As you may have heard or already be aware, the University was closed for all non-essential activities last week due to the flooding. Most of the truly essential activities are related to patient care, so our little summer anatomy class was on hiatus for a week. Faculty and staff were also asked not to come to work unless absolutely necessary to reduce power and water usage during the crisis period. I was happy to oblige.
So I had an unexpected mandatory 5 day “vacation.” I quote it because I still worked everyday from home and actually got quite a bit done, but I didn’t have to come into the office, and that is liberating in a very big way. I managed to get some major garbage removal done from the house. I also did some yard work and took Brody for an afternoon walk every day. He normally gets walked once a week at best, so this was pretty major for him. Finally, with my spare time I beat Rockband on drums once and for all and got to about 40% completion on Grand Theft Auto IV. I would say that this was a week well-spent.
Brody made huge leaps and bounds in his neighborhood walking skills. I have to qualify that as “neighborhood” walking because for him it is very different than if we drive to a park somewhere and walk. He’s always been really good at park walking when he has no spatial reference for home. Getting him to voluntarily walk away from home though has been quite difficult. I made it one of my goals for the week to see if walking every day would make him more comfortable on the trail locally. I’m so glad to say that it did. Yesterday Jason came with for the big test, and I didn’t have to drag him or hold him back from running once. That tiny little dog makes me so happy sometimes that it’s actually kind of embarrassing.
Last week I also officially turned the corner on being emotionally prepared to move. Over the week I went from, “I think I might miss coming home to this place a little” to “I would rather live anywhere than this dump.” How we got used to some of the less pleasant things about this house is unknowable. If you live somewhere for five years, you just stop caring about the things you can’t change (mold, bugs, energy inefficiency, etc). I would do great in AA because I have no problem accepting the things I cannot change. In fact that is one skill that saves me much stress at work. I call it the “not my problem” principle.
Returning to work today was actually a joy. I was so happy to be reminded of the 42 students who need my help on a daily basis. It’s nice be needed in a way that I can be of use. I was also happy to look at my weekly to-do list and see that I actually did get a lot of miscellaneous things out the door last week, so this week is much simpler. I was also happy to learn that instead of compressing our course to accommodate for the missed week, which would require me to turn 3 really good lectures into 2 questionable ones, we are adding some saturday sessions and rearranging the schedule so we can proceed on the same pace. Thank god. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to rework those pelvis lectures for different logistic demands. I think it just feels good to be back at work, reminded of who I am and what I do well. When you’re on your ass at home for a week, you get out of your routine of effort-reward, effort-reward…
Finally, I should also mention that we grilled twice this weekend, which is about as much as we usually grill in a year. We don’t have a fancy grill like David and Sam’s, so it’s less fun. Don’t get me wrong I love the act of grilling, it’s the coaxing the earwig colony out of the grill, dumping the ash mountain, and cleaning the horrific grill bars that I’m not so crazy about. A nice gas grill is high on the priority list for new stuff at the new house. Anyway, we grilled chicken kabobs and served it with a greek salad. It was really pretty amazing. Simple ingredients (literally less than 10 ingredients for both the salad and the kabobs) plus simple cooking techniques (kabobs- 9 minutes on the grill, salad- no cooking at all) equals culinary success in my world.
So I’m back on the prowl in Bowen Science Building, badder and better than ever. Expect to see more blog action now that I’m back on my routine. Until next time, just to let you know, there’s only 22 days left until moving day!