31 July 2014

Everything Takes 15 Minutes

Or so it would seem, in my life.

I noticed, when I was home from throwing myself down the stairs, that most things take about 15 minutes.  Switching laundry loads? yes.  Emptying the dishwasher? yes.  Showering? yes.  Walking to the mailbox? yes. Writing this post? yes.

I think I started to notice this when I was on bed rest and had limited time to be "up."  Everything seems to happen in fifteen minutes time.  There's even the Warhol quote of everyone has fifteen minutes of fame.  (Why, yes, I've had that as well.)

Now that I'm home again on "vacation", I have noticed that again fifteen minute increments keep cropping up.  Fifteen minutes to apply for a job online, fifteen minutes to water a section of the yard.  Fifteen minutes to aimlessly flip through a magazine. Fifteen minutes to watch a half-hour sitcom on the dvr. 

(Or to go really deep: 15 minutes to race the car one pass, from the staging lanes to packing the chutes on the return road) 

They say if you're an addict or going through a particular period of time to focus not on the whole day or the whole task but to break it down into smaller increments.  I guess I've found that to be true in my life.  But then, I'm one of those weird folks that find patterns in every thing. Fifteen minutes at at a time.

29 July 2014

Just Be Happy

It's been two weeks since I stopped working.  It still feels weird.  I can't figure it out.

I don't know if it's because my job didn't seem finished and there's a small chance I'll be called back or what is going on.  I feel relieved that the mess that is my former work is no longer in my life but I do miss my friends.

I don't feel super anxious about finding another job, which seems weird to me as well.  I don't know if it's age or what but I'm all "Meh, whatever" about a new job.  I've been open to  applying just to see what happens to different kinds of jobs.  I have never gotten my hopes up for a job because I hate that kind of disappointment (like everyone else enjoys it, really)

Like I did when I was home before, I'm keeping myself on sort of a schedule.  Kevin still leaves for work at OhGawd-thirty so that doesn't change.  I make sure I'm showered, dressed, and chores done by 9:00 so that I don't develop bad habits that need undoing when I do return to work.

But that also leaves a huge gap of empty space in my day.  I've filled it with Greys Anatomy and books and small projects.  But the shiny novelty of this is going to wear off pretty quickly. (also, Dance Moms marathon..really? Talk about disappointment. lol) And I'm eventually going to run out of projects.

The puppy does keep me a little distracted as she's still a puppy and loves, loves, loves chasing rabbits, birds, shrews, etc.  So, I have to check on her regularly so she's not in Texas before we realize it.  I figured out that if I put her bed out on the deck and leave the screen door open, she sticks around a little more.
It's a dogs life, really
I guess what I'm saying is that I'm remarkably relaxed about this and that is making me anxious.  How messed up is that?  Kevin's not stressed at all, he's always happy when I'm home.  The puppy is happy I'm home.  I'm happy that I'm home but I know I need to return to work to achieve our goals.

And I totally acknowledge that I've little to complain about when others face much bigger challenges. I'm just surprised at how not worried about things I am.  I'm just going to work on being happy about what my life is right now.  Like the puppy is.

23 July 2014

The Future is Wide Open

I'm trying to embrace the Who Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up question.  I'm trying to embrace this new job situation in a positive light.  The last time I was unemployed was brutal; it was unexpected and on the heels of Kevin's diagnosis and our new house.  This time things are a little more mellow.

When I was child I wanted to be a teacher or a librarian.  I've done the teacher thing so I can check that off of my list. Librarian takes a degree and seems to be a job that doesn't become available very often. 

Then I was thinking about what else would be a job that could encompass these two interests.  Retail is not a choice for me as it's shift work, requires a lot of time on your feet, and it's retail.  (people, ugh)  Also, bookstores are a dying breed anymore.

Early childhood is no longer a choice as the pay is abysmal, finishing my degree in this field doesn't make sense financially and the physical demand too high.  Also, kind of over it as it is an extremely taxing profession.  Maybe I can just volunteer to rock babies or something instead.

I have registered at all the local school districts so I'm hoping maybe something will come up in that field.  It's kind of good timing as the school year starts next month. 

I could become a para-educator, which is fancy term for teachers aide but it requires testing.  You can tell me to stop being a baby about the test but MATH.  When I took the pre-test years ago, the computer actually Kicked Me Off because of my horrible performance on the math section. The remedy for this is a Math for Boneheads class and frankly, I'd rather have dental surgery.  So, this is going to require some thought and fortitude. 

But then, I'm really good at my job.  It seems silly to not stick with something that I'm really good at. But social services jobs are difficult to get into and now the job market is flooded with my former co-workers.

I was also thinking about just registering as a temp.  Lots of flexibility, change, and can be lucrative if you prove yourself valuable.  But I think I need consistency.

As you can see, I'm trying to keep an open mind and be adventuresome about this new situation.

So, pretend that suddenly your future is wide open.  What would you do?

Vacation, All I Ever Wanted?

Guess who's unemployed!?!!  *This Girl*

I was laid off last week.  It wasn't totally unexpected and has turned out to be relieving.  We were working in such stressful conditions so it was just a release of pent up emotions when we realized we were finally done.  We were working in the unknown as the temporary bosses were not communicating with the admin staff.  To boot, there was no budget, accounts seriously past due, and non-compliance with regulators.  Each time we tried to address and fix the issues, we were told no.  It's as if they're trying to burn the place down. So to be released from that hell-ish space was  not that upsetting.  I think I'm more sad about not seeing my co-workers and some of the clients than anything else.

It sounds like it might not all be a done deal but I'm not getting my hopes up about it.  I won't work for the temporary bosses (the board still hasn't found a permanent replacement and is steadfastly ignoring that the temporary executive director is in way over her head) and would only return to work there if very specific needs were met.

I felt immediately compelled to get busy.  I got all my paperwork in order: insurance, retirement, employment security, budget stuff.  I registered on all the job sites and made lists. Then I sat on the couch and watched Greys Anatomy all afternoon, for three afternoons.

I did find myself decompressing more than I anticipated.  I guess I knew I was wound up but I didn't know how much I was wound up.  This week, while still keeping on a schedule, I have found myself just watching television, reading the interwebs, and reading.  Kevin's been checking in a little more, which gave me a heads-up as well.  I just didn't fully realize how the last nine months have worn me down.

So, I'm just going to play it by ear.  I'm going to take some time to just (I hate to say the buzzword) breathe. I'm lucky that this has happened during the summer and concentrate that this will just be another opportunity to have an adventure.

06 July 2014

Somebody Realign the Stars

It seems like many people have been having drama in their lives, like straight-up drama. Job issues, relationship issues, financial trouble.  I'm sure if I consulted the stars and psychics, they would tell me that something was in retrograde or the moon was in the eleventeenth house or something.  This is not helpful.  Sh*t is going down, y'all.

My work has been SHAKESPEAREAN in its drama.  I go to work every day expecting either that the doors are locked or that I will no longer have a job.  I often pull in, and to quote the Interwebs, am disappointed that the building isn't on fire.

Friends have had health issues, one after and another.  Relationships that are usually steady are unusually strained.  What the EFF universe?

During a conversation, I mentioned that "they" say if something keeps occurring that it means we simply haven't learned the intended lesson yet.  As in something is to be gained by these experiences and they will continue in varying forms until we "get it".

Can we just all remain stupid in this specific situation and move on?  It's summer, we're supposed to be happy-go-lucky and be relaxed and carefree. Must all of learn these cosmic lessons at the same time? Can we just maybe take turns, or better yet just skip it altogether?

Until then I guess we just have to remain as zen as we can.  Turn our faces to the sun and relax when we're able.  Surely, this too shall pass.

Laugh Every Day

On the way to my parents for the fireworks, we stopped at Starbucks to get a drink.  (it's my equivalent to taking a shot of whiskey).

We also stopped to get gas and there is a bikini-barista stand in the same parking lot.  In case you don't know what this is, it's essentially strippers making coffee.  It's seven different kinds of yukky.

I was teasing Kevin that they have calendars now and we should get one. 

"Pull over there then." he says.

"No, because: gross." I say while pulling past the stand to leave.

Like a flash, Kevin reaches over and honks the horn then presses back against the seat so he can't been seen, making it look like I'm all "Hey baby" to the strippers.

Suddenly I'm sixteen, on a date with a cute & funny boy.  All I could do is laugh. Twenty-four years later and it's as if no time has ever passed.  Laughter every day, that is the key.

A New Kind of Summer

Usually we are immersed in racing during this part of summer; gone on the weekends, late nights working on the cars, taking time off work.  This year is different though, after wishing we could take a summer off over the past few years, we aren't racing this summer.  Our home track underwent renovations over the late winter/Spring and they didn't go well.  The track won't be open until the first weekend of August, all going well which hasn't been the case all summer.

We could go down to Seattle or Bremerton but we just don't want to.  The drive is brutal, the trip requires hotel stays, and our friends aren't there.  We've opted to just stay home instead.

With that, we don't know what to do with ourselves.  We're never home during the summer. Like bored eight-year-olds, we're wandering around trying to figure out what to do.  We've worked in the yard, we've organized the shop to Sheldon-like standards, we've organized the car trailer, we've relaxed, and we're bored. Bored.

We keep looking at each other "We should be doing *something* but what...?" 

A few years ago we would also be in the middle of our busy time with fireworks.  This would be one of those brutal years with three back-to-back shows. Now we're just lowly spectators.  We've only watched one show this year, the one at my parents.  The fascination is gone now that we're not the ones doing it. But a gap still remains.  It feels odd to not be busy and exhausted.

So, here we sit.  I've watched every episode and the movie of Veronica Mars.  We've watched movies we've been meaning to watch, our DVR is at a low percentage that it hasn't seen in years.  I've read one book and am in the middle of another.   My magazine stack is no longer towering toward avalanche, nor is Kevin's.  We're both bored with the interwebs.

I daresay we're going to resort to painting soon.  The exterior trim is looking pretty sad and everything is due for a touch up.  So far though, we haven't been *that* bored yet.  I'm not sure there is a level of boredom that precipitates painting.  I guess we'll see.

This is, however, making me a little nervous about our retirement years.  Surely we won't be racing then (who knows, though) and what then?  We best develop some sort of a hobby soon.  In the meanwhile, we're experiencing a new kind of summer. The kind that everyone else does; spending time not doing much of anything.  How do y'all do it?