2018-12-14 Why Wait for the New Year

Years ago I adopted a tagline. It’s a philosophy I try to remind myself when life has me saying “I’ll get to that tomorrow”. That happens more often than I’d like to admit. Almost daily I catch myself convincing myself to “start tomorrow” or the beginning of next week or next month.

The tagline is a mantra I use to try and counter balance all that. It it .. “Today is a good day to start”. If I have an idea about something I want to try or do, why not start today? There are lots of obstacles, and there always will be. I have to ask myself if those are just excuses or are there legit blockers in my way.

Life is too short to wait. Tragedy can befall any of us at anytime and if we wait, we lose out. If you read this blog regularly you know I struggle with life balance. I have a lot of commitments and responsibilities. At times all that just overshadows the things I’ve wanted to pursue in my life. In the last year I’ve made some changes to start going more in the right direction.

People used to ask me what I do. You know, that social situation question when you meet new people. “What do you do?”. I always hated that question. You are defined by what you do and I always found myself gravitating toward explaining my job. After about 30 seconds, I realize that’s it. It’s what I do to make money that defined me and besides that fact, it’s extremely uninteresting for most people to listen to. I’m not bothered by the fact that it’s uninteresting.. it’s a means to one end, but it should not be the *only* end.

I haven’t really celebrated the success of being half way through getting my masters in writing. It’s hard to believe that this time last year I had not even started yet and was just getting ready to go to my first residency. Going back to school to pursue my personal passion was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. There were (and continue to be) lots of obstacles but I went for it.

I woke up one day and said to myself “what am I waiting for?”. That day was truly a good day to start. And it has been a great ride so far. Sometimes, however, when you are on a ride, you don’t have the best view to look at that and reflect on the impact. Those things come after.

Of course life is always crazy and I could never have predicted a year ago that I would meet such an amazing person and begin building a life together. I also could not have guessed what my employment situation would look like.

This time last year I had just started at a new company after taking 6 months off to reflect on my life. Now I’m on my second big contract and working more than I intended. The balancing act never ends. Sometimes I live day by day, being prepared for only one day at a time. That makes starting new things a challenge and it takes thought and specific intent/commitment.

That being said, I’m not waiting for January 1 to make resolutions. I’ve started already. I’m deciding to start now, putting more focus on the things that matter. My health, both mentally and physically, are at the top of that list.

I’m making better choices starting today (actually one of those started in November and the other one last week). I’m reducing my sugar intake. I’m not weighing myself. I’m going to make an appointment with the eye doctor today to get my eyes checked and another for a mammogram which I am overdue for. I’m going to contine to moderate my liquid intake (alcohol and coffee) and get back to basics where sleep and exercise are concerned. That starts today because..

Today isn’t just a good day to start – it’s a GREAT day to start!!

The Time is Now,

~Miss SugarCookie

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2018-12-07 It’s Party Time

I woke up in Nebraska today any it was great!! Last night was the start of my company holiday “retreat”. Everyone flew to California yesterday and the start of the party was last night. Wait.. what?

I woke up in my own bed and didn’t have to go to Cali because I already had commitments here at home and so I had to miss this one. It’s interesting that normally I would have jumped at the chance to head to nicer weather when everything here is covered in snow because it hasn’t gotten much above freezing in a week. But this time I was glad to skip it.

For one thing, avoiding flying is great.. especially if I would have to take 2 flights there and back in just a matter of a day or so. I mean, when you spend more time on the “getting there” part than actually being there, that stinks. Secondly, I was so over the San Fran Bay Area years ago. I’ve probably traveled there over half a dozen times and find it overrated. Perhaps if the retreat was Austin where my peeps are, that would be a different story. (Or Denver, or San Diego for that matter).

Instead, I’m enjoying my normal morning routine and looking forward to helping Jim with lady minute prep for a party at his house. He’s hosting his work holiday gathering. We’ve pretty much got everything set except the things you can only do the day of.

I’m seriously low on work hours this week, but not super worried about that. Things seem to be slowing down because of the holidays already and it makes me think that everyone is overworked and needs a break. The kids are over the semester, the teachers are equally ready for a break and the fast pace of life catches up to everyone eventually. I’m not trying to make excuses for my low productivity this week, but I am a big advocate of balance.

I worked 40 hours last week and last time I checked, that’s not part time. It was good, and the paycheck is great since I’m hourly, but having a low week this week feels like my answer to the balance equation. I have to focus my attention on other important things. Like my friends and family and children and fiancé. Not to mention myself. I’m going to enjoy this party today and this weekend with my sweetie.

We have a slate board in the kitchen where we put random quotes (in chalk). We change them up every couple of weeks and I’ve taken over finding the last few. Yesterday I changed it to this quote from Harley Davidson (probably more of a slogan than a quote since Harley Davidson is not a person)..

“When writing the story of your life, don’t let anyone else hold the pen.”

Yes!!

Here’s my addition to that..

Just keep writing! 😉

Cheers,

~Miss SugarCookie

2018-11-11 Any Given Sunday

Oh yeah, like today!! We started decorating for Christmas. We re-arranged the living room furniture. We made a space for a new tree – OUR tree. First we laid in bed until 10 and that was glorious. Then we had breakfast and cleaned and talked and went through the storage area. I was pleased to see there wasn’t an overwhelming amount of decor. That’s my biggest hang up lately.. having too much stuff. It looks like just the right amount actually and once Christmas is over, all my stuff will just get moved over here.

I’ve started already actually, just moving stuff. I’ve decided each time I go back and forth I’ll just bring more stuff. I’ve got a lot of sorting and tossing and decisions to make, but if I do it little bits at a time it will not be as overwhelming. That’s my thought process right now anyway. As for the rest of today.. Sunday.. Sunday funday.. we’re going to take it easy and enjoy what is left of the weekend.

There’s a part of me that has gone on for so long tracking my stats because I thought that as long as I was getting the right amount of sleep and exercise and eating right, i would be in the best possible position to lead a happy, healthy life. That was the whole point of this blog. To put enough thought into what I was going to do with each day so that I would never again go too far down the wrong path. That I would recognize sooner rather than later if something were going horribly wrong. Wrong like being in a dysfunctional marriage for 17 years. Wrong like spending five years is a relationship with the wrong person or too many months in a job that is too stressful or not leading to a better future. Checking myself daily and weekly has been absolutely essential to my road to recovery.

I think about what things might be like if I never met Jim. It’s tough at this point because our lives are so intertwined now but I’m sure if we never met I would still feel happier and healthier than I ever have. I would still be worried about my finances and work/life/school balance. I’d probably be more inclined to take a semester off of school because now I’ve bitten off more than I can chew where work is concerned. I would definitely be more engaged in work and excited about the potential of getting additional certifications for my career. I may have even considered putting school off until after my kids are graduated in order to balance everything out more.

As it is now, all of that has been accelerated by my meeting Jim. The thought of selling my house and not having that expense each month opens opportunities that were once years away. I can continue to work part time and continue my schooling. I can support my kids better as they transition to college and journey into adulthood. I can think about alternate jobs and careers which might be more aligned with my true calling in life. I’ve never had a supportive partner and it’s amazing how much of a difference it makes.

We do everything together and are great talking thorough everything. The future and every decision is being discussed. We weigh the pros and cons. That includes everything from what’s for dinner, to the timing and best approach to merging our households, to how to arrange the living room furniture si that there is a perfect spot for our new Christmas tree. Life is truly better when you are sharing it with someone who you love and you have each other’s best interest at heart.

I’m not going to stop keeping tabs on my stats, but it definitely feels less important now. Now that life is good, I don’t have as much of a need to track it so closely. I can see that my sleep is good. I can tell that my exercise has leveled out and that I still feel great. I can be mindful of my eating habits without obsessing about it too much. And THAT feels like the true “happy-healthy” that I’ve been striving for.

I’m hopeful that there will be many, many, many “Any Given Sundays” just like this one ahead. Less talk, and more action (or less talk, more relaxing 😉). To that end, it’s time to get off the treadmill and go chill.

Until Next Time,

~Miss SugarCookie

PS.. The Burger last night was good, that review will be coming soon to a blog near this one. 😉😉

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

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