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

Archive for April, 2018

Dammit – Be Grateful!

I’m cranky this morning and felt myself spiraling into a funk.  This time I refuse to sink into it and I’m fighting it.  I have so much to be grateful for — the week was a good one, even though a vicious migraine attempted to undermine me.  Here’s the good stuff:

  • Met two potential new clients and they are both lovely people
  • I had a fabulous send-off lunch with Robin who starts her new job next week.  She is happy, grateful and on the path to stability and great success.
  • Work is going well
  • The Hunter has taken over all dealings with our landlord (actually her boyfriend) and they get along great.  I am amazed at how much relief this have given me.
  • My daughter and son-in-law arrive next week so we’ll have some beach days followed by my son’s graduation.  I’m excited to see everyone.
  • I have figured out a couple of extra income gigs that won’t bring in a ton of $$ but at least they will be fun.  I’ll start in June once we are settled.  Now is not the time to add too much to my plate.

The things that have me anxious:

  • Money — it’s always about money with me right now.  I have lots of debt and not too much income coming in for now.  I haven’t been able to confront my fears by sitting in front of the computer and calculating it all out.
  • My computer is about to take a gigantic crap which has lead me to having to buy a new one today (more debt ugh).  OK, I should be grateful that this laptop has survived 8 years with virtually no issues and I should be grateful that I qualified for an interest-free loan to buy the new one and the Hunter is paying for both my laptop and his new one.  We are going cheap– we don’t need to launch a rocket with our computers, so cheap is fine.  Yes, I researched and figured out what would work.
  • Job search is flat — and it’s my fault.  Actually I can’t say that.  I have to send my resume to someone.  I had a lunch with someone who is being recruited by the same firm recruiting me to set up an office in this area.  It’s interesting, and I like the guy, but why do I need this firm?  He has the same thoughts also.  I’m having a meeting next week with their recruiting partner who is coming to town.  I guess I should be grateful to my coach for the referral and to these folks for finding me interesting.

It really helps me to write this shit out because then I can sit back and say, “OK, Maggie, calm the fuck down.”  I have had some stinkin’ thinking this morning about how poorly I have managed my career and that once the Hunter’s career shifts into stable prosperity he is going to dump my fat ass, that my ass is fat and I need to get my shit together and STOP EATING.  Yeah, I am fighting the funk, but these are the things flying around on broomsticks in my brain.

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Photo by MARK ADRIANE on Unsplash

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The Hunter & I

The Hunter and I are in a good place these days — I think.  When he left for his hunting trip, he ended up turning around and coming back a couple of hours later.  He realized that he left me with a lot of things to do and by delaying the trip by 48 hours, he would be able to lend a much-needed hand.  I was grateful.

His return meant we could both look at the rental that we ended up taking.  It meant that he could deal with our current landlord’s BF and man-2-man they could arrange a walk-thru without the bitchy ladies getting into a pissing match.  Sorry, I know that sounds misogynistic, but it’s true.  I can’t stand my landlord and even a simple text pisses me off.  I guess my immaturity is related partially to her communication style and also to my green-eyed jealousy and indignation that I’m forced to rent and this bitch owns the place free & clear and uses my rent money to take awesome vacations.  Grrr.  Yeah, I’m a brat, but at least I recognize it.

The Hunter and I have had a few brief conversations about my need to control situations — particularly when I’m stressed or feeling out of control.  It’s been a bit of a revelation for me, but I’m appreciating the insight.  I asked him to speak up when I start down that path and we settled on a word:  Chuleta which means pork chop in Spanish.  Weird, but it’s a funny word and noticeable.  He forgot about using it until I reminded him and now he’s back on track.

I asked him about his pot-smoking yesterday.  It was an interesting conversation because I asked him if he was smoking during the week.  He said, “What you want to know is if I’m doing what I said I would do”.  I said yes, but that he was evading the specific question I wanted answered.  We danced around that for a minute or two — he said, “chuleta!!”  We laughed and he said that he was only smoking on weekends except for his hunting trip and 4/20.  That’s when we talked about my controlling nature and I reminded him to use “chuleta” because I needed the hint.  Before this conversation, which was in the kitchen after breakfast, I thanked him for doing the dishes earlier.  I’m remembering to appreciate the positive things he does to make our life better.

We have a lot on our plates these days.  He got a lovely call from the IRS — a legit call because they didn’t have our current address.  He’s being audited for a tax return I helped him with.  No bueno.  Add that meeting to our May To Do list.

We are talking about our careers.  He is thinking about adding a part-time job to his current consulting gig.  I’m thinking about the changes a 9-5 gig in a real office will do to me.  For the record, I think it would be positive even though the rebel in me wants to run around without a schedule.  I think structure is vastly needed in my life.

I saw a picture of me from when the Hunter first met me.  It made me sad.  I was 30 pounds lighter.  I need to figure out my health situation, make a plan and stick to the plan, but I’m hesitant to add that to my plate.  More walking and healthy choices shall have to suffice for now.

For now, the Hunter and I are a study of domestic focus.  We have a garage sale, a move, a rental clean-up and more ahead of us.  We snuggle and have the occasional morning fuck, but the wild flames that consumed us in beginning are now smoldering embers.  I’m OK with that right now, but I wonder if the Hunter is.  When his buddy joined us for the garage sale and we were sitting under a tree talking shit, I saw the Hunter’s eyes light up as his buddy talked about a bisexual conquest.  When I asked him later if he was jealous, he scoffed.  Do I believe him?  Maybe.  I should take him at his word, but I also think I could do more, but then don’t we women always think we should be doing more?

 

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CHULETA!! Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash

Lots of Changes

May will be a month of many changes.  Robin starts her new job, my son graduates from college and will begin preparations to leave for a year in Asia, the Hunter & I are moving, the Hunter’s birthday will be at the end of the month.  There is a lot going on, so let’s break it down:

Family:   My son’s graduation is bringing a flurry of family activities.  Taz and her hubby will spend the week prior on a beach vacay in the area, so I plan on spending a couple of lazy days with them with my toes in the sand. Then we have graduation with my parents flying in, the Ex, etc.  The Hunter isn’t joining us at graduation.  I’m OK with that — him in close quarters with my Ex for 48 hours is probably not a good idea plus I’ll be busy with my parents.  Anyway, the first week of May will be filled with family.  My son is figuring out if his Asian job is locked in before deferring his fancy post-graduate spot.  I’m so proud of my stealth achiever.  I will be chaperoning my elderly parents through the grad weekend, but I’m looking forward to seeing them.  My dad’s been sad due to his brother’s rapidly failing health — I’m praying I don’t need to add a long-distant funeral to my May activities.

Home:  We found a place to rent and I navigated the corporate paperwork of an institutionally-owned place successfully.  Now we are just waiting for HOA approval, but nobody anticipates issues.  The HOA doesn’t have weight restrictions on pets, the institutional landlord only wanted a promise of weight, not proof, so we are off to the races.  The new place is smaller, we reduced our monthly rent by over 20% and it’s more conveniently located.  We are close to parks including a large dog park and I’m excited about it.  We are having another garage sale so I can continue to jettison stuff.  This feels good and we are both happy about all of it.

Work:  Maggie & Co is chugging along and is generating unexpected revenue from unanticipated sources.  Robin will begin her new job in the first week of May and her church has offered her a part-time job on weekends.  She sat down with a financial planner to draw up a budget and a plan to get her back on track.  We are having a celebratory lunch this week.  I’m relieved but sad.  I’m sad to lose my sidekick and partner-in-crime, but relieved because now I have room to maneuver my job situation more freely and I’m not worried about her lack of income.   Robin is grateful because I found her the job and gently shoved her down the path of stability at a time where her only goal was to get through a single day.  She is a good person and deserves all the success and stability this job can give her.  In this new job, I think she’ll find Hubby #2 or at least a Sugar Daddy who will dote on her.

Job Search:  Slow.  I had a good informational interview with a former colleague.  I need to follow up with him with a resume and stuff, but I’ve procrastinated.  That tells me that I’m not too serious about pursuing this, so I’m trying to pause and give myself some time to reflect on why.  I’ll write another post about that.  My business coach (who I owe $$ to because my credit card keeps getting declined!) has referred me to a company who wants to expand into my neck of the woods.  They seem like good people with a good plan, but it doesn’t excite me.  I would be doing what I’m doing for someone else and the added pressure of reporting to others, recruiting more team members and rapidly building a business in a profession where my passion has waned.  I am trying to get an interview with another company who desperately needs my skill set, but they have just named a new CEO and are looking for a CFO, so perhaps they aren’t ready.  I sent my resume and clever (but not too clever) cover letter to the CEO hidden inside a congratulations card.  Let’s hope SHE appreciates the ingenuity.

As for me, I am embracing May as the month of change.  The Hunter has continued to hold up his end of changes.  I’ll write about that as well, but this post is way long enough for now.

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I’m Alone Now

The Hunter just took off in his beat-up pickup for a week-long hunting trip.  It could be shorter, but it won’t be longer.  He kissed me and the Kracken good-bye and hit the road for a long, long ride to his hunting lease.  That leaves me alone with the Kracken.

I know he was feeling a little guilty when he insisted on taking me grocery shopping so I had some food while he was gone.  Good — he should feel a bit guilty because I will state for the record that his hunting is a bit selfish.  Having said that I will also say that he tries hard to incorporate me into the plans.  He asked me to go with him the morning after I had my meltdown — no way, I simply cannot take off to the woods right now.

I mentioned to him during a morning walk that this arrangement leaves me stuck at home, so as he was leaving, he left me some money to put the Kracken in Doggy Daycare if I want to slip away for a few days.  I’ll think about it.  I was pleased that he immediately offered that up, but I doubt I’ll have time for that.

Robin got the dream job.  I had introduced her to a company that was perfect for her.  It’s locally owned and the company’s rockstar told me they were looking for someone.  I knew immediately that Robin would be perfect.  I put everyone together and Robin survived a 4-person interview, an afternoon shadowing the rockstar and yesterday they formally presented her with a written offer that exceeded her expectations.  She is beyond thrilled.  I am beyond thrilled for her also.  She needs the stability of income, health insurance, etc.  I had coached her that no matter what they offered to graciously thank them and tell them she would let them know within 24 hours. This will give her time to digest it all.  She also got her start date which is about 4 weeks away.

These two events leave me alone — in different ways and with different timing, but I’ll be alone.  I’ll miss Robin. She is a steady, dependable person who has always cheered me on and gave me the comfort of having the semblance of a team.  She is a dear friend. I’m hoping that the Hunter’s recent distance wasn’t a relapse, but his cabin-fever to get to the woods.  I’ll write some more about that later, but for now, I’ve got a very busy week remaining in front of me, so I have to get going…..

 

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Photo by Jean Gerber on Unsplash

Time to Move

Life is speeding along and my To Do list grows by the day.  The lease for this godforsaken house is up at the end of May.  Hallelujah!!  That means de-cluttering, packing and, oh yeah, finding a place to move to.

On the de-cluttering front, we had our first garage sale and netted a nifty $300.  We will be having another one in a couple of weeks which will include the furniture.  Thank goodness for Craigslist!  I am being ruthless.  If I haven’t used it in the past 12-18 months, then I am jettisoning the item.  I’m also getting rid of my sofa and loveseat — we aren’t crazy about them and they aren’t that comfy.  I’m hanging onto my dining room set for the moment because it was my grandmother’s and I’m not comfortable with saying good-bye to it.  The kids have expressed an interest in it, but won’t be able to take it for about a decade.  Yeah, a decade translates into forever but that’s OK.

I’ll slowly start packing over the next couple of weeks.  There are other things to get done as well, but I can start packing up non-essentials soon.  We saved the boxes from our move into the hellhole, so I’m hoping we don’t need much in the way of packing materials.

The most important aspect of all this is where the heck are we going to live?  The Kracken is definitely an obstacle to finding a place.  Nobody wants a large dog.  We put an offer into one place, but when the landlords saw an adorable picture of him (it actually made him look mid-sized), they said “nope”.  I’m being patient and not rolling my eyes every time we have to rule out a place over their pet policy.

The other thing that is affecting our move strategy is my job situation.  I am actively looking for a real job and it may involve moving to who knows where.  I want to stay in the state, but I might need to move 2-3-4 hours away for the right job.

The Hunter came up with a great idea this weekend.  Let’s toss everything into storage and move to the beach for the summer.  That will buy us 3-4 months of extra time for me to sort out my work situation.  We would squish into a furnished studio or one-bedroom place with the Kracken.  I’m thinking this will relieve our boredom either by being out and about all the time or by killing each other due to the close quarters.

I’m at a loss.  I’m applying to jobs online which we all know isn’t the best way to get a a decent job for my level, but I don’t have an “in” for these companies. I need to uncover some more recruiters and chat with them.   I had one informational meeting last week and have two set up for this week.  Last week’s was interesting.

I had coffee with the Godfather of my profession.  He is semi-retired, but he has coached/mentored hundreds.  I think that meeting triggered my breakdown last week.  I realized that dammit, I should have consulted with him YEARS ago.  We walked through my skill set and he shook his head at my predicament which is that I have to spend 80% of my time doing the things I hate the most.  That’s a recipe for disaster.  Godfather didn’t have specific people to direct me to, but he’s thinking about it.  We closed with me saying that the hardest, yet most important thing I must do is to tell the sharks in my tank (i.e. other professional colleagues) that I am looking for something else.  It’s scary, but the only way out of my situation is to chum the waters…

The Hunter is leaving for 5-7 days on a hunting trip.  I feel a distance from him.  I’m not sure where we are and we aren’t having sex.  I talked to him about it last week.  More to come on that front.  Hunter, if you are reading this, it shouldn’t surprise you.  Anyway, it’s Monday and it’s been OK.

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Me in a Nutshell

Today has been a bad day. I’ve spent the past hour sobbing out of aniexty, frustration, fear, anger — name a nasty emotion and it probably raced through my body. Throw in a sprinkle of jealousy and a heap of hopelessness. Sob.

This article is very interesting. I took this quiz

https://drmargaretrutherford.com/how-to-know-if-you-experience-perfectly-hidden-depression-a-questionnaire/

and was top of the class. My achievement for today.

My follow-up suggested reading is this article:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/panic-life/201603/3-steps-acknowledging-your-perfectly-hidden-depression

Let me lick my wounds and get some rest. I have to keep moving forward.

It’s Not My Imagination

As I have talked to other women of my generation, I am struck by the gender and age discrimination that we are facing.  At first I thought it was  anecdotal, but then I hit good old Google and found that there is scientific research confirming this bias.  Well, doesn’t that just suck?  So all you younger ladies gather round while good, ole Maggie rains on your parade.  Actually, I think it’s better that you hear about this now so you can plan accordingly.

First up, check out this article in the Harvard Business Review which cites a study by economists at the University of California at Irvine and Tulane University  that found “robust evidence of age discrimination in hiring against older women.” The data show that it is harder for older women to find jobs than it is for older men.

Then you have this article from Forbes.  My favorite is this article from Next Avenue because at least she gives you some tips on how to fight back.

I have fallen victim to the siren song of “Forget about corporate America and just go be an entrepreneur”,  Yeah, that’s not so easy either because how about this:  according to this video by Working Nation, 47% of the jobs we have today will be obsolete in the next 20 years.  I’ve already felt this and agree with much of what is in the video.  Fascinating and well-produced, by the way.

My conclusion:  I’m not imaging things.  No wonder my business development efforts have been difficult.  No wonder my job search will be long.  Now I have to whip myself into shape.  I’ve been to the optometrist to get my contact lens prescription updated.  Up next is the dentist.  Hair, check.  Next up — some serious weight loss steps.  I have my informational interview next week with my old colleague.  I found some other things to pursue. One step at a time…

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I better have another cup of coffee….. Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

 

 

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