Tag Archives: work

Pushing On

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So, what is it now, that has kept me away from writing? I’ve been busy, sure, and tired. There have been a lot of things going on here on Beaver Island, and in my life.

Saturday, for instance. I worked at the hardware store. It was our busiest – by far – day this year. The side of the building has become a nursery, with stacking shelves arranged under a sun shade for perennials and shrubs, annual flowers, vegetables and herbs. Folks were flocking in to our store for necessities for lawn and garden plans as well as all the usual painting, plumbing and home repair projects.

I had started the day loading art work in the car, so that I could drop it off at the Beaver Island Gallery, on its first open day of the season. I did that in the early afternoon, just before running out to attend the memorial gathering to honor my friend, Roy. I then ran to the point, to attend the annual shareholder’s meeting of the Beaver Island Boat Company. Then, back to the hardware to finish my work day.

Home, I changed clothes, doused up with mosquito repellent, and headed for the garden. I’ve been forcing myself to get in at least an hour of work out there every evening, no matter how much I want to collapse. Saturday, I raked, dug stubborn weeds, hauled away another wheelbarrow full of roots, and assembled a raised bed for my strawberry plants, before coming in to shower. I ate dinner in my pajamas, and was in bed not long after.

In addition to long and busy days, I’ve had a few side-line inconveniences that have further complicated my life. I picked up a tick, while working in the garden, and didn’t discover it until it was firmly embedded in the skin of my inner thigh, and fairly well engorged with my blood. That was the most traumatic (and gross!) thing that has happened to me in quite some time! A trip to the medical center, a dose of strong antibiotic, a few instructions about prevention and how to handle it should it ever happen again, and I was on my way…though the nightmares continue.

My car is in the shop for repairs. That has caused me to be using vehicles that I’m not familiar with (Oh! No cup-holder? And where is the knob for windshield wipers?), changing one car for another, begging rides from here to there, and sometimes walking. It’s not a big deal. It will all be over soon, and I’ll have my own dusty, messy car back, with a nice fat repair bill to boot!

Next, my little dog, having worked herself into a frenzy over having her nails clipped, managed to get out of my grasp…and bit me. By the next morning, redness and swelling made another trip to the medical center necessary. “It was an accident,” I explained, “she was trying to bite the vet.” My tetanus vaccine was still good; another dose of antibiotic, and I was finished. All dog bites have to be reported, so next came a visit from the deputy. My dogs are up to date on all of their shots. Still, according to standard protocol, Rosa Parks had to be placed in quarantine (“House arrest,” I told her) for ten days. No rides to visit the inland lakes; no walks down the Fox Lake Road. “That’s what you get,” I tell her, without sympathy.

Yesterday, it rained. That put all yard work on hold. After coming home from work, I took a lovely, long nap. I got up in time to feed the dogs and make my own supper, then went shortly right back to bed. Today, I feel rested, and like I just might make it. The sun is shining. The grass is desperately in need of being cut. The dogs and I could all use some outdoor time. That’s where I’ll be, then, for the rest of this day.

 

Long Day, Late Night…

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Yesterday was a long, hectic day at work. Freight days always are. Even when there are few customers needing service, there is plenty to do. Often, it involves heavy lifting, climbing up and down ladders and running up and down the aisles. There were plenty of customers needing service yesterday, too: keys to make, pipe and conduit to retrieve from the high storage area and paint to mix. It kept me busy!

Near the end of the day, I got a dinner invitation. As I’d been eating nothing but chocolate-butterscotch treats all day, it was an invitation I couldn’t refuse. I rushed home after work to pick up the dogs, who were invited, too, their dinner, my bread dough and baking stone, and headed out again.

To complement my friend’s offerings of an asparagus and pasta salad flavored with yogurt and lemon, homemade tabouli  and hummus, I made fresh pita bread. We also had wine. And ice cream. We watched an excellent movie. The dogs chased chipmunks. It was a lovely evening!

I am not, however, accustomed to having anything to do outside of my own home after work. A dinner out is a big change in my routine. Even if I get home at a decent hour, which I did, it takes a while to wind down after a night out. So, sleep came late. Morning comes early, always, no matter what. And work is waiting. So there you have it.

Asleep, Awake

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My mind works overtime. When I’m trying to fall asleep, no matter how exhausted my body is, my brain is busy. I run through all the things I should have done and yet need to do. I make lists and plan schedules. I have imaginary conversations. Busy, busy, busy. Until I get out of bed, determined to accomplish enough of something to put my mind to rest.

Then, I’m tired. I can’t think. I can’t focus. I am overwhelmed by the number of things there are to do. Impossible to tackle them all. What one thing can I get done, so that tomorrow, there will be one less thing to face? What will be enough of an accomplishment to make up for the sleep I’m missing? These are my nights.

Sometimes, with a cup of herbal tea, I do some writing. Maybe just a list to help organize my thoughts, or a bit of correspondence, always overdue. Sometimes I’ll tackle a news article, an essay or a blog post, though I’m rarely an inspired writer in the middle of the night. Other times I’ll take on bookkeeping. I may balance my checkbook and pay some bills, or work on the never-ending record-keeping that goes along with the Beacon. Sometimes, I clean.

Too often, I turn on the computer under the guise of working, and instead just waste time. I’ll check the news, then the weather. I’ll see what’s going on in social media. I’ll play a computer game…or two. No matter how unproductively I spend my time, though, it is still not actual rest. The next morning I am tired, with little to show for my lack of sleep.

At night, I am worrying and working over in my mind all the things I need to do. In the daytime, I am fog-brained, sluggish and less productive than I could be if I had gotten a good night’s sleep. This is my dilemma.

 

Running Late

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Yesterday was a long, hard day.

At the hardware store, I was up and down stairs, on and off of ladders, and carrying heavy gallon jugs from the back of the store to the front. I took a break in order to run down to the Community Center to do a recording. Home in the evening, I wandered the property to get the ripe blackberries. By the time I was ready to come in for the night, I was exhausted. Too tired to read, to write, or even to think.

In case today goes the same way, I thought I’d better get my writing done before I leave the house. Still, there’s hardly time. After getting up three times in the night to let the dogs out, I hit the snooze button on the alarm clock a couple times too often this morning. I wandered around the yard with the dogs while the coffee brewed. I showered as soon as I came in. I sat down here with my first cup of coffee, intending to write. I had a few ideas to choose between and expand on…until I noticed the time.

Already, I should be in my car and on my way to town. Instead, I am sitting here in my bathrobe. I still have to dress, pack a lunch, pack a thermos, prepare my little dog’s medicine, and give both dogs a treat before heading out the door.

I’m late. Again!

Just This One

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Just this one. I’ve been saying that to myself lately. Maybe I always have.

I remember saying to my children, “Just this one game, and then it will be time to get ready for bed.”

To myself, “Okay, finish just one chapter, then put the book down.”

Or, “Finish just this one job, then take a walk.”

Lately, the bargains made are more demanding of my time and energy, the rewards less, you know…rewarding.

“Just work through this one night, and get that article finished, then you’ll be able to concentrate on the next one.”

“Just make it through this one day with no sleep, and you can go to bed on time tomorrow.”

“Just work all the extra hours you can, this one season, and get caught up – or at least almost caught up, if nothing else falls apart – by summer’s end.”

“Just make it through this one crazy summer, and things will slow down in the fall.”

“Just put off doing this one good thing (sunset, walk, visit, event, entire season of gardening…) and maybe you’ll get another opportunity.”

“Post just this one lousy blog, even if you have nothing good to say, and maybe it will come easier tomorrow.”

Always one to strike a bargain, that’s me.

 

Rain

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Last night, it rained. Boy, we needed it!  Though it seems the snow has just barely disappeared, things are dry here on Beaver Island.

I recently re-typed a notice from our fire chief, explaining the reasons (less overall snowfall, for one) and warning about the increased fire danger. With all the dry brush, and all the dead and dying beech trees, a blaze could quickly get out of control. This rain will help.

Spring seemed to be on hold, waiting for a rain. Though trees are in bud, the leaves are slow to open. Yesterday, finally, my forsythia burst into yellow blooms. My little species tulips opened up. I’ve been watching my rhubarb hedge closely, anxious for the first, tender stalks. Though it showed bright red at the ground level, there was no growth. This morning, I can see from my window that the stalks have pushed up, and the leaves are unfurled. The entire lawn looks, suddenly, like it needs to be mowed.

I never sleep so well as I do when it’s raining. My sleep has been fitful and scattered for weeks, my mind filled with too many lists of things that need to be finished, and concerns  about how to manage my time to get it all done, to allow good rest. I was thinking last week, up to stay at 3AM, how I was becoming accustomed to getting no more than four or five hours of sleep at night. Not last night!

I slept like a baby, through the whole rainy night. When the alarm went off this morning, I tagged the snooze button and went right back to sleep. Then I did it again, and again. When I finally got up, well-rested and good-humored, I could see that – barring a miracle – I would once again be late for work.

Well…I guess I can blame the rain!

 

Off-Track

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I like to get my writing done early. One good thing finished right off, before I get busy with my day. No stress about finding time to do it later, no worries about forgetting about it. It doesn’t always work out. Today is one of those times.

Last night, I went to bed early and slept all through the night. There was no moonlight writing and tea-drinking so, my daily blog was not yet done when I got up this morning. I did not get up early enough to have extra time.  Taking time to write would have caused me to be even later for work than usual, so I didn’t.

I did stress about it a little bit, while I was working at the hardware store. I had a big rearranging project going on there. It involved moving shelves and much ladder climbing. I thought I might be ready to collapse by the time I was done. I did a little composing in my head as I worked.

Turns out, I was not as exhausted as I thought I would be. It was a beautiful, warm day, though, with lots of snow melt. As soon as I got home, Rosa Parks and I went for a walk. Now I’m tired. Too tired, at least, to tackle the writing I was going to do. My move to Beaver Island will have to wait.

I have a good book started. I think – since I’m already off-track – I may just let everything else go this evening, too, and just read.