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Thursday, June 6, 2013

Fast Lane, You Are Not Welcome!

Life in the fast lane - "a way of living which is full of excitement and activity" characterized my every moment for many years. First it was mommy-challenges on top of a strong desire for self-reliance that called for at least a large garden, if not chickens and ducks and goats (oh my!) Then it was time spent primarily in the design profession, where, so it seemed, everyone expected everything done day before yesterday, and with no input or content to boot.

I was exciting, juggling clients and commutes and freelance work and life. Life cycled between manic peaks and the inevitable slow times between projects when the chance to relax and take a break was constantly shadowed by the fear that a new project -- and new paycheck -- might not appear. I was on call 24/7; when a server crashed at 1 AM, there was always at least ONE client online, looking for their emails or just looking over their web site and ready to panic. And I actually enjoyed that life, while I was there, living it.

But I am not there now. I moved to Maine and (slowly, with some frustration) got in sync with the slower pace of life. I can remember ranting, shortly after our move, about the small number of errands that could be accomplished in one day; there was always something left over, it seemed, and undone, no matter how abbreviated I made the initial list. Not having to land-and-house-hunt helped cut the "to do" list. Not having to job hunt cut it again. And, over time, I settled into a mix of small (and very occasionally large) design projects with clients that I actually like and enjoy working with, hex sign painting, gardening and tending some small stock and a relatively routine part time job in town that involves working with STUFF (that doesn't talk back or get drunk) as opposed to people.

However....

Sometimes things get out of control and today was one of them, with flashbacks far from "the way life should be" [™  State of Maine ;)] back to the fast lane.

I had less than an hour on the clock at work, busy with the routine task of getting music CDs alphabetized and placed in their proper locations on the shelves. I had completed the movie return, to the best of my ability, though I knew I was a ways shy of our 90% goal. The store management, in an effort to minimize the appearance of theft (called "shrink" these days, it seems) has been steadfastly dragging their feet on writing off titles that we no longer have in stock. Some of them have been on the list well over a year (not many, but some) and others since Christmas. Some are less old but still hanging around on the "pull list" and affecting my ability to "make quota." My superior asked me to try to get closer to our goal, via email and I explained in detail why it was not going to happen.

No sooner than I got that done that things started hopping, email-wise, regarding the tractors and equipment that we are trying to sell. Now, mind you, I have these messages come in on my Android device just so that I can deal with necessary and time sensitive issues. But today they ganged up on me, especially considering the lack of ease typing on a microscopically small keyboard.

I was trying to get things completed at work without going over time, because I had previous set up a time, after I expected to have left the store, to return a call to the tech support folks for an app that I need to download and install on the Android for a series of one night jobs for a different company, that when completed will net me over $500 -- earmarked for installation of the wood heat stove this year.

I also needed to get this done (and hopefully pick up medication from Sams Club) and get home by 1:30, when someone was scheduled to come to look at a tractor implement.

And as if that was insufficient to take my attention, K was emailing me regarding some water and antifreeze that I needed to pick up so that he could complete repairs to Boo, the Subaru... not as straightforward an assignment as it might appear, due to the aluminum component(s) in the engine.

Get the picture?? I was, with no warning, shoved back into the "how many hot irons can you keep in the fire and simultaneously juggle" arena. Shoved back (kicking and screaming, I might add, though thankfully for the customers in the store, not literally) into the fast lane.

Sigh.

Left work 20 minutes late.

Called home, opted out of med run and antifreeze run, knowing that puts both errands on the list AFTER my tooth extraction but also knowing that all I have to do is drive there; K will do the actual errands. He can't drive Artie, because Artie has decided not to allow adjustment to his drivers seat.

Shined on calling tech support or trying yet again to download the app. Maybe tomorrow while K is on errands. More likely Monday.

Came home at maximum speed, keeping in mind that I needed to compression brake, as during my last few miles of the inbound commute Artie's brakes suddenly started making terrible nasty rough grinding sounds. Fortunately I am good at this, having driven an old truck with almost no brakes for several months, into, around and out of Spokane, WA.

Arrived home at 1:24. Tractor part guy did not arrive until nearly 2:30

By which time I had changed clothes, had a beer, visited with K, supervised some cultivation....
And he did not buy it.

I did, however, get the lettuces planted and K got the entire necessary garden area cultivated. I peeled and cooked the last of our 2012 potato harvest for supper and we ate, albeit over 1.5 hrs late. And, as I finish this blog entry, I note it is almost exactly bedtime.  Time for a quick soak to get the garden off me, and off to bed.

Tomorrow is another day... in the slow lane.  "the way life should be" ™