Domestic Me, Downsizing

The Grindstone

So! I have a new job! As long as there’s work, I can get 40 hours a week, but it’s doing web/digital/photography etc for a real estate company and there’s a “slow season” in the fall so my chances for getting 40 hours are not guaranteed. But right now it’s the busy season and I’m as busy as I want to be.

I worked chunks of days last week, but yesterday was my first day trying to get in a full 8 hour day. At an office. With a cross-town commute. I’m officially part of the rat race, I think. I’ve not worked this far from home since 2006. Since then I’ve either worked from home, not worked, or worked close enough that I could come home at lunch most days. This now means my poor dog, Sweetie, is home alone from when Donnie leaves at 7:30am until I get home (hopefully 4:30pm) – and yesterday did not go well. She was in such a frenzy that when we tried to leave again for dinner she bolted out the door. In the rain. She NEVER does that. Nikki freaked out and ran after her in the rain, which only made her keep running. After we all stood getting soaked for 10 minutes we got in the van and played Kidnapper looking for her. We found her on the major road by our house but she wouldn’t come until we were back in the neighborhood and opened the van door for her to hop in.

It was basically the worst way to end my first full day back in the commuting workforce.

But other than the long day away from my high anxiety dog, and the driving, I think it could be the perfect fit.

Except that I have to shower. And can’t wear my pajamas.

Even 2 years ago when I was working in an office, I had my own hidey-hole and never saw anyone or dealt with the public. So – if I wanted to show up slovenly – it was okay. I never (rarely?) did, but the option was there. And it was also a bunch of tech guys so, even when I did show up slovenly, they probably didn’t notice. This office is full of beautiful people who shower and dress nice and would DEFINITELY notice if I showed up in my flannel PJs and my fuzzy houseslippers.

So I’m showering now! And getting dressed! It’s a whole new me!

IMG_6772Unfortunately it’s also Dogwood Blooming Season and that’s the tree I’m allergic to (or one that blooms at the exact same time) so we’re officially starting the several weeks where my eyes swell up and I sneeze constantly. This is bad because this new office has a very open work space with concrete floors and it’s often very quiet until I sneeze…LOUDLY. I’m going to have to try that “close your nose and be cute” technique or they may kick me to the curb for the next 4 weeks.

It’s definitely a big change. It’s fun so far, and I’m learning tons about the real estate industry. It’s a whole new set of language and talking points and business models. How weird is it that as soon as my house is put on the market, I get a job at a real estate office? And the two companies aren’t the same so it’s REALLY weird. I’m definitely getting extra insight into the market as an employee than as a home seller, which just adds more fuel to the “Let’s never move again!” fire that’s already been burning in my soul.

But mostly? I’m exhausted. Before, every time I got up to go to the bathroom, or make a snack, or let the dog out, I did one chore around the house. Maybe I loaded laundry, or dusted that shelf. I probably squeezed in an hour of housework spread out in an 8 hour work day. But now, that hour (because it still needs to be done) is just waiting for me when I get home. On top of the other hour I usually do before work in the morning. Keeping a 4,000+ square foot house show ready is time consuming, and now I’m away from home from 6:30am until 4:30pm everyday. So, if you add in 2 hours of housework onto that – you’re talking 6:30am to 6:30pm of office and housework. Then there’s soccer and packing lunches and cooking dinner and – HOPEFULLY – a run/bike/swim here or there periodically.

So, yeah – this new schedule is going to suck the entire time the house is on the market. It will suck for the dog, suck for the kids who now go to afterschool care, and suck for me who just has to get used to a 6+ hour sleep schedule to make it all fit into the day.

But just until the house sells. Then we can move (maybe a tiny bit closer, although not too close because we like the part of town we live in) and have a smaller house that takes less to keep up and I won’t even have to keep it as clean as we do now. Everyone say a small prayer, perform a pagan ritual, light a candle, chant a matra asking the universe to PLEASE help us sell our house soon. If not, it may be me you seen running down the road in the rain at the end of a long day, avoiding the van trying to take me to a padded room somewhere.

4 thoughts on “The Grindstone”

  1. Congratulations! Sorry your first day was so rough. I’m sure you’ll find a new rhythm that works for you but starting a new job is always stressful between getting a grasp on the culture, the tasks expected of you and all the new people.

    Just wondering if the kids could help with any of the specific chores? We recently started putting my girls to work and I’ve been pretty impressed with what a 6 year old can do. I’m not asking a lot but its pretty nice to know that she’s officially in charge of bringing all the trash and recycling outside.

    It wouldn’t help a lot but it might help some.

  2. I have to agree with Alexa–have your kids help with the chores. We started my daughter with feeding the cats. Then we added emptying all the little trash cans (bathroom & bedroom). Now she does those plus empties the dishwasher. She also washes all of her own clothes. When needed, I have her help me with other chores.

  3. Sounds like the skills for the new job are a great fit – photography & web stuff. I bet they love you for having those abilities. I’m glad you found something that takes some of the pressure off the financial situation, even if it does add to the time crunch while selling the house.

  4. Kids + Donny doing more around the house = Zoot sanity kept. You got this, it will just take a few days to figure out the culture.

    To help me not freak out on wasting time during my commute, I listen to podcasts/Ted Talks. Then, I feel like I’m doing something productive/growing, instead of fighting for my space in traffic. Good luck!

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