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.

 

 

For The Love of Yoga.

Yoga retreat 2016I just completed the last day of my yoga retreat in Ixtapa Mexico.  I am in transit – heading back home to Northern CA. I’m sad to be leaving….

First, Ixtapa Mexico is a wonderful place.  The people are great, the town is far less developed (touristy) than other cities in Mexico (Cabo, Cancun, etc).  I have always wanted to visit Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo and I’m glad I did – it is awesome.  I’ve always wanted to visit because it is where Andy Dufrane escapes to in the movie – Shawshank Redemption. And when his best friend Red gets out – he shows up too.  I think of Zihuatanejo as the Mecca to my favorite movie.  This place is great.

Second, one of my favorite people opened her world up to me.  I got to spend time with her and meet all her friends.  It’s a precious thing when the people you like want to share special people and moments.  When she told me about the retreat I was sold… I booked it right away – some 7 months ago – and now the trip is over….. 😦

I will do my best to summarize –

  • The instructor is simply amazing.  I LOVE Kundalini yoga.  I have not been able to find a yoga class or instructor that incorporates Kundalini, the breath, flow, and meditation in a class.  The yogi –  Jorge Luna – has me in love with yoga again.  His Yoga was a great combination of breath/connection (Kundalini) , stretch/movement/flow (Vinyassa), and fun!  Yes, remember when exercise was fun, not a task/to-do/chore?  Uh-hum mm, those days. I loved every day of class. And he has inspired me to re-launch my search for a yogi in my area that inspires me to get my ass out of bed on a weekend.
  • The people are just like me… But not.  Yep, all of these amazing people from all walks of life – different backgrounds, cultures, color, sex, gender preference.. You name it, it was in the mix.  No matter what was shared/observed, there was nothing but openness to learn, to understand, and to enjoy.  I realize this may sound “zen like”, but it’s true. Most of these people only see each other when on this trip – and they attend this retreat year over year to see their friends again.  It is a great group of amazing people from all walks of life.
  • The location – Las Brisas Resort– a beautiful natural preserve.  The hotel is a mere 15 minutes from the airport… It has a natural environment – it feels like you are in a rainforest, not in a Ritz Carlton.  It was very clean but not manicured. The pools were great and the beach was amazing.  The food was really good for an all-inclusive resort and they have some top notch restaurants available on premises.  The rooms were spacious and the resort was completely full two nights during my stay and it did not feel crowded at all.  My only complaint is that I wished they would turn off the pool fountains so we could hear the ocean from the pool…  I know right, first world problems.

Would I go again?  Absolutely.  I will definitely go on the next trip – if they will have me (Ask me about the “gummy experiment”).    I do hope I get an invite the next time around!!

 

 

 

Taking Some Time Off.

southern_coast_of_turkey

Hello all.

So much has happened in these last few months.

  • Family – AbFab’s husband lost his legs in a work accident.  Here is a news video of how he survived – inspirational.  They are both so strong, so resilient. The kids – Mayonaise and Shanaynay are doing well and they love their dad with or without legs.
  • Travel – I had an opportunity to go to Turkey and I did it.  I went to Turkey for 10 days with one of my best friends – Unicorns. She suggested it one week, we booked our tickets the next week, then we left the next week. Impromtu.  It was one of, if not the best trip I’ve ever taken. More on this later.
  • Work – not going well at all…the product doesn’t work and leadership is lacking – in both inspiration and direction.  Every team works in silo’s – Sales selling product we don’t have, Product delivering product that doesn’t work.  Since I work with customers every day, I feel the chaos. These people, our customers, put their careers on the line to purchase and adopt our technology. And we consistently let them down.

So, I’ve made a decision.  I made it a few weeks ago, but I’ve been letting it stew in my brain for a bit before making it a reality.  I am resigning.  I will let my manager know on Friday. My last day will be Nov. 13th. I am resigning before having another job.   My plan is to get centered again. This will include spending time with myself, getting healthy, traveling, and reconnecting with family and friends.

Not only will I be starting an exercise regimen, I will be traveling.  I plan to go back to Istanbul during the Thanksgiving holiday. Then I plan to spend a few weeks in Utah with AbFab and her family. I will also see my twin sister and my parents. My goal during this time away from work is to focus on me and doing what makes me happy.  And in my spare time I will look for work.

I am aware that this is extremely risky.  But I am burnt out. I may just do some consulting work and continue to think well into 2016…  Only time will tell what opens up to me.  But I’m not doing “this” again – busting my ass for a company that doesn’t appreciate the work that I do. I will not make myself physically sick with stress and work overload.  I WILL find a great company, that has great leadership, and that will appreciate my skills, abilities, and what I bring to the table.  That’s it.  Until this time, I will find consulting jobs that will support me.  That is my decision.

So yes, I am throwing caution to the wind and moving forward with what my heart is telling me is the right thing for me.  Although I am tidying up things around the house and checking out local yoga studios, I will officially begin my journey of self-rediscovery on Nov. 2nd with Oprah and Deepak 21 day meditation series – Become What You Believe.  I plan to update this blog very regularly as I go through my reinvention – writing thoughts down really helps me.

If any of you have ever done this before, I’d love to hear your thoughts on what worked, what didn’t.. Or if you haven’t, I’d love to hear what you would do if you made such a decision – would you travel, stay at home, visit with family, friends, etc… ?

My next blog will be about my experience in Turkey – which I loved – both the country and the people.

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggety Jig.

2015_06_OnVacationA-Train and I have returned from vacation. It was a fabulous trip, one of the best I’ve ever had in this country.  We went to Terranea Resort and Spa in Rancho Palos Verdes, just a short 45 minutes from LAX.  I would highly recommend it.  It was a fabulous resort – the room was fantastic, it had a great variety of restaurants on-site, and the service was fantastic.  It was sooo relaxing.  It was exactly what I needed.  I was surprised that A-Train treated and was into this vacation because it isn’t his style.  But he was actually fun to hang out with – he reminded me of the A-Train that I met a long time ago.

I took much needed time away from work and computers.  I checked my email only once and that was it.  I happened to get a new phone last week and I was not able to connect it to work email before I left.  It was a blessing.  It was so nice to disconnect for such a long period of time. First time in quite a few years that I stepped away from work.

I’m slowly transitioning back to the work world this week.  I’m not doing an exceptional job at it.  Good thing that tomorrow is Friday!

I have some great plans this weekend, one of which is to sit by a pool, sipping wine and catching up with my girlfriends.  Sort of like an extension of my fabulous vacation.  Living the dream.  🙂

Late Night & Robert Taylor.

PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 13:  Actor Robert Taylor of "Longmire" speaks at the A&E panel during the A&E Networks portion of the 2012 Television Critics Association Press Tour at The Langham Huntington Hotel and Spa on January 13, 2012 in Pasadena, California.  (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

So I’m working late tonight for a variety of reasons – all of which I’m not happy about.  I’ve reached my limit and working towards a new solution, one that includes finding a new place of employment.  More on this later.

This post is all about my new crush – Robert Taylor.  I discovered him on a new-to-me Netflix series – Longmire.  He is the main actor – and OMG, is he gorgeous.  If you know Robert Taylor, know a friend of a friend of Robert Taylors, or if you know of someone who looks like him that is single, YOU MUST introduce me.  Looks wise, he rocks my boat.

Check out the series – Longmire – and tell me what you think – I think it is great – great character development, gorgeous scenery (Wyoming country, Robert Taylor), each story is interesting.  It’s like a modern day/contemporary Perry Mason.

Honestly, If this is the kind of man that Australia produces, I’m moving to Australia immediately…   I know just the person who can help me…

A Weekend Of Reflections.

mirror-self-reflection-imageI would have written this weekend but I was tied up – with the flu, food poisoning, or some sort of stomach ailment that caused me to spend the weekend a) in fetal position, and b) the requirement to be in very close proximity to a clean and working toilet.

Maybe I had a few hallucinations, or maybe I’m just learning from my experiences, but here is where I’m at:

  • 30 minute workouts are perfect for me.  By the time I realize I’m working out, the workout is over.  I could probably go 45 minutes with the same attitude..  But for now I’m signed up for three 30 minute fat blast sessions a week. I go in the mornings. I’m loving the instructor, the class, and don’t mind the 15 minute drive to a fro.
  • Regularity is gods gift.  Too much is… well, is too much.  Not enough is painful.  My newfound love for daily movements is here to stay.
  • Being a “working stiff” isn’t a bad thing.  It is hard to deal with when amongst the non-working crowd yes.  I have not mastered how to gracefully make this work. I have spent the last few years feeling insecure about being a “working girl” when I was hanging with all the folks who didn’t work. Why?  BECAUSE I couldn’t relate – and truth be told, I am envious.  I want to spend more time reading books, napping, taking vacations, seeing the world.  But I can’t. At least I cannot right now.

I’m starting to feel less envious and less bad about where I’m at.  It is NOT bad.  It IS what it is.  I am where I am.  It’s not where I would like to be, but I have 110% control of where I want to go next.  So I think I may be done with my pity party and onto my next adventure, which right now is cooking Thai food.  Which by the way, tastes much better when someone else is cooking it for me or tasting it with me.

As you all know, one of my new years resolutions is to stop buying things and to pay off all my debt.  I AM paying off my debts like a mad woman… however, I’ve slipped.  I think I’ve been torturing myself with not having the things I need, waiting for someone else to get them for me.  Since ATrain broke up with me, I started thinking – I deserve nice things!  I decided that I’m treating myself to the things I’ve needed to turn my cottage into a comfortable place for me to spend time.  I’m going for it – making my small casa feel like home and investing in myself.

  • a new rug (LOVE IT),
  • a new TV (it was on sale AND its awesome),
  • and about $800 of new shoes and clothing.

It feels good, and is what has me rethinking  – I’m worth it.  Although I’d love another person to help me out, I’m not looking for a “helper”, I’m looking for a partner. Someone who wants me and us to have these things. ATrain has all these things, but they are for him, not for us.  And that is o.k. I’m glad he got and has these things for himself, it’s too bad I wasn’t part of it.

Anyway, I’m working hard at keeping myself busy – I’m putting my professional “business plan” in place, I’m going to my fat blaster class, and my mind is slowly coming out of the emotional cloud.  I like my downtime now.  It was scary at first, now its enjoyable.

And believe it or not, I’m taking lessons from my cats on how to value myself. Examples include:

  • Zoey – there are 3 doors into/out of the cottage – whatever door is NOT open is the one that Zoey wants to come through.  And I DO IT!  I get up and open the door for her.  For example, the screen door next to the kitchen is open, the cat door is available to her 24-7. But Zoey will scratch at the closed front door to be let in. The front door is about 4 feet from the cat door.  Yes, that is right, 4 feet. But she scratches and I open…she demands and I get up – every time.
  • Sophie – somehow ends up on my lap, while my laptop is on my side, on 2 pillows.. why? Because Sophie wouldn’t have it any other way.  And honestly, if I didn’t give her what she wanted, she would pester me until I would lose my mind.  So how did she train me to give her what she wants and I just do whatever (hurt my eyes, strain my back, etc.) to give her what she wants? She is a 9 pound cat!?!! And she is the boss.

So why am I so accommodating? Why am I not being as demanding as these two 9 pound monsters that rule my life?  No idea – because I’ve never been demanding? Because I don’t know how to be? I need to learn. It’s not about being demanding, it’s about knowing what I want and not being ashamed of it.

I’d love to hear your experiences about you getting stronger, learning to demand more at home and at the office.

Indian in Chinatown.

apple-amongst-orangesYep. I have found and am eating at the only Non-Chinese restaurant in Melbourne’s Chinatown district.  Well, to be fair, it is the only Non-Chinese, Non-American establishment within 2 blocks of my hotel in the Melbourne Chinatown district.  And its a Sunday night, and there isn’t much open on a Sunday night.

I find this choice much like the choices I’ve made while on my life’s journey – against the grain.  I have opted to NOT eat at the 1000 Chinese, Vietnamese, Japanese, noodle houses, etc. near me.  I’ve picked the one Indian restaurant around – Jaisalmer Palace.  The food – delicious. I would definitely come here again, what a find!  But the bigger question – Why do I pick the one place that isn’t “normal”?  Whatever causes this type of thinking, I was born with it.  But enough about me, let’s talk about me!  Just kidding (sort of).  Let’s talk about my day/weekend.

  • First, I am in fucking Melbourne Australia!  Yes, that’s right, Melbourne. Only one of the best cities on this planet.  It’s San Francisco, but better (nicer people, generally happier people, less ego driven, more relaxed, etc..). It’s like Italy, but better (it actually has a sustainable and growing economy)..  would I move here? In a heart beat!
  • And one of my very dearest, best friends lives here. Lets call her Smiles from now on, because she has one of the best smiles ever. Its taken me 10+ years to get back to Melbourne and be in her presence. Seeing her for the first time, again, it was like no time had passed, It’s like we haven’t skipped a beat. Catching up with her, our lives, and visiting with her family makes me feel truly alive and lucky.  Last time I was in Australia, I visited with Smiles and her immediate family (mum, dad, sisters, etc)  and had more fun than any one person should have in a lifetime, let alone 2+ weeks.  10 years later, we are both in very different places, and we are still as connected.  She shared her life openly.  We were swinging singles back then (not really, single yes, swinging, no).   She now shares her life with a handsome Aussie and 2 kids..   Spending the day with her and her family made me feel so lucky – I’ve done something right because someone I love to the end of this earth just shared a day in her life with me without reservation.  How lucky am I??
  • AND (I know, it gets even better!!) one of my newest besties is ALSO living in Melbourne.  I got to catch up with her, introduce her and her hubby to Smiles, and who knows… maybe another connection made.

This weekend, for me, is what life is what MY life is all about.  Connecting with people who I love dearly.  I know I don’t have kids, and I will not carry on the typical “legacy”, but that is o.k..  I live, I love, and I feel loved.  And being in this space, where I love openly, where I feel loved, isn’t that what life is about?  Taking care of those we cherish?  Knowing who to cherish and why?  I spent what felt like a lifetime in a marriage with someone who didn’t love me – didn’t truly love my quirkiness… and it took its toll on me. I bring it up now only because it’s taken me 5+ years to close this insecurity.  I have fewer and fewer why didn’t it work” moments (not just with the Ex but with My Mr. Big, Mr. Showtime, and the like, which you can catch up on by reading The Roster (which I will update soon enough)) and more and more “here we go” hands-up-in-the-air roller coaster moments.

So, while trying not to be philosophical, life has been a roller coaster and I’ve often felt out-of-place.  But today, this weekend, while sitting in this Indian restaurant 15000 mile away in a city I love because its near a bestie, I realize, I’m in exactly the right place for me.  Which is the path that 99% of the people would NOT take. I get that, and I’m learning to be o.k. with it.  And more and more I’m better than o.k. with it, I’m LUCKY to have had this path.  Definitely not what I pictured for myself, but truly lucky to have experienced it thus far.

O.k. now I need to leave this restaurant, go back to the hotel, and get ready for work tomorrow.  There are a few other things I want to write about – such as saving a super drunk girl from herself last night (my first night with an Aussie wink wink was not what you would ever guess/think), the Melbourne lights night that was super crowded, to meeting strangers at the Exec Lounges (and I love it!!). So many stories, so little time!