Instead of doing the lazy thing in the evening — turning on the television in hopes of being entertained — this week’s night hours have been spent listening to music, dancing around by myself, looking out the window, reading, and lounging on the couch (looking out the window). Just as lazy, probably, but somehow feels better; less like time wasted.
I’d been pressing two buttons — TV on, sound on — before sitting down on the couch with my supper and losing myself in dramas and comedies till my eyes wouldn’t stay open. That doesn’t mean I was up late. Au contraire. Sometimes I was in bed by eight o’clock.
Upon returning to the house after supper with Scott on Monday, I thought to plop onto the couch and veg out. Alas, the satellite receiver had stopped working and nothing I could do, no advice from Scott, and no efforts by Brendalyn’s dad could whip it into shape. They’ll probably come home (expected today) and know exactly what to do. I hope so.
I’ll still tease them by saying “Three strikes and I’m out!”
The first time I stayed here, a baby gate had to be placed across a doorway to keep the dog out of the old cat’s “safe” part of the house at night. Being mechanically challenged, the gate was a bit of a struggle for me and I managed to gouge a chunk out of the drywall.
By the second time I dogsat, there was no more gate because the old cat had gone on to “The Ceiling.” Brendalyn had patched and repainted the gouge (and all the kitchen cupboards, come to think of it — she was on a roll!) and was perfectly gracious about the carnage I’d created, bless her heart.
Then I was making muffins, stirring with a big plastic spoon, and it broke. Strike 2!
Now I’ve broken their TV. What are the chances! They will be afraid to let me cross their threshold ever again.
They’re expected later today if their travel plans haven’t been disrupted by any number of possibilities: missed connections, ice on plane wings, coronavirus quarantines … anything can happen. I haven’t heard from them yet to find out their ETA, but I’ll spend the day packing up my stuff, washing my bedsheets and towels, washing and drying the dishes that must be done in the sink, and generally tidying up so they find their home the way they left it.
Three weeks of a glorious daily shower, a handy-dandy dishwasher, quick Cream of Wheat breakfasts via a microwave, and a five-minute drive from work have made this dogsitting gig a holiday for me. It’ll be nice to get home too, of course. Let’s face it, pretty much everything about my life is something to be grateful for.
The hardest hill to climb these days comes with my job. I did a bit of work I’d brought home yesterday afternoon — only during the noon hour — and then began going through all the notes I’ve made in my day planner since starting at the village office at the end of July. I made new files in Word for phone numbers, prices, passwords, report dates, and general things to remember. I transferred all the incompleted tasks to a new to-do list — and was still not finished by eight o’clock last night. There are already 90 items on the list and I have nine more pages to sift through. I plan to do that today before leaving for home, which I intend to do in advance of the dark.
Some of those 90 items have been on the list for months and I haven’t had time — or often the know-how — to get them done. And it’s not as if new tasks don’t come in every day or every week while I try to vanquish these. It’s quite ridiculous. I could probably work seven days a week for several months and still not have them all off my plate, and here I am limited to three six-hour days a week. I’m not complaining; just telling you that I bit off more than I can chew when I took this job. Being this far behind is extremely uncomfortable. A friend whose brother was a municipal administrator says that his experience was similar — you’re always on the hamster wheel, always handling new business, never caught up — but goodness, even in a village of only 83 residents? It’s hard to believe. But looking at this list, I have to believe it I guess.
A mentor has been hired to help and supervise me over the next year until I’m certified for the position I’m in. I completed the university course for local government administration before turning 30 but never worked in a municipal office in the 30 years that followed, so his guidance is both welcome and necessary. Without his input, I’d be sinking into quicksand and losing a lot of sleep. He’s only available a few hours a week and I wonder if he too worries he might’ve bitten off more than he can chew!