I’m Doing My Level Best Right Now.

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Life is complicated right now. I have been overwhelmed by it all .. and I’ve been frozen with fear and anxiety. The top anxiety producers are:

  1. Resigning from my job. It could have been a great job.  It wasn’t – made horrible by a terrible manager and consistently bad experiences .. I call it a death by a 1000 cuts.  I know I’m not alone here – check this out – Why I Quit My Job by Life of Kai.  This is my experience so eloquently written.  I do not mean to diminish Kai’s experience as a PoC, or to diminish that the Ad Industry needs an upgrade.  But this story is my story too (I’m a white woman working in Tech).  Terrible managers and the leadership teams that support them exist in all industries.  It truly is death by a 1000 cuts (politically correct terminology is micro-aggressions).   I just wished I had the strength this woman had to recognize the problem as not mine and resign earlier.  I would have more confidence at this point and have spent less time trying to improve a impossible situation.
  2. Risking My Retirement.  Given #1 above,  I have to support myself. So I decided to sell my #1 asset – my California property.  It is my largest asset.. and I’m selling it 20 years prior to retirement.  Am I crazy?  Yes.  It feels like crazytown right now given the stock market, political landscape, and the uncertainty of the midterms.  Yes, I have a 401K and an IRA (I’ve been saving since I started my career at 24), but those haven’t grown in value nearly as much or as quickly as real estate in CA.  So in order to support myself while I look for another job, I need to sell this asset.  It hasn’t been easy to unload an expensive house in a volatile market.
  3. Planning/managing a home remodel.  I’ve been living in a shit hole. I purchased a house a year ago in as-is condition. It was a rental for 28 years before I purchased it. Everything is in original/terrible condition.  Why did I buy it? Because it was close – 4 blocks – from the family I love.  My living condition has gotten the better of me and I just cannot live like this anymore. Given the current market, finding a contractor is challenging… I finally found one.. and he is available Nov. 15th.   Yeah me!!   But #1 was unplanned and #2 has been challenging, making me stress out about the $$ I’m spending on the remodel (Yes, I put a deposit down… I need this change for my sanity)..

Yes,  I am very aware that these are all self-inflicted wounds.  On top of causing my own trouble, I obsess about being poor, not having a roof over my head, and eating cat food to survive.  What can I say, when you grow up poor, these things never leave you… I wake up physically sick every morning.  I have nightmares about working at Walmart and eating cat food to survive in my old age..  The anxiety is overwhelming.

Given all of this, I struggle every day to get anything done.  And as a Type A person that likes to get shit done, I am mortified by my state.  I literally cannot make myself do what I know needs to be done.  I am doing my best to not let it get to me and to overcome it.  I am embarrassed to share my goals with you at this time as they are tiny… but they do get me out of bed and accomplishing something each day.

Here are a few things that motivate me:

  • Daily emails from Inspire More.  I read these emails every morning and it let’s me know that a) there are good people in this world, and b) I can be one of them with a small, kind gesture.
  • Positive Interactions with Others.  Anytime I go out of my house, I focus on having positive interactions with others. No matter where I am or what I’m doing, I am hyper aware of my interactions with others and do what I can to make it positive for the other person.
  • Make a difference.  I do my best to make a difference in every life I touch.  I see others doing this and it makes me happy. I don’t care what it is, if someone has passion to help others and make a positive impact on others, I’m all for it.  For me, its a small action – smiling and saying hi, listening to someone who wants to share there story, or showing appreciation for the help/kindness of others (Home Depot you are the best!!).  The kindnesses I am watching now are:
    • Marc Benioff’s effort to help the homeless.  Hands down we need more Marc Benioff’s.  I have traveled a lot internationally, and the USA is the only country that doesn’t take care of their own… makes me sad. I see how other countries take care of their people. And we, the USA, richest country in the world, do not make it priority to take care of our own peeps.  It hurts me deeply.
    • Kathrine Zellner , Laura Nirider, Alison Claytonand any/all involved with Innocence Projects. Wow, there are a lot of innocent people serving time.  Can you imaging if this was you?  The more I research this, the scarier it is for the the innocent. I have a cousin in prison, serving a life sentence, for a murder she didn’t commit.  I’ll write more about this in a future post, but the justice system is not kind to the innocent.
    • For the Love of Farm Animals.  Why people on this planet that hurt animals is a mystery to me.  I am the person who saves spiders..  I can’t help it.  I imagine their families missing them…  and they do eat misquotes.. What does it hurt to guide them back to the great outdoors?  But what about those awesome animals bred for our food?  I have fallen in love with Esther the Wonder Pig and her friends..  I’m hard pressed to eat pork and turkey at this point in my life.  It’s easy to make a difference – only purchase food from humane farms, donate and save an animal or two, or visit a farm sanctuary near you

A very long, rambling post… yes I’m drinking wine…    I’ll do my best to write more consistently.  🙂

If you have made it this far, then you have probably been in a similar place.  Please let me know how you have gotten over your life challenges, how you get out of your own way, and the path that ultimately set you free..

 

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Do Blondes Have More Fun? Aka the 2nd Day of The Rest Of My Life.

AtomicBlonde2017

I am was a brunette.  No longer. Things are different as of tonight.

I started going grey very early… in my early 30’s.  I went completely grey in my late 30’s. I blame AbFab – as much as I love her, while she lived with me, she stressed me out!  All is well now, but it was bumpy there for a while.

The first time I dyed my hair was a few months before my wedding… over 15 years ago.  As (un)luck would have it, my hair grows fast. So I have thin hair, not much of it, but what I do have grows like a weed.  Which is great until you start going grey at an alarming rate.  For 15 years I have been dying my hair every 3-4 weeks.  When I can make it to the salon I do, sometimes I have to do it myself.  Either way, it’s a pain in the ass and something I was doing religiously because I am (was) self-conscious about the “skunk stripe”.

SIDE RANT:  Why do we have pills for erectile disfunction, but nothing for women going grey??  I know why – because men are scientists, they have the money, say where the money goes… but god damn it, why can’t they invest in research that would deliver a pill that will stop hair from going grey!??! Why!?

Tonight I was at the salon, going for another “Skunk stripe” coverup.  I am sooo fed up with this routine…  I just want to remove this task from my forever growing to-do list.  I have been researching solutions/options on going grey naturally.  A few sites I referenced:

I went in for a discussion… Walked away making a decision.

Instead of going full grey (which I will do one day), I decided to go Blonde.  Yep. Blonde. Bleached Blonde.

So many options, why did I go this route? Because grey isn’t an option for me in this stage of my career.  I just resigned (another blog post soon!) and I need to find full time employment. I am 47 – smart as hell, but being 47 in an industry (tech) where agism is rampant, the cards are already stacked against me. Don’t believe me?  See here, here, and here . Most women are washed up after 35, “too qualified” is what they call it.   I’m lucky I look young and have made it this far.  But shit howdy, if I showed up for an interview with a skunk stripe or with a full head of grey hair…… forgettaboutit.

So now I am a Bleached Blonde.  I do still have a skunk stripe, but it is not nearly as noticeable as it used to be (somehow grey and blonde blend). Why didn’t I also rid myself of the skunk stripe?  Because I want to wait and see.. get over the shock of what I’ve just done, adjust to the blonde…  and figure out the next steps at my next appointment.  Which is in 2 weeks.  In the meantime, I will be using a “purple shampoo” when I wash my hair (forget why this is important) and otherwise conditioning the hell out of my hair (bleaching dries your hair considerably).

My resignation was a choice – I am changing up my life. Worked sucked. Everyday was horrible. I had become depressed, it was having a direct negative impact on my outlook on life.  My manager (a she) was the worst. Talk about microaggression – if there was an Olympic award for this, she would easily win the gold.  I’m wise and financially stable enough to know I don’t have to put up with his.  Yes I went to HR. Over 6 months ago. They did nothing. HR is in place to protect the company… not the employee.  I have so many stories.. and will definitely write more about this.

For now, I am focused on taking care of myself.  I started a 6 week bootcamp to whip my ass back into shape (20 lb weight loss or 6% fat loss guaranteed or my money back!)..  I’ve bleached my hair, and I am searching for a job that I am passionate about (cybersecurity here I come!!)..

So today is the 2nd day of the rest of my life.  Let’s do this adventure together!!

Would love your words of wisdom, tips, tricks, or any advice you have… I could certainly use the support while I transition to a new, healthier, happier way of life.

Muah.

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Modern Day Wardrobe Malfunction.

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So I have been traveling this week for work.  I love to travel. I love meeting and working  with Customers – I love to hear their stories, understand their goals and aspirations, and relate to them in a personal and professional way.  When I am able to make a difference in their work life, it makes me feel really good. I gain great pleasure seeing them “get it” – when they learn that there is a different, better way.  Makes my day.

This article is not about my work travel and adventures, my passion for travel, or how much I love my customers.  It is about picking the wrong clothes and packing too lightly- aka a modern day wardrobe malfunction.

Having been through hundreds of airports, on thousands of flights in the last 20 years,  I like to be comfortable when I travel (who doesn’t?).   I used to travel in my business wear – skirt, high heel, silk blouse….  no longer.  I like to look fashionable but be comfortable.  So upscale “active wear” (if you haven’t seen the Active Wear video, stop everything and watch it. Bookmark it and give yourself a good laugh on tough days).

Anywhoo, being on the curvy side, I love the Curvy Fit at Ann Taylor and The Loft.  Honestly, if you are a woman with substance, check the curvy fit out …  pants that actually fit without having to nip, tuck, hem… no tailoring!  They actually carry the Curvy fit in Petite.  I discovered this about 4 years ago and have not purchased another pair of pants since.  They fit my body and my short stature.

Well, I was with a friend a few weeks ago and we stopped into an Ann Taylor.  I find these lounge pants that have elastic at the waist and the leg bottoms.   The material is so soft… and they are more form fitting (not sloppy).. fashionable right?!?!  They definitely fit The Do of Jogger pants fashion.  I fall in love. I buy them (I never pay retail for anything!).  My vision is that these are my stylish travel pants.. with a pair of comfy sneakers or short heel, a nice t-shirt/top, a casual jacket.  I will own it – My vision is stylish AND comfy.  I. Am. The. Boss.

Nope. Vision vs. Reality.  The pants, well they stretch out.. a lot.  I purchased a Small. Based on the amount of stretch after one flight alone, I should have purchased a Petite XS.  Wow, these things went from stylish and sexy, to sloppy and frumpy in 2 hours… This probably wouldn’t be that big a deal, except that I chose to ONLY bring these pants on my trip (along with a dress and a skirt)…   I look like I’m wearing my pajamas when I wear these pants.  I tried to find a picture of a fashion fail like the one I have made, but alas, there are none. Apparently no one else makes these kinds of faux-pas.  But I did find a very long article on the right vs. wrong way for men to wear suspenders. Fascinating article. 😉

Needless to say, I recommend that you do not pack a brand new pair of pants as the ONLY pair of pants when traveling. Your welcome.

What are your favorite places to purchase clothing?  @Greygoose – You are tall (I am short).. I always think about what it’s like for you to purchase clothing..  I’d love to hear your story!

 

 

 

 

 

Lovely Lady Land Yacht Bits.

pehrump - drive through mtns
enjoying the open road

So the Lady Land Yacht was purchased from a dealer in Pahrump Nevada.  Pahrump is about 50 miles West of Las Vegas Nevada.   When I tell people about Pahrump, they all tell me about legalized prostitution.  I had to look it up, they are right, it is where the Chicken Ranch is…  Why did I not know this???

Lady Land Yacht was sitting on a lot of what I call the “auto graveyard” – where autos go to die.  I wished I had taken a picture of this.. I think I was in shock when I first saw the whole scene.

Onto the Lady Bits and her “under the dress” bits.  The mechanics.  She has been with the mechanic for a few weeks now and they have assessed her… and it is not as bad as I thought.  There are 5 major areas that need fixing,  most of which are turning out to not be that big of a deal.

Now, I share all this with you because when you buy a used motorhome, you just don’t know what you will get.  Yes, you can have a mechanic check it out (I did), but unless you are in the same location as the apple of your eye or you know the original owner…  you take a risk.

So, on with the assessment.

First, the good news.  Brakes, belts, tires are all in good condition.  Engine is in excellent condition (with only 87k miles on her, she will last a lifetime!)..

Now, areas of improvement:

  • Generator – is not getting fuel due to burned up wiring to the fuel pump. Replace these and a few carburetor parts.  The generator only has 56 hours on it.. so essentially its brand new.  Should last forever.  Now she/we can go boondocking!
  • Air conditioner blows hot air – yes, I drove this beast home from Vegas (to SLC Utah) NOT only without air conditioning, but BLOWING HOT AIR.  In July. Yes. You read right. This is story for another day.  The reason for the hot air? There was a “crack in the cap”. The cap was replaced and cool air is now blowing.
  • Steps not operational – the stairs that get you into/out of the motorhome through the main door were not working. Or rather, I could hear them working, but they were tied up, which I didn’t untie because I thought they were probably tied up for a reason. Yep. They were.  Bad wiring. Wires have been fixed and steps go up and down as needed.
  • Leveling jacks not functioning- the things that are used to level the RV when camping. You have to keep the RV as level as possible – for sleeping, but more importantly to keep the refrigerator working properly.  Gotta keep the drinks food cool while RV’ing!
  • Missing battery  – bought this lady from what I call the “car graveyard”. When I drove up to the lot, it looked like the place where cars go to die.  Seriously.  Anyway, It makes sense that a battery was missing.  He probably took it out to get another car started/sold.  It was clearly missing – the battery cage/holder was empty and there were wires that were hanging out that clearly where meant to be attached to a battery.  Anyway, I got myself a new battery which should help. 😉

So there you have it.  Not so bad. Not as bad as I thought it would be anyway.

Once I get her back I am planning on taking her to her first RV park so I can gain some new skills – RV Hookups.  Once I’m done I’m ready for the open road!

Do you live near a beautiful park you can recommend?  Have you been somewhere you would highly recommend?  Share your favorite, memorable, or bucket list places so I can check them out!!

 

 

Speak Up or Shut Up (or as my mom would say: Please Share Your Opinion).

airstream in driveway

Hello.

So my intention since my last post was to write every week on Wednesday. You can see I’ve failed miserably…… but in all fairness, I’m writing now, and it’s much more timely than my last last post.  So treat me like a millennial and give me some kudos.  🙂

After my last post I received several emails from folks asking if I was dying.  My response:  Yes, we are all dying and we should want to take care of those we love.  No, I do not have any disease or illness that will shorten my expected life expectancy.   Summary: Don’t worry, I am not dying prematurely, or if I am, I am not aware of it.

Why do I write today?  First to calm your fears about the length of my existence. But I also have some exciting news.  I BOUGHT A MOTOR HOME. Yes, you read right, I purchased and old school 1997 Airstream Land Yacht.  It’s in need of renovation. Yes I still work full-time so, No, I do not have the time to fix it… But I gone and did it anyway – she is mine. The lovely lady is all mine.  I see great adventures in our near future.  I named her Rosie (from Neil Diamonds song Cracklin Rosie), but when I picked her up, she isn’t a Rosie.. she is something else. I’m holding off naming her until she is all gussied up.  No matter what, in all her perfectly imperfect wonder, she is mine and we will have wonderful adventures together.  It cannot wait to travel the USA, meeting new people, and see all the amazing natural wonders of our great country.  My first big adventure – Mt. Rushmore!!

Soooooo… my friends are saying I need to start an entirely new blog to speak to my new adventures to come – in the Airstream. They tell me that this blog is stale…. and I should start anew.  I don’t see why I need to do that.

What are your thoughts?  Your opinion matters.. reply or direct message/email me with your thoughts since I cannot figure out how to insert a Poll plugin for free (free being the key word here)..  speak up now or forever hold your tongue.

Tell me what you want

 

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 the Supreme Court… and won. They were all 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 move through my mind every day.. 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(we are all dying), 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, for the record, 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 AbFab’s husband, who has no legs, 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. So why am I going to make a grown man with no legs go to the Mediterranean Sea and spread my ashes? Because I want him (and everyone else) 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, to you, and the man with no legs, 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 which I expect from inexperienced travelers. (It is to be noted that I DID NOT get side eye from the flight attendant, he knew I knew what was up).  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 don’t care to keep the cart going when people are asleep (over night international flights).
    • So the question to ask yourself — ADVICE ALERT — How long can you/do you want – to wait for another beverage?  Me: Not that long.  So serve me two at a time please.  Thank you.

O.k. I have to go to bed now…  and the Ambien is kicking in. I’m sleepy, very sleepy….

I am chock full of stories AND I’m on vacation so I will write more (expect nothing).

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

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.