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Yesterday, I was so busy I made squirrels look like slackers with a cute nut hobby. 

I spent the morning buying work supplies, depositing money, putting away supplies, and getting ready for the upcoming week which included a weeklong training for five adults and teaching 200 students. 

Despite the size, I tried to accomplish everything on my bloated to-do list. 

As large, awkward things go, I planned for perfection and reality is a constant correction. 

I didn’t find all the work supplies I needed after multiple isle wandering of the same aisle. Depositing money took longer because the checks didn’t fit the machine and caused the reader to get jammed. I put some supplies away, but the supervisor had some stuff out and I had no idea what to do with those items. 

When it was all said and dead, instead of feeling lighted by getting something done, I was frustrated at how little I got done. 

With a sigh that a camel would appreciate, I reminded myself that something is better than nothing. 

Sometimes lead to some things. 

I was speaking with one of the volunteers, as I do when it’s slow and there aren’t customers rolling through and peppering us with questions. 

In retirement, she had way more time yet got less accomplished. She said, “When I was teaching, I got way more done when I had less time.”

The statement didn’t surprise me. I’ve heard similar renditions from other volunteers who were decades into retirement too. 

The belief that I don’t have to do this today, I have time tomorrow is set on repeat and seeps into daily musing until it’s a standard daily default. 

I find it ironic that once humans have the time, our motivation seems to seep away faster than hope at a ticket counter after a canceled flight.

My work-life balance is currently unbalanced work. 

For the past couple of weeks, my work has seeped into everything and caused an unevenness not seen since a ’90s mullet.

Along with hosting a school group daily, I’ve taken on additional purchasing responsibilities. As the season ramps up with patrons, our winter staff has dwindled to zero. 

The skinny is that we are exceptionally busy with hardly any staff to handle the demand. We are not immune to the many challenges facing economic staffing shortages.

Instead of working 8 to 5 with an hour lunch break, it’s been 8 to 6 with a half-hour lunch break. For a couple of weekends, including this one, I’ve only had one day off. 

My work schedule has increased with an intensity not seen since the one time I took an icy road trip from Montana to Wyoming. Yet, I’m fortunate that I still love my job and there’s relief in sight with summer seasonals.

Despite the frantic life, I managed to go to an art class on Wednesdays, a caving trip day trip, and a massage in between work, work, and more work. 

I knew this month would be hectic and dubbed it, mayhem. Despite work that overcrowd my off time, like desserts at a potluck, I scattered a few fun items throughout the month too. 

What kind of introvert would plan even more extrovertish things when she’s required to be such an extrovert for work?

The kind that values something over nothing. 

Perfection is the enemy of progress. 

Harking back to my own seasonal memories, the one summer that ruled the others was the one that I said yes to everything. 

That was my summer in Yellowstone. It was the summer I cried when I arrived because I missed my boyfriend and wouldn’t see him for 6 months. The same summer, I was crushed by humanity and felt emotionally drained and/or frustrated at the end of each day. 

When I wasn’t overwhelmed at work, I said yes to everything offered. That looked like saying yes to riding horseback and white water rafting. More yeses were dealt to a boat tour and hiking 100+ miles in the wild spaces that contained ticks alongside bear tracks. There was a definite yes to traveling far and fast for a star party and rodeo. 

The yeses contained a collection that turned a summer that could have been dripping with frustration into many moments of celebration. 

More recently, the pandemic was another reminder that when I don’t fuel up with positive experiences, I tend to languish in the land of disappointment. 

Despite never being the right time or perfect situation, something is better than nothing. 

Building memories without breaking the bank. 

I infuse big and little fun without breaking the bank by weaving free fun with paid fun. 

Free art classes and presentations are added along with a monthly purchased trip. 

I don’t craft plans and activities every weekend, that would bust my budget faster than a homemade burrito. Instead, I incorporated a few events which ensures I have something to look forward to every month. 

Places I go to find free fun include the local history museum, library, and the community calendar. Whereas with paid fun I look to the local community college, outdoor recreation sites, and our local theater. 

As a savvy saver, my default is free fun. I push against that feeling because some opportunities require payment and I don’t want to live a life so frugal that it’s barren and sad as a ghost town ice cream shop.

Some of my best memories are of paid excursions from Alaska to South Africa. I can’t afford that lifestyle every week. Instead, I mingle with free and paid local opportunities so that it isn’t all international travel or nothing. 

Something is better than nothing. 

Today is short, beautiful, and mine. 

Today is my half day, I get some time off now but have a work event this afternoon. In between work, I have fun things for my halfsies.

I have a chat with my mum and a massage. Planning for a caving trip next weekend and getting my allergy shot too. A busy morning with an afternoon that reflects that too. 

I prefer the slow, methodical plod of day with space and grace in between each event. That is more common than the franticness of the past month. However, I can’t let preferences define the present. 

Sometimes the season is peaceful and sometimes it’s frantic. I can’t control what the season brings any more than I can control entering gridlock on my way to work. I can ensure that I do something, especially if it’s tiny, because something is always so much better than nothing. 

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