Sunday, October 9, 2011

Jailhouse blues

So my dad’s in jail, minimum security, nothing too serious.  The bigger problem is that for most of his life, my dad has stayed roughly at the maturity level of a 20 year old, letting his mother and sisters take care of the majority of his responsibilities, financial and otherwise.

When I was younger, I would come to visit my dad, but I mostly stayed with my aunts and cousins, seeing my dad for an hour here and there.  I was 25 before spending a night in the same house as my dad.  Almost 5 years ago, he had an accident, and was in the hospital for 6 weeks, and that was when our real relationship started.  We are now at a point where we accept each other as is, no judgement. 

So now here we are, he’s in jail, my aunts are in charge of his money, and they are deciding how much and when he gets any.  Needless to say, he is frustrated, and since I am the only one who goes to visit him, I am stuck between them.  My aunts complaining about how he keeps calling them for money, his money, but they don’t like how he is spending it, so they refuse.  I see them, they complain about him and how he lives his life, but they continue to enable him.  I see him, he complains about them and how they judge him and won’t help (read enable) him enough, but he is the one who keeps putting them in charge of anything.

It’s gotten to the point that I don’t even want to visit them while he is still in jail, simply because I am sick of everyone complaining but not doing anything to change the situation, and that is something I have zero patience for. 

Shit happens, life isn’t fair, and there is nothing to be gained to wallow in self pity or complaining.  I’m not saying I never complain, we all do, but I don’t just sit around waiting for things to change, I take action.  The action I take doesn’t always work, but I keep trying things until I find something that does.  As long as someone is trying to make a situation better, I am there and will do everything to help, but when people just keep going around and around in the same cycle, and the only thing they do is complain, I just get frustrated.

This has been a very emotionally two months, and there is still a whole other one left.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

A Tale of Two Job Offers

As I mentioned in my previous post, just when I was starting to think about looking for a new job, 2 were offered to me in the same week

The first job is a jack of all trades kind of job. I would have one central job, but would help out in a whole bunch of other departments and places as needed.  So far the job I stayed the longest at was structured this way, and part of what I loved about it was that just when I was starting to get bored, I would be on a new project.  The pay was not as good as where I am now, but it would be in the same city, saving money and time on commuting.  I liked the boss, and the future co-workers, but I remembered all the reasons why I had left the last job I had structured that way, having an unpredictable schedule, lots of overtime, and the pay never changes.

The other is a project management job, a much more stable and structured job, focused entirely on administration.  My first thought was that it might be boring, always doing the same things, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that it is probably exactly what I want in my life right now.  I spent my 20s mostly in a perpetual state of chaos, not all bad chaos, but still chaos.  My jobs were all highly unstable, project or contract based, which meant that there was never a certainty that I would have work in six months.  This had its good side, it allowed me to try out a lot of different jobs, industries and skills, and was generally very flexible, perfect for an adult in training who still doesn’t know what she wants to be when she grows up.  Not ideal however, for a gal who is starting to settle down.

Now my life has gotten to a much more stable place, a place that I always thought I would rather die than get to.  There was a huge festival a few weeks ago, one that I never miss.  This festival is one of the few times a year that I really let loose and go wild like I used to before I moved closer to my family.  This year things were hectic in my life and I decided not to go.  It wasn’t really a conscious decision; I just didn’t feel the pull.   I was happy spending a quiet weekend at home, with my BF out of town for work.  Sure the fact that it was my last weekend alone before the BF moved in, and that I couldn’t remember the last time I had real, uninterrupted Me time factored into it, but still.  For the first time in my adult life, I was missing the party, and happy about it.

Last week I accepted job #2, I start on the 17th, and gave 3 weeks notice to my current job.  From what people have told me, the boss is great, and it is far from boring, so I’m pretty excited about my choice.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

So yah, things have been really crazy

You know what they say about good intentions; the road to hell is paved with them.  That is kind of how I feel right now.  I had every intention of being a good little blogger, and was well on my way to being the super organized person I strive to be, then Blammo, life happened, mostly good stuff, but life changing.  I’m gonna do a resume here, and expand on things in individual posts soon

On the day of my last blog post, my dad went to jail.  It wasn’t surprising, we were kind of expecting it, but it was pretty stressful nonetheless.  He’s not a hard core dangerous criminal or anything, just an alcoholic doing your usual run of the mill alcohol related things.  So began my weekly visits to the local prison, and the feeling like a rope in a tug of war.

A week later, my boyfriend and I decided that it was time for him to officially move in and set a date.  This led to frantic closet emptying on my part.  I have never lived with a man before; in fact I have not lived with another human being on a long term basis in over a decade, just me and my cat.  We decided to make it official on September 15th, to give me time to make room for him.  As much as I try to declutter regularly, I have a LOT of clothes, shoes, purses, etc.

Then we integrated a new kitten to the family.  In our nearly 10 years together, my older cat had never accepted another cat, despite many efforts with cats of either sex and various ages, I had given up and accepted that he was a loner.  After some emotional blackmail by my cousin’s kids, I accepted to take a kitten home to try for 2 weeks with the understanding that if my older cat did not accept her, I would bring her back.  Long story short, 3 days later my old grumpy cat was playing like a kitten again and grooming the new kitten, so we kept her.  This led to many sleepless nights, lost items, and general frustration that comes with a hyperactive kitten.

About a week after that I was at an event for my current job (the uber unstable one) and a nice lady offered me a newer shinier job.  I was cautious, and said I would email her my resume and we could discuss it further.  That got the little hamster in my head running.  Maybe I should be looking more actively for a new job; maybe I wasn’t as stuck as I thought I was.  The following Friday, an old co-worker of mine from forever ago emails me and sais that she would like to discuss a position that just opened up for the company that she works for that she thinks I would be perfect for. The following Monday, I had first interviews with both.  Both were pretty interesting. 

The following Thursday, my car was parked in the street in front of my work, minding her own business, and right in front of my eyes a transport truck ran right into her.  At first glance there was body damage, and a flat tire.  We exchanged information, put on the spare, and I very slowly drove to my garage.  My mechanic put her up on the lift, and declared that there was too much damage, and that I could not drive her until the insurance inspector guy came.  And that began my week long odyssey in auto insurance claims and buying a new car fast.

So yah, the past five weeks have been pretty crazy, my dad in jail, car totalled, job change, new kitten, and boyfriend moved in.  Everything non-essential had been put on back burners and now I am in catch up mode, which is only slightly better than survival mode.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

So no improvement then.

So obviously I failed at the 30 day challenge, as always, things came up, I got distracted, and there you go.

I could go on and on about why I failed, work overload, boyfriend and his kids overload, and generally feeling really crappy over the past week (like seeing double nauseous crappy), but the fact remains, another project left unfinished.

I am a serial unfinisher (nonfinisher?).  I start a project with the best of intentions, and then about 2/3 of the way through, a distraction, or another newer, shinier project crops up and said project goes into one of the many piles of unfinished things.  These range from knitting projects, exercise programs, books, organisational projects, time management projects, etc. etc.

I once even made a goal to finish one unfinished project every week until they were all done…I gave up after 2 weeks.  I’ve tried task lists, phone apps and just about every system I can find. 

The funny thing is that I am known for getting things done, and when it comes to getting things done for other people or work, no problem, I am superwoman.  Which brings me to my question of today, why can I be so motivated when I am doing things for others, but not for my own pet projects? 

Maybe it has something to do with seeking praise from others.  When I do something for someone else, there is recognition, a thank you or something of the sort.  Why can’t I seem to get the same feeling when it is just for me?  I think this is something I need to think about.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Day 4, Be kind

I will smile at the people whose children are running wild in front of my workplace, and remind myself that they probably don’t enjoy it any more than me.  I will take a deep breath and remain calm with the other drivers I cross, and let them turn left, cut in front, etc. because maybe they have a valid reason for being so rushed.  I will watch my boyfriend’s kids and watch him play tonight and encourage him even though I am dead tired after an 11 hour day.

Day 3

Day 3 - Discover Your Ideal Self

The ideal me is organised, not rushing around all the time.  I can find things easily at home; I have time for family and friends without feeling like I should be doing other things while I’m with them.  I have time to exercise regularly so I am not breaking into a sweat at every effort.  I can play with the children in my life for afternoons at a time.  My house and life is not perfectly clean and organized, but it is good enough and I am happy with that.  I understand that other people may not do things as well as I would like, but I accept that they help me and that is enough.  Cleaning and organizing has become routine, so I can put the emphasis on my friends, family and home life

3 baby steps
1-Do a top to bottom spring clean on my day off on Monday, treat it like a work for me day, with scheduled breaks etc so that I spend the whole day checking things off my list.

2-Anything not finished on Monday, I will re-evaluate if it is really essential to be done, or and I just trying to be perfect.

3-Schedule cleaning time for next week and stick to it.

Day 2 to become a better me

Three Traits
1-More Active/Less Lazy
3-Less perfectionist

Why do I think I am Lazy?
-Because I am gaining weight at a fairly steady rate, and I am quickly out of breath.  I never exercise.

Why do I want to change this trait?
-So I can be healthier, so I can look better, so that I feel better about myself

What is one baby step you can do today to change this?
-Visit the gyms in Louiseville Friday afternoon

Why do I think I am Messy?
-Because my mom was horribly messy and I never learned good cleaning habits.  Because I tend to be lazy

Why do I want to change this trait?
-So that I will feel more organized, I won’t be embarrassed to have people over.  I’ll have more time in the end, and I’ll feel prouder of my home.

What is one baby step I can do today to change this?
-Scrub the bathroom top to bottom

Why do I think I am Perfectionist?
-Because I seek praise, because I am recognized when I am the best at something.  People see me as good at everything, so I try to be up to everyone’s expectations

Why do I want to change this trait?
-Because I have trouble finishing projects since they are never up to my standards, and I get frustrated and quit.  I also frequently don’t do things because I am not sure I will be able to do it ‘Properly’ or ‘Good enough’.

What is one baby step I can do today to change this?
-Finish one project, whether it’s perfect or not.  Redecorate the bathroom. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Day one, 30BBM Challenge

I have decided to do the Be a Better Me in 30 Days challenge from the Personal Excellence Blog. As usual with my overwhelming to do list (see more on that below) I started late, Oh the irony.

So here we go, Day 1
1- I would give myself a 6
2- I believe I still have a lot to improve on, but I have also done a lot of work, enough that people have noticed and commented on the changes. So I would say that I a mat least halfway to being the best me, with an extra point for having started this challenge. I have mostly dealt with the bigger issues of my past, and am now working on being better.
3- I want to be tidier, take on less (hahaha), be more active, less demanding of others, more trusting, less perfectionist.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Dealing with a Babymomma

My boyfriend has 3 young children (2, 4, and 6) and a very difficult relationship with the ex. 

I have a great relationship with the kids, they are always reaching to be picked up or wanting hugs from me, we have fun together.  I try to give them as much alone time with their dad as I can, not spending the night when they are there, etc.  My BF and I also hold back on the PDAs when they are around.  I figure they are still getting used to the idea that mom and dad aren’t getting back together, and the most important thing is building their new relationship with dad.  It’s one thing accepting the breakup of parents, it’s a whole other thing to give up on the hope that they will get back together.

I grew up not seeing my dad often, so I am always telling the BF to do what it takes to see his kids, and that the kids are what is important.  So when it came to the ex, I tried to keep in mind that there are 2 sides to every story, and that I would not form my opinion based on what others involved said, but wait and form my own opinion by her current actions.  I hate it when people try to predict my future actions based on mistakes I made in the past, so I try not to do it to others.

That being said, HOLY CRAP!  She is very manipulative and controlling, and apparently has not understood that she and he are no longer together, so he does not have to bend to her every whim, but every 2 weeks, it’s the same thing.  By Wednesday she wants something, the lawn mowed, for him to buy something, changing the days he has the kids, right down to sometimes she just wants to talk to him, and it has to be right now, or she starts saying he won’t get to see the kids.  They live in different cities, 30 minutes away, and no matter how busy he is, he has to drop everything, or no kids.

And God forbid he is too busy to answer the phone, because she will keep calling, over and over again, and after about 10 times, she’ll call me, day or night, demanding to know where he is.  I try telling her that I am at work, or that I don’t know where he is, but she cannot seem to fathom that I don’t demand to know his whereabouts 24/7.  One time we were in another city (it was her weekend with the kids) and she called and texted 17 times wanting to know where he was and what he was doing.

One time she even called me to tell me about how my BF was horrible to her, all of the things he did (all of which he had already told me himself) and to tell me that he wasn’t with me because he wanted to be with me, that I was just a crutch, right before she asked me to watch the kids.

I’m at the end of my rope, no patience left, and I don’t know what to do.  The BF and I are talking about moving in together, but I don’t know if I can take her being even more involved in my day to day life.  Any advice?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Dancing in public

Don’t you just love it when you hear a song in a completely random setting and it brings up a memory buried deep in your mine, but in comes up so vividly that you’d swear you were back in that place, that time?

Today I was sitting at an event for my job and there was almost no one there, soooo bored. Then the song sway (the shaft version) came one.  This version came out in 1999, so it’s pretty rare that it comes on the radio, but at the time it was on all the time, it was THE summer song.  It made me remember a guy I worked with at my first full time job in promotions.  Whenever this song would come on, he would stop whatever it was he was doing, come over, grab me and we’d dance.

It got me thinking about the me I was back then, 18, fresh out of high school, working insane hours, travelling for work, and making more money than I knew what to do with, and spending it as fast as I could make it.  This was all before I got my first real life bitchslap.  I remember feeling all grown up, invincible, all knowing and wise.

So much has happened since then, so much has changed, but the urge to break out into dance at a great song in a random setting is still strong.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Proverbial Piano

I recently started a great job that I love.  It’s with a non-profit that promotes buying locally.  I’ve been there all of a month, and when I interviewed for the job, I told them about how I was tired of starting over again and again and that I was looking for something stable where I could build myself a career.

I waited two weeks for the answer, and when I got the call saying they wanted me to start the next day, I was elated, jumping up and down generally bouncy kind of happy.  In order to get the job you had to be eligible for a government subsidy, which I happily fought through the red tape to get, filling out all of the paperwork, waiting for almost 4 hours to speak with someone, assuring the nice lady that yes this was a permanent job, and that yes I understood that by signing up for this program that I would not be eligible for another subsidy for a couple of years, yadda yadda.  I went through it all happily because I had finally found my career, my place.

So I made my plan for the first year, I work in marketing by the way, planning out my short, medium, and long term strategies and goals, and then I got to it.  Working my butt off, doing events on weekends, researching during my spare time at home, banking all of my overtime for use someday in the future.

Then, today, I’m meeting with the coordinator (and only other co-worker) about the board of directors meeting last night, where she presented my report on where I’m at and where we are going, it comes out that it is urgent that we increase revenues.  At first I was all ok, a non profit that needs more money coming in, no surprise there.  Then I realized that there was a lot more urgency in her tone than usual.  I asked her, how much of an increase are we talking, double, triple, quadruple, kind of laughing.  Then she said triple and I stopped smiling.  I was expecting something like a 50% increase at most.  Then I asked, what kind of a time frame we are talking, within 6 months she said.

Wow, talk about having a proverbial piano dropped on you.  I realized that we were talking survival mode more than growth.  I had been hired as a last ditch effort, not as an addition to the team to help it grow.  I told her that since the government subsidy was for a year I had assumed that I had a year to work, especially since half of the things I’m doing don’t have immediate results.  I explained to her that in marketing I can’t just focus on the short term, and delay all of the long term.  She told me that the money just wasn’t there long term. All she could say is that she had mentioned that our jobs were on the line, and that they couldn’t exactly hire someone by saying how bad the situation was.

You accept a certain amount of uncertainty when you decide to work in the non-profit sector, especially when the organization is new, but is it too much to expect that unless otherwise indicated, your job will last more than 6 months.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

How did I get here? And where are my shoes?

How did I get here? And where are my shoes?

So here I am, I’m finally doing it, after many friends telling me I should, and a whackload of time trying to figure out how to do it right, I’m starting the blog.

I live in an area where I feel very psychologically isolated, surrounded by people, but alone in 99% of my opinions, beliefs, and priorities.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the people in my life now and don’t regret coming here, but sometimes I just feel like screaming.

I’m a 29 year old vegetarian with a shoe obsession in debt and only have the slightest of notions as to who this grown up me is, and even less of where I’m going.  To be honest, I never planned past 28, so for the past year I’ve been kind of floating around, kinda hoping for some big hand to come down out of the sky and point to where I’m supposed to be headed. 

I’ve been through therapy, read a crapload of self-help books, and sought advice from every person I could think of.  So far all I’ve got is that I’ve decided to just be me.  It seems so simple as a concept, but was and is really hard sometimes.  I try not to do anything just because I should, and have stopped trying to follow other people’s paths to happiness.  The nit hit me that the next step in my journey may just be to put this me I’ve discovered so far out there, that maybe talking about my chaos may help me find some semblance of order.

They say the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, and I plan to make my first step in my glittery strappy sandals.