Back Home Again

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And just like that, I moved my office back home again.  I know what you are thinking. You saw this coming a mile away…

It was an incredibly difficult decision that I went back and forth over for MONTHS. I hemmed and hawed every day. Some days I loved the separation of home and work and the blessed peace and quiet of the office, other days I missed my bright sunny room, the proximity to all my many boxes of craft supplies in Diagon Alley, all my happy sunny photoshoot spots, my plants, my animals…my family. I wish I could just keep both but then the expense. I can’t stand spending money on something I’m not using every day.

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So I packed everything up in my car and two loads later everything was back at home.

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It seems overwhelming, right? Not to me. Clutter like this is a joy to me. I LOVE organizing a new space. I see this as a challenge that I can conquer in a day. Bring it on! I sing. I know I should hire myself out to do this for others but nobody ever wants to really hire me. Plus there is a lot of psychology that has to go into sorting and when it comes to someone else it’s almost like doing hours and hours of therapy. I know this because I’ve spent my entire life doing this with my mom. My stuff: no sweat! Other people’s stuff… well, it depends on how attached you are. If you are ready to be ruthless then I am your girl. Call me.

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It took some time but bit by bit I found a place for everything and everything found its place. Lots of envelopes got donated and my new toaster and printer found new homes.

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I have to say I’m really happy with the new space. I’ve figured myself out: I just need change. Every six months I need to rearrange or up and move, get a new hobby or try a new work-out. I just crave change. It envigorates me and helps me feel like I’m making progress. I can’t stand feeling stuck. I’m sure there’s a lot more to unpack there mentally but for now I’m sticking with actual physical unpacking.

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Besides the hot weather of this room (that is very sunny, bright, and unbearably hot in the summer) one of the things I was trying to escape when I moved to an outside office was how my homelife edged into my professional life. That is still going to be my biggest challenge. When I’m home I like to tinker. I like to clean, I like to garden and I like to make things. I love having a sewing room next to my office and a painting studio in between. I can slide my rolly chair from one project to the other with ease. It’s super fun but it’s also not so great for focusing on work projects. I can spend my whole day organizing the kitchen, baking bread, driving the kids around, and never touch a drop of work if I’m not careful.

My plants missed me. My garden has been terribly neglected, my kitchen too. The dogs are super happy to have a playmate back home again. I can get more walks in… it’s just going to be nice but also difficult.

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We’ll just have to see. I did talk to the office manager and they will welcome me back anytime. We’ll see if I can make it till summer.

Quarantine Day 12: Rando Bits

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If it wasn’t for the fact that I have the worst cold I’ve ever had in ten years (!!) (just a stupid fatal-attraction-level sinus infection and NOT covid-19, don’t worry) and the fact that I have anxiety, I would say this quarantine has been good for me. I love staying home and I have more time than ever to be creative. I didn’t think I was an introvert but maybe I am! I’m cooking, I’m cleaning, I’m mom-ing, I’m making things! I even pulled out the sewing machine which I’ve been dreaming of for years! I’m pretty low-level happy. That is until I start worrying about how many people are dying, my parents and whether or not this is the end of the world. You know, just your normal 3 am freak-out stuff.

It’s been cool having the kids home all day long. I can be my old helicopter parent self and not feel guilty about not letting them go out ever. They don’t seem to mind. Their faces are permanently glued to their computers, playing Minecraft or doing school work. I hardly hear a peep out of them unless they need food. And since I miss them so much, I’m happy to play short-order cook. My kids are spoiled rotten. But you knew that already.

We do insist they sit down to dinner with us and even though they roll their eyes I think they like it too. Some lively discussions go down.

Bug and I have taken a few walks together which is nice. I’m loving the corona-swerve since I never really like interacting with other people when I’m walking the dogs anyway because Whiskey is the super-hyper-attack-everyone terrier that he is. I told you the quarantine is sitting well with me. Weird, right? Though I do miss a good coffee date.

There is a new Starbucks around the corner from us and it opened up this week. I spied it while I was out walking the dogs early this morning and the minute I got home Bug and I rushed off to visit it like a long lost friend. I never thought I’d be so happy to see a drive-thru.

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One of you asked how Bug and I are I’m dealing with our anxiety. Bug has decided that “anxiety” doesn’t exist. I think her dad is rubbing off on her and she’s in the I-can-fix-myself-just-fine, you-wusses stage. It’s a blessing because I don’t think I could deal with her going through what she went through in second grade all over again. The endless questions, the dry-heaving, the worry circles. You all remember what we went through. The doctor said that she will always have anxiety but that it will come and go. So I think it’s just on the go side which is great. And I’m sure she has matured a lot and uses a lot of her coping mechanisms.

Me, on the other hand. Well, I’m medicated so that helps. Like a TON. Whenever I feel myself starting to freak-out I just remind myself of my upcoming doctor’s appointment and store whatever worry I’m obsessing about in a mental box to talk to my doctor about. I LOVE my doctor. She is so nice and she always makes me feel like I’m normal.

Am I worried that I won’t be able to see her during this quarantine? Yes, of course. But I know she will do her best because she’s always worried that her patients are going to commit suicide if she isn’t there for them. I don’t need her that bad but she always tells me to call her immediately if I ever get worse. I never have called her so I feel pretty good. But then I worry that the government is going to fail and I won’t be able to have insurance anymore and we’ll all live in poverty and I’ll have to go cold turkey on my meds and live in a cardboard box in an alley somewhere getting gangrene… but then I remind myself that my brain likes to tell me lies so I shut that up and think about something happy instead.

Like postcards! I haven’t made any kind of formal quarantine journal but little things like blog posts, Instagrams and postcards tell the story. I doubt anthropologists will ever thank me for all the documenting I do but I like to imagine they do. What a gold mine of information I would be if there weren’t all the other social media megastars that there already are.

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In other bits: gardening! Spring is here and I am pottering around happily with my plants in the house and my pots and planters outside. I’m growing mung bean sprouts for my cat who likes to eat the house plants and throw up. They aren’t growing fast enough and she keeps eating Bug’s spider plant.

Bug is so funny, she’s named the plants in her room in zones: Her rubber plant and pathos are “The Tropics.”  Her fern and ivy are “The Northern Coastal” and her spider plant is “The Grasslands.” Apparently, Kady likes to visit The Grasslands frequently.

I don’t know why I put that photo of brown sugar up there. Maybe because I love a good circle shot and I wanted to share that I put a teaspoon of brown sugar in my coffee every day with my magic spice mix. It’s delicious. Do you know what is funny? I am still losing weight even with that teaspoon of sugar every day. I do eat a slice of peanut butter toast for breakfast and I usually have a glass of wine every night but cutting out carbs and not going to restaurants seems to be the magic cure to my weight problem. Who knew! Everyone else is complaining that quarantine is making them gain weight. Not me!

Next up is my sanitation station. I love the sound of that. I’m thinking I should make it into a shrine or ofrenda of some sort. I mean, if it is going to live there by the front door it might as well look cute, right? Right now it looks pretty pathetic. I’m thinking maybe there is a saint who is in charge of cleaning? A portrait of Zita, the patron saint of house-cleaning?

Masks! They are for fashion! I know, I’m probably going to get in trouble for saying that but since I can’t mass-produce masks (I can only make about two a day after I get done with my day job) I’m mostly just making them for friends and family. And if I’m making them for friends and family I might as well make them cute, right? So far I’ve only dug around my fabric stash but I have day-dreams of creating masks that have facial expressions on them and maybe a baby shark for the little boy who loves baby shark so much. Wouldn’t that be cute?

You might know that I am a HUGE fan of Project Runway. It’s my favorite show. And yes, I watch all the spin-offs and project-runway-wannabe shows too. I think I missed my calling when I passed up going to FIDM right out of high school. Can you imagine me as a fashion designer? I know I’m not the most fashionable person but I dream about it all the time. So when Christian Siriano started making plain white masks (and not designer masks that would become collector’s items) I swooned. What a hero!

Next is a pathetic picture of Whiskey. You’d think he’s a poor neglected puppy the way he mopes around. Not the dog who gets peanut butter twice a day with his allergy medicine and the dog who gets walked regularly, patted and crooned to all day long. He’s just playing on your emotions folks, nothing to see here.

Speaking of short-order cook, I can make a mean sandwich! Just ask Bug. Payam would agree too but we aren’t allowed to have bread anymore so we just wist from afar. I’d also like to note my sliced-up hand from making soap. It is a beeyotch. So not helpful when obsessively hand-washing.

Lastly, I give you a shot of my African violet being all pretty in my kitchen window. It’s the little things that keep me sane.

How are you coping?