A Day of Unexpected Turns

A Day of Unexpected Turns

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*Thank you to The Original Donut Shop® Coffee from Keurig® for sponsoring this post together with LivingNotes.

Hi guys, Justin chiming in today to tell a story Olya didn’t want to share. Have you ever had one of those days where things don’t go as expected? You can have all the best plans there could be only to find that something makes it necessary to improvise. This last year and a half we have been practically living out of the LivingNotes Studio because our neighbors have been doing a complete rebuild and remodel, making it next-to-impossible to function. You can imagine how thrilled we were to come the other day to studio only to meet the same drama. Scratch that. Not the same. About 100 times worse. We couldn’t even get into the building!

It took us a good couple of hours to hunt down the contractor and building manager to allow us in so that we could grab the bare essentials of our equipment. The content schedule is the content schedule, and work must be done on time. Construction or no construction, the readers still want to read, contracts need to be fulfilled as expected, and the other LivingNotes team members need to feed their families too just the same.

You should have seen the faces of the passerby’s when a little fairy marched down the street pushing a clothing rack followed by a group of adults buried under mountains of equipment and dress-up costumes. I swear we left a sparkling trail all the way from downtown San Francisco. You know the Hansel and Gretel fairy tale? Well you don’t need to look for bread crumbs or white pebbles in this instance, just follow the sparkles and you will find where we live. :)

Anyways, while it's all fun and funny right now, it was not the case in the moment. If any of you know Olya in person, she’s THE woman of schedules and deadlines. She can do what nobody else can and will perform spectacularly under any amounts of pressure (For heaven’s sake, the girl was working during the active stage of labor you guys!). The flip side: she expects everyone she works with to perform the same way. Sure, she adapts to all the changes in a micro second’s notice, but let me tell you… you do not want to cross her path in that smidgen of a microsecond if you were the cause of the changes she had to make.

The positive side of it all was that when moving to San Francisco, we did choose an apartment to ensure that no matter what, we would always have a nice space to work in, should there be a need. The need has never happened before, but there is always a first for everything, right?

So, with the butterfly fairy in tow who now was riding on one of the clothing racks and having the best day of her life, we made it to our now home/makeshift studio and set up the scene. More often than not, we find ourselves measuring the amount of work by the cups of coffee we drink. A twelve-hour working day is usually referred to as a 6-cup stretch. So, things were not bad but not fantastic either until about cup number three, where Vasilisa came up to Olya and blabbed,

“Hey Mommy, you rest, and I’ll be taking pictures.”

Just to help you understand what happened that day, Olya doesn’t let ANYONE except for Nikola touch her equipment, yours truly included. Sometimes I wonder if I missed the memo, and those things are her babies too, because I see very little difference in how she treats our kids and her cameras. And here she is letting Vasilisa, the butterfly fairy (A.K.A. the little clumsy fairy) to touch her most expensive camera! I practically dropped dead from shock, but just kept on smiling and drinking coffee. Cup number four, because of shock, you know. I continued watching the mini photo session unfolding in front of me. I’m still figuring out whether it was the magical garden fairy, The Original Donut Shop® Coffee fairy at work or both but the day went up from there. If there is one thing that I’ll say with 100% confidence, it’s that there is no work problem that those coffee fairies can’t fix.

We shot a couple of fairy tale stories that day (the first of which was released last week that per our page views, you guys absolutely loved), finished off the big projects, and made it through the two-thirds of a to-do list for the day despite the morning surprise. Olya had the best photo shoot of her life up to date, and we discovered the newest budding photographer on our hands. Just check out the pictures of Olya with cup of coffee and the ones of me brewing the batch.

Now, the fun story is done, and it’s time for some useful tips for working from home. If you have kids, you know that they are some serious bubbles of energy that will not listen to the fact that you have a deadline to meet. To make things smooth I found a few things that were the most useful:

  1. To keep little kids engaged, give them something that make them feel a part of the action. For each we scavenged the flea markets that you can buy for pennies that we would give to the small kids. It looks like the real thing, is the real thing, doesn’t work like the real thing, but for as long as you don’t tell them that you are safe with a few extra hours that you can dedicate to work.

  2. When you are working from home, do not do any house work during the business hours. After all, it doesn’t matter how big your laundry pile is; it would still be waiting for you if you worked in a corporate environment, so nothing changes here.

  3. Create the schedule and follow the schedule religiously, as if your life depends on it, because it does. You don’t follow the schedule, you don’t do the work, you don’t get paid. End of story.

  4. My personal favorite: get a couple of Keurig® Coffee Makers and an endless supply of all types of The Original Donut Shop® Coffee flavors. After all, we all need the help of coffee fairies, a lot more than we would like to admit to ourselves.

Any of you have some stories you want to share? I think we should create the “unspeakable stories club” or something!  What do you guys think?! I could bring The Original Donut Shop® Coffee and my Keurig® Coffee Maker!


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