Summer is over. You might think I am crazy, that the weather is still warm out, but I will give you a few reasons why I am bummed that another summer is over. Sure, I could tell you that schools are back in session which means the time of my commute has just increased by another 10-15 minutes, which means I have to get out of bed earlier. I could also tell you that my company has summer half day Fridays, which the last one occurs for the summer on the Friday before Labor Day. I could tell you that the sun in my backyard is getting rarer and rarer each day. I could tell you that sunsets are getting earlier and earlier and the days are darker and shorter.
All of these things make me crave for life to slow down so I can enjoy things a bit more. Or maybe, I just need to slow down. The real reason I know summer is definitely over has nothing to do with the sun, schools, or light and everything to do with a Pumpkin Spice Latte. I am addicted. Every Spring I get excited for Summer and my avid excitement for iced coffee and every Fall I get giddy over a few months of joy and the ever sweet and addicting Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks. I usually do not like to drink Starbucks. I am one who drinks my coffee black, and prefers to truly savor the flavor and, because of that, I think Starbucks coffee is disgusting. Except for the Pumpkin Spice Latte. You cannot taste the coffee anyways, so what does it matter? I am all about all things pumpkin. Pumpkin bread, pumpkin muffins, basically I want anything spiced, cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin for the next few months.
September 2 is the launch of the Pumpkin Spice Latte for Starbucks. It seems that each year they launch it earlier and earlier, but I am not complaining. I drink them all throughout fall, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, until a random day in early January when we walk into a Starbucks and order a Pumpkin Spice Latte, and they say they are out. I am then a hopeless wanderer for five months until the days begin to get warm and my iced coffee glee starts all over again.
It is Friday, it has been a long week, and I have a hunch we all need a good laugh. Somehow office banter, jokes, and odd behavior keeps the workday light and potentially fun. Chris and I have been catching up on our DVR and old Saturday Night Live episodes. Since the entire season had already recorded, we watched it backwards, and eventually got to the episode with Louis CK. I have always found him funny, and this particular skit made me laugh.
(Apologies for the ad that you have to allow to play before watching.)
Maybe it is not your kind of humor, but I had this strange desire to try to pull it off in the office for a day. My problem: I would not be able to keep a straight face, and would bust out laughing on my first try.
Have a wonderful long weekend (if you live in the US, and have Monday off).
Call me crazy, but I have always wanted to pee standing up. Of course a woman can pee standing up, but it really depends on where she is standing. Is she in the middle of the forest? If so, it does not matter. If she is in her friend’s bathroom, then it matters. The spray itself would tell her friend that like most men, she cannot keep it in the targeted basin.
Over the past few weeks I have found two new contraptions for women that help them to pee standing up. One is the paper funnel, featured on Fast Company, the other is called: “GoGirl.” Both allow women to pee standing up. I can tell you that there have been many bathrooms that I would rather not even walk in, but having the ability to pee standing up would have made things a bit different. Although I have mastered the art of squat peeing…so maybe I do not need to worry about peeing while standing up. But, what if you do not have a place where you can squat and pee? What if you only had a men’s room urinal? Then I would definitely need to learn to pee standing up.
One example mentioned in the first article above was in an airplane bathroom. Now I will tell you, I am 5 feet 5 inches and while I will not share my weight, I will say it is average to my height. However, I have been in a variety of airplane bathrooms that I could barely fit in. You know the ones that do not even have true sinks + running water, just a tiny ledge for hand sanitizer. Yuck. It makes it hard to let your jeans drop, hopefully hovering carefully on your shoes and not touching the floor at all. Heaven forbid knowing what has touched that floor. Especially with how hard it is to squat and pee in such a tiny space. That would be a good location for peeing standing up.
I especially appreciate the GoGirl that features “MommyGirl” for those that do not want their daughters to touch a thing in those nasty public bathrooms. You know what I mean! Adults can usually (many of us) have the strength to squat and pee, but not so easy to do for kids. They are $12.99 for one. Maybe I will have to purchase one for my niece (once she is potty trained). Would you use the paper funnel or the GoGirl?
I have had one of those weeks where I feel I am doing too much. I feel like an airplane that lands at the airport, goes to the gate, yet has trouble making contact with the actual gate opening (you have probably been in a plane that goes back and forth to make sure it is at the right opening of the gate), then gets ready to take off for the next trip without proper rest, full refueling, emptying the lavatory, and replenishing the snacks. Do you get the picture in your head of my life? Often I find that my life is all about being air traffic control.
I am sure a lot of individuals feel that way when they go between managing their personal and professional lives. There are a few things that make it hard for me to function. No run, too much sugar, and not enough good “fuel” food. You know veggies, thick, luscious, leafy greens. Too me without filling my body with “premium gas” I sputter, am slower, and cannot complete what I need to do in the way that I want. Just like a car or airplane that has a less smooth ride. We cannot skimp on what makes us function.
I have had quite a few conversations recently that have revolved around “doing too much.” Each conversation mentioned the effects on health, happiness, and emotions. As I have mentioned in previous blogs, I sometimes feel like I am the hamster in the wheel, spinning and spinning wondering when this tilt-a-whirl of life will ever slow down. I know I am the only one that can truly jump out, jump off, and create the change in my world, but it is so much easier said then done. If I walk away at the end of the day, and there is so much left to do, it is hard for my brain to stop working and not think about it all.
So I wonder. How do you do it? How does your friend, your sister, or your husband compartmentalize their world to move between the very grey and blurred lines of work and home life? When you always feel like the water is deep and there are so many things happening around you, how do you keep up, when you are just tired of treading water? My gut says it is time for a massive mind shift, a new way of working, a new way of approaching the world. Better boundaries. Clearer parameters. And…maybe a little bit of “No.”
I sit a lot, I move a lot, and I stand a lot at work. I have days where I go from meeting to meeting, all back-to-back. I move constantly, and yet while in the meetings I am sitting from 30-60 minutes at a time. When I am at my desk, I am usually focused as I do not get that many minutes out of my day to focus on emails and projects. However, I often find that I want to stand both because I find I slump a bit at the computer and most of the time do not realize how bad my posture is altered while at my desk.
So, when I found these great yoga stretches for stress and to undo the damage of a desk, I was interested. I subscribe to a weekly 99U newsletter and I find it gives me different types of links about the office, managing, staying motivated, and much more. It is interesting how much your day and mood can shift even by the simplest of things: deep breathing is one way. We tend to hold our emotion, frustration, and stress in our body, and because we go all day long (and for me much of the night too) we never give our bodies time to chillax. I am the worst offender. I get 30-45 minutes to myself in the morning, and then I get ready, and am off to work, home by 6 usually, go for an hour run, shower, dinner, finish up work, then respond to personal emails + blog things, and by then it is 10 o’clock. Not much time to breathe deeply, stretch, and enjoy my hubby.
Rather than continue on this hamster wheel of constant and ongoing activity, I would like to stop and slow down a bit. I know I talk about that often, but gosh how I need to hear my own words. Yesterday I met a colleague for lunch, near the entrance of my work, we decided to take work bikes. The day was gorgeous and I loved being outside and riding off to lunch. Just the perfect get-off-your-butt adventure. I was even in a dress + flip flops. All fun, and all necessary. I think I might have to do that more often. Now I am plugging the idea of getting bikes (can you believe that we do not own bikes)?! with Chris.
My hunch is that we all could take more moments out of our days to stretch, relax, and breathe differently each day. I know I could use more downtime and allow myself time to stretch and work the kinks that my body has absorbed throughout my day. Bring it on!