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

Archive for the ‘Work’ Category

Adulting

This week was one of “getting shit done”.  I tackled packing up my son which involved a lot of sorting through stuff that has been in storage for the past year, creating an inventory of things he may need (lost in the break-up of his girlfriend) and then packing his car to capacity.

We actually had fun with all of the drudgery.  I coaxed him into saying good-bye to five garbage bags of old clothes.  We literally did the Marie Kondo method of “does this spark joy?” .  We were entertained.  He patiently tried on tons of clothes during the process.  We also had some shopping and a few miscellaneous errands, so the time went quickly.

He has already arrived in his new city and has hit the ground running.  He has a lot of “adulting” tasks to complete the next week, but his spirits and attitude are great, so he should be fine.

All of this sorting and packing for him has inspired me to get started on my own stuff.  Fortunately I have weeded out most of the superfluous except for the damn china and silverware.  Despite a huge purge for my last move, I still find things I won’t need or want, so a dreaded garage sale is in my near future.  I did tackle some administrative stuff like getting a new auto insurance quote, finding a cheaper cell phone plan, changing my renters insurance and adding a jewelry rider to it.  I have been quite productive.

I am still working on the Hunter’s big consulting project.  The client has been dragging their feet a bit about launching everything.  That’s actually good news for me because there is a ton of behind-the-scenes administrative work to do and I am about 75% complete.  I should be able to wrap it up soon.  He has another new potential consulting client that we are meeting next week.  My fingers are crossed on this one.

Work was a short week since I took two days off to hang out with my son.  That threw me off a bit, so the week ended before I knew it.  I learned some new technology out of sheer desperation.   I’m not familiar with Zoom meetings, so I coaxed one of the IT guys into giving me a tutorial.  He was laughing when I said that I needed more skills so I didn’t break out in a cold sweat whenever I had to lead one of these meetings.  He was a great teacher because later that day I successfully lead a meeting, shared my screen and multiple files with about 6 people.  That was a big win!

Nothing exciting to report.  I was a bit glum driving home on Friday because I have nothing fun planned.  Life isn’t full of adventure right now.  It’s just a huge re-positioning slog right now.  That’s OK, I am super-excited about my move and I know that by the end of the year I will be on a much better financial footing and I will have room in my life for more activities.  I miss being outside every day, so I can’t wait to get settled and be able to take a long walk every morning.  Commuting two hours every day has eliminated my walk time right now and I really miss it.  Now, let me step away from the computer…

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Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

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Self Awareness

I was listening to This American Life about David Dunning  and his work on cognitive bias.  Don’t fade on me yet, it is really interesting.  If you prefer to read about it, here’s a link to his Wikipedia entry on the topic.

Basically, his theory is that people think they are smarter than they really are.  People aren’t aware of their lack of ability.  They simply don’t have the self awareness necessary.  Fascinating.  The conversation on This American Life was really interesting because it tied into something I have been pondering for the past couple of weeks.

I sucked at my former profession.

Yes, my whole idea that I was great in my profession was wrong.  I wasn’t.  I’m not.  I’m average at best.  If I had not found this job, I would have gone down in flames.  Maggie & Co. has crumpled into dust.  I got out just in the nick of time.  If I hadn’t gotten this job, I would probably be lining up to sell my plasma or something like that.  Seriously.

I listen to my new vendor who has my previous role and he’s good.  Quite good.  Better than me in some ways and he’s friggin’ the age of my kids.  Good grief.

I thank my lucky stars that I have this job.  I focus on being a diligent, good employee and pray every day that my good fortunate with this company continues.  My boss was telling me how relieved she is to have me in this role.  It has freed her up so much.

However, I also have realized that my new boss is a political creature.  She will never be my friend.  I must always keep my private life just that — private.  She overshares but does it from a need for attention and validation.  I like her.  I think I understand her, but I will never fully trust her.  She doesn’t like to confront and wants everyone to like her.  Those types of bosses can be dangerous.  I just have to remember her likes and dislikes and act accordingly.  I too can be a political creature…

Anyway, I digress.  I have to keep in mind this cognitive bias concept.  Listen to the podcast.  It is fascinating.

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Photo by Pedro Dutra on Unsplash

I’m Boring

I haven’t been posting much because, quite honestly, I am boring.  Here’s my life right now:

  • Up at 6:00 (been hitting that old snooze button, so no more 5:30 awakening)
  • Leave the house by 7:00 which puts me at work right at 8:00
  • Work, work, work
  • I bring my lunch most days unless somebody else is buying.  Yep, I’m that cheap now.
  • Drive home for an hour.
  • Arrive tuckered out around 6:30 or 7, so I change clothes, wash my face and plop down.
  • Eat something, watch a little TV and try to climb into bed by 9:30.
  • Sleep at 10:00.
  • Repeat

My weekends aren’t any better.  The Hunter has won a big contract.  It’s really big, so he needs me for the admin work necessary to get it started.  I put in about 10-12 hours over the weekend trying to tame this behemoth.  I have another month or so of this.  Don’t worry, he’s paying me generously for my time.  I take those $$ and give them to the IRS.

I am not exercising — I know, this is not good.  I was getting up early to run/jog around the neighborhood a couple of laps, but 5:30 has been slipping away.  I need to re-start that.  It is so healthy for me in so many ways.

I joined a weight loss challenge at work.  I am pretty sure I will be the sucker that loses the $20 investment.  Meh, I need the competition and accountability I tell myself.

I am looking at some new places to live.  I haven’t found The One, but we haven’t seen that much yet.  It did feel me with a bit of angst that I will be so far away from the Hunter.  He is a security blanket, but I also still really want my freedom.  What a conundrum, but that is a post for another day.  For now, I’m just boring…..

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Photo by Hutomo Abrianto on Unsplash

Slooowww Down

I have been figuring out how to slow down and smell the roses at this new job.  Fortunately I have always been a very good self-starter because this job requires a high amount of that skill.  I just keep reminding myself that this is a marathon and not a sprint.

The other thing I keep reminding myself is that they hired me to be their in-house expert.  To that end, it is up to me to keep my knowledge and skills sharp.  I have been seeking out organizations that will help me with this.  My old professional organization is one.  I also attended meetings of two others that I discovered I prefer over the old one.

Also, I want to start writing here more, however, I have a strong rule that no personal stuff will be done on a work device.  I have a few financial spreadsheets on my work laptop, but I have been careful.  I worked for a Fortune 500 and know that every keystroke and download can be watched.  The head of IT is not someone I want to cross.  He has a clearly defined kingdom and while he gives off the air of the befuddled professor, he doesn’t fool me for  a minute.

Overall life is good.  My bank accounts are healthy.  Maggie & Co. is winding down but I anticipate several more substantial paydays from it.  I plan on hoarding those monies until I move and pay my 2018 taxes.  Then I can attack my debt with some sizable payments.

My realtor GF suggested that I try to lease my current place to perhaps avoid the 2-month termination penalty.  That might mitigate things, but I’m not sure how to go about it.  I could use her even though it isn’t her geographic area.  I think that just delays in the inevitable.

I have been thinking about cutting my housing budget down substantially.  This means I might not be able to live in the urban area I wanted, but that might be OK for my new frugal resolve.  I will be notifying my landlord probably around August 1st, so the clock is beginning to tick.  One of my perks with the new job is the low-cost prepaid legal service for minor matters.  I figure I’ll have them write the letter to my landlord so we get it right the first time.

I have a list of personal financial stuff to do.  Things like lower my renter’s insurance coverage, call my whole life insurance co and discuss options to lower my premium for a year or so, renew my auto tag, budget, budget, budget, QuickBooks for Maggie & Co, etc.  The good news is that none of this causes me anxiety any more.  A year ago I would have been frozen in fear and stress.  Now I shrug and get to work.

I find myself working over the weekend, some evenings.  I am BUSY.  Now if only my new job could keep me fully occupied.  I have finally confessed to my boss that I still have capacity for more work.  She’s been traveling almost constantly since I started, so once she returns we will discuss this further.  I like her and she needs help, so I may end up with things outside my expertise, but I’m a smart cookie and learning something new would be good for me.

It’s all good, thankfully…..

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Photo by Camilo Ayala on Unsplash

 

 

I’m Chugging Along

Life has been chugging along without any awful drama.  Work is great.  I’ve been there for 3 paydays and another one is coming up this Friday.  Some of my Maggie & Co. business has taken some wicked turns that would have left me gasping in panic if I had continued.  I thank my lucky stars, Karma, God, whatever you want to call it, every day.

I tried joining a gym to exercise in the morning before work and shower at the gym.  I hated the showering part, so I’m cutting my losses by cancelling the membership.  Instead I will just run around my neighborhood several times for 20+ minutes in the morning.  It’s dark, but my neighborhood is lit up like it’s daylight and I feel comfortable doing that.

The Hunter and I took an amazing road trip over July 4th.  It deserves its own post.  Suffice it to say, we had a fabulous time.

I want to write about how I am feeling about the pending move and all the upcoming changes.  It’s daunting.  Tomorrow I go to look at places in the new town for the first time.  I have someone from work helping me.  She is a realtor and does most of the company’s relocations.  She is super nice and I see our friendship continuing (hopefully) after this.

I have no complaints other than the drive is tiring.  Two hours of highway driving every day does wear me down, but at least traffic flows.  I am preparing for a very frugal life once I move.  The Hunter and I have struck a deal that will be my side hustle going forward.  He is winning a new piece of business that will be substantial.  I am so proud of him.

Anyway, I am alive.  I am fat and happy.  I figure the fat will solve itself once I get settled.  Both kids are doing great and my son returns from Asia in about four weeks.  I can’t wait to see him.  He will be packing up and heading off to grad school shortly upon his return, but at least we will once again be in the same time zone.

My oh my am I relieved that I have come out the other side?? Abso-fucking-lutely.  Now I have to help my BFF get there.  She is in her valley of despair.  Fortunately she says that I give her hope.

Anyway, let me get some rest.  My 5:30 am wake up and jog will be here before I know it.

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Photo by Pedro Lastra on Unsplash

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!

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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.

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