Archives for November 2014

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.


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.

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?

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?”

“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?


I don’t know how.


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.

Thursday Ten: I Voted on Tuesday And All I Got Was This Sticker edition

1. While I don’t talk politics much, I make no secret of the fact that I’m fairly liberal… so I’m not super enthused with the results of the election and I just have to hope for the best and continue to exercise my right to have my voice heard by voting when I can.
153 | 365 - November 4, 2014

2. Having said that – WHOA NELLY, PEOPLE. Did your mamas raise you to act that way? I get very discouraged reading the vitriolic comments that people spew on Facebook and in response to news articles, particularly when it comes to election-type-stuff. Having the forum to spout off on whatever the heck you want to spout off about doesn’t necessarily mean that you should. Also? You look stupid when you do it. Really stupid. You can’t express your feelings and opinions and beliefs without resorting to second-grade level name calling? Phooey on you, then. How are you even allowed to vote? I just hate it. I don’t get it and I hate it.

3. This has been a tough week for me and I don’t like operating with stress levels like this. Work is busy and I’m working on a project with a lot of moving parts and I just want everything to go perfectly. And perfect is an illusion. I’m doing my best and my best is pretty darn okay.

4. Someday i’ll write about all the baggage I feel like I cary with me after my last job and how that all went down. What once might have been routine throws me into a stress spiral.  I have no accurate frame of reference anymore. To me, even a small bump in the road feels like the end of the road when it comes to things not going as planned on a project. I’ll need to find a way to get over that.

5. Our dog groomer let Pumpkin help groom our dog last night and when we were leaving, she told me, “If you ever get mad at her, bring her back here. The dog lady will keep her.” It was less weird than that sounds now that I read it back to myself. (P.S. the dog lady is the mom of someone I went to high school with and not just some random stranger who shaves dogs butts every day. She’s a really nice lady, so, totally… not weird.)

6. I accidentally triple booked my Tuesday and then did almost nothing anyway because of a migraine. Not like me to be so inept with a calendar but that was bad. Also? I never have THREE options for something to do. Weird.

7. Most people I know are having a rough week. Are the planets aligned funny?

8. Leftover Halloween candy plus a crazy schedule means that I feel like a slug. A bloated slug whose insides are coated with Baby Ruth wrappers.

9. I have read some serious books lately. Not like SERIOUS books, but a serious amount. Boom. (And book club is on a Liane Moriarty kick and I just don’t know that I feel like reading a third within such a short period of time even though her stuff is really easy to read – maybe I’ll get caught up on magazines first.

10. I probably won’t shop on Thanksgiving (because DUH, who can move after a meal like that?!) but I won’t hate on you if you do. To each their own. I can’t presume to know that the folks in the stores aren’t grateful for the overtime, and I can’t presume to know that the shoppers have left family at home for shopping. I don’t know what I don’t know. I can only deal with me. So, shop if you want or don’t shop if you don’t want. See how easy that is?