"Love My Way, It's a New Road"

It’s no secret that midlife or “gray” divorce is skyrocketing. And, according to the AARP, 66 percent of these divorces — which have doubled since 1990 — are initiated by women. But the numbers, without any narrative, are just numbers. They don’t tell us why so many women, seemingly in droves, are making this heartbreakingly…

via The Real Reason For Divorce At Midlife — Better After 50

AMEN!  This is sooooo true!!!  This is too good not to re-post.  

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Why Can’t It Be Easy?

I come back from my trip  and now I am all gung-ho to move forward.  Not so fast, Maggie.  They still want financials from me.  That freaked me the fuck out on Friday.  I understand why.  They are thinking about offering me an equity position, so they need to be sure that I can produce enough $$ to be worthy of such largess.

I punted the question with Queen Bee and tried to sidestep it by saying that was a dated mode of inquiry, but she was not be deterred.  I got off the phone quickly because I wanted to think more about this.  I called my BFF to debrief.  Part of me actually entertained the idea of providing puffed up numbers.  She talked me off that cliff.

Here’s the thing.  They have not specified what they want in terms of financials.  Do they want tax returns?  Horrors!  I hope not!  Do they want Profit/Loss statements?  Do they just want some general numbers about activity level and gross value of that activity? I fretted all night Friday.

I woke up on Saturday rebellious and full of piss & vinegar.  Fuck them, I’ll give them nothing.  That was my waking thought.  Then I calmed down and was shooting for a full day of fretting on Saturday, but I was blessed by the Hunter’s intervention.

He was headed out the door to go do some Hunter-esque activity at Bass Pro.  I had no interest in that.  I was curled up on the daybed trying to research some answers for my situation.  The work forums and google searches were yielding no help or insight into my particular situation.  Ugh, this is when my niche business really becomes obscure.  There is little written about our compensation and how we go about figuring it out.  One day I will fix that, by golly.  When I get closer to retirement, I plan on spilling my guts on these topics to help the younger generation, but I digress.

The Hunter looked at me frantically tapping away on my iPad and said, “I bet you don’t even get up from the couch”.  I raised my head and said, “I’m going to a Farmers Market”.  He replied with a challenging grin, “Nope, I doubt it.”  Dammit, game on.  I will prove him wrong and go.  So I did and he ended up joining me because he was nearby.  It was fun to be outside and have him with me.  We had also taken a long walk in the morning.  Between both activities, we got in more than 10K steps.   All of this took my mind off of things.

Yesterday I continued with a jaunt to an art festival with some friends.  I was outside, looking at art and chatting with my GF who is an HR guru about the situation.  By this time I had chewed on it and re-framed it all.  I realized that I was fortune-telling.  What?!

I was already predicting that OppA was going to be disappointed with my numbers.  I was already predicting that they would reject me based on my numbers.  Why do I think that?  I don’t know that this will dissuade them from hiring me.  It might only affect my title and slow my equity partnership path, but I won’t know until I give them the numbers.

We might have to have more discussions, but I have a lot to offer them.  I’m willing to go into a deeper niche of my niche profession.  This means I give up a potential income stream — one that has been a mainstay throughout my career plus several other potential income streams (which I occasionally made $$ from).  I am doing this with eyes wide open.  There aren’t many of my fellow sharks who agree to such a handicap.  The team at OppA know that too.  It makes recruiting tough for them.

One reason I am freaking out is due to a story I heard about a colleague.  I’ve known this guy for years.  He had never worked for a big company, but one came courting him.  They thought they were getting a badass and courted him furiously, flew him to a couple of places to meet others, even introduced him to a client, I think.  Anyway, they asked for his financials also.  He explained that the Recession had crushed him, but here you go and provided them.  They never spoke to him again — completely ghosted him.  That’s my crazy fear in the back of my head — this shit does happen.  I would be heartbroken and embarrassed if this happened to me.   Now, the folks he was dealing with are pond scum.  I know because I worked for them.  The folks at OppA aren’t so cruel, or at least I hope not.

Perhaps I need to re-frame this as a test for them.  How will they react will tell me a lot about them as well.  I have a call into my OppA advocate.  I’m not sure what I want to say and perhaps I should say nothing.  I have thought about explaining or providing context to my numbers, but that’s giving excuses when none have been asked for.  Do I explain that in the past five years I have experienced the loss of job, death of a parent, divorce, kids leaving for college & beyond and more?  That is definitely TMI.  Nobody wants to hire someone with drama.  I think less is more in this situation.  Just keep my mouth shut, treat it like a deposition — only answer what has been asked and volunteer no information.

They are poised to give me my Offer Letter.  Everything is teed up.  I need to step carefully and I need to take action.  It’s a gamble for everyone, but isn’t every hire a gamble?  I think this will be a gamble that will pay off big for everyone.  Let’s roll the dice.  Now, let me figure out a simple Excel spreadsheet that tells the story I want to tell about my numbers.  Lovely, it’s Monday and I have a spreadsheet to create…..

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Photo by Wyron A on Unsplash

Overthinking

Why do we do this to ourselves?  Is over-thinking a form of worry or over-preparation?  I don’t know.  What I do know is that when I have a big situation on the horizon, I over-think and over-prepare.  Case in point:  my meeting with the CEO.

I got all worked up about my outfit, interview questions, what to take — every aspect of the visit.  Guess what happened — none of it mattered.  Nope, not a single thing.  These folks are laid back.  They spent the entire day selling the company to me and asking what they need to do to convince me to come on board.  I was gobsmacked.

Now, it was disorganized.  I showed up and the CEO wasn’t even in town.  His assistant wasn’t in the office and there really wasn’t a formal agenda.  The COO spent quite a bit of time with me and this was good.  I got ask a bunch of technical questions about the logistics of shifting Maggie & Co. and learned more about how they handle these situations.  She’s been to the rodeo many, many times and easily explained how it would work.  It was an elegant solution that I really liked.

I got to chat with the head of a niche group about how her team works.  She is lovely, thrilled to have someone in my neck of the woods interested in partnering and gung-ho to teach me.  I also met with the leader of that location who had been the interim CEO. I liked every single person I met that day.  They all had great stories, years of tenure and the collaborative nature I crave.  I think I may have found my tribe.

They accept me as a seasoned professional and they feel fortunate to have me on their team.  Damn.  How great is that?  Now I just have to get the paperwork going, so Queen Bee and I are chatting this afternoon.  I have a lunch invite already to meet the CEO when he visits in early February, so I’ll meet the guy eventually.  Who knows, it could be the celebratory lunch welcoming me on board.  That would be cool.

But man, I am going to have to work and work hard.  These people are good.  Really good.  Actually best in class and I’m not just saying that to blow smoke up anyone’s butt.  That’s their reputation.  They suffer no fools, so I gotta put my big girl shoes on and be the person I have always visualized I could be.  Shit’s getting real and I’m excited about it!  Now, I’m off for a massage before my call with Queen Bee.  Then I’m going to have a celebratory dinner with the Hunter!

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Photo by Joshua Earle on Unsplash

 

I Like Them

Friday’s Meet & Greet went well.  At least, I thought it went well.  I like them.  I met the Prince, the Office Manager and a senior guy that will be a resource to me when I need him.  The office is small, but brand new.  It looks like I won’t have an office, but a cubicle.  Meh, although I don’t mind, I need to think about that from a seniority perspective.

Our chat started with Queen Bee telling me that my buddy (who is a partner there) is singing my praises from the rooftop.  Aw shucks, that’s nice to hear.   We had a good chat and I asked the Prince about himself.  Our world is a very small one, so we know a lot of the same folks.  He said that last year was his best year in the business.  Based on the activity level he had, I was impressed with both the activity and the paycheck that such activity brings.  We talked about their business development and mine.  I like their approach — it’s very high level (i.e. expensive), but it works really well.

I left feeling good, excited to join them.  Nervous about stepping things up.  I think nervous is good because it means I am pushing outside my comfort zone.  But I’m also nervous about the thought that maybe they will change their mind?  What if the CEO doesn’t like me?  He’s an Ivy league dude,  My experience with guys from his particular Ivy League is mixed.  Usually they really don’t take to me.  I think it’s because I don’t wear a filter too well.  KEEP. MY. MOUTH. SHUT.

I’m headed to their Mother Ship late next week.  It will be a fly in, fly out day which means a very long one.  I have been FREAKING out this week about what should I wear.  I’m between sizes and they aren’t good sizes (sigh).  I can’t find what I want.  Oh wait, I did find it and it was $800 and that’s not in the budget.  I have been thinking navy sheath dress with matching blazer (although other colors are definitely under consideration).  Elegant, simple — keep the attention on me, not so much the clothing, but have a nice handbag, shoes and accessories.  I can’t find the outfit.

I’ll spare you all the wardrobe drama, but here are the main points:

  • I don’t want a pantsuit.  I know it’s freezing everywhere except My State of Perpetual Sunshine, but I think a pantsuit for a woman of a particular age dates us.  Sorry, my bias is poking out.  Please call me out in the comments if you disagree.
  • Apparently the look I want isn’t in fashion right now.  I’ve hit all the major stores and it’s a choice of skirt or pants with the jacket.  My legs are my best asset, so I want to show them, but I wanted the monochromatic look.  I think it’s slimming, professional and it takes the attention away from my outfit and back to me.
  • Black is out — it makes me look wane and pale.
  • I can’t figure out shoes and handbag until I have the outfit.
  • I’m running out of time, especially if it needs alterations.

A little voice inside of me is whispering that I’m using the wardrobe situation to avoid the real situation of preparing for a successful interview day.  I will be meeting with as many as 4-5 people in a 4-5 hour window.  That has the potential of being grueling.  I need to research all of those people, practice my questions to them and practice my answers of their questions.  That is my focus today.  This weekend I have a mock interview scheduled with my GF who is the head of HR for a mid-sized company.  She’s an HR expert, so I think her guidance will be helpful.  I asked her about the wardrobe drama as well.  She offered to shop with me, but she’s a friggin’ size 4, so I think that will embarrass and stress me out more. Sigh.

OK, let me prep.  The better prepared I am, the more confident I will come across.  Oh and just to lay another layer of worry on top — TSA is questionable.  The Miami airport has announced the closure of a terminal.  Fortunately my flight is on the largest carrier, but I better get there extra early.  Geez….

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Men have it easy….. Photo by Fancycrave on Unsplash

Yikes

I’m getting nervous.  Am I really going to be capable of going back to an office environment full time after 7-1/2 years of working from home for the most part?  I know that I won’t have to be in the office all the time.  I’ll be able to tele-commute and will be having frequent meetings outside of the office.  But a dedicated office.  With co-workers.  Wow. It has been awhile since I’ve been in that environment.

Other reasons for my nerves?

  • I’m wondering if I can curb my bad habits.  Will I be able to STOP being a busybody and a know-it-all?  I am a busybody.  I have been working hard to curb my Ms. Know-It-All self.  It’s a problem.  I know.
  • Can I allow others to lead?  I had a committee meeting this week for a professional organization I belong to.  It was four of us.  The committee chair wasn’t good at running a meeting.  She didn’t tackle the time-sensitive stuff until I suggested that we nail that down before we adjourned.  I sat in the meeting and told myself that this was an excellent learning exercise for me.  I need to remember how to sit in meetings with folks and let them lead.  Don’t try to bail them out all the time by thinking that my way is the only right approach.  Just shut up, breathe and observe.  I quickly followed the others’ cues and all was well.
  • The recruitment process for OppA is still sort of “ass over head” meaning the steps are all jumbled which doesn’t make me feel comfortable.  Today I meet the team, which is a great step.  But they want my financials.  Sigh.  That step is out of order.
  • Plus do I even want to provide financials?  Short answer:  Hell no.  It’s common in my world to provide financials, but at the same time, with my level of experience it shouldn’t be really relevant.  I had a long conversation with my BFF about this.  She is adamantly  against providing financials unless they decide to buy Maggie & Co.  I personally thought that they should be acquiring Maggie & Co rather than pursuing this as a more simple personnel hire.  This has caused some sleepless nights this week as I ponder this.
  • My BFF had some great advice.  She suggested I put all of my hard questions on index cards and practice asking them.  Over and over again.  She said that once I do that and they flow, I’ll be able to bring them up in the proper context.  She is a genius.  I am blessed to have her in my life.
  • That got me thinking about what is the proper recruitment process and the proper compensation package.  I know that Queen Bee has never recruited before and this a new role for her.  Plus I will be her first successful senior level recruit, so I’m the guinea pig.  BFF and I discussed this as well.  I have a GF who was a recruiter for my world and another who is the head of HR for a large company, so I think I’ll put together my questions and pick their brains.  I have also ordered a book on the subject and hopefully that will help.

Now I have to run because I have to figure out what the heck does one wear to a “meet & greet” on a Friday with potential new colleagues and subordinates?  Oh yeah, the other thing I am nervous about — flying to HQ to meet the CEO. Forget about the interview itself, what about the clothing situation?! What the heck will I wear?  It will be cold there and Maggie lives in the land of perpetual sunshine, so I don’t have anything cold weather appropriate LOL.  I’m thinking Rent-the-Runway or at least rent a very expensive handbag.

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Photo by Caleb George on Unsplash

I mentioned to the Hunter about my 2019 goal-setting ideas and before I could dive headlong into the topic, he asked, “Are you having your Vision Board Party?”

I came to a full stop.  Hmm, that’s a great idea.  I hadn’t really thought about it.  My Vision Board parties were a blast.  I had three over the past four years.  I let it peter out when I moved farther away from my close girlfriends, but now I’m closer so maybe it would work.  I only need 3-4 GF’s to show up to make it fun, so it’s an easy get-together to host.

Plus having a Vision Board party fits into virtually every category of my Enrichment project for 2019.  How?

  • In the area of Home, I want to get my home more livable with a new sofa and whatnot.  This would push my nesting goals into high gear for the month of January with a series of mini-projects to get party-ready.
  • In the area of friendships/relationships, I can invite my old friends whether they want to schlep over here or not plus I can invite more geographically-desirable acquaintances to the party and see how that works out.
  • In the areas of Work, Money & Health — well, a Vision Board is all about putting it in front of mind, so I’ll make sure I cover all the areas of my Enrichment Project on my actual Vision Board.

So Vision Board Party, here I come!  I will cast aside all doubts of my place not being perfect and welcome love and friendship to fill that space.  Now, I need to check dates because I’m thinking the last Sunday of January unless that’s the Super Bowl….

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Photo by Andy Art on Unsplash

Once I Lost My Car Key

Facebook popped up a memory of mine from 8 years ago.  I had posted “I have somewhere lost my car key and I have looked EVERYWHERE!  I think my pets are messing with me.  It’s got to be in my house, but where??”

This ended up being one of those situations that confirmed that my marriage was shit and I needed to get out.  In the end I had the last laugh, but I wasn’t  laughing during the search.  Settle back and enjoy another one of Maggie’s stories:

On New Years Day 8 years ago, we spent the day on a friend’s boat.  Our boys were BFF and they invited us to a day of boating.  It was lovely.  The marina was really close to my house, so I didn’t take a purse and had a small beach tote for the boat.  I took my car key off the key ring and it was secured in my tote.  Obviously I had it when we arrived home because it was used to start the car.

The next morning I needed to drive somewhere and I couldn’t find my car key.  I made it to the appointment using a different vehicle but returned home where a full-scale search began.  I searched EVERYWHERE.  Outside, inside — you name it.  I offered a $100 bounty to my housekeeper who turned the house inside out.  No key.

I went to the dealer and a new key would cost $250.  They told me to keep looking before spending the dough.  That was good advice. I was worried I would lose the only key I had and then I would really be up shit’s creek.

I was using my Ex’s copy of the key and he lost no opportunity to berate me for being careless at losing the key.  He repeatedly reminded me how I had lost the key to his SUV a couple of years ago and how I lost everything.  Yada yada yada.  For the record, I rarely lose or misplace anything.  He just loved having the opportunity to belittle me.

10 days go by and I am rapidly losing hope of ever finding that damn key.  Then I get a text from my son who is at school.  “I found your key”.  Hallelujah!!  I quickly text him back saying how happy I am, etc. and then I asked him where he found it.  It was in his backpack.  Our car keys look similar and on that fateful boating day, he picked it off the vestibule table thinking it was his….  I told him that I was very thankful still, but he was not going to get my $100 bounty.

My Ex now had no current event to bash me with, but he continued to remind me that I had lost his car key, so I was still sloppy and stupid about losing things in his mind.  But Karma, she was with me…

Two weeks later I get a phone call at work from him.  He leads with “You are going to kill me…”  He found his missing car key in one of his briefcases.  Apparently two years ago, he used my extra car key for some logistical situation involving car maintenance or something.  He had forgotten not only to return the key to me but he also forgot he had it.  Asshole.  He was always forgetting where he put things (like his wallet which he lost twice in our years together only to find it months later in some random spot).

That whole episode where I got no support from him and just derision was another nail in the coffin of our marriage.  Good riddance.  Today in my gratitude thoughts I will be thankful that I have ended such a toxic relationship.  And that I know where my car keys are at all times now ……

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Photo by Daryn Stumbaugh on Unsplash

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