2018-11-12 Conditioning for Change

I’m not finding my chi today. I’m wasting 20 minutes at a time with indecision about what to do with my day. This is what happens when you mostly operate in JIT mode (just in time). No work truly needing to get done and nothing pressing for school. I didn’t have enough sleep and I’m just generally tired and lack focus. It’s Monday and I need to transition back to life at my house with my kids. I have to try and check my alternate identify at the door and assume the role of mom, head of household, single, alone, breadwinner, blah-blah, woof-woof. While I am looking forward to seeing my kids, I’m not super excited about any of it.

I’m trying to get ahead of the curve and forgive myself for wasting a whole day thinking about the future. There are lots of big changes on the horizon and it’s not lost on me that I’m somewhat enticed by change and sometimes thrive on it. I don’t actively seek out drama but my childhood was riddled with change so when things are changing it almost feels like a comfortable place.

Take moving for example. Doing some house accounting I have moved approximately 19 times in my life. That averages out to about once every 2.4 years. I think moving is exciting. I like the idea of establishing a new home and figuring out a new space. We will be moving in January now and I’m kinda wishing it was sooner.

When I say I think it’s conditioning that has made me this way, it’s mostly due to the fact that the majority of those historical moves were while I was growing up. That was because of choices my parents made – changing careers, and jobs, and also getting divorced and establishing new relationships with other people. All of that was outside of my control and there was no resisting, it just felt “normal” when we moved again.

I don’t necessarily think it was all positive, but some of it was necessary and ended up making me more resilient. For my kids I have tried to keep things relatively stable but the divorce in my case was necessary too. I have managed to keep them in the same school system for their entire upbringing and the move in January will be no different. It will mean driving them every day. I guess that feels like no big deal because I’ll get to spend more time with them that way. It’s tough to get QT with teenagers who just want you to leave them alone.

Anyway, back to the whole conditioning thing. I think there are people who spend their entire lives in one place or city or job, and I think those people are not as inclined to be excited about change. They are just not used to the idea of change. In my job I encounter people all the time who have used the same systems and processes their entire career and when we try to introduce a new system or process, they resist.

In my viewpoint things typically don’t change unless it’s for a very good reason or because there isn’t s something that’s better so when change happens, all like “ok, so what’s better about this”. That’s the way we should be presenting system change to our customers. Take their pain points with the current state and talk through how those things will be better (which is hopefully the case). If you can break through with the right message, the change will be easier

I’m really looking forward to moving and not having to transition week in and week out and just enjoy being at “home” with my family. That weekly transition is my pain point. Always feeling like pieces of me are missing is the other pain. When I’m with the kids, im missing Jim and when I’m with Jim I’m missing the kids. I want to have my cake and watt it to. I don’t need any convincing.. I welcome the change.

Quite frankly I actually wish it were sooner. I’m just ready now. Our whole thought process around when had to do with getting through the holidays and having that drama be over with. It makes sense. It’s logical. Then we could put the house up as soon as the timing for the market is good in spring. It’s all good, but on days like today I’m daydreaming about it and just wishing for time to hurry up.

Yeah, so that’s where my mind is at and not on what it should be on. That’s why I say that I’m going to try and get ahead of the self-forgiveness thing. I know tomorrow I’m going to feel bad about not accomplishing anything and might as well come to terms with that now too.

Gawd.. I think too much about everything.

Over It and Out!

~Miss SugarCookie

2018-04-14 Times, They are a Changin’

I’m still trying to get over whatever illness took over my body a few days ago. Some slightly annoying symptoms that will not seem to go away. Not enough to keep me from doing stuff, but bad enough to make me just not want to do stuff. I haven’t been at the gym for a few days now and my focus has been on work stuff and relationship stuff and everything seems to be on tilt.

And somewhere along the way, my daily blog has become a thing I’ve relied on my gym time for. This wasn’t how things were when I started over a year ago. I used to just carve out some time during the day, morning, afternoon, night, and sit down and write. When I discovered that I could actually type and do my elliptical at the same time, the game changed.

That time-saving, multi-tasking event has become a staple in my daily life. I would go in the mornings almost daily seven days a week and that’s where I would “do my time”, so to speak. I’ve gotten so good at it, and so used to it, that when I don’t go to the gym, I start missing days writing. The other thing that happens is that when I’m on some piece of exercise equipment and am not reading or writing (or talking to someone), I get incredibly bored and can barely stand to do it.

I tried to do the elliptical machine at residency at the hotel and that machine was not only hard, so I had to work extra hard, it wasn’t easy to balance and so I couldn’t really write. It was SOOOOO boring. Even listening to music, I would look down at my fitbit and it seemed like the steps were so slow to come. I’m sure I was actually getting a better workout, because I was working up more of a sweat, but it was a challenge to keep going.

This morning I felt well enough and did maybe half what I would normally do, but I was talking while I was on the machine and so not typing. Now as I sit here, it’s kind of amazing to me how much faster I can write on a keyboard than my phone. Strange what things one can forget.

I mean, normally when I am working on poetry, its short sentences and lots of thinking in between what I am doing so there is no need to type fast, but I can crank out paragraph after paragraph of my “stream of consciousness” thoughts in not time on this laptop. How could I have forgotten?!?

It’s been 6 weeks since the day I met JS and neither one of us had commitments this weekend so we’re planning on spending a lot of time together and I am really looking forward to that. We’re also getting some strange, really gross weather here right now and I’m hoping that does not interfere with our plans. Even if it does, I feel like we’ll do just fine sitting somewhere having a hot tea, watching the snowfall. I don’t know the last time it snowed this late in the year or temps dipping low enough for it to snow, but it does happen. That’s why I never plan on planting anything in the garden until May.

Mother’s day is the cutoff for that. After that, then it’s time to get to work and let me tell you, I am so ready for that change. To be honest, it’s kind of like this whole relationship thing. I have been ready for a change for a long time and this just feel so right. Everything in my insides tells me we are going to be great together. I’m so hopeful and positive and it does not seem to matter what the topic is, we can talk about anything and it’s so easy.

You know, you don’t get to be my age without going through some shit. I’ve had some.. everyone has. But things are so much easier when you have 1). Someone in your corner to talk to. 2.) Someone to be in your corner on things and help and support. 3.) Someone who cares. I’ve been missing that for a very long time.

Sure family and friends care, but they aren’t with you every day to lean on. It’s like I might have a meet-up with a family member or friend and it’s so great to talk and to ping ideas off off and do validation checks on things I’m thinking just to make sure I’m not crazy, but it’s on a whole new level when you have someone to talk to every day, and they know the backstory and you can trust that they will be there for you. Family and friends go back to their own lives, and I might not talk to them for weeks or even months, some people less than that. Having JS to talk to everyday has been another game changer already and I just never knew what I was missing. It’s incredible.

He’s incredible. He’s an incredible person. And I’m getting very attached and somehow am starting to see the future and can’t imagine my life without him in it. I know he feels the same way. I know it, because he’s told me. I don’t know what will happen tomorrow or next week or a month from now, but I hope we can continue to grow together. I’ve fallen. I’ve fallen hard. I can’t imagine a scenario where he tells me it’s not going to work out. My confidence level is high now. I’ve been so ready for this change for so long. It’s definitely time for spring!

On that note.. time to go now, get ready for whatever we decide to do next.
(I don’t care that it is going to snow today)

Bring the Spring!!
~Miss SugarCookie

2018-03-05 Just a Little “I Told You So”

“Wait a day”. That’s what I think I said. In truth it could be almost any amount of time. A day, a week, a few hours, a year. Change is inevitable.

I woke up this morning to severe overcast and rain. And it’s not that warm spring rain that makes the emerging crocus and daffodils happy. It’s that strange winter rain that puts a chill in the deepest parts of your body. Ugh! just hope it’s not foreshadowing for the Monday I’m about to have.

I probably was not as productive this past weekend as I would have liked to be. This week my Z turns 16 and there’s a little denial going on. Yesterday we went shopping for her and I got a few ideas about what I could do for her. It’s a tight budget year so I need to be smart about it.

Thankfully she didn’t find a piece of furniture she really liked. We ended up at Lowe’s because we are going to build something together. It will be a ton cheaper and also give me some good quality time which is becoming more and more rare by the minute. Change is inevitable.

So today is gym (now), followed by work and lunch with my friend Vis. Later it will be more work, maybe Jazzercise, dinner with the kids, and then more work again (tonight I’m facilitating the team meeting for the first time). It’s not likely I’ll be able to fit in any “Bachelor” or reading through feedback from my mentor which came through yesterday even though it wasn’t expected until Tuesday.

Wednesday is not only the big one-six, but also when mid-term assessments are due. I think I’d like to just dedicate several hours today or tonorrow to reading feedback and doing that task, but it really depends on making sure my work stuff is all caugt up and nothing is “on fire”.

Nothing is ever really on fire but even the smallest thing seems to get lots of attention. Between yesterday and today I now have several additional things that are queued up which weren’t there Saturday. Change is inevitable.

So that’s the story on the weather today. And for the love of all the cheese and crackers in the Universe, they really are predicting snow next. Absolutely disgusting!!

Holding On for Spring,

~Miss SugarCookie

2017-12-18 On Routine and Some Things that Never Change

I’m now pretty set in my morning routine. I’m a serious creature of habit. One of the things I’ve gotten really used to at this point is going to the gym right after dropping the kids off at school. I was previously not looking forward to starting a new job and having to give that up. And now.. I don’t have to! Huzzah!!

The team I joined operates on west coast time. So it’s quite likely that at 8AM when I’m at the gym most of those folks are still in dreamland or just waking up. By the time I’m home and ready to roll, they are just getting online too.

The other side of that, of course, is potential commitments on the flip side.

For example, I’m already on a weekly project call every Monday at 8PM. Yowza!

I’ve actually got three meetings today and am feeling a bit nervous about everything. My brain knows it’s just because it’s all new and unfamiliar, but logic and reason are sometimes no match for feelings. It comes from a place deep inside that is irrational and can’t be explained.

It’s the same thing every time I’m doing something new with People I don’t really know. That mild social anxiety is just a part of who I am. I had it yesterday with the Hogwarts show and I’ll have it when I show up for my MFA residency on the 28th. It’s unavoidable.

The good news is that I’ve learned to conceal my feelings and most people probably don’t even realize that there’s this tight ball of turmoil in my gut. The other good news is that most of the time , once I’m finally in the moment, the feeling fades away. Most of the time.. not always.

I’m hoping that’s the case today. My first meeting is not until 3pm so I’ll just have to endure until then. For now, I’m just going to try and enjoy my QT at the gym and be grateful that that’s one thing that doesn’t have to change.

Ready or Not,

~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

2017-05-25 No Day Like Today for a Change

When I went to sleep last night, it was late and I was tired and I felt completely drained emotionally from the last few days. I’ve been up and down and around the block with these life questions and really felt I was at the end of what I could possibly take.

Truth be told, I became overwhelmed with the feeling of it all. That’s when you know it’s time for a change. Today, come hell or high-water, something is about to change.

A week ago, I was gearing up to quit my job, and ended up asking for a sabbatical instead. I don’t know if my manager picked up on the gravity of my state of thinking, but it has been a week since then and I feel like that is plenty of time for them to have worked out what they could do for me.

I’ve considered just quitting anyway.
I’ve considered asking to step down as team lead.
I’ve considered offering just to work on a contract basis for a set number of hours on specific projects.

The time for thinking about all of this is done and now it is time for action. I made the first move last week, so today, we’ll see what they bring back to the table. I might have mixed emotions, but I still don’t have any fear. I trust that it will all turn out like it is supposed to.

One of the things I pondered yesterday was about how I feel when I’m considering the different options. When thinking about staying at my company, I am filled with dread and when thinking about leaving, I feel relief. When I think about what it will be like when July gets here and I don’t have to deal with the stress and pressure and anger and responsibility, I feel calm and happy. That’s a pretty strong case for just saying sayonara. And, you know, there is a lot of detail behind that, but the emotions speak volumes.

It kind of feels like I’m hashing it all over again now trying to convince myself, and that’s really not the case. I’ve done my homework, I have confidence in my course of action, and I’m ready to pull the trigger.

Perhaps it’s just a little quitting day pep-talk. A motivational writing session, if you will, to set the tone.

It’s going to be a beautiful day out today. The sun is just now coming up and the weather promises to be sunny and 75. A top ten day. The perfect day, in fact, for celebrating change.

Time to Rise and Shine,
~Miss SugarCookie

2017-05-20 No Risk, No Reward

I have a wonderful friend from back in the day.
I’m going to call her, Princess KK
Now Princess KK is smart, successful, and also quite funny.
She’s pretty and clever and lives somewhere not so sunny.

We don’t chat very often, in-fact, almost never
Because we are far apart and, of course, busy as ever
But when we do talk, she always has good advice
And when thinking about it, you don’t have to think twice.

One of her sayings is about getting more out of each day
Don’t be too content and let precious time slip away.
If you want to make the most of life and go very far.
Live by these words and aim for the stars!…

“No risk, No reward”

***

On Thursday I had a good (not great) conversation with my boss and I brought up several of the larger points which have been weighing on me in my current position. Workload and expectation were at the top of that list. My performance eval was another topic. Mixed into the detail of those were other items of concern around current projects but I did not go into really fine detail on any one subject.

He acknowledged what I was saying. He even elaborated on a few things about how the state of the company is different today or in the last couple years than it was just three or four years ago. One of the big differences is that the company is now thriving. There’s a healthy sales pipeline and revenue stream. Even five years ago, when they were staffing up for a large project there was still a lot of extra time to do process improvement and make positive and lasting changes. In more recent times, there is so much revenue work, that there is no time to do those other things (or even sometimes pause to take a breath).

He acknowledged what I was saying, but did not really have a solution. This, I knew going in. Of my four or five current projects, he offered to shift one to another resource, which would help a little, but also make me appear (once again) like I can’t handle what I’ve been given. It is true.. I can no longer handle it.

At the end of that conversation he asked me if there was anything else he could do for me and I said “Now that you mention it, yes there is”. I asked for two of the three things that I had decided would give me reason enough to not leave the company. I kind of glossed over the first thing, working from home more, because I already do that three days a week and I’m pretty sure if push came to shove, they could easily agree to this. I then requested a four month sabbatical. He asked when I was thinking, and I told him after I wrap my current projects up by the end of June and he did the calendar math to conclude that would be July through October. And then he wrote it down.

“I can’t make any promises”, he said, but agreed to take action on my request immediately.

He does not have the authority to grant me this, so it’s going to have to go to the top. It’s a small company and things turn on a dime very quickly and I have every reason to believe they would be able to make a decision on this in the next week, if not by Monday.

I left work shortly after that meeting and was feeling very positive about the future. No matter what the outcome is, things this year will be better for me than they have been and I am marching forward to the beat of Princess KK’s drum. No Risk, No Reward. No Risk, No Reward. No Risk, No Reward.

It’s Time to Collect,
~Miss SugarCookie