Wow, Has It Really Been a Year?

So I am on vacation again, feeling inspired to finally share. But when I finally figured out the password, I realize that it has been over a year since I’ve written! I think about writing all the time, I have a lot of clever half written blogs. This just proves that thinking and doing are two very different activities.

So the title of this weeks post WAS going to be Watergate vs. Trumpgate. Now its “what the fuck have I been doing”.

Why Watergate vs. Trumpgate as the title? Because I love history, I love truth, I love a great story. So when people started comparing the current Trump Russian Influence covered up with Watergate, I wanted to understand more about what this meant. My research included:

What I learned I can sum up quickly:

  1. One of the single biggest political breakthroughs/stories would have been missed altogether had The Washington Post and Ben Bradlee just let sleeping dogs lie.
  2. Both the company, Ben as the editor, and the storytellers fought hard to bring the story to the people… they even went up against the federal government and won. They were partners in bringing the truth forward…
  3. I believe that without this major event in our history, the USA would be much like other countries where governments control the news. So I do believe this is a BIG DEAL in our history.

The dedication of these journalists is admirable, but I will say that this kind of journalism and work could not have been done without the support of the business. What could regular employees due if they were also supported by the company they work for? IMHO I believe that a bad experience could easily be turned around if a Customer Support/Service person was empowered to do the right thing when I called the first time. Tell me you don’t think the same thing.

So why am I writing now? The movie Newspaperman, Ben Bradlee’s autobiography, has inspired me.

I love to write, I think about it everyday. But I don’t do it. I cannot believe its been a year. I literally have a clever saying or blog… but I don’t post it because I am unable to “perfect it”… Yes, I am busy with work, travel, family, exhaustion…. All just excuses that stop me from doing what I love.

O.k. So How do we get from Politics to Me? Great question!

I am inspired and I want to be consistent. So help me. From here on out, even if I cannot write a long blog, or I cannot sum up an experience with succinctness, I will still write. Because It is what I love to do – it is what helps me keep tabs on what I’m doing (my memory is really bad these days).. and it is a public record of my activities, adventures, thoughts, and ideas for my family.

Other Random Thoughts I feel compelled to share.

Now that I am back at it, here are a few deeper thoughts.

  1. I think about death all the time (If I haven’t explained why tell me, I’ll add a new blog entry) so making sure I get the most of life is important to me. And sharing a bit of adventure with my friends under an assumed name is also fun. I’m not going to be alive much longer, so I have to make the most of life. And making sure that I have it documented for my friends and family – well it gives them fodder for my funeral.
  2. BTW, I want to be cremated and have my ashes spread across the Mediterranean Sea… Which sounds great to me (I wished I had a recently deceased relative would have wished for the same thing, I would be the first to arrive and last to leave)… but he says to me “god damn it, why do I have to go to another country to spread your ashes.. that’s a lot of work”… yes. It is. But why? Because I want you to have an adventure on me. See a part of this world that is like no other…. maybe the travel bug will bite. I believe that once this happens, this world is a better place for everyone. Every person who travels will all have a greater appreciation and understanding of cultural differences, will become more understanding and empathetic of our fellow humans and their struggles (and delights), and maybe, just maybe, this world will become a more gentler, kinder place to be. That is my wish. So get on a goddam airplane (and bus and train to be fair) and spread my ashes in the Mediterranean Sea.
  3. Oh, and I am currently flying to Italy (from SLC) for my Amalfi Coast vacation. It is a 31 hour journey just by plane (NOT taking into consideration the time change… for all you number crunchers). I departed SLC at 11am MT, arrived Naples at 5pm. I still have a 2+ hour shuttle ride to the hotel. Is it worth it? Hell yes. And you will know why when you show up for my funeral. If you want to go prior to my death, check out Villa Scarpariello on Amalfi Coast.
  4. This one is going to be hard to believe, but really try hard to know this is the truth. yes I’m drinking… I am on the plane, yes, I’m seriously ON THE AIRPLANE now. I am sitting next to a couple who I have not spoken to, but they don’t smell and don’t seem to mind me, so that’s a thumbs up. Anyway, the drink cart came by before the meal. I ordered two glasses of wine.. I got the side eye from the couple (not from the flight attendant, he knew I knew what was up), which I expect from inexperienced travelers. So what does this mean for you? A) That there is a huge gap between when the first beverage cart comes out and the second beverage cart, B) flight attendants really dont care to keep the cart going when people are asleep (over night international flights). So the qustion to ask yoursself — ADVICE ALERT — How long can you/do you want – to wait for another beverage?

O.k. I have to go to bed now…

I am chock full of stories AND I’m on vacation so I will write more.

Mwah, Mwah, Mwah (kisses with the french sound)… yes there are 3 of them.

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This Working Girl Is Going On Vacation.

View from the Office

I am trying to write more.  It helps me process all the things I have going on in my life.  This is not one of my better posts, but it is where I am right now. Baby steps.

First, I got a new job. And I have already started.  I am now working for a company based in Seattle. I’ve been in Seattle, training, for the last 2 weeks.  I have one more week of training before I go on vacation.  More on that later.

This company is amazing.  Everyone is SO NICE and helpful.  They are busy, they work hard, but they all have lives outside of work. The executive team believes in grit, integrity, honesty, and open communication. It is a great fit for me.  My career coach would be proud.

I am feeling a bit melancholy about it all. I wish I could retire now. I have so much life to live, I have family I want to support, there are things I want to do. I feel like I have been shackled to a job for 22 years and I tasted a bit of freedom. And I loved it. I crave it now. I want it.  I desperately want it.  But I had 5 months to figure out a way to retire and I wasn’t able to make it happen.   So if I have to go to work, this is the company I want to be with, the people I want to work with, and the journey I am now on.

Second, my bestie Unicorns & Rainbows and I are headed to Amalfi Coast on June 16th.  We will be there for 10 full days. I am beyond excited.  It was a splurge, especially since the $$ came from my savings (since I was jobless), but it is going to be worth it.  We are headed back to one of our favorite places, Villa Scarpariello.  I hope Prince Luigi is there again.  He is such a cutie.

 

 

Been So Long.

So, it has been a long time.  So much time has passed, it is hard to know where to start.

In my last post I was very sad that my bestie was moving.  Turns out that we both moved out of the Bay Area.  My role at the company I was working at was eliminated. I didn’t want the long hours or the long commute ever again, so I made a quick decision – to move to Utah and figure out my employment situation at a later date.

So that’s what I did.  I bought a house in December, moved to Utah in January.  I am now settled in, just a week or so of unpacking/organizing left.  I am happy to be in Utah for many reasons, most importantly:

  • Closer to family – my niece AbFab and her kids Shanaynah and Mayonaise.
  • Closer to what matters – relationships (not money).. I love that I know my neighbors, that they look after me (and I them).  That good family, kids, and community are important to people here.  This is NOT what I experienced the last 3 years in the Bay Area.
  • Space – I have a house, a real house, a front and back yard, room for visitors, and most importantly, the right space/place for me to nest and feel at home.

What is hard?  Socializing.  The focus here is on family and kids.. there isn’t much for me in the way of Happy Hours or social events.  I have joined a few Meet-Ups but have yet to attend any….    I will when I return.

Return from what you may ask?  VACATION!!  I was invited back for another yachting adventure ( I cannot believe that I didn’t write about my last yacht trip!!).  This year we are headed to St. Lucia.  10 days, on a real yacht, touring the Caribbean, snorkeling, sunning myself on the yacht body deck, new tan lines, good food, great wine..

I will also need to find a job when I return.  I have been focused on obtaining a job at a Bay Area company… I will expand my horizon when I get home.  I am going to look for consulting opportunities as well as starting my own business. I see so much opportunity, I just don’t know how to get started or better said, where to start.

Anyway, I have been spending a lot of time with my nieces, Shanaynay and Mayonaise, who are turning 8 and 10 (remember how important getting older was?!?!)..  Shanaynay asked me to be her chaperone at a school field trip. I am so honored, she is super excited!  She wrote me this note this week…  it says:

Dear Paula:  I love you so much. I love when I come to your house and take a visit. I love when we go ice skating but most important of all is spending time with you.  Love Shanaynay.

Kinz Note-cropped

makes your heart melt doesn’t it?  This is why I moved.

 

Bestie Might Move.

Stating the very obvious, it has been a while since I’ve written. I’ve been busy working my ass off.  I’ve been focused on my career, on making a substantial difference in the first 90 days.

I’m so busy, why write now?  Because my best friend has been interviewing for a phenomenal job opportunity.  It has been a long and arduous process.  But the process is nearing a conclusion and it looks very very promising.  I am so happy for her.  This opportunity is what she has been working so hard for – and to be completely honest, what women, in the software industry, have been wanting for so long – the coveted executive position. The only catch is that she has to move – to Seattle.  Which is a great place to live, we have friends there, and the cost of living is so much more livable than the Bay Area.

My heart hurts.  The thought of losing another bestie to another state makes me really sad. Really sad, crying sad.  I have 4 besties. Girlfriends that I’ve made plans to retire with:

  • Unicorns – who may potentially move to Seattle
  • CLicious – who moved to Utah 2 years ago
  • Jewels – currently dealing with a personal tragedy so great that it will take many years to heal
  • My longest bestie – probably knows the most about me. She is married with her own life on the East Coast

I have other friends that are around that care about me and I them.  With more effort on my part they could become substantial influences and best friends.

Right now what I am feeling is the simple sadness of missing someone.  Unicorns left for Europe right when I separated from my Ex.  I was so happy for her, but the depth of the alone-ness that I felt was devastating.  I do not know where I would be if CLicious and her husband hadn’t adopted me and included me in everything that they did.  They made me family… I will never forget their generosity.

The thought of Unicorns moving away has my stomach in knots, my heart torn apart.  I am very upset about it.  I automatically have gone back to the place I was 8 years ago – during the divorce and her departure.  Later, I remember clearly when CLicious left. I spent 6 months in a daze.  I had to relearn how to live, I had to figure out a new routine.  I can say I am still not completely over her departure. The thought of not having both Unicorns and CLicious makes me very sad.  And alone.

I am 45 years old.  I have no children.  My career is great…. but I am certainly not where I want or thought I would be at 45….  I love the company, the work, the potential.  But I am not a VP. If I work hard I can make the executive ranks in a few years….  so what, so I will be a VP when I reach my 50’s?  Is that really what is important? Is that really what I want?  No.

So what do I want?  I want a partner. Someone who I can be vulnerable with. Someone that I can support and who supports me.  I want a relationship where we have each others backs.  We look after each other, care for one another. What do I need? I need to feel secure and safe.   I am not lonely so it isn’t about just being with someone, with anyone. It’s about sharing life with a super special person that I care about and they care for me.

Yes, I have ATrain, the Ex, who wants to get back together.  I can’t see this being successful.  Not because he isn’t serious about it. He loves me. I love him.  Personality wise we make a great team.  But at the end of the day, I do not think we want the same things. He is happy with how things are. I want so much more.

Anyway, what you just got is my ramblings after drinking a few glasses of red wine….  Not that wine is required.  I’ve been so busy these last few months… busy and exhausted. With what you may ask?

  • I’ve been working my ass off at my new job (90 days in and so far so good).
  • Commuting..  taking public transportation and listening to podcasts to fill the time.
  • Totaled my car.. and just bought a new-to-me car.
  • Pre-registered want-to-be owner of a Tesla Model 3.
  • Trappings of a regular life – work and personal travel, family stuff, etc..

I will do my best to write more regularly.  My dramatic reaction to my bestie moving away  inspired me to write tonight.

Life Has Changed, Adaptation is Slow Going.

cartoon-sun-cloud-rain-rainbow-set-children-funny-il-illustration-vector-39964878I never had game.  But I’m cool with that. Which makes me somewhat nerdy/dorky cool.  I did have some game before.. and I still have game.  But the game I got now is very different from what I had just a mere 4 weeks ago.  Major changes listed below.

  • Not a Morning Person. I have never been a morning person., but I am getting up WAY early (no thanks to my ShockClock)…  If I leave my home by 6:30am, I get to work at 7am.  After that, it takes a while.  If I take public transport, it’s a 1.5 hour trip.  Needless to say, I’m driving to work, early. And I don’t like mornings.
  • No Drinking During the Week.  I know. What the hell has happened to me?!   I want to do a good job, I want to start the day with clarity and direction…    I’ve just naturally stopped drinking during the week. It has not been easy. But I do cut loose on Friday… a lot lose these last 2 weeks.
  • Weekends are for Errands.  Running errands while the masses are running their errands. Boo.  I really liked getting stuff done during off-peak hours…  It suits my browsing style.

It has only been 1 month.  And I was in a car accident.  In general, I am not a fan of the schedule. But I LOVE the people I work with and I am thrilled with the opportunity.  I love what I do, who I do it with, and what lies ahead.  It’s like looking at a Christmas present the night before Christmas….   so much anticipation, so much opportunity, so much excitement!

I do love it.  But I have to tell you, being semi-retired, focused on what I wanted. Was so refreshing.  My heart-felt lighter, clearer, more simple. I liked it.  I loved it.  I want this same feeling while I’m working. I do love my work – why can’t I seem to love what I do AND feel good while doing it??

Learning and growing, growing and learning. Would love to hear how you have dealt with major life changes..

 

Back To Work w/o A Car. Public Transport Sucks.

imageI am alive and well.  I have been crazy busy – started a new job (I know, finally out of my retirement phase).  During my first week on the job I got into an accident. It was my fault…I didn’t know where I was going, I looked at the map on my phone, looked up, and didn’t have enough time to stop.  I hit someone head on.  The accident was just that, an accident, and it was totally my fault.  I walked away with a lot of bruises and aches. Took a few weeks to recover…  I still have some neck pain.  But my beautiful car, my Black Beauty did not fare so well.  The other driver had car damage but was physically fine.

Today I recieved a final call from State Farm. They have determined her a “total loss”. They have given me what they think she is worth…  Mere pennies for her true worth.  I am unable to replace her with the $$ they will give me.  I have been without a car for 2 weeks now and it looks like I will be without a car for a while.

This wouldn’t be a big deal if I was still “semi-retired” and had all the time in the world to run errands. Hell, I was walking everywhere when time wasn’t a factor.  But this is no longer the case.  3 weeks ago I returned to full-time work.  Yes, I found employment that I am very excited about. My new company is headquartered 23 miles from home… A rediculous amount if we speak in travel time on CA highways. I can get to the office in 30 minutes during off-peak hours. It takes me over an hour by public transportation. Public transportation includes a 15 minute walk, a 40 minute train ride, a 15 minute shuttle ride and a few minutes of waiting between each transition. Grrrrr.

In addition, I have to leave at the crack of dawn no matter what transport option I choose.  I am not a morning person.  I have purchased the ShockClock to change this… So far not so good.  Either it is not working, or 30% shock wave is not enough to wake me..  Tonight I have it set to 50%.. Which freaking hurts when I tested it out…  If I am not up at the crack of dawn tomorrow, it is because I was not able to electrocute myself via the ShockClock…

Honestly, if public transportation was an option, I would prefer to NOT get a car now, and wait for my Tesla Model 3… Yes, I registered. Yes I am on the waiting list.  Yes, I would wait… I love that car.. So sexy, so svelte, so what I want….

The new job. Outside of the commute – awesome. I love the people. It is a perfect fit for me.  I get to use my technical knowledge and fulfill my geeky side, while doing the things I love the most – speaking with customers, creating processeses and programs, and measuring results.  When I am “working”, it really doesn’t feel like working.  Which is really the best job ever.  If it weren’t for the commute, it would be perfect.  Once I get up to speed I will be able to reduce my face time in the office. And once I get another vehicle, I will be able to reduce the time it takes me to get to/from the office.  But right now, 3 hours in commute time is killing me……

All in all, life is good.  I no longer have a car, a car that I loved.But she did save my life. And for that I am forever grateful.  I will hold out until I find another just like her, which may take a while given the State Farm settlement.   I do love my agent and felt that the total loss agent was great too.  But the numbers just did not work in my favor. So those of you who have older cars that are well kept with low miles… Do NOT expect any insurance agency to respect its value.   Get a replacement cost policy (if you haven’t done so already)..  My .02

Alright… I need to get some sleep. Prepare for my morning electrocution.  :=)

 

Family Differences.

mood-girl-bokeh-photography-sad-aloneWow.  Just got off the phone with my mom.  The call did not go well.  My relationship with my parents has not been easy.  Lots of ups and downs.  My parents basically have two families – My Twin and I, and then my other sisters who are 9 and 11 years younger.  I do remember things being great until my sisters came along.. then it all went to hell.  😉

A week ago my mom had a disagreement/confrontation with My Twin sister…  My Twin and my mom walked away from this conversation with very different views.  I don’t agree 100% with either of their perspectives, I feel that I have an in-between view so I tried to bridge the gap.  My attempt was disastrous.

My parents were much more strict with My Twin and I – the rules were much more rigid and the punishment much more severe. They are and have been much more lenient with my younger sisters.  Right or wrong, it is the way that it is.  My parents are good people. They did the best that they could. But that doesn’t take away the fact that their treatment of each of us was and is  very different.  And when you treat your kids so differently it creates animosity. ADDITION: Perceived favoritism has long term impacts on adult children.

My mom got very angry. In a very angry voice she told me that she and my dad did the best they could.  Accused me of “jumping on My Twin sister’s bandwagon” (playing victim), and being judgmental.  She said they help all their kids no matter what and that will never change.

I told my mom that I know that she and dad did the best they could, but that doesn’t change the experiences that My Twin and I had… I then said that the best way to deal with differing perspectives is to talk about it, so that we could better understand the bigger picture..  She did NOT agree. Said that she doesn’t owe My Twin and I any explanations, then basically hung up.  I do not want my mom to feel bad, but her anger doesn’t change feelings.

My mom and dad did their best. I am proud of them. They have gone through a lot and I respect that they want to help their children.  But what if one kid takes more than the other?  Helping one child over an over again can take away from time with the other children.  It is a fact of life – you only have so much time and energy.  The fact is that my parents continue to help my 36-year-old sister takes away from the time and energy my mom has to spend with the rest of her kids.   Example, my sister has lived with my parents for 18+ years.  She still lives with them – my sister, her husband, and her 3 kids. My mom takes her 10-year-old to school and babysits the 3-year-old everyday.  My parents, who have been retired for 3 years, just went on vacation, away from their own home “to get away and relax”.

My parents have not been out to see me in CA in over 4 years.  Yep. 4 years.  Yes I have invited them, even offered to pay for them to visit.  They have yet to fit it into their schedule.

I feel like giving up.  I feel like I spend a lot of time trying to have a relationship with my parents.  But the relationship feels one-sided for the most part. If this was a love relationship, we would have broken up long ago.  I do love my parents, it would be nice to have a more balanced relationship.  Even without my sister sucking up all their time and energy, I am not confident that they would desire such a relationship.  Makes me sad.

Anyone else have a complicated relationship with their parents?

ADDITION:  Sibling Favoritism.  This is the issue. My perception is that my mom loved my youngest sister best, the sister who still lives at home is my dads favorite.  My Twin and I had each other. It always felt as if my parents were a family with my sisters and My Twin and I were the odd ones out.  Advise on the web is to “get over it”…  not exactly sure how one does this.