From the Other Side

Despite having 6 jobs in 2015, I did shockingly well in the getting holidays off from work department. Sure, I worked on New Year’s day, MLK Day, President’s Day and Easter. But I was teaching skiing, and have been for half my life (14 years) so I’m used to that. I worked on the 4th of July but I was rock climbing on Jockey Cap with summer camp, so I’m not sure how much that qualifies as “work,” except I was getting paid. Like I said, I did well- I had Thanksgiving, Christmas 2015 off and most recently in 2016, New Year’s Day.

We spent New Year’s eve (after I left work) in Burlington. Our first stop was to pick up a pizza at Leonardo’s, where they were running 15 minutes behind schedule and all the employees looked absolutely frantic. When the guy at the counter told me it’d be delayed, I told him no worries, it sure looked busy. I didn’t tell him this, but when our ski school check-in line gets long on a holiday, I know exactly how he feels.

He responded to my comment that it looked busy¬† by telling me he’d worked with kids all day and he was working a double. I wanted to give him a hug and say, I know, I worked with kids all day, too. I’ve worked doubles, I’ve worked holidays. I know.

I didn’t say a thing though, because I was not working a double on a holiday. I had worked all day with kids and now I got to sit down and eat pizza, while he worked all day and is still working.

Sitting, waiting for my pizza and watching the workers’ franticness (the kitchen is very open and the delivery drivers were coming and going) felt strange.

Over the past week between Christmas and New Years, I was the one working frantically while many others had time off. And working frantically because others had time off.

I felt strong empathy towards these guys and also a little bit guilty. I wasn’t working. And I know how much it sucks to be working when many of your family and friends aren’t.

When I saw the housekeepers in the hall of our hotel the next morning, I similarly wanted to give them a hug. I was sure following such a festive night they’d have some gross rooms to clean. Meanwhile, I was enjoying my day.

While I decided against giving hugs in both instances, I figured I’d at least leave a good tip. (Though my husband talked me down from a 20% tip in the hotel; I apparently only am knowledgeable of tipping etiquette in restaurants).

To everyone who worked on a holiday to my benefit: Thank You. Someday I hope I can return the favor.

 

 

Keeping a Resolution

I am no expert on healthy habits or New Year’s Resolutions. I did have one small success in 2015- I started flossing my teeth nearly nightly, and I haven’t stopped. Kind of a boring topic of conversation, right?

This took a few starts and stops. In fall of 2014, I bit into a carrot that ruined the metal bar permanent retainer thing on the back of my bottom teeth. With that removed, I started flossing because I finally could do so in a normal way.

But, like any new habit, it was hard to make it stick.

Then, my dental cleaning appointment loomed and I decided to see just how little flossing it would take to pull the wool over their eyes and have them think I was a flossing regular. Well, 3 weeks or so of flossing daily and my gums stopped bleeding, which was noted by an overexcited hygienist.

“Wow! You must have been flossing! Your gums are great! You don’t bleed like you used to! This is great! Great! Great!”

So that’s the quick fix. A stopped again for a while.

Then, I decided it was just going to be a habit. Here’s how I did it:

  1. I did it every night at the same time, whereas before I’d be like, well, I don’t feel like doing it tonight; I’ll do it in the morning (and then I wouldn’t).
  2. I didn’t skip a day, EVER. I carried my dental floss up some 4,000ft mountains to floss on backpacking trips. Now I skip someday, but I didn’t in the first couple of months while it was becoming a habit.
  3. I started (for good) my resolution at the same time I started a new job. I new that would bring a forced new routine anyways, so I just added flossing to the routine.
  4. I shared my new habit with others. I flossed in front of friends on camping trips, in front of kids at summer camp. I’m not saying you should flaunt your new habit, but if you’re willing to share your dental floss, that helps, too. I’m sure with other resolution this one is more interesting – cooking healthy food with friends, or joining a book club, perhaps. I’ve yet to find a flossing club.

These guys say it takes 66 days to make something a habit. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/james-clear/forming-new-habits_b_5104807.html After that you get to skip days here and there (and the crazy thing is, sometimes when I do skip a day, I notice my teeth feel fuzzy and I regret it! It’s so weird.)

There you have it. How to keep a resolution. Maybe yours will be less boring than mine was. (I have set no resolutions yet this year. If I want to start a new habit, I’ll probably wait until my next job change, see #3).