain mine is mostly an intense allergy attack. I can pretty much even trace the source – M was working on clearing the roof of leaves and muck this weekend while I was working in the garage and it may as well have been raining from the moldy crap excavated. I always have at least mild version of these same symptoms when the cycle of raining to ground drying out happens.

So my final determination on this current non-event, particularly after my training session this morning: not sick. Happy to have that decided.

Back later with my training recap. Ridiculously excited about that today.

Training #74 – I wanna hold your hand

Monday morning, training with J. Not my be outing. Not my best performance. Not my best session ever.

Nausea is a terrible thing. Since I am rarely sick anymore – other than the sinus sweat that seems to happen when I exercise – every little “off” tends to be dissected and examined as a potential something. Today I had a terrible nightmare where it was 10:30 a.m. when I woke up and I had missed, completely missed, my 6 a.m. training appointment. I called J to explain and apologize, and he did not even sound like himself or act as if we even had an appointment. Panic was building when I woke up at 3:10 in a panic thinking the dream was real, only to look at my phone that it was way early. The dark outside should have been a clue that the sun was not up yet, but hey, I was disoriented from the nightmare.

I had mild stomach ache, but went back to sleep, for 45 minutes, so obviously nothing life-altering or sleep-depriving. When the alarm went off, I felt a little nauseated. Which for me typically passes with my preworkout protein shake food. Not today. But I figured it was not that bad, I could power through.

For the most part I did. Until it got worse. *sad face* I had to confess to J that I felt nauseated. I hate confessing to J on the rare occasions that I do not feel well. Because it makes me feel like a slacker and a quitter on our List. J has forbidden me from speaking in those terms on the recap, so I am only bringing it up to state clearly that negative girl threw her dark dust and the thoughts clearly went through my head and out my mouth in verbal form, loud enough, directly enough, for J to tell me to banish the thoughts. He did say I could, and probably should, report his admonishment in the recap. Duly noted, boss, duly noted.

It was leg day. What we did:

Full squats (30 lb. dumbbells, 3 sets, 12-15)
Lower body inchworm (2 sets, 5-10)

Squat jumps (2 sets, 15-25)
Step ups (single leg ) (2 sets, 15-20/side)
Bulgarians (2 sets, 15-20/side)
Alternating lateral lunges with reach (10 lb. dumbbells, 2 sets, 15-20/side)

Stiff legged dumbbell deadlifts (20 lb. dumbbells, 2 sets, 15-20)
Stability ball leg curls (2 sets, 15-20)
Curtsey lunges with floor touch (2 sets, 15 to 20)
1-legged glute bridges (2 sets, 15 to 20)

1-legged dumbbell asymmetrical split squat (10 lb. dumbbell, 1 set, 15-20/side)
Kettle bell sumo squat (lavender one 45 lbs.(?), 20-25, 1 set)
Anterior reaches (1 set, 15-20/side)
Mini band swinging hip abductions (1 set, 20/side)

I am a bit disappointed that my energy just fell out on the fourth quad grouping and I did not make minimums on everything. While I am trying to muster an oh well about it, truth is I felt kind of crappy and wanted to drink a gallon of water and/or put my head down until the nausea passed. I didn’t want to excuse myself to throw up; I hate vomiting. Plus I was so hot. Usually I’m working hard and I can feel the difference between working hard sweating and blood sugar plummeting sweating. Today I wasn’t sure with the nausea distracting me. It wasn’t bad when I got home – about 73 still. I hate feeling as if I am giving up too soon, but my time with J is limited to an hour and I already felt a bit like I had been pushing the envelope with breaks and rest pauses. Not a bad session, because other than feeling a little sick, I was very much engaged and focused on the work. I thought sure I would power through it. Sometimes you’re the windshield, sometimes you’re the bug; today I was the bug.

But after sipping diet ginger ale before noon and feeling mostly better, then eating a salad for lunch and feeling mostly normal, and then suddenly feeling nauseated and stomach surging into full-on rebellion, something not good going on in my system.

Food poisoning in slo-mo? No idea. Could be any combination of things, none of which have to do with exercise. Unless it was taking the day off yesterday? I feel fine, normal now and am going to take it easy with some simple soup tonight. I really must get back to my List of the day tomorrow and want no more surprises.

I actually have the love-hate with this List. Love it because it really feels good to immerse myself and get into it. Hate it because it’s freaking HARD. Especially when we are counting, counting, counting reps. When fatigue starts hitting I am easily distracted from rep counts and they get short. J is working with me on that, and I am trying to get my gazelle-intense focus going on when practicing on my own. Whatever the next plateau is in my gym practice, I feel sure I want or need to master the whole rep counting process before I can scale that height. And I will.

Full squats are familiar and working hard on improving my form. With this series of Lists we do higher reps and lighter weights, which completely turns me on my head from the other series. Plus I have to remember that I am working on improving my form with the lighter dumbbells. It’s mildly confusing. But I will get myself pulled together and wrapped around this series. The time away blew a big giant hole in my consistency.

We started the lower body inchworms as a burpee alternative for pilates, because I have severe burpee aversion. But since I blew off pilates yesterday, it feels like my inchworms were lacking. Like just about everything on this List, I need more work on these Lists.

The squat jumps – I can improve. The nice things about doing these recaps is I think back clearly to going through the List and doing the exercise and can see where I need to get a little deeper.

For a kind of a sucky day of trading, I am pretty proud of my performance with the step ups. Maybe it’s climbing the bleachers last week that made them seem more efficient today, but I did better. There were rest pauses. There were thought pauses, too, because J and I were chatting with encouraging tales.

I went through the Bulgarians with a few sideways topples and repositioning set-ups.

Why oh why do I have such a dislike of alternating lateral lunges? Actually, why do I dislike lateral lunges? They do not feel normal to me. I go along. I work

I always like stiff legged dumbbell deadlifts. Actually, I kind of like most types of deadlifts we have done thus far.

Next came the stability ball leg curls. Again, rest pauses and room for improvement. I did not exactly feel like my concentration was completely off, but I can tell when I am off. I was off. Hips were not high enough, legs were not pulling in quite enough to maximize the contraction.

Curtsey lunges, the icepicks in the ass exercise, are sometimes a satisfying favorite and sometimes hated beyond all reason. The reach part is easy to forget when I am not feeling it, and today my distraction was such that I had to work at it.

We tried a older variation of the 1-legged glute bridge with the shoulders/arms elevated on the bench. The bench was just high enough that it made my arm and shoulder ache, so we went back to lying flat on the mat.

By the time we got to 1-legged dumbbell asymmetrical split squats, I was very fatigued and feeling the nausea. I made minimum sets with a series of resetting form adjustments. I can do these. I know these. But like the rest of this series of quadplexes, I struggled mightily.

Sumo squats were among the first exercises I learned how to perform. Usually I’m tired by the time we get here, but I kind of look forward to these because they do not regularly appear on Lists and I can typically do them competently. Not today. I think I barely made 10 or 11 before I set the kettle bell down and threw in the towel. This was also the part where J told me I was not allowed to speak as if I am a quitter or a loser or anything else, although I am allowed to say the he said I was not allowed to say it. So I’m not.

While I typically love anterior reaches, today they were like final steps on a long, long fatigue march. Usually we do these reaching across toward the planted foot, but today j said to use same side arm reaching toward same side foot. It feels different.

We finished up with the mini band swinging hip abductions. I love my mini bands. I used my set a lot while away on vacation. If I was feeling them in the glutes and legs it will be apparent tomorrow. But for today, I was just happy they were the final exercise on today’s List.

On a good day, I can get through 4 sets of these and wobble out of the gym on legs that feel like overcooked pasta. Plus lots and lots of calories burned. Wednesday is my next go-round with this, and I fully anticipate a much better showing on my part.

A good friend has been seriously ill, now slowly on the mend. He infuriates me regularly, but this was different. He is on the slow road to recovery and mostly I am relieved. So trainer J and I covered a lot of conversational ground about him and how I will crush him in the gym in December when he returns home. It is my new incentive to get to the gym and work very hard at my List of the day.

Plus I do sense a “next level” out there for me with regard to the rep counts. Tomorrow I have the option for extra time in the gym, so I may tack on a 30 minute cardio List session after whatever the List of the day becomes. We shall see how well my energy works out.

I did talk to J about my own list of thoughts and such, particularly the yoga. Because he’s my gatekeeper, and I don’t want to be a client that does not listen to him or has her head turned by the next big fitness thing. My friend GS is very deeply involved in yoga, a practice he pursues at least 6 days per week. I have felt the benefits of a single class per week along with my pilates, but I feel as if I could gain more with some additional stretching/yoga sessions. So tomorrow afternoon I’m taking my first gentle yoga – which I suspect will be others in my age range – and Wednesday night is a regular restorative class. Thursday night I am going to try a different 60 minute hot yoga class.

More stretching can only benefit me. And maybe this will prove to be too much time, but it will be a good experiment to undertake. My friend GS has been lobbying hard for me to do more, suggesting the 3 days of gym training/practice was adequate. But I’m a special snowflake; I need more. So nope, not giving up my morning workout time, but smoothing my schedule to fit in a little more yoga with J’s blessing.

Even after more than a year, I like to ensure I am not turning into “that client” that does offensive things. Me, the goal-less client, prioritizes our training partnership and look forward to my practice time. With the yoga classes, I understand how individual the practice is and how difficult it is to overcome my anxiety and make myself go. But it’s in my calendar and my phone now, which practically guarantees I will attend during the week.

Despite feeling a bit unsettled by the specter of illness, today was a fantastic day. Training, while imperfect, was a good experience. And I didn’t vomit, so always a plus. Mostly, though, it’s the learning, always learning. Looking forward now to Wednesday’s leg day again, but tomorrow I think will be day 3 … which I think is back and triceps. I am skipping day 2 because I expect may be on Thursday’s agenda. All very good.

Meal planning is essentially to stay away from shell fish for awhile and asian takeout for awhile. Working on a short-fuse deadline means a fair amount of junk food, though, so I will just bring a sandwich or something from home next time. Work is busy, hectic, crazy, yet I am working from home and on m private client work tomorrow. I am enjoying and looking forward to continuing to get back to normal routines.

I love, Love, LOVE training days. Even when my village needs to emotionally hold my hand and talk me back and away from the edge of the bridge whereby I do not stay upset and distracted because of a family squabble. The exercise helps so much with my general unevenness. It does more for me than yoga ever has, although I believe the yoga can and will enhance my gym work.

It was a happy Monday.

Teeth-clenching adventures

I visited my dentist today for an exam. It was a bit early; apparently they do exams and X-rays once a year, and mine were not due until August. But with my recent tooth/jaw/throbbing pain issues, he understood why I wanted an exam. If I have some root canal brewing in there I want to get it taken care of sooner rather than later.

Turns out I do have a few issues – one of which is a cracked/cracking tooth on the opposite side that has been giving me no problems but is new in the last 8 months and is indicative of my unconcious teeth clenching. He asked me about a night guard, and I admitted to having one but not using it for the past sseveral years. My former dentist had created it for me about 10 years ago, during a really stressful period in my life when I was having jaw-popping issues. It no longer fits right and is actually painful to wear, because I hauled it out and tried it when this pain started. Dentist explained to me why the pain problems I am having are happening and the need for a new night guard once we get this cracked/cracking tooth an a small cavity repaired.

*sigh*

While I do not feel especially stressed, I do know that it is an insidious thing, that it builds and layers until something happens I completely lose my shit with M over failing to fold the laundry or tell me we are out of cheese. You know, things that normally be a minor annoyance are escalated to just this side of grounds for divorce. It’s a familiar pattern, unfortunately. M is forgiving when I have one of these inexplicable explosive episodes out of the blue, but obviously I would prefer to nip release my inner stress puppy before she chews her way to freedom.

My appointment to get started on the required treatment is in a couple of weeks, and I am looking at schedules and workloads and formulating tentative plans to take a few days off in April and several days to a week off in May. Even if we do a staycations, I think some time away from my full-time job and it’s inflexible and unchanging cast of characters is required. Maybe a trip to Disneyland? Or maybe spending quality time with my Kindle and our new concrete? Perhaps a road trip up north? I will have to brainstorm with M and see what he thinks.

Just the idea of getting away from work-work is exhilarating. Several days away from my office desk will do wonders for me. My part-time jobs are easy in comparison, my bosses there very flexible and appreciative of the work I do and they way it is done. I will be getting a new night guard and using it, but between now and then perhaps I can dimminish its absolute necessity.

New week, new headaches

I am feeling much better this morning and back at work. I suppose a weekend of staying inside most of the time and sleeping a lot more than normal is as much a part of curing illness as the antibiotics I am taking. Either way, the ear/sinus/eye/tooth pain is lessened to completely relieved this morning. Thankfully. Breathing normally from both nostrils no longer seems like a far-off dream.

In our local school districts this is spring break week, which means my part-time admin has jiggered her schedule to Thursday and Friday, when her husband is home to keep an eye on the kids. Part of my really appreciates the flexibility of our small firm, yet another part of me really resents how she takes it for granted. Unfortunately the local owner is a bit of a pushover and allows it to continue. Then again, my negative feelings about it also relate to my own tendencies toward workaholism, which while I view it as very balanced, I have been criticized for it enough to have it be a bit of a sore spot for me. That said, I have worked in consulting firms exclusively for 25+ years and have been rewarded for my constancy. I have on two occasions in this time period cancelled planned vacations, but the circumstances were extraordinary and M and I were not excited about the vacation plans in the first place.

But since many of our friends are self-employed or work in civil service of some sort, my typical 60 hour work week seems horrendous. However, I also have 2 part-time jobs that I do from home and that I actually really enjoy, so it seems less like work most of the time and more like a hobby that compensates me. M is accustomed to my how much I work, and he has plenty of hobbies and things to do around the house to not feel neglected when I’m planted in front of my computer working on spreadsheets for hours at a stretch.

I am anticipating a mostly quiet week, yet there are a few nagging details and projects on my desk that I must finish and get off my to-do list. Things like phone and copier leases, difficult clients that need help understanding their paperwork (typically something my admin does), and staffing-related documentation for the first quarter of the year. I don’t know how I managed to overlook that, but tomorrow is end of the first quarter and the owners will be expecting reports on Wednesday, and I have not even started. Ugh. One of my least favorite tasks, always put off until the last possible moment and then resented for the time it consumes.

On a brighter note, M was cajoled (read: nagged, guilted, bitched at and into … whatever negative-sounding wifely term comes to mind) into installing our kitchen sink faucet set yesterday. We have had the replacement for over a month, and the prior one was leaking furiously all over the place. In my not feeling well state yesterday I was rather snappish about when he was going to install it, and to his credit M very calmly agreed that he could see what he could do with it yesterday afternoon. It took a couple of hours and required him to cut off the prior unit, but installing the new set took only about 20 minutes. Working under the sink is not fun and requires use of muscles in a different way, so M would take frequent breaks to give his knees or his back or his arms a break. I actually did not care how long it took; I just wanted it installed or attempted to be installed. After it was all done, he was quite pleased with himself, and I am over the moon at no longer having a minor flood every time I need water in the kitchen.

We may still need to contact a plumber, though, because one of the valves seems to be leaking intermittently and should be replaced. While he is here M would also like to have him install the reverse osmosis system we have purchased, and I am fine with that. The only reason I had not contacted the plumber about the faucet set was M seemed very gung-ho to install it himself when we first discovered the faucet problem. We apparently miscommunicated, because M was thinking we would just add that to the plumber’s list. Had I known that was what he wanted to do, the faucet would have been installed weeks ago, before I had opportunity to get sick, get frustrated, and get bitchy about it. All is well now, though.

The weather here is creep up into the 80s this week. Hopefully the trees will finish there blooming and pollen-spreading activities and I can return to a normal breathing state. At least I can function and work today, though, so I will be happy with that.