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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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.

 

 

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.  :=)

 

Life Is Changing.

the juggleLots of thoughts going on in my brain… I’m struggling a bit these days… here is why.

Dating.  Feeling Foolish.  I just found out from a very reliable source that Italian Stallion was indeed dating others.  I feel foolish for trusting him. Makes me feel gullible.  Now I get why we never went out in public.. why he broke up with me when and how he did.. as I hear more about him and his antics, I realize that I was foolish and naive.   Bums me out.  Not that I’m upset that we are not together, I’m upset that people are no longer trust-worthy.  They don’t deserve trust or the benefit of the doubt.  My heart tells me that people are innocent until proven guilty. But this is just not reality – I have to assume that people are guilty until proven innocent. It’s so opposite of my personality…  Makes me want to crawl into my own space and not deal with people.

Dating. ATrain.  Went to the Bahamas with ATrain (more on this soon) and he suggested that we get back together.  Damn straight I’m a great partner.  I’m angry and frustrated that he didn’t see it before….   Can I get over the fact that he didn’t see it when we were together?  Can I really start over fresh with him? It really doesn’t help that he is pouring it on thick while I’m dealing with my Italian Stallion experience (above).  There are things I want, things that I shared with him, all have to do with feeling secure and stable:

  • Living space.  I want to live with my partner.  For us, we would need at least a 3/2 and some significant change (i.e. ATrain puts everything on the countertops.. a messy countertop drives me insane… insane I tell you. I cannot focus if there is shit on the counter.).
  • Security.  We either get married or I have that same security through documentation. I don’t want to worry about where my next meal is coming from.
  • Status.  he needs to be divorced. No more excuses.

But when I think about it, really think about it, there are a few things that I want that I have not admitted to or shared out loud. If I’m going to have it all, here is what I would add to the list:

  • Child. I want one. Doesn’t have to be a baby.. but a child. That I can raise. It is not about giving birth, it is about having an experience and a positive impact in this world. But is this even reasonable? I am almost 45…and I do love my sleep. I want this, but only if I have a great partner. Doing it alone is not for me.
  • Work Part Time. Especially important if I have a kid. I do not want to deal with unrealistic expectations and unreasonable hours.
  • Freedom. I want a partner for life. But I also want the freedom to experience others once in a while. I’m not sure that monogamy is possible…  so many cheaters.. why be a cheater when you can be honest and up front with a partner?  Is this possible – to make an agreement that is amenable to both parties re: sexual liaisons?

I know. These others are very big deals and difficult to discuss…  I am not sure how important they are to me until I meet a partner that is worthy of having this discussion with.

Work.  New Adventure.  So I found a new job.  I signed the employment agreement last week.  I officially start in June but will be doing some work prior to starting.  Ever since this happened, I am experiencing anxiety.  I did so much due diligence on the company and the leadership team, I cannot imagine that this is why the anxiety has kicked in. I think that my last job really had a negative impact on me. I’m lucky I have a few months to get over whatever is going on….

Family.  As you all know my family has been through a lot in the last 6 months.  Things are smoothing out… AbFab is speaking with her mother again, the girls have seen their Grandma again…  My twin is doing very well. The cats are healthy for now..  My parents are my parents – retired and loving it.

Not sure what else there is to share… I’m exhausted and need to go to bed. Please share your journey and/or thoughts.