Yesterday marked my return to work after a restful winter break. As an added bonus, I don't have to go back to the office until Monday!
A few fun things happened while I was off.
I broke my 90+ week Grammarly streak. If you don't know Grammarly, it is a browser plug-in that identifies spelling and grammar errors. It also calculates the number of words written, number of errors, accuracy, vocabulary, etc. and sends you a weekly progress report. I only use the free version, but since I do so much online for work, it's really helpful and has probably saved me from looking like a fool more than once. Anyway, what breaking the streak means is that I powered down my work computer on December 23rd and didn't turn it on again until January 2nd, meaning that I didn't do any work during this time. As evidenced by the length of my streak, detaching myself from work is something that I obviously struggle with. It was a streak that I was happy to see go and am excited to start 2018 with a clean slate!
We also rearranged our guest room. Previously, it was set up as a space that looked both nice and one that would be comfortable for guests. But what we found is that we very infrequently hosted overnight guests and because of the setup, we really didn't use the room because the furniture took up so much room. So we rearranged it. We disassembled the gorgeous (but large and space eating) bed, put the mattress on a simple frame, and shoved the bed in the corner. This simple rearrangement has given us so much more space in that room, and now we can actually use it! As an added bonus, should we ever need to host guests, we have a bed for them to sleep in. It's funny that we held off on doing this for so long. In the wake of infertility (which saw us reserving a bedroom for "the baby's room") we decided we wouldn't do that again, rather we'd use space for what we wanted and adapt if necessary. Yet that's exactly what we didn't do.
I bought myself a mountain bike. I've been wanting to buy a bike for a few years now, but haven't done it for one reason or another. This is actually my first brand new bike. Growing up we didn't have a lot of money so my bikes were hand me downs and/or cobbled together with various bike parts and usually shared with my sisters and me. So it's pretty cool for me to have my very own brand new shiny bike! Unfortunately, I've only been able to ride it once as our outdoor temperatures have been pretty miserable, but winter will end eventually, and when it does, I'm fortunate to live in an area with plenty of bike trails!
Finally, we bought a new car. This was a semi-planned purchase, meaning that we planned to buy a new car, just not until Spring. Hubs knew exactly what he wanted (and hubs isn't the sort of guy who compromises when it comes to cars) so we knew it would be a bit of a process and we were willing to take our time and get what we wanted as opposed to settling or paying too much. We'd been casually looking for a few months, with the attitude that if something popped up that was interesting to us, we'd go and look at it, and buy if it met our criteria. Well, as it turns out, year-end deals on cars are quite good, and we were able to get the exact car he wanted but at a higher trim level and for less money than we expected to pay. What was striking to us, however, is how different the process of buying a car was this time as opposed to the last time we did it. The last time we had an eye to the future, meaning that we bought a car assuming that children were in our future and we were careful to make sure that there was adequate space for car seats and growing children and such. This time, beyond casually observing that the car did indeed have a back seat, we didn't pay any attention to that feature. It was also interesting that the last time we bought a car the salesman was keen to mention all of the features of the car that would be good for "families" whereas this time, there was not a single mention of children. Anyway, it's a fun car and it's fun to drive. And it's definitely not a car we could have even considered if we had a couple of kids running around.
The time off was perfect. And for the first Christmas season, since we put an end to our family building efforts, it wasn't a miserable season that I slogged through while wishing my life was different than it is, rather it was quiet and warm and perfect. Instead of focusing on what we don't have, we were able to enjoy what we do have.