Blog: A Busy Two Months

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A Busy Two Months - Saturday, March 16, 2024
Call it... February frenzy and March madness?

Over the past couple months, it feels like I've done a lot and also not done a lot at the same time. Where does the time go?

After my large project wrapped up in November, my workload at work has been manageable. The first week of February, our business unit started requiring employees to come into the office four days a week. I'm typically a lot less productive in the office - there are so many distractions in the form of meetings, people asking for help, having to walk around to use the bathroom or get food, and overall just not having long blocks of focused time. Last week, I was so behind on interrupts that I decided to just take a WFH day so that I could focus, and I was able to close/dispatch 50 tickets in our triage queue. Granted, I ended up working some extra hours that day, but there's no way that I could achieve that level of focus in the office. Leadership really needs to understand that everybody works differently and that people, and thus the company, benefit from flexibility.

Since I have to be in the office, I make time to go running with Frank almost every week. We ran together sporadically before the pandemic, but starting at the beginning of 2023, we've been running together after work one or sometimes even two times a week, with each run averaging around 5 miles. It's a good way to stay accountable, though he already runs most days each week, unlike me.

Two Saturdays ago, I participated in the annual RealOptions Walk for Life 5k race. Our church participates every year, though most people do the walk instead of run. Thanks to the generosity of our church, our team raised over $19,500 to support the work of RealOptions. This was my fourth year doing the 5k and I ended up getting 1st place out of 65 runners this year, though my time of 21:34 was slightly worse than my time of 21:31 from last year. It just depends on who shows up - when I first participated in 2018, there were 8 people with a time under 20 minutes! I had been hoping to get a time under 21 minutes, and my personal goal is to be able to run a sub-20 minute 5k, so I have a long way to go.

The day after, Priscilla and I sang in the combined choir during the combined service at church. We had 6 people total from the English congregation joining the regular choir members from the Chinese congregation. I think this was a record turnout from the English side! We sang an arrangement of "Then Sings My Soul" by Mary McDonald, which is a little different from the traditional hymn. It was actually kind of fun, and it was awesome hearing how the four vocal parts came together in a beautiful composition. I was actually the one who suggested joining, as Priscilla was thinking that I wouldn't want to do it. I guess I'd be okay with doing something like this again - but not on a regular basis, Priscilla!

On the home improvement side, I've been working on replacing the old blinds in the spa room and gym room. I ordered some basic blinds (still not cheap at $230) from and I've had to find bits of time on random evenings to get the brackets installed. One of the windows is not totally square and so one of the brackets isn't flush with the other one. Since the design of these blinds makes it so that they just sit inside the brackets without being tightened down, the entire assembly wobbles when pulling on the lift cord. I'm trying to see if I can get something to act as a shim to sit inside the bracket so that the headrail doesn't have as much room to move vertically.

We're leaving for Japan tomorrow and need to spend today packing and getting things ready. After we get back, we'll try to find a real estate agent to get information on selling our house. We're thinking of listing with Redfin due to the lower commissions. There are still a lot of things we need to fix including reglazing the showers, replacing a toilet, painting (definitely exterior and maybe interior as well), cleaning grout, cleaning patios and walkways, landscaping, finishing the drip irrigation, and more. So we might not even list our house until May or June. We just have to take it one day at a time.