I’ve been very withdrawn from all things bloggy lately. Not only have I not been tickled by the writing muse, but I haven’t seemed to have the time to read all the interesting adventures on the blogs I follow. In fact, one of those bloggers has just recently posted a farewell, having decided that a blog just doesn’t fit into her priorities anymore.
I get that. I really, really do. But I’m not ready to call it quits yet.
Still, there’s not much material rattling around in my brain these days. Between still being obsessed with kitty play and having to really knuckle down at work, and some stultifying budget/schedule issues on the home front, I just haven’t felt very adventurous. Even when we have broken out of the daily grind—an overdue paddle at the Whitewater Center, our annual visit to the Renaissance Festival—I haven’t even been inspired enough to pull out the camera.
I’m not too worried about it, though. I know blogs tend to go through ebbs and flows. My muse will come back eventually.
Before I get into the boring, long-winded catch-up part of my post, here’s a dramatic evening light picture.
So here’s what’s been distracting me. At work, I’ve exited the probationary period in my new position, and am still not up to speed on production. My remote supervisors are mostly supportive, saying that my numbers are moving in the right direction, but each month I see “needs improvement,” I am quite dissatisfied. So I am re-focusing, learning to set a new pace. It’s rewarding, as all hard work should be, but it’s also quite jarring to be sitting in an office of people who have big gaps in their work day, who can set their own pace, and who often stop and chat for 10, 15, 30 minutes at a time. I frequently have to cut conversations short because I can’t be away from the system too long.
It wouldn’t be so bad if others were doing the same kind of work I am, and could carry on conversations as we work, rather than stopping everything to chat. My saving grace is the online chat session I keep open with the other gals working remotely at other sites, ostensibly to ask questions of. More often it serves as a vent, where I can rant that “VER made me do a SICA for 2.5 max, then it came back and gave me a max cap error for FFF!” See? Who else could understand that?
In spite of my seeming withdrawal, I do I feel like I’ve made some small steps toward recognition in the office. I was tapped for our small Employee Appreciation Week committee, which organized daily fun events and activities throughout the week. We had surprise bags of candy, a Jeopardy-style trivia game, office superlatives (best-dressed, etc). I think the site manager noticed that I can organize and communicate better than average (really? I was a TEACHER, for crying out loud, that’s what we DO!). I don’t know that that will have any direct impact on my future work, but it can’t hurt to improve his opinion of me.
Here’s a Halloweeny picture of our Halloween kitty.
Back to work…I’ve also stepped up to become involved in a Charlotte-wide Volunteer Leadership Group for the various sites around town. I didn’t know this, but our company, while headquartered in New York, has several other offices in town—a couple of mortgage sites, a payment-processing site, and some sort of investment-bank setup right uptown. Our office has only about 30 people in it; the payment processing site has a couple of hundred. The point of this volunteer group is to start organizing local company-sponsored events in support of non-profits. We haven’t had a big enough presence to be automatically included in the kinds of things we see happening in the larger markets, but if we pool all the sites, we should be able to make a difference. Not only am I on the leadership group, but I volunteered for the communications committee.
Because I like to communicate. Naturally.
I’m kind of excited that our 3-person committee is meeting at the uptown site next week, because I’d like to see what the other offices look like and find out what they do. It’s a great opportunity to network across “lines of business," as they’re called, because otherwise we have absolutely no contact with non-auto finance people.
So that’s work. At home, the biggest news is that McKenna McKitty had her spay surgery two weeks ago. Here she is last night, showing off her adorable pink shaved belly and the remains of her incision boo-boo.
She was a very good patient. She didn’t bother her stitches, so we didn’t have to impose the Cone of Shame on her. Convenient, yes, but I do regret a bit the missed photo opportunities that would have offered. During her recovery she did slow down for a couple of days, but we hardly noticed, until she suddenly revved back up to speed, and we remembered how energetic she is normally.
Still, she is starting to calm down just a little as she passes the 6-month mark. She doesn’t wake us up multiple times a night with kneading and jumping onto our nightstands, more like once a night with a single visit and her trademark trilling meow. During the day, her play sessions are shorter and a bit less intense. However, she does still use the living room as a parkour grounds at least once a day, running and jumping as fast as the eye can see from floor to chair, to couch, to table, to cat tree, to table, to floor, to dog, to hearth, to… This is usually while I’m stumbling out from bedroom to living room in the dark of early morning, trying to get the dog outside to pee while keeping the cat inside, and sadly, it’s just a bit beyond my abilities to turn on the lights and grab the phone to get some video.
Another reason she may not need as much playtime is that we’ve been trying to give her time outside on the dog run. The evening I went out to take that picture at the top of the post, I lay down on the ground to get a photo of her, and she immediately came over and started climbing on me.
Pardon the hair, it was a slob day on the weekend.
As for our other furry companion, Rosie is still Rosie. She still doesn’t get enough walks, but she is ever-patient and calm. A month or so ago, just when summer’s heat started to ease, I took her to the dog park, so she could happily ignore all the other dogs.
She did sniff a few butts, but once we’ve traipsed the length of the park, she’s ready to go home. I make her walk back through again, because it must be good for her, right?
Sadly, the energetic kitty antics are far more interesting to photograph than a slow-moving black dog in low light, so, like a second child, she’s become a bit absent in my photo gallery. How about a brief video of her sniffing butts at the dog park? This starts out with a shot of her blonde doppelganger, before moving on to Rosie’s limited doggie social skills.
So that’s about all that’s worth mentioning. I’m hoping that this coming weekend might be enough to get me out of my creative slump. Not only are we going to the fair—a different one this year!—but Miss Chef is involved in a new professional organization that’s putting on their first big event. I pledge to at least take a few pictures and post something about them here—because even if you’re not interested, I should be. After all, it’s my life, I’d better take some interest!
click the picture for more info