Tuesday, January 19, 2016

I sit all day at a desk...



Sometimes when I talk about how stressed I feel, I am met with this response: But all you do is sit at a desk all day. How can you be tired?

Apparently mentally tired is not a thing.

By the time I get to work, I'm tired. Due to my anemia, it takes a lot out of me to try to hurry in the morning, deal with the kids who always need me right when I am walking out the door, and then when I finally do get to work, it's a long (COLD) walk from the parking lot.

8:00 - Computer is on, I'm logged in.
8:02 - First question of the day from someone in the doorway. I haven't even had time to check my voicemails or emails.
8:06 - Attempt to check email, read 2, start to respond to one...
8:07 - Co-worker comes in with a question and some paper to look at
8:50, I have been trying for 40 minutes to finish that email I started, as well as make myself a cup of coffee to warm up since my office is freezing.
I have to hurry for the coffee since I need to take my pills at 9 a.m.
Try to go to the bathroom, but my boss' secretary asks a question, then my boss walks over with more.
9:30 - 4 emails responded to, answered a student phone call, talked to a few counselors with questions... Stare at the coffee which has become cold since I barely sipped it.
10:00 - Finally begin to review some students who have applied for graduation. We are weeks behind due to me being out, the holiday break, and the chaos of awarding degrees and certificates in January.  
10:15 - I've printed 4 audits, but the printer is out of paper. So am I, so down the hall to find some.
10:20 - Paper is ready , the rest of the audits print
10:23 - Boss sends three emails, need to respond to two. Takes time to find the answers, craft responses, make sure I've included all the right people...
10:46 - Intent forms stare at me with no progress made
11:07 - Phone rings. Student has a question with no easy answer. Have to research while student is discussing (complaining) about things.
11:14 - I finally finish reviewing a student! It's only taken an hour and 15 minutes.  I'm on a roll. I complete two more before I realize I didn't check my voicemail
11:30 - Listen to 5 voicemails, call back a counselor, answer a quick and easy question. Have to check with my co-worker if she has the substitution form for another one of the calls, while an IM pops up - does this course transfer in as A&P? There is no cadaver. (There always has to be a cadaver. They know this, yet they ask me every.single.time just in case something has changed since Friday.)
12:00 - Lunch time! Ha, just kidding. Still on the phone with one of the students I had to call back while simultaneously emailing my boss to see about setting up a meeting with one of the 4 year schools we have an articulation agreement with
12:15 - Finally lunch. 30 minutes to now catch up my "home/kids" to do list. So it's not really a break.
12:45 - Lunch is over, open office door (I'm actually shocked no one came knocking while I was on lunch, however I did have to answer an instant message that popped up 7 minutes into my lunch.)
12:50 - I begin to review another student, but now I need to work on some graduation ceremony items.
1:00 - A question about an event comes up, need to respond, but first find out if everything is set on our end.
1:16 - IM my favorite marketing person about a different event I need to host in 2 weeks - are the fliers ready? Crap! I forgot about fliers for the other event - stop what I am doing to complete paperwork for that, and give to boss for approval.
1:31 - That 4th Intent to graduate form looms at me on the side of my desk where it has been sitting for what seems like ever. But a co-worker comes in to discuss what else? The graduation ceremony. It's 4 months away but will consume my work life until then.
1:52 - I try to sneak down the hall to refill my water cup and run to the bathroom (as fast as someone with a nerve damaged leg can "run") when I'm stopped by someone telling me my mailbox is full.  Someone shoved a bunch of pamphlets in there, which need to be distributed throughout the student center.  
2:05 - Done with the pamphlets.
2:07 - Breath.
2:07:30 - Hi Sarah, Can I bother you for a sec? (While they say this, they are already walking in and sitting down at my desk.)
2:10 - I have been listening to this person explain to me why a student wants a call back. The student is angry for a variety of reasons, most of which she feels are my fault. I've never spoken to her in my life.
2:12 - I prepare myself for the phone call I am about to make.
2:35 - I finally finish speaking to the no-longer angry and frustrated student. She thanks me for my time and means it. I smile because I really do love my job.
2:40 - Find her evaluation request form and begin to evaluate her transcripts. 
2:57 - Interrupted again. (Big shock.)
3:16 - Have to pull out the FAQs for graduation to update based on some new changes. Make many changes. Have 5 questions. Try to schedule a room for our cap/gown pick-up event. Send email to boss with questions and FAQ for review.
3:56 - Remember to update one of the counselors about the student I had a 25 minute conversation with earlier in the afternoon.
4:00 - Meet with co-worker about graduation to go over some pressing items I have to take care of.
4:17 - Counselor comes in. He has a student with foreign credit who doesn't know why we didn't accept all of it. She has forgotten about our 35 minute conversation we had last Wednesday where I explained why.  I go to see her, re-explain in a cliff notes version so I can leave work on time.
4:35 - Leave 5 minutes late.

But no, I'm not tired after that day.  And that's certainly not wine in my glass.. 







Saturday, January 9, 2016

Book Review: Bound to Die: A Cozy Mystery




Title: Bound to Die: A Cozy Mystery
Author: Mak K. Han

This was a fun cozy mystery, in which is I hope there will be many more! The first chapter set the tone for the book - it had humor and just a little bit of paranormal mystery. However, most the the real mystery centers around the killing of a grumpy man in Strawberry Shores. The main character, Laura, has a cool psychic ability. She and her two friends, Alex and Emily, are drawn into solving the case, yet the killer knows they are on to him/her. There was just the right amount of mystery, romance, and danger in this cozy mystery. I recommend this book for anyone, including YA readers.

*I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
 (less)

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Refresh 2016



January. The time of new beginnings. New starts. The dreaded resolutions that everyone proclaims will change their lives in the new year, yet many fail to hold onto through the very first month.

I don't make resolutions. Strike that, I did make one for the kids. "What's a new year revolution?" one child asked. "It's a positive change you make at the start of the new year. And your reSolution is to fold your own laundry and put it away."

This worked for two days. ;)

Let's be honest, 2015 was a stressful year for me. It started out great - we headed to Disney with my family for a week of fun, mostly sun, and great memories. But mere weeks later, I found myself in kidney failure from a hereditary disease that normally does not worsen. By May, I was officially on the national transplant list. By the grace of God, I didn't have the normal 5 year wait that most people have when waiting for a kidney. On October 15, just months after being listed, I was given a second change. A new kidney that was a 100% antibody match for me. This greatly improves the chances of my body not rejecting the new kidney. Next week, a routine 3 month biopsy will check for any sort of rejection. Fingers crossed that all is well.

Rather than make a resolution or two that I may or may not keep, I chose to renew myself in this new year. Shortly after my diagnosis, I had Reiki done. The Reiki healer told me that I need to do what I love because it appears I enjoy life anymore. Her words rang through. As the children grew older, and my life got busier, what I loved to do fell by the wayside. I barely read, wrote, or crafted. I lost my creativity, replacing it with being consumed with others - my family, their activities, work, school commitments, etc. I have piles of yarn that yearn to be knitted, scrapbooks with empty pages, project upon project that died in my head because I never turn them into reality.  Shelves (and a full kindle) of books to be read. And stories that flutter in my mind, only to gently float away because I never put pen to paper. 

What do I do these days that I love? I spend time with my kids and husband. But now I am back to work, and school is in session again. Keith has upped his training.  The busyness is back in our lives. Yet how do we not lose ourselves in it again? 

It's taking time.  Being present. Awakening 10 minutes earlier that I used to so there is some quiet time for me in the morning. Praying more. Facebooking less. It's allowing myself to be a work in progress - so if I fail one day, I know that I will wake the next day ready to start again. It's stepping back, taking a breath or ten, learning to meditate. To block out time to do yoga and exercise, something I haven't been able to do for quite some time. Not putting certain things off, yet only doing what is necessary.

Do you know I like to make my bed in the morning? Coming home after a long day of work and life, it's peaceful to walk into a bedroom that is organized.  So I try to do it everyday because it makes me happy. (It would also make me happy for our living room and kitchen to be less cluttered, yet it's hard to get the other four people in the house to agree on that one). 

That's what this new year is going to be about. Making me happy. Not over-committing. Doing good things for my body, mind and soul. 

#refresh2016