Sunday, January 19, 2020

Even Good Change is Hard, Y'all

I spent the majority of this past week tidying up loose ends at Day Job; this included telling partners, co-workers, and corporate staff that I was leaving. The news elicited mixed reactions, ranging from genuine excitement for me to barely contained anger. The angry people don't affect me; they are high on the list of reasons why I accepted my new position in the first place, and, the people who are happy for me are, in a lot of cases, people that I will continue to interact with in my new job. The reactions, across the board, are further proof that it was well past time for me to reach higher.

This week, I am planning to tie up the more mundane, yet necessary, items on my list, including the insurance paperwork that will need to be in place in order for my family to avoid even a short period without coverage. I am debating making an appointment under my current coverage for yet another thyroid test, as things are off, and, the last two times I have experienced the same symptoms, I was in need of a medication adjustment. Of course, the heightened anxiety could be something as simple as the stress of this transition, but, I'd rather know for sure.

There are other areas in my life that are overdue for an overhaul, and, I'm putting a lot of thought into what that needs to look like, but, for now, I think I'm handling just about as much as I can.

In other news, Hugh's retirement was officially recognized by the Petticoat Junction Town Board last week. He got a cake, a new badge (which will allow him to continue to carry a concealed weapon), a standing ovation, and a framed certificate. It was a very nice send-off.

Further proof that, while change is hard, it can also be quite sweet.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

New Year, New Decade, New Job

I quit my job yesterday.

Whew. That feels really good to say out loud.

I have accepted a new position with an organization in Hooterville, and, will begin my new duties at the beginning of February. I am equal parts excited, relieved, and terrified, which, is a pretty potent combination, but, one that I can live with.

I'll miss certain aspects of Day Job (soon to be known as OLD Day Job), and I'll certainly miss a lot of my coworkers and community partners, but, overall, New Day Job is going to be a much better fit for where I am in my life at this point in time.

So, more to follow, once I have a moment to fully wrap my head around all the change that is to follow.

Hey, I said my word for 2020 was Transformation, and, that means change, so....yeah. Onward and upward!

Monday, January 13, 2020

What's a Little White Lie Between Friends

Saturday evening, Jana joined me on the couch for a little catching up, because, although we had seen each other at the beginning of the week, it's always hard to get fully caught up when we're trying to also have conversations with the other people around us.

So, an evening together called for wine, a small charcuterie board, comfy clothing, and a cheesy 80's movie playing in the background.

On that charcuterie board was a new type of cheese that I really enjoy and was hoping to sell Jana on. Unfortunately, it was a goat cheese, which, Jana typically despises. So, being the awesome friend that I am, I simply left out that part when espousing the merits of a cheese that tastes like caramel. Seriously! It's a mild goat cheese the exact same color as caramel, with the flavor to match! It's ridiculously good with slices of sharp apple, and, I was certain that she would love it.

Spoiler: She did not love it.

But! She didn't hate it, so, progress!

Of course, she'll probably never trust me to hand her a piece of new cheese again, but, I'm 99.99% positive that we can eventually rebuild that trust. In time.

Friday, January 10, 2020

The Week That Was

I officially made it through the first full work week since last year! That deserves a celebration, and, it just may include wine.

Of course, it wasn't all work; I had my share of fun, too, including  framily dinner with Chris, Jana, Oscar, and Emily on Tuesday night. Everyone wanted a chance to see the Cub one last time before he departed for Hawaii, and, a Mexican feast seemed like just the ticket.

The Cub order the seafood molcajete, the size of which, took him by surprise when it arrived. He didn't come anywhere near finishing it, but the doggy bag was totally worth the look on his face when he saw it for the first time.

The rest of us ordered more reasonable portions, but, even then, there was more than enough food to satisfy, including the awesome chicken fajitas that I had.

Wednesday night, Hugh, the Cub, and I went to see Jumanji 2 as our last activity together before the Cub returned to school, which, he did; flying out Thursday morning. It never gets easier to watch him walk through those security gates, but, I am so, so proud of how well he is doing at school.

I'm planning to spend the weekend catching up on household chores, as well as on year-end work at the hardware store. I'm also going to be napping at some point, because, this week has done kicked my ass.

Tuesday, January 07, 2020

Mutual of Omaha Presents...

The past few years, around this time, a hawk has visited my backyard. Queen B was the first to spot him two years ago, and, the Man-Cub spied him while home on Christmas break last year, so, when I pulled out of the garage yesterday, I wasn't terribly surprised to see him on the driveway.

Since I managed to catch photos of him each of his previous visits, I figured I better do so again this year, so, I rolled down my window, inched a bit closer, and, started shooting with my phone.

As I got closer, I realized that he was pecking at something on the ground, and, I assumed it was something pretty good since he didn't fly off.

Oh, it was good, all right.

When I got close enough to identify it, I realized that the hawk was pecking at what was left of one of my resident mourning doves.

That rat bastard ATE one of my doves. One of my sweet, cooing, never-hurt-anyone feathered friends. What kind of monster does that (if you just answered "A bird of prey, Chelle", you are dead to me. Dead.)?!

If I'd wanted to watch an episode of Wild Kingdom, I'd jump in my time machine and flash back to a Sunday night in 1976, grab a TV tray and a Swansons chicken dinner and have at it. But, even then, I'd just be killing time until The Wonderful World of Disney came on, I mean, honestly! I don't like watching the food chain in action, never have, never will, and; I certainly didn't need to see it play out with one of my imaginary pets as the victim.

I'm scarred, y'all. Scarred.

Please ignore the serial-killeresque quality of the handwriting in the above picture; 
I was distracted by my trauma

Monday, January 06, 2020

So Far This Year...

...yes, the year is a whopping five days old, but, here's what we've been up to...

 I got started on the de-Christmasing of the house on the 1st, managing to get all of the indoor decorations boxed up and ready for storage in the attic (they are, however, currently sitting in the living room upstairs because lazy).

Yesterday, we got the outdoor decorations taken down and boxed up and they, too, are awaiting a trip up a ladder (see above: Lazy); we are, therefore, 100% undecorated.

While Hugh and I were slaving over the decorations, the Man-Cub was living his best life-skiing in Aspen with the rest of the Fearsome Foursome, who, haven't all been together since graduation. This makes my momma heart very happy and he was totally forgiven for abandoning us to our toil.

Once the house was put back in order, I got right down to relaxing and enjoying the less cluttered atmosphere; I wasn't alone...

...the relaxation led to the best night of sleep that I have had all year (all five days of it...); I hope it's a taste of more to come.

What else is new? How about an new engagement? Kaley's young man put a ring on it! They are planning a winter wedding either late this year or early next year and I have already put dibs on throwing her bridal shower. I'm so excited!

Also, these two kids got to spend a little time together, which is awesome and also warms my momma heart.

The Cub returns to Hawaii later this week, and I am trying not to think about it. And, that's about it so far in 2020...all five days of it.

Sunday, January 05, 2020

The Epiphany

I mean that less in the religious sense (although, tomorrow is January 6th, which, is the Epiphany according to the Catholic faith ) and more in the "I've come to the serious realization that my recent lifestyle choices are, in a word, bad for me", sense.

I've undone a lot of the good work that I did back in 2017, and, I've got the physical issues to prove it. Add to that the mounting symptoms of perimenopause, and, you have a recipe for disaster. So, I've made the commitment to making positive changes that will result in a return to my normal. I'm instituting a number of changes all at once, so, when I inevitably experience success, it's going to be tough to pinpoint exactly what factors play the biggest part-sort of a chicken and the egg situation-but, I'm sort of desperate here.

Change, number one: I am going back to daily exercise. I got away from my habit of doing at least 10,000 steps a day, and, it shows.

Change, number two: I'm returning to a more intentional diet. I've allowed sugar to creep back into my life, and, like any other addictive substance, it has wrought havoc on my life.

Change, number three: I've started taking an over-the-counter supplement that is intended to provide relief from menopausal symptoms. It's hormone-free, which is important to me since my Mom's type of breast cancer was 100% hormone-driven, and, because I carry the Leiden Factor V gene mutation, which, creates a risk for blood clotting and can be exacerbated by hormones. I'm hoping the supplement will help with my nastier symptoms, including the anxiety, mood swings, hot flashes, and weight gain. I do realize that it is not a magic pill, which is why I'm instituting Changes One and Two.

Change, number four: I'm carving out time for myself, and, more importantly, I'm using that time in pursuits that challenge, relax, energize, or empower me. I need to do a better job of balancing my life and this is an important step.

I know a lot of people choose a word that they plan to live by for each new year, and, that's not really something that I have ever rabidly embraced, but, if I were to choose a word for 2020, I think it would be Transformation. It's about intentional change, leading to a new and improved outcome, and; that about sums up my goal for 2020.

See? An epiphany!