Lately I've been trying to keep things more positive. I've been aiming at focusing on the positive in my training with Heffner and Bess, but I also want to be more positive just in general. I was so happy and excited after last night. Just in a really great mood! And I thought that feeling was going to carry over through today since tonight I'm going to the midnight showing of New Moon with some friends!! Hmmm....well, it would appear that going to work unfortunately changed all of that. One of the technicians in the lab was given notice yesterday that she was being let go and that Friday would be her official last day. I would like to say that it's sad to see her go, but considering the amount of extra work that she has generated for me while she's been here and the amount of things that have gotten screwed up, I'm more relieve than anything. I know, I'm a bad person, but after a year and a half you tend to expect at least a minimum level of competency from a person who has performed certain procedures countless times. I'm sorry, but that's just the general expectations. When those expectations just aren't meant and budget cuts are necessary, that person's salary is an easy out. I know, Negative Nancy! But I'm getting to that.
I don't do so well with changes in my schedule that I don't initiate. With this employee leaving I was alerted that there was going to be a slight change to my duties during the day. Okay, fine, I can suck it up and it's really not that bad. Then today, the other manager in the lab and I had a meeting with our boss to go over the technicalities of how we were going to handle having her gone just so that everyone was on the same page. That's when he dropped the bomb on me. My work schedule is going to be changing from four ten hour days (which I LOVE) to five regular days and working Monday through Friday. This sucks! This on top of adding duties to my list that I was happy to be freed from initially, makes me a wee bit unhappy. Not only have I had to deal with things that this employee has repeatedly screwed up, but now my entire work schedule, and therefore my after work schedule, is completely screwed up and getting turned on it's head. All because of this one person. Annoyed. And that's putting it lightly.
You might be wondering, exactly how does this affect the dogs (since the blog is centered around the dogs!). Well, it pretty much eliminates our ability to go on hikes and makes it so that I'm going to have to use my vacation time to fit skijoring in. Like I said, annoyed is putting it lightly.
I thoroughly enjoy taking my dogs hiking on a week day. Even if I didn't have the dogs, I really prefer hiking without other people around unless it's people that I choose to hike with. I like the seclusion, I like the quiet, I like the peacefulness, I like the time to just let my mind wander, and I especially like to have the time to just enjoy my dogs by myself in a natural setting with no interruptions. It's my little bit of zen. The weekends are when most people hit the trails. And I also like to let my dogs off leash. We both have a more enjoyable time if they're allowed to run as they want and sniff and bounce and have a grand ole time while I hike at the pace of MY choosing. Not many people are horribly appreciative of two exuberant giant dogs coming up to greet them. I'm aware of this and try to be courteous. Therefore it's just more enjoyable for us to hit a trail during the week.
I also usually do skijoring practice with the dogs during the week. We always go to the snow parks on Mt. Hood for the wonderful trails that they have up there. We need trails that are at least somewhat groomed by snow mobiles so that it's more enjoyable for the dogs and not a miserable trek through knee deep powder for everyone. Trust me, I've tried it before and none of us had any fun! The snow parks are also packed on the weekends. And people do have a tendency to get up there pretty early to boot. Again, unless I'm racing, I prefer the serenity of the snow covered forest, skiing along with my dogs.
So my schedule is all sorts of nuckered up and I'm feeling incredibly cranky about it at the moment. Add to that the fact that I went and picked up the dogs' quarterly meat load (Day 1, Day 2, Day 3), which means I'll be spending a good chunk of my weekend bagging meat. And it basically adds up to Negative Lindsay. I'm sorry, I just really had to get it out of my system and sort of wallow in my own misery for a bit.
I've obviously had a little bit of time to think (and stew!) on this change of schedule, and I have actually managed to start thinking of how to turn it into some positives. On the up side, I'll be starting work at 8:30am versus 7:00am. I realize that most people would choose to capitalise on the chance at more sleep, but I'm going to continue getting up at the normal time and use it to work with the dogs. After processing this load of meat, I can get the Ball Studio back in shape and get a schedule of core conditioning and other exercises worked in regularly. I plan on doing some shaping of random behaviors with the dogs. I'm going to make a list up this weekend of stuff that I would like to teach them to do. I could also use the time to work on some foundation work for agility, something that I've really been meaning to get back to. I think I just breezed through that training phase with the dogs and didn't really give it the time and attention that it deserves. I could also use the time to work on obedience work with them since we'll be starting actual training for that in January.
During the month of December, I also plan on picking one week day a week to take off and head up to the mountain. Our first race is at the beginning of January and I really need to get them practicing on the snow. Scootering is great, but it just doesn't beat practice time on the actual snow! After that I'm going to shoot for hopefully taking off one weekday a month to take the dogs out for a real nice hike. I just can't give up on hiking all together. That would SERIOUSLY send me over the edge! My new schedule is really only supposed to last until June when we should be able to hire another employee (although it took a year for me to be moved off of working weekends!). Of course at that time the weather will be warming up again and I'll be cutting back on the hikes because of it. But by next fall I'm hoping that things will be back to normal and the way that I like it.
DATD: I am appreciative that my dogs have no idea what I'm bummed about, but want to give me big sloppy kisses any how!