Tag Archives: working from home

Twas the Night before Christmas

I know what you’re thinking. I should be writing this on Christmas Eve, having finished work for the week and in readiness for some downtime reading for my followers. Truthfully, 3 days after Christmas and this is the first day that I am alert enough to put pen to paper.

But I just had to share this – my son’s ingenious way to portray the Nativity for our household.

Christmas 2021 has been hectic and so much so that I hadn’t yet gotten round to putting up decorations by the middle of last week (yep, 3 days before Christmas day). Having 2 kids whose age gap was so large really hit home as a result. I had an adult child who really wasn’t that fussed as to whether we had time to put decorations up. I think she was more concerned with making sure this wasn’t added to my numerous to-do list. Then I had the younger one who at 10, still saw the magic of Christmas. To my shame I had been too busy with work and family affairs these past 4 to 6 weeks to actually make it special for him. So by Wednesday of last week he sullenly stood next to me while I was between webinars and stared at both my workstation and myself. As I turned to him, I realised that I had dropped the ball again – everyone else (work and wider family) had taken precedent over quality time with my boy. At this point he told me how he would have really liked it if there were decorations up in our house.

So, realising that I had another 4 hours of work that day, I gave him the nod and said, “Son, I hereby hand you the honourable mantle of decorating our abode. May it be a fantastical spectacle for all to see”. Obviously I didn’t really say that – more realistically it was “Go for it dude”. But his face lit up and he ran out of my ‘office’.

When work had finished I wearily walked down the stairs and was greeted with a very excited child. He grabbed me by the hand and gave me a tour of – I must say – the best decor that has ever graced my house. Tinsel was everywhere including our robotic Frosty the Snowman who now resembled Cousin Itt from the Adam’s Family. Our banister was covered with tinsel and in a nut shell every place that a 10 year could reach had been decorated. I was literally overjoyed.

But he had left the best until last.

There had been, each year, a long debate about our nativity scene. Each year I would put it up and by day 2, a reptile from the Cretaceous period would pay homage to baby Jesus in the manger . And I would never notice until days later.

Not to be outdone this year my interior designer not only had a T-Rex but also had succeeded in re-writing the 4 books of the Gospel. Not only had a T-Rex managed to find Bethlehem but he brought his mate, Indominus Rex with him and allowed Owen from Jurassic World to hitch a ride on his back.

Of course this caused a chain reaction to the big day. One of the Magi bottled after arriving to find the T-Rex and Owen had taken his prime slot by the manger. In protest, he turned his back on Jesus and became an apostate

The shepherds were made redundant after missing their deadline for receiving 2 jabs and they were promptly replaced by Iron man, War-machine, a Lego guy (my son did tell me but his name escapes me right now), then some policemen from the local station said they’d help out. Someone’s dog realised that the sheep were working to rule with the shepherds being sacked and so he decided to represent the sheep.

The Angel Gabriel wanted to wear his Spiderman suit for Christmas and so because we were in our second year of the pandemic, God let him. Gabriel was so chuffed, that he told the rest of his mates that they too could dress up and so they came as Ninjago, Indiana Jones, a Copper (his words), a Lego Construction worker (he didn’t want to dress up), one angel who only wanted the helmet of a Storm Trooper and then one totally outdid himself by finding that his Carnage costume still fitted him after working from home for over a year.

So after explaining what was going on with the Nativity scene, my son slowly exhaled, smiled and looked at me asking, “What do you think, Mum?”

I was so impressed, that I turned round and promptly said, “You’re Hired!”

Mom! Nobody does multiple side quests!

This past weekend saw me hit yet another milestone year older and after a week of software upgrades, video editing, family issues times two, health issues being investigated, I reached my birthday with my brain about to pop.

But would you believe that it was wisdom from my eldest who succeeded in returning me to terra-firma and with a different approach to this week.

So THE best birthday present came from my very own children (see image ).

I’d spent my birthday playing a Nintendo Switch game, literally hoovering down copious amounts of chocolate and just plain enjoying getting killed 19 times (yes, my son counted each one with a tone of how ‘uncool is my tech Mum getting killed on the easy levels’).

My kids absolutely loved doting on me – my son not so much and after taking out the rubbish, sweeping the downstairs, bringing me drinks while my feet were up, he began to grumble a little by afternoon. But his face when he saw my joy at opening their present was priceless and had carried him through the bulk of the day.

So by the evening, my daughter shared how she was getting worried about the kinds of things I was being drawn into – purely on the basis that I failed to make clear to work colleagues and family members that I was reaching saturation point and was close to burnout. As she shared with me her concerns, she promptly piped up “I mean, Mum haven’t you noticed while playing a game that NOBODY takes on multiple side quests?!”

I giggled when she said this for two reasons:

1 – I actually realised in that very moment why I had been dying so quickly and so early in the games that my kids would whizz through unscathed

2 – Even in real life I was doing too much (was abit of a ‘duh’ moment I confess but one that I learnt from)

So as I start this week, I’ve resolved to ignore some of those phone calls and messages after work and only take on some once I have sat down long enough to catch my breath from work. I have a doctor’s appointment on Wednesday to get checked out to address some of the health issues that I have been ignoring due to being snowed under.

More importantly, the only side quest I shall be undertaking this evening will be the one that involves chocolate and getting slaughtered by a level 3 Bossman.

Annual Leave WOO HOO!

Why is it that annual leave comes with so much promise of the kinds of things you’re going to achieve but reality then kicks in?

I am one day into my first real break from working in a year and already the first day off is over. As with all good intentions I was going to purchase school shoes and work clothes, pick up some paint so that for the rest of the week I could catch up with the very things I couldn’t do because of working. but interestingly I am just. plain. tired.

Lockdown and home learning meant that what I perceived as being a walk in the park in terms of working with no commute nor school commute turned out to be more intense than the old 5 day week routine and it turned out that I was not alone.

One of the culprits was the scale of meetings that we were taking now that most of the world had to do video conferencing. I thought it was me and in particular my age but in actual fact Microsoft found that Brainwaves reveal that remote meeting fatigue is real.

Woo hoo! I can put the zimmer frame away for now but ultimately I need to get the old bike out and counter balance the increased fatigue with activities that promote a release of stored stress which comes from not taking regular holiday breaks.

Has this put me off working from home or freelancing? In actual fact COVID-19 has shown me that I can adapt to different ways of working and if I can find a vocation which allows me to work when it suits, then I look forward to the prospect of working from home in the future (but not as a result of a darn pandemic).