Monday, January 02, 2006

Back in the saddle

Today, I finally completed a task that's been on my to-do list ever since my last day of work on Dec. 9: I cleaned and organized the previously very messy home office. Photographic proof:



I still have a box of stuff from my previous job taking up the seat of the recliner that's just out of view; to empty that, I need to empty a shelf on the bookcase to the right of the desk, and I ran out of gas before I got to it. But this is a MAJOR accomplishment, and it somehow makes me feel better about starting my new job tomorrow with it completed.

The last few days have been pretty productive, mostly because (knocking on wood feverishly) I've been feeling pretty good. I made dinner -- homemade mac and cheese -- last night, and have beef stew bubbling away on the stove now while Darren watches the Notre Dame game. D and I went for a walk in the neighborhood both days -- something I've been trying, with absolutely no success, to do ever since I left my job. And I've gotten a fair bit accomplished, too -- the cleaning, dinner preparations and three loads of laundry today, as well as assorted e-mailing and de-cluttering. I still need to go through the Christmas stuff before we box it up for the year; I've sworn that anything that hasn't been used for the last two years is being donated to Goodwill, along with the pregnancy tchotchkes I received as gifts.

Tonight, I still need to get my things together for my trip north; I will be staying in a hotel Tuesday and Wednesday nights, so on top of the new-job stress I have to also consider exactly how much food a pregnant woman needs to get through three workdays, as well what types of diversions I might desire in the evenings. I can already sense that I will bring way too much stuff; it's a family curse. I've got snacks and breakfast foods figured out, and I'll bring some leftover stew for a lunch, but I'm just going to have to wing dinners as well as replenishments for my supplies.

Luckily, however, I'm not going to the North Pole, just midcoast Maine, to a town where good food is ubiquitous and the hotel has free WiFi. I've got a pattern and wool for a shawl I want to crochet, inspired by one I spent a few evenings wrapped in at my grandparents' house over the holidays. That one -- which was likely designed by my grandmother -- is much more elegant than the simple triangle shawl I'm going to make, but I've got some nice wool that I hope will dress it up a bit. And I'm also bringing along a very funny book, a sequel to Pride & Prejudice that is very overwritten and jam-packed with sex scenes that would make authors more modern than Jane Austen blush. It ain't great literature, but it's lots of fun.

And on top of all that, I hope to do some blogging as well. And, yes, I know that I will likely be exhausted from the drive and the return to work, and I won't touch half of this stuff. But it'll be there if I want it... as long as I get up from the computer Right. Now. and start pulling it together.