This is how I spend my day. In front of a laptop with my dog nearby. Sometimes on the floor, sometimes on a chair. But this week was different - note the roll of toilet paper nearby.
Yes, have spent the past week sneezing and blowing my nose while trying to get work done.
At first I pointed to the swimmers that keep coming to masters, stopping at the wall and unloading 400 yards of pent up coughs, snots and hacks all over me. Not only that but I know they are drooling their germs into the pool and I’m sucking them up when the guy in the lane next to me is doing an overzealous 25 fly. This happened to me twice in the past week where someone has been coughing profusely only to tell me they just got over a week of having the worst cold/ear infection/bronchitis they’ve ever had.
Thank you for visiting the pool today.
I thought it was a cold but then realized it’s not. It’s allergies. I am seasonally allergic to just about everything in nature. Which is ashame because I love nature and being outside. On the third day of my nose itching and snotting all over I was determined to figure out what I was allergic to. I stopped using froo froo soap, walked around my house naked for a day and drugged myself with Allegra. I figured the combination of all 3 would make me invincible to any allergen.
Unfortunately, none of that worked and I was still sneezing. So I have narrowed it down to three things that I might be allergic to:
My dog: which I quickly ruled out as impossible because you cannot be allergic to something so utterly adorable.
Coffee: because in a rebound effect after giving up coffee I have consumed more coffee this week than in probably the past 3 weeks but since I am not willing to give it up again I will quickly outrule this too.
Triathlon: nothing else seems to fill my days as much as triathlon so I deduce that I might be allergic to it but how fair is it to be allergic to something you really enjoy?
I sat at my kitchen table Friday night at 7:30 pm. I was still working on schedules. This week has been busy. It seems like I go from one meeting, one email , one phone call, one text message, one appointment to the next and at the end of the day still get very little done. I need more hours in the day to do it all. That is why I find myself on Friday night still with 20 percent of my schedules to be done, sneezing a storm up and itching my nose (quite different than picking it).
Chris walked in from the pool and looked at me. He then looked at the living room floor and asked what happened.
That would be the confetti mess of toilet paper that Boss made by the fireplace. You see, when you work from home your dog becomes like a child that wants your attention and like with a child you find anything and everything that might distract it away from bothering you. Enter the roll of toilet paper that I put on the table to blow my nose. Did you know that if you rip of a few sheets it instantly turns into a party for your dog?
To demonstrate, I tear off a few sheets in front of Chris and toss it in the air. Almost on cue Boss catches it on the fly and runs off to make confetti of it again.
Is this what you do with the dog all day long?
No. Yes. Pretty much. Sometimes I toss spinach leaves at him so he won’t bother me while I’m eating or throw his squeaky monkey across the room so he stops barking while I’m on the phone. I realize all of these things probably have the equal and opposite effect on his behavior but at least it quiets him down while I get work done.
It helps to have a really good vacuum. Better yet, it helps to convince your husband that you need all wood floors (which we are getting in April – FINALLY!).
In the middle of blowing my nose and working on Friday, I made an appointment to visit an allergist on Monday. There has to be something I can take to be less itchy, sneezy and stuffy all year round. Or someone that will tell me what I am allergic to so I can avoid it. I call an allergist and receive the worst news possible:
No anti-histamines for 3 days before your appointment.
I may not breathe for 3 days.
On Saturday after masters I tell Chris that worse than giving up coffee is giving up anti-histamines. I spent 4850 yards wheezing, burning and going nowhere not very fast.
But I think I learned one thing: I am highly allergic to the pool.
Dammit! I suspected this all along but things have been going so well in the pool I didn’t want to admit my body thinks chlorine is the enemy. Intuitively I know this. There is nothing friendly about the pool when you learn to swim as an adult but I have finally made friends with the pool, made it into the faster lanes and made peace with the swimmers.
Of all days I pick for my anti-anti-histamine swim, the coach moves us into specific lanes today. I am put into a lane with 2 guys that make me look like I just learned to swim yesterday. Have you ever been lapped in a 150? I nearly was. I would just push off for the 3rd 50 when the first guy would be just coming back in to the wall.
I was completely defeated and in the end not even paddles would save me.
Not only that but I made a nearly fatal error of going to masters without having coffee first. I know, I know. No anti-histamines and no coffee = swim disaster. Worse than crapping myself.
After swimming the first thing I demanded was coffee (and a Zyrtec). I couldn’t have the Zyrtec but could have coffee. And a bagel. I should also mention on Friday I had my first experience eating at a raw vegan restaurant. A friend was visiting from out of town, a raw friend. Raw is raw. Uncooked virgin food. It was very tasty going down. I had no complaints. However, about an hour later my stomach had some complaints.
So on Saturday I demanded coffee and food that was highly processed and cooked. Nothing green. Bagels and peanut butter it was. And, cupcakes. We finally made it to the cupcake shop across the street. We bought 6 cupcakes. Look at them. How cute are they?
Better yet how expensive are they? You are looking at 20 dollars worth of cupcakes. That will soon be in my belly.
(still I have to admit 20 bucks for organizing my own cupcake booty call is pretty cheap)
Chris took a nap while I tried to get some work done. As soon as I sat on the floor (best part about working from home is that any place is your work place – the living room, the bed, the bathroom), Boss tossed his squeaky chicken on to my laptop.
I might have tossed it back and forth a few more times while working on schedules, pacing strategies and interpreting test results. My head buzzes with numbers, workouts and my fingers are busy on a calculator (yes, Cat!).
About an hour later, Chris came downstairs, looked at me, looked at the floor and said “what happened?
Turns out that while I was working, Boss was busy killing the squeaky chicken. This happens often. We’ve gone through 2 squeaky chickens, 4 squeaky monkeys, 3 squeaky carrots (1 large, 2 small) and assorted other animals that beg Boss to extract their squeakers with very careful surgery.
By way of tearing their stuffing out.
Now, go back up to the top of the page. If you look closely enough at that picture you will not only see the look in Boss’ eyes convincing me he can help me get work done (which is why he is sitting right next to the laptop) but you will notice a tiny piece of squeaky chicken innards hanging from his mouth.
Ah, yes. All in a day’s work. A day? How about all in a week's work. Which will all get done today. I promise myself. Until then I will need a few cupcakes, a squeaky toy and a bit of toilet paper. And an anti-histamine. Wait, scratch that. Seriously, scratch that and my nose.
How soon until Monday?