Monday, May 25, 2020

The Reason I Love The Husband Today 5/25/2020

We are working in the garden today. I say "we", but I mean The Husband. I am recovering from being sick all week, and he has set up a camp chair for me between a couple of rows so I can be near him. 


I thank him for letting me just sit and hang out.
"You're not feeling well," he says. "You just relax; enjoy the fresh air and sunshine."
"You realize all the voices from my childhood are calling me lazy right now."
He put down his trowel. "Honey, you need to realize the only voices that matter are the ones you hear today."

I love this man so much.
I chose wisely. 

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Reason I Love The Husband Today 5/24/2020

At 4:22am, I hear our elderly cat leap onto the bedroom dresser which is located under the window. Without a word, The Husband quietly climbs out of bed and opens the window shade a crack so the cat can look outside.

Sunday, May 17, 2020

UOK?

Younger Son, who graduated from college yesterday and is now officially living at home with his parents until he finds a fulltime job and an apartment of his own, is watching a video in our dining room. He is using ear buds and has told us he is trying to determine the presenter's country of origin based on his accent. Younger Son is quiet for several minutes, then we have this conversation:


He: (to the room in general) He's from the UK.
Me: (not looking at him) Okay.
He: ::glances at his father, looks back at me::
Me: (still not looking at him)
He: (at me pointedly) No. YOO K.
Me: Yeah. I'm okay. Thanks, honey.

The three of us grin satisfactorily at each other knowing each one of us had heard the other perfectly fine.

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Computer Science vs Journalism

Younger Son moved home when COVID-19 forced his university to shift to online learning. He is finishing up his last semester of undergraduate courses, and this week is finals week.

As a Computer Science major, many of his final exams are actually final projects that he's been working on for months. He's living the the Mother-in-law's former apartment downstairs, and he does almost nothing else besides work on coding. He enjoys the work immensely so it's not a chore for him; it's more like a hobby, and he's looking forward to making money (LOTS of money) doing it very soon.
When he needs a break, he comes upstairs to give us progress reports. We understand very little of what he tells us, but we are supportive and very proud of him, so we smile and nod politely. 

Yesterday, Younger Son was lounging on our couch as The Husband decompressed from an early day of writing and recording Saturday morning's radio news reports.

Husband: I've been writing all day.
Younger: Yeah? I've been writing all day, too.
Husband: Yeah, but people have to be able to understand what I write.
Younger: People have to understand what I write, too.
Me: People who don't live in their parents' basement have be able to understand what your father writes.
Younger:
Me: (mic drop)

Friday, April 10, 2020

#SnackerAtHome

Just between you and me, I have a stash of Girl Scout Cookies hidden somewhere in the house. 


The box had been one of the many items I brought home from my office desk the day we evacuated for Safer At Home COVID-19 prevention measures. I squirrelled the box away knowing treats would be limited during "essentials only" shopping trips. But mostly because I do not intend to share said cookies. 

The problem is, I am never alone long enough to sneak a cookie out of the box and eat it without being caught. 

So, that box is lasting longer than any box of cookies has a right to last. 

Monday, March 23, 2020

Working From Home

At 10am last Friday, a coworker and I enjoy a stroll along the company's onsite walking path. I tell her, "I have a feeling today's going to be the last day we all come into work for a while."

She replies, "Me, too."

An hour later, our department head announces that everyone who *can* work from home is ordered to pack up what they need to be successful, and go home at noon.

A handful of us girls who rarely socialize in the office roll our desk chairs into an appropriately distanced circle, eat our lunches on our laps, and pretend this is a special event instead of something sad and final. Someone mentions that it feels like the end of a school year, and we're saying goodbye until the fall. The rest of us nod.

As I stuff files and personal items into plastic bags, an email from the CEO arrives in my Inbox. 
"...this is new to all of us... you provide essential service to our customers... not possible without you... together... proud of you..."
These words float around my mind as I load my work life into my car and imagine what it will be like to carry on at home. It feels weird. It feels as if the captain of the ship has wished us all well and ordered us to abandon ship and save ourselves.
The Husband texts me. "Where are you right now?"
I reply, "I'm loading up my lifeboat."

The Husband and I spend the weekend making a list of things we might need if we suddenly are ordered to stay home for 3 weeks. We visit several stores before our list is fulfilled. 
We stop at our tax prep office and sign our tax returns. "Please, keep the pen," the receptionist tells us.

Monday morning,  The Husband leaves for work armed with a tub of disinfecting wipes and a bottle of hand sanitizer. Radio people touch and breathe on so much of the equipment,  we don't worry if he will get sick as much as we wonder how soon. His employers have not yet made a plan to keep their people safe nor thought about how to stay on the air if their entire staff goes down at once. We are not surprised.  This is how small town radio works.

In the afternoon, I text The Husband at his radio station. "When will you be home?"
He replies, "I'm loading up the lifeboat."
I am relieved. 

Tomorrow,  for the first time in 8 years, the two of us will again be working together. 
We have missed this. 

Friday, March 06, 2020

Why I need to always have a cat

Because without a cat, I'd just be walking around the house talking to myself.

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

2019: The Very Good Year

2019 has been very good to me. But you can't truly appreciate the magnitude of this year unless you hold it up against the light of the entire decade shining behind it. Let's take a real good look.

The Decade in Review...

2010:
The Year My Mom Died (cancer)
The Year All of My Friends Got Divorced But Didn't Tell Me Because They Didn't Want to Make Me Sad

2011:
The Year My Sister Lily Died (cancer)

2012:
The Year I Walked Away from a 25-Year-Long Career in Radio and Accepted a Pretty Cool Job as a Video News Anchor and Social Media Specialist

2013:
The Year the Video News Company Went Bankrupt and Closed
The Year I Accidentally Began a New Career in Digital Marketing

2014:
The Year I Went Back to College

2015:
The Year My Dad Died (cancer)

2016:
The Year My Siblings Fought Over the Will and Broke Apart What Little Family I Had Left
The Year I Turned 50 and Became Older Than Lily

2017:

The Year I Began Applying for New Jobs
The Year I Began Receiving Soul Crushing Rejections
The Year Everyone Else In My Department Left for Better Jobs

2018:
The Year I Was So Proud When Younger Son Got an Apartment and Moved Out
The Year I Was So Sad When Younger Son Got an Apartment and Moved Out

Tattered around the edges,
but held together through it all
2019:
The Year I Earned a Bachelor's Degree
The Year I Got a New Job
The Year I Visited My Siblings and It Was Pleasant
The Year That Was Very Good

So, my friend, I present to you 2019:
The Year That Made It Possible to Gently Close the Door on This Decade and Move On.

All my best to you and yours in 2020, my friend.

Friday, December 27, 2019

Awesome Things About My Job (Part 2)

Windows

The building designers put quite a bit of effort into ensuring every room has access to natural sunlight. Exterior rooms are open concept so all cubicles have a view of a window. One wall of the employee break room is made entirely of glass. Interior rooms have second story skylights visible from the first floor.

Lack of windows would have been a deal breaker when the job offer was made. I asked the recruiter how close my workspace would be to a window.

Windows, and a walking path.
I kinda like my new job.
Skylight!

Monday, December 02, 2019

Three Days Without a Phone

The Husband and I had been running and gunning for two straight weeks cleaning the house and getting food ready to host Thanksgiving dinner at our house. Shortly after collapsing into bed Wednesday night content that everything was taken care of, I heard my phone issue its dead battery warning. I'd been hearing this warning for months. The phone had been intermittently denying that it was plugged in, and it often failed to charge the battery leading to unexpected "oh dear god my battery is dead I'm powering off oh the humanity" warnings at all times of day or night. But this warning on the eve of every-business-closed-for-Thanksgiving-followed-by-everyone-in-the-world-shopping-on-Black-Friday-good-luck-getting-personal-help-buying-technology-any-time-soon, my phone played out its death scene for the last time.

Thus began my three day journey of enlightenment.

I am here to tell you, friends, living without a phone was not the experience I had expected.
I spent all of Thanksgiving Day... visiting with family.
I spent two long evenings... reading books.
Entire days passed without Facebook drama.

I didn't miss my phone.

Much.

I will be the first to admit that I had developed an unhealthy relationship with my mobile device. I'd been spending so much time with my head bent over it and hands cupped around it that my neck, shoulders and thumbs were in almost constant pain. So I am both amazed and relieved that I did not miss my phone as much as I believed I should.
And I was delighted to learn that the things I did miss were not the things I'd grown addicted to.

Things I didn't miss:

  • Texting - Oh sure, multiple times a day I wanted to share a funny thought with the Husband and I felt the absence of this quick, private connection. But almost always the text was more of an entertaining distraction from work more than a communication necessity. If I'd had something urgent the Husband needed to know, I could have called him from my desk. While it was sad not to have the ability to text, living without it was not the obstacle I thought it would be.
  • Games - I had granted myself one game app to use whenever I had long waits to endure like at the DMV or during TV shows the Husband liked that I didn't care for. It was supposed to be a backup plan, a simple time filler for special occasions, but I'd fallen into the habit of choosing to play the game over doing any other activities that I used to enjoy. I wasted hours every day on it. I wanted to delete it from my phone, but I'd already spent so much time climbing to high levels that I couldn't bring myself to throw it all away. All that time invested for nothing? I couldn't do it. So, I'd been afraid that being without this game would cause painful withdrawal, but it didn't. Am I sad all my progress is lost? Sure, but I didn't miss the game at all once it was removed from my life. I don't need it. I have other things to do that I enjoy. And frankly, what's wrong with just waiting? What's wrong with passing the time with nothing but your own thoughts? Who says we need to be entertained all the time?
  • Facebook - the only time I even thought about checking Facebook was when I was waiting for something else... like a program to load on my computer, or for the Husband to return to the room I was sitting in. Almost always my intentions to "just check it quick" would turn into a 10-15 minute diversion from what I was supposed to be doing. Facebook was also a time filler that I didn't need and didn't really miss when it wasn't available. And again, what's so wrong with just waiting?
 Things I did miss:
  • The camera - Because really, what else does anyone use to take pictures anymore? No one but professional photographers carry an actual camera. Yeah, I missed the camera.
  • The clock - Guess what? I use my phone as an alarm clock. If it hadn't been for the Husband's collection of backup alarm clocks, I wouldn't have had a clock in the house that had an alarm I could use in the interim.
  • A weather app - I know the TV and radio stations all have a ten minute weather guarantee, but I never pay attention long enough to hear what the temperature is now and whether or how many layers I'll need to wear. I can live without this app, but it's funny how I didn't even realize how much I used it until I didn't have it.
  • Sticky Note app - This is a note pad app where I had gotten into the habit of jotting notes to myself. I kept a shopping list on there, ideas for blog posts I hoped to write someday, timed reminders that pinged when it was time to take a break from work or to pay monthly bills. This nifty thing held a lot of information so I didn't have to remember it. This is one app I'm putting back on the new phone, but I'm also going back to writing the more important notes on paper.
What I learned is that my phone is a useful tool that I should be grateful to have and that I should use happily without any guilt. But I should be careful not have to let it have me.

***
By Saturday night, I had a new phone.
I spent all of Sunday complaining about how I couldn't figure out the settings on it.
I dislike getting used to new phones.