Yesterday was my last “official” day on contract with Redfin, although we were all quite deliberate in not saying “good-bye,” and we decided to do a happy hour to high five our mutual successes one evening soon, rather than mark any kind of end, since we all agree, in whatever form or fashion, this is not the end. And I’m really glad, because I kind of totally fell for the team I’m working with there, and I think we’ve got some fun (and learning and work) yet to do together. At the moment, though, I’m soaking up this morning as a little opportunity for some balance… I don’t have any meetings today… I don’t have any deadlines this morning… I do have proposals and prep for teaching this weekend that I need to get done today but those are for the afternoon. This morning is for me.
Or rather, for me, and Gibson. Ryan and I adopted a little miracle a few weeks ago… we’d started out search for a puppy right after Outdoor Retailer, and a few days later I saw photos of Gibson (at the time, named Sarah) online, arriving in Seattle after a long flight from Taiwan. She and her littermates were found as strays in December; rehabilitated from malnutrition and injuries by Animal Rescue Team Taiwan, and then flown to Seattle to find homes here, thanks to the Salty Dog Rescue. There’s a vibrant Formosan Owner’s Group on Facebook, and thanks to one of the moms on the group, a few nights ago we learned more of Gibson’s story on the ARTT website. The google translation is rough, but the puppies had a rougher start than we imagined when she arrived, and I feel humbled and lucky looking over at the fuzzy little munchkin who’s sleeping beside me, that she made it to us. She’s a handful — she’s five months old, and all puppy — but she’s smart and (luckily) food motivated, so she’s a lot of fun to work with on training, and she’s got more personality in one of her oversized ears than many people. We’ve been socializing like mad; taking puppy catch-up classes to work on our manners; doing all sorts of wacky things together (bus rides, vet visits, office tours, weekends in noisy hotels in Portland, long and short car rides, trips to the pet store) to try to get her used to her life in Seattle, and she’s been an absolute champ.
The other day I was getting dressed in the morning, and she trotted into the bedroom to check on me, then trotted back out. I had a flash of the thought, that I couldn’t imagine what life was like, before she was in it. And then I realized, life was the same, there was just a Gibson-shaped hole in it, waiting to be filled.
So my right-sized schedule has been a long walk in the morning, which is good for Gibson and good for my arthritis after a bad flare in January and February. Thankfully, things in that regard have calmed back down again, but there’s truth to the statement “You’ve got to walk before you run,” after a flare like that. Now that the days are lighter longer, and I have a little running buddy, all I want to do is go pound the pavement — but walking is better than nothing.
Then I nestle in for a few hours of work while she naps. She can sleep pretty much all day, which makes her a dream of a work at home buddy. Some days she wants to hang out in the yard, so I set up shop on the back stoop, my laptop on a little cooler on the stairs, a cup of coffee next to me, taking little eyestrain breaks to look up and gaze out on the cherry tree that’s awakening to spring. To count the yellow blossoms as they pop open on Ryan’s favorite shrub in the side yard. To inspect the dirt to see if any of the kale seeds I broadcast last fall are sprouting. The breaks aren’t as long as they sound, but they’re restorative in a way that gazing out an office building window can’t touch.
The mornings and afternoons go fast. Proposals to write, blog posts to indulge in writing, teaching to prep, emails to return, a novel that needs to be finished, nagging me from one of my office drawers where it sits, printed, imperfect, with problems I need to solve. And then it’s the evening, and more dog walking, or a puppy training class, or errands, or making dinner at home, or a night out with friends. I’ve been a little bit of a homebody the last few months since I’ve been spending time on site at Redfin during the daytimes, and I’ve been really thankful for my evenings, and the opportunity to nestle in here, to this home that isn’t new but that I’m still settling into.
So, that’s the update. Nothing exciting, no big news, no huge announcements. Just life, lived happily, in the pursuit of balance. How are your efforts to right-size working out?