On Work/Life Balance, as well as tasty cocktails

K on treeI’m sure the part of this post about work/life balance will be nothing that no one has said before, but the biggest issue in my life the last few weeks has been my work/life balance, which is really a shame.

At the end of the year, two of my co-workers quit. Both of them had job responsibilities that I am ultimately responsible for, and which I am the only other person in the company who knows how to do them. And both of them worked in another location that’s a 3 and a half hour drive from where I live. So for the last two weeks, I have been traveling out to the country where that location is to fill in for their work. In order to be able to complete the bare necessities of their responsibilities, I was still working over 12 hours daily, and not even touching many of the projects I have been working on. Which is obviously stressful. Luckily they have convinced one of them to come back, but now I have to work extra to catch up on my responsibilities. I am traveling this week for a training session, and again next week to help a coworker gain new skills. Which means that I’m traveling four work weeks in a row, which is unusual for me.

Last weekend the Artist and I had to take a trip back to the city he used to live in for a wedding shower party. At least that was fun, but it was a 7 hour drive round trip that we did Saturday and Sunday.

The point is, that I feel much like I haven’t seen S since she moved in with me, which is of course sad because I miss. She is also sad because she feels like I’m not around enough. This is really a shame, because on the one hand I feel like I’m not getting enough done at work, and on the other, I feel like I’m not spending enough time with my family. I know that that is a pretty regular feeling for most people, but it’s really what has been weighing on me lately. I have not been working on any of my projects because I’ve been traveling so much, so there’s really very little for me to share with you.

The one bright spot these last few weeks has been an event that we discovered in town. It’s called Iron Bartender, and every week this bar brings in two bartenders each week who compete in three rounds of cocktail making. The audience gets to try the cocktails, and you can purchase them if you so desire. It’s fun to watch, and it’s like research to determine where the best places in town are to go for cocktails. It has really given me something to do on a weeknight to relax a little.

Here’s a picture of me drinking one of the winning cocktails from last time. It was a pear vodka cocktail that had cardamom bitters, Grand Marnier, champagne, and fresh ginger garnished with a pear and a sprig of fresh rosemary.

Salud!

Iron bartender

 

Oh, and that lady in the background is the talented bartender who created the drink. Yum! It was delicious and almost like a lighter version of the Eenie Beanie Peartini.

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On Stress Relief: The Benefits of Crying

 

K on treeSo, if you remember, I mentioned in my first post that I would be finishing up my MBA. Well, I finished in the last week! I am finally done with school and now have my MBA. It is excellent news! I will finally have free time, though for the next few weeks it’s going to be pretty much focused on moving, since I’m doing that in three weeks. But, whew, such a load off my shoulders!

After school was done, I felt very happy and relieved and started noticing happy things. After class was over we went out to sushi, where our best friend met us after she got off work. She also finished her grad program this week, though hers was in social policy. We had a tasty cocktail called a Pom Pop, which was sparkling wine with pomegranate juice. It came in a champagne glass and seemed very festive.

The next day, I realized my phone battery was completely dead. I didn’t even get to enjoy my first evening off because I had to go to the phone store to get a new battery. >whine<. But on the way home, I saw something nice. A man dropped a $20 bill, and another man, who was clearly poorer than the first, tapped him on the shoulder and let him know that he dropped his money. Honest people are the best.

So, about stress. Everyone reacts differently. Some people eat when they’re stressed. Some people sleep when they’re stressed. Some people watch tv when they’re stressed. I start running on adrenaline and lose my appetite. It’s completely not healthy. So when I was at the lady doctor this week and learned that I’ve lost 8 pounds in the last 2 months, I realized I must have been a lot more stressed than I thought I was with finishing up school. So, that meant it was time to get the stress out. I told my family that I needed to start eating again, so they started pushing me to eat. Then Saturday night after I’d eaten only half my dinner and wasn’t hungry anymore, they told me I needed to keep eating, and I started to cry. I bawled for about 2 hours to let the stress out. I didn’t even really feel sad, but I couldn’t stop the sobbing. S was nice enough to massage my feet, and the Artist held me while I cried. When I eventually calmed down, I felt a lot better. I think there might be some more stress releases to go, but that was exactly what I needed. I feel much more like myself today, and am even starving. Hopefully that weight will come back soon.

What happens to you guys when you get stressed? And what pulls you out of it?