Happiness is Work Shirking

I am really tired of having too much to do. No matter how much I accomplish, I turn around and there’s ten other things I should have been doing. Bob said nobody should write more than four or five hours a day, and I’m not sure I can even do that–brain hurts–but I’ve reached the point where I’ll give four or five hours to work and then I shirk. As in shirking work. I read (very good thing for writers to do.). I crochet (very relaxing, guaranteed to get my fingernails out of the ceiling). I cook (eat or die). And I do not think “I should be working.” I think, “I’m a work shirker, this is part of my job.” I kind of want a shirt that says “Work Shirker.” You know, a work shirker shirt.

Happiness is shirking back your life. What made you happy this week?

75 thoughts on “Happiness is Work Shirking

  1. My happiest thing this week is – I did some clarifying of what is important to me, made a new priority list & a new accountability plan & dropped a major commitment that has been dragging me down for a while.

    On my priority list is walking everyday and writing everyday.


  2. I cook (eat or die) 😀
    My new motto.
    Happiness is reading your posts. I never know what delights you are going to come up with. Please do shirk if you want but not too much. We need your books to brighten our lives.

  3. Happiness is being in Montreal this weekend with my honey to celebrate our 14th anniversary. It’s cold here but we are mostly hanging out in our hotel room, venturing out only for the great food this city has to offer, and over meals completing the 36 Questions To Fall In Love. I’ve been trying out my French on everyone but they immediately switch to English when they hear my accent. C’est dommage! Also one trip to the Pussy Riot exhibit with my goddaughter who lives here. We should have had balaclavas for that to be thematically appropriate as well as to keep warm but what the hell.

    1. Happy anniversary and enjoy Montreal. Highly recommend Arthur’s in St.Henri – hipster deli with great food. Long waits on Sunday but available through UberEats.

    2. Thank you! And Susan, that sounds lovely – and we were total shirkers today – didn’t even leave the hotel.

  4. Happiness is fulfilling commitments. I’m not a very social person and my calendar had exploded over the last two weeks. My birthday, taking my bride out for a pseudo bachelorette, going to her place for a hair and makeup dry run, church fish dinner with my mother in law and two after hours bank functions. Phew. My social battery needs a serious recharge. I’m glad to have maneuvered through without serious incident and I of course always get a charge to cross something off the list, but my at home commitments to my self have suffered. Gotta get back to that.

    This week I have one belated birthday dinner, the rehearsal dinner and the wedding. Then I think that I am home free for a bit.

      1. Hi Deb, I am a matron of honor for a friend who I have been whining about because she is going a little ditzy bridezilla on me. I will be happy when that is over.

        I am married. It will be two years this spring! 🙂

    1. Happy birthday, Lupe! And I hope the wedding goes well and I’m sure you will fulfill your matron of honour (what an awkward title!) duties with grace.

      1. Thanks! Now my bride is sick. Hopefully just a cold. And she fell a couple of weeks ago, twisting her ankle so that it is too swollen and sore to fit into her planned shoes.

        This is why people don’t get married in the dead of winter. She is a sweet person, but calamity and and disaster follow her. Please slap me if someone ever asks me to be in a wedding again. I will harden my heart and say no.

        1. The dead of winter made me laugh. My parents were married just before Christmas, and the morning of the wedding the mother of the bride woke up with the flu. (Fortunately the reception was at home, so she got to peek out the bedroom door from time to time.) Then my mother and her aunt who was helping her dress could not find her shoes, safely put away somewhere, and she thought she was going to have to get married in her bedroom slippers. They did find them before she was late. The organist was late, however, and the photographer was drunk. (Some of the pictures have very creative cropping.) The best man got a hundred miles down the road home and slapped his chest and exclaimed “I forgot to pay the preacher!” and had to turn around.

          They were very happy together for 52 years.

        2. Lupe, the thing people do up here that drives me nuts is have an outdoor wedding in April or October – cheaper and more accessible venues for sure but…neither of those months are summer in Canada and maybe nice weather but….more likely to be darned cold. For them as well as us, their long-suffering guests, except we do not have love to keep us warm.

        3. I got married (9 years ago) on the only weekend in January that was nice that year. Just dumb luck really. But the caterer sat me down and asked what my plan was, because she knew she could get her part to the venue on time, no matter the weather. She was wondering if I was prepared to get the wedding party, etc where they needed to be. Thank goodness for a 40 degree day with sunshine!

        4. Unlike the bride, I recently managed to put some sort of strain on my ankle on bare pavement or maybe the indoor stairs. So she had a better cause than I do. I already had at least one elastic bandage and two ankle supports around here somewhere, but I haven’t needed them in a while and could not find any of them quickly. I made do with a winter scarf, which actually worked pretty well for the little I had to walk on it, and today, when I had to go out, I bought yet another support, which turned out to be a fancy high-tech thing. It seems to be working pretty well, but the internet says to rest ankles to promote complete healing, so I’ll still try to keep off of it. (It’s not all that bad a strain, hasn’t hurt much after the first day or two.)

  5. Happiness is having three women friends over this afternoon for a very belated christening of the “new” 4-season porch. (It’s about a year old at this point, but we’ve had a hard time getting our schedules to sync when no one was sick, and such.) I don’t really socialize much, but these are some of my favorite people and it will be nice to have us all together for a couple of hours.

    Of course, I’m already fretting about not getting work done, and if my house is clean enough, but you know, mostly happy.

  6. Sometimes you just need to relax and unwind! More power to you for recognizing that need. You’ll do other things in their time!

    My daffodils are up – that makes me happy. My camellias were a bit of a no show this year, so I think I need to rethink their care – maybe get them some fertilizer or something.

    My kitty boy was very popular at the vets this week when he went in for a teeth cleaning. They almost didn’t want to give him back! But he’s home and healthy and very purry.

    And I’m seeing a light at the end of my very long quilting tunnel. I’m extraordinarily happy for that! I think I have a chance of getting everything done by my deadline! (And a good friend told me in very gentle terms that I didn’t need to take on anything else before this deadline – so I’ve stopped thinking about that.)

    1. In case it helps: I understand camellias need a good amount of water when they’re forming flowerbuds. For my late winter to spring-flowering one, which started this week, that would be early autumn (September) – I gave it extra from my water butt, since they prefer rainwater.

  7. A while back my motivation curled up on the couch and refused to budge, if it at least got up the energy to changed the TV channel or ate crispy snacks we were looking good. So I got used to being functioning, I made myself do enough work and things to cover the minimum for my life to function and then whatever else I could do was extra. Jenny I don’t think you’re shirking work, you’re just living your life. The reason we all actually work for. So be happy and get some more fun t-shirts

  8. A company called “jubly-umph” has enamel pins with all kinds of fun sayings. I have one that says “Got Dressed Today”. Some days that feels enough. Lol. (Idk how to put a link in the comments.) Check them out. It’s not a tee shirt, but still fun.

  9. I’m shirking for a week in Mexico with DH, his sister and her husband. Raining today but snowing at home.

    I used to think of reading as shirking. However, I recently realized that books are as important to me as eating (read or die). So now I give myself grace to read everyday.

    Volunteering makes me happy – I had great wardrobe suiting appointments this week. I love helping women feel confident about themselves. I did my first orientation with a new volunteer, which was fun.

  10. I’m happy to have found sandals that I think will work for my weird feet as well as the ones I got decades ago, and that I kept buying every few years when they wore out, but the company was bought and the new company has cheaped out with the new versions, so they’re less comfortable, less supportive, and less lasting. The new ones are by Dansko, so the quality should be good. I ordered a pair in a funky color that was on clearance, so I can check them out, and if they fit, I’ll wear them around the house as slippers, and then I’ll get some additional pairs in colors I’m willing to wear in public. Fingers crossed that they’re as good as they look! The pair I’ve got now to wear as slippers (I can’t go barefoot because of bone/joint issues) is falling apart.

    1. I feel your pain. I have mutantly wide feet, super high arches, and use orthotics, so finding shoes that fit is so difficult, and when I do find shoes that I love and that work, I covet the source!

      1. Me too on the mutant width, with super high arches! It’s mostly the high arches that limits me, and these sandals are adjustable across the arch, which is why I’m hoping I can get them to fit properly.

      2. Same here. It’s part of why I am so specific about all my shoes, plus I just like them.

        I have had good luck with Taos brand. I like the short heels because I tend to rest to heavily on them and a bit of height rebalances me.

    2. I hear you, as a fellow non standard foot person. I wear crocs as indoor shoes, they’re great and lasted years. Outdoors I resorted to buying shoes with laces several sizes too big, because they are just wide enough to be comfortable, then I tie them on securely

      1. I really wish I could wear Crocs or Birks, but I need a small heel because of the way my ankles are messed up, and can’t do a totally flat shoe.

    3. Good luck with the shoes. Don’t you just hate it when companies change or drop a great product. My left foot and ankle give me grief. The sneakers Debbie recommended are great. A bit pricey but very good for the painful toes. Embassy brand. Lots of compliments yesterday. Might get another pair. End of November. Decided my not buying anything should be tweaked to replacement purchases when things are worn out.

  11. I could have shirked. I should have shirked. Instead I shopped. I spent a few hundred on Amazon and now I’m moving the hydroponic garden(s) from their static shelves to rolling shelves. “Why?!” you ask?

    There was always a part of the garden(s) that was inaccessible. Well, difficult to reach. Well, mildly inconvenient. Well, annoying.

    Now I can just roll the garden(s) out and have full 360 degree access. Or I will, when I’ve moved the last three units, the ones with growing tomatoes and prayers of peppers. I’m shirking that part of the move.

  12. I just read The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune and it made me very happy. I needed an escape from my buzzing head and what-if stresses around my hip replacement (the pack from the hospital was both horrifying and hopeful). An escape into a really good book was just what I needed.

    Also cleaned my flat and it smells fresh again, it was warm enough to open windows too. I live 30 steps up from the pavement so it is difficult for me to get out as much as I want to, and it would have been nice to go for a walk to the park.

    Plus I am exhausted all the time from sleeping badly and being in constant pain. I realise that I underestimate how much all that affects my life and my mood. A good friend I spoke to told me I needed to sit down and do some crochet or knitting and she was right – I haven’t really done any since I finished a scarf for a friend for her Christmas present.

    Don’t think of yarn work for my sanity is shirking Jenny – think of it more as self-care. Be glad you are remembering to do it for yourself, ‘cos sometimes I forget to do it and need reminding.

    1. I’m glad that you’re FINALLY scheduled for a procedure. It certainly sounds like it should make a huge improvement once it’s over and you’ve fully recovered.

    2. It’s hard to know the huge impact that pain has on your entire life until it’s gone. I hope yours is resolved by the surgery!

  13. Happiness is waking up early enough to have some me time, which includes being here.

    I would wear the heck out of that shirt, too. I shirked at work a bit this week, but took the time to flag emails and tasks that will need attention this week, but tomorrow is family day, so no work, and that’s awesome.

    I am handing off some PAC responsibilities by letting the new people take on more (I won’t be there next year, so I’m letting them sink or swim while I’m still around so that they don’t sink but float).

    Happiness is having a cleaner house because I’m getting my kids to do more of the bigger jobs. Ruining their lives, some days, and some days I think they’re a bit blind, but I did not have to vacuum, so, win.

    Happiness is definitely my foot not being in as much pain (Plantar fasciitis or heel bruise caused by an issue in my orthotics which has since been fixed). I can actually walk around the house without shoes, but still will for a while.

    Happiness is a great Valentine’s day dinner with Hubby, and the bright sunshine that came with the cooler temperatures this week.

  14. I have become an expert shirker at Day Job, for the value of ‘shirker’ that means ‘hanging back and not volunteering for more shit when I’ve already done a full day’s worth of shit.’

    Happiness yesterday was a day out in Long Beach viewing an exhibit (not my jam but not sorry we went) with a friend I haven’t seen for ages, then going out to a diner to eat, then gossiping for hours.

    Grudgingly content this morning to have put in 90 minutes of housekeeping because the landlords / BFFs may be coming over. (I didn’t want to spend 90 minutes on housekeeping today, but the improvement is visible, so…)

    Disgruntled today because between yesterday’s activity and today’s threat of activity, I can’t settle in for the 4-5 hours of writing I wanted to do. Will have to make do with updating my notes for the WIP.

    Happy because tomorrow is a work holiday, and also a court holiday, so even though I have to check in for jury service sometimes this afternoon, I’m pretty sure I cannot be required to report to the courthouse tomorrow and thus DH and I can go see the 100 Carats exhibition at the Natural History Museum. 😀

  15. I love medical leave. I work on job hunting for about two days a week and otherwise fuck off a lot.

    I had an interview last week, it went okay but I have low expectations. I have another one next week for a job I probably don’t want (very low pay, working at a prison or prison hospital, I’m not sure which exactly), but will see how it goes anyway. Still waiting around on my application for reassignment at my job.

    Other than that, I’ve finished two sweaters and we finished set building for the musical I’m in like a week early, which is flabbergasting. They NEVER finish early, I don’t even know how that happened.

  16. Sunny days like today make me happy. And the fact that the sun’s returning to the garden – I keep catching it lighting up new bits. I’ve been trying out a lens on loan from a friend, which has got me photographing lots of trees this week. Today I found a hawthorn with leaves beginning to open, so spring is really beginning now.

  17. Happiness is writing and good feedback. Very happy with short story. A poem and a story to submit.

    February creative every day is writing and adding a drawing on an index card. Very satisfying.

    We have Juno for the weekend, heading to Garry point for a doggy walk. Funny little pup.

    Plants waking up, new growth on hellebores, peonies poking up, snowball shrub will be magnificent this year.

  18. I had a “tea party” with my book designer, and even though it was online, it was a lovely hour.
    Yesterday was the first of several auditions for a new director for the chorale I sing with, and it was SO good to sing in a group again, even though it was just excerpts of pieces we’ve done! (We last sang in May of last year.)
    I’m doing a Masterclass with Malcolm Gladwell; it made me happy to hear him say if you write 3 or 4 good paragraphs, that’s a good day of writing, and that writing is hard work, tiring. So, shirking is good!

  19. This is so on point for me, as I have been having a hard time getting myself to start tasks I want done but didn’t want to do. Today’s happy was successfully watching a 45 minute video I need to have done before Monday evening, and finishing fiddley data entry I should have done in January.

    Less than 2 weeks to go on my extreme virtue eating, including a treat on Wednesday and my pants are fitting better so all good.

  20. After a rather active and somewhat stressful Thursday, I did a total veg-out on Friday, then the essential minimum yesterday (Saturday) , which tired me again but not to a total wipeout. More vegging today (Sunday) , but I’ve told myself that a minimum goal is solving computer problems enough to print a specific item. We’ll see if I can go beyond that on Monday. I’m enjoying the downtime, getting reading done, but chores are looming that can’t be postponed forever.

  21. Major happy. We were part of a dinner group with five couples. After about 15 years, two couples divorced, one couple moved away and the group broke up. So since one of the people is only in Portland 6 months of the year (the rest of the time is in France where she bought a second home after the divorce and acquired a French boyfriend), one is a snow bird, one died of Alzheimers, we have ‘t all seen each other much in the last five years or so. So I invited the three that were in Portland currently, the snow bird and the two that moved away over for dinner in a few weeks and the only one not coming is the snow bird who will still be in Palm Springs. This will be so much fun.

  22. On Jenny’s schedule: Writing 4 or 5 hours a day seems to be a very common schedule among the writers I’ve known. (Some would do business or publicity stuff for a few hours when the writing shift was over. Others left it for separate days.) It’s a reasonable day’s work.

    Before I retired, my job involved a lot of writing of nonfiction. If possible, I tried to do any writing involving heavy thinking for the first 4 hours or so, and leave the rest of the workday for other stuff such as research, revision, and admisistrivia. That did not always get me through things fast, but it allowed me to work pretty steadily.

    1. This is my experience with any kind of deep work. I can do four really good hours, and then I need to switch to something less mentally taxing (minor admin, reading non-urgent emails, etc.)

      1. Four hours of painting is what I could do at my peak. It all turned to crap after that.

        Now adays I have a hard finding 4 hours all together to work and I am sure that my endurance has suffered. Someday, I hope to be able to get back to it.

  23. Shirking a bit of research but couldn’t put it off any longer. I love to procrastinate but never to the point of not getting something done in time.
    Otherwise, I’m rereading Lavender and walking the dog at letting the snow melt on the driveway instead of removing it. That last one seems to be working even though it hasn’t been much above freezing.

  24. I got to spend a few hours each on Wednesday and Thursday by myself and out of the house. It was wonderful. No one to be responsible for but myself. I even took myself out for lunch. Four hours of driving and podcasts. Plus, I bought 2 new plants.

    This morning I “tried to kill” Fred the dog by putting his food in a new bowl. The horror. He wouldn’t eat until I put the new, smaller bowl inside his larger feeder bowl. It took him nearly half an hour to eat his breakfast. Fred the Drama Llama is more like it.

    1. My dog Pixie is a Drama Drinker. She won’t drink the water out of the tap at our cottage, although it is completely potable, but instead will only drink bottled water.🙄

      1. Tammy, I take it “our cottage” is not your main home? I certainly have stayed in places where the water had a very different mineral content from home. I don’t think that even as I child I flatly refused to drink it, but I had other choices of drinks some of the time and I could generally get chilled water, which I don’t think dogs like. If that is what is going on, and assuming you reach the cottage by car (and so could lug more weight), bringing tap water from home to the cottage in large jugs might solve the problem cheaper than storebought bottled water. (I have eventually gotten used to the taste of the tap water anywhere I have lived, but it sometimes took quite a while.)

        1. It is definitely a different mineral content and has a slightly sulphuric smell – which I don’t like either so I can hardly blame Pixie. Have had a professional in and he says even if we install a filter we likely won’t get rid of that unique flavour. Bringing tap water from home would be problematic due to small car. We buy the huge bottles of water and then use a rechargeable pump to dole out drinking water for all of us. Cooking water – we use the tap.

        1. Tell Paul that I approve. My Dad was named Fred and I look so much like him that my Mom sometimes called me Fredface.

  25. My big happy of the week is that the new kitten (Miri) and the older kitten (Pippin) are getting along very well. They play together, wrestle with each other, and I’ve seen Pippin grooming Miri a couple of times. They have also been curling up together on one of the cat posts for naps.

    Another source of happiness is that in one more week I get to be free of the brace if all looks good when I go back for the next checkup.

  26. My happiness today has been starting my re-read of the Rivers of London series. Starting (of course) with “Midnight Riot, which is fast-moving, funny and engrossing. I find I’d forgotten so much about a novel I’d thought that I remembered well — Toby? He’s going back to the station & bringing Toby? Wait…Molly? How could I have forgotten Molly?

    And so on. It’s great to be back reading it again!!

  27. I am happy today because even though I am not back to reading again and have not written any of the 3 very important letters that are waiting for me, I have managed to contact one long distance friend. The guy from Minnesota who comes to town a few times a year has started planning his next trip to town. I have started forwarding any bar or restaurant reviews that show up in my email and he has tentatively committed to a trip in late Spring and has started a conversation regarding a review of dive bars that I sent last week. Since I never go to any bars these days, coming up with suggestions for that end of the market is as much of a stretch as finding trendy or foodie recommendations for him has been in the past. But this month Bon Appetit magazine featured an article on the best hot dogs in Chicago which I will send to him. Perhaps we can go to the hot dog stand that is famous for insulting their customers if he wants to go down market this trip. I think they got a liquor license this year so maybe we can combine two typically “Chicago” experiences in one stop.

    1. I almost forgot my other happy. I went to the thrift sale yesterday and bought 2 pairs of jeans. This was really good timing because when I bent down to pick something up last night, the thigh on the pair I was wearing ripped rather dramatically. The timing was even more felicitous when you consider that I couldn’t find any that fit the last 3 times I went to this sale.

  28. This post made me think of a meme that was going around a while ago:

    “Crossing things off my to-do list. I didn’t do them, I just don’t want them on my list anymore.”

    Imagine the freedom of that concept! Still makes me smile.

  29. Happy week here! Spontaneously decided on Valentine’s dinner at the local pub; when seated at the bar decided to go all out with the menu. Such a good time! Well, except for dessert, they do dreadful desserts, a fact we keep forgetting. This being a tourist town, the lady next to me told me all about one (!) of her farms in Nebraska and how they rent a place out here for three months a year and she walks along the shorefront every day, she never walks back home. Her replacement on the stool next to me sells cemetery plots, the cemetery turns 100 years old this year, old for our region. Evidently, history matters not, so no capitalizing on the centenary. We now have his card. His date arrived, and off he went to the dining room. The next occupant was a lady swathed in fur whose perfume was marvelous and subtle. Her date translated my question. Her answer needed no translation: Valentino. I actually said very little to these three people, mostly listened, but, boyo, the insight into different lives.

    Dogs were professionally groomed, with much anguish on their part, but Sachi and Petey enjoy their Dog Park strut after. I’m freed from the nightly groom for a month, huzzah!

    Received unsolicited compliments for my upcoming article (lavender farm) in our association’s garden magazine. Evidently, I hit just the tone I was aiming for: a tad arch, a swash of romance. So satisfying to hear.

  30. I love reading everybody’s happiness. Work shirking shirt I need one too. This week I gave myself a Valentines present of Susan Elizabeth phillips, Simply the Best. I wasn’t going to buy myself candy, but it turned out her heroine was a chocolate artisan and the mouthwatering descriptions of her creations, sent me the next day to See’s candy for my favorite butterscotch squares.
    Saturday I drove 45 minutes to an audition and then realized I couldn’t do the part anyway because it’s the same day as the independent spirit awards. Then I drove another hour to do a sketch for my dentist. He likes to write comedy. I came home to guests, and since my dentist paid me cash , I spent it
    Ordering us a dinner from Black Angus which we had delivered. We watched a movie, Sunday I got up and did taxes till five and then a babysat my grandchildren so it was busy but interesting. Also, Walter and Eugene were busy doing their own things so I worked on my jigsaw puzzle. Then read until one in the morning.
    I don’t think I’m going to get back to my book until after tax season, so I’m shirking away. Happy Presidents’ Day.

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