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

Archive for December, 2018

4 Years Ago….

I can hardly believe that it’s been four years since the Hunter and I first began noticing each other which lead to dating and rapidly behind that living together.  Four years…  If you want to wander down memory lane, you can read about our first couple of dates in these posts:

I have been thinking of that because we just returned from a 4-night camping trip at the same spot.  It was lovely.  I relaxed and enjoyed it.  We biked, did a little hiking, had a couple of day trips.  We were busy but not too busy.  Our campsite was pleasant and the Kracken was fun to have around.  We got home before New Years Eve so the Hunter can shoot off his fireworks (big kid that he is).  I reminded him that our News Years fuckfest will need to happen before midnight because when we got all sexy last year at midnight, we kept getting interrupted by my kids.  He laughed and agreed.

I haven’t been working, but I have been thinking and planning.  Today I was spending some time thinking about 2018 accomplishments both personal and professional.  I had some good ones.  I’m actually doing better than I was in 2017 and I need to pat myself on the back for that.  Some of my highlights:

  • On the business side, I made good progress gaining new clients and keeping up on my business development stuff.  Better than I perhaps give myself credit for.
  • I transferred stuff to QuickBooks and got it up and running.
  • I didn’t borrow any $$ which was my plan at the beginning of the year.  Instead I cut expenses and managed my $$ better.  Not easy, definitely stressful, but less expensive.
  • On the personal side, I moved out of the previous place we hated and kicked the old landlord’s ass regarding our security deposit.  Thank goodness!!
  • I de-cluttered dramatically and it feels fantastic.
  • We got a housekeeper (thank you, Hunter!)

2019 is going to be the year of Enrichment.  I’ll write more about that later.  For now, Happy New Year and remember:  Sex either before or after the Magic Countdown Moment because otherwise you will be interrupted at the most inopportune time….

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Photo by Dan Whale on Unsplash

Protected: It’s Gone Forever

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Protected: This Time…..

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Easy, Cowgirl

On Monday at 8:37 am, my phone rang.  I hadn’t even stumbled out of bed due to horrible sleeping patterns that had emerged over the previous couple of days.  It was the Queen Bee of OppA.  I called her back pre-coffee because I didn’t want to wait too long and I was curious why I was the first order of business for her week.

Apparently my Friday call with the global head of operations was a resounding success and now they are very excited to have me join them.  That’s flattering.  I thought it was a good call also.

I always enjoy talking to folks who have been with an organization for 10+ years.  They have seen it all and have some serious survival skills.  Plus if you can get them talking, you learn a lot.  I got her talking, so I learned quite a bit about the organization both locally and globally from an insider.  Also, I have found that when having an informal “chat” that is suppose to be some type of interview or screening, it’s far better to get the other person gabbing because then they finish the call thinking, “that was great, I really enjoyed our conversation”.  Of course you did because you got to do all the talking!  Duh, I’ve had scads of training on this shit, so I just sit back and let them run.

Prior to the call with Ops, I had to take their “predictive analysis” and I aced it.  OK, OK, everyone always says there is no “right” answers, but they do look for certain types for certain roles, so I needed to be the right type for my role.  I was relieved because although I have taken a bunch of those as well, I wasn’t quite sure how I was going to show up on this one.  I’ve taken this specific one before, but before sitting down I called a GF who is an expert and actually administers them herself.  Her advice:  deep breath, quiet spot, take your time but never, ever try to game it because that will screw everything else.  She said, “Maggie, you are who you are and they are damn lucky to get you.  Just be yourself and the results will tell them who you are.”  Yep, she was right.

Back to Queen Bee’s early morning call.  She was prepping for a call with the CEO and other leadership later this week and I am on the agenda.  That’s flattering.  But she is racing to the assumption that I’m a done deal.  Easy, Cowgirl.  We are still dating and although I’m amenable to a  committed relationship, we still have a lot of things to discuss.  She was a bit surprised when I said I still had quite a few questions, but she asked me to send them over and she would get my answers.

This meant I needed to sit down and figure out where my gaps in information were.  Some of it was easy:  benefits, org chart stuff, meeting current staffers.  I asked for her to disclose the names of the other team coming on board.  She won’t do that yet, but she’s asking the CEO if she can.  Her response included this line, “you seem very congenial and I’m certain you would get along with anybody.”  Yeah, but just because I get along doesn’t mean this would be a good fit for me.

They want me start early in January.  Wow, the timeline certainly improved.  They have not provided me with any information on my compensation package.  Interesting.  Looks like I’ll have to ask for all the specifics.  In the meantime, I need to put together my numbers so I’m ready.  Plus I have a bunch of logistics to figure out in my segue way from Maggie & Co to OppA.

Last night I had drinks with a long-time girlfriend.  We met when we were both young moms in this crazy profession of ours.  We have always been close, but very few people have ever known how close.  She’s very close to the Queen Bee, which is funny because the QB has no idea.  She was helpful and she had some good insight.

One such insight:  apparently QB is annoying her closest GF’s by getting a bit big for her britches.  This happens all the time in my world.  You simply start believing your own BS and humility falls by the wayside. Another:  my GF told me that she was working with QB on a project and QB didn’t deliver as promised.  Uh oh.  That’s an integrity lapse which could have been caused by the aforementioned believing your own BS.  I’ve seen that spiral into more problems over time.

We also talked about QB’s relationships with current employees.  One is the young Prince.  QB once worked for the Prince’s dad and she is the godmother to his sister.  Yes, that incestuous.  Interesting because that close relationship will be a factor in how business is divvied up.  Let’s not kid ourselves.  The Prince is a rising star in the company and has national recognition.  He could also be suffering from the aforementioned BS believing/humility issues.  This is why meeting him beforehand is key.  Another interesting tidbit is a former colleague of QB is quite miserable in his current company.  He is very close to QB and my GF wondered if he might come over to QB.

My GF and I chatted about how in our world, people are always trying to recruit and everybody talks to everybody so you never know who’s serious and who’s just kicking the tires. I told her about the woman I met over drinks a couple of weeks ago who is also seeking a job in our crazy world.  She was sent my way by another GF, so we had an informal chat.  Two of her opportunities were with the same companies I’m talking to.  Sigh.  That just proves my point that everybody talks to everybody and nobody knows what is actually going on. BTW, I never told that woman that I’m talking to the same groups or talking to anybody at all.  She’s nice, but geez, I don’t know her that well…..

My GF said I need to pry and talk to the guy in the company who’s my buddy.  She’s right.  He has offered to help, so I need to take him up on it.  We chatted about my two guesses who the big Team is that they are recruiting.  She thought my guesses were spot on.  We also talked about who I should reach out to for a pulse read on QB’s recruiting efforts.  I have one spy poking around, but I need to approach the King of Confidences.  If I approach the King, then my secret has popped out and he can (and probably will) trade my information.  The question becomes will he have information valuable enough for this trade?

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Photo by Misael Nevarez on Unsplash

Where’s the Mojo?

It is hard to keep your mojo up and going.  Last week I had a migraine that lasted for days.  It would fade and then rebound, fade and rebound.  Miserable.  I haven’t slept well and have been staying up WAYYYY tooo late (2 am to 3 am anyone?).  I need to resolve this and I think the cure is exercise, which has been sadly lacking of late.

Work is winding down for the holidays but I still have things to get done before everybody shuts down.  Plus I need to make my 15 minutes of calls and today I haven’t picked up the phone yet.  I’m weighing the options of letting it go this week, then it would be next week and suddenly with the holidays I’ll be three weeks of no calls.  That’s not acceptable.  Dammit.  I have to pick up the damn phone at least through Wednesday this week.

Taz couldn’t make it down for the reunion weekend, so I felt a huge burden off my shoulders.  I have cyber shopped everyone’s gifts and I just need to return her too expensive present (unless I keep it for myself…..).  All my gift angst is resolved thankfully.

Then we have the Hunter in full holiday anxiety mode.  I woke up Friday morning with him packing his stuff and heading out to the woods.  I had my son to get off to his GF’s graduation and I wanted to enjoy the few hours we had that morning.  I couldn’t really download what was up with the Hunter.  Between my son and a very important conference call, I didn’t have time to really sit down to talk to him.

I had planned on joining him over the weekend but then the weather shifted.  I didn’t feel like driving 1-1/2 hours to camp in the rain.  I had a lovely marathon of Netflix, HBO and Amazon Prime instead.  The Hunter had his escape and I had mine.

He returned yesterday for NFL football and a few supplies.   I was at a girls Christmas brunch.   He left around noon today and won’t be back until possibly after Christmas.  He has asked me to join him.  We have more rain in the forecast, so I need to monitor that before confirming my arrival.  Another idea is for him to return, re-supply, leave his truck and we both take off on a road trip of unknown destinations.  I’m OK with that because I don’t have any better ideas for Christmas.

He is simply full of anxiety.  It oozes from him.  I don’t know what to do with him and my migraine wasn’t allowing me to do more than veg.  I think that in addition to holiday anxiety, he is anxious about his work or lack of work situation.  I asked him about his idea of getting a part-time job and he danced around that saying, “If the right job comes my way”.  All of a sudden he’s gone passive on that front which is never a good thing.  Sigh.

I love the man and want him to be happy, but we all know that happiness comes from within.  Hopefully the woods and the Kracken will work their magic on him.  I know he goes out there and gets high as a kite on beer & pot so he can numb himself.  It makes me sad that I can’t help him more.

Now I have to stop procrastinating and go make my 15 minutes of calls.  Then I have to go to my Ex’s for my son’s farewell gathering.  THAT will be something worth writing about!

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Photo by DR. Alexandru STAVRICĂ on Unsplash

Bah Humbug

Yesterday I planned to spend the whole day knocking out my Christmas shopping.  I put on a cute outfit, comfortable shoes with a small purse.  I was happily ready for action!  It ended up being a day of complete frustration and anxiety.  Good grief.  I usually enjoy it as much as it can be enjoyed.

First I went to a big department store known for coupons where I have a credit card with a zero balance.  “Ah ha!”,  I thought, “even though it’s not the best money management idea, I can do the bulk of my shopping here and pay it off in January when my sizable check arrives.”

The credit gods were not having it.  I bought a purse for Taz that was WAY too much money, mainly because the actual designer from London was there and we had a lovely chat, so how do you walk away?  I didn’t have it in me and beside the purse was cunningly beautiful.  At that moment, I thought, “hey, this is manageable, because I’m using my credit card.”  But then after 30 minutes, a manager, two calls to the credit department, more attempts than I can count, we all gave up in frustration, so I paid cash with a debit card.  Fuck, not on the plan.

I sat down in the mall and recalled that I have a credit card with actual ample credit available.  I called it to confirm via the automated system and yes, I’m right.  It’s fine.  So I reluctantly said, “OK, here’s my plan B.”

I left the mall and went to one that has more affordable stores, walked in to make a $20 purchase with said card and the credit gods said, “nope, not happening” and declined it.

Fuck, what is going on.  In the midst of this incredibly frustrating day, I have the Hunter calling and texting me from his hunting camp where he is sitting on the porch with the Kracken on a day filled with freezing rain.  Needless to say he’s bored.  I have my hands full both literally and figuratively, so I’m frustrated with all the communication.  He’s saying that he’s cancelling another hunting trip he’s been looking forward to so he can help more.  He’s offering all the money in his bank account.  He’s asking me to check the mail (that was before he realized how frazzled I was).

Don’t get me wrong.  I appreciate it all because I know it comes from a place of love.  I really do.  I’m just really frustrated with my situation.  It just really hurts that I basically have no money to buy gifts for loved ones.  OK, I do have money, but the gifts will be inconsequential this year.  Except for Taz’s purse.  I’m torn between keeping it and returning it.  It is beautiful and I saw nothing like it elsewhere.  I’m still thinking about it.

I decided that today I will wrap up any remaining shopping online.  That includes some citrus orders and the Hunter’s gift.  What a frustrating day, but I ended it my way.

I came home, made a beautiful dinner of grass-fed steak (previous purchase and I found it hidden in the freezer the day before), stir-fry veggies and brown rice.  Add in two glasses of wine and an entire container of gelato and I ate my anxiety.  Then I went upstairs and had a lovely soak complete with tooth whitening & facial mask.  At Target, I found a bath salt bomb called “F Bomb”.  Yep, just what I needed.

Add in some loving and understanding phone calls from the Hunter and I’m OK.  Not 100% happy and a bit anxious about how this will all work out, but I’m OK.

Truth be told, part of my anxiety is stemming from how our place will present to the kids this week.  I mean I’m a 54-year-old woman with no living room furniture — only a day bed and a chewed up chair with crappy cushions.  This is not going to play well with the kids, but whatever.  Plus the backyard which I really wanted to be a zen den is dirty and a bit messy.  Once again, not what I wanted to present to the kids.

Perhaps I need to lower my expectations, but I don’t want to freak out my kids.   Maybe they won’t be freaked out, but this isn’t the mom they grew up with and Taz at least has a nicer place than me right now.   I don’t know.  I just don’t have the answers right now.  It’s 8:30 am on a Sunday morning and I’m in my pj’s, no coffee yet, just a burning desire to get this written down so I can re-read it later.  I think coffee will help.  Coffee and a day outside so I can breathe.

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Photo by Dieter de Vroomen on Unsplash

I’m Broke

Today I am broke.  OK, I’m being melodramatic.  I still have about 30 days of money, but the end is fast approaching.  Now, the question becomes, will I get a nice chunk of change that will keep me going for about 3-4 months before I run out.  The invoice is out for payment, but we have the holidays.  Time will tell.  Hmm, I’ll check on it.

OK, I just sent the email to check on it.  30 days would put it right at Christmas.  The question becomes does the company want it in their 2018 budget or 2019….

Am I panicked?  Surprisingly, not really.  I have some accounts receivable for January that will buy me yet another 30 days, but the tax man cometh and I’m not ready.

Speaking of the tax man….I ran afoul of the IRS in a whole new way this year having to do with my retirement plan and that’s a $500 penalty plus another $75 for my retirement provider to prepare the necessary paperwork.  And I have to hope I get my mea culpa to the IRS before they knock on my door.  If they knock before I mea culpa, then it’s going to be a lot more than $500.  Just tack that on to my tax bill for 2017 and 2018, if you please.

In addition, there is the state department of revenue who is fining me for not filing a mid-year return on time.  That’s due to me and my accountant having some bad blood resulting in bad communication.  He fired the bookkeeper on my account (I think) after I came in crying.  He realized that she had not been handling my account correctly.  He and I have made up.  I thought I wrote a post on this, but I’m not seeing it.  I do like the CPA.  I get the sense that he feels sorry for my pathetic situation, but hey, I dug this hole, so I need to just start figuring out how to fill it.  That Dept of Revenue situation cost me the $100 plus $200 for him to write a letter pleading for forgiveness.  They denied forgiveness.  Of course, I can’t win with anything government related.  Running a company is tougher than I ever knew!!

Here’s the shit that folks really don’t know about running your own company:

  • Licensing — you have to pay your fees to just have the corporation.  Then add on any professional licenses.  That leads to…
  • Taxes – man, there are taxes everywhere you turn around.  I have payroll taxes, state taxes, now this retirement filing I need to do, personal and company taxes, 1099’s that have to be sent out to vendors, I’m sure I’m forgetting stuff.
  • Overhead – it’s really easy for it all to add up.  Health insurance (I’m lucky to have a decent plan), Godaddy grabs $$ for the website, email and more.  Annual software costs because everything is cloud-based.  Plus marketing stuff like ConstantContact, my phone, CRM, the list drones on and on…

No wonder my budget came in at about $40K and I still don’t have everything on it.  With that kind of overhead, I have to be a Great White Shark chomping on every opportunity that comes my way.

It sucks to be broke and at the holidays, but there is really nothing I can do.  Should I sell some jewelry I don’t like?  That will bring me about $5,000.  I hesitate because what if I need that $$ later on?  Should I go sell some plasma?  The Dave Ramsey FB groups I follow have tons of people who do that.  Nope, I’m not that frantic and besides, I need more than plasma brings.

One thing I have been doing is taking lots of business development actions.  Even though the holidays are fast approaching and my kids are coming to town next week.  I am focused on finding my next clients.  I just have to focus on taking action.  I was listening to Gretchen Rubin’s podcast today and she was quoting someone else, “Action is the best step to fight anxiety” or something like that.  She’s right.  I have to keep taking action.  Lots of action and hopefully that wards off lots of anxiety.

Now, I am off to a new book club group.  I haven’t finished the book (which I got for free from the library thank you very much) and I don’t care. It’s at a coffee shop rather than people’s homes and that suits me much better.  Let me go scrape up some change so I can get a cookie…..LOL.

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Photo by Raymond Hui on Unsplash

How About Some F*@king Gratitude?

Argh!  Where is my patience today?!  I have been testy all day.  The Hunter needed some logistical help with dropping off his truck at the mechanic and I snarled as I had to wait an extra 10 minutes.  I was testy when our walk got cut short, when I had to help him with some paperwork and THEN I was snippy when I lost a project.  It hasn’t been a day of rainbows and sparkles.  Poor guy, he’s walking on egg shells.

It could be worse.  I need to think about how lucky I am for all that I have.  My father didn’t kill himself the day before Thanksgiving like a former coworker is dealing with.  She’s a wonderful person and her relationship with her dad was fraught, but my heart goes out to her.  He was in his 80’s.

My day is much better than another person who I found out killed herself several years ago.  She was a very talented vendor, but during the recession she was laid off, then her husband divorced her and I guess it was just all too much for her.  I only found out about this last week.  My heart ached for her.  The last time I saw her was when I was out with a friend at a super trendy restaurant.  We were trying to weasel our way in and the maitre d’ wasn’t having it.  Then I saw her and she was with a girlfriend.  Her girlfriend pulled the right strings and 5 minutes later we had the best seat in the house.  They loved having our company and a splendid time was had by all.  I am happy that was my last memory of her, but also sad that it is the last one.

My day is better than the client I met last week who had several cars stolen from their parking lot.  His car was one of them.

My day is better than many, many other people.  I need to remember this.  Now, let me go give the Hunter a hug and tell him I love him.  I am grateful that he’s in my life.  I have to remember that.

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Photo by gabrielle cole on Unsplash

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