Training and Office Shenanigans

It doesn’t feel like Wednesday. In fact, most of the day I’ve been stuck on the fact that it’s Tuesday, when it’s not. This week is flying by. Even today went fast and it wasn’t a good day for me. This morning, I let the stress of things get to me, and I didn’t seem to have the mental capacity to get as much done as I like to. I have one of these days at least once a week, sometimes twice. Maybe it’s a brain defrag, but it’s kind of uncomfortable and makes me feel bad. By the end of the day I was rolling with it, but up to that point, things were kind of rough.

I lost track of time last night, and by the time I realized I hadn’t blogged, I was too tired to think. It was another busy day with nothing major to note. Jon’s ankles were hurting, so he was going to take a rest night and I was going to walk the track.  But when I got out there, the parking lot was a sheet of ice, and I wasn’t brave enough to trek across it, especially since I was out there by myself. My balance still isn’t great, and I have a fear of falling on the ice. So it ended up being a mellow night at home. I made up for it today, though.

My day started with some office shenanigans. Even being in a low mood, this cracked me up, as do the daily events in the lives of our resident elf and nutcracker.

Our team really enjoys their breaks.
Our team really enjoys their breaks.

Later in the day I did some training as part of my job transition. Some of it involved working with html code, a subject that makes me think of Jon and his infinite love of all things web design. My work won’t be that detailed, but what I learned was pretty interesting.

Besides the elf and training, another highlight of the day was that the new app from Six to Start came out today. I’ve been waiting for The Walk to come out since I first heard about it a couple months ago, and I bought it right away, considering it my Christmas present (one of them at least).  Since Zombies, Run! has done wonders in keeping me motivated to move more, I’m hoping The Walk gets me up more at work and gives me incentive to utilize my breaks and lunches for some extra step time. It did the trick today. I finished the first chapter/mission at work, walking on first break and half of my lunch.

As for the app/game itself, so far I like it. There are still a few things I have to figure out, but it looks like I can run it at the same time as Zombies and I can use it with a radio app if I’m tired of my playlists. At the moment, I can’t use it on the treadmill because it acts as a pedometer and tracks the walking you do. I’m still nervous on the treadmill, so I still hold on to the rails while walking. At some point though, maybe I’ll be comfortable to let my arms swing and I’ll wear my armband.

I was able to test this out after work when we went to the gym and on top of my work walking, I got another thirty minutes in: twenty on the treadmill and then several laps around the track. We cut it short to make it to a geocache event in one of the local parks. It was a quick flash mob, so we weren’t there long, just long enough to sign the book, do a quick geocache toast, and visit with some fellow cachers. It was cold, but fun. We each got another cache container, so at some point in the near future we’re going to have to hide something. Before we left, we were visited by a cop who’d seen the cars and the people and wondered what was going on.

I wasn’t feeling up to working on any knitting projects tonight, so I took the evening off in favor of working on some writing. I’ve been using my UfYH timer to do twenty minute stretches of revising my novel between ten minute breaks on Pinterest and Twitter. This last twenty minute stretch is devoted to finishing this post. Then it’s off to shower and read before getting some sleep.

Word on the street is that we’re going to get some nasty weather this weekend, possibly in the form of freezing rain on Friday. Do not want! I’m looking forward to our work holiday party, and I don’t want the weather to jack up our plans. I’ll keep my fingers crossed and hope for the best.

A.

 

Costumes and Mysteries Solved

I went to work today with the knowledge that today probably wouldn’t be my most productive day ever….because IT’S HALLOWEEN! Happy Halloween, everyone! In the five years I’ve been with my company, Halloween has always been a crazy day filled with food, candy, and costumes. I’ve gotten a little bit of a humbug reputation because I haven’t always participated. The problem in the past has been a high workload that I didn’t think I could or should take a break from. This year I’m working with a full and great team, so I was able to relax a little and have fun.

I’m not one to dress up, but as I think I said recently, I was able to help with costumes a little bit this year. My big project can be seen in this picture of one of our office’s group costumes.

Gru, Dr. Nefario, and the Minions
Gru, Dr. Nefario, and the Minions

I knit the Gru scarf! I love how it came out too. I think the group did great with this costume idea, and it seemed to be a big hit. Our company had a costume contest and they let everyone vote for their favorites. Unfortunately, our office didn’t win, but I’ll admit that the competition was fierce.

Our office had other costumes too.

Biker Girlz rule!
Biker Girlz rule!
Cats
Classy Cats
Turtle Man
Turtleman
Roller Ghoster
Roller Ghoster of Doom

For lunch, we had an office potluck with a ton of food. Right before we ate, however, I did our murder mystery reveal. We ended up with four winners who guessed everything correctly. Still proud of myself and my group for executing this like we did. I’m hoping to do a Twelve Days of Christmas Treasure Hunt, but I’ll have to see how busy fourth quarter turns out to be.

After work, Jon and I went out to find a few geocaches since the rain from early in the morning had evaporated into a nice sunny evening. We made four finds and had another DNF. One of our finds took us on a walk around part of Cico Park, and now that we have a better idea of what’s going on over there, I think we’re going to try to go back and walk around a little more.

On the way home, we stopped at Sonic for fifty cent corn dogs, then came home to relax for the evening. Tomorrow is Friday and it’s going to be a busy one. A lot of Fridays end up being pretty busy at work. Besides that, I have an eye doctor appointment first thing in the morning, and Jon and I have our first geocaching event tomorrow night, which means meeting other area cachers. Tomorrow is also the first day of NaNoWriMo.

Between housesitting, geocaching, and hanging with people this weekend, I’m hopefully going to find some time to try to get a jump start on my novel.

Off to finish some internetting, and then to bed. Have a great Friday!

A.

Friday’s Delayed Grind

I didn’t get yesterday’s post up because we didn’t get home until about 2 in the morning, and I wasn’t feeling hardcore enough to post a blog that late. It was a good day though, so I’ll give it its own belated post before getting to Saturday’s adventure.

Work stress was low yesterday. I was given the office recognition by another co-worker and asked to do a special project to help with the office costume idea for Halloween. I don’t do costumes. It’s always fun in theory, but I’ve never been able to pull off a good one, and let’s face it…I’m lazy. I have no ambition to prepare and dress up in a possibly uncomfortable costume. I’m okay with helping out. I’m going to keep this project a secret until Halloween so as not to ruin the costume surprise. I picked up the supplies for the project during lunch and have already started on it. Now I just have to make time to finish it.

Jon and I went to Hastings after work to buy new headphones for him before going to the gym. The headphones he picked up broke almost right away, so we had to go back and return them.  I’ve theorized a thing called Hastings Law: one can’t go to Hastings without something going wrong. This stretches to things like certain drinks or food not being available or the bathroom not working. In true form, Hastings Law didn’t let us down (even though I do realize this one should be blamed on the company that makes the headphones, but it still seems fitting).

From there, we went to Terry and Erica’s for gaming. We got a late start, using the first few hours to visit. I did some knitting and we ordered dinner. The game was fun.  This one is Jon’s fourth edition DnD campaign. Our party solved a puzzle, beat up some giant bugs, and took a secret passage to a room where we had to fight some big bads. They almost killed our entire party. There was a good chunk of time where we pretty much figured we’d all be rolling new characters before the next session. But we managed to survive and can now take our current characters with us to the next adventure.

Besides having a late game night, we decided to try to find a cache in the area before heading home. We had no luck. There were a few late night muggles around, including a group of girls who asked if we were looking for something. I just said we were goofing around and that seemed to appease them. I suppose we could have told them what we were doing, but they were staggering a bit. It could have turned into a long, weird, conversation.  We might go back to that one some early Sunday morning, but I think we need the daylight to give it a good go.

We finally got home and crashed out, deciding to set a later alarm instead of the super early one we generally set for weekend adventures.

A.

Breaking Up the Day

Today, I forced myself to take all my work breaks and a lunch.

You would think that taking a break would be easy. It’s time away from work, time away from the computer, and a chance to socialize with co-workers. In theory, I should be waiting for every single break I can get my hands on.

Not the case for me. I sometimes feel as if I’m just riding the line between healthy minded employee and workaholic. In fact, we’re just coming out of a huge overtime phase, and even though there’s still some that could be done, I’m making myself pull away and take a break to save my sanity. Because while the extra money in the check is nice, the stress that comes with it and the road to burnout have started taking their toll.

Going back to the break issue, my office gives me two fifteen minute breaks and a lunch hour in a 9 hour period. Over the summer, that lunch hour was only a half hour because I took advantage of the ability to leave earlier and enjoy the nice weather. Now that fall is setting in, I’m working a little later and getting a longer lunch period for errands, naps, whatever.

With the half hour lunch, it was just easier to work through it and rack up a little bit of OT or use it as comp time later. It was also hard to take my second break of the day because it fell in the last half hour of my day, a prime time for little work fires that needed to be put out before I left for the evening to hit my inbox.

Logistics aside, I also have a mental thing when it comes to breaks. I don’t always want to take them. When work is piling up and I’m falling behind, my first instinct is to skip the breaks and keep grinding away to accomplish more and get to my end goal. There have been times when I’ve forgotten about eating altogether, and while some might say I could do without a meal or two, going long periods of time without eating does bad things to my blood sugar and makes me homicidal.

Today was one of those “I shouldn’t take a break” days. I couldn’t catch up on work , and I barely had time to handle any email correspondence. I was so frustrated by the whole situation that at one point, I really thought it would be best to work through my lunch.  Then I realized that frustration tends to compound, and if I didn’t get out of there I’d only make it worse for myself.

So I took my breaks with a co-worker and chatted and breathed and let my eyes rest from staring at a computer screen all day. And I took my lunch. One glorious hour, sitting in my quiet car with the windows down, enjoying the mild weather we’re having this week and playing on my phone. The phone part probably wasn’t great on the eyes, but I was able to work on a list, check my Twitter feed, and just relax for a little while.

It was great. To think, I was going to work through that long moment of serenity.

As nice as it was, I don’t doubt that I’ll find myself falling into that thought process again. I need to make a forceful and conscious effort to take my breaks and clear my mind, because when I don’t, I get frustrated and angry and irritated…even more than my default settings of all three, at any rate.

Goal from here on out: take breaks, take lunch, don’t question it, and don’t feel guilty. Considering work time is intense work time and things do get done, I have nothing to feel guilty about.

A.