Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Wishing Wednesday

Week 28: Still searching...

I wish I knew what I wanted to be when I grow up...the clock is ticking.

I wish that Droid would put James VanDerBeek's voice back on their commercials - the new dude sucks.

I wish that I would be able to think up my "dream job".

And then I wish that it would be found on the help wanted ads.

I wish for safe returns from travel.

Thanks: I'm thankful to be done with my knitting project - a shrug.

I'm thankful that the kiddo seems to be doing better with his travels than last time.

I'm thankful for tomatoes that are starting to blush.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Things to Do...Killing Time

When you suddenly have a lot of time on your hands - there are so many possible ways to fill it...

You could clean your house compulsively -

or not.

But here are some things that have been swirling around in my brain.

1. Learn how to harvest sunflower seeds.

2. Bake like crazy.

3. Do a puzzle. Catch up on some trash TV. Finish that knitting.

4. Lose whole days to job searches online.

5. Learn to make your own flavoring extracts and seasoning mixes.

What would you do if you got had some unexpected free time?

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Trophies and Tears

At the end of baseball season they have a ceremony.

Well, that is a bit false. They distribute trophies. In a parking lot. Out of the back of a truck. Followed by a pool party.

There is no pomp and circumstance. There is no difference between the "winners" and the "not winners". There is no recognition for specific people, specific well-doings, or "just showing up".

Don't get me wrong - it was hot. We were pressed for time. I'm glad it was short and went something like, "Thanks. Here you go."
And by the way - that trophy is MUCH nicer than the one we brought home.

Truth is - my son loves trophies. I HATE them. If you won the Nobel Peace Prize - sure, buy a trophy for the occasion. (likely not plastic-brassy-tacky plastic) If you won the little league championship - yes, buy a trophy. My house does not need a trophy to sum up the 2010 season.

What do you DO with these things? They sit around, collect dust, aren't even personalized. They may be "precious" for like a few weeks. Then the next sport season will start - and we will be onto earning the next trophy. (Read that as paying for it with our registration fees.) It saddens me to think of the number of trophies that are likely in the landfills. Does someone recycle these things? (mental note, find way to reuse these things and make a million dollars with your brilliant idea)

So, we have another trophy. Whooppie.

And onto the tears...the reason we were pressed for time was because my little dude is leaving me for 10 whole days to go on vacation with his dad. 10 days. He's never been gone this long. The last time he "went away" he was gone 24 hours before he called crying hysterically and "needing me". It also took about a half a week before he would leave my side (or the house) upon his return.

I'm hoping that a few years of maturity will make this vacation a little less traumatic. But it's still been a little rough on both of us. He called this morning after being on the road for about 5 hours and I could hear the insecurity in his voice. Of course, it's easy to focus on missing you Mom when you are stuck in a car and knowing that you will continue to be stuck in the car for many, many hours to come.

The tears, so far, have only been on my end. Because I hate to let him go. I hate to have him out of reach - in lands unfamiliar to me - in situations that I can not control or protect. It kind of rips me into pieces.

It will be a long number of days. I'm hoping to fill them with projects, appointments, and to-dos. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Wishing Wednesday

Week 27: Where the harsh realities of job searching are sinking in...

I wish there were laws about things people could NOT ask applicants to blindly state - like my salary requirements. I require to be PAID - other than that, does it really matter what I want? Honestly - you have XX$$ to give me, I can take it or leave it...right?

I wish there were laws about things people HAD to say about the employment options...like what it pays. Because if I'm going to tailor my resume and cover letter to your position - only to find out it pays 1/2 of what I will make on unemployment...let's save us both some time, k?

I wish there was a way to quickly detect the 10 worst things/ 10 best things about any job you were considering - again in an easy totally transparent kind of way. You know, don't yank my chain about "fulfilling in creative ways" if you really mean - sell your soul to our company and we will use you up until you are a weak twig that breaks under the slightest pressure...then we will discard you in the alley out back. Doesn't that seem fair?

I wish AGAIN for the crystal ball...some "odd" jobs have come to my attention lately...like being a party planner for cow-people - and no, I'm not making that up. Is this the best thing the universe is going to send me? Seriously - if this is the path I am destined to take - I'm going to need a neon sign...b/c I'm just not feeling the love.

I wish that crabgrass had a mortal enemy - and that this mortal enemy would come battle in my yard. Because I am really in fear that the crabgrass is plotting to take over the world...and based on it's progress in my yard - we should all be very, very afraid.

On the thankful front...
Thankful for vacation hours that were stockpiled.

Thankful for plants that will soon be filling my dinner plate.

Thankful for kind people that say nice things.

And last but not least - I've been thankful a lot lately for iced coffee recipes, and for the reunion of ice cream, Oreo cookies, and hot fudge all together in my bowl.

Hoping that your week is filled with more than you could wish for - all the best!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Survival of Soccer Camp

Goal 27 was to send the kiddo to soccer camp.

This week - I clocked many hours driving to camp (1/2 day event), sitting and watching camp (making great progress on knitting shrug), and driving home. We spent 15 hours driving and 20 hours improving skills and having fun.

We were able to also visit an out of town pal (goal 6) do some lunch, spend some gift cards at places that are not located anywhere near our homeland and soak up some sun, pool-side. Total success.

And I made a bleacher buddy by tackling goal 15 - and talking to another mom that was a complete stranger. Soccer Mom's Unite!

Additional benefits of the week - I think that I lost several pounds of myself by project "extreme sweat". I got to do lots of people watching - because there is nothing more bizarre to watch than the behavior of parents with young children. I was serenaded every single day by a group of campers that happened to meet in our park shelter for song time. I hope that their songs soon are deleted from my mental play list...you know how the most annoying songs are the ones that get stuck the easiest?

I am close enough to being done with my knitting project that I am now compulsively measuring after every other row...you know, just in case I magically have reached "the end".

On top of all of this - we also wrapped up baseball season. A week full of wins! Adding another 12.5 hours (4 games) of bleacher time to my week. Is it any wonder that my butt wants a bleacher vacation?

Mother nature did NOT behave herself very nicely for the occasion. She did provide the occasional mild breeze (thanks), excessive heat warnings (no thanks), and on the final day...she sent a storm system that I was pretty sure would be the end of us in rush hour traffic. After some frightening moments, driving blind, and pretty much being deaf from the noise of wind / pounding rain...we found the sunshine, slowed our pulses, and returned home safely.

All in all... a very good, but very long week. Hoping to recover this weekend.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Wishing Wednesday

Week 26: The one where we put on our pretend hats and believe that it's Wednesday...but don't make the week any longer.

  • I wish for another day of pleasant weather and great progress on knitting project so that I can end my week of sitting through soccer camp on a good note.
  • I wish for that icky feeling in my throat to NOT develop into something with more significant symptoms.
  • I wish for clear signs from the universe to point me in the right direction.
  • I wish for much productivity balanced with a nice amount of relaxing.
  • I wish for safe travels and safe returns for all the come-ers and go-ers.
  • for breezes that come out of no where.
  • for friendly faces that come in and out of our lives.
  • for hope and things to look forward to.
  • for sound sleep.

Friday, July 9, 2010

End of Days

I have officially ended my days in the office.

I have packed requested things. Set OUT OF OFFICE to permanent.

I have thrown away an amazing amount of paper. (In a recycle bin for non-profit organization.)

I have submitted my stacks of files to shred.

I am done.

Except...I keep waking at odd hours of the night and remembering things undone...boxes and shelves unsorted, emails unsent, supplies that could have found a better home.

At some point, I'm sure it will stop mattering. Things will be what they will be.
Things will be thrown away. Things will be sent out to others. And soon, there will be no proof that we were ever there.

Websites will be canceled. Phone lines will be disconnected. At some point email messages will stop coming in - either because I stop answering them or because people figure out we are gone or because we won't have active accounts. We will be a memory.

Being away seems to be better than being there and constantly saying goodbye to every phone call and every email. I feel like the book is shut. And I'm even starting to look forward to the next adventure. Not enough to want it to begin yet.

Just enough to start window shopping without feeling nauseous. Baby steps.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Who's Got the Map?

Since the amputation of my entire department, I'm pretty emotional.

I waiver between extreme grief for the agency that I wish I was still working with and excitement at the idea of doing something new.

I waiver between fear / total panic at the idea of going somewhere else to work - with new people, new expectations - that whole "not being the expert at your job" is kind of horrifying. I feel like I've been dumped and I'm jumping into dating before I'm even "over it". Maybe I'm not ready to like new co-workers or get to know new office mates?

I think I should take some time to catch my breath and then I go into extreme hysterics that I will never find anything and I better get serious about the searching RIGHT NOW. I think I should have NO expectations - and on the other hand - I think I should set my sights high...I'm a pretty qualified person. (Until you go to look for a job - and suddenly...all the things that make you "special" are non-applicable and make you look totally unskilled.)

I've never collected unemployment - it sounds like something people in this situation should embrace...and then I feel like there's something really wrong with me for considering that ---and what if that benefit runs OUT and I'm still lost? How sad would THAT be?

I've invested some years into polishing my skills in this field - but maybe it's time to move on. Maybe there's a whole other field to consider ---maybe one that's more fun, or has more money, or has more advancement?

I kind of think a "job" instead of a career would be an OK thing - clock in, do it, clock out. No worries. Maybe I could be a dough master (I really saw that advertised) or a PhD of java-mixology (I made that one up). Really, if the money is going to suck regardless of where I go (and so far - nothing comes close)...shouldn't I at least have the advantage of having a blast?

I need a crystal ball. I need direction. I need to have all the offers laid out in front of me so that I can put together the very best poker hand possible...

So if anyone's got the career GPS - please send it my way...

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Thank You For Reminding Me...

So, it's been a head-spinning crazy kind of week since I found out I was no longer "necessary" in the eyes of the evil overlord. And while I am in good company of people that are in the same boat, it still kind of sucks.

But I'm trying to be positive......and this is a reach at such tasks...

Long, long ago - I was dating an idiot. Technically I was engaged to the idiot. But don't hold that against me. It ended - badly. And he spent much of my last year in the same town proving what an ass he was with his behavior and choices. One night, I was particularly upset - and I called him. (dumb girl moment) He - of course, failed to be the support that I needed. He failed epically.

My next obvious step was to call my dad. And his answer was something like this...You deserve better, he's an idiot, he's acting like an idiot. You need to thank him for reminding you WHY you don't want to be with him. Every time he's an ass (there were many examples for me to reference - and many more to come) THANK HIM - at least in your mind. Because he is giving your proof that walking away from him was the right thing - and you should keep going that way.

Yes, you have permission to use this with whatever girlfriend will benefit in the future.

So I'm applying this to my current status of job-less-ness.

1. Thank you for firing me because I already knew you were contemplating firing me...and the idea of sitting with you at a table and having nice conversations for another contract year all the while knowing you are planning my demise - not my idea of fun.

2. Thank you. I will never again have to wonder when you say "don't do this" if you mean "do this" but only when the moon is full or when it's raining on Venus or some other nonsense.

3. Thank you. Because even as you burn all of our jobs to the ground - you can't stop lying and mis-communicating and stepping on toes.

4. Thank you. Because I will never again be accused of "writing my own story" - as if it is my problem that I find it offensive that you'd rather execute people than to ask questions and have conversations about OPTIONS.

5. Thank you. Because you have pushed me into a place that I likely would not have stepped on my own...and while I don't know exactly where that is yet - I'm sure it will be more hospitable than being one of your employees.

6. Thank you for kicking me off your boat. I am pretty sure that karma is going to come take a big chunk out of your ass - and I'd rather not be standing close by when it happens.

7. Thank you - because of the way you handled this entire situation - I think the whole world is one step closer to seeing your true colors. It only takes one power-hungry person to ruin the reputation of an immaculate 20 some year old organization. (Your mother would be so proud.) I think it takes true class to blame the victim - it's a wonder tactic that I often see 3 year-olds use (or bullies or abusers). Congrats on your maturity.

8. Finally, Thank you for reminding me - that if the ONLY nice words I have EVER received from you are two days after you have kicked me off the island...you either didn't have the sense to value me before or you are just being a bad winner. Either way - you officially suck in my book.

My loving and supportive agency - who was NOT responsible, pleased, or supportive of this plan to let my whole department go - has decided to foot the bill for things that our lame-O funders did not value. Like giving us notice, extending our health care two months and paying us for our vacation time - all out of their own not-for-profit pockets. Which reminds me to Thank THEM for being such decent people. And makes me sad that I have to leave.

I'm sure that they will continue to give me reasons to be thankful until the very end...I'll hope that it serves as motivation to push forward and stop looking back.