Checking In

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There are two more days left in April and it will represent the first full month in over 30 years that I haven’t had to go to work. I mean I still show up a couple of times a week for a couple of hours but it isn’t really the same thing. Setting your own schedule is different than having to be there a set number of hours each day.

So what’s different?

For one, my coffee consumption is way down. I would have a small glass of iced coffee with breakfast but then pick up an additional caffeine fix at the world’s most famous coffee place. I was one of their morning regulars and that has essentially stopped. Also, because I would tend to get up super early, and because we had free coffee at work, I’d usually hit the machine at least once during the day. That’s also stopped.

I’m certainly getting more sleep. I had convinced myself I could get by on 6 hours of sleep a night because it let me get to work early enough to leave well before five. Well, I could do that but only with the reinforcing shots of coffee during the day. Now, I’m somewhere around 7-8 hours which is probably better for me.

On the down side, my step count is down on most days. Which is silly because we have a treadmill at home and I haven’t made the most of it. At work, I made myself get up and walk around – it was a good way to connect with the team during the day. Walking to and from the various meetings just added steps during the day. On nice days, I would sometimes just step out and walk around the campus for 5-10 minutes. Lots more ways to get steps in while I was working.

But I do like the flexibility. I’m taking my car back into the shop tomorrow so they can do the repairs they couldn’t do the last time because they didn’t have the parts. And I don’t have to worry about getting from work to the dealer and back to work and then back to the dealer. Wednesday morning Rocco the wonder dog visits the vet and, again, I could make the appointment without have to worry about scheduling around work things. Same thing with my next three hand therapy appointments.

I do need a better calendar system though. I used to record things like that in my calendar at work just because our calendar software was part of the email and you always check email multiple times at work so there were multiple reminders. Now I have to remember to put things in my phone so I don’t schedule something on top of something else like I almost did last week.

I’m doing more cooking which has good and bad points. I’m exploring all the various things the Instant Pot can do and that’s allowed me to experiment with things I don’t normally cook. Plus, there is the chopping of vegetables (really dicing) which is kind of therapeutic for me. But I hate cooking the same stuff over and over again and sometimes it is hard to think of new things. On an unrelated note, our farmer’s market opens next weekend (six days from now) so I’m looking forward to more fresh produce.

I did set up an appointment to talk with the career person on Wednesday. I do know that I don’t want to trade what I’ve got for another office job. I almost feel like I got paroled and I don’t want to go back to another brick and glass prison. Even if I could find one with a better culture and one that encourages cooperation and where people aren’t so office political, it still means having to go back to the juggling act and having to worry about when I can make vet appointments, etc. Also, if I don’t get some errand done on the weekend, I can just go out during the week and get it done. Much easier when 9-10 hours of your free time is spoken for by a job.

Yes, it would certainly be better to be bringing in some money rather than none. The biggest thing nagging at me is the whole “you’re too young to retire” thing. I mean we are supposed to work until we drop, right? Is it just laziness to want to walk away? Haven’t quite worked that through yet.

Speaking of work, I have one member of my team who is being interviewed for a job. It was funny because she sent me a text message saying she still felt obligated to let me know she had an interview even though I’m not the boss of her anymore. Anyway, if gave me a chance to be supportive which I guess everyone needs from time to time. I hope she gets it because it really seemed like a good fit.

I have another person who isn’t having as much luck and she texted me with a simple line that “job hunting sucks”. She’s probably going to have a little more trouble just because she’s so introverted and that kind of leads her to come across as a little awkward during conversations. So I tried to be as supportive as possible. What I suspect is that when she finds something, it will likely be a good fit because the people hiring her would look beyond the first impression and see the talent and skills that are there.

I do miss interacting with my team on a daily basis. Which is strange to say for an introvert. Maybe I should have said I miss being able to interact with them. I wouldn’t chose to do it every day since that would wear me down after a time. But I’m also not someone who needs to totally shut the world out.

And I am reading more. Although given that I’m still trying to work through the third book in my recent YA series, I’m not sure that’s a positive. Let’s just say that things haven’t gotten any better. They did kill off the innocent kid who whined a lot and all that’s done is give the heroine something else to feel guilty about. Right now, it is just a bunch of arguing between the heroine and the other characters since she makes decisions and doesn’t tell them and they get upset. Blah, blah, blah. Far too much bad drama but I can’t give up just yet.

I saw someone else at work I hadn’t seen since we were let go. The usual question is how are you doing. And I told her what I’ve told everyone – I’m doing really good. It does feel like a giant weight was lifted off me and I’m happy.

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