2017-08-11 Who Am I?

Today I dug a trench in my back yard and it’s almost ready for me to start doing the brick work. I also went for a bike ride and discovered where/how the Patio trail connects with the Keystone trail, so that 4th of July mystery has been solved. After that I took a nap and then went to Jazzercise which was closely followed by a walk at the high school track. It was a very full day indeed. Most of it, I spent alone.

Spending the day alone means lots of music in my ears and lots of thinking. I came to two conclusions…

The first is that I am really sick of the music on my phone and need some sort of introduction to something new. I don’t know if that means using a new app or something or just hanging out with different people who have different tastes.

The second is that it is sometimes difficult to define ones self. Who am I? If you take away my children, my job, my friends and family, and any ties to some partner in life, what am I left with? What do I like? As a person who is historically both a people pleaser and the most easy going/amiable to any plan, I’ve always gone with the flow. I’ve always done what other people have wanted me to do. When I am left alone, as I am now,  completely alone, who am I?

Today I chose a bike ride and some other exercise. I chose to work in my yard and ignore cleaning my house. I chose to write instead of read and I chose to be outside instead of inside. So is that who I am? What else is there? If someone were to ask me if there was anything in the world I could do what would it be? I don’t think I know. Does anyone know the answer to this for themselves? Does anyone really know who they are as a person or are we defined by our jobs and relationships?

I intend to find out who I am without my job, but I don’t want to separate myself from relationships because that’s my lifeline. That’s my safety net. As much as I feel over-burdened by my responsibilities to maintain my relationships sometimes, I would simply not know what to do without them. I would be lost and at risk of falling through without a net and potentially suffering some dire consequences.

OK, true confession time. It’s 9PM on a Friday and I’m all alone and getting ready for bed. I had two glasses of wine with my dinner of leftovers and am a little bit buzzed from that (yes, two glasses and that’s it). I’m about ready to go to bed for the night and tomorrow I am going to wake up and have all the same choices I had today. Will I chose the same things or try something new? Will I connect with people or remain alone for the day? Will I hang my hat on waiting for something to happen to me or will I go out and MAKE something happen. I don’t know. I don’t think I will know until tomorrow gets here and I’m right in the middle of it.

I guess if you really want to know, you will have to click back tomorrow and find out. Oh, now how is that for suspense? Haha!

Until Tomorrow. Gnight,
~Miss SugarCookie

2017-07-01 Welcome to the Second Half…

… of the year.

In January at my sisters wedding I was drunk texting my friend Rebecca in Austin and taking pictures of the reception. I remember thinking how beautiful my sister was in her dress and how happy everyone was and how much fun it was out on the dance floor. At that moment, there was a tight group of her and her friends just kind of clustered together in the middle of the floor and I don’t remember what song was playing but they were just singing and dancing. It made me happy. I sent that pic to Rebecca.

Even though I’d been drinking, I still remember her reply so well. She said she had a feeling this was going to be my year. She knows my ups and downs and how the last few years have been rough. 2015 was tough and 2016 was just miserable. At the time of that exchange I remember thinking “holy hell I hope you are right. I can’t take another year like that”. I also had this feeling that she was right. Some positivity nestled deep down inside of me that was just ready to bust out and explode all over the place. I wanted so badly for her to be right and for that feeling to be set free. I wanted it to happen and quick like a flip of a switch. But life isn’t like that.

No. Life is slow and methodical and often unpredictable. Through January and February and March and April, I continued to struggle. I’d make forward progress, but then find myself sitting alone thinking about all questions great and small and wondering why I still felt like I’d just made too many mistakes to course correct. I was stressed and always pressed for time and in the spare moments I did have, I would either make bad choices or not want to do anything at all. Maybe I was depressed, but was that also something inside of me or was it just situational?

Deciding to quit my job was obviously a big deal, and so far, I don’t regret it. I needed to break away from the stress that was causing me and have more time to focus on myself and the other aspects of my life. I was a little worried that after I was no longer employed, I would feel the same regret I felt after breaking up with Matt last year. I was worried that it would be another “big mistake” in my book of life. So far, I have not felt that at all. In fact, I still feel like it was the best thing I have done for myself in a very long time. I’m only one week into not working, but already, I feel so much better. Only time will tell if that will continue to ring true.

Yesterday I was at Home Depot looking at perennials and I ran into my friend Pedro. Well, he’s really Josh’s friend but we’ve hung out a few times and drank and played a board game so I think that qualifies for friend status. He, like Josh, does not have a traditional job. They do home construction work for people like roofing, concrete, basement finishing, etc. He’s pretty much redone this whole house he is working on from the inside out. I think it’s pretty awesome to have those type of skills. Anyway, he had his dog with him (which he takes everywhere) and so I was giving her some good scratches behind the ears while we chatted for a minute.

He said I looked great, or younger, or happy.. or something like that and that if I keep it up, I’m going to look like I’m in my 20s in no time. It made me feel good to get a compliment like that but it also made me think about how I was feeling in that moment. I was happy. I was picking out flowers and thinking about my garden and not worried about anything. It’s been a long time since I’ve felt like that.

Now I’ve also got some guys interested in me on this dating app and it feels good to have people actively wanting to chat. A girl could really get used to it.

Anyway, I’m six months into the year and finally feeling like things are starting to turn around. I’m all about instant gratification so the fact that it can’t all just magically change like the flip of a switch is frustrating. I guess I have to have a little faith and trust in the fact that it’s going in the right direction and that this can still be my year. I just need to be patient and keep doing the things that make me happy.

It’s Saturday now, and time to go figure out what the weekend list looks like.

Ciao,
~Miss SugarCookie

2017-06-28 Waking Up Unemployed

I woke up this morning at 6:22 after about 6.5 hours of sleep. It may take me a while to get used to sleeping in later than that, or I may never be able to sleep later than that which would be OK.

When I wake up at that time, I generally have some time to myself to think about what I want to think about and do what I want. During the school year it’s about an hour because I have to get the kids up and start everybody moving for the day, but in summer it’s a little longer since they sleep in.

This morning I’m thinking about waking up unemployed. Yesterday I made mention of it feeling like I was just on PTO for the day and though that is true, I also found myself really not thinking about work at all, which was just amazing.

I have one friend who recently quit his job and got a new one and he said it took him several weeks to sort of “let go” of the responsibility of everything he had going on at his previous employer. He said he would still wake up thinking about what might happen with customer “X” and feel like he needed to check in and make sure things were OK.

Perhaps it was because I was so busy entertaining the kids yesterday that I had very little thoughts of what was happening at the company, but it could also be that I was way past ready to let it go. I also had four weeks to try and wrap things up and make sure I left what I was currently working on in a good state, which I felt like I did OK with.

Of course there will always be issues and unexpected crisis to handle, but that is the nature of that job. My last week there I had a great conversation with the founder of the company and I admitted to feeling like the product had not made a lot of progress in the last couple years and he vehemently disagreed with me. He praised my effort and all that I had done for the company and the product in the past five years and that left me feeling a little better about how I was leaving things. That conversation may also have something to do with the fact that I’m resting easy, and not thinking about the past.

In any case, I felt like one last post about my previous employment was in order. I have no doubt things will continue to “carry on” just fine without me and that somehow everything will get done. I did dedicate the last five years of my life to that place which equates to over 10,000 hours.

The work I’ve worked hard at my entire professional career is the reason I have the ability right now, today, to wake up unemployed and not worried about the future. For the next “X” amount of time, I can just wake up and think about all the wonderful things I will be able to do each day. Today, that includes hanging out with my kids, cleaning and organizing my house, visiting my friend Amy, and going on a first date. Life is wonderful and I want to enjoy living it.

Cheers to Tuesday,
~Miss SugarCookie

2017-06-23 Now What?

Four weeks ago when I quit my job it felt scary, but wonderful. I felt as if a huge weight was lifted off me. All the technical debt of the past and all the piles of work in the future were suddenly not going to be my problem anymore. I had resolved to take some time for myself and just live, without the burden of work. That was four weeks ago.

Today I am waking up on the very first day I don’t have to go to work. It’s a Friday and would not have had to go into the office anyway, but it still feels strange that I’m not grabbing my phone to check for email (it was turned off already). It feels strange that I don’t need to call in to our morning meeting at 8:45am and let people know what I’m doing today. It feels strange that I can just continue to lie here in my bed and nobody will care.

My kids are not here today so it’s reeeaaally quiet. It’s almost 9 now and I’ve been awake and thinking about “stuff” for a while now. Mostly I’ve been thinking about what I’m going to do today but also about what I am going to do next week and the week after that. I have not really put a lot of thought into it, other than planning a vacation for the kids and I, but now I definitely have the time to think about it.

My friend Rebecca said to not “over plan” my time, which I completely agree with. I do, however, intend to accomplish a lot of things in the next few months and want to be smart about my time and not waste it. I don’t want to fall into a pattern of sleeping until 10AM and binge watching shows and then wake up three months from now with an empty bank account and nothing to show for it. That’s an extreme and not really me anyway, but I want to avoid anything resembling that. Which leads me to making lists.

I may or may not have mentioned lists before but I’m a consummate list maker. It’s how I get shit done. I decide early on what I want to accomplish and then I make a list. Whether it be a “weekend to-do” list or a “garden planning” list or just a simple grocery list, that is where I like to start, and after that, it’s just a matter of execution and crossing things off. So perhaps that is exactly where I should start with this new adventure.

Before that, however, it is 9AM and I need to get out of bed. Maybe a little caffeine and a little time on the elliptical will spark my inspiration for what should be on my list.

Later Gaters,
~Miss SugarCookie

2017-06-21 Still Too Much

Things have transitioned from “feeling better because the weight of the job stress is melting away” to “oh shit, I have two days left to finish some stuff”. It started at four, now three, now today, waking up at 5AM again, it’s two. TWO DAYS LEFT OF WORK.

Today I have to switch gears and really stop focusing on doing work and focus more on conversations giving work to other people. Well, one other person anyway – which will be too much too. Hopefully, the newer folks on the team will be picking some things up to help real soon.

Last night I took the kids to visit my Dad who I did not see on Father’s day. I don’t see him very often, maybe four or five times a year including Christmas. In fact, it’s mostly holidays, not that I would consider Father’s day a holiday. They were just getting home and had Godfathers pizza for dinner and I lifted a couple of slices of that since I had not eaten. My dad opened a bottle of my favorite wine (which I brought to Thanksgiving last November that apparently nobody wanted).  Later we shared a strawberry pie that I made  (my late Grandmother – his mom’s recipe). I finally told him I quit my job.

If there would be one person I would expect to get some grief from or at least be somewhat worried about my choices, it would be my dad. However, I presented it in such a way, there was nothing snarky or skeptical or judgmental someone could say. I painted a picture of 2016 and then went into more detail about my most recent experience in Phoenix and coming home to even more “drama”, with no time for rest in-between. I talked about working 3 weeks straight and not sleeping well and not having time for the kids. After all that, who in their right mind would question my choice. He didn’t.

Yesterday I felt a fair amount of anxiety over, well work primarily, but also just the idea that “stuff” was not getting done and I wanted something that I could point to and say “look, I finished that”. It didn’t happen. Not enough anyway. But talking about my woes with my Dad (and his Wife) made me feel better. I think talking to people in general makes me feel better, but I sometimes feel like it’s a one or two shot deal.

Last fall I talked to my mom multiple times about my situation with Matt and by the 3rd or 4th time she was suggesting counseling. I don’t typically want to burden other people with my heavy stuff, so when she said that, I knew she was 1). Genuinely concerned about my mental health but also 2). Tired already of hearing the same things again. After that, I stopped bringing it up. I never went to see a counselor, because that’s never worked for me before (and I’ve tried two or three times in my life).

With friends, I feel like I really do only have one shot. I tell my story, get their opinion, and then we never talk about it more. The story is ongoing, but honestly not a lot has changed in the last 6 months. What more can you say about it? Yes, I still feel like I made a mistake (several mistakes) last year. Yes, I still feel sick thinking about Matt dating some other girl. Yes, I still want to talk to him and have to resist texting. Yes, I still cry about it. Maybe not as often as I was six months ago, but the road to recovery is long and slow to travel.

I feel like people don’t want to hear my broken record of a sob story. This is why a blog is such a great idea. I can say the same thing day after day after day, and since nobody (not nobody) is reading, nobody (not nobody) will be bored out of their mind with it.

Just like the last few weeks when I probably have talked about quitting my job almost daily.. It does not matter because I can do that here and will not feel like a burden on anyone but those people who perhaps are choosing to silently, anonymously accompany me through it. If you are reading this right now, thanks for sticking with me.

It’s almost 6AM and really time to figure out what today looks like. Hopefully it will include me pointing at something and getting to say “look, I finished that” and that “Too Much” gets just a little smaller. Fingers crossed.

Time to Make the Doughnuts,
~Miss SugarCookie

2017-06-19 A Most Momentous Monday

I woke up at about 5:30 this morning after maybe 6.5 hours of sleep. I don’t feel super well rested and I don’t want to face this day. I really don’t think I am prepared. It’s my last Monday at my job. This is the last Monday and this is my last week. I’m going to pause and let that sink in for a minute…

…It is the last time I’m going to have to wake up on Monday and get ready to go to work (for several months anyway). That’s pretty huge.

Last Thursday when I left, I had a brief conversation with Doug, who I won’t see again at the office and a longer conversation with my boss, who I also won’t see again at the office.

I also spoke briefly with Brian and Angie as I was going out the door and taking one of my plants. I could barely speak and it’s OK, because what do you say anyway? As I got in my car and set the plant down on the floor mat on the passenger side, my eyes were filling with tears. I remember thinking if it feels this way now, what is it going to be like next week? Leaving the job was relatively easy, leaving the people is tough.

Now I’m rolling into my last week and still have a lot to do which I am grateful for because if I am busy working then I’m not going to have time to think about.. stuff. It’s the thinking about stuff that sometimes starts to get to me and it’s like eating Pringles or something, once you pop, you can’t stop. So I just need to keep my head down and focus on the tasks at hand. There will be time for reflection after.

I still have an hour and a half before I have to be to work. I’m wondering if I could squeeze some gym time in to take my mind off this most momentous Monday.

Time to Roll,
~Miss SugarCookie

2017-06-15 Mid Month Moodiness

The last few days have been a struggle again. My emotions at work ran high yesterday and I have about a week left and I can’t quite figure out why I was letting things get to me. I woke up at 5AM yesterday and 5AM again today and something is stuck spinning in my brain. That has to be the reason I have not been able to fall back asleep, like I have been doing so well these last few weeks. In fact, until yesterday, my sleep was nearing the 8 hour average mark.

Yesterday I was ultra focussed on a few work items and alleviated the immediate pressure by scheduling a meeting with one of our executives.. the founder of the company and the person I have historically most often been coached by these past 5 years. He was one of those folks who was really tough to face when I resigned, but now that a few weeks have passed, I’ll be able to have a conversation and keep my composure.

I want to talk to him about the future state of the company and more specifically, my area and the roadmap of my product. I’m being very possessive, but that’s what happens after five years in the driver’s seat. I’m in a very odd position with an internal struggle between holding on and letting go. I think this conversation will help me. That’s going to happen next Monday. My last Monday working for a while.

Then there’s the Matt aspect (if you can call a person an aspect). Another struggle to let go. I believe the best thing for me would be not to communicate at all, but I am compelled to. I don’t pretend to understand my own behavior. Even in the last week, I’ve teared up a couple of times thinking about “us”, and then spontaneously texted two days ago with a question. I was really just wanting to say “hi”, but came up with a reason, so it would not seem so random. I don’t know why I can’t just let go.

I went to a show with my Friend Amy last night and after we went to Lot 2 for food and drinks. We both had a kale salad and split a cheeseburger That was a place Matt and I used to go to and split a cheeseburger. It made me happy and sad at the same time. The cheeseburger was not as good as I remember.

It is mid week, mid month, and mid life and I have to figure out how to snap out of this funk. It’s 7:15AM now and I’m already tired and wanting to go back to sleep. I’m wanting to go back to sleep and now is the time I should be waking up. That’s messed up.

Back to Bed?
~Miss SugarCookie

P.S. Today I am grateful for having events to look forward to in my future.