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.

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!!

 

 

 

2015 In Summary.

2015 was NOT a good year for me.  This only means that in 2016 there is no where to go but up. For a summary of my goals and results, take a look at 2015 Year In Review.

The two biggest downers –

1- I lost my job. I put all my energy into work and it resulted in absolutely nothing. Actually, it’s more than nothing – I gave up everything to make work work.  I had one date all year, on Dec. 28th no less.  I wanted more than anything to succeed professionally.  Not this year.

2- On the personal side, AbFab’s husband lost his legs.

 

I am so done with 2015.  I am all about 2016 – and 2016 is all about me.  I will focus on doing what is absolutely best for me.  Outside of me, I will be spending time with AbFab and family…  I am on polishing up my 2016 New Years resolutions and will share them when they are complete. Some good stuff around exercise and stress management, but there will be a few surprises around real estate. I am excited about what I can do this year – I hope it is worth the wait for you.

 

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.

Family Tragedy.

Just a few short months ago I was hanging out by a pool, relaxing, and putting off my work stress for the day. It’s been a ridiculous journey and has only gotten worse.  Which is why I haven’t written – as my parents taught me, if I don’t have anything nice to say, it’s best to say nothing.  So I’ve written nothing.

Work stress has been overwhelming.  So much so that my Dr. says that I will need medication if I do not control it.  So I’ve been meditating and medicating to help myself deal with the high level of stress. I do NOT want my adrenals to shut down and require prescription drugs for the rest of my life.

But now a family tragedy has pushed my work stress out of my mind.  My nieces husband was in a work accident and has lost both of his legs.  Yes, his legs are gone.  He is still in intensive care and is headed into his 3rd surgery tomorrow.

I HATE being so far away.  I do not like that I’m not able to be there, to help, to support, to do anything, even if it’s just sitting with my niece at the hospital.  I feel so helpless.. She has so much family around her now she has requested that I come out in 2-3 weeks… which of course I will.

I have set up a gofundme for them here – https://www.gofundme.com/newlegsforjohn – please donate and/or share this URL with others.  Any little bit helps.  The way I figure it, if 1000 people donate $50, AbFab’s family will have enough financial support to get them through the next year without worrying about losing their home.

I’m not sure what else to say. Except that all the whining I’ve done over the last 3 years has me feeling spoiled and ungrateful.  Life does suck sometimes and it will toss a whammy or two my way, but at least I have my limbs.  I now have a new perspective …

I’m sure my new-found perspective will get me writing again.

 

 

 

Life is Full Of Lessons.

a-lesson-will-repeat-itself-until-learnedI’m spending a lot of time by myself, thinking through my relationships, the meaning of life, and trying to wrap my head around what it all means.

I’m lucky that I have a lot to focus on at work during the week.  I’m working hard – really working at changing my career for the better.  It’s been harder than I expected.  I just got my performance review back, a 360 degree review.  I’m struggling with some feedback, it is opposite of what I expected, and opposite of what I thought I’d discussed with my manager during the hiring process. I’m thinking hard about what I plan to do about the review and what it means for my career. I am NOT going to seek for approval or acceptance for an unlimited time period.  I will give myself a few weeks to work through the feedback, discuss my thoughts with my manager, and set my boundaries.I’m no longer willing to give without getting.. At the end of the day, I need to define the amount of time I’m willing to give before I get what I want.

Which leads me to what I’m really after.  I’m not willing to wait around for someone else to tell me what I’m worth. My job is to define my worth and let others know what that is.  I set my currency value.  I’ve never done this before – and looking back, reflecting on my past relationships, I realize how much power I have given up both at work and at home.  I don’t mean power in the way of control, but power in the sense of defining the things that are important to me, communicating the things I need and want from others.

This is a very big revelation for me.  I am disappointed that I didn’t learn this lesson from my first big relationship loss, or the end of my marriage… and that it actually took a total of 4 failed relationships to learn it.  But hey, at least I’m learning it now.  Knowledge is power, and is the first step in change.

Soooo, here I am. With a new found revelation.  I love it. It’s time for change, and I’m all for it.  Have any of you read the book How People Change?  I read this in college and I think about it all the time. The lesson I learned from the book – that awareness is the first step to making a difference, a real change.  There is a lot of work ahead to make my new found perspective a reality. But I know how to do it. So I’m on my way.

A Warm Welcome to 2015!

2015-in waterI’m super excited about 2015.  I started working on having a good 2015 in September.  2014 and 2013 were bad years for me.  I gave up on 2014 being a good year something in July and began focusing on 2015.  2013 and 2014 were almost worst than the year I got separated/divorced.  Different struggles but equally if not more difficult.   Ugghhh, so glad that 2014 is over.

Anyway, enough about the bad times, I’m off to a great start to have another Year of the Paula (like 2010-2012).  Like I mentioned, I started in September – I stopped waiting for my managers to recognize my work and took action. I found a new job, better title and pay.  So far its been great. The company culture feels more like home to me.  Because my paycheck is larger, I was able to refinance my home.   Now I’m starting 2015 more financially secure than I’ve been in a couple of years and its feels wonderful.  There is more to do, but I feel confident I can make it happen.  With that, here are my goals for this year:

  1. Get Body Confident.  I’m tired of feeling fat, letting my fat get in the way of doing what I want, getting what I deserve.  I’ve spent so many years, since 2006, feeling bad about my weight, feeling bad about myself, losing confidence in myself year after year.  This year no more.  I will lose the weight and get comfortable about where I end up.  So, what does this mean?
    • Lose weight. I’m 132 – that is about 20 pounds overweight for my 5’2″ frame.   I was 100 pounds for most of my adult life, I got married at 30-something at 112 pounds.  It’s time I get back to the weight I’m comfortable with at OR shut up about it.
    • Exercise more.  I need to get more active.  I stopped working out regularly about 2 years ago, when I was working with Man Hands down at Cisco. I’ve never really gotten back into it.  This is the year. I’ve committed to working out 2 nights a week – I joined a yoga studio and signed up for a belly dancing class.  I will try these classes for 3 months and figure out what I want to do next.
    • Address my stomach issues.  I have, for many years, had significant stomach issues.  I used to wake up sick in the mornings, so sick that drinking water would  have me dry heaving in the shower.  In 2014 I went to see a nutritionist and fixed this problem (thank god!) but I still have significant “flare ups” with my stomach and intestines.  I am going to address this once and for all.  I am starting 2015 with a diet change – I’m going Paleo.  And I’m going back to the nutritionist.   I was inspired by Danielle Walkers story (AgainstAllGrain) – and now I’m ready to take back my life.
  2. Take Charge of my Career.  I’m doing it – I’ve met more with my manager in the last 3 months than I did my entire tenure at my last job.  Why?  Because I thought my managers would recognize the great work I was doing. Did they? No.  And when I asked for what I deserved, we were on very different pages.  Didn’t bode well for either of us.  So I’m not going to let that happen again.  My goal is to have a meeting with my manager 1x a month to discuss my career, my progress, and set myself up for promotions and an executive position.  I am a great worker, a good leader, and highly qualified. With my manager’s guidance I am going to do very well.
  3. Me.  I need to work on me.  I have a few issues that I want to deal with – I didn’t recognize it until I sat down with ATrain and really discussed our relationship – where we are, where we want to be, where I WANT to be.  Two issues in current relationship are the same ones I had in my marriage, and I am the common link there.  Me.  What I have today is similar in some respects to what I had in my marriage.  I’m with someone who has integrity (my EX did not) so the conversations are much more real, more open, honest, and revealing.  So I will seek out a counselor this year and work through some bad habits and become more aware of what I want, what I need, and the changes I need to make- mental and behavior – to get what I want.

I think that is it.  It is a lot but I’m ready for it.  I need a change, I need my life to be different, and I’m in charge of making this happen.

I loved 2010 and 2011 and 2012.  They were GREAT years for me for the most part.  I want more of these kind of years.  And to get more of these years, I need to know myself better, treat myself better, and give myself permission to have it all!

I wish you all a great 2015 – may all your dreams and aspirations be realized.