Daily Archives: November 29, 2010

Open Letter to the Men in my Life

Why is it that when you boys were younger I used to pray that you would stop talking bathroom stuff at the table, and now that you have segued into talking war and weaponry I am still not happy?

I just sat there for five minutes trying to have a discussion with you all about the merits (or lack thereof) of allowing a 16 year old to get his drivers’ permit and all you guys could talk about was the new gun that has come out. How is it that it is so new, yet you all know its specs etc?? Could you be this obsessed with your schoolwork please? And could you not ignore your mother when she is trying to get a word in edgewise?

Well, I may know nothing about guns, or war, or even care about that type of thing – but you see that kitchen and that dining table? Yours to clean up. Those dishes – yours to wash. That is of course, if you guys ever finish your discussion on the best way to load a freaking rifle or the best tank or the best bullet to kill your enemy with.

Oh, what I would give for some extra estrogen in the house about now….

Switching Off

Now that I am working I am very quickly learning that it is important to be able to switch off from work mode. This is especially vital when one works from home. I have a set number of hours that I need to work per month, and tasks that all need to be finished in a certain time frame. Of course, at the beginning it will take me longer as I am not that familiar with the software and every step that I have to take – but it’s already getting easier.

That being said, it is so easy to just run downstairs to my office and take care of a couple of emails in the evening, tweak the HTML for the next days posts, so that I don’t have to deal with it all the next day. Bad idea. A couple of emails could turn into an hour that I am sitting in my office taking care of things that can wait till the next day, instead of spending time with the family.

When I eat lunch or dinner I am deliberately leaving my blackberry in the office, and when I am doing homework with the kids, or just chillaxing with them and the KoD in the evening, I make it a point that I don’t check my work email.

The hardest part, so far, was last weekend. I don’t work Fridays, but other people do and there were emails coming in. I had to work hard to ignore them, and to also ignore the thought in my head that said “you have 34 emails (and counting) in your inbox to deal with Monday morning….” I totally switched off.

I spent the weekend immersed in the children, the KoD and household stuff – and came to my office refreshed and ready to take on the week this morning. I accomplished. I did more than I set out to do on my to-do list, and I feel extremely efficient.

There will be emails that trickle through in the hours that I am not working, but it is getting easier and easier to tell myself that I don’t have to deal with it now, and that it can wait.

I have to be firm with my work hours, otherwise I will be burned out. I want my job to get the best ME it can, and I want the kids to have the best IMA they can, and for the KoD to have the best QoH that he can. And that means compartmentalizing, which is no easy feat. But I am working on it.

How do you switch off from work mode?


I was with the KoD yesterday at the mall doing some shopping, and we were bombarded, as is everyone this time of year, with Xmas music. Every single store, every single mall, every single Christmas song being played over and over and over again on a loop, until you feel your brain turning into one huge mess of tangled holiday lights that are flashing on and off without cessation.

Yes, I do enjoy the occasional Xmas song – I will find myself singing along when an old favourite comes on the radio. But I am already fed up of the endless loop. At one store yesterday I felt like running out while clutching my head and screaming.

And don’t even get me started on Chanukah this year. My recent tummy issues mean no latkes and no donuts. This holiday is all about OIL – and it’s a big no no for me. KoD and I have decided that the household is going low-fat – ALL of us, but in the interests of fairness I think we have to put that aside until after Chanukah. Yes, I have to suffer the torment of frying latkes that I cannot eat, and smelling donuts that I cannot scarf down, watching the kids lick the powder from their fingers, wiping up the jam that dripped down their chins.

The menorahs are in the basement, I don’t think I cleaned them last year before I packed them up, waiting for our move to NY. I haven’t bought oil or wicks or candles, and presents? Well, we don’t really do Chanukah presents.

I am hoping I can find some Chanukah happiness before Wednesday night. Until then, I need my daily dose of Grumpitol.

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