I’m on a roll. Happy New Year!

bug-the-grungy-victorian-bride-zombie

What? Another post before I get to the Big Sweet Sixteen Seattle post? Yes. What can I say, I’m on a roll and I gotta get all these backlogged photos blogged. It’s part of my process. A process that’s been limping along for the last ten years like it’s dying in the desert. I don’t care. I refuse to give up. I know it’s all going to someday get lost in the digital graveyard but while I’m paying for hosting I might as well continue. Maybe someday I’ll actually have enough money to convert it all into a paper book that my grandchildren will never read. One can dream.

bug-and-her-bf

So anyway, New Years! Just like the rest of the world, we didn’t really do anything. It was Covidschmastic. We had a neighbor couple over and Bug invited her boyfriend. Poor Bug, she had grand visions of kissing someone at midnight but we were not making it easy for her. It’s just not that romantic to celebrate with your parents and the neighbors who are also parents. Their teens were working or off with their friends and Joon was at her mom’s. It was a bit anticlimactic.

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We set up the ping pong table in the driveway (that slants downwards) and that was fun. Our bluetooth speaker some tunes and her boyfriend attempted to dance. It was sweet.

pandemic-new-years-party

Payam set up his hobo fire pit and he and I toasted a glass of wine or two. (Dry January, what?) We both love that fire pit because when we first met we were supposed to go to a very crowded and noisy bar. It just wasn’t working for me because I have a mouse voice and no one can ever hear me. Eventually, we both decided we’d rather go sit in his backyard and talk and get to know each other over his fire pit. It was simple and charming and Payam was such a gentleman because he never asked me to come in which was great for me. I’ve always been super cautious when it comes to dating, especially after going through a divorce. The bbq firepit holds a special place in my heart and I love it when he pulls it out.

v-festive

When midnight finally rolled around we cheered each other with sparkling cider and blew our noisemakers.

old-farts

Then everyone went home and we went to bed like the old farts we are. I’m sure Bug stayed up on her phone.

Yes, I’m Changing.

new-SAJ-office-1

About once a month I go crazy. The causes of me going crazy can be debated. Is it hormones? Is it me growing out of my own skin? Is it mental illness or mercury in retrograde? Maybe it’s the fall-out of the global trauma of a pandemic that we are all experiencing? Maybe I don’t have enough else going on… I have no idea. But know that I am getting help and for the most part I’m a pretty happy, well-balanced person. I just go crazy once a month.

The weird part of this going crazy every month is that my go-to response is to flee. I always want to up and move to somewhere else. I want to get my own apartment and start a new life somewhere else. As you can imagine this can be troubling to my family who loves me very much and doesn’t have any idea what is wrong with me. I don’t know what to say other than I have a restless spirit. I love my life very much until I don’t and then on that day I want to destroy everything and start over. It’s madness.

Usually, it passes.

before-new-SAJ-office.

But sometimes I get a hair up my butt and I go and rent myself an office somewhere else! Yes, I left behind a perfectly good at-home office to go work in a boring office building in cubicle-land. I know, it seems so counter-intuitive and like a huge waste of money but it has saved my sanity. I am so happy in my new office. I was on the verge of wrecking my whole life and creating a little space away saved me. Like Virginia Woolf says, I just needed a room of my own. A different room in a different space, twenty minutes away from where I was.

I don’t know if that makes sense but it makes complete sense to me.

So now I go to work every day. I commute to a boring office in industrial land. I walk the quiet air-conditioned halls of a big public workspace until I get to my small corner. It used to be a reception desk for an executive office so it has three walls (one of those is all window) and a counter on the out-facing side. I sit behind that high counter like a receptionist used to but I don’t have to recept anyone. I put plants on that counter to hide behind and occasionally I direct the Fed Ex guy where to go but nobody ever bothers me. It is blessedly quiet.

at-work-selfie-at-my-new-SAJ-office

I walk around the mostly vacant building talking to no one. Only a few other people work there and they are like quiet mice tapping away at their own computers. There is a kitchen but it’s closed because of covid so we keep our lunches in the company fridge but nobody stands around the water cooler chatting.

I take at-work bathroom selfies.

I do like dressing up for work again. There is something about going to an office that makes getting ready way more efficient.  I don’t know how long this charm will last. But that doesn’t matter because I can stop going to my office whenever I like. I’m my own boss! The rent (which is very reasonable by the way) is set to go up in October so I will reevaluate then. I’m thinking by the time winter comes around I might like to be back at home where it’s cozy but right now, while it’s hotter than dog’s breath, I AM LOVING my air-conditioned office.

I can actually wear office clothes instead of my usual uniform of a sundress and anti-chafing legging shorts. It is so nice to dress up again.

 

cafe-near-my-new-SAJ-office

It’s also really nice that my office is next to a bustling shopping center with lots of restaurants, cafes, and shops. Bug tags along to work with me sometimes. Working from home really helped me out when I was a young mother but now as my kids get more and more independent, they don’t need me as much anymore. They might think they need me but all they need me for these days is for spending money (I feel like an ATM), making them breakfast, and acting like their own personal uber driver. Believe me, I’m happy to dodge their constant demands. Having a regular work schedule has helped me create boundaries on more than one front.

old-office-converted

Meanwhile, back at home where my office used to be, I moved everything to the sides and set up a big table in the middle. The kids used it for a craft project the other day and now I’m using it for some book organization but maybe someday I’ll move the table back out and buy a big velvet couch sectional and create a kid conversation pit. Or maybe Payam will move his office in there. So far he’s pretty happy in the living room where he can watch soccer on mute all day. To each their own, right?