Good kind of Friday

Last week I realised that fall break is upon us and that I will be having a week off next week! I had already blocked the week off months ago and it couldn’t come at a better time.

I had a frank and open conversation with my boss this morning about all the shit that’s been happening, including feedback on how what she says affects me negatively. It’s out there now and we’ll see if she will again use this against me or not or if it will even change anything. In any case, I feel much lighter now that it’s been discussed and I’m ready for my break now.

To add to the ‘it’s a good Friday’ feeling – I was able to secure a good financial victory for my young man refugee this week, which had me really stoked. And then there is also the fact that I have bagged a job interview to be held via Zoom next week. Fingers crossed, people! When I get back to work in a week I want to say to my boss that I’ll be outta there.

Today (work) life is looking not so gloomy. Even the weather has cleared a bit and there’s some sun shining in through our dining room window where I sit as I work.

I’m all caught up with everything now, so I can finish early, which is a good thing before heading into a holiday. Time to quickly blog this, shut my work laptop and start my free week off. 🙂

Lunch break

Very late lunch break today as I had three meetings and was working a deadline but finally a moment to unwind now. Sat outside for about 15 minutes…

… but a few raindrops are starting to fall, so back inside to write this. I have a very boring work task to do next, so am delaying a bit getting back to it. Meanwhile, I had to clear bird feathers from the couch which I only saw when I wanted to plonk down there at the beginning of my break (and everyone has left the house, so no one else saw either). Apparently our black cat has been hunting again in the night and has snatched a bird. I can’t find the body, so I hope she took it outside again and didn’t hide it somewhere in the house. It’s not like we don’t feed her! Her dry food has barely been touched which is unlike her. I now understand why. How innocent does she really look while sitting in our armchair?

Time to make a sandwich now (wasn’t hungry earlier but now starting to feel a little peckish) and then back to work again in about 15 minutes. I’m so glad I’ll have my day off tomorrow.

Job search and All Creatures

Had a very disillusioning talk with my boss on Friday who, under the guise of being ‘supportive’ is turning into one of the least supportive bosses I have known and I feel betrayed. It makes me want to leave my current job more than ever, so I’m feverishly searching for other work. I just sent out two applications this evening. Fingers crossed something good will happen because where I’m at now is turning more and more sour. The mental stress I am feeling, especially after Friday, makes me wonder whether I should just call in sick and never go back again…

The cat has been supportive while I sent out my applications…

She’s always desperate to lie on us or, if that’s not possible, to lie against us. Yes, annoying sometimes but also very good for calming nerves when I can just turn my head and nuzzle her soft fur.

I’ve been needing some comfort watching so have finally watched the first season of the new All Creatures Great and Small

… and it sure is a lovely series! I used to watch the old one of the end 1970s and 1980s and I have read the books once a long, long time ago but I’m not that clear anymore on the particulars, it’s been too long. So, no idea whether this is true to the books but I’m really enjoying it, particularly Mrs Hall (Anna Madeley) and Sebastian Farnon (Samuel West), even though he’s a little less jolly here than I remember him from the old series. Of course, also James Herriot (Nicholas Ralph) is good, as is Tristan (Callum Woodhouse), who really has some growing up to do, and I don’t remember Helen Alderson being a farming woman but I do like this Helen (Rachel Shenton) too. The second series is airing now as we speak. It’s lovely to disappear into a different world like that. Yorkshire sure is gorgeous and I also think back fondly of our travels there a few summers ago. Looking forward to season two!

To the office!

Today, for the first time since March 2020 (18 months ago!), I went to the office. It’s a new office, open since yesterday as our support services moved to a new location over the summer. We now inhabit two floors in a high rise building with some great views over the city.

I was there for about 4 hours today and it was still pretty quiet. Not everything’s unpacked or hooked up yet but it did all look great and the location even shaves about 10 minutes off my commute time, which is cool. Work will be in hybrid form from now on: working from home a lot of the time with occasional travel to the office. As long as I don’t have to travel during rush hour (especially morning rush hour) I’m good with that.

It was weird talking to colleagues in person again, and I’ve got to say that I still need to get used to that, but it wasn’t so bad being there today. Once people get the hang of it and all start coming in, it will be quite overwhelming and probably too noisy (a LOT of open plan work spaces). So, no more than a few hours a week at the office for me, I hope. I think I still prefer working from my ‘home office’ for most of the time.

As the summer ends…

… I hope I can continue to hold on to some of the positivity I have come to feel during this summer. Getting away for our summer holiday to France this year has really lifted my spirits. It has also helped put things a little bit in perspective for me. Yes, I hate my job, but I only work 32 hours (i.e. 4 days) a week and work really isn’t everything! Working from home for a year and half during lockdowns and restricted activities has started to make it feel like it is everything, probably due to lack of other distractions, but it really is not everything. Also, work allows me to pay for things I enjoy, like that holiday in France, and I have quite a good amount of days off as well. I have decided that I really shouldn’t let my work frustration colour my general mood so much. I hope I can hold on to that as I continue to search for work that will hopefully bring me more joy in the future.

I have much to be thankful for, I realize again as I sit here in our garden in what may be one of the last days of summer before it gets too chilly and wet to sit outside much…

On weekends this September I have enjoyed watching my kids play their sports. Junior tries to fit in handball whenever he can during his very busy work schedule at his hotel and also trying to finish off the last of school so that he can hopefully receive his diploma in a month or two.

And yes, he scored that goal after a breakout play. Mini me has also been loving getting back into football again after the summer, seen here (in red and black on the left) in a defensive action…

Mr Esther and I look at each other and wonder where our kids’ love of and talent for sports comes from, as neither he nor I have it. We’re both really glad they do enjoy it so much as it’s not only healthy and fun for them, it’s also great for their social lives.

I also love seeing our kids adore our cats…

…. and when I see videos like this one of Mandy Patinkin singing prayers to his dog…

… I just grin and nod in recognition as we too are always singing to our cats (well, not prayers and admittedly, it’s mostly me singing, but you get my point).

I am thankful that socializing is happening a little more now. Not too much, I love my alone time, but a little more than during lockdown is good. I am thankful my family is all still healthy (my older brother in Israel did contract Covid a few weeks ago but due to having been vaccinated he had no symptoms) and my friends are healthy too. I am also happy to be helping some refugees through the volunteer work I am able to do at a Council for Refugees office for one afternoon a week (on my ‘free’ Wednesdays). I always feel so helpless when switching on the news, most recently with all the news coming from Afghanistan, and doing this volunteer work makes me feel like I can contribute to make at least some things a little bit better. Like it says in that famous ‘serenity prayer’: Gant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. So, I try to change the things I can and I hope that at least will keep me positive.

I suffer from the winter blues and I think the last round lasted almost until the summer holidays so I really hope to not sink into that again. Extra vitamin D, making sure I get outside more during the winter months and reminding myself of this mood in this post will hopefully help me stay positive for a while. Fingers crossed.