Posted in Health, Meditation, Migraines, Sleep, stress, Work

My Daily Calm

Empty Bed

Last night was rough, sleep-wise. My 62-year-old bladder got me out of bed twice, then I was rousted out of bed in the early morning to move my car. We’re having insulation blown into our house from the outside and they needed the driveway. Of course, nobody told me this the day before. If I’d known, I’d have moved the car the night before.

I became aware of an impending migraine once I got back into bed. I was exhausted and strung out from multiple awakenings. My regular morning alarm came and went. All I wanted to do was to stay in bed where it was safe and warm. I didn’t want to do anything. I had client work to do, but didn’t want to touch it. I was tired and angry due to the multiple disruptions to my sleep. My head was starting to hurt even more. Then the fucking doorbell rang. I knew who it was: the insulation people said they’d  need to get into my basement and would ring my bell once they needed to do that. So, up and out of bed I went – cold, tired, headachey and very irritable. I threw a sweatshirt over my pajamas, stumbled downstairs and opened the basement door.

I needed something to get me out of the funk I was in. How about a start-the-day meditation over a cup of coffee or tea? That idea sounded appealing, so I went downstairs, scooped some tea into a tea pot and finished getting dressed while the kettle heated up. Then I poured the tea, portioned out some almonds and then cut up a ripe pear. I took out my cell phone, pulled up my meditation app and sat back to breathe and, eventually, relax. The wounds of the morning faded into the distance as I noted my breathing: in-out, in-out, in-out. I felt my body relax and  my outlook improve. Yes, I could do a little work and do it well. I could also write about my morning (a great way for me to get things out of my system), browse some articles I heard about the day before and enjoy the day.

So, here I am. The migraine aspirin is just now starting to kick in. My chest has unclenched and I’m breathing comfortably. I’m giving myself permission to write and relax, read a little bit and start my day, even though half of it is already gone. I’m munching on almonds and a pear. I think I’ll be okay.

Posted in A Bit of This, A Bit of That, Business, Work

Ouch! These Old Eyes.

At this point I’m holding my eyelids open with toothpicks, but at least I now know how to set up a forum on WordPress.org. It was kind of inevitable – at this point I have several classes of students who’ve taken my WordPress.com class and want to get ongoing support. It’s a rudimentary setup, going across two platforms, but it should at least get things off of the ground. Phew! And it’s only Monday.

Posted in A Bit of This, A Bit of That, Boston, Food, Home, Massachusetts, Seasons, Spring, Work

At Least It’s Not Snowing

It’s been a busy two days, relatively speaking. Yesterday the hubby and I shopped for vegetables and fruit at one of the area’s best places for produce: Russo’s. You can get any variety of veggie or fruit from around the world (Asia, India, the Caribbean, etc.). I’ve never seen some of the stuff they carry, but they do a great business.

Russo Produce
Saturday at Russo. Now imagine it twice at full of people and you’ll have a better idea of what this place is like.

I practically had to be carried back to the car the last time I went there. I was still sick and went through a half a box of Kleenex before I got back home. From there I went straight to bed. This time I was well enough to maneuver a shopping cart through jam-packed aisles and then get back out to the car in one piece. I even bought some flowers!

After the shopping trip we braved the darkening weather and decided to walk along the Charles River near Watertown. It was relatively warm yesterday, but started to get colder and cloudier as we walked. Still, it was really nice to get out of the damn house for a change and feel like a normal human being (also for a change).

We even went out to dinner after our walk. Waltham, MA has some fabulous Indian restaurants, one of our favorites being New Mother India. We warmed up over hot lamb curry and a cauliflower-yellow lentil dish. That was after we polished off a few pakoras and some garlic naan. Aahh, yes.

Food from New Mother India
Just the thing after a walk in the cold

Then today I finished updating my consulting website and finished up a bunch of other work stuff. Then I did another shop (yikes!) at our local supermarket. Among other things, I got a nice corned beef brisket for St. Patrick’s Day (not that I’m Irish or anything). Then I came home and crashed. The hubby is making dinner. I seem to be ready for a shower and bedtime.

Posted in Family, Health, Just Bitching, Work

How Difficult Can it Be?

When I was a kid, an aspirin company used to run a series of commercials about headaches. The company, Excedrin, did little vignettes it called “Excedrin Headache Number #. Then you’d hear something – a stressful conversation, a dinner plate crashing to the floor or some other headache-inducing event.

I’ve got a new one – “Excedrin headache number 1,000,000,000: the health care aide.”

My mother has aides to help her throughout the day. Some aides are excellent. They take the initiative, they care about their charges, they report issues as they come up. Other aides don’t.

As you can probably tell, this is a blog post about the aides that don’t. Actually, there’s just one aide. She started a few weeks ago. It was immediately apparent that this person was dull-witted (okay, enough beating around the bush – she was fuckin’ stupid), but we assumed she was doing at least the care portion of the job, such as sponge-bathing my mom on those days when she couldn’t take a shower and showering her on those days when my mom was up to the task.

This is where super-aide comes in, a woman who’s been working with my mom since December. Smart, engaging, takes the initiative and loves my family. My mom’s been in more-than-usual pain the last few days, so super-aide gave her a sponge bath since she was on-duty at that time.

That’s when we found out that the other aide was doing no such thing. How difficult can a sponge bath be? You take a washcloth with warm water, you soap up the person, you wash, then wipe her down and dry her off. My mother then mentioned that bad-aide’s idea of a sponge bath was to wash her face with a cold cloth. Good-aide (who is very close to my mother and really cares about her) hit the ceiling. Not only is the bad aide not doing anything else (no washing, no dishes, no engaging company), she’s not cleaning my mom, either. What the f*** is she getting paid for, I wonder?

So, as you can probably tell, the good-aide is not the only one who’s pissed. Bad aide won’t take the slightest initiative and talks about herself constantly. Self-absorbed chatter is no stranger to my family, but at least we don’t talk about relatives dying, which is all the other aide talked about until I stopped her. But, then she’d start up again.

I was planning on having a chat with bad-aide about doing work around the house when she wasn’t directly caring for my mother. Her job description includes laundry and dishes as needed, like after a meal. My father was doing that. You have to realize, my dad always does dishes and laundry but the aide should be taking that work off of his 91-year-old shoulders.

So, dumb as a post, takes no initiative and does a shit job of personal care. She’s outta here!

Posted in Work

The Little Engine

I’m an entrepreneur at heart and I love any and all who follow that (back-breaking) dream. So, when I came across this video today, I just had to share it. I love this little boy’s story and I love the community who came to support his hard work and creativity. This is also a great example of how social media can genuinely build community and encourage the next generation of entrepreneurs.

Posted in Work

My Very First Project for 2012

I’ve been in a very cramped home office for a few years now. It’s literally the smallest room in the house and, over the years, I’ve filled it to overflowing with various and sundry business-related crap. It finally got to the point where I couldn’t walk over the floor without fear of being buried alive beneath the mountains of paper that had accumulated there.  Either that, or I’d trip and get strangled by a USB or power cord. Sheesh. Time to move.

I decided I’d do it right this time. I called in a home office design consultant (no, really, I did!) and found another room that suited: third floor, twice as much room, sunny and all. It was being used as a spare bedroom that got used maybe twice a year.  That was part one. Part two involved getting a contractor friend over to renovate, including ripping up the old, brown carpet that hid gorgeous southern pine floors. Third, we went to Ikea to get some new bits of furniture, including a new desk, a rug, several lamps and a coffee table. Fourth…well, fourth, I had to get all that crap up there.

It’s been a slow but steady job. About half of my office is already up here, but more needs to get moved. I also need some shades for the window, because it’s really REALLY sunny. The spare bed still needs to go downstairs, along with all the furniture that used to be up here. But, I’m at work. My first full day on the third floor – hooray!

After you see the before and after shots, you’ll see why I had to move.

Here’s what my old office looked like:

Desk
There used to be a computer here, too
Floor
This was after I tidyed up the piles

I think you get the picture. Now here’s the new space, complete with refinished and painted walls, refinished floor and a combination of old and new furniture:

Side
Side View
Desk
My new desk

You probably can’t see it, but the desk has adjustable legs. I’m very short, so this has been a godsend! Oh, I have a nice rug, too, that’s near the door:

Rug
Posted in Work

Who Broke America’s Jobs Machine? – Barry C. Lynn and Phillip Longman

Who Broke America’s Jobs Machine? – Barry C. Lynn and Phillip Longman.

That’s why our first step must be to repopulate our discussions of political economics with the voices of the people who actually make our economy go. After all, real entrepreneurs and real scientists and real executives and real bankers and real farmers and real software engineers and real venture capitalists tend to understand quite well how real power is used against them. Just as it is they who know better than anyone else what freedoms they require to go about the task of putting their fellow Americans back to work.

Posted in A Bit of This, A Bit of That, Work

My Role Model

And now a word about my role model…

pledge widget2

Mom, definitely mom! She did things in the 1960s that women just didn’t. In fact, she was one of the first women stock brokers in the country when she was registered in 1964. She’d been a secretary for a brokerage firm up until then. She took one look at the men on the other side of her desk and said to herself, “that’s what I want to do!”

Mom rose ithrough the ranks and was an Executive Vice President by the 1980s. She owes it to the sheer amount of work she put into it. She’s always been a curious person, willing to try new things. Even at her current age, 87 I think, she’s searching for new experiences.

She’s been my role model without either of us knowing it, assuming that my tendency to push the envelope and work like a dog comes down from her!

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