Saturday, April 27, 2013

Highs and lows for the week

By the time yesterday afternoon rolled around, I was more ready to get off the rollercoaster ride that the week had been.  However, instead of basking in the glow of the end of a hard week, I settled into a bit of a grumpy, stewy fog of a mood. On a Friday afternoon!  Fortunately, it lifted after a walk with the dogs and a small but potent margarita.  Just what the doctor ordered!

The grumpiness has followed me around for much of the week, developing last weekend when our neighbors' dogs (four small things) started to bark fairly incessantly, keeping us up at night and setting me totally on edge.  We were feeling pretty desperate about the situation - not sleeping, Michael working at home and not being able to concentrate because of the barking.  At one point, Michael, in a sleep-deprived fit of frustration, even commented that buying the house was the biggest mistake we'd made.  To try to resolve or alleviate the problem, we moved our bed from one room to another to the final room where it will probably stay put, and we also talked to the neighbors, expressing our concern for their dogs rather than our frustration with them.  Additionally, we considered writing a letter and also calling the SPCA which, according to their website, does deal with barking dogs.  In the meantime, we were both reading about the effects of dog barking, all negative, which did nothing to reassure our nerves.  I know that some people consider it a point of pride the fact that they can function without much sleep, but I am not one of them.  So, figuring out a solution to the barking dogs was a necessity if we were going to live in this new house with any sense of peace and happiness.  Finally, on Tuesday, we slept thanks to the white noise playlist we created.  I had never appreciated sleep as much until that night - total bliss!

The other nadir (can there be more than one lowest point?  In theory, no, but let's say it was a different nadir, work-related rather than personal/home) was a student issue.  I can't go into details, but I felt somewhat unsatisfied by the action taken by the school/the administration.  While I was told (note the passive voice) that the school would absolutely support me, in the same sentence the same person used the phrase "thin ice" to describe my position.  I'm sure the fact that I was tired from lack of sleep did not help my overall reaction to the student's infraction and the consequences, or lack thereof.

Fortunately, there were some moments that  lifted my spirits.  Tuesday, a colleague and I took our classes on a field trip to see a few of the hundreds of L.A. murals.  The timing was terrible (note to self: do not take students on a field trip in April), but the experience was a success.  Also, a student gave me a bag of oranges from the orange tree in her yard as a thank-you for writing her letter of recommendation.  In non-school related themes, I started Tuesday track workouts with a local tri group, and they've been both fun and really f-ing hard.  The last time I ran track workouts was over 20 years ago, but mixing in a bit of speed shouldn't hurt too much.

I *am* getting excited and nervous for next weekend's big event.  I realized that opening my 'season' with Wildflower and going in with high hopes is probably a terrible approach, so I've adjusted my expectations.  In my terrible funk, I invested in some new tri clothes - a full on "kit".  It's totally obnoxious with crazy colors and designs, but I tried it out and didn't run into any chaffing issues, so I'll gear up in it for Wildflower.  Maybe it will make me go faster?  One can always hope.

At this point, I'm ready to have a more relaxed week, both in terms of work and play/life!


Victoria said...

I would be SO ANGRY at those neighbors if I were you. How inconsiderate of them.

I hope the lead up to Wildflower goes well for you!

Kristina said...

Victoria -
We were, but it's hard because we're definitely the new people on the block, and I think that there are some cultural differences at play. This weekend, they've moved the dogs, so we're enjoying total peace and quiet and no need for the white noise to drown out barking. It's frustrating b/c it is a pretty quiet neighborhood once you remove the dogs.

Raquelita said...

Oy vey! I'm so sorry to hear about the barking dog issue. Were the dogs outside? I really hope that our neighbors aren't disturbed by Bailey when we are gone (she has separation anxiety and barks incessantly in spite of all we have tried -- including behavioral specialists and anti-anxiety medication) so we try to be really aware of not being out after 10 or 11pm very often. I'm glad the white noise allowed you to sleep and that some things have brightened your week a bit!

kimra said...

Sounds like some rough stuff going on this week, but I'm glad you have some semi-solutions for the dogs now. I'm familiar with moments of frustration-induced house-buying regret!

Glad to hear you'll be at Wildflower! I'm swimming a leg of the Olympic relay and a bunch of people from my training group are racing their first Olympic. Relay starts last so I'll be on the boat ramp all morning -- I'll keep an eye out for you, or at least for what I think you look like from blog photos! ;)

Kristina said...

Our neighbors definitely don't fall into the "we've-tried-everything-camp" - they're around and the dogs are barking because they want/need attention. The white noise has helped, and I think that we've more or less figured it out!

I'm sort of wondering WHY I start every year with Wildflower. That's awesome that you'll do the swim leg! I think that I'm in one of the last female waves (being an old fart at this point). I keep checking the weather to see how f-ing hot it's going to be. It would be fun to see you so I'll look for you too!
The house-buying experience has been so fraught with emotional ups and downs, and now home ownership seems to be more of the same. Fun times around here!