Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 - The Year of Shock and Surprise

Looking back, I spent a lot of time in 2009 being surprised and shocked by people. Surprised and shocked by their greed, thievery, unethical behavior, and plain old not giving a shit about anyone else on the planet except themselves. There were a lot of times when I walked around feeling like I had been punched in the chest out of shock. Seriously. Some people were just not good this year.

Don't quit reading here.... There's a big but ahead....

BUT... much MUCH more often than I was shocked in a bad way, I was surprised in a good way. Many, many people surprised me with the strength they exhibited through bad times, their tolerance, their loyalty, and their humor. (You think humor's low on the totem pole of what came in handy this year? You're sorely mistaken! Sometimes a good dose of gallows humor saves the day!) I learned to notice and appreciate simple kindnesses - a random funny text message, a bit of wise advice, a beer, even just hearing "good to see you". Honestly, those things were probably there all the time, but I had my head somewhere else and didn't pay attention. I'm grateful that I had the opportunity to clear junk out of my mind and pay more attention to the present moment.

Earlier this year, there was a period of about a month when I didn't want to even look at people because I felt like everyone in the world was sticking their hand out at me demanding something they didn't deserve.

As this year winds down though, and I pull back and look at it, I realize - For every hand that reached out to take and cause harm, ten others reached out to pull me up, to help, to support. For every voice that told me I'm not good enough, I'm not necessary, I'm not important, a dozen voices full of love and caring drowned it out.

Someone I know pointed out to me recently that they think I'm a better person now than I was at the start of this year. Stronger, more focused, wiser. I'd like to believe them. If that's true, then all the chaos and upheaval of this year was worth it.

I just read a really good quote from Pema Chodron: "We think that the point is to pass the test or to overcome the problem, but the truth is that things don't really get solved. They come together and they fall apart." I think next year I'm going to try not to keep things so tidy. Not to try to put a bow on everything, and fix everything. Kind of let things just happen and feel how that feels.

Take care. Have a happy and safe New Year. If you're happy 2009 is over, may you bask in that happiness. If you had a good 2009, I hope it carries over into the new year.

Friday, December 18, 2009

I believe there is a direct relationship between how happy I've been feeling lately and my coffee intake increasing. Why I gave up coffee for a year, who knows. Bless you, beans of happiness.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Random List of Things I've Done After not having a Job

Just felt like taking a little stock in things I've started doing since I've been free from a job. Someone asked me, "So, what have you done since you got laid off?" My eloquent response? uh... ummmm, I don't know... So this is just me looking back:

  1. Got a cat
  2. Got rid of a TON of junk that I just do not need anymore. Clothes. Bowling pins. Fabric. Old magazines and concert programs.... none of it was doing me any good.
  3. Started a Winter garden. If I even get ONE salad out of it this Winter, I'll be thrilled.
  4. Had a lot of drinks and lunches with people I haven't seen in a long time
  5. Stopped to think.
  6. Set up my bead making area again. Beads to come once my better half gets the electricity set up to where it needs to be.
  7. Did a lot of yoga
  8. Read a lot of Buddhist stuff
  9. Had to let go of trying to plan each and every aspect of everything ever, and let things happen however they're going to happen
  10. Spent a lot of good quality time with my best friend
  11. Started making my own yogurt
  12. I bake our own bread now
  13. I shop local a lot more than I did before

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

That's right people! The Polka Hall of Fame AND the Softball Hall of Fame SHARE a building. I had no idea.

I'm trying to use the free time I have now to do things I've been meaning to do, but never made the time to do. Like, I got my furnace inspected, got my cats to the vet for checkups, made Peachy Chicken... and today, I visited the Polka Hall of Fame.

It was pretty darned cool.

I had the place to myself, except for the lady working in the gift shop. As soon as I got there, I couldn't STOP taking pictures. Sensing I was a PHOF newbie, the Nice Lady came over and asked me if I'd been there before. Then, she played me a very informative video on the history of Cleveland style Polka. Honestly, even though not so distant relatives came over on "the boat", I had no idea about half the stuff they talked about.

I learned that Cleveland Style Polka is generally more melodic and accordion based than other styles. Which I think is good because while I'm open minded, I don't think I would like atonal Polka music, even if it were to be accordion based. Here are some more pictures:

I knew Frankie Yankovic was a big deal - In fact, I saw him when he played at a church my uncle was the pastor of. I did not know, though, that he won the first Grammy for Polka music. Rock on! This is a picture of his Pancordion. The pancordion is also played by Myron Floren, who was the house accordionist for the Lawrence Welk Show.

Once I looked around and saw everything, I went to the gift shop. The woman working in it was really nice. In order to try to get street cred, I did oh-so-casually work in how I appeared on Polka Varieties. Don't know what that is? It was a tv show that aired on Sunday afternoons. Paul Wilcox hosted it, all kinds of Polka bands would play, and people would come in all dressed up and dance to the bands. Think American Bandstand, but with Polkas, and an older crowd.

While I was looking at t-shirts, an older man came in. He was driving past and heard a song on the radio that he liked, so he came in to see what song it was and buy it. The Gift Shop Lady called polka show to see what song it was. They didn't sell it at the shop, but at least the guy had the info he needed to find it on his own.

Then the Gift Shop Lady asked me why I was there. I told her I lost my job and was catching up on things I always meant to do. She said, "Yeah. I figured you got laid off but I didn't want to ask". Then she told me that she herself lost her job earlier this year. She was at her former employer for just shy of 30 years, and there's no chance of her getting called back to work. She also talked to me about her daughter who still has a job, but has had to take on more and more work, to the point where she isn't sure it's worth it.

I wish I was a better writer and could do a better job of capturing the conversations I've had with people. This is such a surreal time for so many people. I am always surprised at how the rotten economy has touched pretty much everyone I come in contact with.


I didn't make it to the Softball Hall of Fame. Polka was enough for one day. Maybe next time :)

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Office Holiday Parties

I realized yesterday that this will be the first year in honestly I don't remember how long that I don't have a workplace holiday party to attend! Are they always fun? mmmmm..... not really. But are they a tradition? For sure! Sadly for me this year, no awkward conversations, no Chinese raffles, no White Elephant gift exchange (I even had my present all ready to wrap in MAY), no watching co-workers shake their groove things to a DJ playing classic hits like "Brick House".

Are you still working? Is your office having a holiday party? If you have an open slot, consider me as your entire company's "+1". In return, I promise to participate in, or at least enthusiastically encourage the following:

1. Xeroxing body parts.
2. Drinking too much and then try to hide the fact that they drank too much when they're talking to someone like the CEO, etc...
3. Drinking too much and making out with someone completely inappropriate
4. Requesting rap songs with bad words in them then giggling at the awkward stares as HR vacates the dance floor and glares at the offending party, secretly planning the latest addition to that person's "Permanent Record"
5. Food fight!!??!!
6. Loudly demanding "Let's do shots!"
7. Sneaking out of the party and sneaking into a better party at the same facility but thrown by a different company
8. Finding the stash of blank name tags and making up funny faux name tags

I would be especially honored to be included in the subsequent flurries of emails sent to / from my "coworkers for a night" expressing remorse, sharing gossip, and, especially welcome, containing photos. I promise to hit "Reply All" and respond with clever retorts like "LOL" and "OMG" as long as you wish, to keep the conversations going and make sure the server has plenty of data to store.

My dance card is filling up for the rest of the year, but for your office's party, I'd happily re-evaluate my priorities. Especially if the DJ will play the Chicken Dance.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Peachy Chicken and Cranberry Orange Chutney

Peachy Chicken and I have a little history. I remember about, oh, maybe 7 years ago, having lunch with some coworkers at the Rockne's out in Solon. On the table was a bottle of Heinz Malt Vinegar. It's the restaurant standard as far as malt vinegars. On the back of every single bottle of it EVER (at least every bottle I've ever seen) is a recipe for something called Peachy Chicken. During that lunch I vowed out loud "Someday I'm going to make that." I'd repeat that promise every single time I'd see a bottle of Heinz Malt Vinegar. Well, yesterday was The Day. Funniest part was when I went to the grocery store to get more malt vinegar because I didn't think I had enough, the store I went to didn't carry Heinz. Of course the recipe's all over the interwebs, so I found it in about 2 seconds after I got home.

Final Grade: B. I'll make it again, but with more spices. So there. 7 years of empty promises now atoned for! Thank you, crashing economy for the time to make Peachy Chicken.

I finished all of my Thanksgiving grocery shopping yesterday - aided by three sets of lists I created over the course of 2 days. The list for the West Side Market. The list for the grocery store. The Final Menu. I'm grateful that I can do shopping at off hours, because on Monday morning, stores were already getting crowded and people were squirrely. You know how people say that New Years Eve is Amateur night, because people who don't go out much will go out and act like people who don't go out much? I think shopping before Thanksgiving is like that.

The turkey find was exciting - a little free range, no hormone fueled bird that hopefully had a reasonable life before turning itself over to us.

This morning I made the cranberry orange chutney (and discovered that it is delicious on oatmeal). Later today, pie crusts. Tomorrow, stay out of my way because it's ALL getting cooked tomorrow.

Also yesterday, I made an appointment to go meet a kitten that needs a home. I'm on the fence. I'm not sure bringing a new cat into the house will be good for our current pets - the two crotchety old lady cats we have (if you are old enough, picture the Baldwin Sisters from the Waltons if they didn't have the benefit of The Recipe). This would technically be a good time to add to the fold because I have the time to work on keeping them separated until they get used to each other and stuff, but they're old and I love their dynamic (they sleep on us a lot). I hope I'm not messing with that.

I also had a little phone interview yesterday. Very exciting sounding position, we'll see what happens.

Rock on!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Let Me Brush Your Rock and Roll Hair

Go on, TRY not to think of the Cars song.... I love the Cars. In fact, I'm pretty sure every time I hear a Cars song, I say out loud "I love the Cars". I am predictable that way.

So I got a nice little lesson in "Care. Less." and how it can be some darned good advice. Bear with the little set up... I was in a pretty up and down mood yesterday. The morning was good, I got a good haircut then went to MOCA to see the craft show. Then when I got home, I was back to feeling funky-in-a-bad-way again. And I did exactly nothing to shake it, which was my own fault.

Later that night we had plans to go out and see some bands. I almost said I didn't want to go because it all just seemed like too much work. Puuuuuuuuttting on clothes....... puuuuuuutttting on makeup.... goooooooooing outside.... But I had a great hairdo, my better half was pumped, so I went with it.

Turned out to be one of the most fun nights in ages!

One of the bands that was supposed to play canceled at the last minute (screw you, or maybe THANK YOU, Russian Business Syndicate), and one of the dudes in another band asked me if I'd play a few songs. Normally, I plan my sets down to the LETTER, but this time, I just said, "SURE!" They set up a kick drum for me, and a guitar, and got me a kazoo, so all I had to do was just sit down and play. I didn't even make up a set list. This may not sound like a big deal to you, but ME? No PLAN? hoooooly lack of planning Batman! No pre-show jitters, no hassling with booking, no nothing. Oh, and it was to celebrate someone's birthday. As if I can EVER dis a birthday!

So I think this small incident was a little gentle sucker punch from some higher power, telling me "See? Plan all you want, stuff's going to happen as it is supposed to happen." Maybe it's my new rock and roll hair. Maybe it's the fumes from the aerosol hairspray. Don't know, don't care. All I want to do is hang on to that feeling of winging it, and having that be A-OK.

Happy Sunday everyone!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

10 Worst Things to Say

Good morning...

I got this article from today - 10 things not to say to someone who just got laid off:

#3 JUST about made me punch my computer monitor, and it's not the monitor's fault, poor inanimate object is just showing me the article! While there are a few upsides to being laid off, no one needs them pointed out. Let us discover them on our own - for me, it makes me feel like I'm accomplishing something.

#9 and #10, I can't believe people have to be instructed to not say those things!

Ah.... navigating the waters is hard on everyone these days!

I'm going to work out, then have lunch with a woman I used to work with. My best friend told me that while things are slow with recruiting and job hunting, I should go out to lunch a lot. I took her VERY literally :) I'm sure she meant to do it as a networking thing, but today, a burger and a beer sounds like the better plan.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Small Kindnesses


Over the past few days, two more people I know lost their jobs. Welcome to the fold, wish it was lonelier here.

This past Saturday, I played a show in Bowling Green. I haven't played out in awhile because honestly I just didn't feel like it. It takes a lot to get out of bed some mornings, being entertaining just seemed too hard. It turned out to be a really good night though. On the drive there, Tom and I saw a shooting star - my first! I wished on it, of course I can't tell you what I wished for but it has already come true. So, I am batting a thousand with shooting stars :)

I played with a band I did one other show with - a bunch of people from Bowling Green who do two bands: Hot Love, and the Dumb Easies. They totally made my night, they seem to love Miss Firecracker (clearly they are highly cultured and brilliant musical aficionados, ha ha ha!). When it was over, I guess there was some kind of snafu with money. They ended up reaching into their own pockets to make sure I at least got gas money for the trip. That doesn't sound like much, but to me, it was HUGE. Before the show, I complained to Tom that dealing with booking shows and having to haggle about money discourages me from trying to book more shows. That gesture reminded me that there are some good people out there.

My friends and I have had some pretty sh*tty stuff happen to us this year. But for me anyway, it makes even small kindnesses go a long way. I'm going to spend a little bit of the money they gave me on food for a food drive, kinda pay it forward.

This morning, I'm back online seeing what jobs have been posted recently. I've expanded the types of jobs I'm looking for, which has at least resulted in more jobs showing up in searches. This at least gives me the illusion that things are getting better. Ah, smoke and mirrors LOL. After I was finished searching, I was reading some random news articles. A job I JUST applied for was included in an article called something like "High Stress Jobs that Pay Badly"! Is that ironic, or just funny?

Time to plow through my "To do" list!

Friday, November 13, 2009


I realized this morning that when I start to type the URL to check my lottery tickets, two websites come up in "history" - the lottery website, and the state unemployment website.

It's a beautiful day, going out to enjoy it. I'm becoming a regular at the West Side Market these days. Today I'm picking up bread and cheese for paninis for tonight. After that, I'm going to find a coffee shop, get some strong brew, and read my ERP book.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

"Getting over it"


Today, I took myself on a little date. First I worked out so I'd look nice for myself, I even showered and applied cosmetic products afterwards.

I went to see "Law Abiding Citizen". 1.5 hours of Gerald Butler kicking the asses of people who didn't do right by his family. While I can't condone the violence, I can't say I didn't enjoy living vicariously through the movie for a little while.

After the movie I went to dinner. Nothing fancy, but I understand I'm on a budget so I went Dutch. A burger and fries at Longhorn, and a beer bigger than my head.

During dinner though, I wrote in a journal. I'm not a big "journal-er". Growing up, I didn't have a lot of privacy, so putting thing down on paper wasn't the wisest plan let's just say. But lately I'm finding it helpful. Kind of like talking to myself, but I can go back later and re-read stuff, see what I was thinking, what I did, how I felt....

I was in a SUPER bad mood this morning. Weepy, angry, never-gonna-find-a-job-ever-again, the whole deal. So I'm writing in this journal that I bought at CVS to document something we were going to do about two months ago that went to sh*t, trying to figure out how to stop being so angry. I realized that I'm afraid to not worry, and to not spend every single minute obsessed over finding a new job, running out of money, worrying about God-knows-what. It's comfortable to worry. That's what I'm supposed to do, right? I lost my job. I have no money. I'm supposed to gnash my teeth and beat myself up. It's comfortable, that's how I'm used to behaving. And THIS time? This is the longest I've been without a job since I started working a hundred years ago, so surely I'm supposed to feel extra sh*tty. Mission accomplished then, because I. Feel. Like. Ass. (Sometimes)

Here's what I realized: I'm afraid if I stop worrying, and stop feeling like the weight of the world is on my shoulders, two things will happen: 1. The people who didn't do right by me will feel relieved, and think they're off the hook, and 2. Nothing good will happen to me because I didn't pay my dues by worrying enough. Like there's a quota.

ALL kinds of stuff is crazy about those two little sentences. The first one's easy: a. They don't care, and b. I very seldom care what people think. Why did I pick NOW of all times to start?

The second one's a little tougher. The best I can say right now is that sitting at home feeling bad and frantically searching for any shred of a job is not going to make a job magically appear. It's not going to make the recession over, it's not going to make companies hire more workers all of a sudden, and it's not going to help me keep an open mind. As my best friend brought up today, in a different context but it's still relevant, "Sometimes, the hardest thing to understand is that it is not always about you." or about me, whatever the gramatically correct way to say that is.

Normally I like to have a nice wrap-up. A sentence that ends with "So I......." But I don't have one today. There's no real answer right now. And to paraphrase Pema Chodron, this isn't something that has to be fixed. I just have to make friends with it. So I guess the first step is trying to cut myself a little slack. I'll cut a little tomorrow, a little more Saturday, and so on. I will also try to admit to myself that as much as I would like to, I cannot control everything.

Alright. This blog is interrupting my date. I have some Merlot, some fresh Mad Men episodes, and some chocolate cake. I'm going to resume my date now.

Thanks guys.

Sunday, November 8, 2009


I officially ended my "detox", "experience", whatever you want to call it yesterday. It was a great week. I did a lot of thinking, and a lot of yoga. By Saturday, I was actually a little bit sore. It was good though. I'm going to keep up journaling for now. It helped me keep track of my thoughts instead of having them spiral out who-knows-where. It will be interesting after a month or so to look back and see what I was thinking, too.

We went to see the Burning River Roller Girls last night. It was their first time at the Wolstein Center. They were very entertaining, and it was a really well run, well organized night. A good friend of mine is the President of the league this year. I'm really proud of her for how hard she's worked to help the BRRGs be more organized and portray themselves as a sports team. It's easy for people to dismiss them as just silly girls in little outfits, skating around. But they work really, really hard. It's good to see them getting more popular.

After that, we celebrated the birthday of another good friend of ours. (that is where the detox came to a crashing halt, oops!). It felt really good to be out among friends again. I don't feel very social much of the time, but last night, it was fun.

Tomorrow I will focus on reading my ERP book. I hope it will be a nice day so I can find somewhere to sit outside, maybe with a cup of coffee or tea, and take it all in.

Have a good night everyone!

Friday, November 6, 2009

It's Day 6 of Immersion. It's been a very interesting week. Sometimes hard, because a lot of feelings that have been buried for a long, long time have come up. It can be surprising what pops into your head when your body is twisted like a rag doll and you're pretty sure you're not going to be able to come out of the pose :)

Today during practice, it was like a lightening bolt: When did I get such a restrictively narrow view of myself? When did I become Oh So Painfully Serious about work? What happened to the view I had of myself in my 20's. This is strictly related to work, by the way. See, my idea was to do everything I could in my 20's, figure out what worked for me, then kind of settle in. So in my 20's, I was much more relaxed about what kind of job I had. Granted, some of them were crappy jobs that I'd VERY much prefer to stay away from. But some were fun. I love managing projects, and I love technology, so a marriage of the two would still be my favorite situation. But maybe I'm being too narrow. Tell me ANY job that has ANY kind of responsibility that doesn't involve managing a project some how. Seriously!

Now, I understand that now, the stakes are higher. I have a husband, a house, more bills, and frankly, I like being a little more comfortable than when I lived out of my '81 Ford Fairmont. But does that mean I have so few options that I feel this trapped? I don't know. Maybe. But maybe not.

Today I'm going to open myself up to looking at "Work Carol" differently, see what I am truly open to and try to blur the lines a little. It's completely possible I'll end up back where I started, but I want to at least see.

Monday, November 2, 2009



So yesterday I started a week long detox. The yoga studio I go to does this every few months, then I think once or twice a year they do a month long one. It's pretty lowkey for a detox - do 6 sessions of yoga in the week, eat whole foods, nothing processed, and skip booze and caffeine.

We also are supposed to journal - something I have never been good at. That's because growing up I knew whatever I wrote wouldn't be a secret, so I wasn't willing to commit anything to paper. Oh childhood baggage! This week though, I'm trying to actually follow through with it. One thing I am going to do every day is think about something that I'm grateful for. I've lost track of a lot of that lately, and I've been focused on all the crap that I'm mired in right now. So I want to spend at least a few minutes every day reminding myself that there's a lot of good in my life. This is by no means a broad, sweeping declaration of "Hey! Everything's GREAT now!" It's not. But it's not all shit either.

I am also reading a book called "When Things Fall Apart". It's by a Buddist nun whose name I can't remember right now, Pema something. It's an amazing book. It's not a typical self-helpy oh hang in there everything's fine, take a long bath and a nap and things will all be back to normal. No. It's more about how when things are chaotic, or you feel fear, the best thing you can do is acknowledge it and feel it. I believe she describes it as making friends with your fears so you can sort of have a truce. Very radical advice, and HARD. But it makes sense. Typical ways of handling situations don't really help, so I'm very excited to be learning new ideas about that. I'll post some stuff from her book here and there. Not to be preachy. It's not for everyone. It's just interesting food for though.

"Chaos should be regarded as very, very good news."


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

I both love and hate my Blackberry. Last year, I heard about a phenomenon where people thought they heard their cell phone ringing or that little Pavlovian bell that rings when an email arrives. Now I find myself imagining the little red light in the upper right corner is blinking when it really isn't.

Today I am trying to re-train myself. I set the notifications on my Blackberry to LOUD so that there is no mistaking when an email or text arrives. Sure the two emails I have received this morning nearly gave me heart attacks (they are serious when they use the word LOUD). But it beats sitting and staring at my stupid phone waiting for the light to blink.

That's all I have so far.

Rock on!

Monday, October 26, 2009


It's been awhile. I've been mostly just posting pictures over on Facebook, and keeping things light. I'm pretty sure Lacey's the only one who reads my blog, ha ha ha! Hi Lacey....

One thing I have noticed lately is that I am pinning more and more baggage on times of day. I pretty much always got depressed on Sunday nights, but before now, it was because I was dreading starting the new work week. Now, I dread how everyone ELSE will be going to work the following day, but I'll be left behind. I'll be honest, Monday mornings are very lonely sometimes. Today was a Monday, and I woke up with a TERRIBLE headache. I'm going to pay attention next Monday, hopefully this isn't a pattern.

I also am beginning to dread 4 PM. I can pretty much hold out hope that something will go on with a job, but once it's 4, I give up on anyone calling me or emailing me. I figure, anyone I interviewed with or even sent my resume to has started trying to wrap their own day up. So you know how 4 to 7 is typically called "Happy Hour"? Well, right now... not so much.

Sorry Sunday nights, Monday mornings, and every day from 4 to about 7. Someday, I'll be employed again, and you can be baggage free. Except you, Sunday nights. I'll always have JUST a little dread on Sunday nights :)

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Lately, I've taken up bread baking. If you're on Facebook and we're friends, you've probably seen some pictures. I don't know how to put pictures in this blog. I'll write, then see if I can figure it out.

It's been fun, and so far there haven't been any disasters. I do need to figure out more about baking with honey instead of sugar though. I've been using a one to one measurement, and I don't think that's accurate.

Anyway, when I first started I had this totally new agey philosophy - ohhhhhhhh, I'm creating things with my own haaaaaaands, and the whole process is supposed to be all cathartic...especially kneading the dough. So the first loaf or two, I tried to think all these good thoughts while I was kneading, bla bla bla.... Well, that didn't really work. It made my mind wander less towards good thoughts and more towards why I have to go through all these efforts to forget bad stuff, and then of course, on to rotten stuff from the recent-ish past.

So I decided to just go with it. Now, when I'm pounding the dough, and throttling it against the cutting board, if "bad" thoughts come into my head, I focus on pounding them into the bread and processing them that way. It gives me GREAT glee and satisfaction to know that those thoughts are in that bread, and I'm going to eat them, take good energy out of them, then poop them out.

Crass, sure. But pooping out bad thoughts beats letting them fester in my brain, am I right?

Now to figure out how to post a picture... Ok, got it. It's at the top of the page now.

Onward and upward!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Talking to People


I've realized over the past few days that one thing that's hard about not having a job is not having people to talk to. I have taken to talking to my cats way too much. Now, even THEY think I'm the crazy cat lady!

Seriously though, I never thought I'd miss shooting the breeze over a cup of coffee, or some wine after work. It's Fall. I'm missing back to school stories, "what I did with my Summer" stories, and of course all kinds of grousing about "When will it EVER rain here finally?"

Gotta do something about this.

I signed up for Skype, but I have no idea who else I know has it. I like it for chatting so far, haven't had the chance to use it for a phone call yet. I also started looking into doing some volunteer work. I think it's important to give something back for one thing. And it would be helpful to myself, too. A little more human interaction might go a long way these days :)

Take care, have a good weekend!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Seven Weeks


It was seven weeks yesterday since I lost my job. It doesn't feel like that long, but then again, I don't know if that's a long time or not. I've never been unintentionally out of work for this long.

One thing it does feel like is a "tipping point". I feel like by now, I should have some much better answers to peoples' questions about "what I've been up to" and "how things are going". When people ask me questions like that, I feel awkward.

Look, probably a good 40% of me is enjoying this time off. I had a lot of stuff around the house I wanted to do that's now at least started, my parents have needed help, and it's been nice to have the time to plan, cook, and eat a little healthier. I'm grateful for the fact that I can do things like watch Lacey's cat, run errands at times when most other people are working, do yoga, take some "chores" off Tom's plate, stuff like that.

But that leaves about 60% of me that's not so into this. I was never the kind of person who made a strong connection between my job and who I am as a person, but something changed in the past few years. I didn't even notice it, it just snuck on up on me. Now, I don't feel like I'm contributing anything to anyone or anything.

Well, seven weeks is really only 49 days. Broken down like that, it doesn't seem like that long.

This weekend, one of my best friends, Lacey, is getting married to a great fella, Todd. My plan for the immediate future is to throw myself into all of the hoopla and pageantry, and make sure they have as much fun as humanly possible. And that Tom and I have fun, too, of course! When that's over, I'll come up with a new plan. I'm pretty sure I'm on about "Plan Q" now. I'll have to start branching out into other alphabets soon, LOL.

Have a good weekend!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Today was a good day.

I woke up early, so I got a workout in pretty early in the day. Today was "lower body day". Of course, AFTER it's over and I'm all proud of myself for actually doing it, Tom breaks the news to me that I will never be done with squats. Ever. Seriously. He could at least have let me hope.

After that, I had a turkey sandwich and started reading a book called "The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Business Don't Work and What to Do about It". It's by a fella named Michael E. Gerber (citation = complete). I'm only a few dozen pages into it, but it's good food for thought. It's making me go back and question some of the ideas I have, which is good. One thing he cautions people to be careful of is starting a business just because you're good at something. Like, I'm super good at, say, sewing potholders, so maybe it seems obvious that I should open a potholder store. However, if I don't plan it out right, all I might end up doing is buying myself a job making potholders. Then, I'm going to work myself to death and end up hating making potholders, PLUS having to do more stuff on top of that. Anyway, I'm going to try to finish the book tonight. It seems like an important step in my world domination quest.

I also had a nice chat with a good friend from my old job. It's good to know that while I was just a number to a few people, I'm not that to my friends. (It also reminded me of a 2 year old resolution to learn to speak Spanish...) Honestly, I know everything happens for a reason, and yes, everything will be fine (already well on the road to that being true), but I really miss my old job. I miss my friends, I miss organizing things, and I'm finding that I really miss managing people. I really liked "running interference" and fighting for my teams. Until my last job, I didn't realize that I would be good at that and like it so much. I hope that can be part of whatever work I do next. Maybe I'm missing a calling - defending the undefended?

Tom and I went to a ballgame with another couple on Saturday, and sure enough...I tried to manage the whole thing. (It can be trying to be married to a project manager, I would imagine!) I think tomorrow I will have to build a spreadsheet or plan some random thing!

Ok, I'm going to get back to that book. I hope you're having a good day, or night!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Introductory Blog


Those of you who know me in real life know (probably) that I got laid off in July. If you didn't know that.... hey, surprise, I got laid off in July.

I'm hardly alone. I think about 11.2% of Ohio is unemployed right now. I've never been much into being mainstream, and honestly, this is one time I REALLY wish I didn't fit in. BUT, I'm in an ok spot, so I'm going to make the most of it.

Before I go on, I want to say something to folks who read this who might be unemployed, or sensitive, or both: I'll probably end up saying things about being unemployed that seem like I'm not "taking it seriously", or that I think it's a joke. It's not. I know that. Most parts of not having a job suck. I'm just trying not to get mired down in the sucky parts.

So right now, I'm a glass and a half of wine into the day and I still have to paint my porch. (I have been painting this (**@&#*!!! porch since Day Two, I think!) I'm going to sign off. I'll have profound things to say tomorrow. Or later if this bottle is "inspiring".

Ok. Blog Post One done. Over and out!