Living (work life balance, what?).

This week has been ROUGH in the world of work/life balance.  As I mentioned in my last post, I have a problem with being a chronic underplanner.  Therefore, it should come as no surprise that I completely forgot to set up internet in the new place until I had already started moving in last week (which meant I couldn’t get an appointment to install everything until tomorrow).   This has kind of put me in a bind, because Ellie’s daycare closes at 9:30pm, and since she is not used to my new place yet, I can’t just leave her home alone to howl for hours to the late night annoyance of all of my brand new neighbors.  But I don’t have internet at home, and I have so much work this week that I really need to be able to work past 9:30. 

So I found myself thinking, “wow, I really wish I didn’t have a dog this week, this is making my life so complicated.”  (This was probably around the time that I was sitting in my car outside a downtown Starbucks around midnight with Ellie in the car trying to “borrow” Starbucks wifi to email a document I had been working on from home).  I found myself feeling thankful that I don’t have a spouse or kids so I don’t have to worry about them at times like this.  I wondered how on earth people in this job have spouses and kids (they do. crazy right?). 

Then suddenly I realized how insane my thought process was.  I was wishing I did not have my dog so that I could have more time to work.  I have been looking forward to Friday all week just so I will have internet at home, to make it easier for me to work past 9:30pm.  Kind of messed up, y’all. 

Last night I was feeling super down.  Suddenly overwhelmed by the fact that I just signed a year lease, committing myself to this life for at least another year.  And my apartment was in shambles, and this project I’m on is ridiculous.   So when I got home at 9:30, rather than figure out a way to work locally and drive over to Starbucks in the middle of the night to send off emails, I unpacked a few boxes, ate some chocolate, and then I snuggled on the couch with the pooch, watching Runaway Bride until I drifted to sleep (because not only is it one of my favorite movies, it is the only movie I could find). 

I don’t want to be the girl that lets life fly by me because I don’t have time for anything but this job.  Ellie is actually a little work-life balance blessing in disguise because she reminds me that there are OTHER THINGS IN THIS WORLD.  I know people who have this job with miserable lives, and people with this job who (admittedly still have very busy times, but) generally lead happy lives.  I want the latter.

On another note, Ellie is about as much of a control freak with noise as I am (she hates anything making noise that she doesn’t think should be making noise).  So this morning, one of the neighbor’s dogs kept barking and I could hear it faintly through the wall.  Ellie stood looking at the wall and doing this growl under her breath thing that she also likes to do around small children and things on wheels.  Not acceptable, neighbor dog.  You are not allowed to let your barking sounds drift into Ellie’s apartment 😉

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Chronic Underplanner.

As the title suggests, I am a chronic underplanner.  I think my “go go go/hate to waste time” personality combined with my lack of patience are to blame for this condition. 

Once upon a time my mom and I decided to take a day trip to Canada, two weekends after 9/11, and didn’t think to (1) fill up the car the night before; (2) take jackets; (3) take a map; (4) take birth certificates or passports; or (5) think about how we might pay for parking if places were cash only, among other things.  We laugh about it now but that was seriously a bad idea.  We are lucky we made it there and back ok (especially since I almost ran over the border guard attempting to open my trunk on the way back into the U.S. … a story for another day).

Anyway, my chronic underplanning skills came to life again last week in the form of bright, lemongrass paint.  I decided to paint a couple of walls in my new loft before moving in.  Thankfully, I had some help from Troy, who had remodeled and painted his entire house.  The only thing I pre-planned was picking out some paint swatches to bring home and check in my loft’s light before buying.  And I knew I would need some of that blue tape.  But I didn’t think of things like extra brushes, plastic sheets to protect the floor, anything to clean up potential accidents, changes of clothes, or, you know, even buying enough paint to give each wall two coats, etc.  Luckily Troy thought of extra brushes and plastic sheets.  But we found ourselves painting last Thursday night.. and only realized my lack of planning skills when there was a spill on the floor.  Finding myself with no paper towels or regular towels to wipe up the mess (and pretty sure toilet paper wouldn’t do), I ended up cleaning up the mess with water and an old shirt.  The shirt became our spot-cleaner for the night.  Then, when it was time to wash out the brush used for cutting in, I realized I did not have any form of soap.  So we just went with old school hot water, a wringing from the old shirt, and hoped for the best. 

Who starts slapping paint on rented walls above rented hardwood floors without any care or concern for ability to clean up messes?  Apparently this girl.  Don’t tell my landlord.  However, I am pleased to report that despite my failings at preparedness, everything turned out just fine!   So while I may suck at thinking ahead, I manage to work everything out in the end 😉

I am going to post some pics, but I think it’s best to wait until it looks a little less like a huge tornado swept through the place, and a little more like the cozy home I intend it to be.

Ten on Tuesday on Wednesday.

Questions From Roots And Rings.

1. What’s your favorite color to paint your nails?
I never paint my nails.  I am incapable of painting my right hand so as not to look like a 5 year old painted my nails for me.  And although I LOVE the look of a good manicure, I rarely get one because I hate that it chips so quickly.   My favorite is usually french manicure or some light pale pink or beige type color (because it doesn’t show chipping as much).  However, I also occasionally love a nice dark purple or brown.

2. Do you like to sneeze?
Nope.   But I do love it when my dog sneezes.  SO CUTE.  Except for when stuff sprays in my face because she is laying right next to my head.  Not cute.

3. How often do you fill up your car with gas?
Well, I used to wait until the last possible minute because I HATE stopping for gas.  However, I recently had my car die from lack of gas (luckily in the driveway to a gas station).  There was no orange warning light or chugging like my old car.  It just completely stopped moving without warning.  Fearing something similar happening again, I now never let my car get below the 50 mile mark (because that’s when my car stops telling me how many miles I have left until empty and just says “Fuel Level Low.”  I beg to differ, I don’t think 50 miles left is “low” but whatever Ford, you’re the boss ;-)).

4. Were you named after anyone?
I have the same middle name as my mom and Grandma.   As for my first name, thanks for picking a top 10 name in Michelle, Mom, and forcing me to be Michelle P.(ee) for the rest of my unmarried life 😉

5. Have you made any good recipes lately?
Me?  Recipes?  Does peanut butter toast count?

6. What’s an easy money-saving tip that you use regularly?
Google around for coupon codes before buying stuff online.

7. Would you rather have a sore throat or an ear ache?
Sore throat.

8. Do you have any scars? What are they from?
I have several on my knees from falling throughout my clumsy childhood, one on my leg from ironing a skirt naked and standing a little too close to the ironing board, one on my arm from when someone left an iron ON on a bed, and I jumped on that bed without concern for said iron, and one on my back from when I tried to hide under my brothers’ bunk beds (despite being told not to go under there) and caught my back with an exposed nail.  Ouch.  Oh, and some scars in my tailbone region from a surgery I had in college.

9. What are you “known for” in your circle of friends/family?
Being loud, funny, smart, a know-it-all (not so much anymore but big time throughout childhood), having a snort laugh, liking ugly colors, the one who is obsessed with chocolate cake… the list goes on.

10. How do you like to eat your pancakes?
NO BUTTER. BLEH.  Ideally just with some syrup.  And probably a side of bacon.  And fluffy, but not too fluffy.

What Are These Things People Call “Weekends”?

Once upon a time I lived in Europe and had 4-day “weekends” every week, and as a result I was able to go to classes Tues-Thurs and travel around The Continent Friday-Monday.  Once upon a time I was slow at work and spent my 2-3 day weekends jet setting to visit various friends and family around the country.  Once upon a time I was SO slow at work that I spent my weekends sitting around my house being depressed and thinking about ways to blow this pop stand (as in, leave L.A.  Not blow anything up, ok FBI?). 

But those once-upon-a-times are long gone.  As I already mentioned, for the last… too many months to count (8?) I have rarely had any time off.  “Weekends” are just days I feel less guilty about working from home in PJs and not showering.  Every once in awhile the stars align, the clouds part, bells ring, angels get some wings, and I find myself with one whole day off (as in a weekend day off).  However, due to my ridiculous schedule I usually spend that one day in PJs, unshowered, and watching a marathon of reality TV.   But not this past weekend!  I found myself with little work to do on a Saturday, and I decided to (wait for it…) put real clothes on and go out into the world!  I didn’t do anything super exciting…. I did a walk through of my new apartment, got the keys, went to lunch, shopped for (but didn’t find) a dining room set.  However, I wasn’t working and therefore my heart rejoiced.   (Of course, as a result of taking a day off I found myself completely overwhelmed with work on Sunday/Monday and as a sidenote hormal which sent me into crying “omg WHY CAN’T I JUST HAVE A WEEKEND OFF LIKE NORMAL PEOPLE?!” people hysterics.  But that’s another story.  And probably not a blog appropriate story.  So just pretend I didn’t share that ;-)). 

This coming weekend, I am going to attempt the impossible…. and try to take another Saturday off.  Two consecutive Saturdays in a row.  I know.  The Nerve.  However, this girl needs to move into her new apartment and get settled in, so I can hopefully start creeping back toward some sense of sanity.  In the meantime, I have plenty of work to catch up on this week.  I am also hoping to paint a few walls in the new place one night this week.  And you know, hopefully also pack and get some sleep.  We’ll see how it all works out.   Please pardon my failing at consistent posting until I settle in.

Things Are Changing Around Here.

Several of my friends have recently commented, “Michelle has risen from the dead!”  And I have.  You see, from about July until late December I have been a gloomy shell of my former self.  I went from dogless, dateless, and workless (had a job, just nothing to do) in June to dog-owning, dating, and worked-to-death by July.   And I kept thinking eventually the whirlwind would slow down, but no such luck.   And I’m not gonna lie.. I was pretty miserable.   I was miserable before… when I was ridiculously slow at work, recently broken-up with my boyfriend of 3+ years, closest friends and family members all very far away… and before I really got a chance to deal with all of that and pick myself back up off the ground, I suddenly got insanely busy with everything.  No time to think.  No time to sleep.  No time to be.  A whole different kind of misery ensued. 

Currently, I’m still crazy busy but somehow with a little break at home (in Portland), and the turning of the Calendar to a new year, I feel renewed.  After getting completely lost in all of the craziness over the past 9-10 months, I’m ready to get everything under control again.  To remember that I have friends and family and hobbies again.  And non-work related goals.   Oddly, I’m much happier at work than I was prior to this crazy busy spell, but I’m also ready to work out some semblence of “work/life balance.”  I’m ready to start taking pictures again, and writing again, and dreaming again.  Sounds cheesy, but it’s true.  Stay tuned 🙂

Another new thing: moving to a new loft by the end of the month.  And I have decided NOT to get cable.  It is so easy after a long day of work to justify plopping on the couch for several hours of mindless TV (that I often don’t even particularly care to watch) and then drifting off to sleep.  How easy is it to sit down in front of a big screen with 100+ channels, find absolutely nothing interesting to watch, and still sit there and watch something anyway just for the sake of watching something?  (Besides, I can always catch Top Model on the internet.)

I want time to read and write and hang out with friends again, without the temptation to turn on a marathon of HGTV.  We’ll see how it goes.  I made it for 4 months without TV in Europe, I can do it again!