Sometimes, I think the universe just understands when I need a little break. Like this weekend, for instance.
I’ve been, not busy per se, but erstwhile occupied. I’ve been doing a lot of things I have to do instead of things I want to do and, as a result, I’ve not had much in the way of "down" time. Work has been going along well enough, and I finally feel as though I’m starting to fit into my place in the company a little more than I have previously. I’ve got my first 1-on-1 with my boss tomorrow, though, so I guess I’ll find out if my assessment of the situation matches his…
My audiobook company, Open Book Audio, has begun to change shape a little bit. Originally envisioned as an audiobook production company, my business partner and I have started morphing the company away from a production model and toward a distribution model. So, toward that end, I have been spending almost all of my non-work time in front of the computer designing and programming the new Open Book Audio store. (I keep linking them here on my blog to help drive the search engines to the site, so forgive the repetition). I’m quite pleased with the way the store has turned out, and the platform upon which the entire site, including the store, is built is an extremely flexible and easy to use one. We’ve already started listing products from other publishers, and we’re hoping to increase that number significantly over the next couple of years. We’re also in talks with the major retailers (Audible, iTunes, eMusic, etc.) to get our titles listed in those services. (It’s like pulling teeth, but we’re well on our way.)
So, Friday night, all day Saturday, and almost all day Sunday, I sat in front of my computer immersed in CSS, PHP, HTML, and LMNOP. (That last one is fake, by the way.) Last Sunday night, I finally launched the work I’d been doing for the last month, and actually went to sleep not making a mental list of the things I needed to work on tomorrow. It is extremely fortuitous that Monday was a holiday, otherwise, I wouldn’t have had much of a weekend at all.
This morning, although the weather was, shall we say, less than idyllic, I decided that it was time to have some fun for a change. So I did. I took Luke for a walk, and ate breakfast. Then, after looking through a Facebook album of one of my friends where pretty much everyone in the group of people looked like Abercrombie and Fitch models (and wore about the same amount of clothing), I decided that I would go run on the treadmill for about 30 minutes. I came back, took a shower, got dressed, unfriended my Facebook friend with the posse of buff gym rats, and then grabbed my camera.
I haven’t gone shooting in months. Too many other distractions. Work, Open Book Audio, the new piano…they didn’t leave much time for shooting pictures. This time, I decided that, rather than drive all over the place trying to find some amazing vista to photograph, I’d stay within the city limit of Redmond. I’m glad I did, because I found a beautiful little spot that I had no idea even existed.
Right near the city’s campus (city hall, police station, senior center) there’s a river trail that runs alongside the Sammamish river. Summer’s just starting to come to a close, so there are still some flowering plants, and everything’s green. I can tell that it’s going to be spectacular when fall comes, though. It was so isolated and quiet. I actually climbed across the river on that old abandoned train track you can see in the photo, and walked back up the other side of the river where I found this guy just plodding along in the river:
If you will allow me to wax grateful for a moment: I am so grateful that I moved to the Seattle area. The first year and a half were very difficult for me up here, and there are moments (October through May) where I can’t help but ask myself what I’ve done to move to a place where the sun only shines 17 days out of a year. But I love, love, love Redmond. It’s so beautiful and peaceful. It feels like a small town (albeit a very sophisticated one) with easy access to big-city accommodations. It really is the best of both worlds. Where else can you walk out your door to see a bald eagle or a great blue heron, and then drive five minutes to thousands of restaurants, art galleries, movie theaters, and more shopping than you can shake a stick at? I just wish I could afford to buy a house here. At the very least, I hope I never lose my job, because I never want to leave the Pacific Northwest. I’ve lived all over the country, and no place compares with this gorgeous, wonderful place.
Once the very relaxing photo walk was over, I came home, took a nap, made homemade pizza, a loaf of bread, and a homemade razzleberry pie. (Raspberries, Blueberries, and fresh-picked blackberries from the vines just outside my apartment). Then I watched an episode of Bones (thanks Netflix!), practiced the Maple Leaf Rag on the piano, and now here I am. Oh yeah, and I played about an hour of Angry Birds on my iPad. Fun game.
I’m the kind of person who, even when relaxing, has to be doing something. The difference between relaxing and not relaxing is whether I’m doing something I WANT to be doing or something I HAVE to be doing. And, honestly, many times, it’s the exact same activity. I just have to be in the mood for it.
In fact, the only thing about today that wasn’t perfect was that I did the unthinkable: I let my cleaning lady go today. She’s been picking up after me for over a year, and she was awesome. Unfortunately, with the new piano and some of my other bills, I just can’t justify the $240 a month I spend to have her clean my house–particularly since I’m not a very messy person. This will, unfortunately, eat into my relaxation time, but overall, I think it will be a positive change.
I’ll be posting more photos as the week goes on. I took about 400 shots, so I think I’ll have some good ones in there to play around with. In the meantime, go to http://www.openbookaudio.com/store and buy an audiobook. It’ll do you good. And while you’re doing that, I’m going to go and scoop up a bit of vanilla bean ice cream and place it over a piece of still-warm razzleberry pie. Happy Labor Day!