It’s 0400

It’s 0400 on Friday and I woke up with my sinuses packed. Naturally, the nose spray that always helps me is still securely hidden in the mountain of boxes that must still be unpacked after the move. It is easy to feel sorry for myself, but I’m trying to stay optimistic since Hal, The Stooges and I are embarking on the next adventure in our life together.

This picture is overly optimistic, the place is still crammed with boxes and bags. We did manage to make a path for the cable guy who is supposed to be here today, as well as the new furniture items we purchased before the move. Thankfully, I took time off work to help with this madness so Hal doesn’t have to shoulder the burden all by himself.

The new apartment is much larger than our old one. It is also $500 cheaper per month. The trade off is that we’re much further away from DC now, but I don’t have to fight the commute anyway. I can still catch a train into DC when I have to go. Since I’ve been working from home for years, this isn’t a big deal to me.

In the interest of keeping it real, this is another view from the couch as I’m writing this on my iPhone. Only a few of the boxes are empty. We will be busy today but not as rushed as yesterday.

There are so many things that go through my mind at 0400. Why can’t I get back to sleep? Where is my sinus nasal spray? Why didn’t I inventory and index things when I packed them to make it easier to find things? That last one I’ll try to remember for our next move.

Stevie Nicks seems remotely interested in me as I’m writing this. I’m glad that The Stooges have all adjusted well to the new place. Stevie Nicks and Hal The Cat were fine on the hour + drive here today, but Jax The Cat was upset and talked loudly the entire time. To be fair, this was the first time that Jax has moved with us so we expected him to be nervous.

It’s 0400 and I’m looking forward to a new day. Everyone stay safe.

What I Learned Today

Today I learned that I am able to help others who are suddenly having to telework due to the current situation with Coronavirus. I began working from home about 6 years ago and have learned a lot about what to do and what not to do in order to stay productive. I decided that it would be a good idea to post a few of the main lessons I learned through the years.

  1. Always keep the same hours that you worked in the office. The temptation to “flex” your work time can be irresistible, but you have to maintain discipline and stick to a routine if you want to be successful at working from home.
  2. Never work in sleep clothes or PJs. Even if you have no conference calls to attend, and even if those calls have no video functions, always get yourself up and take a shower and put some regular work clothes on. Obviously, it doesn’t have to be a suit and tie, but at least give everyone the impression that you care while you work from home.
  3. Find a quiet location where you won’t be disturbed often during the day. Distractions are common at home, and we respond to them without thinking. Isolate yourself, especially in the beginning so you can learn to ignore the things that aren’t critical. Remember that if you can work from home successfully, you might have the opportunity to do more of it in the future.
  4. Remember that working from home is not for everyone. If you cannot stay focused, tell your boss as soon as possible rather than just sit and get nothing done until the boss realizes you aren’t producing. That never ends well.
  5. Keep family and pets at a safe distance while you work.
  6. Take mini-breaks throughout the day to keep your mind fresh and focused.
  7. Make a plan of what you want to get done each day and then try to reach those goals.
  8. Answer your phone professionally, remember that you are still at work.
  9. Make time for conference calls. The interaction will help you to break the monotony and maintain contact with your coworkers.
  10. Enjoy lunch at home.

I hope that anyone thrust into teleworking without time to prepare finds some of these hints to be helpful.

Something I Haven’t Tried Yet

I picked up my Writing Journal this morning and the topic for today is something that has no relationship to Coronavirus, and that makes a nice change. What is something that I want to do that I haven’t tried yet?

I have had a full life and this is a harder question than I thought it was. I have done so many things that I never thought I would as I traveled the world, especially during my time with the Navy.

I suppose that one thing I really want to do is to act on stage. I think that I would be good at acting, but I cannot produce any evidence to back it up. I can imagine acting for the first time and feeling awesome afterwards. I have never dreamed about failing as an actor, whatever that means. Perhaps I should explore community theater? I think that any chance of ever being in a movie are less than zero, but life is an adventure, a banquet where most people are starving to death.

Journal – What I am Proud Of

I was stumped this morning and struggling to find a topic to write about when I decided to open up my handy

I can always find an inspiration from this book by just randomly going to a page. The topic for today is “What is the Accomplishment I am most proud of?” That is a very easy question for me to answer, but it does deserve some background. After all, this blog is to allow me to explore my desire to write after all.

I grew up an only child, other than my parents there was not a real extended family that was worth wasting time on because the majority were money-grubbing bitches and bastards. Those who weren’t were status-conscious material possession hogs who wanted everyone else to know how well off they were. Mom and Dad taught me about being happy regardless of family or possessions, that inner peace was the key to a good life.

Because my parents were Liberals, there wasn’t much in common I had with the kids I grew up with. I was always the “weird” kid with strange ideas that no one else understood. I wasn’t unhappy at all, I honestly felt badly about my friends who never understood the wonderful keys to life that my parents had given to me.

From an early age, I remember my parents telling me that I should resist the temptation to remain in the small town after I finished high school. In fact, they did their best to provide me a chance to go to college. I was able to get into the outside world and explore new places and new people. Although this was a limited trip to the outside world (Lexington, KY) it seemed that I had moved to New York or Los Angeles. I made new friends and found a few more people who understood life the way I did, although most still remained very traditional in their outlook on life.

I made it through college and then faced the decision about what to do with my life. I wanted to see the world, but since I wasn’t independently wealthy I decided to join the US Navy. Although I had a degree, I chose the enlisted route because my Dad had done the same thing many years before me, although he had been in the Army. I was able to see the world, and I also found that the military had many good traits, but that the structure was too rigid and formalized for me to feel comfortable.

I had never had any real luck in the relationship department. I suppose that my understanding nature drew the wrong types of women to me. Nothing else could possibly explain some of the psychos I dealt with through my late teens into my early 30s. These volatile personalities made long term relationships impossible.

Eventually, as I left the Navy I felt like taking a chance. I started dating men and found that I was much more comfortable. I didn’t have to compromise my inner beliefs and I found more manure than roses for several years, just like with women. Eventually I determined that most gay men were more honest, although not necessarily more trustworthy than women. What I mean by that is that most gay men are upfront about what they are after, there are fewer lies about long-term relationship goals. Just a personal observation.

I would still be in the single gay realm until I met Hal. I was about to turn 36 and I was tired of seeking anything stable or permanent in my life when it came to relationships or romance. Hal changed all that. We just celebrated 20 years together and we have been happy every single day with each other.

We have had arguments, but we have never let them linger overnight. We always talk things out when something bothers us or we are upset. Relationships are hard work, no doubt about it, but I am damn proud of the relationship that Hal and I have. In fact, this relationship is the thing that I am the most proud of in my entire life.

And there you have my first blog post of the day 🙂

Planning For Our Goals

     One of the most important things I have learned through my adult life is how to plan for, and attain, goals in my life. My company takes a great deal of interest in its employees as human beings. This is demonstrated by all of the workshops that we can attend throughout the year. Most of them are business-focused, but the lessons can easily apply to everyday life.

The first thing about creating a goal is to make certain it is what you really want, and not something that another person expects of you. Your own self-interest will either help you to achieve a goal, or sabotage that goal. If you can easily and honestly answer the “Who, What, Why, Where, When, and How” questions you are on the right track.

The next thing is to realize that a large goal doesn’t make it more difficult, but you have to manage a large goal differently. Large goals must be broken into smaller goals that are prioritized. Each of these smaller goals is more achievable and represents a stepping stone towards the overall goal. Working towards and accomplishing each small goal gets you closer to your overall objective.

Timelines are important to keep your focus on the goal. Failure to allocate time to work on your goal will lead to the abandonment of that goal altogether. One way to avoid this trap is to make a game of working towards the overall goal, or towards one of the smaller goals. This approach helps keep the motivational juices flowing.

Finally, don’t let not achieving a goal the first time keep you from pursuing it again. We all learn from failures more than from successes.