WFH – Day Thirty One

It takes forever to shut down.

Not a whole lot has changed about my WFH routine since days one, two, and eight.


The big thing is I now have a drawer. Steven suggested I put my work laptop away and out of site instead of just closing it and sliding it out of the way to slide my personal laptop into its place. Turns out I had an empty drawer right next to me, so now when I’m done for the day I put away the laptop and the adapter that lets me plug into my external monitor. It’s nice ’cause they never catch my eye and remind me of worky work stuff when it’s not worky work time.

I’m really quite settled in, and I’m slowly switching over to the phase where I dread having to someday go back into the office. That doesn’t seem imminent, so I’m trying not to think about it much. Yet.

I hope whatever your situation is that you’re weathering it as well as can be hoped.


WFH – Day Eight

I’m not even wearing regular socks anymore.

After eight days of working from home, I’ve definitely made some adjustments since days one and two.


Remember how I said I wander around with bedhead on weekends, but on work days I brush it and put it in pigtails? Yeah, that didn’t last long. I might randomly brush it and pull it back at some point in the morning before my lunchtime shower, but it’s not exactly likely.


My goal of wearing “weekend work pants” lasted about two days. Last Monday I rolled out of bed and pretty much went directly to my computer—pyjamas and all. It was a nice try, but I don’t think I needed pants that are remotely “real”. I did throw some nicer comfy pants on after my shower today, and that was neat, but I’m finding it’s not something I need. Likewise, wearing regular socks seems to have fallen by the wayside. Comfy, puffy slipper socks have become the norm when I need them. Or I just go barefoot if it’s warm enough!

DIFFERENT: Exercise!

I’ve been doing a good job at staying active at lunch. I mostly still hop on the elliptical, but some days when I’m feeling particularly tired or stressed (or both, like today), I do some yoga instead. This is the session I did today, and it was perfect. Very gentle, relaxing stretches, and it was quite meditative.

WORKING ON IT: Scheduling

I still find myself staying logged in longer than I need to some days, so I’m trying to police myself better about logging off when my shift is over.


I have a nifty dongle that allows me to use my big, external monitor with my work laptop. It’s great! I’ve decided to keep that dongle in a drawer with a bunch of other cords and dongles. I could leave it plugged into my work laptop, but it kinda sticks out, and the convenience of having it there already is far outweighed by the feeling of satisfaction I get closing that drawer on the dongle at the end of a work day. And then opening that drawer the next morning really puts my brain in a “time to start the day!” gear.

I think what this all boils down to is that I’m learning what works for me. Some people need to get dressed in real clothes to feel like they’re able to focus on work. Turns out, I’m not one of those people. I have plenty of friends who work from home all the time who never bother with many of the tips and tricks I’ve seen online, and they’re really successful! So I’m not judging myself for working in my pjs and slipper-socks. If it works for me, it works for me!

I hope whatever you’re doing is working for you too. Stay safe out there.

WFH – Day Two

Work socks! And Friday is jeans day!

Day two of working from home felt smoother than day one did. I still think I’m not working at my top speed, but I wasn’t when I was in the office over the past couple weeks either. Worrying about a pandemic scatters one’s thoughts. Who knew?

I figure I’ll keep noting wfh items here as they crop up. So there may not be work-daily posts, but who the heck knows anything these days? Maybe there will.


On a normal office-workday, I wake up Steven to say goodbye and get some hugs and snuggles before I leave the house. Now that I’m just in the other room, I’m not waking him up before I leave because that would just be rude. (He rarely falls back asleep after I wake him, even though he doesn’t need to get up that early. He also stays up waaaay later than I do.) This morning, I took a short break after he was awake to pop in and say good morning. It made a bigger difference to my state of mind than I’d’ve expected, so I’ll definitely make sure I’m not sacrificing important together-time.


As I mentioned yesterday, I’ve been showering at lunchtime instead of before work, so my morning hair routine is necessarily different. On a weekend, I just wander around with bedhead. For wfh purposes, I’ve been brushing my hair and putting it in pigtails to feel a smidge more human/professional. (Then I do it normally after my lunchtime shower.)


Yep—still sticking with the lunchtime shower, so in the morning when I wake up, I’ve been washing my face with Neutrogena face wipes. It helps make me feel a little more together and with-it. (I generally try to avoid using lots of disposable stuff when I don’t need to, and this is my biggest mental-health exception to that. There’s something about washing my face in the sink that really stresses me out, so this is my bougie concession to my brain’s nonsense.)


In the office, we can wear jeans on Friday! I know my pj pants or my “weekend work pants” are more comfortable than jeans, but I wanted to feel some solidarity with my distant coworkers, so I put on jeans today (as you can see a tiny bit of in the picture above). I also decided to wear “proper” socks today. Yesterday I padded around in slipper socks all day. Today’s purple cat-socks are a wee bit more professional.


I forgot to mention this one yesterday. I had pretty much stopped drinking coffee at work. (I only drink decaf except in really extreme circumstances, so I don’t need the caffeine boost.) I decided it would feel more morning-at-the-officey to have a cuppa joe at my desk, so I’ve been making myself some decaf each morning.

WAY DIFFERENT: Accidental Mocha

Today I made the genius move of putting chocolate oat milk into my coffee and had myself a very basic mocha. Steven accidentally bought a carton of chocolate last time he went out for oat milk, and it was a happy accident indeed! Might need to make that an on-purpose move going forward.

DIFFERENT: Exercise!

I am so proud of myself! At lunch today, I hopped on the elliptical trainer for 20 minutes before showering. I am so glad I didn’t fall into the “I’ll start that next week” trap. Better to get rolling with physical activity immediately. There’s always a reason to put it off. But today I ignored all those reasons, and I think I’ll be better off for it.


I still haven’t gotten back to my mixed-muts-as-a-snack thing. I still had some leftover Thai food (the place we order from has incredibly generous portions), so I had that at my 11am snack time. I think that was wise, given that I exercised at lunchtime. Then for my 3pm snack, Steven brought me a Booster Juice after doing a quick grocery run for fresh foods. (He is very careful when he goes out–armed with alcohol wipes and hand sanitizer and doing all the right social distancing. So have no fear on that count.)

One thing I’ve noticed these past two days is that the day positively flies by as compared to a day in the office. I can’t believe how quickly 4:30 rolled around. (And then 4:45 because something “rushey” cropped up at the last minute because Fridays are always a shitshow.) I wonder if that’s just because this is all still relatively new. Maybe after I’m a bit more used to it, the days will begin to crawl. Only one way to find out—keep on keepin’ on.

Hope you all out there are keepin’ on too.

WFH – Day One

The view from my “new office”

Having been given the go-ahead to work from home, I am now living the wfh lifestyle. It’s not entirely new to me — I work from home every now and then. So I don’t need resources like Glenn Fleishman’s Take Control of Working from Home Temporarily, which is currently free! Hop on that if you’re joining me in wfh-land and need some help.

While this isn’t new to me, working from home more than a day or three is. So I’ve been doing some things the same as usual for an office workday, some differently, and some are a modified version of what I usually do. I thought I’d take note of these things as I go — as much for my edification as for anyone else’s!


The dress code at work is business-casual. The dress code at home is pjs all day. I split the difference. I have a few pairs of what I call “weekend work pants”, which I wear when I have lots of podcast work to do and want to feel slightly business-ey. That’s what I wore today.

SAME: Breakfast

I have a breakfast shake every morning before walking to work, so today I made the same shake even though my walk was only from the kitchen to the computer desk.


I’m getting much less cardio now that I’m not walking to work and back every day. This is something I’m gonna work on. But not right away. Just getting my work setup set up is enough for me for this week. (And I did get some extra walking today because I had an appointment downtown.)


I do still work at a desk, but this one is much less ergonomically set up for me. I’ll be working on this over the coming days. I did pop by the office to grab a foot rest, which has helped, but I may need an external keyboard with a keyboard tray because this chair doesn’t go as high as I need for this non-adjustable IKEA table.


I have a lil dongle that allows me to plug my work laptop into the external monitor I already have at home. I had to fight with it a bit to get MS Office apps to look clear, but I prevailed! At the office I have two largeish monitors that are oriented in portrait mode (vertically) right next to each other. Here at home, I have the external monitor in landscape mode (horizontal) hanging over my laptop screen. I’ve had to re-arrange where I put each of the programs I use regularly. I need to train new muscle memory, so I was a little slower than usual today — always reaching for the wrong part of the screen. I expect with time, I’ll get used to this setup and be back to my usual speedy self!


At work, I try to hit the 250 steps-per-hour goal my FitBit tells me to get. It’s usually pretty easy to do this because the trip to the bathroom or around the floor is much farther than the same journey here in our apartment. So every time I get up for any reason, I do a circuit of our living room and kitchen. (You can walk all the way around one wall so I do at least one circuit every time.) I’ve mostly met my 250 steps each hour.


At the office, I had a pretty steady routine of eating 2 tablespoons of deluxe mixed nuts at 11am and 3pm. Now that I’m home, those nuts seem much less tempting. Today I ate leftovers at my 11am snack break, and then had some caramel corn at my 3pm snack break. I didn’t have anything at lunchtime though (in part, because I was at an appointment). I will definitely be policing myself when it comes to food. It’s too easy to just binge whatever I want, whenever I want. (I did refrain from eating an ice cream bar after my Thai food — even though it was quite spicy, and my mouth would have appreciated it! So I’m feeling pretty virtuous.)


I took a shower at lunch time. I’m not sure if I’ll ever be able to make myself get up any earlier than I absolutely have to — especially not to take a shower if I don’t need to go out and see people. I am not a morning person. So a lunchtime or even evening shower may become the way of things.


I usually drink another shake at lunch (protein+greens with coconut milk and coconut yogurt, same as for breakfast), but that’s honestly just ’cause I’m too lazy to get anything else ready to take to work. Now I have the whole of my fridge’s contents to work with, every day. So I had some leftover Thai food I ordered from a place in Chinatown (and tipped handsomely for). Will I default back to a shake when I have no delicious leftovers to divvy out and heat up? Quite possibly. Or I might start in on microwave meals.

DIFFERENT: Distractions

At the office, my distractions mostly come from my coworkers. Usually they’re asking a work-related question, but not always. There’s some fun random water-cooler talk too. Now that I’m at home, I’m finding I have far fewer interruptions to my work. Steven did have stuff on the TVs behind me, but I’m really good at tuning things out. The only thing that caught my ear today was when CBC switched over to their COVID-19 coverage. Dr. Deena Hinshaw is a rockstar, and I definitely took a short break to watch her statement.


Today may not have been a great example for my daily schedule because I had an appointment downtown and also had to pick up some stuff (including the foot rest) from the office, so I wasn’t at my desk constantly. I say all of this to excuse the fact that I kept working a half an hour after my shift is actually over. It’s really easy to just keep working when you’re already at home. I’m gonna have to keep an eye on this on days when I don’t have an extended lunch period.

I know that all of this will evolve over the coming days/weeks/months(?), and I’m kinda interested to see how I tweak things as I go. Thus the blog post(s?) to help keep track of where I started and maybe where I’m going.

Shh! Be Vewwy Qwwiet. I’m Hunting Jobs.

ETA – Two paragraphs: the one about the dress code and the one about the cafeteria. How could I forget those important components?

PIE in the Sky

Yes. That is a big old pie in the sky over Edmonton. Very appropriate, considering nobody* actually gets to work in their ideal environment. So here’s the obligatory disclaimer: No. I am not actually delirious enough to hold out for a company exactly like what follows. But it’s important to know what you want and what’s truly important to you so you can find something that’ll be a good enough fit you won’t want to claw your brain out after working there a few weeks/months/years. The workplace is as important as the work.

As many of you know, I’m newly-arrived to Canada, and yes, everything’s going great. Thanks for asking! I’ve given myself a few weeks to adapt to living in a new country, a new city, and the same physical place as my spouse. Now that I’m settling in nicely, it’s time for the next big challenge: getting a job.** Continue reading