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Back to the Real World…

Tomorrow I go back to work after a nice 12 day “break.”  I have to say this has been almost like a vacation, although pretty much all I did was work!  Fortunately my dear friend Nadene came to shake things up a bit the first couple of days, Sambuca and homemade veggie burgers in tow.  Saturday evening was spent talking well into the wee hours, and Sunday was spent recovering!  Naturally I had scheduled myself in to an agility workshop at 9am, and had to spend a rather dizzy morning standing in sub-zero temperatures, surrounded by barking dogs.  That will teach me to drink Sambuca after a couple of glasses of wine!

Sunday afternoon we both took a glorious nap, and amazed by how refreshed I felt afterwards, I incorporated napping into my schedule much of the rest of the week.  If I could find time to nap every day, I would likely get a lot more done.  I fade horribly around 4pm and don’t perk up again until 7 or 8ish.  By then I need to be winding down for the evening, but often try and make up for my lack of productivity in the early evening, leaving me wide awake and up until close to midnight most days.  A short nap around 3pm would easily fix this.  I wonder if I could kick everyone out of the writing centre and cat nap on the couch the days I work…

All in all, I got quite a lot done this week.  I made significant progress on my unstuffing, collecting a large bag of items for charity (sticking to my rule of donating something old for every similar new item I bring in).  I got my hair cut, had a massage, visited a good friend, checked out several second hand stores and made good progress towards perking up my wardrobe, all for just a few dollars.  I actually made it back to Boutique Topaz for a good look around. Their collection is amazing, but their prices are definitely higher than Talize or the other large second-hand chain stores.  You will not find a full-length sheerling coat for $19, for example (like I did at Talize).  That said, there were tops and pants for reasonable prices, and lots of fun dresses.  I think it’s a place I’ll visit for higher-end purchases such as evening wear or business suits.  Or when they run their sales.

Another major accomplishment this week was that I finally found time to join a Credit Union.  I’m pretty excited about that, although it will be some time before I get fully up and running with them.  I work four (maybe more?) contracts, each with paperwork and direct deposit into my Big-Bank account, as well as various automatic payments set up to come off of it.  Switching everything over will be quite a task and I’ve decided to let my current contracts simply run out (only about 6 weeks left) and then will transfer the paperwork when I start working again in the fall.  Still, becoming a member of a credit union is something I’ve wanted to do for some time now in my effort to live more locally.

My new account is hopefully going to help me with money management.  I still haven’t quite gotten to working out my budget (very close to the top of the ‘to do’ list now), which I need to get sorted in the next couple of weeks.  I am taking the summer off from any income generating work, in order to (hopefully) finish my dissertation.  So careful money management is going to be the name of the game.  I took the cheapest account, which is $5 a month (highway robbery if you ask me, considering what banks make on the money we put into them), and gives me 20 free transactions a month.  Only 20.  Not only that, but I will get charged if I use bank machines outside their network, which is fairly small compared to the Big Banks.  This means that I will need to know exactly how much money I need per week, and I will have to withdraw and deal predominantly in cash.  Cash.  What a concept!  I look forward to the challenge.

I still have six boxes of ‘stuff’ left to sort through.  Quite frankly I don’t even know exactly what’s in them.  I have set them all together in the middle of the floor and will work through them one at a time over the next couple of weeks.  I think they may need to sit until I’m done doing my taxes and budgeting, but they are the absolute last of my crap.  Well, other than four boxes of photographs and photo equipment and a trunk full of knickknacks (it really  never ends, does it?!).  Dealing with my photos is a longer term project that I want to do when I have time to relax and enjoy.  So probably not until summer…2011! But these last six boxes (and heck, the trunk of knickknacks) will be squared away now.

I really should have taken a before and after photos. My space is so much emptier now it’s quite unbelievable!

Ok, until you look at my desk.  Which is piled about 10 inches deep in paper.  But this is dissertation work and cannot be tossed out at this point.  This paper all needs to be filed properly into my currently completely empty filing cabinet.  An evening’s worth of work, maybe two.  The key will be to set it up so that I can find everything easily.  And remember what I have.  This is why it is all sitting out in plain view.  My memory is so poor these days that unless I am staring right at something, I forget it exists.  Lately I’ve been going out in the yard in a panic, looking for the dogs, forgetting that I let them in 20 minutes prior and they are sleeping peacefully in the living room.  If I was grey haired, no doubt people would start talking about ‘homes’ behind my back!

I should note that I also did work on my dissertation almost every day, and have advanced that as well.  Getting these interviews transcribed is an incredible amount of work and I really struggle to do it even though it’s fascinating.  I don’t sit still well and spending 5-7 hours per interview (sometimes more) transcribes into a couple of days per tape at least.  It will get done eventually.  Soon.

Last but not least, I have been working on my food projects.  I pulled everything out of storage this morning and need to go carefully through what I have left in terms of veggies.  Then I need to do something with it, as most is looking pretty sad.  It’s almost March, and soon some spring greenhouse greens should be available.  I am still able to get local kale (which I had for dinner tonight) but that’s been it for greens for some time now.  Today I made bread, and I need to make sauerkraut before the weekend.  Beyond that, I need to do some thinking and planning.  And I’ll leave that for my next post.

I still could easily spend another couple of weeks trying to get caught up with everything, but I feel like I made good progress in general and am actually looking forward to seeing my colleagues at work.  So tomorrow, it’s back to reality.  And I think I’m almost ready for it!

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