2018-10-17 Rinse and Repeat

I might thrive on routine but I’m sort of sick of the current 45 I’m going round and round on.

I woke up twice last night, the first time was because I was so congested I could not breathe and the second time I hacked up my second lung. That’s right, I don’t have lungs anymore and the fact that I’m writing this without the ability to supply my body with oxygen is a goddamned miracle. Call the Pope, he needs to get his ass over here and verify this shit. 😜

Anyway, yeah, the second time I woke up it was about 6am and I literally coughed for half an hour. I never went back to sleep. I just got up and got dressed and got in my car and drove to wal-Mart. Better to go at 6:30AM when almost nobody is there and get a few things that have been accumulating on my list. I was home by 7:15, just in time to get the kids up for school.

The rest of the story is already written – morning routine, gym, work, chores, more work, kids come home from school, dinner, evening routine (which now thankfully includes talking to my love), and then to bed and sleep. That’s it. Rinse and repeat.

If I’m lucky I’ll still have energy in the afternoon and evening to work on school stuff. I now have a new deadline for my next packet and it’s a short 7 days away. I need to get my ass in gear and finish (cough-cough, start) writing some essays. If there’s anything that really needs to change, this is it. Me typing that feels like a broken record too. The big questions are how and when? Ugh.

If I’m struggling this much now, just think how it will be next year when I’m selling my house and moving?! 😱 I don’t want to think about that.

What I think I really need is a day off and to just go back to bed. I think I said that a couple of days ago. Nothing has changed. Well today it’s out of the question because I’ve got too much work to do. Again I’m all like “how and when”? Friday needs to get here. I may try and dedicate my whole weekend to sleep and school and sleep and school. Let’s try that 45 on for size? It would also be nice if I grew a new pair of lungs between now and then. Throw in some sinuses in good working order and two teenagers that magically decide to get along again. Now THAT would be the real miracle!! 😂

Time to move on to the next track in the rotation.

Pieces of Eight, Nine, and Ten,

~Miss SugarCookie

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2018-10-03 Killer Day

Talk about the perfect storm yesterday. PMS, high pressure job interview, production issues. I was in the eye of that mess almost all day yesterday and by the time it was almost over I had such a killer headache, I felt like I’d been rolled over by a Mack Truck. I simply could not wind-down to sleep my headache away, I medicated myself into sleep with Xanax and Excedrin. It was a good reminder of a time in my life when I had lots of days like that. No thank you.

Today is a brand new day. I woke up feeling great. The pressure is off on this new contract business for now and I started my period so there’s internal pressure off there too. Sure, now I’ve got cramps, but that’s far easier to deal with than the swell of hormones that sometimes makes me crazy.

I remember my mom talking about PMS when I was younger. She said that lots of people didn’t believe it was a real thing. I can only imagine those “people” were mostly men. If anyone were to challenge me today on the “real ness” of PMS, I would simply explain to them (after apologizing for punching them in the face), that swells of hormones can affect the brain in ways similar to any mood altering drug might. I can’t explain the science or connection between different receptors and elements inside the body, but it might be worth it to research a little more. I’d be interested what Wiki says about it. Hmmm. 🤔

The interview yesterday? I killed it! I haven’t talked to my boss yet but he was listening in and spoke to the hiring director after and he messaged me saying they “loved” me. Those are pretty strong words. The contract is for a .5 FTE for 12 months (or the duration of the project). I recognized even before hearing that for real that if I took this on, my other projects would have to be minimiluzed. Right now that’s not an issue because of the lull. My worry would be when things ramp up.

If I had to guess how this will play out, we’ll get this contract and that will ramp up quickly at the end of October. My work on my original contract will continue to consume 15 hours a week on average, my second contract will continue to average about 5. That right there adds up to full time. Anything more than 30 has been a problem so now I’m in a pinch. Doh!! 😮

There’s also an internal project which takes a nominal amount of effort and the other two projects that are on-hold are going to have to go. It should not be my problem to solve. If the agreement with the company is that I’ll work 30 a week, then it’s really up to them what makes the most sense, Where they need me most. That’s why I went ahead with the interview.

I did also tell my boss last week that if it went through, it would be my last big contract. We talked through the eventual ramp down of hours and nothing was set in stone, but he understands what my priorities are. I’ve got such a short time left with the kids at home and now have a life partner to consider, not to mention school. I’ll be moving next spring and planning a wedding. That’s a lot going on and I’m not going to short change myself with working too much.

Since yesterday was such a killer day at work, I’m taking it easy today. I’m back to my morning cardio routine after missing out yesterday. Then I’m meeting Jim and his business partner for lunch and then after that I’ve got a meeting with my financial advisor. I’ll be back home when the kids get out of school. Perfect!!

Oh, I also got the response for my second big assignment/packet of the semester from my mentor yesterday and am excited to dig into that too. That’s a lot of great stuff going on. As long as days like yesterday are few and far between, I can take it. It just can’t be the norm. Without further ado, it’s time to get to enjoying this glorious day.

We Be Jammin’,

~Miss SugarCookie

2018-09-28 Serious Friday Feels

Everything I was worried about yesterday went great. Every thing that got done made me feel lighter and lighter.

I made a space for my morning cardio which I did not think I was going to have time for. ✅

I got my lawn mowed. ✅

I had a difficult conversation with my boss. ✅

I hit up my OBGYN and had another minor procedure to boost my testosterone levels. ✅

I successfully ran another call with an important customer. ✅

I had a visit from the heating company I hired to investigate why my furnace is not coming on. It turns out that’s going to be a very expensive repair, but at least now I know. ✅

Jim and I had dinner together and more great conversation about my job situation and the future. ✅

I was able to log into my school website and access the mid-term form and though I haven’t tried to submit yet, I’m ready to pull the trigger. ✅

It’s all good stuff. I slept great last night and am feeling energized and ready to take on today… FRIDAY!

After I pull the trigger on the mid-term I’ll have the whole rest of the day to get hours into work. I’ve put in a serious minimum of hours this week so far and even if I put in 7 or 8 today, I probably won’t even break 20. 😱 However, it has been a more balanced week and what I originally signed up for. I’ve learned through the experience of the last few months that 30-35 hours is too many to not start sacrificing my family and school. How I ever worked 45+ is a serious mystery to me. But we all know how that turned out eventually so maybe it’s not THAT much of a mystery.

I told my boss yesterday (one of 3 bosses I have) that if I take this next contract the rest of my hours have to be reduced. I let him know that I was getting married and that I’m wanting to focus more of my time on family and school. The truth is, even with that reduction, I’m still considering taking a semester off just to focus on my personal life. I’ve only got this next year to get Z on track for college and we will also be moving which is a significant life change for us. My time in school is slipping away and I realized in the past month or so that I’m not getting out of it what I am paying into it. I want to change that. I don’t think that’s an excuse to put a pause on it but it might be. I’m not sure actually.

All I know is that I want to study more and write more and even take advantage of the alternate track for the program where you can take an actual on-campus class to satisfy some requirements. That appeals to me quite a bit. I dig the idea of having an actual class with assignments and a curriculum of topics to learn about. The MFA program that I’m in is fantastic in the way that it is structured, but the classroom experience feels like an element that is missing. I don’t think I would have time this spring to take advantage of additional classes but next fall I might. Lots to think about.

In any case, I’ll still be navigating my way through this time puzzle for a while. My thoughts still shift daily and I haven’t quite figured out how to make all the pieces fit. It might be an eternal work in progress. 🤷‍♀️ Who knows. All I know is that I feel great and am ready for whatever happens next.

Whose got two thumbs and is ready for Friday?! THIS GIRL!! 😊

Rolling in the Happy,

~Miss SugarCookie

2018-09-27 Lots Of 💩 Today

Sometimes I’m a chicken shit. It stands to reason because by dad is kind of a chicken shit too. Well, not kind of. He IS a chicken shit. Passive and at times passive aggressive. I would not say I’m passive aggressive, but when it comes to delivering bad news or telling someone no, I will often shy away, delay, and then not be able to find the right words.

Case in point, I haven’t yet told my boss that I’m turning down the next contract. This week my hand is being forced on it. I’m supposed to be interviewed by the client. It feels as though if I go through with that I’m sort of sending the message that I’m committed. Not sort of, it DOES send that message. See what I mean. Being wishie-washie with words is no bueno. I just need to be straight with my boss so he can proceed accordingly. Why is that so tough?

Jim and I talked about at length again last night and he gave me some good approaches to try and I just need to buck up and pull the trigger. That needs to happen today.

In other news, I spent almost my entire day yesterday finishing my 2nd packet for school. That’s done now and I’m turning my attention to the mid-term. Another goddamned form that I can’t open due to a technical issue. Use this browser and make sure you sign in using your school account and you can’t be signed Into anything else. I’m all like “hey, I love technology. Technology is my thing, technology pays my bills. I get these issues but c’mon!!, it’s a bunch of horse shit.”. Fix it! Either fix it or revert back to just using Word. I mean, what are they gaining by using a google form (that won’t work in chrome 🙄)? A few radial buttons? Hey, not rocket science, you can have check boxes in word too. I’m not saying we should not use the technology, I’m saying if we use it, it needs to be fixed. I’m paying a shit ton of money for this education and my time is at a premium right now. I don’t have spare time to deal with broken forms.

Yeah, this is clearly a hot button for me and if I’m this fired up about it after one rotten experience, just think how it’s going to be if this mid-term thing really goes south. I am going to try again later today so tomorrow I’ll either be ballistic or back to cool as a cucumber.

In other news, I’m getting a boost in the nut in my butt today. Apparently the dose they originally gave me was innedective (according to lab tests this week). No wonder I haven’t felt any different. No increase in energy or focus, no increase in libido. Nada. Ain’t that some shit? I’ll be really interested to see if the extra testosterone I’m getting today will be effective. What’s a girl to do?

That’s enough news for today. It’s all just fluff news anyway. You’d be better off watching the kavanaugh shit-show that’s going down right now. 😜

So There,

~Miss SugarCookie

2018-09-25 Failure is Not an Option

Today would be the perfect day to write something new about something that someone, anyone, would find valuable. Anything different and interesting would do, a cheeseburger revue, or an artistic opinion on some local issue. But I’m coming up empty. My mind is completely trained on a different objective…. poetry.

Well not poetry exactly, because the actual goal is a school assignment that has to do with writing some essay on some topic. Whoa.. that’s pretty broad. It’s like writing this blog every day. When I’m staring at that blank screen, it can be anything I want and go anywhere I want. I get to decide. So much power!! However writing official essays for school are never that simple. You know, there is a definite set of parameters which I’m required to remain inside the bounds of.

For example, if I turned in a revue of some local restaurant and their very average cheeseburger, that would not be acceptable. It’s got to be something related to what I’ve been learning and include references to poems or poets that I’ve been studying. This sesh is all about imagery and line and metaphor. I need to keep my eye on the prize but struggling with focus and connecting the dots.

The dictionary of poetic terms has a definition of metaphor that’s like 6 pages long. There’s enough there to think about and write about at length but then I need to pull in examples. Every time I dive into a set of poems my mind starts to wander off to other things and I’m not making good connections. They say that second semester is a good time to fail. They should never say that. It sets a person up with the notion that it’s ok to fail.

It’s like giving someone a new medication and telling them one of the side effects is sleeplessness. They might lie awake nights thinking about that, not sleeping, wondering if it’s the medication causing their sleep to fail. In actuality, it’s a total placebo effect. I’ve also heard people say that failing causes a person to learn and grow. All I can say about my history with failure is that I don’t like the way it makes me feel.

I’ve had failed relationships.. that sucks big time and it always causes lots of grief that lingers way too long. I’ve failed at work only a few times and that’s also rotten. The last time was at my last job when I was forced into a corner with the pile up of expectations and eventually had to throw my hands up in the air admitting I couldn’t do it. That left a nasty scar that I still get twitchy and itchy when I think about it. It really says something when 2 years passes and you still have enough anger about something that you want to punch someone (you know who) in the face (cough – lord Vader – cough).

Anyway, failing is definitely not my cup of tea. I’m going to have to bounce back this semester and really get above that high bar I have set for myself. If I’m going to do that I need to dedicate more time to the effort. That means less time for other things. Yeah, it always comes down to time. If this blog wasn’t so absolutely essential to my well being, I might sacrifice some of the time I spend in it. But I need something constant for my sanity and writing out my thoughts every day always, always makes me feel better. It always opens my mind to new thoughts. It always helps ground me while at the same time lifting me up. In 2014 I blogged every day as a part of my NYR and it often felt like a chore. Now here I am 4 years later and I’m not sure what I would do without it.

I could probably go on and on for hours and hours, but that’s not good either. I need to make positive progress today on these essays. It’s time to jam.

Thanks for Playing Along,

~Miss SugarCookie

2018-09-22 Weekly Wrap-Up

It’s Saturday and I’ve had a heck of a week and a healthy dose of reality check on multiple levels. Weights were lifted and new burdens took center stage in the SugarCookie world. Daily I remind myself that the future will be fantastic no matter what I choose. The best news ever is that now I have a partner in crime and talking through all of it with him is worth its weight in gold (or platinum or silver or diamonds or sapphires or Berkshire stock shares – whatever is worth the most).

I finally had closure with my ex. It was something that didn’t realize needed to happen, but now that it has, my heart feels lighter. I don’t have to think about what to do about future communication because there won’t be any. Despite my caring a little less these days about what people think of me, When it comes to people I care about, it’s etched into the fabric of my being. I received confirmation that his thoughts about me are positive despite regret felt from mistakes we both made. Relationships are complicated and it is the best possible outcome for us to have this closure from our five year love affair. Done.

On the Work front I got tangled in deep contemplation over the possibility of taking on yet another contract. I went back and forth and put weight on all the positives and negatives attached. I also had a long, wonderful conversation about it with my partner and I’ve now come to a conclusion about a decision on that as well.

I will spare you the details on my list of pros and cons but I will say it came down to basically two main factors.

1. The role is a project manager position and that is just not something I want to do anymore. When I was looking for jobs last year I probably would have taken a PM job but it’s not my first choice. I’d rather just be doing heads down Work behind the scenes. I found the perfect job for that, but it didn’t take them long to recognize I had the skills for that role and BAM, just like that I was pulled in. I’m now PM on two projects. As I go through my weeks, I’ve recognized those are the projects I don’t want to work on. That’s pretty telling. I hate being the main speaker/facilitator in meetings. Adding another one of those to the pile is not a good idea, even if it does negate my financial worries.

2. That leads to my second main point and where the conversation with Jim left me sure about my decision without a doubt. Income and financial responsibilities along with security in the number of hours I log always sit high in my mind. For the first time in my adult life I’m hourly and every hour matters. There’s been uncertainty with other projects and the hours that get spent. One week it’s on fire and the next it’s on hold. Two of my projects are now frozen until there’s a revenue stream. Ouch. However, my life is now in a state of transition too and it will be less than a year from now and I will no longer have a house payment. Last night at dinner I did some basic calculations about how many hours my house payment takes each month. The answer is about 50. That’s about one whole two week pay period (factoring in deductions for taxes and healthcare insurance). Short story, soon I won’t need that many hours. I’ll be able to work less and focus more on family and school. That’s brilliant!

Ok, that was more detail than I intended, but going over it one last time is super helpful to me. Thanks for playing along.

Anyway, so that’s out and the other good news from this week is that it looks like my kids’ dad’s new job is going to stick and he’s pulled the trigger on covering them on his work plan. That’s also going to save me about 15 hours of work a week once I can cancel them off my plan. Score!

Sorting all this work stuff out has taken attention away from my schoolwork. I’ll admit getting engaged and being on vacation have also been distractions but now I’m in a tight spot. My second packet was due .. well.. today as a matter of fact. What have I done? Zero. Ouch!

I contacted my mentor for an extension and have a new deadline. This is a very eye opening experience. I’m paying big money for this education and want to do as much as I can to take advantages of the time and resources I have being a part of this MFA program. Ignoring it or procrastinating past the point of reason is not the right thing to do. I have to turn this around. It has to start now. All the more reason to work less. What’s my goal again? Oh yeah, to be a writer. That’s the ticket,

This weekend I have to work on revising my previous poems and write two essays. I need to do a months worth of work in 1 week. My new deadline is one week from now. Not only that but midterm summaries are also due at the same time. Double – Ouch! Time to get rolling I guess.

First things first this morning though. Cardio and then a visit to Children’s hospital with my son for lab draws. We’re making a morning of it, QT with just him and I. That’s rare. After hitting the lab we are going to a coffee shop and taking a game with us. It will be a nice time. After that the afternoon is open. Should be a great Saturday.

Let’s Get the Party Started,

~Miss SugarCookie

2018-08-19 Crossing the Streams

When I said a week ago that the next two weeks were gonna be big, it was a statement largely guided by intuition and the knowledge that I’ve got a lot going on. It’s the confluence of all the fires of my life colliding into a massive pire. I’m either gonna walk out the other side, burnt to a crisp, my strawberry blonde waves smoldering on the top of a pile of ashes or ordained the newest Mother of Dragons, a crown of words stacked and trailing behind me, the most decorated woven wedding train that ever was.

My finely tuned spidey sense is tingling and the intensity of it grows bolder every day. I have inexactly four days left to submit my first packet of poetry and essays for review and criticism from my mentor. I set the bar high, reading books and trying to connect the dots to come up with something brilliant to showcase that I’ve actually learned a thing in the last month (when the last 3 days would be more accurate). In other words, I’m trying to pull something great out of my ass like that time hell froze over or maybe some pigs flew.

That makes me think about flying monkeys and the Oz somehow where I’m always the Wizard faking it behind the curtain but really quite a genius to have fooled everyone in some imaginary dream land for so long. I really wasn’t kidding when I wrote in my list of goals of the semester that I was trying to convince myself of r someone else that I wasn’t a fraud. The difference between last semester and this one is that Graham never made a comment about that goal and Teri urged me to take it out. That was my first clue that this semester was going to be very different.

Despite that, there are threads of the same color running between my experience, tying them together, weighing them down like a common denominator. The dominators of my personality.. high expectations and constant procrastinations.

So here I sit on the rainiest of rainy Sundays unable to complete the tasks at hand because all I want to do is write poetry. How ironic. I’ve already sacrificed, or more appropriately aborted about a dozen screaming babies begging for oxygen because, for the love of the universe, I need to write a critical essay about imagery. Hey does this blog post count? No.. I can’t work the crank and pull a few knobs behind my beautiful velvet curtain and turn that trick again. This time I have to authentically put in blood and sweat and push a different sort of beast out the birth canal.

Now I’ve retreated to the elliptical in the basement to try and force the faucet of sweat on. I’ve ingested my favorite drug of choice to inspire the kind of line of thinking that can get the job done (or rather started). Still, I’m having a hard time tearing myself away from the fire in my future to focus on now.

You can’t have confluence without equal streams of input. There’s Poetry now flowing like the Colorado river through the grand design of the mind of Natalie Diaz and there’s this beast of burden trying to get born. These two will not be bested by the clock ticking in my brain that is now reminding me hourly like a true born-again bell that “halfway day” is but a week away.

In seven short days, approximately 168 tolls, I will have traveled 45 times around the sun on this universally insignificant blue orb (shhh, let’s just keep that between us). I included it on a calendar list this past spring in an effort to plan for significant events happening this year. My darling daughter inquired (because she cares thank goodness), “halfway day?” And so I explained.

“I’ve taken pretty good care of myself for most of my life and I’ll likely live longer than my grandparents did and also all of yours (who are all in their 70s now and have already lived longer than their parents). By my estimation I’ll live to about 90. That means, my sweet pudding pie, when I’m 45 I’ll be halfway there.”

She frowned and furrowed her brow appropriately and replied “Gawd Mom”.

People choose to place significance on numbers that end in zero because our whole mathematical system is base-10 or, in other words, a decimal system. Incidentally machine language uses a base-2 system, or binary. Think of it, the entire compute capacity of the world is built on a pile of bits. Every last one of them a 1 or a 0. So what’s the significance of 45?

I guess I’m just a complicated girl in love with division, splitting that ultimate numerator in two. In hind site, it really was the logical thing to do. If Dorothy really was here, she would too.

I can’t settle on that note though, because bad things come in threes and these converging streams are no blood moon bad omen. They are a grand canyon of thoughts turned upside down and besides that there, are four. The last one is super hush-hush because I’m having a hard time trusting my instincts on it. Which means, that’s all I’m gonna say about it right now. Ask me sometime next week after I’ve successfully navigated my way through the crossing of the streams. If I get puffed up and blown to brown and white bits all over the city like Mr. Marshmallow, I’ll just shrug and say that “Egon Spengler made me do it”.

That’s enough for now. Time to go try dominate my denominators and pop another essay out of my twisted brain stem.

Is there an Anesthesiologist in the House?
~Miss SugarCookie