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

Archive for June, 2019

Side Hustles

I have been thinking about side hustles.  If I can generate an extra $500 to $1,000 a month for the next 12-18 months, I will make sizable dent in my debt very quickly.  Here are my ideas:

  • Baby-sitting:  I was reading a memoir by Alyssa Mastromonaco “Who Thought This Was a Good Idea”.  Great book, by the way.  She was the Deputy Chief of Staff for Pres. Obama.  Anyway, she had a quick section about her experiences with her personal finance and she baby-sat in her early years in DC.   A bell went off in my head when I read that.  When I move, I’ll be in a large building in an urban setting so lots of potential customers for both baby-sitting and pet-sitting.  I could get paid to watch Netflix.  OK, OK, as a parent of two I know it’s more work than sitting on the couch, but hey, no overhead, no commute, cash plus I’ll meet neighbors.  It’s worth investigating when I get settled this Fall.  The going rates for baby & pet-sitting are between $15-$20/hour so I could hit my side hustle goals easily once I get rolling.
  • Content writing:  I did a lot of writing in my old profession plus I write here plus I still write some at the new job.  Why not take that damn journalism degree I have and put it to use with some content writing as a side hustle?  My old coach is interested as well as some former colleagues.  I met a graphic designer at my new job who does graphic design on the side as her hustle and she could help with that side of things if needed.  We had lunch and discussed this.  Very viable.  More to come on that.

I am reading the book, Meet the Frugalwoods.  Fascinating read about two Millennials who are frugal to the extreme.  She let her husband cut her hair for goodness sake.  I have limits and that is definitely crossing one of mine.  Anyway, she talked about bartering as part of her frugality.  She did it with her ultra-expensive yoga classes.  That got my mind spinning along those lines.  Very interesting.  More to come….

Do any of you have side hustles?  What are they, if you don’t mind sharing?  How much to do you earn monthly or annually?  Any insight is always appreciated!


Future client/victim?  Just my luck….  Photo by Arwan Sutanto on Unsplash

I Don’t Miss It

I don’t miss Maggie & Co.  I don’t miss leisurely mornings.  I don’t miss business development.  I don’t miss driving in Miami.  Miami is a crazy town and they don’t even realize how crazy they are.  Anyway — don’t miss it.

My new routine is that I get up at 5:30 am, dress in workout clothes a couple of times a week, drive to the gym by the office, work out for 30 minutes, shower at the gym and hit the office on time.  I am bringing breakfast from home those days and lunch almost every day.

I like going to the office, being around normal, nice people.  I don’t miss my old profession.  I have enough of the strategic thinking piece in this role that I stay sharp, but I’m also stretching and learning new things.  I like the ordinariness of my life.  Let’s hope it continues to be a great choice.  I think it will.  I feel like I’m making a difference already.  Yeah, me!!  Plus I like it.  I really, really like it.  Every day I feel blessed to have been chosen to join this company.  Lucky me.


Me & the Tax Lady

My deal has been struck with the infamous IRS. Third call was the charm and I have signed that dreaded Form 433-D which has been approved. I am out of collections.

One effective strategy I deployed in all this is one of infinite politeness with all IRS agents. Please, thank you and all the niceties. It helps. They tend to soften a bit when they realize I have nothing but good intentions to fix my mess. I make no excuses. I just suck it up.

Now I have entered the long slog of paying it all off. It was slightly lower than I thought. I can’t wait to get home to crunch the numbers on my spreadsheet. I have hope that at the end of the year Maggie & Co will have generated enough dollars to make a sizable dent. Plus I’m thinking about cashing in a whole life insurance policy and sell some jewelry I don’t like. Those two things would pay off the IRS AND a chunk of consumer debt.

But for now I can breathe that I have taken action and fixed my problem. It feels good. My reset of my life continues….

I Was Sick

Ugh, like the new kid at school, I caught a cold and was a snuffly, cranky mess for the week.

Colds run a predictable pattern with me:  days of sore throat followed by hacky cough.  Next is a crescendo of runny nose, sneezing and general germy  demeanor that halts people in their track from approaching me.  The cold fades with sneezing, some strong coughing and snot.  Lots of snot.

I’m cranky when I have a cold.  Leave me the f*#k alone.  The Hunter walks on egg shells because his natural inclination is to hover and cuddle and nurse.  I hate that.  Seriously, it could be anyone trying to do that and I’ll bite their head off.  Just hand me a Coke, some DayQuil or NightQuil depending on the time of day, a box of tissues and the remote.  Retreat.  By the end I’ll want food, but otherwise, do not acknowledge my existence.  Thank you.

The Hunter thought he was sexy and adorable telling me he can’t wait to get me in the sack and ravage me.  My nose is red and runny, I’m coughing/sneezing/blowing my nose. I’m exhausted from a week of commuting 2 hours round trip and a long day.   Really?  Sex is the last thing on my mind.  Snuggling is not an option.  Read my above statements.  Ugh.  Seriously?  I just want sleep, lots of sleep, and the remote.

I know I sound ungrateful, however, I think sick folks (meaning not seriously ill, just minor maladies) fall into two categories:  1) ignore me and 2) nurse me back to health.  I am the former and the Hunter is the latter.  I guess part of my problem is that I want to be ignored because my history involved having people that always wanted something from me, even when I was sick.  “What are you making for dinner?”  “Where is ____?”  “Can you take me here, there or yonder?”  “How long are you going to sit on the couch?”  Yeah, being sick in my previous life was not an option.

Now I revel in the glory that if I want to sit my ass on the couch all weekend to read books and watch movies, I can.  Add in a rainy day and you’ll lucky if I say four words.

Today I’m feeling human.  I’m about to jump in the shower and clean all my cold germs off me.  It’s a catch up day of paperwork for Maggie & Co plus my personal bills and what not.  It’s not sexy day.  I’m not feeling it.  I feel lucky to feel simply human right now.  Now, how do I reject him without hurting his feelings?  I have no idea, but I better think of something because he’ll be home in a few hours….


Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash


This week I received my first paycheck.  It’s the first steady paycheck I have received in over 15 years.  Quite the momentous occasion for me.  The revelation that I’ll get another one in two weeks is awesome.  I signed up for my benefits this week.  The cost, fully loaded with vision, dental, short and long-term disability, is about 60% – 70% less than what I currently pay for basic healthcare. Wow.

I continue to shake my head about the normalcy that has returned to my life. This company is filled with people who do the 9-5 with no overtime and no expectations of you staying late.  I am use to a world that if you walk out at closing time, people scoff that you are only working part-time.  This keeping normal hours is a revelation.

I had dinner with a dear GF from my old profession.  She and I have talked candidly about the financial problems we are facing.  She was always far more successful for me, but now she’s hit the skids.  For good reasons, but her financial instability is panic-inducing.  Balancing her arrears in her mortgage and other bills.  Getting a nice size check only to spend it on catching up on bills.  Facing a grim future.  I feel for her.

She was so incredibly happy for me.  She said it gives her hope that her future will shift soon also.

I am obnoxiously happy.  I am that obnoxious friend that is so incredibly blissful about life.  I continue to enjoy my job and figure out new things to do and people to meet.  I make a positive impact to the company’s bottom line every day.  I like everyone I have met.  Nothing but sunshine and rainbows over here.

Next week I am starting a couple of new habits.  I have been allowing myself the excuse of a long commute to not exercise or take my lunch.  Lunch excuses also involve using the social experience of lunching with colleagues to build relationships.  Time to curb the procrastination.

On Friday I bounced over to the nearby gym that has showers and opens early enough that I can go there before work.  My plan is to put on my exercise garb and drive to work where I will be forced to work out since I’m already dressed.  Even if I don’t do that, I can work out at lunch or after work.

I have to start moving my body.  Sitting/standing in an office all day with a 2-hour round trip commute is not helping my aging body.  It feels stiff, bloated and out of shape.  This weekend, I’ll put together my gym bag so I can get started Monday morning.

The other thing is lunch.  Let’s face it, I can’t afford $15/day for lunch.  That doesn’t fit with my new frugal strategy.

I am about to embark on an IRS repayment plan that will demand that I adhere to a tighter budget so I can get my ass out of debt.  Even though Maggie & Co. is still generating some $$ that will provide an emergency fund, monies to relocate and pay off debt, I’m still not out of the woods.  I still have to be smart.

The lingering clients of Maggie & Co. have some ups and downs that constantly remind me why I have fled this business.  I just got off the phone with one that makes me take a deep sigh and shake my head in frustration.  Yep, I made the right decision.

Now, let me do a little more Maggie & Co. work, some admin work for the Hunter and then I can put my gym bag together.  Busy, busy, busy in an obnoxiously happy way.  Life is good.  Thank you, dear Lord, Karma or whoever you are.  I am grateful each and every day.


Photo by Johen Redman on Unsplash





First Day of School, I mean Work

The first day at the new job felt much like the first day of school.  What do I wear?  Who will I be sitting with?  What about lunch?  Will they like me?  Will I like them?  I was definitely “nervously excited.”

The first day was great.  Actually the entire week was fantastic.  Orientation with a new guy from the Midwest, filled out some forms, got a tour of the HQ, lunch with my GF who got me the job (my boss wasn’t available, long story) and I ended it with a 2-hour conference call that was intended to get me up to speed on the various projects I will be thrown into.

The commute isn’t bad.  I have my new laptop and cell phone.  I closed out my week by completing all my video trainings, webinars and the like.  On Thursday afternoon, I shook myself and told myself, “SLOW DOWN”.  I had been feeling like I needed to produce volumes of work immediately.  That’s not the case.

Here’s the great news.  They need me, badly.  They have no idea what they don’t know.  Their current vendor has less than five years in my business.  I have over 20.  Already this week I have uncovered several errors he has made.  Interesting.  Do you hear that hammer?  It’s the nails in his coffin.  I am being very careful about how I’m handling these things.  She likes him, so I’m just collecting evidence for my case and keeping my opinions to myself.  I offer no opinions unless asked.

They have no forms, procedures, processes for what I do.  They have never had anyone in this roll.  I have already started trying to get a handle on things.  I’ve produced some spreadsheets and analyses — some that have been shared and some that are works in progress.  The vendor sent over two reports that were basically useless.  Pretty, but useless.  Much like him, come to think of it.

My boss is a very interesting woman.  She’s my age, incredibly fit and incredibly busy.  She choose the week I started to get some medical procedures done two mornings in a row, so that cut our time considerably.  I like her right now.  She’s loyal, politically savvy and knows the CEO and how his mind works.  She has ideas on what I should be doing, so I’m working on those as well.

There is another person in my department that wanted my job.  Eventually she’ll be reporting to me.  She has voiced her concerns twice to our boss.  Most recently was the week before I started.  The boss told me and asked me to spend some time shadowing said person to learn more about what she does.  Interesting.  I have my thoughts about this.  More to come as things evolve.

Overall — great week.  The entire organization moves quickly and efficiently.  If I ask for something, the response is immediate.  The workplace is clean, I mean sparkling clean.  My only regret is I get no natural light, but I can get up and walk around any time.  The commute hasn’t been an issue.

Week One I have already made positive impacts.  The Boss sent me a glowing email thanking me for my efforts so far.  Week Two I have my first out-of-office meeting.  Plus I will be running point on a very time-sensitive project.  Can’t wait to get my hands dirty.


Photo by Mesh on Unsplash

My Beach Read

My beach read for my recent trip was “The Naked Truth” by Leslie Morgan.  That damn bitch wrote my book.  Actually she wrote the Hollywood version of my book.

She’s doing the newly divorced 50ish woman re-discovering her sexuality with a flair that only privileged white women can do.  That’s my snarky side peeking out.

Leslie is a beautiful, fit, successful writer with two homes.  That hussy was living the dream — my dream — in her memoir.  OK, enough of my green-eyed monster.  Give me a minute and let me tuck my monster away….

OK, I’m back.  Leslie was right on point.  Her pain, her honesty, her humor but mostly her blinding candor made this book a great read for me.  It reminds me that women in our 50’s with an empty (or nearly empty) nest really need to spend some time discovering and uncovering ourselves (pun intended).

No spoilers.  If you have a chance to grab the book, you’ll spend some time with someone who automatically feels like a friend.  Here are some of my favorite quotes – no spoilers, I promise.

“I was crazy about men now the way Lyon had loved each of his high school hookups.  Including me.  Each of the men in my life was a chip of self-worth, helping me rebuild myself”

“Ever ask yourself what are you really looking for, honey?  Sometimes it seems like you’re willing to pay an awfully steep price in order to feel loved.  That’s what you always say about your first marriage — that the definition of an abuse victim is someone who pays too high a ransom in exchange for love.”    This one hit home for me.

Sara (this is her therapist) had warned me to be careful.  She cautioned that the first serious relationship following a divorce can be more intense than the marriage itself, because after a divorce, you are raw and broken and filled with hope that the next time, you’re going to find lasting love to make up for the love you lost.”  Damn, did that ring true.

“You know it sounds to me like Jake (her boyfriend) is your burn ointment.  Your sexual healing after years of Marty’s (her Ex) sabotage.  But that doesn’t mean he’s your soul mate.  Each man you date now is a building block for your self-esteem.  Not the foundation.  Don’t confuse the two.”  Damn, I need her therapist.  That woman is worth her weight in gold.

“Withholding emotion is a form of manipulation.”  Yeah, I may be guilty of this…

“Part of this journey was, obviously, that I had to learn and re-learn that the way I allowed men to treat me was up to me, and only me. I had to thread a particularly challenging needle:  to find validation from men in my life without completely giving myself over to them.”  Yep, still working on that.

“You grew up in an alcoholic home.  Fundamentally, this means that the people who loved you, who were supposed to take care of you, didn’t protect you.  It’s why you are so independent, and yet paradoxically susceptible to abuse and manipulation by those closest to you.”   This was a biggie for me.  My family wasn’t necessarily an alcoholic home, but it was dysfunctional.  Something to ponder further.

Anyway, buy Leslie’s book.  We divorced nymphomaniacs need to stick together.

Naked Truth

If Only They Knew…

I have to chuckle about being back in a normal work environment.  Nobody knows that in my previous life I was a shark, swimming around constantly looking for something to bite.  Now I am surrounded by women — I haven’t had that in decades.  Everybody is working towards the same common goals – how refreshing!  I haven’t had that in years.

This is a company run by mostly men.  There are some women in leadership, but it’s primarily the men who captain the ship.  The women I sit among are in administrative or HR roles.   My title includes the word “Manager”, and I am sitting in the C-Suite, but I have a cubicle.  I’m close to the action, but not in it.  That’s fine.

I met the Chief Strategy Officer on the first week.  My Boss had asked me to read the strategic plan (I’m geeky enough that I love that shit and immediately did so).  He strolled into her office while we were wrapping up a quick meeting.  She introduced him.  I complimented his strategic plan and quoted a couple of goals in it.  It surprised him.  My Boss was pleased that I had done my homework.  I made her look good.

The COO was talking to an admin about a new company and their goals.  I chimed in with some recent market information about them.  I wasn’t really butting in, I promise.  His eyebrows raised.  In a good way.  We chatted a bit more about the new company from both our perspectives.

I had coffee with my BFF over the weekend to debrief on the first week.  One of my concerns is being out of touch eventually.  She agreed and said I needed to make a concerted effort to stay in touch with industry news, etc.  We laughed about me now being in with a normal company filled with normal people.

I am meeting normal people and having lunch with them, chatting with them.  The social aspect is awesome for me. However, I smile because they haven’t had to hunt down their prey in order to survive.  They show up to their job, do it, go home, repeat and then get a paycheck every two weeks.  Amazing concept, but one I could get use to.

Anyway, I am sticking to my tactic of being a private person.  I don’t volunteer information about myself.  My humor is poking out all over the place.  Friday was the last day for one of the admins, she told my GF that I was a lot of fun to be around.  Excellent.  My plan is working…


Photo by Dose Media on Unsplash


Family, Recharge, Nature

I spent Memorial Day weekend at the beachside town I have been visiting with my family for over 28 years.  It was my first overnight visit in over 5 years.  My first post-divorce stay.

My Ex began coming back to this town about 1-2 years ago.  I was glad he did.  He has been visiting with his fiancee and our son.  It holds special memories for all of us.  To put it in perspective, this is where I have told my kids to sprinkle my ashes when I’m gone.

I was the third wheel with my girlfriend and her husband.  They had never vacationed here, so I was able to provide some tour guiding assistance.  I was careful not to be too pushy with my advice and let them suss out what they wanted to do.

I was so happy to drive up by myself.  I brought my bike and pedaled around a couple of times.  We hit some of my favorite spots for dinner, but not all of them.  They are low-key, so we didn’t hit the busy places or the bars.  I would have enjoyed an evening of live music and drinks, but that didn’t happen.

The weather was perfect.  Our beach house was ideal for the three of us and their dog.  I spent my days walking, biking — busy and I felt really good the entire trip.

This place brings back happy memories.  My Ex and I rarely fought here.  It was a place of peace.  As my blog title explains, this place has always been about Family, Recharging and Nature — the beach is breathtaking.  My drive up and back was relaxing.  I stopped at a waterfront restaurant and enjoyed an amazing view and a delicious meal.  My friends were chill and fun.  My room was cozy.

I spent a weekend completely at peace.  The Hunter fucked me silly before I left.  I wish I had taken my vibe, but that’s OK.  The walls might be a little too thin for that.  LOL.

The weekend was the perfect buffer between ending Maggie & Co. and starting my new job.  I had a full day at home to shop and cook before starting my new job.  I felt fully prepared and eager to get going.

As I sat on the beautiful beach, I prayed, “May God grace me yet again with the opportunity to correct my mistakes and begin again.” Then I enjoyed a walk down the beautiful beach.  I was already in heaven….

Beach Selfie

Beach Selfie

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