2018-10-16 Remember That?

Hey, do you remember back in 2016 when my life was going to shit and I was in a serious downward spiral that landed me in a very dark place? No? Oh that’s right, I wasn’t blogging publicly then yet.

Well during that time I experienced a phenomenon which was like relationship max-out. I basically told my story and lamented to just about everyone close to me and did that so much that my own mom basically said “you need to get over this”, and then suggested I go see a counselor or therapist or something. I was a sad song stuck on repeat.

I started to feel very isolated because of that. Like I had used up all my friendships and could not go back to the well for more support. Well, the truth is that I don’t have that many close friends. I felt like I was being a burden on people and a serious downer if i continued to lament and complain. As if people would stop wanting to listen if all I did was talk about my uncontrollable crying fits. It was seriously rotten.

I think the only person who didn’t seem to mind hearing me go on and on about things was Joshua. His life is a broken record too so he was open to hearing my tune go on and on for months. He was my closest friend that year and I’ll be forever grateful for that outlet no matter how potentially dysfunctional it was.

I go back and forth on whether dysfunctional is too harsh a word. The history with him and the dynamics of our relationship are atypical. He was an instigating Force in my divorce. He repeated that with Matt and I let it happen. I welcomed it. I both loved and hated him for what had happened. I blamed him and I blamed myself. Now that it’s all over and in the past, I can accept the lions share of that blame. I can see just how messed up his life is and how he may never get out of his own cycle of madness.

I’ve recovered and my life is now better than it has ever been. He and I have very little contact and the “power” he once had over me has dissolved into nothing. He’s found another girl to replace me here locally and also keeps embers smoldering with his long distance fling in STL. I don’t think he’ll ever break out of his pattens, but I hope I’m wrong. I do wish he would find what he’s truly looking for like I have.

What was my point again? Oh yeah, the feelings I’ve had about “using up” all the people in my life and feeling all alone in my sorrow. I don’t wish that on anyone. Everyone needs someone they can lean on continuously. I think that’s one of the benefits of being in a long term relationship. You always have that person, no matter what. That’s one of the things I didn’t have with my marriage. Neither one of us were that for each other. And then what happens when they are the person causing you the most grief. That’s when you know it’s all wrong.

I’m so grateful for having found Jim. He’s the kindest, most supportive and understanding person I have ever met. Literally.

I’ve now been sick for 8 days and today is day 3 of antibiotics. Last night I took a ton of drugs for my symptoms and slept for about 9 hours. It wasn’t 9 hours straight.. it was cut in the middle by a coughing spell so bad I thought I was going to hack up a lung. I couldn’t even lay back down after that. I basically propped myself up and tried to fall asleep in that position.

This morning I woke up at 7 with the alarm and realized that my life doesn’t care I’m sick. It Doesn’t want me to rest and recover. I still have to get the kids up and to school. I still have to address the fact that my star student is suffering in her grades this year and is stressed to the max. I have to deal with my ass-hat ex-husband who continues to do shit he knows pushes my buttons. I still have to get my hours in at work and my bosses don’t care I’m sick. I still have only 5 days to put together my next packet for school which, outside of writing some really shitty new poetry, I have done nothing for. Ugh!! 😑

What was my point again? Oh yeah, the feeling like a burden constantly complaining about something. Apparently I don’t have the same problem writing about the same things over and over. I’m sure it’s not something someone wants to read over and over, but whatever. The good news is that now I’ve got Jim too and he’s been supportive as ever. Not just in the last week of being sick but each thing I’ve struggled with. The stress of work, the BS with my ex, the needing to tune out the world to get the school stuff done. He’s been a great listener and offered some good advice. He’s been understanding when I was short on time and sacrificing our time together to catch up. I could not ask for a better partner. I’m one lucky girl. 🍀

In 2016 I was so desperate and alone and could not imagine ever feeling happy again. Now it’s 2018 and I can’t imagine ever feeling desperate and alone again. I have to remember that the future is unpredictable and whatever you can’t imagine, can come to pass. For that reason, you have to enjoy each and every day for what it is… a gift (even if you are sick and tired).

Feeling Grateful,

~Miss SugarCookie

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2018-10-12 Fighting Through to Get those Friday Feels

I’m still sick and just decided that instead of continuing to feel sorry for myself, I’m just going to try and fight through it. I woke from another sub-par night of sleep with my nasal passages completely blocked and a terrible headache. I hit that shit with pain meds and an extra dose of caffeine. I did the mom thing, getting the kids to school and hit the gym to get some kick-ass cardio.

In truth, I’m on the road to recovery. Being upright I’m not as congested and my throat is scratchy and my voice sounds an octive too low but at Lear that doesn’t hurt like it did a few days ago. It’s just the rotten sleep that’s a serious bummer. I had been considering calling today a total sick day and just not doing anything (work related), but the reality is that I can take it easy and just do a little of this and that and not push too hard. I don’t have any crappy meetings today so that helps tremendously.

In the past week I’ve had several conversations with my bosses and I think I’m finally getting through to them with my points about too many projects and being over-allocated on time. I’ve been here before. It’s not my first rodeo with this situation. It may not be a problem this week, but the future looks precarious and we can’t predict the timing of when everything will start to move quickly. It’s not necessarily about the possible avalanche of work that may or may not happen. It’s about living with the perception that it’s about to happen. That “unknown” is just as detrimental to a planner like me than the reality of how things may all work out ok.

The good news is that they have the right attitude about it. Their take was very accommodating, I proposed that these 30 hours that I work should be spent however they need me most, but that they need to determine what that looks like. That was me drawing a serious line in the sand with regards to the number. I’d love to dial back to 25 but I can’t right now with the health insurance requirement that I stay “close” to full time. I mean, I’m already pushing that envelope with all my time off for vacation and school.

They countered my proposal by saying that they know people are most productive doing things they enjoy and asked me to prioritize my current tasks by personal preference. They asked what I WANT to be doing. I was completely open. No holding back. I don’t like the PM stuff. I don’t mind being the person doing the organization and documentation behind the scenes, but I don’t like being the front person, the person doing the talking. That’s my social anxiety rearing it’s ugly head but it’s the truth. They asked and I gotta be true to who I am. I’m so over “pushing” myself to be something so counter to who I am, at least at work. Especially if they are giving me an option.

I know they mean what they say because they have already worked out how and when they can roll me off two projects where I’m the acting PM. That alone makes me feel so much better about the future, but it also shows me they are committed to making their employees happy. That’s tough to find. I mean, I’m filling in where they needed me and now they are growing and have the ability to hire people better suited for specific roles. That’s awesome!! It’s a win-win-win. It doesn’t necessarily solve my time puzzle, but it certainly helps.

I still have to figure out how to spend more time on School AND navigate the year to come moving and getting married and keeping my kids on the right track. I’ve got a few ideas about how to best do all that too and I’m confident It’s all going to work out just fine.

Why is it that whenever I have extra caffeine things always seem so positive? I mean, I’m in a great mood now compared to this time yesterday despite still having the same amount of work and responsibility and deadlines. And despite the rotten sleep and still being sick. I suppose the fact that it’s finally Friday and I get to spend the whole weekend with my Love helps. We have nothing we “have” to do which is great. It’s wide open for whatever we want. 😍

I might even be able to spend a descent amount of time on reading and writing. How novel!! 😜 Time to hit it and git it!

Peace Out,

~Miss SugarCookie

2018-09-30 Sunday Status Last Chance

It’s the last day of September and my last chance to squeeze in a Sunday Status. And oh what a week/month I’ve had. For a new twist on an old idea, I thought I might look at stats for the week and month, just to see if I’m trending in the right direction.

Sleep.. Probably a no-brainer as my sleep this past week at Jim’s has been consistent and great. 7 hours and 34 minutes a night on average, start across the board, exceeding my goal of 7 hours. I think 7.5 is the sweet spot. I’d like to keep it right there. This is compared to the 7 hours and 4 minutes I got on average for the entire month of September. Trending up. 👍🏻❤️ ✅

Exercise and steps.. 8,756 average steps this week which is terrible. I’m trending down from the 11K average for the month, 11.8K for 3 months, and 14.1 K for this year this far. This downward trend is evidence I don’t have the kind of time (or motivation) to put in the work. It hasn’t affected my weight much, still living large with that extra 5-10 pounds of happy relationship weight, not able to shed that and also not terribly motivated for that either. That’s probably healthy given my history and challenges with self image and weight. That leads right to the next category, healthy Eating, which is not being tracked by my trusty FitBit.

Food.. This week was a week of indulgences, last week was more of a restricted week. It’s a tide that changes week to week based on where I’m living. If I’m at Jim’s, then I’m more likely to have more nightly glasses of wine and sweet treats. It’s tougher to nail down trending because I have no stats but gut instinct to go on. Weight is a terrible measure because too many variables are involved. It’s affected by monthly cycles, water retention, and stress levels. Healthy Eating becomes a balancing act. Have enough to enjoy life and not so much that it becomes a problem. Why are all the tastiest things bad for you?? (More on this later, but that’s enough for this Sunday Status).

School.. This was more of a focus this week as I was behind the 8 ball with packet 2 and the Mid-term due. Both got sent off this week and I’m feeling OK about it. Not great. There’s a scratch needing itched in the back of my brain about letting the time tick away and procrastinating doing this thing I love until the last minute. That’s a problem that needs solved. I blame Work and am taking steps to correct.

Work.. I only worked 16 hours this week which is only half of what I need. That’s a consequence of both School and being at Jim’s house. In theory, I could work the entire time he’s at work but somehow all sorts of things besides school kept me from doing that. 🤷‍♀️

I told my boss this week I need to reduce my hours. It was an OK conversation. Not great.

Relationship.. Engaged and loving it. We had a fabulous week this week. I finally told my dad and brother and a few other folks so last night we decide to post the status change to the much loathed social media giant, FB. 80 people have reacted so far. If nothing else, it’s an effective way to communicate something to all the peripheral people in your life. You know, people you went to high school with and haven’t talked to in 10 years, or your neighbor from three neighborhoods ago. Whatever. 🤷‍♀️

It’s been a great week. I’m looking forward to many more weeks in the future like this one. Many more months in the future like this one. And years, yeah, that would be fantastic. ❤️👍🏻✅

Signing Off for September 2018,

~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

2018-09-22 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

2018-09-07 Life is Just Rolling Dice

First things first.. I met my friend Vis for lunch yesterday and he paid so I owe him. As a person who is terrible at remembering these things, I need to keep better track. What’s a better way to do that than write it down in a place where I’m already keeping track of like 10 other things. I’m pretty sure FitBit is never gonna add that to their App so this is it. Writing things down always helps me remember anyway. That’s why I’m always taking notes. My retention rate increases by probably 70% if I write it. Seeing things does not help me as much. I’m not a visual learner.

Anyway, lunch was great! I’m grateful. It’s fascinating to talk to people and get their perspectives on the world (and things more relevant and closer to home). It’s not lost on me that this relationship I’m in has moved fast. The question is whether you can really know a person until you’re all the way out of the new relationship phase. How long is that? According to Vis, 18 months. According to Amy, you should be with someone two whole years to get a sense of how each season, month, and holiday turns out.

I know someone who was married after like 2 weeks and they’ve been married over 25 years. I know someone who dated for 6 years and then got married. Within a year they were already separating and on their way to divorce. My first go at 19 years old was like 8 months but half of that was apart because he joined the Air Force. Regardless of how that turned out, it lasted 17 years and I have 2 amazing children. Not so bad.

My point is, there are no rules and no right way. You just gotta trust your instincts and my instincts on this are solid. It’s kinda like rolling dice… all so random anyway. You can’t predict a full house or a strait. You can’t keep 3, 4, 5, and 6 and then expect to get a 2. You just can’t. You have to just go for it.

Anyway, aside from another lunch today with my bestie Barbie, I’ve got a full workday and gotta really try today to get stuff done. It seems like nobody even cares I’m on vacation next week. They are in denial and still loaded up the sprint with a full set of story points. Whatever. They are gonna have trouble getting ahold of me when I’m south of the border. My phone won’t work there and I’m not taking my laptop. I’m planning on being drunk and unplugged.

I had a nice primer last night. I started with a glass of wine at dinner and just kept going. The kids and I had a nice time and Z and I had great talks. C was not as engaged in the conversation. I hung out and Z baked cookies and we did some trampolining outside for a hot minute. Then we played dice party which is a game on an app we downloaded a few weeks ago that’s like Yahtzee. It’s a nice thing to do while talking.. dice rolls are random of course and she won once and then I won and then we were done (that’s how it goes you know). By 8pm I had had 3 glasses of wine which is about my limit these days and called it a night.

At that point I was too tired to do anything else and just laid in my bed taking to Jim until sleep started to threaten the conversation. It was a good day. Then I’m all like .. Wake up- rinse- repeat! Life is good.

How good? It’s like Rolling 5 sixes on your third try… Yahtzee!

~Miss SugarCookie

2018-08-28 Triple 8s

The same number at the end of the month/day/year. That doesn’t happen every day! Three times this year actually. I guess it’s ok then that my day has totally already gone sideways.

I’m about 1.5 hours behind schedule due to a cat that didn’t cooperate and also my kids calling at 8:45 from their dads house that their alarm clocks not going off. Whoops. That means I dropped everything to drive to his house and take them to school. I don’t know if he’s home and sleeping or working or out of town. It doesn’t matter, this can’t become a regular thing.

On top of that overnight my peeps in Cali are busy dreaming up more work for me. It’s all necessary work but it’s coming to me cuz they are also currently maxed out. That’s why we need to hire more people. We already have an open spot for a full time dev, but hiring that person will not provide any relief for the tasks I’m responsible for. That’s all PM, documentation, requirements development, QA (and whatever else they think I’m capable of handling). I’m keeping my mouth shut about my qualifications to modify code and write SQL, that would end badly for me.

I’m already sacrificing time for school, relationships, and parenting. I should have enough time but somehow I don’t. It doesn’t help that my brain is useless after like 7PM. Stupid work. Whatever.

In light of my current time crunch I need to cut and run now. See, I’m sacrificing my steps and cardio too. That’s just crazy talk!! 😜 It’s a good thing that days like this only happen three times a year.

9AM and Already Exhausted,

~Miss SugarCookie