New Office Space – for now

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Yes, it does feel like we are up the Torrey Pines with the birds 🙂 In fact, there was an Oregon Junco sitting on the branch just outside my window on Monday morning just singing away. I might need to keep a checklist of birds spotted from my desk while we are here!

It’s cramped though – I lost all my floor space towards my back there. I’ve ordered a smaller printer stand that will be delivered soon and then I wont feel so jammed in. I do like the big window and that it has a nice ledge where I can put up all my personal photos & fun stuff. The morning sun comes in through that window above my monitors. It’s actually a glass door that leads out onto a balcony. Of course, all four (four?) of those doors in this office are now blocked off by cubicles so we have no direct access outside. This was an executive corner office for years. Then it was vacant for another span of years and now with the construction being done in the center of the building, all offices on the edges have been redesigned to hold cubicles. Miraculously only one person has shifted back down to the basement which is still completely empty from when we left in September.

Rumor has it that this will revert back to an executive office when the renovations are completed which is why I say this is only a 6-9 month touch down spot again. Things change so rapidly though – who knows? What I do know is that I am hyper driven now to get this department paperless. It’s one thing to find adequate space for 4 people, but it is quite another challenge to also find space for four large file cabinets plus 2 printers and a fax. I’ve challenged my group to ditch the file cabinets before the end of the year.

As I expected, I completely ignored the first recommended topic of blog post ideas for the Merry Month of May. Today’s is “Host a guest blog”. But, as I may have mentioned a few times and have boldly highlighted in my contact page – I don’t do that.

 

Floral Inspiration

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Don’t you wish there was a scratch & sniff computer app? That jasmine is so wonderful. Yes, that’s the same plant that I had to chop down to nearly nothing before the fence was put in late in 2011. There were a few small branches of blooms last year, but this year, I think they will be back to nearly full strength.

Given that this week – yes, the last week of February which has been established to be the Monday of Months – I have to struggle with performance evaluations in a system that is still, STILL, not user friendly at all, these flowers really helped to improve my mood. Memo to HR, get your shit together please. It’s 2014, and I’d like to use an e-form designed in this decade and a rating system that allows for more than an increase from 3.44 to 3.47 overall score (on a scale of 5). How useless and unmotivating is THAT?

Anyway……I need to dive into that whether I like it or not. Happy Wednesday – book club report to follow later this week.

Ch-ch-ch-changes!

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All good ones! I was finally able to arrange for the disposal of an oversized, hand me down and out of shape set of furniture in my living room. The love seat and chair were rarely both in use and the love seat would only be in use if both 17 and I were watching tv at once. I’ve wanted to downsize from those things for a long time. I replaced them with two super comfy, smaller easy chairs:

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Now I am plotting what to do to fill in the wall with the big window – most likely storage of some kind – I am eyeing a low TV/media cabinet that wouldn’t block much of the window but would provide a place to store extra blankets, pillows and cat beds.

So things look fresh and new at home – and now, the BIG reveal – my new office!

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Here’s the view up close out the window – trees!

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Beyond our own actual desk/office space which is absolutely PERFECT for us – 4 cubicles, windows, and a back wall that allows for plenty of file space and space for our water, printer & fax without jamming up the walkway. I mean, really – it’s perfect! Quiet too – so beautifully, blissfully – QUIET. Even nicer is what we walk through several times a day going to to bathroom, getting our food from the break room, heading to the copier or to other offices – the atrium with a running water fall and gorgeous skylight roof:

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Yep – luxury, light and fresh air! Pretty fantastic changes all around!

Change is good!

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I have missed writing so much! In any form, be it here in journal format, the assigned writing I did for the MOOC course I took in the Spring, or the more structured blog posts submitted on Blogmutt. Heck, I don’t even get to tweet in those little 140 character bursts of thought hardly at all anymore!

However, work is slowly returning to a more manageable pace, and even the football tasks will be settling into a more manageable routine now. Shoot – on the weeks the team plays an away game, and there isn’t a new program to produce and taco/spirit wear sales to collect, I will feel like I am lounging around!

So I thought I would turn my writing brain back on with some spur of the moment topics that allow me to so some free form writing.

Today’s topic? Change – in the form of moving.

We are moving the office within the next two weeks. Target date is the 13th. I’ve wrangled enough file cabinet space to cover our immediate needs, but we still need to go through and mark off what will be moved and what will stay down here since we do get to keep part of the area here as a sort of on site storage.

It’s interesting – I am not a pack rat at all. If anything, I throw things away too soon because clutter irritates me to no end. But, when you HAVE space it is amazing how easily you can fill it! I have 5 large drawers just in my own area right now, and in the course of the past week I have cleared it down to 2.5 smaller ones. Then there is the storage area where I had been keeping 4 bankers boxes of documents for ages now. I even marked them “KEEP – do NOT send offsite!”  Hah! I went through those and ended up keeping a grand total of 7 file folders. Or less than ¼ of one box. Lordy!

It feels good to purge all those papers though.

Funny how the same thing happens with electronics. I had the opportunity this weekend to do a phone upgrade. That translates to older phones trickling down to the boys. Of course, since today’s phones are really hand held computers, you first have to back them up, then wipe them clean before the next person can activate it with all of his information. Before we did that, 17 and I noticed that we had used up a LOT more memory in our phones than we anticipated. So, rather than backup old stuff, we did some deleting. And then more deleting. And then MORE deleting! We each spent at least 40 minutes clearing out the old apps and photos and videos from our phones clearing out at least 1/3 to ½ of the memory usage! We are both now quite thrilled to have our app screens down to just TWO pages each (not even completely full on that second one!)

Yup, change is good – either in real life or virtually!

Bringing the outside in

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The exciting news this week was confirmation from “upstairs” that the office I was hoping to get in the targeted move for our area is indeed mine.

Which means – something within the next month or two, I will no longer be a basement dweller! Do you know it’s been 10 years at least down there? Crazy how time flies. I was able to go into the room and really look at it finally and take some photos so we can start planning on who sits where and what kinds of file storage we have to work with. It’s much less than what we have currently, but we can make it happen. So, here is what my desk area will look like – picture taken at around 10am so the sun was streaming in as the office looks due East:

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There is a balcony area just outside the windows, and then the trees are in the hillside just behind the building which is part of a nature preserve attached to the Torrey Pines Reserve across the street to the west. The actual desk space will be the same thanks to that granite shelf to the left which extends all the way along the wall behind me:

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Yes, it is a funky suspended sort of shelf area. Not terribly functional except as a storage unit for things like printer paper, toner and other office supplies. That one set of doors right next to the end of the desk don’t even open all the way. Very odd. But the granite is pretty and there is plenty of room for everything I currently have on my desktop. The communal office printer and fax and water cooler will have to be directly at the end of this shelf and behind me, but since I will be angled a little to the right it’s not like it will feel as if anyone is sneaking up on me. Plus, there are only three other people in the entire office with me! It is a four person office with it’s own set of double doors tucked in a corner well off any main walkway.

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Yes, the flooring is a funky combination of deep royal blue carpet and dark granite. Luckily all of the walking surface is carpet so, again, very quiet. Of course, that back wall there is adjacent to the kitchen for our main cafeteria and when I was standing back there I could hear the chef and crew talking, but HEY – I’m coming from a basement set of over 50+ cubicles! There are 9 just in the one corner I am in now so quiet….is nothing we know about! We are all happy about the new space, and at this point I just want to know WHEN it will happen because damn – did you see that gorgeous window??

Meanwhile, this weekend was a rare opportunity to run both days. Saturday I run a looping route to and from Starbucks, stopping for 45 minutes to sip my frappucino and read on my kindle that I had packed into my camelpack instead of the actual liquid container. Then this morning I joined the girls at Torrey Pines. We ran up the big hill which I can still run up with relative (slow paced) ease which floors me. I did a loop around the Guy Fleming Trail on my route. Five hilly miles a day after 2.5 was more than I have done since April so it was a real treat! Afterwards, we soothed our tired feet in the surf and enjoyed the nature surrounding us on a gray morning.

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Egrets sharing the surf with us as well as some fishermen off in the distance with their poles propped up in the sand.

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Ah, that feels better!

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Looking south from the Guy Fleming overlook. It wasn’t cold – the air was around 70 and there was no real breeze at all. Perfect running weather is what I call it. Here’s the view to the north. Beautiful despite the cloud cover!

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Scenes from the past week

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I’m taking an online writing course through Coursera and the assignments the last two weeks have been to describe scenes. We had to specifically use a certain number of sentences and parts of speech and such, but I thought “hey, since that’s the way I am thinking right now, why not share scenes?”

Seriously, just like when I first started on twitter and I found myself constantly thinking in 140 character bursts, this class has me thinking in “scenes”.

So…

Scene 1:

Thursday night, I came into the house after a day at work when I was thankful I did not take the head off of the temp employee working with me. Thankfully, I vented to the August moms group instead, took a deep breath and tried to come up with a more mature strategy for dealing with her than simply yelling “Shut the hell UP already!!” You see, she talks to herself. And not under her breath. For some reason that day she was super duper loud and all day long. I gave her a new lease to add to the database, and I swear to all that is holy, this woman read it OUT LOUD. Then she talked her way through highlighting the critical parts. I had my head phones on and was listening to music, and I STILL heard her. Anyway…the point is, I came into the house wanting CALM and QUIET.

Begin laughing now.

27 was in the throes of a cold bad enough that he was running a fever so I told him to get in his room, keep his germs out of my kitchen and just text me when he needed anything. 16 came home on day two of a slight shoulder strain from spring flag football practice and needed to hop back on the ice machine after a shower. I made dinner, fed the cats, and was just settling down on the sofa to watch TV with the ice bound teen when my phone rang. It was my friend who is acting as the main liaison for the football team. We had some forms we needed to finalize to present to the high school foundation board on Friday. She was updating them on her computer while we talked through the necessary edits.

At some point I was sitting on the foot of my staircase so that my talking didn’t disturb 16, when 27 texted that he needed ice water and then 16 stated he was done with the ice machine time. One on my left, one on my right and another in my ear, all needing something from me at once.

I couldn’t help but laugh.

Scene 2:

Tonight – oh, I had been looking forward to tonight for two weeks! At the pizza party a couple of weekends ago, I found out that the same guy who hosted the party conducts yoga classes for the neighbors on Tuesday nights. His garage is converted into a yoga studio, and it is a little slice of heaven. For 75 minutes I was stretching every tense muscle and breathing deeply and listening to calming music and, yeah, focusing kind of hard on learning how to do the poses properly, but at the end it was magical.

He turned the lights down, and there were these beautiful blue and green pinpoint lights floating against the dark ceiling like stars drifting across the sky. The music was even more mystical and calming than it had been during the class. He told us to focus on the parts of our bodies that had been stretched and opened up and…all I could do was lose myself in those twinkling lights. My breathing slowed as he instructed us to try and do, but it was just so wonderful to let my brain GO. I wasn’t sleepy – I’m still not – it was invigorating!  I was completely mindful of my breathing and focusing on the green dots. Who knows why staring at a colorful, starry, sky is so perfect for my brain to get it to slow down. It was the same sense of calm I get when I am on a ship, leaning over the back railing losing myself in the churning water as the boat moves through the open ocean. The brain stops firing in a gajillion directions and slowly brings it’s own waves down to the rythym of the water, or the moving lights.

Tuesdays are my new favorite days of the week.