Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘day-job

Mental Mixups

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I’m not sure how a person can know when they are actually at the top of their game, but I have a pretty good idea when I’m not achieving peak performance out of my mind. The shortcomings have come in series for me lately in a repeating pattern that is becoming difficult to miss.

Although, missing things is one of the shortcomings I am noticing. The thing with that is, it makes me suddenly wonder if there are other things I missed when individual errors pop up. It gets my mind all mixed up.

Is any of this related to the song stuck in my head since Sunday morning? While making breakfast that morning, I heard Kris Kristofferson’s version of “Me and Bobby McGee.” Later in the afternoon, while I was mowing the lawn, it was Janis Joplin’s voice “ear-worming” over and over in my mind.

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Freedom’s just another word for nothin’ left to lose…

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I found it interesting that my mind jumped to Janis’ version, but not that surprising. It’s the one I’ve heard the most. What seems odd to me is how long it has hung around.

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I’d trade all my tomorrows for one single yesterday…

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Then my poor brain got stretched into next year. Did you know 2020 is a leap year and Christmas will be on a Friday?

(Just to emphasize my point, while writing that, I asked Cyndie if she knew 2020 is a leap year. She said, “You already asked me that an hour ago.”)

One of my challenges with the day-job is the need to function far from the immediate moments and plan the future. Yesterday I was forced to print out a calendar for 2020 to assign dates into January. No wonder my mind gets mixed up.

It’s a wonder I ever know what day it is.

On the way home from work yesterday, I forgot to get gas in the car.

I sure hope I haven’t forgotten anything else important this week.

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Much Needed

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We made it to the lake for a much-needed respite from the nibbling chaos of late. I admit to a certain penchant for bringing order to my world. When there is always more to do in a day than time allows, I find satisfaction in tending to something on the list to a degree it at least gives the appearance of having been addressed.

The previous few days of the day-job have offered up increasingly more demands than my tiny progress has been able to offset. With Cyndie away all week, attention to the home front has been below expectations. Thank goodness we don’t need to be putting up hay this summer.

Cyndie’s flight home was canceled yesterday, on the excuse that a flight attendant called in sick and they didn’t have enough personnel to staff the flight. Really? They found her an alternative by driving her an hour to San Francisco to barely make an 8:00 a.m. departure toward home. Good thing Cyndie was willing to do a little running to make the boarding gate in time.

That solution involved leaving her checked bag to make its way home without her. The airline said they would deliver her suitcase to our doorstep by the end of the day. Too bad she left her jewelry and medicines in that bag and at the last minute decided to allow it to be checked instead of carrying it on as originally planned, because we made a dash for the lake last night before it arrived, bringing Delilah along for the two-and-a-half-hour drive.

Yeah, it all feels a little chaotic to me in retrospect, given the reference of sights and sounds we are enjoying this morning.

This is what I call respite…

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It is the perfect tonic for what is ailing me. I intend to immerse myself in the experience to the fullest. 

Aahhhhh. Wake me on Sunday when it is time to head back to the real world.

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Written by johnwhays

August 9, 2019 at 7:40 am

Holiday Spirit

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Even Delilah is getting into the festive spirit lately. We received a gift of hand-me-over dog toys from Katie at work, and I couldn’t wait until Christmas to see how Delilah would react to them. The strange scent was definitely cause for a thorough analysis, but then she succumbed to the irresistible instinct to chomp.

Actually, the squeaky red and green candy cane didn’t draw out teeth until I kicked it away. She initially walked up to inspect it, and then stepped right over the toy as if it didn’t exist. That’s when I gave it a kick across the floor and she ran to get it.

After that, it was just like her squeaky yellow monkey. She wants us to chase after her and try to grab the toy so she can shake it loose from our grip.

Santa’s elves have been working long hours to deliver packages to our door each day this week. Must not be any names on the naughty list, based on the number of things waiting to be wrapped in the “don’t-go-in-there” room.

For the record, there are no children living with us, so I think we just play this game to maintain the spirit of the season.

I don’t mind being free of the burden of conjuring up believable tall tales to keep the myth alive in innocent eyes. Such a weird combination of love and deceit.

Cyndie and I don’t actually hide any intentions from each other. We tend to celebrate the holiday by jointly selecting an item that will be a treat for both of us. This year it just may end up being new bar stools for the kitchen island. We tried doing it once before, but were overwhelmed by the expense of getting what we really wanted.

Sticker shock times four.

I don’t expect that prices have gotten any better, but we are hoping that either our standards will have relaxed, or we will have gotten over the shock of the costs, to possibly propel us toward finding something that can work.

The ones that were here when we bought the place are in need of some tender loving care by someone who knows how to weld. I hope that person happens to browse Craigslist.

Today, at the day-job, staff have decided to modify the annual company potluck lunch between Thanksgiving and Christmas by having Famous Dave’s BBQ restaurant do all the cooking.

Works for me.

Ho ho ho.

The holiday spirit is feeling very merry and bright, indeed.

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Written by johnwhays

December 13, 2018 at 7:00 am

I’m Told

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I didn’t go home last night. I’m told there were six eggs collected from the nest boxes yesterday. Sounds reasonable.

My schedule is a little askew. I shifted my hours at the day-job yesterday to work around a couple of appointments, which had me on the clock until almost bedtime last night. Instead of driving all the way home for an hour, I spent the night at the in-laws’ place.

After a few hours of sleep, I’m heading right back to the day-job to pick up where I left off. Covering for sick or vacationing staff is starting to feel like normal operating mode lately. I don’t remember what it feels like to focus on one task at a time anymore.

I missed a little excitement on the ranch yesterday evening. I’m told Cyndie and Delilah spotted a red fox on one of our trails. When it saw them, it turned around and headed back into the woods.

We know there are predators out there, but actually seeing them roaming the grounds brings on a little extra anxiety over our lack of a workable plan to keep them at bay.

Cyndie let Delilah hustle up the trail to where they had seen the fox, but in that amount of time, there was no longer anything to see. Still, maybe there is a chance the sight of Delilah alerting to the fox caused it enough stress that it will see our property as threatening.

No, I don’t actually believe that. I’m just practicing wishful thinking.

I’m also told that Delilah is looking all fit and trim after a visit to the groomer yesterday. Hopefully that doesn’t make her look less intimidating to unwelcome predators lingering on our grounds.

As tough as it was witnessing Delilah gobble up that little stunned songbird last week, I’d be just fine watching her put some teeth to a prowling fox to make a point.

Foxes not welcome! Fox sightings lead to fox bitings!

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Written by johnwhays

September 12, 2018 at 6:00 am

Lake Hangover

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When the day-job is extremely Monday-ish, the struggle to get my mind back into work mode after a weekend at the lake with Cyndie’s family is doubly difficult. The dramatic difference of the sterile, air-conditioned atmosphere compared to the lush, warmth of the beach and woods was shock enough without the added stress of multiple challenging complications on the first day of the week.

I’m sure there is a balance between not caring at all and being overly concerned about keeping all parties happy. That’s an act that I have yet to master, swaying far past the center balance in my predilection to avoid the extreme of not caring.

Arriving home to a dog and cat who are both over the moon to see me again goes a long way toward purging any lingering angst from the work day.

With the respectable amount of heat and humidity lingering over our region, I was disinclined to jump right into a chore when I got home. Pausing to decompress in the recliner predictably led to an involuntary nap after I was done giving the cat all the scratches her stretched out body wanted.

Word from Cyndie and Jackie is that the chickens were given access to the wide open free range yesterday and they quickly made tracks for the composting manure piles to kick around and peck for bugs. That’s what they were hired to do, so I’m pleased as punch, even if it means I need to extend extra energy more often to reshape the resulting mess.

All ten were present for bed check last night, thank goodness.

Shortly after that, I was headed for my own bed, falling asleep to memory images lingering still from the glorious weekend at the lake.

Here’s hoping Tuesday at the day-job will be as soothing as floating in the water under the warm sunshine was over the weekend.

Well, a guy can dream, can’t he?

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Written by johnwhays

August 14, 2018 at 6:00 am

Double Day

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When it’s hay season and you own horses, filling your shed with bales claims a big chunk of time and attention. After a full shift at the day-job yesterday, our priority quickly reoriented to the physically taxing effort of picking up hay bales from two of our main suppliers, one right after the other.

On Sunday evening, we hauled and then stacked a hundred bales from our first source. Yesterday, we started the last half of our “work” day with a trip to our second source to pick up one hundred of his bales. As soon as we had unloaded and stacked that batch in our shed, we headed out again to revisit our first source for one hundred more.

Once we reached home with that load, we took a short break to eat dinner. Cyndie’s brilliant preplanning to fill the slow cooker with chicken cacciatore in the morning, allowed us to enjoy an instant meal with little in the way of immediate preparation.

After some food, it was time to unload and stack the final hundred.

It was hot, sweaty, exhausting work. The hay shrapnel ends up everywhere, especially stuck to sweating skin. The dust triggers Cyndie’s allergic reactions.

The fatigue increases and the stack of bales gets higher to climb, both at the same time.

The joy of completing the task is amplified by the visual of now having enough food for the horses to last most of the year. There’s just one more load needed, and based on the time our supplier was available, we are setting out first thing this morning to do another hundred bales.

I’m not tired. You’re tired.

Last night, after we finished, Cayenne came over to offer me a nuzzle of thanks for our efforts.

The horses seem as happy as we are, seeing all these bales showing up to fill the hay shed.

Cyndie and I will be happier still, when the intense effort is behind us and we can return to our more typical leisurely pace around here.

That’s “leisure,” in a relative sense, of course.

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Written by johnwhays

July 10, 2018 at 6:00 am

Mental Preparation

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This morning, I am kicked back in the recliner in front of the fire, enjoying the calm before the storm. We have been warned. Our region is about to experience a narrow band of snow with a huge gradient in amounts from 1 to 12 inches. As of now, our county still appears to be sitting dead center in the heaviest snow zone.

The predictions are regularly updated, and weather service computer models will present shifts to the north or south as the time-to-event shrinks, so I am excitedly refreshing the live updates in hopes of determining if the worst is to come. I like to be totally prepared.

This will be the second Sunday in a row when the Minnesota Vikings will be engaged in the high competition of this season’s NFL playoffs and we have a distraction interfering with my ability to give the game my undivided attention.

I’m framing that as a good thing.

What choice do I have?

The forecast is ominous enough that I am already thinking I will stay off the roads tomorrow and miss a day of work. That hurts double because we are so busy at the day-job that I worked on Saturday in attempt to make extra headway toward keeping up. Missing Monday is a stab in that plan.

The Federal Government is in a shutdown mess, so my local concerns feel a little petty in comparison. The President had the gall to claim the Women’s March was celebrating “unprecedented economic success and wealth creation.” Ouch. So much ugliness.

Thank goodness I can hug Cyndie, walk outside and toss hay, stack firewood, coo to our chickens and breathe in the scent of our horses hair.

It helps me to mentally prepare for whatever tomorrow is going to bring.

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Written by johnwhays

January 21, 2018 at 10:51 am