Wednesday, February 26, 2020

What's Up Wednesday: February 2020 Edition

Y'all know the drill! Thank you to Sheaffer and Shay for hosting! This month has gone by in the blink of an eye, which, is a complete blessing when compared to the marathon of slog that constituted January. That being said, I kind of need time to slow back down a bit; I have a HUGE project that is due at the end of April and I'm going to need every minute of every day possible in order to complete it on deadline. But, enough about that, time to get on with the post, which, much like this month, will be short and sweet.

What We're Eating

Since I started my new job, I have been the worst housewife, ever. And, since I hardly hold myself to the traditional standards of the "typical" housewife anyway, that is saying a lot. Most days, I completely forget to eat during the workday, arriving home too tired and wrung out to even contemplate preparing a meal, despite the hunger pains gnawing at my stomach. The one and only time that I have eaten lunch over the past three weeks was this past Friday, when Co-Worker Erin brought me drunken noodles from the local Thai food truck and insisted that I sit with her and eat. The meal was both delicious and appreciated. I will get better at remembering to eat, and, I will get back on track with cooking (I promise, Hugh, really, I do).

What I'm Reminiscing About

Queen B turned 24 this past weekend! It's hard not to reminisce about when she was an infant or a toddler or a teenager, but I am so damn proud of the woman she is, now, so, I totally forgive her for growing up.

What I'm Loving

Honestly? Not a lot lately. In my defense, I haven't had time to spare on things that I enjoy or that bring me a lot of happiness. I'm really hoping that is not a trend that continues into March.

What I've Been Up To

Work. Allllll work.

What I'm Dreading

Every. Single. Phone call. Recently, each one brings news of some new fire that I have to put out. It's actually gotten to the point that my stomach drops to my toes as soon as I hear the ringtone.

What I'm Working On

Work. Allll the work stuff (are you sensing a trend here?).

What I'm Excited About

I'm excited for the day that I finally round the corner on this phase in my life and begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel, although, at this point, I'm really hoping it isn't coming from a freight train.

What I'm Watching

I finally jumped on the Cheer bandwagon, and, I'm glad I did, although, sometimes, the episodes have left me teary-eyed.

What I'm Reading

I have had exactly zero time in which to read for pleasure this month. Instead, I am reading policy manuals, strategic plans, succession plans, grant proposals, and financial reports. It's about as exciting as it sounds. I'm guessing I'll have time for recreational reading again sometime next year....wish I was kidding.

What I'm Listening To

The little voice in the back of my head, telling me that I have made a grave mistake in the choice of my new occupation. Again, wish I was kidding.

What I'm Wearing

Thankfully, my current wardrobe is appropriate for the new office, so, I haven't had to purchase any new clothes, which, considering the lack of free time available for shopping, is a blessing. On the bright side, I did find time to make an online purchase of resort wear that I am planning to take to Greece in the fall (I am still bound and determined to make that trip happen). I haven't actually had time to try on the clothes, but, you know...goals.

What I'm Doing This Weekend

Not working. Of course, now that I've said that, I will get a frantic call alerting me to some new and horrifying crisis that I am expected to handle (please let me be wrong, Lord).

What I'm Looking Forward to Next Month

Springtime. Longer days. Sunlight. More opportunities to win the lottery...

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Twenty and Four

Twenty-four years ago, today, I gave birth to the world's most beautiful baby girl. Not that I'm biased. Or, bragging. Although, I am, and, I am.


Over the years, I've written in detail about Queen B, her birth, her toddler years, her teenage years, etc., etc. I've always tried to express how proud she makes me, how incredible I think she is, how much joy she brings to our lives, and, this year's post will be no exception. But, this year, I also have to find the words to express how incredibly inspired I am by her, how, her bravery and resiliency have left me in awe.

Navigating early adulthood is a scary and challenging prospect and she is handling it with grace and determination despite some pretty intense experiences, that, frankly, would have left a less strong person on the ground, rocking in the fetal position.

She's learned from her challenges, and, is putting the experiences that she has had to use in her new position, which, is a task that a lot of much older people fail to do in their lives; I can't adequately express how amazing I find that ability.

I can't be with her today, but, I know she is going to make the most of her day. She'll find joy, because she actively looks for it. She'll do something fun, because she knows the value of it. She'll thank God for her blessings because she is truly grateful for them, and, she'll know how very much she is loved, because she has learned how to love herself, and, it's impossible to accept the love of others without having the ability to love oneself first. It's a lesson she has worked hard to learn and one that will serve her well in her life.

Happy birthday, Queen B! We love you to infinity.

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Speaking of Springtime...

...which, is what I was doing in my last post, in case you are confused... spring FabFitFun box arrived yesterday! I didn't actually know that it had arrived, because, with the change in jobs came a change in addresses to which I am comfortable having packages sent (long story involving the complete ineptitude of the staff of our local post office combined with some completely bullshit nonsense about FedEx and UPS not recognizing our home's physical address as a real address, despite the fact that we, you know, live here, which, means that packages cannot be successfully delivered to our house...and, I digress). So, the package went to the hardware store, and, guys being guys, no one thought to mention that a brightly colored box of obvious fun had arrived for me until today. I'm choosing forgiveness.


I now have possession of the box and its' contents, and, I'm actually quite pleased with this season's variety of items. Shall we take a looksie? We shall!

The box, as I said earlier, is super colorful, with bright butterflies and other springtime details.

Inside the box:

I am intrigued by the Glo Wrinkle Treatment Wand thingamajig; and, if it works, I shall shout its merits from the mountaintops (not holding my breath, but, a girl can dream).

I am also looking forward to trying out the weighted sleep mask; anything that helps me sleep better rates high on my list of useful items (again, not holding my breath).

The silicone straws will come in handy; I've been using stainless steel ones, but, the silicone seem like they will be easier to clean (or, at least they will make it easier to see where they aren't getting clean).

With the exception of the pretty paddle brush (which I am in love with), everything else falls into the "stuff I can try on my face and body in a futile attempt to defy the ravages of old age" category, which, I'm about as optimistic about as I can be, which, is to say, not very. But! Hope springs eternal.

Friday, February 21, 2020

It's Time to Get Off the Struggle Bus

Part of my effort to shove myself into a healthier mindset involves reminding myself of my blessings, and, the blessing I'm counting today is definitely the onset of longer days. After work today, I took advantage of the sunlight to play with the Boomer dog in the backyard.

He benefited from it, I benefited from it, all was right with the world.

Daylight Savings Time ends in a mere 16 days, and the spring equinox happens thirteen days later. Easter is late this year, but, with any luck, the weather will cooperate and we won't be shoveling a path for the Easter Bunny through snow.

Spring temperatures, longer days, more sunlight, and a return to the porch are within sight! I can do this!

Also, this quote from the front cover of The Magnolia Journal caught my eye yesterday as Queen B and I were perusing the magazine section at the Hellmouth (she was down from Neighboring City for the night, giving me a chance to semi-celebrate her upcoming birthday, and, I was thrilled to have her home)... spoke to my heart, and, reminded me that I am in this place, at this time, for a purpose; I just have to hold on long enough to understand what that purpose is.

I can do it.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

There is Strength in Numbers, or, Misery Loves Company...Dealer's Choice

I had a brief but comforting phone call from my sister Barbie earlier today, and, while I am still dealing with all of the mental and emotional turmoil of Hormones Gone Wrong (awesome band name, feel free to steal), I was somewhat mollified by the fact that she is suffering from almost the exact same issues. Now, don't get me wrong; I don't wish this shit on anybody, least of all my favorite baby sister, but, I gotta admit, if I got to be in this, I'm really happy to learn that I'm not alone.

Also, the chance that we are both going crazy is statistically low, given our familial history, so, the likelihood that hormones are, indeed, solely to blame for this awesome shit show is hugely comforting. Hormones, we can wrest into compliance with the proper medical protocols, I mean, right? Tell me I'm right (pleaseohpleaseohpleaseohplease).

On the bright side, I had a marginally better day at work today. There is a slight possibility that the people who hired me actually knew what they were doing. Also, the automatic car wash is a really great place to gather one's thoughts and to practice intentional breathing techniques outside of prying eyes.

Thank God Hugh purchased a monthly unlimited wash package.

Monday, February 17, 2020

Greetings From the Couch

I literally spent the past three days doing nothing but relaxing on the couch while a steady stream of Outlander episodes played on the television. I should be ashamed of my laziness, but, instead, am going to show myself some grace; clearly, I needed an uninterrupted stretch of mental downtime.

I'm struggling, friends.

I am experiencing an emotional roller coaster that has me quite perplexed, vexed, and, if I am being honest, scared. I've never felt this level of self-doubt in my entire life, including the time that I was in the throes of an early-life crisis following my graduation from college, when, the unknown loomed ahead of me in a most terrifying way. Back then, I had the luxury of knowing that I could easily throw myself on the mercy of my parents and they would guide me through. These days, I am the parent who is supposed to be capable of doing the guiding, and, quite frankly, I feel less than qualified to do so.

In between bouts of paralyzing anxiety and debilitating sadness, I am able to remind myself that all this emotion is probably being driven by hormones that are completely out of whack, but, that knowledge brings no comfort while in the moment.

And, considering all of my many, many blessings, it feels completely ridiculous and selfish to indulge myself in this spiral, but, I have no idea how to stop it. Actually, that's a lie; I know how, I just lack the energy to do what needs to be done.

Hence, three days in the supine position on a couch that is rapidly developing a familiarly shaped divot in the cushions.

Ok, so, making a list:

  • Start eating better, including breakfast and lunch, which I have been skipping the past two weeks.
  • Make myself leave work for at least one outdoor walk each day. The vitamin D will do me good.
  • Stop allowing the sheer magnitude of everything that I don't know at New Job to overwhelm me; make lists, prioritize tasks, ask for help when I need it, and remind myself that Rome was not built in a day and no one expects me to have all the answers today.
  • Get back in the routine of going to the gym.
  • Make an appointment to have my blood work done the minute my new insurance kicks in on the first of March. 
  • Give serious thought to going on hormone replacement therapy; the risk of developing cancer may be less scary than the thought of living like this for the rest of my life.
  • Keep playing the lottery; if I do end up feeling like this for the rest of my life, at least I could do it on a tropical island.

I have to remind myself that this, too, shall pass. One day, I'll look back at it and I'll understand why it happened, or, at the very least, consider it a learning experience. In the meantime, I'm not lying when I say that I would gladly trade my couch for a hammock.

There is far less of a chance of a hammock developing a divot.

Saturday, February 15, 2020

So, It's Been a Week....

This new job is really affecting my ability to be a good blogger. Not that I've ever been a good blogger, but, lately, wow; terrible!

If it makes any difference, it isn't just the blog that is suffering; I've also completely neglected my household duties, my fitness routine, and my (already meager) social life. By the time I get home in the evenings, I am so mentally, physically, and emotionally exhausted, all I want to do is curl up on the couch and do nothing.

Most days, I have forgotten to eat, and, by the time I'm curled up on the couch, cooking dinner is the farthest thing from my mind. The only thing that saved Hugh from complete starvation this week was Emily's birthday dinner on Thursday night.  I don't think I've ever seen Hugh more grateful for a meal.

I'm sure this craziness will pass, once I get the hang of my new duties and feel a bit more confident in my ability to execute them, but, for now, we are in full-on survival mode, which, apparently does not afford the headspace to remember anything but the most critical of information, which, is why I completely spaced out Valentine's Day.

Hugh, it must be noted, did not space it out, and, these gorgeous flowers were delivered to me at New Day Job, officially becoming the most lovely thing in my office (which, is still a work in progress, having fallen way down on the old ladder of priorities).

It's the weekend now, and, a long one at that (thanks to the fact that New Job recognizes all of the federal holidays), so, I am determined to get my house in order, and, to get my body moving again....

...right after I finish watching the season premiere of Outlander.

A girl's gotta have priorities.

Saturday, February 08, 2020

And, on the Sixth Day, She Rested. Theoretically

Holy hell, people. This first week of new employment has Kicked. My. Ass.

I was looking forward to sleeping in this morning, but, was awoken early by a text message alerting me to the fact that the announcement of my appointment to my new position had made the front page of the local newspaper, so, I missed out on a few extra zzzzzs. In addition to being tired, I am also super uncomfortable with the media attention (despite what you may have heard, I am the exact opposite of an attention whore). On the bright side, today's newspaper is tomorrow's cage liner, and, I can always nap, so, neither issue is fatal.

Today, I am really looking forward to being able to decompress, but, I really do need to dedicate some time to the running of my actual household, as well as to the financial functioning of the hardware store, and, a little routine physical maintenance of my face and body wouldn't hurt, so, in reality, decompression may have to wait.

Indeed, in just the time that I have been working on this post, I have also managed to exfoliate and moisturize my face, treat the Boomer dog's ringworm, throw dinner into the crockpot, and refill the bird feeders in the back yard. It's entirely possible that I won't hit publish on this post until I have also accomplished the majority of the items on my mental To-Do list; I'm a multi-tasker like that.

So, yeah...maybe I'll rest tomorrow.

Burning the candle at both ends...luckily, this candle smells amazing!

Thursday, February 06, 2020

And on the Fourth Day, She Medicated With Wine

Because it's been a wine and carbs kind of day. Actually, it's been more like a sugar-coma kind of day, but, bread and wine will have to do because I am off sugar and therefore can't indulge in the Ben & Jerry's Phish Food ice cream that resides in the deepest recesses of the spare freezer out in the garage (where, in theory, I will forget its existence completely, someday).

Now, to make it through tomorrow, at which point I will be able to say that I am one week in (and, one week closer to having a clue about what the hell I'm doing).

Wednesday, February 05, 2020

And on the Second Day, She Survived an Ambush

Days two and three are on the books; day three went marginally better than day two, as suggested in the title of this post.

The above-mentioned ambush centered on issues created by my predecessor, and, I am well aware that I am now responsible for correcting them. The attack included professionals from several partnering agencies, and, not surprisingly, was coordinated by an ex colleague from Old Day Job, so; the toxic culture from that organization is the gift that just keeps on giving. On the bright side, I am now in a position to push back, and, trust me; push back, I shall.

But, enough of the negative. Today, I considered putting in an application at Walmart four or five times, rather then the ten or so times that I did yesterday, so, progress!

Tuesday, February 04, 2020

In Which She Survived the First Day

New Day Job is going to be a challenge and a half, but, I made it through the first day! Credit for setting the tone for the day goes to Co-Worker Erin (you may remember her as 1/2 of The Lesbians), who, I would refer to as Ex Co-Worker Erin, since I worked with her at Old Day Job, but, surprise! She also works part-time at New Day Job, so, still a co-worker! Although, she now refers to me as Boss Lady, which is both endearing and embarrassing, and, a total digression from the point...the point is; she and Kristi (the other 1/2 of The Lesbians, and, ironically, another ex co-worker) surprised me with a welcoming gift!

It was so thoughtful and sweet, and, as I said, it set the tone for the day; I do got this!

Hugh also gave me a sweet card, but, I didn't discover that until much later in the day (like, wellll past work hours), when he casually inquired as to whether or not I had seen it (he hid it in my day planner, and I was so busy learning the specifics of an accreditation application that I am responsible for submitting, like, next month, that I never even opened the planner).

Speaking of things that happened past work hours; I attended my first fundraising event as the Executive Director of New Day Job last night. I knew more people at the event than I expected to know, and, actually felt like I belonged in the room. So, one of my biggest fears about this position has been unrealized; this gives me great hope that I will survive day two, which is where I am headed as soon as I hit publish on this post.

On a totally unrelated note, while I was learning the ropes at the new place yesterday, Hugh was taking the Boomer Dog to the vet, where he got a ringworm diagnosis and a hefty dose of fat-shaming.

I've been instructed to help him lose 11.8 pounds.

Bless his heart.

Monday, February 03, 2020

Finally February

I don't generally welcome February with open arms, but, hello, February! It's so good to see you! Please make yourself comfortable (but, not too comfortable, because, March means Spring and Spring means sunshine and porch time!).

I have a lot to look forward to this month, including Queen B's 24th birthday and my new job, which, starts today! I'm using exclamation points to psyche myself up for what is sure to be a challenging day! But, I got this!

(Oh, please, oh, please, oh, please)

I kicked the month off on a rather sad note, attending the funeral for my childhood friend. It was a nice service; I got to see friends from high school whom I haven't seen for a few years, and I got to spend time with Mom, which is always a pleasure.

I made the trip to and from Mayberry in just 24 hours, so it was a quick turnaround, but, Hugh and I had plans with Chris and Jana, and I didn't want to reschedule. We went to dinner at a little bistro in Hooterville and it was amazing! I had the risotto alle verdura and it was delicious. I have no idea how we have missed eating there, but, now that we know how good it is, we will definitely be back.

Yesterday, I tied up some loose ends at the hardware store while the rest of the nation watched J Lo climb around on a stripper pole. I think there was also a game or something.

Now, I am off to New Day Job. I have no idea what I am doing, what the day will look like, or how I am expected to lead this organization, but, I'm giving myself a month to figure it out; I figure that's the threshold for how long one can claim to be "new" and a legitimate amount of time to blame shortcomings on the past administration. After that; it's all on me.

Damn. Maybe I shouldn't have picked the shortest (theoretically) month of the year to start this new gig.