Monday, March 14, 2011

Brief unemployment and the first day of work

My actual birthday was last Sunday, and after all of my guests departed for their homes I enjoyed a homecooked meal courtesy of The Irishman with him and my parents. He made a very "me"-inspired meal of cassoulet with salad and bread and bottle of cheap Chateauneuf-du-Pape that we bought in a French supermarket last autumn, followed by chocolate mousse for dessert. Oooh la la!

Monday brought me my two days of unemployment/freedom (more on that in a separate post), and the overall mission was to relax. The Irishman took a day of holiday with me on Monday so we could have some quality time together without visitors, and he was a genuine sweetheart in forcing me to not do or stress about anything. I didn't get up until noon and our most ambitious activity of the day was walking to the supermarket to buy ice cream.

Tuesday I was on my own with quite the jam-packed day: I went to the gym to start my 8 free sessions with a personal trainer, had lunch with an old friend who I hadn't seen in 6 months, got a manicure, and then went to a local spa to treat myself to a luxurious rose petal pamper. Phew! Actually, the spa treatment was probably the nicest thing I've done for myself in a very long time. Basically, I had two types of full body exfoliation and then was rubbed in cream and wrapped in a plastic sheet in insulate me while the moisturizer absorbed into my skin. As I lay in my plastic wrap, I was treated to both a head and foot massage: bliss. I left that spa more relaxed than I have been in recent memory. If anyone lives near to Angel, or visits it often, I highly recommend checking out Angel Therapy Rooms.

My personal trainer session was also strangely relaxing; Tyrone, who reminds me of one of J.Lo's backup dancers, was extremely helpful in developing a gym routine that I could do easily in a relatively short amount of time. He showed me 4 mat exercises and 3 machine exercises to work each of the major muscle groups, and I feel confident that I can do them without messing them up. I also discussed my plans to run the Dublin marathon in October, and he made sure that the exercises would complement a running schedule rather than cause undo strain on my body. He is also a big fan of rest days, which means I'm a big fan of him. The free personal trainer sessions are fairly scripted, so this week I will see him to discuss my nutrition, but hey it's better than nothing.

So Wednesday of last week was my first day at the new job. My first day I was asked to arrive at 10am; normal start time is 9:30am which is absolutely incredibly restful compared with my former job's 9am (which really meant 8am) start. The office is also in my postcode which means it is a 20 minute walk or 10 minute cycle. Swoon! I was greeted by HR and shown around the building, introduced to everyone, and led to my desk. The next three days were a blur of inductions, meetings, paperwork, forms, and just trying to acclimatize myself to a whole new way of working. It wasn't easy: little things like logging into my laptop reminded me that I'm not in Kansas anymore, and big things like the realization that no one knows me or my history were big WHOA moments. Wednesday night I was utterly exhausted, but with the type of exhaustion that is less monumental, less feeling like I can't possibly go on, but the type of exhaustion I remember feeling from my university days: exhausted with the anticipation of just what could possibly come next, what could possibly be more exciting or engaging than today.

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