2017-08-12 Looking Forward

It’s good to have a plan. It’s good to have things to look forward to. An event or a meet up or a vacation in the future that you can think about and be excited about. I’m a planner by nature and I love having things to look forward to. That’s probably why I am always planning to meet people for lunches or daydreaming and scheming about my next road trip or vacation. From the moment Hawaii was a done deal, it has been a topic of discussion with people and a wonderful thing to be excited about. That happens in November and I bought those tickets last spring, so I will have enjoyed looking forward to that for like 6 months.

One thing that was great about my job was that it paid enough to support my travel habit. There are so many places I want to see and so many things that I want to do that as soon as I get back from one, I’m almost immediately thinking about what is next. The downside to the job thing is, well, only three weeks of paid vacation a year. Bummer. I’m also a fan of the long weekend, you know take a Friday and maybe even Monday too and take off for a road trip. I think my PTO balance at work was often hovering around zero. Whatever job I elect to have next, I would like more time off. Four weeks is not unheard of but five would be the bomb. That’s probably stretching it some.

I originally planned to take three months off of work. Well, three months where I was just going to get some serious R and R and not think about work at all and then potentially another three months looking for the “right” job. For the most part being off work has been great, but now that I am almost halfway through my first three and about a month past my big Pacific Northwest adventure, I am really starting to want to plan some more things with the time I have left.

I’m supposed to do a quick trip with my friend Denise to Beatrice to witness the Solar Eclipse on the 21st, but that will likely be a one day trip. The one day trip I took to that crappy water park in Grand Island was more of a spur of the moment thing and not super awesome. I need something more substantial. Yesterday I had texts with both my friend Rebecca in Austin and my Mom about potential trips.

It looks like we (my mom, the kids, and I) will be going to visit my brother in Colorado in October over the four day Columbus day weekend. That’s so far away still. I may be going to Austin mid September too. That will probably be decided here in the next couple of days. Rebecca also wants to plan a girls trip sometime in October or November so that will likely be awesome too. Then we are leading right into that first week of November when I will be on the island of Maui. So that’s all very excellent.

I’ve also been thinking I would like to get back to the Badlands this year. I love that place so much. That is one of the benefits of being in a relationship .. you have someone to experience things with. I don’t much mind traveling solo, but when you get to where you are going, eating all your meals and seeing cool things by yourself is just not the same. You see the most amazing sunrise and you look to your left and your right and don’t have anyone to say “wow, how cool is that” to. That’s a bummer. Still, it would be nice to get back there before my time runs out.

For the next few weeks I need to focus on getting the kids back to school and potentially doing a little soul searching about my future. That’s another kind of “looking forward” that I’ve intended for this time in my life. I should capitalize on that opportunity while I’m at home and waking up each and every wonderful day with the luxury of doing whatever it is I feel like.

I guess it’s time to do that now. I wonder what this day will bring.

Always Looking,
~Miss SugarCookie

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2017-07-19 Finally Home

It’s not like the journey took us a long time, but arriving at midnight makes it seem that way. I had less sleep last night than the four or five previous days and immediately started unpacking and doing laundry as soon as I was up.

I’ve kind of been just going through the motions today, nothing too intense. I needed to get the kids back to their dad’s today and that was my number one priority. After that, I was free to do whatever and just tried to get back into my normal routine. Well, as normal as I can since I don’t have a job to return to. You know what the absolute best part is about coming back home from vacation when you don’t have a job? No mountain of email. No phone calls to return. No fires to put out. No backlog of requests from sales for time estimates. No angry customers or projects that have fallen behind or software issues that can’t be solved. It’s truly just magical.

This is the very reason I knew a simple vacation would not solve my problem or my woes. I know vacations can be stressful at times and with the kids along, it was often WORK to keep everyone happy and fed and not on the brink of meltdown, so jumping right from that kind of trip into the continuous adventure that actual work can sometimes be is not rejuvenating at all. However, sleeping in tomorrow and deciding what I would like to do with my day tomorrow when tomorrow arrives is bliss. That is the point. That is what I desperately needed and that is what I am taking for myself. It’s about time.

Right now I am listening to music and texting some people via Bumble off and on. I finished unpacking and the last of the laundry is in the dryer. It is nearing 10PM Omaha time (which is midnight on the West Coast), and it is the latest I have been awake in days. I may not have it in me to accomplish much more tonight. Perhaps a few pages of the new book I have been reading, but we shall see if I can even get to that.

Happy to Be Home,
~Miss SugarCookie

2017-07-18 PNW Day 8: Headed Home

I ended up driving back to Portland last night with every intention of just returning the rental car and staying at a hotel near the airport and taking the shuttle when it was time to go. Instead, when we arrived, I thought maybe since our flight does not leave until later in the afternoon, I might try and squeeze in one more sight-seeing “thing” before being done. Checkout is at 11 and our flight does not leave until 4PM so we do have a few hours to do something.

The trouble with that is that NONE of us wants to do anything. We could barely get ourselves to breakfast this morning. When I asked Z what she wanted to do, she just said “Stay at the hotel until we have to go to the airport”. I’m kinda right there with her.

I thought about going to lunch somewhere and then Salt and Straw for ice cream but the thought of finding parking and waiting in lines just makes me cringe a little bit. Add to that that wherever we go, it will not mean a damn thing to the kids because they will not appreciate it. Don’t get me wrong, my children appreciate things but to them, there is no difference between ice cream at Salt and Straw and ice cream from Goodrich back home (or Dairy Queen because they prefer the soft serve).

The only other place I can think to take them is Powell’s City of Books. I’ve been before, when I was in Portland in 2016, and while massive and quite impressive, it really did not seem like the type of place to actually find a book. I mean, you find yourself amidst a mass of people (like everywhere in this city), and trying to narrow in on one book is a challenge. To get to the section you want to go to is kind of fun, winding around corridors and up stairs, but in the end, if you find one you just have to wait in another line for purchase. I think the only reason why we would go is so they can say they went and now that I am thinking about it, is that a reason to do anything?

I’m probably just being negative because I want to go home and see my kitten. I know the kids are missing her too. They are grumpy and getting on each other’s nerves (and mine too) and 8 full days together without a lot of “alone” time for anyone is a long time.

Right now, it’s really just past 9 and breakfast is done and we have about 5 hours before needing to return the rental car. I think I will go google other places or things to do.

Tick-Tock,
~Miss SugarCookie

2017-01-19 Puzzle Pieces

What I’ve got to describe in order to form a complete picture of my life right now is a series of puzzle pieces. Each individual aspect of my life right now is segmented and has it’s own complexities and deserves some consideration when trying to make the complete picture make sense. It’s going to take some thought and evaluation to recognize that the edge of one piece that has this slash of red across it fits next to this other one over here that’s mostly blue, but the hint of a red dot on the right side. Maybe none of it fits together. Maybe that’s my problem. Maybe the problem is that there are just too many damn pieces. Maybe the problems are all in my head. I don’t know.

I’ve admittedly been in a deep and profound place for several cycles of the moon now and have not done a ton of writing about it since November. I was sure that my trip to Mexico would be just the thing I need to bounce back. After all, I’m just a girl with a broken heart right? Just a girl with a broken life right? No big deal because it’s just one life on a planet who’s seen billions come and go. Quite literally billions. My life is but a spec in the vastness of time and space anyway so what’s the deal being so dramatic about it??!

But being on vacation in a tropical location was not the fix I was looking for. If anything, it was more of an eye-opener. It made me face the fact that my problems are more real, and serious than I would liked to have admitted. It also forced me realize that I need to be the one to actively seek the changes required to solve my problems. No other person or event is going to make that happen.

I’ve got a high-stress job and I’m a single parent with joint custody of my children. I’m no longer in a relationship, as of 2016 with lingering loose ends that have never been tied up. I’m struggling with the other relationships in my life and I struggle with what I am doing with my life and what I should be doing. I want to be healthy and that feels like a key first step to making all the other pieces fall into place. I hope so, but again, I just don’t know.