About Being Sick

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Yesterday I was out of the house for a few “old man cans” and was chatting with a guy at the bar, about the weather – a conversation requisite for all Canadians. He also mentioned that he is just getting over a bad cold and that in fact, he missed an entire week of work.

I’m certainly not doubting that he was sick, but a whole week? For a cold? 

It got me thinking (as I sometimes do…), that being sick is a lot like travelling on a plane.

Just about everyone accepts snacks and soft drinks when they’re free, but when they come at an extra cost, almost no one buys them.

If you are employed and have paid sick days, why not take advantage of them? You’d be silly not to. Even if a sick day is not paid, if you’re truly sick and can stay home, then it’s at least an option.

When you’re self-employed or have no one to do your job for you, then you really have no choice but to push through, or at least re-arrange your schedule around being sick.

Okay, probably not the most accurate or brilliant analogy… just a random thought.

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Things on Thursday

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Things that annoy me (including yesterday):

  • Holes in my socks. So annoying.
  • Shank has a cut on his paw from last Sunday’s walk. He licks it… to the point where it seems to be his duty and obligation to constantly lick, like the fate of the world depends on it. There are wet spots everywhere in the house where he’s enjoyed a licking bender. I’ve bandaged it up ad nauseam. I make him stay next to me in the office so I can watch him. It’s wearing on me.
  • So many things about Facebook. It’s so annoying that Facebook for Business now messages me via messenger everytime anything happens on a boosted post or ad. I don’t have the notifications on (my phone would literally blow up), and finally yesterday I had time to delve into the settings to turn set the annoyance to a minimum (once a week as opposed to about 40 times a day). Also annoying is that businesses can lose their good message response rating by not replying after a conversation. So literally if after a conversation with a customer, and I reply, “thank you”, and they say “you’re welcome”… end of the conversation, right? But because I don’t reply after that, the rating drops. So stupid and annoying!
  • While we enjoy “the fastest Internet in Canada”, yesterday I had many connection issues in the afternoon. William has been complaining about the connection in the evenings, but I don’t notice, as I try not to be online, but yesterday it REALLY affected my productivity and anger level.
  • Being sick on Monday and doing very little has really screwed me up for the week. I have more work to do today than I normally do. Annoying.
  • I’ve been wanting to meet or speak with a client of mine for nearly two months… STILL waiting for their response or phone call. This is kind of a big thing for me! Arg.

Things I’m grateful for (including yesterday):

  • I’m grateful to have socks, but it seems that all my favourites are either without a partner or have a hole in the toe.
  • William and Shank slept on the couch last night so I could sleep without hearing and feeling Shank lick himself. William also did a bang-up job wrapping his foot.
  • I still have a bad cough, but I’m feeling less foggy and much better.
  • Discussed the Super Bowl party plans with William, it should be a good time – and the last party of the party season (which generally runs from American Thanksgiving until Super Bowl).
  • I’m grateful for the clients who either pay me early or pay me on time. Thanks.

That’s it for now, life is good.

Running Out

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I’m feeling much better today than yesterday… but still far from 100%. I actually did sit down yesterday afternoon to do some work to ease my mental stress, but the power was flicking (thereby losing the Internet connection) and then it went out for nearly an hour… so I called it quits for the day.

So, as I sit here this morning, I am again suffering from an ongoing frustration that plagues me each and every working day of late: I’m running out of things to say.

Yep, social media is repetitive (“Tell ’em once, tell ’em twice and tell ’em a third time just in case). I’ve been doing the same thing for the same clients (except for one I acquired last February) for 4, 5, 6, 7 years now. For my one client, I’ve literally “run out” of articles to write about. I’ve completely exhausted the topic. I now pretty much re-write old content and post as new. I literally don’t have a choice. After 5 years, there is nothing left to say.

It’s super frustrating to have this creative and metal block. I feel like I’m not serving my clients as they deserve because I’m either burnt out or a part of me knows that the client “really doesn’t care”. They just want it taken care of with it not affecting their time. (Don’t get me wrong, I do receive the occasional compliments, but for a few of my clients, they are just fine with my job just being “done”, so it’s not something they have to deal with.)

I think all my clients would benefit from a “fresh perspective”. Someone who could discover new things to say online. I wish I could become refreshed and re-invigorated. I wish there was a shot, a pill or something I could take to boost my creative spirit. No, vacations don’t help. There’s so much that needs to be done in advance, I often just end up working while away because it’s easier.

This is not a new feeling or frustration for me – in some sense, I’ve felt it for years now. I’ve taken steps change how I work, and I should know more about that in the next week.

Life, however, is still good.

Just the Basics

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I have a cold. I feel like garbage. It’s hard to focus, I can barely type.

While most working people can stay home, away from work when sick, as a self-employed person, I don’t have the luxury.

Rats.

I’m super lucky to do what I do, and I believe that I’ve discussed the pros and cons of self-employment previously, but being sick is definitely a con.

There’s no one else who’ll do something for me. I’m paid monthly with agreed upon terms, so the show must go on.

What I do is certainly not life or death, but I do have a deep need to fulfil my obligations. I think in the 7 years I’ve been doing this, I’ve maybe only missed a handful of days here and there… and it wasn’t from illness, rather I’ve simply forgotten or there was a snafu in the software I use.

Today, I’ve just completed the basics – no preparation for the week ahead, no writing, no research… nothing. The thing is, a day like today really messes me up for the whole week… and what if I feel worse tomorrow? Or the day after? Ugh… I don’t want to think about it.

Well, now I’ve pretty much convinced myself to push ahead and do a little more. Great.

Then a nap.

 

Happiness – Weekend Edition

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A good winter weekend to me includes the following elements:

Being somewhat productive

If I don’t “do something”, I feel guilty and undeserving of relaxation time. This weekend’s “do something” included:

  • A little bit of online work (not much, maybe 3 hours).
  • De-Christmassing the house (thank gawd that stuff is down – nice when it goes up, then it feels like the house is ‘junked-up’).
  • A quick clean of the house.
  • A little bit of closet organization (maybe more today, maybe not).
  • Need to do some laundry today.

Doing something fun

  • Yesterday we went bowling… yes, I think bowling is great fun! I’ve actually ordered a ball and a bag. Very exciting stuff.
  • Made home-made pizza – okay, William made the pizza, but I cooked the bacon and shredded the cheese. It was super yum.
  • Played pinball and had a few drinky-drinks. Fun!
  • Watched the Canadian Juniors win IIHC Gold (although I went to bed early and missed the second half of the third period, I caught the highlights, and it was still awesome)!
  • Watched wild-card NFL action – pretty happy that the Titans won, although I don’t think they’ll go any further.

Relaxing

  • Relaxing is often related to doing something fun, but today I hope to get cosy and finish reading “Origin” by Dan Brown.
  • We’re probably going to have golf on (It’s the first event of the season, and they’re playing Kapalua – way more fun to watch as we’ve actually played there!), and then football.

If I’m super ambitious, I might go to the mall, I have a gift card and I really need shoes.

Just trying to appreciate the moments as they happen.

Life is good.

The Parade

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Cleveland fans be like…

Today is the parade in honour (or in disgust) of the Cleveland Browns.

Sometimes I think us being fans is a huge cosmic joke on us. I liked football for years before finally settling on Cleveland – and it didn’t have so much to do with the team itself (although I like the history of the Browns leaving, then returning to Cleveland – I’m a big fan of the underdog) – it had more to do with the spirit of the city.

By spirit, I don’t mean the party-type atmosphere of downtown (although, dang, that can be fun too) – but rather the general vibe of the city, its people, and the effort of both to grow and do better. Essentially, it’s a fun place to be and the people are great.

However, being a Browns fan is tough… it’s tough for the life-long fans, new fans (are there any of those?) and it’s tough for the few like my husband and myself who travel to the city for most if not all home games. It’s a big expense and it’s big heartache.

If it comes up in conversation with Cleveland locals that we travel from Canada (it sounds impressive, but really we’re only 3 hours door to door if the border is good) to watch the Browns, we almost always stay 2 nights, AND we have season tickets. They marvel,

“Why?”

“How?”

Being a Browns fan pretty much dominates our early fall through to the early winter (it’d be mid-winter if they ever saw a playoff game…). It’s what we do. “Wanna do X this weekend?” – “Nope, sorry, thanks for asking, but the Browns are playing at home.”

But at least there’s booze!

Now, being so close to Detroit, there are a lot of Lions’ fans about. Yes, there are others, but most people around here are Lions’ fans. Despite the Lions being the only team prior to this season, to go 0 and 16, (and here’s something you might not know) Browns’ fans are really the only team that Lions’ fans can pick on, for what I believe to be three reasons:

  • The Browns have not seen post-season action since ’02 (and that was a wild-card game, it’s not like they won their division). Now that the Bills have made the playoffs, they have the longest non-post-season drought in NFL history. In general, we’re way bigger losers than them.
  • Cleveland has continual quarterback issues, and despite Detroit’s struggles, they have Matt Stafford, a veritable God in Lions’ fans’ eyes.
  • Cleveland as a city is viewed as more industrial, poorer, the “Mistake on the Lake” compared to the people who hail from or live near Detroit (if they only knew… and I have some experience with both).

Further about Lions’ fans… they *think* they can relate to being a Browns’ fan. “Oh, you’re a Browns’ fan? Sorry! I’m a Lions’ fan so I can relate.” 

No, no you cannot.

Oh, you’re a Lions’ fan? How often do you go to games? Real responses include:

  • Ppphhhhht! I’m not going to a game unless they are in playoff contention this season.
  • Going to games is a pretty big hassle, we just watch from home.
  • My buddy has season tickets, we usually go with him a few times a year. (Of all the people I know – honestly, not a lot, I only know 1 person who still has their Lions season tickets.)
  • We always go to the Thanksgiving Day game – we, like, have to take the day off work!

Now people can be however hard-core or casual of a fan they want. It doesn’t matter nor affect me whatsoever. You can be a fan of a team for 10, 20 or 60 years, again, that doesn’t matter much to me. You can root for whatever team you want, for whatever reason. (We went to New Orleans, had a great time… just so happened they won the Super Bowl that year… oh, how nice for you!) I really don’t judge, except for band-wagoners gives me pause… Now, let’s talk about being a Browns’ fan in response to those Lions’ fans who can “relate” to me.

  • I have been to nearly every Browns home game in 4 years, and because we missed the Christmas Eve game in 2016, that means I haven’t seen my team win live, in person in years. Like literally years (uh, regular season, not that pre-season splendour we witnessed this year). Like I can’t remember the last time I saw them win in person.
  • Playoffs? Playoffs? The Lions have been to the post-season like 6 times since the Browns’ last appearance!
  • Oh, and a home-opening win? Been to about 9 of those… never seen them win.
  • You can take the tunnel bus for $5 to see a Lion’s game… it takes us 3 hours each way, and a full tank of gas to watch the Browns… and because we want to get the full experience, we stay two nights – the night before and the night after a game.
  • We’ve seen up to four quarterbacks play each season for the Browns… for years!

I can agree, if your team hasn’t won the Super Bowl, in say 4 fours (except those lucky New England fans, and don’t even get me started on Bill Belichick!), than being a fan of any NFL team can be tough. But save your commiseration for someone else… like another Lions’ fan… they’re everywhere here.

So, now, back to the parade…

There are a lot of strong feelings on both sides of the parade happening today. As a fan, (maybe more so as a Canadian fan?) I say, whatever floats your boat. Would we have gone if logistically able today? Maybe. Are the best, most loyal fans going to be there, or just those upset about the Browns continual embarrassment to the city of Cleveland? I’m not sure.

Honestly, I hope the parade goes off without violence. I hope it’s in good spirit, “The Cleveland Browns suck, but we still love you and will continue to support you guys!”

That’s it for now… (that was actually more than I intended!) Life is good.

It’s Cold

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Really the only thing on my mind this morning is the weather. How Canadian of me… and how sad that it’s really the only thing I can think about to write…

It’s cold… like record-breaking, bone-chilling, air-hurts kind of cold.

I believe it’s -2* F with an expected high of a balmy 9*F.

Kinda makes a person want to stay in. Kinda makes a person not want to venture out for any reason.

But… The greedy birds outside my office window are demanding seed. I need to go into the bank (certain things with our US account I can’t do online). I need to pick up Mr. Shank this afternoon as he’s at MomG’s.

Boo. Brr.

Life is good.