Ripping off the bandage

At the end of last year, I declared 2016 as the #yearofme.

I had some very specific goals in mind. I wanted a new start as a not-married person, I wanted to get a stamp in my six-year-old passport, and I wanted a new job.

A couple months in to 2016, I decided that was too ambitious. I was definitely getting divorced, but everything else might be too much.

But then, I decided to go ahead and purchase a ticket to Iceland. So I did.

The very next day, I was told that my job – a job that I have legitimately hated for a long while now – had a possibility of ending on September 30.

This is not the way I wanted to go out. I’d had a rough three months. Getting divorced – regardless of how much I wanted it – is hard AF. Moving out, doubling expenses, losing backup parenting, and working through co-parenting with someone who doesn’t co-parent the way I would structure things if I was in control is hard.

I took ownership of my poor performance, did not mention to anyone that I was getting treated for severe depression and off the charts anxiety, started applying for other jobs, and buckled down.

I thought I was doing a good job. I had a promising series of interviews for a job I really, really wanted.

I took my Bean to South Dakota the day after saying good-bye to the boyfriend for his first of three almost 3-week trips in three months, and trusted in life to deliver the way it always has.

The first full week I was back in the office after my SD trip, everything went to shit. The job I wanted – the job I was sure I was a shoe-in for – fell through. The hiring manager expressed her extreme disappointment in not bringing me on (they went with an external candidate). Two other jobs I’d applied for sent their “no interview for you” emails, and then last Friday I was informed that although my performance was better, it wasn’t enough better (a statement that I think has more to do with a faculty member who has wanted me out for a while than on my actual new and improved performance), and that my job is for real over on 9/30.

I was devastated. I’ve had 8 years of nearly perfect performance reviews, three promotions, and so many raises at my place of employment. Now one 3-month period of depression broke my whole career there.

I wanted out, but I wanted out on my own terms.

You know what, though? This is going to be awesome. I have plans. I’m going to be okay. I’m going to write and look for a great job that won’t make me cry on the regular and learn to be even more me.

This year has been so hard. Divorce is hard. Job loss is hard. Traveling internationally alone scares the pants off of me.

But this year has been amazing. I have some amazing friends who have supported me through everything and never once made me feel like I was taking too much energy whining about my problems. I’ve reconnected with one of my favorite people in the world – and even though we’ve only managed to get together once, I’m still so happy he’s back in my life. I have an amazing four-year-old who is intelligent, caring, hilarious, and the best kid ever. I have a partner who is the epitome of what a romantic partner should be. For every hard thing, I have so many people who can show me that my life is still so, so good.

And right now – right as this is being published – I am in motherfucking Iceland. By myself. Getting my passport stamp and doing this international travel thing.

I am so lucky to be me.

Having the bandaid of my life ripped off this year has sucked beyond all imagining, but I don’t think I’d have it any other way.

 

40 Before 40 – Update the Sixth

You guys! I am six months into my 39th year. I am at an airport on my way to Iceland. I got carded and had to show my driver’s license AND my passport to buy beer.

I haven’t updated at all since my fifth update a month ago. It’s not because I don’t have things to say – but because I’ve been overwhelmed with life, the universe, and everything.

I have, however, managed to knock a few more things off my list.

I managed #10 – cooking class. I went to a knife skills class, which is almost the same thing. I loved it and now want to take an actual cooking class.

#17 – I took Bean to South Dakota for his summer vacation. We did a lot of fun things. Swimming – once in a pool and once in a lake, visited the Falls that gave Sioux Falls their name (and got to do some rock climbing), and hit a butterfly house/mini-aquarium to view some Rays and pet a shark. We didn’t go fishing (#20) as planned, but we touched a fish, so same thing?

#25 – I’ve been doing a lot more meditation. I’ve had a wicked stressful month, and the meditation has been helpful. (And no, Facebook friends, the meditation is not ALWAYS drinking a beer.)

By this time tomorrow, I’ll have checked #35 off my list – passport stamp! I am en route to Iceland as I type!

#37/38 – fitness and self care: I am working on this. I’ve started yoga-ing again. I’ve gotten to a much better place. I’m being forced into a place I didn’t want this year, but I think life is going to get better in the long run. Apparently 2016 – the year I named the “year of me”  See me later for the bandaid analogy post.

 

Overall, I’m not sure I’m going to hit all my 40 before 40 goals – but I’m not entirely sure I care. I’ve had a hard year. Things have been both harder than and more wonderful than I could’ve imagined. I’ve had challenges I didn’t anticipate and have been both more miserable and happier than I’ve ever imagined I could be.

 

I’ve got six more months, and however it turns out, I know that 39 is going to go down as one of the most memorable years of my life.

 

40 Before 40 – Update the Fifth

I am very nearly halfway through the year. I feel like my life is settling down into a great routine. Work is going decently. I’ve gotten to spend time with so many friends over the past few month. Alvie is mostly fantastic, and although I miss him when we’re not together, we’re really having a good time when we are together. I hardly ever even feel the need to verbalize my desire to sell him to a traveling carnival anymore (although last night’s bedtime pushed it a bit…kid was wiped out, and a tired Bean is a cranky Bean).

So much trouble, this one...

So much trouble, this one…

I feel like I’m not getting a ton of things checked off my list, but I also feel like I don’t care that much. (Not letting arbitrary goal failure get in the way of my happiness is a life-time goal.)

In the last month…

  1. Host a wine tasting – I had a rosé garden party on the 16th, and it was fun. Pink wine, pink foods, and plenty of people. I failed to take a single picture of anything except the cheese spread.
So many new cheeses for my "drink pink" party!

So many new cheeses for my “drink pink” party!

  1. Become a proficient knife thrower (i.e. hit the target more often than not) – I’ve been practicing! I’m getting pretty adept at getting all the knives to stick to the target! Next…accuracy.
  1. Get back into my DIY habits – I made an utterly fantastic balsamic & vanilla fig jam over the weekend with figs from my tree. I got about two pints of jam and kind of made up a recipe based on other recipes I’d found. It was pretty amazing. I’m looking forward to the next bunch of figs ripening so I can make a larger batch and also write down the recipe as I go. 🙂 My grapes are starting to purple, so there will be some grape jelly in the future, too!
Happy figs, bubbling away!

Happy figs, bubbling away!

  1. Try a new (to me) cheese each month – this continues to be a resounding success. I’m sure I’ve tried at least twelve new cheeses by now, but you know what? I’m going to just keep on keeping on with this one. #overachiever
  1. Get better at self-care. That means eating regularly; exercising regularly; sleeping regularly – this is really coming along. I was averaging well over 9K steps a day by mid-week last week (and a whopping 17K last Thursday) before my poor feet rebelled and became a disgusting, blistered mess. They’re better now, so I’m ready to start getting my mileage back up there again. The walking every day is either benefiting or benefited by my increased sleeping. I’ve been getting an average of 6.75 hours of sleep/night for the last two months! The one area that still needs so much work is the eating. I need to eat regularly (once/day is not regularly) and more healthfully. I started strong today. Overnight oats with bananas and PB for breakfast, homemade dolmas and a peach for lunch…now I just need to keep it going.

In case you care, here’s the history…

Remaining Goals (bolded goals are irrevocably scheduled, italicized ones will likely happen in the next 45 days, and underlined ones are in progress)

  1. Climb a tree
  2. Go ice skating
  3. Go to a book signing
  4. Go to the local nude beach
  5. Take a barre class
  6. Take a dancing class
  7. Take a cooking class
  8. Throw pottery (on a wheel)
  9. Try a pole dancing class at the studio down the street.
  10. Do a boudoir photo session
  11. Do a fun thing with Bean every day of his summer vacation.
  12. Take the Bean fishing
  13. Whale watching
  14. [Redacted]
  15. Become a proficient knife thrower
  16. Become passable in Swedish
  17. Develop a habit of meditation
  18. Learn 100 ASL signs
  19. Perfect the homemade pie crust.
  20. Read one prize-winning (any major prize) book each month
  21. Run a 5K, a 10K and a half marathon. Bonus: run something longer!
  22. Take a good photo and pay to have it framed
  23. Write 150 blog posts
  24. Get a stamp in my passport
  25. Give a $100 tip on an inexpensive meal
  26. Feel good about my fitness level and appearance
  27. Get better at self care.
  28. Meet three ‘in the computer friends’ in real life. (I’m looking at you  Cat, Elizabeth, and…[insert your name here!])
  29. Publish my first book

I need to make some pie, meditate a bit, get my PSM to the west coast, and start running again…

Moving Right Along

Just over a month ago, I set some goals for the next 30 days…in the interests of honesty, transparency, accountability, and the desire to have something to blog about, I’m reporting in.

The goals:

  1. Write work to-do list and cross off everything that’s feasible; procrastination is not a reasonable excuse – I’ve made excellent progress on this. I’m whittling away at my work to do list, and it’s looking more reasonable and less terrifying!
  2. 30-45 minutes walks every day/evening I don’t have my Bean. That means tonight, tomorrow night, Friday, Saturday, Sunday (I have him 7 nights of every 14, in a 5 on/5 off; 2 on/2 off schedule). Try to do something active on weekends when I do have Bean. – This has been hit or miss, but definitely better over the last couple of weeks. I’ve been hitting my step goals way more often than not and have been walking on the trails at work once/week.
  3. Bed by 11 on school nights. No excuses. No watching Criminal Minds on the kid’s iPad in bed. That’s cheating and doesn’t help with the insomnia. – FAIL! I’m definitely still up after 11 most of the time, although my insomnia isn’t nearly as bad as it was earlier this year.
  4. Stop hitting snooze. Once you’re up with the alarm, start moving wake-up earlier. – Yeah. No. See #3.
  5. Start writing again. – I’ve done more blog posts and was on a really good writing roll at the end of June/beginning of July. Sadly, that’s slacked off again. I am recommitting to getting better with that starting today.

 

Goals for the next 30ish days:

  1. Bedtime. For real. Eleven PM.
  2. Wake up time. For real. Six AM.
  3. Blogging – 3x/week (include a minimum of two book reports/month)
  4. Writing – 750 words/day MINIMUM. (I prefer 1000). I promised my platonic soul mate and first reader that I’d finish my current WIP by the time I leave for South Dakota (2.5 weeks – eminently doable) so that I could start edits on the second book in the other series (she’s read the first). I will send that book to my PSM by 9/19, so help me Freya.
  5. Keep up with the walking and maybe go just a little bit further.

 

The Gentlemen Approve

The Gentlemen Approve

 

Three Things Thursday – Healthy Living Edition

  1. Since last I mentioned that I’d shifted my mindset from making goals to living my life like a Nike slogan, things have been looking (mostly) up. I’ve increased my steps per day, I’ve hit my minimum of 250 steps/hour goal more times, and I’m logging movement a lot more often. What I’m not doing is putting this all in a spreadsheet and agonizing over percent increases and averages and whether or not today’s efforts will alter what I need to do tomorrow. So yay! for more movement and less spreadsheet OCD.
I think I deserve five gold stars for NOT spreadsheeting this...

I think I deserve five gold stars for NOT spreadsheeting my movement. *****

  1. I have been making a huge effort to have healthier eating patterns. I do not actually like to eat most of the time. My number one reason for wanting to be a vampire is so that most of my bodily functions would cease. My least favorite function (besides the fact that my nails and body hair JUST KEEP GROWING MY GOD WHY WON’T IT STOP!) is the digestive system. I asked my PSM earlier if she thought I could subsist on a 95% liquid/5% cheese-based diet, but she didn’t think that would improve my opinion of my digestive system. She’s probably right. So anyway – I’ve been trying to get in more fruits and vegetables and whole grains and a little bit less melted cheese and fermented grains and fruit. You know what? I’m sure this is healthier, but my body sure isn’t digging this sudden change.
How do I not have these socks already?

How do I not have these socks already?

 

  1. Unless you live under a rock, you’ve heard of Pokemon Go, I’m sure. I’m not usually an early adopter of such things because they are a little silly. I am, however, very susceptible to peer pressure and I was getting tired of taking care of my imaginary animated cats in the Neko Atsume game, so I thought I might as well venture forth and look for imaginary animated creatures in the great outdoors. I’m not quite sure how I feel about it, but I have captured a half-dozen Pokemon creatures and gotten in a lot more steps (and earned the jealousy of my four-year-old who doesn’t understand why I won’t buy him Pokemon cards when I’m playing Pokemon without him. #parentingwin)

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