For the better part of the past six months, I haven’t even set an alarm clock. That all changed last month, as I was asked to fill in for a couple of weeks while one of my former colleagues was on vacation.

It couldn’t have come at a better time. Since the world turned into the ‘rona roller coaster, I’ve mostly maintained a positive attitude. However, with all the smoke we had from wildfires and my osteoarthritis flaring up because of changes in barometric pressure, I was a hot mess for a bit.

During an 11-day period, I only left the house twice — for a Walmart pickup order and to get takeout from Lawan’s Thai Garden. No walking the dog, no splashing in my little pool and no lounging on the back porch. In fact, I was firmly planted on my daybed so long that the memory foam topper seemed to forget its natural state.

I was giddy as a schoolgirl as I laid out my clothes the night before I was scheduled to return to the newsroom. I even asked my husband to make sure I got up in case I somehow slept through the multiple alarms I set.

Other than a frustrating first hour because of a computer glitch, it was great to be back in the newsroom. While my primary focus was making sure obituaries, death notices and community news were entered into the system, it was good to be at work. I’ve missed the chatter of the scanner and perusing information from press releases shortly after they are sent.

I was extremely grateful for a massage appointment that was scheduled several days after I returned to work. For the past six months, I’ve alternated between sitting on my overstuffed recliner, the memory foam topper on my daybed, my zero-gravity outdoor lounger and my floating pool chair. Sitting in front of a computer for 5-6 hours at a stretch was quite an adjustment.

Returning to work for a couple of weeks also offered me a chance to evaluate my future in the workforce. While I’ve been unemployed a couple of prior times over the course of my adult life, this time has been different.

In the past, I looked forward to returning to work full time. While I’m not ready to retire, I’m not altogether sure that I want to resume working 40 hours a week.

And I believe the General, my 8-year-old German shepherd, would prefer that I wasn’t gone as much. He has gotten quite used to hanging out on the daybed, chilling outside and going for more rides together. He was quite exuberant when I returned each evening and was a bit more clingy than usual — and I think he detests the annoying sound of the alarm clock as much as I do.


Tammy Malgesini, the former Hermiston Herald community editor, enjoys spending time with her husband and two German shepherds, as well as entertaining herself with random musings.

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