where have you been?

It’s been a crazy year!

Last June, I changed jobs and started working from home on a regular basis. It was great because I could be available to my mother at all times. She was not interested in joining clubs or going out. She has very little short-term memory at this point and becomes anxious when alone. So, working from home was perfect!

Until it wasn’t …. In December, I realized that I was spending about 18 hours a day in my bedroom – my office was there, my bed was there, and my post-mom’s-bedtime TV watching was there. I also realized that my mother’s lack of privacy, while not a problem for her, was becoming a problem for me. It was excluding me from using most of the apartment space. So, I started thinking about moving. I thought about it for months and just when I decided to act, the COVID-19 restrictions kicked in. So, I waited a bit longer and in July started looking and tracking properties. In August, I decided to get serious. In September, I sold my condo and bought a 2-bedroom unit in the same building.

The new place needed work. Some of the renovations were done before we moved in, some are in progress now and some will come down the line. It’s been a challenge to move and it seems to be taking a long time to settle in. The good news is that I think that by the end of December, we will be in good shape. We’ll still have the “down the line” renovations to do, but we will be in good shape.

I am not a patient person, so it is stressful that it is taking this long to settle in. Part of the problem has been that I needed to order some furniture that takes a while to get here, so we have boxes of books and bookcases with dishes and glasses, and other stuff hanging about. But the bigger problem is that I was just exhausted. Really, just flat out tired and stressed. I just need to breathe deeply and be patient – we will get there in the end.

As to the blog, here is the plan – with the goal of one or two posts a week:

  • A few more posts on The Crown and perhaps some other TV shows – this has been about all I can manage these days,
  • Some posts on books that I read a while ago – hopefully, this will make me want to pick up books and read again,
  • A few posts about how my mom has been doing with all of this chaos (answer, pretty well!),
  • A few posts about renovations and how they are going and how everything looks – these will likely be in late December or in January,
  • And a few random posts about other stuff.

excuses, excuses!

shield-417826_1920So, I’m not sure why I keep putting things off. I’ve always been a bit of a procrastinator, but until last year if something made it on my ever-present “to do” list, it got done. Over the past year, I’ve not only skipped over tasks, I’ve been ignoring the list altogether.

I think (hope) that I may be hitting a turning point, though, as I’m now starting to pay attention to the list again. This doesn’t mean that I’m actually completing things on the list, but at least I’m acknowledging existence of a list and tasks that I’ve been neglecting. This is progress! Continue reading

transitions continue … my new job

questions-1922477_1920.jpgWhen my mother came to live with me, I had hoped that cutting my workload to 80% efforts would be adequate to accommodate her needs. My work included a long commute that made it impossible to return home quickly if my mother needed assistance. When it soon became obvious that the arrangement would not work, I explored other options. Fortunately, my then-employer made it possible for me to work from home one day a week and my former boss (from a decade ago) had a position open for the other four days. Thus, I was able to work from Baltimore. This was truly a blessing. Continue reading

counting the changes and making trade-offs

hourglass-1425727_1280This post will be something sort of a stream of consciousness, as this is how I am processing change these days.

Accepting change is not always easy. There are trade-offs, so even if we are moving toward something great … or at least better … the loss of what we know is a bit unsettling. What if my new gig doesn’t work out? What if I don’t like it? What if I didn’t think through all the ramifications of change?

In the past, changes in my life usually were initiated by me – I decided when to move or when to change jobs or how to spend my time. As I’ve gotten older, there have been significant changes and, more often than not, I’m on the receiving end of change. This seems counter-intuitive – I should be more in control, not less, right? (more…)

why does everything seem to take longer than you think it will?

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So, I thought I was back on track with blogging but I guess I wasn’t quite there! I’m prepping a few posts so that I can get back into the routine of posting a few times per week. I think it’s one of the greatest challenges of blogging – you start out with ideas and energy and thoughts come spilling out … then it tapers off … and then life happens and it becomes an effort to keep up the blogging routine.  Continue reading

are we sleeping yet?

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Sleep is a precious commodity – as one learns when it is disturbed on a regular basis. I am a night owl and Mom used to be an early riser, though now tends to sleep in a bit more. Sometimes it is apparent that she hasn’t slept well, as she is exhausted in the morning and sleeps in longer than usual. Fortunately, she doesn’t have to get up for work, unlike some of us! I have not been sleeping well either, so we have two grouchy people living in a small space – not a good scenario.  Continue reading

yikes … my vet bill is how much?

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I adore Oscar. We have been together for almost 15 years and I cannot imagine life without him. Yet, in the past six months, he has been a rather expensive fellow. He has bad teeth – always has had – and needs to have his teeth cleaned … again. For anyone with animals, you know this is outrageously expensive and I have shelled out the cash every couple of years to have his teeth cleaned.  Continue reading

the joys of an old building

I like old buildings. My home is in a building that is about 115 years old. I just watched Homes by the Sea, a UK show on Netflix about, well, living by the sea – those buildings make my 115-year old look like a “new build”.  I invariably enjoy the (rather limited) offerings on HGTV more when the renovation or purchase involves an older house. Sometimes there is an updated, but not gutted, old home in another country, which is fun. I just find older buildings to be more interesting.  Continue reading

surprise! let’s renovate the kitchen

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I had a plan: undertake a big project in my apartment every other year. It would take forever, but that timeline would allow me to pay off one project and save up for the next. First it was replacing the carpeting and the heating and air conditioning system (year 1), then replacing the kitchen appliances (year 3), then repainting the living room and bedroom (year 5) and then replacing the windows (year 7). The full bathroom was set to be next in year 9 (2013), but there were other things that needed to be done – replacing my laptop and some furniture. So the full bathroom renovation was set for 2015, with the floors scheduled for 2017, the kitchen in 2019, the half bath and new doors (and maybe the walk-in closet) in 2021. Just as we were ready to begin tearing out bathroom tile, my mother announced her plan to move in with me.  Continue reading