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IF EVERYTHING SEEMS UNDER CONTROL, YOU'RE NOT GOING FAST ENOUGH*
My whole brain, my whole life is being eaten alive by work. We've been working at such a speeded-up pace for so long that even if we wanted to, I'm not sure we could decelerate to a more reasonable level. It's go go go all the time. I've worked most of the last weekends including both the ones that were long weekend holidays. It feels more stressful to NOT work than to try and relax over the days off knowing how much work there is and how much more will be waiting for me when I return on the next workday if I DON'T work. It's not relaxing at all to have my brain spinning endlessly about what I have to do, what hasn't been done yet, and what is coming down the pipeline.

This past weekend, we had 4.5 days off. I worked most of it, trying to make a dent in the huge pile of extra projects I had that weren't even included in the usual stack of ticket/job requests that inundate us daily. I had 3 monster presentations to spiff up and 1 to create for a training I held this morning. I had a 12-page brochure to completely redesign after the agency deliverable came in looking terrible. I had a 32-page magazine to layout. And I had a stack of email blasts to build in 17 languages in both HTML and plain text. And that wasn't even including the pile for layout of 16 case studies, 4 brochures and countless web banners and image resize requests.

Every day there are between 25-50 job requests waiting for us. Of those, approximately a third are for the video team so my team doesn't have to worry about them. A few will be for the illustrators so we don't usually have to worry about those either. There are 4 of us working in the graphic design team, one of whom is earmarked for N. America, though we help her as much as we possibly can because there is no way that one poor person can handle all the requests from the entire US, Canada and Mexico, from 8 offices and multiple dozens of regional salespeople.

We have 40 offices, or thereabouts...I've lost track, all of whom need materials and images and stuff daily, plus we handle requests and questions from all of the corporate departments as well. And the job request tickets that come in can be super simple: send me a logo, to super-complicated: we have an event and we need a theme created and then 40-gazillion deliverables designed around it. All by the end of the week, please! HAHAHAHAHAsob

And I KNOW that no matter how much I work it doesn't mean I will be DONE. The work doesn't end. I don't know why my work ethic is so strong and so forceful that I find it difficult to just say NO. I was pretty good at it before, but it feels like the amount of work has increased so much that we're no longer waving; we're drowning. And yes, my boss is aware of the problem. On the plus side, my pinched nerve hasn't been bothering me for over a week. (knocks on wood)

ANYWAY. It wasn't all work this past weekend and week. Anders had a birthday. Karin went with the entire senior student population of Lund to Prague. The weather was absolutely gorgeous. We, by which I mean Anders, ripped out a garden bed and planted vegetables (which I bought): 1 tomato, 2 cherry tomatoes, 1 red pepper, 1 chili pepper, 1 scallion, and 1 potato. We want to plant some more potatoes but we have come up empty trying to find seed potatoes at the nurseries. Flyinge Plantshop has been out of them for over a month.

I read several books. I cleaned the laundry room, the big bathroom and the porch top to bottom. I went to the AWC Mother's Day brunch. We had fika with Anders' mom one afternoon and grilled a scrumptious birthday dinner one night with his family. I made to-do lists for Karin's graduation party that are longer than I am comfortable with, considering there is only a month left. We watched Eurovision (including both semi-finals because we are hip like that). We bought a new sun parasol for the deck that is HUGE and net to put on the cherry tree as soon as Martin gets home because it takes all 4 of us.

And I made Martin's bed and moved the treadmill out of his room because he comes home TOMORROW! Yay! I'm picking him up just before lunchtime (barring any unforeseen delays), bringing him home, running to Löberöd for a doctor's appointment and then returning home...to work. Heh.

Edited to add: Karin called from Munich, flight delayed. Martin messaged from the car on the way to the airport; first flight delayed an hour meaning he will probably miss his connecting flight. AAARGH.

*Mario Andretti
 tired
mood: tired
music: Alexander Rybak—Fairytale


Comments
(Anonymous)

You must find a way to relax- and I hope you bill your company for working on holidays!!!
Maybe Martin and me being there will make you take time off! Love, Lizardmom

(Anonymous)

Hi (out of the blue ;) from Mary Ann... used to have Ms. Flamingo blog... wrote you one other time months ago!

Writing to encourage you with your (way past) busy job. Take a deep breath and appreciate how hard you are working! I say, wow. All the same, I do hope you find when you need to use no, that you do!

Thanks for updating what your kids are doing. I'm sure you are glad Martin is home! Happy Graduation to Karin!

Hope you find something fun just for you! :)

(Anonymous)

Hi (out of the blue ;) from Mary Ann... used to have Ms. Flamingo blog... wrote you one other time months ago!

Writing to encourage you with your (way past) busy job. Take a deep breath and appreciate how hard you are working! I say, wow. All the same, I do hope you find when you need to use no, that you do!

Thanks for updating what your kids are doing. I'm sure you are glad Martin is home! Happy Graduation to Karin!

Hope you find something fun just for you! :)

(Anonymous)
Work Ethics Have Limits

A strong work ethic is a characteristic to be admired and appreciated, but as Chuck wrote elsewhere, your work load (and your willingness to attempt to keep up with it) seems off the scales. Seems to me that constant overload is a sign that more staffing is needed to relieve the constant stress. There's a limit to stretching one's ability to get the job done. At some point, elastic breaks. Any chance you can get another designer on board?

Glad to know your pinched nerve has gone quiet. Knocking on wood here, too, on your behalf.

John

(Anonymous)
From Megsie

I totally get it. I work too much too. I am finally done with my semester, and instead of taking a (much needed) break, I launched into revising one of my classes. TODAY, is the first day I have stayed home. I am still working a bit here and there, but I am not working HARD. Just puttering. I may nap. I have to have a paper done for Monday, so my colleague and I can create a video modeling how to write said paper. Hopefully after that I will have my own schedule! I am ready to read for FUN!

I bet you are over the moon to have Martin back. Hooray!

May 2018
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