Work, Work, Work #MondayBlogs #WFH #writing

When I decided to accept a new position at my workplace (first mentioned here), I didn’t take into account the time I’d give up, the work I’d gained. Kind of like when I decided to share meals with the love of my life, not taking into account the clothes I’d give up because of the weight I gained. Choices.

The extra weight I carry is worth the 30+ years I’ve been with my husband, and I believe the work I’m now doing will be worthwhile, although not on a par with my marriage. Nothing bests my marriage.

I’m sure I’ll have plenty of times when I’ll slap my forehead and wonder out loud, “What was I thinking?!”. Oh, well. As I tell anyone who will listen, I’m grateful to have a job. We could take care of ourselves just fine if my new status in the office doesn’t work out. My bosses need me more than I need them, but that is what I respond most sincerely to: when someone needs me.

The time I’m giving up in order to catch up means I’ll have to make choices as to how I spend my even more precious free time. This past week I haven’t read any blogs, but I would like to change that. I’ll just be a more intermittent reader. I’ll definitely be less of a writer … for now.

Before this upheaval, I interviewed Megan Russo, author of A Daughter for Mr. Spider, a mixed media chapbook published by Nightingale and Sparrow. Here’s a link to the interview: http://nightingaleandsparrow.com/interview-with-megan-russo-author-of-a-daughter-for-mr-spider/ I had a lot of fun interviewing Megan. Even though it was done through email, I found Megan to be a wonderfully open and thoughtful writer. Her memoir is a lovely mix of flash narrative, poetry, photos, and collage. In roughly 50 pages, she gracefully tells a story of three generations of her family. I highly recommend A Daughter for Mr. Spider. Details for purchasing can be found here: http://nightingaleandsparrow.com/a-daughter-for-mr-spider-by-megan-russo/

For something not completely different because it’s still about writing: The book in which I have an essay arrived at my house recently. What’s not to love about seeing your name in print, to see your essay listed in the Table of Contents and … (drum roll) to even be cited in the index! I had written about this publication here: https://1writeway.com/stay-at-home-and-stay-away-personalspace-socialdistancing/

Sexual Harassment is a powerful and timely reference book edited by poet and historian Merril D. Smith. Many of you already know Merril and enjoy the poetry, photos, and musings she shares on her blog at https://merrildsmith.wordpress.com/. This was the first time I had ever received compensation for my writing so I did what any writer would do and bought a copy of the book. As a contributor, I did receive a very nice discount, but I would have bought a copy anyway. I like seeing my name in print.

So I have been writing, but will likely write less. You will see less of my writing here on my blog, but I hope to visit you all more.

My challenge now is to use my time more carefully, more mindfully. Yoga, forest bathing, knitting, and brushing my cats are activities I need to do to counter the effects of being on the computer even more now. Are any of you experiencing “technology fatigue”? That’s what I’m calling a kind of fatigue that overtakes me sometimes, often during the work day. My Skype Business meetings are often beset with inadequate audio and visuals. That is draining enough. Then, while in a meeting, someone else might instant message me while another sends an email and still another calls on my cell phone. I do have moments when I want to scream (and since I’m currently working from home, I do scream). We have technology that is inadequate for our needs but we behave as if we must use all of it all the time.

That is what makes it so hard to shift over to my blog, to open my WordPress Reader or Twitter feed or Instagram. I (again) deleted my LinkedIn account and I avoid Facebook (except my youngest nephew and his wife recently had a baby so … yep, gotta check Facebook). So I’m not pushing myself. I tamp down the FOMO anxiety and remind myself this (job) isn’t forever. I’ve got a whole other life waiting for me when the time is right.

By the way, my boss gave me permission to use this photo as my work profile picture.

Cool cats wear face masks.

We’ll see how long I can get away with it. Some higher-ups might argue it’s not “professional.”

Now that summer is nigh in Florida, we going to try and make a habit of walking in the morning on Sundays and feast on pancakes for brunch. Here are a few scenes from Sunday’s morning walk.

I do love seeing hawks in our neighborhood. Lake Marc (sigh) is actually a storm water facility that is not well-maintained: Lots of trash floating around and a tree is growing in the concrete inlet. I managed to pick up some trash but not as much as I could have if I had a boat. But birds and insects abound, marking the area as having ample biodiversity. We saw the hawk again (assuming it was the same hawk), red-winged blackbirds, a merganser duck, bees and butterflies, dragonflies. The air shivered with buzzes and hums.

Summer is nigh (did I already say that?) and the cats are in their stupor, showing their bellies.

Thanks for reading. Virtual hugs for everybody!

30 thoughts on “Work, Work, Work #MondayBlogs #WFH #writing

  1. A new job. A snappy new profile picture. You are rocking this world right when so many of us feel stuck. I’ll live vicariously through you. Congrats.

    • Thanks, Ally. I don’t think you would have wanted to live through me this past week πŸ˜‰ Lots of “what was I thinking” forehead smacking as my 8-hour work day stretched into 10 hours. But I’m being challenged in ways I hadn’t been before and there’s something invigorating about that (exercising the little gray cells). My profile picture is still up at work. I’ve gotten some teasing but nobody has told me to take it down yet πŸ™‚

  2. Congrats on the job promo – even with all the extra time involved, it sounds like you and the kitties are making a great stab at adjusting.
    Hope you get to keep your new ‘avatar’!

    • Hey, Phillip, thanks for stopping by! I hope I can keep working from home. I’ve gotten quite used to it. I don’t miss the commute at all πŸ˜‰ I and most of my team feel we’ve been more productive working from home than in the office. I do miss my desk, though πŸ˜‰

  3. So much: congrats on the publication! congrats on the job! congrats on the new headshot which is so cute and timely! congrats to Merril and congrats to Megan! Lovely catchup. I am sorry you are so busy now, but at least your life sounds very fulfilling and you are there right now for the kitties :). Sending hugs from Arizona!

    • Thank you, Luanne! Yes, good news all around. I have been very busy since my supervisor left, but it helps to be able to pet my cats and hug my husband whenever I want πŸ™‚

        • Oh, dear, one of ours has thrown up cigar-size hairballs … I call them hair cigars because they are not ball shaped πŸ˜‰ I think it’s Max. She sheds exuberantly this time of year. Fortunately she loves to be brushed, but we can’t keep up with the shedding.

  4. Congrats on publication! I hope you will continue to write as much as time allows. I understand that there’s only so many hours in a day. That’s why I’m not blogging too much, so I completely understand if I don’t see you around my blog for a while. Take good care of you! I really like your cool cat mask. And yes to technology fatigue, but I have now grown so used to it. At first it was exhausting and I resented anyone trying to zoom, FaceTime, Skype, etc. Now I rather enjoy it:)
    Cat bellies make me happy! Take good care, Marie:)

    • Thank you, Cheryl. I hope I will take the time to at least post photos now and then, keep my blog rolling that way, but it’s hard to miss out on everyone else’s blogs. I am grateful to be able to use technology to stay in touch with friends and keep up with my yoga classes (we had a two-hour “yoga retreat” this morning through Zoom … it was great!). It’s when it comes at me all at once during the workday … but that has more to do with my employer and colleagues and their mentality that one should always be available. In contrast, a friend and I had a lovely two-hour chat through FaceTime a couple of weeks ago. That was priceless πŸ™‚

  5. Wonderful interview with Megan Russo. I’m going to order her book. Congratulations on your promotion, and thank you for the shout out!
    I know what you mean about the technology overload/fatigue. I don’t have business meetings, but all my work is done on the computer, and there are days, I just can’t bear to read more blog posts and things. (Though strangely, I can watch TV.) 😏
    Great nature shot, and I love your mask and cat belly. Last week when we had some very warm days, Ricky was doing that, too.

    • Thank you, Merril. How nice that you’re going to order Megan’s book! I love her creative spirit. I hear you about time spent on the computer. Back at the office, I might be on the computer all day, but it’s wasn’t every single day. Now it is all day because all our meetings have to be done through Skype or GoToMeeting. It gets crazy but I keep telling myself it (the job) ain’t forever. I am able to watch TV too; maybe because the screen is so much further away from my face than my computer? Or because I don’t have to read, just relax and let the story take over.

  6. I love that you cite brushing your cat as an essential activity to balance all the technology. Thanks for the update. It helps to know what is going on with folks I have “met” on blogs when they cut back writing and reading. And congrats on the essay, payment, and a bookβ€”the trifecta!

    • Thank you, Ellen! I read somewhere that petting a cat can lower one’s blood pressure. Petting them and brushing them definitely have a calming effect on me … one of the perks of working from home πŸ™‚

  7. Congratulations, Marie! Some promotions are harder to accept because of the added responsibility and time. Glad you’ve accepted the changes in your life.

    Love the profile photo pick and the other photos you included. Hawks are fun to see (unless you’re a small rodent). πŸ˜€

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