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

2017-06-26 A New Buzz in the Air

Today was an atypical Monday. My nephew is in town from Colorado and he’s about the same age as my son so we all spent the day together playing games and stuff. I had to drive back and forth to CB, IA twice to pick him up from my moms house and drop him off and that took about two hours out of my day too. It kind of felt like I had taken the day off of work because it was so different and special and I kept having to remind myself, I’m not on PTO. I’m unemployed.

With all that activity, I did not have much time to accomplish much else, but that’s OK because I have all week to figure out what to do and when. I’m not going to fib, it’s pretty amazing.

I think it will take me about a week to get into a rhythm of what my new schedule might be, but after that, I have a feeling I am going to be rocking and rolling on getting stuff done – with a heavy dose of reading and naps and hanging out at the pool.

All of this is sort of swirling in my brain but there is also a new development that is taking over some of my thoughts at this time, so I may as well dive in and expose it… I’m actively seeking someone to date.

It started about a week and a half ago when I finally took the advice of my friend Lance from Colorado and downloaded this new dating app, Bumble. I may have mentioned it in a previous post, but I don’t remember at the moment. It’s fairly simple and straightforward dating app with a bumblebee theme (because I guess you have to have a theme?). A persons profile is composed of a few pics, their age, occupations (optional), where they went to school (optional), and a 300 character bio (also optional). You provide some basic settings, like age range and distance from your location and it automatically pulls in the profile of other people to show you. Then you do the swipe right on someone you might be interested in. It’s that easy.

At first I was really gun-shy and didn’t want to swipe yes or no to anyone, but the only way to see more pics is to make a decision about the one that you are on. So one night I went through 30 or 40 pictures and ended up “swiping right” on a bunch.

The persons on the other end are doing the same thing, and then when you “like” a person who also “likes you” it’s a match and you can start a text conversation. With the rules of this app, only the girls can start the conversation, but then the guys have 24 hours to respond to that or the match goes away.

By about a week ago, I had twenty matches and had started 12 text conversations. I might have bit off more then I could chew, but once the initial back and forth was out of the way the time pressure was off and so the chat could just evolve organically.

Some of the conversations fizzled, some were by my choice and some by the choice of the person on the other end. Some folks I have had a regular back and forth with daily and even a few have asked if we could meet in person. So that is pretty much where I am at with it now. I’ve got a lot more to say about all of it, but really feel sleep taking me over now and it is late, so I am going to pick up here tomorrow.. because now I can. 😃

Sweet Dreams
~Miss SugarCookie

2017-06-25 Full of Life

Yesterday was so jam packed with stuff that I barely had a minute to figure out how to get to the next thing let alone capture the one that had just happened. I wanted to, though, because there were several things that just felt so profound and were very inspiring. I could try to do a rundown of all of it now but it probably would not do it justice. Sometimes when the moment has passed, it has passed and trying to recount it just isn’t the same.

Perhaps I just list it (now that the secret about my list making is out in the open) and see where things go from there…

– I woke up at 6 (after about 4.5 hours of sleep)
– Jazzercise at 8:30
– I worked in my yard and started cleaning out and organizing my shed.
– Stopped at 10:30 so I could clean up to go downtown.
– I arrived at Kaneko at 11:30 for a writing workshop. That was two hours.
– 2 PM I arrived back home and was just physically and mentally exhausted, so I took a nap
– Woke up around 3:30 and decided to finish what I started with the shed.
– 5:PM back inside to clean up again and drive to Benson.
– Met Sam at 6PM at 1912 for a drink on the rooftop patio.
– 7:30 We wander into the concert area.
– We basically chatted and drank until the show started around 10.
– 11:30 PM the concert ended and I went home and promptly fell asleep.

That was a pretty full day.

The two best parts were the workshop and hanging out with Sam (my now former co-worker) in Benson. The concert was OK. I really like the band Blue October but the album I was really into was from back in 2008 or 2009 or something and they only played two songs from that. The rest of the songs were newer and though they were somewhat familiar, and good, it wasn’t the same.

For me, going to a live music show is about being one with the music in it’s purest form. Letting that thing you are so familiar with flow through you. You sway and sing along. You jump-jump and sing along. You hold your hands up in the air and sing along. It’s just not as good when you can’t sing along. That’s my bad though, when I used to seek out concerts, I would emerge myself in all the music for weeks before, but this time I didn’t do that. Quite honestly I have not had time.. which is a result of all the other things in my life. It is something I intend to remedy. Unless I find something else, the next concert is in October, and of course now I will have plenty of time to “prepare”. 😃

Anyway, despite my slight disappointment with the concert, it was great because it gave Sam and I like four hours to talk about so much. We have not had much of an opportunity to catch up lately. She’s got a lot going on and of course we had my situations to hash over. I need to try and make a point to keep in touch with people that I’ve worked with. I really value the connections I have made and need to make an effort to not let them fade away just because I won’t be seeing them every week.

The most impactful thing that I experienced yesterday was during the writing workshop at Kaneko. I’ll have to spend a little more time on that topic later though, because it’s time to get ready to head out to Jazzercise now.

And so It Begins Again,
~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 – Part Two (The Talking Heads Edition)

Two blog posts in one day.. that has not happened in a long time. It must mean that too much is still too much and I’m having trouble handling it. I’m just winding down for the day and am laying in my bed thinking about this reality. I’m fighting the urge to go down to the kitchen and eat the one piece of strawberry pie I brought home from my dad’s house.

I don’t have my kids tonight and probably have too much time to think for my own good. This means that the door is open for questions.. which sort of feels like that one Talking Heads song. I’m about to have what feels like a “Once in a Lifetime” opportunity and I’m asking myself…

“Well”…“How did I get here?”

I’ve got a beautiful house
and a beautiful garden
and two beautiful children.
I’ve got so much but still feel lost and alone.
I had a good job and now I don’t.
I’ve seen a lot of wonderful things in my lifetime so far,
But so unsure about the future.

I’ve made choices I can’t ever undo.
I just have to go with the flow, You know
Like water flowing underground.

How do you continue to choose
when you can’t ever know
Where that choice will lead
Where that highway goes?

Will I forever be questioning
“Am I right? Am I wrong?”
And tomorrow I may be wondering
“My God! What have I done”?

***
Yup – that about sums up how I am feeling right now, or at least the only way I can articulate it.

I’m getting ready to turn in I guess.. see if I can actually sleep.

Until Tomorrow,
~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