Thursday Ten: I can’t paint my nails without making a mess edition

1. It’s been a bizarre week for me – work has been busy and life has been busy and my brain has been busy and the week started with celebrating National Margarita Day and here we are rolling into Thursday and I’m just relieved that there’s another Friday in sight – and that February is almost over because really, February is never any good.

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2. I painted my nails Tuesday night. By Wednesday, I had chipped most of the polish off two nails. And then when I tried again, I smudged my top coat – and this is why i love gel manicures even though I know THEY ARE SO BAD FOR YOU. I have two sheets of Jamberrys I could use also – but I didn’t feel like cutsey chevron nails – I wanted some sass (Incognito in Sausalito is my color du jour. Until I eff it up again.)

3. The Princess’s gymnastics schedule means that she’s 100% wiped out when she gets home from the gym and oh boy I am not a fan of over-homework-tears at 9 p.m. Last night’s ordeal involved glue that wouldn’t glue and pipe cleaners that wouldn’t stick.

4. You want my opinions about vaccines, don’t you?

5. The problem with thumbs is that you use them for so much stuff that that’s where the nail polish gets most messed up. Darn thumbs.

6. I’ve been slogging through a miserable book and now a really sad book and I just want to finish these and get on to something good. Gut wrenching sobs in this sad book I’mr easing now, and I still just wish the damn things was over so I could move on to something, possibly with less death.

7. Today is my Friday. I have immense guilt over taking a day off. I’m entitled to days off. I am entitled to several and yet, guilt. I may have workaholic tendencies. It’s funny – because at the end of the work day – I’m ready to get home and have the next half of my day begin – but vacation days, days off – those are tough for me.

8. I just spent two minutes reading an article about how a beef shortage is impacting prices at Chipotle. (Chicken tacos 4 lyfe)

9. I am so tired of the cold weather. Bone chilling cold temperatures have gotten me down. Granted the commute has been easy, once I get past the fact that I’m getting into a really cold car. Two pair of socks is the norm – as is two scarves. Boots on most days, even if there’s no snow, because they’re warmer than regular shoes. So tired of being cold. Eff off February.

10. I bought three different long sleeve white tees this weekend and I don’t know that I realized i was doing it. I mean, I knew I needed white tees, but I guess I didn’t realize I bought three. Guess I’ll be all set for awhile?

Thursday Ten: I Can’t Feel My Toes edition

1. I know that I’ve said that I would far rather have the brutal cold than the snow – but OH MY GOSH IT IS SO COLD AND FRANKLY IT’S JUST GETTING RUDE. Negative wind chills equal negative Sarah.
259 | 365 - February 18, 2015


2. I’ve been watching a lot of Celebrity Apprentice on OnDemand lately (NO, I haven’t gotten around to canceling my cable yet) and I have to say: a) being a Project Manager is some tough stuff (I know because THAT IS WHAT I DO) and b) it’s interesting how little some celebrities know about business. Also, to go even a step further – it is mind boggling how poorly some people treat other people. I see that in the “real world” and not just on the show, but holy hell people: just be nice. (Also? I’m rooting for Leeza Gibbons. Man, this lady knows her stuff. And she’s likable.)

3. Okay. I’m going to use another number for this: How is Geraldo still even remotely relevant? And Ian Ziering? What the hell is he even about? Okay. I’m done.

4. The Princess is currently making a mega movie list – flicks on Netflix to watch with her friends. What a list. I think it’d be a fun trip down memory lane to watch half these movies. I mean Clueless? Yes please.

5. Yesterday was National Drink Wine Day. Sunday is National Margarita Day. It’s like someone was planning this stuff and realized that February needed a little bit of help to make it suck less.

6. And boy does it suck. I cannot believe we’re over halfway through the month – which is good – but the cold weather coupled with some snow and yuck and February is never really my favorite anyway.

7. I didn’t read 50 Shades of Gray. And I won’t go see the movie. Know what else? I’m not going to write a blog post devoted to why I won’t read the book or see the movie because frankly, go see it or don’t, read it or don’t. My opinions on the matter don’t count for anyone but me. And frankly, I don’t have enough to say about it on my own – so it wouldn’t even be worth clicking through to read what I would have to say about it. But I find it obnoxious that people who aren’t seeing the movie or reading the book are more than happy to springboard from them for the almighty page view. I think that’s almost just as bad.

8. My next door neighbor snow-blowed (snow-blowered?) my driveway yesterday. I’ve always heard people talk about their nice neighbors who do stuff like that but that’s NEVER happened to me. Until yesterday! How lovely to come home to a clean drive? It truly made my day! There really ARE people who do nice things like that!

9. What do you even wear when the windchill is so far below zero? I mean, you can’t really get warm anyway – so do you even really try? Brrr. (I tried to wear a pair of cuddle duds under my jeans on Sunday – I was warm but holy moley wearing two pairs of pants was excruciating. Uncooperative Waistbands is my fake band name)

10. At this time next year, I better be on a vacation. I can’t do another February in Michigan.

 

Thursday Ten: I Think the Cheetos are Gone edition

1. The Princess brought Cheetos home after she spend the night at a friend’s house last weekend and I’ve managed to steer clear of the delightful artificially cheesy goodness, and now that I REALLY REALLY WANT THEM… I think they’re gone.

2. The thing about agency type work is that for every day you feel like a genius at the top of your game, there are two where you feel like the biggest idiot who ever walked the planet (no? Just me?). I’m approaching my one year anniversary at this job and while I definitely feel like I’ve found my sea legs, there are days when I go home feeling deflated. Yesterday was one – there’s a lot to do and I want to keep working to get things done, but I need to shift gears and be mom too. While I can often manage to resist turning on my work laptop once I’m home for the day, I’m usually handwriting copy that needs to get done. I think better with pen and paper and I can still feel like I’m accomplishing a bit more before the day ends. Perhaps next week will be less chaotic.

3. I found the cheetos.

4. How many times a year do I decide that I need to get healthier again and dig out the Nike Training Club app? Oh? Several. Alrighty then. (Yeah, I went from cheetos to “healthy” – why do you ask?)

5. After a week of sickness, it’s nice to see Pumpkin back to her normal self this week. Appetite is back to normal and bickering with her sister levels are normal too. So thrilled.

6. I’m currently reading a memoir written by a former drug addict and I’m wondering just how he supposedly remembers all of these events in such fine tuned detail when he was supposedly tweaked out of his mind on crack. Perhaps I should just consider it fiction-ish.

7. I can tell when I’m feeling really burned out when I want to comment truthfully on everyone’s Facebook status.

8. Yay! West Michigan in getting a Trader Joe’s! (In, like 2016). I want to get excited but the fact that it’s going to be darn near a whole year before it happens makes enthusiasm kind of tough.

9. I miss taking real pictures. Spring, please come.

10. Last weekend I filed my taxes, cleaned my house, and apparently turned into an old lady. What happened to having fun on the weekends?

Thursday Ten: No More Vomit edition

1. Monday morning, Pumpkin woke me up at 4 a.m. – she didn’t feel well, and she promptly ran to my bathroom and got sick. She very nearly made it all the way to the toilet before throwing up. With the snowy road conditions I was able to stay home with her and then on Tuesday she seemed fine. Yesterday, it wasn’t until right before I left for work that she told me she’d thrown up at 4 a.m. again. She just didn’t wake me up. “I wanted you to get your sleep, mom.” Sweet, indeed, especially since vomit grosses me out, but OH THE GUILT of knowing my girl was awake and sick and didn’t tell me.

2. As my kids get older I wonder sometimes what to share, what to omit. Is vomit an overshare? I don’t know. I’m figuring it’s safe. It’s winter. Most of her fourth grade class is sick. Everybody vomits.

3. Sunday throughout the day to Monday morning, we got hammered, snow wise. Couldn’t make it to work Monday morning because even without the sick child, there was no way I could get out of my driveway without a lot of shoveling. A LOT of shoveling. It took me several trips outside, probably a combined total of at least two hours of slinging snow. Days later, my arms, my shoulders, my back – all of those torso muscles ACHE.
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4. Anyway, it should just go without saying that I am OH SO OVER WINTER. And you can give me -10 degree weather if it means that it won’t be freaking snowing. I especially hate winter driving and have found that the thought of driving in it just stresses me out so tremendously. A few weeks ago, someone was aggressively tailgating me through a particularly bad stretch of snowy roads. And recently – there was an accident in that same spot. WHY? Because IT IS NOTORIOUSLY SLUSHY AND ICY AND ROTTEN. People drive like idiots when the weather is like this – and it’s hard enough to just keep myself safe without worrying about what some other moron is going to do by driving like an asshole.

5. As I type this, my dog has excessive gas and I’m thoroughly grossed out. (Hey why not? We’ve already talked about barf, so, you know… gas was the obvious next step.)

6. When you have two appointments in one week it’s easy to get knocked off kilter which is what happened to last week’s post. I started to write it. I got stressed out. I didn’t finish writing. There’s probably a post in there, but anyway, here I am. I am stressed and I am also trying to be better at just staying in this moment where I am rather than let myself get ten steps ahead. I’m a worrier, so, you being in the moment isn’t my forte, but, I’m trying.

7. Consistently hitting 10,000 steps a day with my FitBit is a small pleasure but it makes me insanely happy. I can’t wait until the weather warms up and I can get more of those steps outside rather than jogging in place in front of my television.

8. With my addiction to Serial (which I’m done with until Season 2 comes out), I’ve become a bit of a podcast junkie. Do you have any faves? Love that “Dear Sugar” is a podcast now, hate that it’s not nearly as frequent as I would like.

9. Lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine. I’ve been hearing that phrase since I was a kid probably and I still find that most people just can’t really own up to that – taking responsibility for the timing of things. Sometimes stuff happens and it isn’t a lack of planning, it’s a curveball. But MAN when it’s a lack of planning on someone else’s part that manages to turn MY life topsy turvy? Pffft. It makes for the crankiest of Sarahs.

10. SuperBowl. Commercials. Extreme suckage. While the Nationwide commercial wasn’t a trigger for me, I’m wondering who on earth thought that was the time or place for that message, and the rest of the messages were mostly just so so. I guess when the pattern is to leak everything before hand, who actually wants to PAY THOSE RATES and advertise during the game. psh. But at least we get a football break for awhile. And hopefully a Katy Perry break also.

 

Thursday Ten: Ice and Cold and It’s Winter Edition

BLEH.

1. I think we all know that this is the time of year that I struggle with the most. I hate cold weather. I hate winter driving. I hate paying my energy bill. I hate that I can’t work out outside.I hate that my car is nearly white now from salt remnants. Yesterday it was -13 degrees when I woke up – and that’s without taking the wind chill into account (actually, the wind chill was also -13, so I guess it could have been worse? What am I even saying anymore?).

2. One of the things I did to just after Christmas is to buy a Nest Learning Thermostat – I had a programmable thermostat before but I’m hopeful that I can further cut energy expenses by better programming my schedule and the ability to set the thermostat as “Away” when I’m not at home. In just a few short weeks, I have noticed that my January 2015 bill reflects less energy usage than my 2014 bill, but there are other variables that could factor in — so I’ll be looking forward to next month’s bill (WHAT DID I JUST SAY?) just to see. Am I nerd’ing out about my energy bill? Only a little. So far.

218 | 365 - January 8, 2015

3. I have been grateful that with the rough roads last week, that I was able to carpool with my mom. Last winter’s car accident has made me even more cautious and I find that driving on icy roads just stresses me the hell out. A storm brought in truly brutal weather last Friday – which resulted in a nearly 200-car pile up near Kalamazoo. Fortunately, I was at home, working at my dining table (and NOWHERE NEAR THE HIGHWAY!), but oy. Stupid winter. Though this week has brought in some very very cold temperatures, I have to admit, I’ll take the bitter cold over the snow and ice. At least my commute is a smooth one and I have coffee to warm me.

4. Chris and I finally finished listening to Serial over the weekend and… well, gosh. I’m not sure WHAT I think. I have gone back and forth and around and around and well, I won’t spoil any of it here – but if you have listened to the series, leave me a comment letting me know what you think. Did Adnan kill Hae? Do you think Jay lied? And what do you think Serial has up its sleeve for Season Two? I admit, I am SO hooked.

5. I got my hair cut last week – had several inches cut off and I have hair cut remorse. I wanted a change. I wanted a noticeable difference. And. I got it and now I want my hair back.

216 | 365 - January 6, 2015

6. My dog has been seriously smelly the past few days and as much as I don’t want to dedicate any of this post to heinous dog farts, it’s pretty bad and he deserves some public blog shaming for whatever he did that is making him smell this way.

7. Pumpkin won her class spelling bee and then went on to compete in the school bee and was out in the first round. It’s a really interesting and terrifying thing, as a parent, to watch your kids do these kinds of things – because on one hand, I didn’t care if she won or not because I was so dang proud already, but on the other hand, I knew that no matter when she was out of the game, that it would be tough for her. And yeah, it really as. She held it together fairly well, but I could see that she was discombobulated. She said later, “I knew that it was good just that I got in but my eyes were still trying to cry even if I knew inside that it was okay.” As much as any sort of “failure” is no fun – I have to say that she handled it was grace – acknowledging that it was tough and that it was no fun, but that she ultimately is okay. Sigh. Learning experiences. Whee?

8. Still watching Gilmore Girls with The Princess every evening – and it remains one of my favorite rituals. Still hate Jess. Rory has just finished her first year of college. Lorelai just opened the inn. I’m glad that there were so many seasons so that our binge still has a while longer to go.

9. And we’ll go from the Gilmore Girls to Parenthood in its last season and still making me cry and what on earth happened to Lauren Graham’s face? (Oh. I just googled. She’s 48. I guess I’m just not used to seeing people age on television. I’m sorry that I made fun of her face.)

10. The thing about the environmentally friendly lightbulbs (besides their horrifyingly unflattering yellow glow) is that they’re all dying at the same time. I NEED REPLACEMENT LIGHTBULBS, STAT.

 

Aloha, 2014. Aloha, 2015.

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I wasn’t sure what to expect last year at this time. 2013 was truly a struggle and I felt every pang of it in the core of my being by the time December rolled around. I felt so defeated – and then along comes January and my part time job was cut altogether and my job hunt, already pretty aggressive, became frenzied. I cried a lot in January. I busted my ass interviewing and applying for jobs and networking, all the while training my former coworkers… and crying a lot.

I didn’t have much hope for 2014. I didn’t.

I had my kids, I had Chris,  my family —  but I was sure that I’d be living in a cardboard box somewhere by the time the snow finally thawed in spring.

I was pretty angry at 2014 already.

(I got a new nephew in the midst of the job hunt. It was a saving grace, for sure.)

-

My expectations for the year were pretty low.

I don’t mind saying that – they were low. I just wanted to survive this year.

Instead, i feel like… I may be on my way to more than just getting by.

A new job, a paycheck, routine.

An unexpected need for a new car (love my Prius, hate my car payment)

It was a step forward, two back.

But here at the end of it I think – I am doing this. I can do this.

-

They say it takes a woman five years after a divorce to get back on her feet financially. I’m not sure who they is, but a former co-worker told me that statistic, said it was true for her when going through her divorce. It hasn’t been five years, but I’m hopeful that 2015 is the year that I wipe out any doubt that I can get back on my feet, that I will stand on my own two feet. I hope to finish paying off all that stuff that accumulated during those first few months (the debt made worse by a thousand dollar vet bill from the night that my dog barfed and barfed and barfed for so many hours, over and over, that I ended up at the emergency vet ready to give them all of my money that I didn’t have just so they could make my dog well again).

Yeah. All of that. It’s almost gone.

I did it.

Without all of the love and encouragement I received from the people who love me, I don’t know that things would have gone as they did. But I was lifted and carried and encouraged and embraced during the darkest moments and somehow along the way, I found light.

-

I still have a ways to go.

But now I believe I can get there.

I am grateful that 2014 was gentler on me than the previous year.

-

What are my hopes for 2015?

I don’t dare to have big hopes – not because I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop and for things to turn to crap – but because I still don’t know how to think bigger than one foot in front of the other.

Last year at this time, I was in deprivation mode – fearful of spending money, fearful of losing everything. Yesterday, I impulsively ordered three pair of yoga pants in an Old Navy athletic wear sale. I probably won’t lose sleep over the purchase, either. That’s…huge. It may not sound huge, but compared to the fear that enveloped me earlier in the year, it’s really freaking huge.

I will keep working towards those moments of smoothing out the rough edges – of finding peace where I’ve been stressed, of breathing easy when I once was filled with chaos.

I’ll try to drink more water. Exercise consistently. Find a bit more peace with my body even though hey, I’m aging and I don’t super love the effect it’s having on my waistline. I’ll continue to love my Fitbit and strive to hit my step goal more often than not. I’ll aim to officially set aside money to travel – I don’t know that travel is in the stars for 2015 – but I want to start making plans for travel. I would love to make it a point to spend more time with friends – it’s tough – my schedule is chaos and most of my friends are moms – it’s hard to find time to connect, but I’ve realized lately that I’ve missed that – missed having time to talk with friends and maybe I need to redefine what that time looks like – perhaps it’s not, let’s go out for dinner – perhaps it’s come sit on my couch and talk awhile, you bring the wine and I’ll bake some cookies. I was able to spend time with friends this year – but… not enough. I live in a town that makes me feel isolated, and I need to push through that – because the town isn’t going to change, so I must. I want more of what was good in 2014 – so I hope 2014 has a trip to Traverse City in the stars, perhaps a new bottle of something great that we’ll bring home to share.

In 2015, I’ll turn 39.

I’m gonna have to come to grips with the age thing. Or start. Because holy hell, 40 is coming and I have a feeling I will need more than a year to steel myself against the punch in the face I’m afraid 40 is going to be.

But this is supposed to be a positive thing. So.

I have my eyes open to 2015. I have no idea what is ahead, only that I am allowing myself to feel hope again and that is encouraging to me, and that makes my heart feel better coming into a new year than I have felt in awhile.

I’m still scared of what’s ahead – I think that’s just my nature – but I also believe that I can overcome any of the bad stuff — and I’m starting to let myself believe that maybe it won’t all be bad.

There’s something good up ahead for me.

I’m going to try to let myself believe it.

Goodbye 2014.

Hello 2015. I’m looking forward to getting to know you.

-

“In Hawaii, don’t they use aloha for like, hello and goodbye?”
“Yeah, so?”
“So if you’e on the phone with somebody and they won’t stop talking how do you get them off because you say, “Okay take care, aloha’ don’t they start over again?”

Another year is nearly gone

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Usually by this point, I’ve created my list of all the high lights and low lights of the year in order to recap them in some way – the songs that defined the year, the moments, the things I accomplished, and the things I hope to accomplish in the year ahead.

And instead, I’m a bit stuck.

In an exercise the other day, I recounted the things I didn’t mess up in 2014. The list was longer than I would have thought and perhaps that is why I don’t feel this huge rush to kick 2014 to the curb. Instead of relief, I’m more so looking forward to what’s ahead. I’m looking forward to continued progress towards… towards I don’t know what. Towards getting on my feet again, towards making plans again, towards letting go of some of the stress and blah and insecurity that still plagues me far more often than it should.

-

I was just thinking this morning about how much I’ve enjoyed watching Gilmore Girls on Netflix with The Princess and how grateful I am that they’ve never resorted to tacky flashback gimmicks and then the episode I’m watching as I type this is filled with flashbacks, of Lorelai’s pregnancy and Rory’s birth. Go figure. Anyway. I look forward to watching the rest of the series and finishing it up in 2015.

And then moving on to Friends because HEY FRIENDS IS COMING TO NETFLIX SOON!

-

Anyway, I have a few days left so I can wax poetic about 2014. And I probably will – I love New Years. I love the symbolism of a new start, a new calendar, turning the page. Somehow, I feel that shouldn’t pass without me having some thoughts about it.

For now, though, the closing credits are rolling and I’m ready to curl up in bed to read Amy Poehler’s “Yes Please” and think about how I might spend the day tomorrow. I took a few days off this short work week, and so I’ll be spending the last few days of 2014 spending massive amounts of time with my daughters and cleaning my house so that I’m ready for a fresh beginning on the first.

Thursday Ten: TWO WEEKS UNTIL CHRISTMAS edition

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1. This month has flown by – this YEAR has flown by. I find it hard to believe that in two weeks it will be Christmas. In three weeks, we’ll be staring 2015 in the eye. I’m…not sure how I feel about all of that. This year didn’t start that well, and it’s continually gotten better as tine has gone on and now we’re about to roll into a new years and I’m a little bit like, “WHOA. WAIT. WHAT JUST HAPPENED?”

2. I should probably chill out and just focus on Christmas first.

3. I had been feeling quite a lot of stress when it comes to little projects at work (and big projects, let’s be honest) – it’s something I have to work on, the fact that I let myself get SO WOUND UP over things. So – the other day I started thinking about how I need a bit of perspective. No matter what, even on my worst day at work, I’m not Brady Hoke with a legion of Michigan fans awaiting for my firing (poor Brady – I’m sure he saw it coming). I’m not any of the other people that have been in the news for screwing up royally in their jobs with huge life or death consequences. If I really do mess up (instead of just feeling like I have): No one dies. Life goes on, y’know. Is it worth the drama? Nope. Probably not. Thinking a little differently has helped.

4. Know what else has helped? Treating myself to a manicure this week. I’ve been spending a lot of time staring at my nails over the past few days – they’re still short, but I do love how clean and shiny and polished they look. It makes me happy. I go back and forth – It makes me happy, I should do this more often and I can’t fathom being that lady who spends money on her nails. I’m not fancy. I’m not frilly. But boy. I like when my nails are lovely.

5. Lest y’all think that I’ve become some weird new version of myself totally wow’d by things like my fingernails – I am also currently very excited by the purchase of a pair of leggings that feel like fuzzy socks for my legs. Of course, I can’t wear them in public because leggings as pants is a line I don’t really want to cross (nor should I) but damn those things are comfortable.

6. I am still pretty in love with my FitBit.

7. The girls and I will be baking and decorating ALL OF THE COOKIES this weekend. It’s one of my favorite holiday traditions even though it’s a lot of work. A record number of kids have RSVP’d so it’s gonna be an interesting time! Messy and covered with sprinkles.

8. After a slew of bad weather and snow days, the weather here has been decidedly calm. Thank heavens. Still terrified of driving on snow and ice and so if it’s an uneventful wither, that would be a-okay with me.

9. That thing when you’re wrinkle cream has such a strong smell that you’re constantly aware that you’re so old that you need wrinkle cream.

10. I average about six hours of sleep a night – and it’s not necessarily good sleep. I have GOT to learn better sleeping. I’m tired of being tired.

 

 

Thursday Ten: Welcome to Snowvember edition

1. It’s not even winter yet but oh my god it’s winter. We’re into this year’s version of “HOW MANY SNOW DAYS WILL WE HAVE” game – and if this week is any indication, the girls will be in school until August. And y’all know I’m no fan of this weather, so it’s been just super fun. Yesterday’s morning commute? An hour and a half. UGH UGH UGH.

168 | 365 - November 19, 2014

2. So it’s not too early in the season for the people who love this garbage to point out that maybe it wouldn’t be so bad if…IF I drove a truck, IF I lived somewhere else, IF IF IF. Well. I don’t have a truck – I have a Prius. And I have to live in Michigan. And la la la. Here I am. Me and my tiny fuel-efficient non-winter friendly car doing the best I can. Sorry. Can’t make me like this weather.

3. The weather was so awful on Tuesday that I worked from home while the girls were home snow-day-ing. During my three hour conference call, they put up the Christmas three. Not the ornaments, not yet (I told them they couldn’t without me!), but the tree is up. Guess if we’ve got the snow, we might as well get the holiday stuff up.

4. After months of lukewarm baths and showers and wondering why the hell I have no hot water, my dear friend offered up her husband to investigate my water heater and fortunately! It’s not broken! Apparently the temperature thingamabobber was turned way down and so voila, it’s hot was not very hot. He just adjusted the gauge and BLAMMO! I have hot water. It’s unreal. And blissfully wonderful. Just in time.

5. One of my favorite rituals lately is watching Gilmore Girls with The Princess before she goes to bed.

6. “If you stacked a lot on top of a lot on top of a million more lots, that is how much I love you. ” Pumpkin said that to me at dinner last night and it made me very happy. It melted the layer of snow in my soul. She also loves me more than garlic bread, so you know…I’m pretty much winning at life.

7. Not sure what I’m looking forward to more – Thanksgiving dinner (YUM!) or a four day weekend.

8. I love the Health function on the iPhone 6 but because i don’t always have my phone with me, I feel like I miss out on a lot of steps “counting.” I’m in the process of trying to talk myself into getting a FitBit. I hate spending money on “big” purchases (and yeah, it’s big – it may “only” be a hundred bucks, but I just don’t really do that – spend money on myself like that). I wonder if it would motivate me to move more.

9. I am typing about health but I’m still thinking about garlic bread, so…

10. It’s been quite the month and I’m not sure why it’s been so challenging but it has been. Will December bring a change? Sure hope so! I could use a bit of a break.

There’s Something That Lingers.

163 | 365 - November 14, 2014

It’s Sunday night and my brain is twirling – twirling over work projects and anticipation over Monday and an apprehension is setting in about the week ahead of me, a feeling that has occupied me in various degrees over the past two weeks.

Nothing is really wrong. I’ve got a lot of projects and some time frames and a lot of moving pieces and a lot of people and a lot of components and as is the nature of the beast, when you have that many parts and that many people – not everything goes according to plan.

So plans have shifted and timelines have shifted and through it all I’ve done the absolute best that I can.

All of the wheels are in motion, everything is rolling. Sure, it’s not according to plan but… the general public doesn’t know our planned timeline. Only the people close enough to the project know that the time frame shifted.

Why, then, does it consume me the way it does? Why, then, when there were roadblocks beyond my control, do I take on all the negativity from a project when I have done everything I could? I can motivate, urge, prod. nag, and push to make things happen but ultimately? There are things outside of my control that interfere.

Every project is a learning experience, a chance to take away something that will give me greater experience and comfort moving forward.

I want everything to go perfectly.

I want timelines adhered to. Things to mail when scheduled. Approval processes to not get bogged down.

But.

Sometimes that’s not the way it goes.

And while I don’t want to let go of caring, while i don’t want to let go of my drive for perfection, I need to let go of the all-consuming anxiety I tend to feel about these projects.

I am not doing organ transplant surgery. I want every project that I take on to be successful, but I have to remember at the end of the day, where it fits in the overall scheme of things.

Lately, I’m losing sleep over problems real and imagined because I want so badly to please everyone.

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I am dealing, i am certain, with the after effects of having lost my job earlier in the year. At the time when I was transitioning from old job to new job, I was wary of saying too much online – I still am wary: a) because it’s tacky and unprofessional to talk smack about your employer or previous employer online and I AM A PROFESSIONAL, DARNIT and b) because i actually had to sign something stating that I would not speak negatively about them, especially online.

But I figure knowing what i endured may explain why I am how I am. I also figure that I’m not disparaging the employer – my problem was not the company but rather one person within the company, a person who has since been stripped of her managerial role and no longer has direct reports, a change that – in my opinion – was far too long in coming. (The company itself? I won’t name who they are – but emphatically believe that the professionals there are top notch and phenomenal at what they do – there’s a reason for the company’s longevity.)

I worked hard there to do well – I worked so that my contributions would better the company as a whole. I had great success with projects large and small – and then somewhere along the way, one person decided that instead of supporting my efforts, she’d criticize and disparage them at every pass. And then she started giving pieces of my job away to other people in my department. Slowly, the pieces of my job where I excelled were taken from me and little by little I was treated to more and more hostility until my job was cut to part time and then it was eliminated altogether. I have no doubt that along with budgets and reducing head counts – that not having this one person in my corner contributed to what happened.

I lost my job in the midst of getting back on my feet after my divorce. I scrambled to find work and was lucky to find work. I work in a fantastic company with great people.

So, uh… why am I freaking out all the time?

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It comes out of nowhere – that feeling of, “HEYYYY I’m doing great things!” to “We had to deviate from the timeline and is this going to be the straw that breaks the camel’s back, the one that makes them change their mind about me?”

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“Be confident,” my friend says. “You need to focus on your value which is off the charts!”

(I have the best friends – you should be jealous.)

I’m trying to please everyone in an industry where pleasing everyone is a rarity. I’m still learning. I’m getting on my feet. I’m working hard to turn every project into a learning opportunity. I’m working tirelessly to gain confidence from each experience.

But oh.

What do I do with myself, y’all?

How do you balance a desire to do well with a realistic expectation of what the best case scenario can be? How do you let go when something doesn’t go according to plan – you can’t go back and change it, you can’t undo it, you can only learn and move on – so how do you learn to leave it at the office at the end of the day?

Because.

I don’t know how.

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Because I’m interested in how other people operate, feel free to leave me a comment telling me what your work style is? How do you deal when things don’t go as planned? How do you balance a desire for success with the reality? I’d love to know what the norm is for other people, how y’all cope, what you do.