Tuesday, July 12, 2011

a really good sigh

I have started running again, and I do it every night. I don't go far, just a mile or two, and on the weekends if I'm feeling mighty, three. It's so good to feel my heart pounding again. And on some of these hot, muggy nights I can get in my struggle before a storm breaks. I love this. All that heat and energy working up to a relaxing and refreshing end. By the time the first drops start to pound the clay in the driveway, I'll already be cooled down by a mint soap shower.

Definition is coming back to my calves, and tanned skin is replacing the pasty, bug-bitten, splotches on my gams. It feels like the ritual is fixing things, healing me. I come home heaving, but I also come home smiling. I no longer feel like I've been punched in the stomach walking up a few flights of stairs at work. Extra weight is shedding off, unnecessary on an animal in motion.

After my run last night, a guy came over to price a new sheep shed on the hill. While he was up there with measuring tape and a notebook (Jasper following him around as Quality Control) he looked down at the farm and let out a long, ominous, whistle.... "That roof looks bad...."

It did. The back of the house above the kitchen had been heavy with snow falling from the roof above it. I knew it was a little lumpy, but had never looked at it from this vantage point. Melts and freezes caused it to buckle over that ferocious season. All the damage was caused by the elements, so I am certain the insurance will cover the repairs. I am grateful to be addressing it in the dog days of summer instead of late fall when snowfall is a gasp or two away.

In bigger news: after a few discussions with my office's HR department and my manager, I am going from a 5-day work week to a 4-day work week. I will be responsible to earn that piece of my paycheck on my own through the farm and writing gigs, and I now will have a three day weekend every week. It is one day back in my own hands, and I am thrilled to share that with you (even if it does make me a little nervous). But I have no doubt I will pull it off.

Fridays will be days for writing, with breaks for the farm. Just wait till winter when a snowstorm blows in and my commute is ten narrow stairs of the office....

I just let out a really good sigh. I guess that's how life goes. Some days you find out you need a roof, and other days you realize you just got 52 days of your life back in your own dirty hands.

37 Comments:

Blogger Carolyn West said...

Congrats on a 4 day work week - sounds like heaven to me!

July 12, 2011 at 6:15 PM  
Blogger Drummond Farms Alpacas and Woolens said...

Wonderful and congratulations!!!

July 12, 2011 at 6:39 PM  
Blogger DarcC said...

Good luck with the roof, and congratulations on the new schedule!

I often work loooong hours, but do have the ability to work from home, it makes putting the extra time in so much easier! I would happily give up some salary for an entire day off though. Not an option in my workplace, here's hoping it evolves sometime soon.

July 12, 2011 at 7:00 PM  
Blogger EAG said...

Life has a funny way of balancing things. Congrats!

July 12, 2011 at 7:02 PM  
Blogger daisy said...

It's all good!!!

July 12, 2011 at 7:07 PM  
Blogger Joleen said...

Whoo Hoo!! A 4-day week!! So awesome!

July 12, 2011 at 7:50 PM  
Blogger Odie Langley said...

It just gets better and better Jenna.

July 12, 2011 at 7:54 PM  
Blogger Debi said...

Congratulations on the 4 day week!Sorry about the roof though. Will the insurance company let you replace the entire roof with metal? Almost all of the houses I lived in, in NY were metal, and made all the difference in the winter. I know that insurance companies can be particular about using the same materials as the existing roof, but it might be worth a try.

July 12, 2011 at 8:33 PM  
Blogger Jenn said...

Way to go Jenna, SUCH a step in the right direction! Taking a day back for your self is such a big part of what it's all about. Enjoy writing Fridays!

July 12, 2011 at 8:41 PM  
Blogger Janet said...

Hi Jenna: First congratulations onh the reduced work week - I know you can add value to your CAF productivity this way.
About the roof - if this type of action has been occurring each winter for a long time, you may want to get up into the loft over the kitchen addition and using a knife or screwdriver ascertain just how soft and cheesy the roof deck is - also if the rafters are adequate or will need some sistering - frequently in this vintage farmhouse, the kitchen addition is a later one and poorly engineered and under-built. Just a thought......

July 12, 2011 at 8:50 PM  
Blogger Suzanne said...

4 day work week is awesome! One of my goals too~

July 12, 2011 at 9:21 PM  
OpenID ruralaspirations said...

that is wonderful news! you are one step closer to doing only what you love for a living. it will come for you I am sure, for now I am sure you will revel in that extra day. hooray!

July 12, 2011 at 9:36 PM  
Blogger Stargazer 2 said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

July 12, 2011 at 10:21 PM  
Blogger Stargazer 2 said...

JENNA,
CONGRATS ON BECOMING A "FREE SPIRIT" (NOT REALY, REQUIRES RESPONSIBILITY) FOR "52" MORE DAYS OF YOUR LIFE DURING THE YEAR!!!
YOUR FEELINGS, & THOUGHTS
MIRROR MINE (& OTHERS I'M POSITIVE)) BECAUSE THIS IS THE WAY I HAVE LIVED MY ENTIRE WORKING LIFE!!!
CAF BLOG IS AN ENCOURAGING,
INTERESTING, MAKES YOU TAKE ACTION
READ WHICH I CONTINUE TO REALLY
ENJOY READING!!! THANKS!!!
"CHEERS" WITH A HEALTH DRINK!!!
RONNIE A VERY HAPPY X SEAT WEAVER!!!
http://www.chaircaningdirectory.com

July 12, 2011 at 10:39 PM  
Blogger Bethany Burgess said...

My fellow co-workers and I have been advocating for years for the option of working 10 hours, 4 days per week. So glad that your employer is open to you reducing your workload. Enjoy!

And great job with the running. From my experience training for marathons over the years, it seems that taking those first steps towards getting back into a regular routine can be the most challenging and most important. Soon you'll be easily racking up the miles and a 3 miler will seem like a stroll. Running momentum can just build and build. Thanks for all of your sharing- I look forward to your blog daily!

July 13, 2011 at 1:24 AM  
Blogger Maria said...

Jenna, congratulations on moving to a four-day week, and moving one step closer to full-time farming & writing. You go girl!

July 13, 2011 at 5:38 AM  
Blogger paul said...

Congratulations on the four day work week. Isn't it funny how we're all enthusiastically congratulating you that you will have less guaranteed income?! It just goes to show you what is really important in life is control over your own destiny. You've been taking steps to do that for a long time, and I know you'll continue to have good events like this to tell us about.

Good luck with the roof!

July 13, 2011 at 6:31 AM  
Blogger Maria said...

Wonderful news about the four day work week! (I am a little jealous!) :)

Good luck with the roof repairs....

July 13, 2011 at 7:02 AM  
Blogger Lee said...

How wonderful!! Good for you!!

July 13, 2011 at 7:35 AM  
Blogger Patsy said...

Jenna,
You have probably already done this but be sure that reducing your hours won't take away any benefits, like health insurance, holiday pay, etc. Sometimes that is considered part time work and will reduce benefits. I was personnel director and am just concerned that you be careful with this reduction.

July 13, 2011 at 8:13 AM  
Blogger dk said...

Jenna - congrats on the 4 day work week! Having that extra day in your life to do the things you enjoy will be wonderful.

Sorry to hear about the roof. It's always something when you own an older home....just ask me how I know.

July 13, 2011 at 8:34 AM  
Blogger jim said...

i agree with Patsy-have also been a personel manager for a large corp. Make sure all of your benefits are still in place, insurance,401k's, pensions etc. Less then 4ohr weeks can throw you into the part time catagory and we did not give benefits to part time employees. I would get it in writing,

July 13, 2011 at 9:10 AM  
Blogger E said...

4 days/40 or 32 hours? Three days "off" in a row is great. I'm just about to do the same.

I hope you've spoken to your insurance company - damage caused by the elements can just as well be considered wear and tear.

July 13, 2011 at 9:52 AM  
Blogger Jenna said...

It's damage from a single winter, and heavy snow. The homeowner's will cover it. And yes, I retain all my benefits and 401k, vacation days, holidays, etc.

It was all thought through.

July 13, 2011 at 9:55 AM  
Blogger greendria said...

So happy for you with one less day to commute and sit in an office. AWESOME! I'm glad there are companies out there who can listen to their employees and work with them. You'll be an even more grateful, and possibly more productive, employee.

July 13, 2011 at 10:07 AM  
Blogger Charles said...

Insurance companies pay claims with US dollars, should your carrier pay your claim for damage they will base the amount on the in place roof and pay you in US dollars. Should you use the paid dollars to replace asphalt shingles with metal is no concern to the insurance carrier.

July 13, 2011 at 10:16 AM  
Blogger chesapeake said...

Is it weird to say that I've wanted you to say this for years? I totally know this will work out so well, in ways you cannot even begin to imagine.

Good for you for fighting for what you want!

July 13, 2011 at 10:27 AM  
Blogger WeekendFarmer said...

Wow! Great job. How did you manage that??? What did you tell them? I am jealous but happy for you.

July 13, 2011 at 10:54 AM  
Blogger bree said...

Everyone should have a 4 day work week. Leaves time for life. Congrats!

Jenna, do you know the singer/songwriter Amos Lee? You can hear him here.

http://www.facebook.com/amoslee

Great music.

July 13, 2011 at 11:43 AM  
Blogger Kelpie and Collie said...

Just be aware, in keeping with their extortional ways, the insurance may cover this, but then they will raise your rates, and you will end up paying just a different way.... It stinks, but they are legalized extortionists.

July 13, 2011 at 11:44 AM  
Blogger doglady said...

The other thing insurance companies will do is pay your claim and then not renew you. If they do renew you the rate will jump to make sure they recoup their payout. Let's face it, someone has to pay for all the catastrophic claims that are being made from natural disasters.

July 13, 2011 at 1:13 PM  
Blogger katiegirl said...

That 4 day work week sounds great. We have the option of doing 4 10's here, but I don't think I can stand being here for 10 hours straight...8 is bad enough!

July 13, 2011 at 1:30 PM  
Blogger Meredith A said...

congrats on the 4 day work week!!!

that sounds heavenly.

seriously.

i work 40 hours a week but live in an area where my commute can be up to 1.5hours one way (35 miles). i've interviewed for a job 15 minutes from home and am overwhelmed with the thought of how my quality of life would increase with such a minimal commute.

congratulations again!

July 13, 2011 at 1:51 PM  
Blogger Charlene said...

YES!!!

July 13, 2011 at 3:05 PM  
Blogger Kimberlie Ott said...

sorry about your roof, but congrats on that wonderful time every weekend to make even better use of your talented time :) yahhhoooo , you will do it!

July 13, 2011 at 5:10 PM  
Blogger TeresaNoelleRoberts said...

Congratulations on 52 days of liberty. Once we have our debts paid down more, I plan to have that talk with the boss to free up more time to write and home-make. I did the 4 day week for a few years and I miss it dreadfully.

Wish I could send you my roofers. They're great and a lot of fun to have around while they're working. Alas, they're in Rhode Island.

July 14, 2011 at 6:22 AM  
Blogger Debby said...

Congrats! I've been working a 4/10 for several years... Long days but it's amazing what you can accomplish with three days off in a row. Love it ...so happy for you,

July 15, 2011 at 1:23 AM  

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