A conversation that happened today – played out in skit style on the blog

First – meet the players:

There's me

There’s me

There's my boss

There’s my boss

There is the head of the top Change Management research and methodology company

There is the head of the top Change Management research and methodology company

And there is this book: Practicing Organization Development, 3rd Edition

And there is this book: Practicing Organization Development, 3rd Edition

Now that you’re familiar, let me set the scene.  It’s 10am.  I am just finishing a meeting to discuss actual numbers of end users for project implementation (fyi – it’s twice what I thought) when the phone rings…

my boss: Hey Sarah.  It’s me, your boss.

me: Hey boss.

my boss: I just got a phone call from Mr. Head of the top Change Mgmt research and methodology company.  He asked if I knew anyone who might want to collaborate on a book chapter he’s writing for an OD textbook on change management.  Is it okay if I give him your name?

me: Umm, heck freaking yeah.  Please pass my name on to him.

my boss: Great.  He’d like us to help write the case study and I think you’re the best partner.  You should be getting an invite from him.

me: I got this.

End Scene.

I may have paraphrased some, but you get the idea, right?

My boss recommended me to this super important guy in the change management world (we all have our industry rock stars) to help test the model/framework he’s introducing in the chapter of an OD textbook that my OD Master’s program used!  If this all works out, I cannot wait to send that email to some professors.  “Oh, by the way, I’m listed as a collaborator in this text book now.”  In addition, he wants to collaborate on the case study and use my current Nationwide program as the example.  Now – this is all preliminary and maybe it goes nowhere.  But in my inbox right this second is the abstract and outline for the method he’s writing.  I’m supposed to review it.  No problem, Mr. Head of the top Change Mgmt research and methodology company.  No problem.

Did I not just write on this very blog last night how I want to start writing, want to pursue being published.  Holy cow, Universe!  You rule all!  I made space and the space was filled.  And in no small way.

***   ***   ***   ***   ***

It’s been a while since I thought about the book that was so important to me for several years: Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert.  Today one of the passages from the book came back to me:

“But I love him.”

“So love him.”

“But I miss him.”

“So miss him. Send him some love and light every time you think about him, then drop it. You’re just afraid to let go of the last bits of David because then you’ll be really alone, and Liz Gilbert is scared to death of what will happen if she’s really alone. But here’s what you gotta understand, Groceries. If you clear out all that space in your mind that you’re using right now to obsess about this guy, you’ll have a vacuum there, an open spot – a doorway. And guess what the universe will do with the doorway? It will rush in – God will rush in – and fill you with more love than you ever dreamed. So stop using David to block that door. Let it go.”

It’s not so much the not letting go of the man part that struck me today, although certainly relevant right now, it was the if you clear out the space you’re using to obsess, you open a spot and the universe rushes in to fill it.  I’m overwhelmed by this opportunity this morning.  I’m reminded that I have the power to survive.  On a change management webinar last week, someone introduced the topic of resiliency and how they were using this resiliency assessment when they hired new change practitioners.  Because above all else, a change professional should be able to handle change.  I’ve been thinking about it since I heard of the assessment and haven’t gotten my hands on it yet – but how resilient am I?  I’ve spent two months being mostly numb and living in a hermitage that is my house.  So plans changed, so some one didn’t love me as much as I loved them… look at all the other stuff that’s out there waiting for me.

And Universe – if you’re still listening as intently as you were last night – I’d like you to send a Ted Mosby my way…I’ll be here…contributing to a chapter in an OD textbook.

 

All better.

I nearly named this post “…and calm returns.”  When it dawned on me I already had a post titled that exact same thing.  And you know what it was about?  The exact same thing I’m going to write about here.  Some may choose to see this as me in a destructive pattern.  I choose to see it proof I got through this scenario a couple years ago and I can get through it again.  It’s almost laughable how similar this week has been to a week back in November 2011.

First – some advice for future Sarah…STOP TRYING TO BE FRIENDS WITH YOUR EXES!

I mean, at least give it some time.  I have a warped sense of friends with exes.  I had a long time friendship with my on again/off again boyfriend Brad.  And I count my ex husband as one of my best friends. (Hey buddy!)  Both of those relationships didn’t come about over night and both of those took work from both parties to get to a friendship state of mind.  I miss D.  I valued him as a friend and classmate before we dated.  But I’m going to have to accept that relationship doesn’t just come back.  (I do wish I realized that before the great texting mistake of this past Sunday night – but whatevs.  I’ve always wanted a restraining order against me.)  (KIDDING!)

To settle myself down after the break up breakdown this past weekend I made a “pick me up playlist”, went for a run, and talked to my friendly neighborhood shrink (who actually thinks my super grief over the break up may be more related to latent super grief about my dad dying, but that’s this whole other Oedipal spiral I’m not particularly buying into.  I digress….).  I started to feel better.  Tonight I spent the day at a conference where people discussed ideas and asked for my input.  Awesome.  I then got a glass of wine on the best patio in town (mine, naturally) and pulled out a book: Organization Development: A data-driven approach to organizational change.  That’s right.  Part of my problem is that I needed something to fill the space in my life where the relationship was.  Well, I want to present at ACMP or OD conferences in the next couple of years.  The department head of my OD master’s program told me BGSU was working towards a PhD program in OD in the next couple of years and told me not to consider going somewhere else until I saw what they were doing.  In order to pursue those endeavors, having some work published would be helpful.  So, I guess it’s time to think about what kind of work I want to research, where I think I can influence.  This is really exciting to me.  I get all lit up talking about small group effectiveness and organizational behavior.  I’ve really missed school and these topics, so time to get back to it in some way.

The thing about returning to this place, the post break up crazy space, is that looking back to late 2011 and wondering how I was ever going to get through it is awesome from the other side.  Um, not only did I get through it, I left that space in my dust!  2012 and 2013 have been my best years yet.  2014 is starting off a little rough, but I’m more hopeful this evening.  I’ve got 6 months left and no idea what happens tomorrow.  (Well, I mean, I know I get up, bring the pork roast that is in my crock pot overnight to work for our Halfway Mark Potluck for the big program I work on, drive back downtown for an Ops Review and then go to Jazzercise – but you get my drift.)  I can now see all the space and time as an opportunity to do anything else.  And if (hopefully, when) D and I can be friends, that will be great because he makes a good paper editor and I’ll need someone to read my drafts to check for punctuation mistakes.  (Because obviously I overuse parentheses…and ellipsis.)

I like to think I get so wound up and crazy because I’m so passionate about the people in my life.  If I felt lukewarm, this wouldn’t be an issue.  It’s best I just embrace the crazy because I’m not giving up the passionate side of me.  It’s my best side.

crazy Sarah

 

Where were we…

 

I ran the Enchanted 10K...

I ran the Enchanted 10K…

...to get this medal.

…to get this medal.

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The next day ran the Princess Half…

 

to get these medals.

to get these medals.

 

Culminating in completion of the Glass Slipper Challenge AND the coveted Coast to Coast medal.

Culminating in completion of the Glass Slipper Challenge AND the coveted Coast to Coast medal.

Tink 1/2 plus Princess 1/2 = Coast to Coast!

Tink 1/2 plus Princess 1/2 = Coast to Coast!

Was it worth the stress fracture in my right foot that led to walking around in one of those sexy boots for 6 weeks…Yup.

This sister had this baby girl!  My niece Avery is so adorable.

This sister had this baby girl! My niece Avery is so adorable.

Further proof that she is the cutest darn thing.

Further proof that she is the cutest darn thing.

myhouse

I bought this house in Columbus, OH.

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And am slowly getting around to decorating it so it feels like I’m not living in someone else’s house.

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I still love to take picture of my tabby cats.

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And I met Mr. Belding WEARING my Bayside Tigers t-shirt.

 

And that brings us to June 1. Single (perpetually, it seems), still learning this new city, and eating far too much ice cream.  I can’t find a cupcake I’m crazy about here, but ice cream – we’ve got that in spades.  A picture of me in front of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams even went on the Christmas card last year.  And, a picture of me and Jeni of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams is right here…

People say we could be sisters.  And by people, I mean actual people, not just me.  :)

People say we could be sisters. And by people, I mean actual people, not just me. :)

After the moving, the new job, the buying a house, the moving again, all the weekends away (for runs, weddings, trips to see adorable baby niece, staying at the now ex-boyfriends house, visiting the newly engaged friends…) I’m looking forward to the Summer of Sarah.  I’ve got plans for 30 days of NO travel (starting June 9th when I get back from going back to STL for another trip to see adorable baby niece AND see other sister who just got engaged) and may even stretch it into 45.  I have plans for another Whole 30 during those 30 days and look forward to posting and connecting with that community again.  I have plans to start creating routines here and planting herbs (a 2nd round of herbs – the transplanted ones did not take, starting from seed this time) and sitting on my patio reading Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace.  I’m going to do a photo a day on Instagram in June.  And one way or another I’m going to do 30 days of Jillians 30 Day Shred.  I don’t think I’ve ever made it past Day 12…Day 7… Okay – Day 4!  Sheesh!

In countless performance reviews, business meetings, client plans I’ve told people to think about what they want to start doing, stop doing and continue doing.  I’m going to :

Start: going out to explore Columbus, even if it’s by myself

Stop: comparing myself to others.  The recent engagement/baby boom taking place around me is causing some anxiety and I have this mildly intimidating co-worker that has led to second guessing.  No more!  I don’t even want babies.

Continue: paying my bills.  Friday night when I was most of the way through a bottle of red on my patio while reading This is Where I Leave You on as it was getting dark and my mind was wandering to this plan… this seemed very clever and funny to me.  Like this common-sense adult thing was something I needed to plan for.  It’s far less amusing now, but still a good idea and I’m sticking with it.

How you do anything…

I’m sitting here catching up on The Biggest Loser when I heard something that made me pause the show, grab a pen, and write it down.

how you do

 

I don’t think Dolvett is the original author of this quote, but a little googling didn’t lead me to an original author.  So, cheers to the first guy to say this.

How you do anything is how you do everything.

Guys, this is true.  I think I’m such a compartmentalizer, yet this is exactly how it is.  I’ve been reading books on creating personal change and making habits lately and thinking about motivation and will power.  I start and stop a lot of things, I charm people into thinking I’m better than I really am which makes me kind of manipulative, I’m surprised that when I’m genuine and vulnerable, and generally not at all charming, people seem to think I’m neat…  I’m just rambling, I have to think about this phrase.  I just know it resonated with me.

The Biggest Loser was full of gems tonight, this one from my main girl, Jillian.  Jillian is talking to a contestant about this contestant about how she pushes so hard until the last tenth of a mile on the treadmill, the last two reps of a lifting session or the last seconds on a stair climber.  **I do this.  I go strong for 2.8 miles and then think I can’t do something.  Usually I fast forward through the sappy heart to hearts the trainers have with the contestants, but not this time.  This time I recognized that pattern of behavior in me and wanted to hear what advice Jill had.  “You stop because you’re afraid to embrace your potential.”

How you do anything is how you do everything.

In googling that quote I came across a website for a public speaker who used the line in a post on her site.   I was curious about her background and credentials – what makes her qualified to be a speaker.  Sometimes I wonder if I had worked more at getting my own side training/speaking business up and going – could I have made it?  Would I be in demand?  I still have time, for sure, and more experience only helps.  Did I stop short  because I’m afraid to embrace potential?

I’ve been pretty content with this smaller life I feel I’ve settled into…. Ugh, I just used the word “settled”….

I’m not always thinking about the next thing – the “I’ll be happy when….” thing.  Holy  heck, not interested in going down this rabbit hole tonight.

Back on track…  I actually opened the blog because it was part of the Healthy 2014 adventure to blog more often, and also to tell you that I did NOT stop at Steak and Shake for dinner.   I gave myself permission to do it, but then paused and asked myself if it was a healthy choice.  It was not, so I did not.

How you handle anything is how you handle everything.

Also, I’m very consistently using lotion.  Healthy habit for January – check.

Also, my thermostat is set at 60 degrees.  Yes, you heard me.  The Polar Vortex is drifting away from Columbus  now, but for days the heater was running non-stop even to maintain 60.  1. My heater is loud which makes me anxious.  2. That’s expensive, yo.  I turned it to 60 while I was at work today and haven’t gotten around to turning it back up a few degrees (65 is as high as I go at all in the winter – financial health!).

 

25 does not equal 30

Remember when I was updating you on my Whole30 progress…and then how I stopped updating you on my Whole30 progress?

Well, that’s because that’s just what happened…I made it to day 25 and felt amazing.  I was headed back to St. Louis for the weekend and throwing myself a little graduation dinner party.  I got home early on Friday, went for a run in a favorite park, went to Whole Foods and got a Whole30 compliant lunch and then couldn’t stop thinking about what I would do at dinner.  Would I have a glass of wine to celebrate?  Champagne?  Cheese?  Dessert?

The answer to all of the above is yes.

I caved.  Gave myself permission to celebrate at dinner.  And it was just that easy to never get back on the horse.  And I’m back to feeling kind of blech.

There was a warning on the Whole9 Life blog about this.  They refer to it as Day 28 syndrome, isn’t 28 days as good as 30?  They say NO.  They write that 30 days is the commitment you make to yourself.  And when you don’t keep commitments to yourself, you’re telling yourself that it’s okay that others don’t keep their commitments to you.

This is my new half marathon challenge.  That was a commitment I made to Team in Training.  My sense of responsibility is always so much stronger when I’ve made a promise to someone else.  This is a problem, actually.  Starting tomorrow the clock starts on a full Whole30.  I owe it to myself.

 

In other news…how cute is this pic of D and I from a wedding we went to last weekend…

Doug & Sarah photo booth

Not letting go…

wpid-20130531_132228.jpgThis is a picture of a skirt I bought in the year 2000.  I was 20.  I am now 33.  That means I have packed and moved this skirt many, many times.  I bought it when I was interning with Hyatt the summer of 2000.  It came from Urban Outfitters, a store I haven’t visited in years.  I moved it back to college after that summer, back home after college, into my cousin’s house when we were roommates, into Colin’s house, to Louisiana, back to St. Louis, back to Chicago and now I am packing it for Columbus.

I have not worn this skirt since the summer of 2000.

I was in the best shape ever that summer due to all the walking and being a broke intern, so needless to say this skirt doesn’t fit very well (read: at all) right now.  I just gave away three heaping shopping bags of clothing to my friend Angela – things that didn’t fit me any longer.  Things that I was over or had shrunk or never looked right on me anyway.  (Editor’s Note: Few things will motivate you to lose weight like watching your cute, skinny friend try on the clothes that used to fit you.  I kept thinking – damn girl – you’re skinny.  Then I realized that since she was trying on clothes that used to be mine – and fit me – that once upon a time I was that thin.  Dang it.)

I couldn’t give away this skirt.  When I look at it, I see me.  I see this kind of hippie girl who wants to wear skirts with embroidered flowers from Urban Outfitters.  I think this skirt is cool, even though my sister has told me more than once it is not.  I’m not clinging to the past.  I have some clothes that I recognize I’m doing that with…a t-shirt from the summer I played on a softball league through the casino in Louisiana, a t-shirt from an old boyfriend, this dress that I once looked damn good in – those are all things I hold on to for the memory.  This silly embroidered skirt is different – I can remember the one time I wore it.  It wasn’t particularly meaningful.  I picked up a friend at the airport in it.  Maybe it’s just who I want to be.  It’s the same reason I’m holding on to this pair of cream pin stripe pants (that also don’t fit me – damn you stress eating!!) I feel awesome in those pants.  I feel professional and cool.  I’m holding on to them.  They did not go to the friend who fits into my things better than I do.

What a silly post.

I’ve attempting to downsize so much.  I wish someone would come and take so much of my crap away.  But not this skirt.

In other news, packing is going just terribly.  I don’t ever remember packing being this tough.  More than one person has pointed out I have a LOT of stuff.  I suppose I do.  My mom and grandmother came over to help yesterday.  A lot of things are in boxes.  A lot of things are still not.  I’m ready to throw away sooo much stuff.  Also, in what feels like tradition, I have this sinus/head cold thing that’s taken over.  I started with Save-a-Lot during my first ever sinus infection.  Packing while all drowsy and woozy from cold medicine is even less fun.

Ok.  Back to it.

 

A few of my favorite things

Claire said my last post kind of bummed her out.

So, I’m going to share some things I did today that cheer me up.

1. Coming Attractions: I found out that I can get a channel that is all movie previews on my Roku!  Movie previews are sometimes the best part of the movie and I spent about 30 minutes watching summer movie previews.  I had no idea a new Superman movie was coming out this summer.  This is what happens when you stop subscribing to Entertainment Weekly.  Movies I’m excited about are Before Midnight, Gatsby, The English Teacher and the Joss Whedon adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing.  The last adaptation of that movie I saw remains one of my top 5 favorite movies.  It was the reason I wanted to visit Tuscany (and was thrilled beyond belief when I found out I was having dinner in the castle they shot the film at when I was visited years ago!!!).  It’s using the Shakespeare language and Joss at the helm – it’s going to be amazing.  It will be hard to top the amazing cast of the 1993 version (Kenneth Branagh, Emma Thompson, Denzel, Robert Sean Leonard, Kate Beckinsale and Keanu) but I am so looking forward to the modern twist on the tale.  It’s such a sharp Shakespeare comedy – very witty.

MAAN

2. I window shop, sort of.  When I’m feeling sad and lonely, I internet window shop.  Amazingly, I don’t buy, I just look.  Today I checked out Kate Spade bags on ebay, vintage sapphire rings from a local jewelry store and apartment hunted.  That last one isn’t really like shopping, but oh well.  With the looming position elimination (I have a few more weeks until I’m out) I’m thinking of making a move – perhaps, Columbus, OH?  So, I look for apartments.

Isn't this stunning?!

Isn’t this stunning?!

3. I work from the coffee shop.  I worked from home today and instead of sitting on my couch all wallow-y, I make myself get up, put actual clothes on and work from downstairs.  And maybe I eat a chocolate chip cookie and get an iced coffee.  Maybe.

4. Music.  I download a new tune.  Today’s pick me up song brought to you by Smash.  The NBC show about a broadway musical (or two) is doomed to cancellation and I am very sad to see it go.  One of the musicals within the show had a really snappy number and I downloaded it this morning.  It’s The Goodbye Song, if you’re interested.

“Right here forever, ever, ever, ever!”

That Katherine McPhee is just gorgeous.

So.  That’s how I pick myself up.  Of course I’ll recover from my awful interview.  I just need a minute.  And some internet window shopping.  And some broadway show tunes.

We do it to ourselves.

I try to not use this blog as a soap box.  It’s all really self involved, really.  I have a few friends that keep up with me through it, and I’ve made a few friends by blogging and it’s all fun and games.

Except today, when it’s going to get a little soap-box-y up in here.  This is the tale of two things that happened today that made me sad for women.  I don’t think anyone would classify me as a crazy feminist.  I want equal rights and all, but I’ve never been a particularly “power to the sisterhood” kind of gal.  I’m more like Ainsley Hayes, from West Wing.  And if you’re not one of my two readers who are Sorkin freaks like I am – here’s a clip to bring you in the loop:

Back to my soap box…

As someone who blogs, it should go without saying that I also read a fair amount of blogs.  I have stumbled across blogs that have inspired me to run, cook something healthy, try a new recipe, try a new lip gloss, look into foster kids, create great date nights, read a new book, travel to a new place and sometimes, most important, make me feel not so alone.  There are a host of blogs written by women about my age going through about the same stuff as me.  And sometimes I read one for a while, I decide I’m over that person, or find them annoying, or disagree with them – and you know what I do then – I stop reading that blog.  I do not call them vicious names.  I was appalled to find this behavior in the comments of one of my regular reads: Carrots ‘n Cake.  The author of that blog is Tina, she’s into Cross Fit big time, has an adorable pug named Murphy, eats a mostly Paleo diet, lives in Boston, has run several races of which I’ve found her recaps very helpful, redecorates rooms in her house occasionally and has a super cute husband named Mal – who also does Cross Fit. This week Tina and her super cute husband are in Ireland on vacation.  She has talked about packing for the trip, her favorite sweater from her last visit there and how excited she is to have a blog free vacation with her husband.  She stated that she had several pre-written posts that would go up all week in her absence, but she was mostly out of touch to enjoy her vacation.  She could not have known that on Monday two bombs would have gone off in her hometown at one of her favorite annual events.  So one of her pre-written, already schedule posts goes up and it’s about shoes or cookies or something.  It doesn’t even matter – the hate comments on her blog have been out of this world.  I’m shocked that people find the need to say such hurtful things.  If you had read Tina’s blog for a second you know that she is a huge supporter of Boston and running.   Why were these commenters so quick to spend their time spewing such awful-ness – ESPECIALLY in the light of what happened.

I’ve often wished I had more readers.  Thought about taking a more active approach to soliciting site views.  Putting myself out there in a bigger social media way.  Taking on food blogging legitimately.  Why would I choose to pursue that after seeing the responses from the “community” today?

It’s been said – and oftentimes to me – that if you can’t improve the silence, don’t say anything at all.  These women who commented just turned on this blogger who is out of the country, probably grieving in her own way, and certainly the news would have put a damper on her time away.  She didn’t cause it, and she can’t fix it, and she’s suffering in her own way not being there to support the city and sport that she loves.  Why do we do this to each other?

The answer is: because we do it to ourselves.

This video has been making the viral rounds and you may have already seen it.  I saw a few friends post the new Dove ad online but had not watched it until this afternoon.  This afternoon I had a quick session with a woman I went to grade school with who is now a professional photographer.  I need new head shots since LinkedIn and websites are the way the world works now in relation to job hunting and she offered me a great price on a quick half hour session.  Taking self photos of myself and the cats with my laptop or digital camera and being asked to look into a camera and smile by a professional are two very different things.  I was anxious and kept making excuses for my big hair (so much humidity today!) and my lack of ability to sit naturally, and so on and so on.  Finally she said -You look great.  You need to watch the video I just posted on Facebook.  So I did…

We do it to ourselves.  I would describe myself as chubby with tiny eyes and big hair.  That my forehead is always pinched because I’m trying to open my eyes as big as I can all the time.  That I like my shoulders but I have an ass that won’t quit – and not in a good way.  My teeth aren’t white enough and my feet are way too big.  Nothing about me is lady like or dainty.  I even walk loudly.  This kind of self talk is so harmful and so much worse as I’m in need of the dose of confidence to get me through this next phase – job hunting comes with plenty of rejection from outside sources.  I need to work on accepting myself.

Immediately following my mini photo shoot I went to get a hair cut, where no less than 4 people told me I have the most amazing hair and they would kill for it.  That they’re jealous of how tall I am.  That I can pull off red hair.

If only we saw us the way others do.  If only we treated ourselves and each other with an ounce of grace and kindness.

** clambers off box**

The End.

The universe is messy

That is what a friend said to me tonight about the last few weeks and I have to agree.

Today was rotten.

The queen of the Mouseketeers died.

M-I-C...See you real soon!  K-E-Y...Why, because we like you!

M-I-C…See you real soon! K-E-Y…Why, because we like you!

Margaret Thatcher died.

"Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren't."

“Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren’t.”

This next one is strange, but I’m sad the CEO of JCPenney was fired today.  I’ve been following the story of Ron Johnson since he left Apple to turn JCP around and thought some of his strategies would resonate with shoppers.  They didn’t.  JCP has been in a tailspin of lost revenue and confused patrons.  This bums me out.

jcpAnd then, it stuff in my own small world as well.  My best friend Claire had to put her cat down and that is devastating to her and hard for me to console her at all because I don’t know what anyone could say to make me feel better if the situation were reversed.  The day I found out I just burst into tears every time I’d hear one of my own cats purr.

I saw my ex-husbands niece and nephew today.  My ex-brother in law was giving me some software and I stopped by to pick it up and I haven’t seen those kids in years.  As friendly as Ex Hubs and I are, there are still some boundary lines and I would never want to confuse the kids or create more awkward conversations, so I don’t see his family anymore really.  But once I left, I was overwhelmed with how much I’ve missed those kids.  They were my family for a minute too.  And my ex-brother in law and I get along better now than we ever did (not that we didn’t get along, I think I’m just older and less pain in the ass-y).  And I know that I don’t want to have kids, so people think I hate kids, but that’s not true.  I appreciate kids more once they get to the age those two are now – I just need a kid who can have an actual conversation and is potty trained.  The kids told me about camps and running and friends and school and it was just nice.

And lastly, I think the shock of something finally wore off today and I’m feeling it.  My company has been in trouble for a while (Google Supervalu – you’ll see) and those troubles finally reached the banner I work for under that parent company.  Last Tuesday I was told my position is being eliminated as of June 1.  I got laid off.  It’s the 2nd time in as many years that I’ve lost a job.  The thing is – I know it was the right move.  My company was overstaffed at headquarters.  I even wrote a paper about it for grad school.  It wasn’t wrong to eliminate jobs.  We had a hunch it was coming.  I never saw it being my position.  I didn’t love this job, I didn’t love this company, so I’m not devastated that it’s all over.  I’m suffering a wounded ego and today it started to sink in that this is scary all over again.  I have to find something new.  I have to support myself.  I have to do so while finishing my last semester of grad school.

I don’t want to make a hasty decision.  I’ve been thinking about moving out of St. Louis for a while now.  I have a short list of cities that are interesting to me.  Do I just move and then figure things out?  Do I stay in St. Louis where I have a stronger network?  I just don’t want to take another “job”.  I want to take something that feels like a next step.  This whole past year was just a “job”, but it allowed me to concentrate on school so it was okay.  I accepted this stagnant feeling.  I am bursting at the seams now.  I am antsy for what’s next.  I want to feel somewhat settled.  I think that has something to do with why I was overwhelmed after seeing my ex-niece and nephew.  I don’t for a second think I’ve started to hear any kind of “biological clock” but I do want some stability.  I want this family unit of my own.  And for a split second I saw my alternate life with a brother in law and a niece (I have nephews on my side – Ex Hubs had the only niece – and I seriously do not know what to do with boys – but I can be a princess with the best of the 2nd grade girls) and I felt extra lonely.  And jobless.

I’m just having a moment of self pity.  I haven’t really felt this since I got the news last week.  I stayed pretty busy, I concentrated on reading and watching a Hoarders marathon.  (Come to think of it, that may have been the beginning of the self pity taking shape… I may have texted Claire with “How come a hoarder can get a husband and I can’t!?”  Claire responded with 1) Hoarders aren’t picky and I am and 2) Have I seen my spare bedroom because I might actually be a hoarder and I shouldn’t sell myself short.)  It’s what friends are for.

So, thanks for indulging my pity party.  Just a bad day.  Deep down I know losing this job isn’t the end of the world, that it really is an invitation to find a new opportunity.  New city.  New job.  New direction.  I just have to figure out what those things are.

A moment of Zen.

Zen moment: Slipping into your own bathrobe after getting out of your shower after being on the road since last Thursday. Ahhhhh.

Zen moment: Getting the most amazing massage of my life.  The massage therapist told me she could feel my body wanting to get back to center.

Zen moment: Realizing just how clean my laptop screen is now and how much easier it is to see things on it after OOSMD cleaned it for me.

It’s the middle zen moment I’d like to focus on.  I’ve been dealing with this sciatic thing that just won’t die and I thought seeing a good massage therapist might just be the thing I need.  There is this very spiritual (read: hippie dippie) place near me and I made an appointment there.  I had been before and I love when anyone will talk to me about my chakras.  This appointment was awesome.  I know it sounds a little flaky if you don’t buy into the mind/body/spirit connection (which I struggle with at times myself) but I could feel clarity as she was pressing certain parts or working out certain spots.  I really tried to abandon thought and just be present and center myself, if you will.  Which is why I just love what she said after wards, “I could feel your body trying to get back to center.”

That’s how I feel.  Like I’m trying to get back to center.  I wrote about feeling really out of whack in January and February here, and I can’t believe it’s the end of March.  I know I feel better in March, probably largely in part to consistently taking the broken brain drugs.  I still don’t feel together, right?  I just feel like my schedule is running my life, and not like I’m running my schedule.  This isn’t even an interesting or unique problem, I just want to feel like I have my life under control a little bit.

So, after getting home from a few travel days that seemed to have no end (St. Louis got 12 inches of snow – not a travel friendly event – but I’m told it was real pretty) I decided to get some control back straight away.  I always seem to crave a really good workout the day after a grad school weekend.  Tonight, while it would have been easier to come home and veg out, making the excuse that I had been up since 5am to get on various planes to get back home, and then spending all afternoon at work, etc I popped in this workout dvd, grabbed the weighted gloves and started kicking and punching things.  And by things, I mean the air.  AND THEN, I did something I’ve been putting off for months.  (No, not my dishes my smarty pants friends who have seen my apartment and read this.)  I popped in a guided meditation dvd that Claire gave me.  And I spent some time meditating.

Yoga and meditation are always on my list of things To Do... The secret, “One Day I’ll….” to do list.  We all have one.  I’m forever saying “One day I’ll get to a yoga class…”  I should go.  Maybe it would help this sciatic thing.  Here’s the thing – what if I was terrible at meditation?  If I never try, I’d never know I’m bad at it.  Ignorance is bliss.  Let me explain.

For pretty much my entire life I wanted a unicycle.  Was convinced that I had a natural ability to ride a unicycle.  Why did I think this?  Because I was really good at riding a bike with no hands as a kid.  Seriously.  I had all the confidence in the world that I would be a unicycle prodigy.  All I needed to do was get on one.  Then, a couple of years ago, Adam Science bought me a unicycle, in what was one of the coolest Christmas presents ever.  I was then flooded with fear and self doubt.  It was time to put up or shut up.  I would have to get on the unicycle.  I put it off forever.  It was too cold, too rainy, too windy, we needed concrete – nah, we needed grass….  Until one day my sister and brother in law decided they kind of wanted to try it also so we adjusted the seat and tried it out.  And guys, I am NOT a natural at the unicycle.  (Although part of me really just thinks it was because I was wearing jeans.  Who rides a unicycle in jeans?  If I had some yoga pants on, I could totally ride the unicycle.)

I had a point.  After a school weekend, I just wanted to get home and try to get to center.  So, I meditated.  And I wasn’t terrible at it.  I got through it.  It’s probably because I was wearing yoga pants.

Fun things from my camera this month:

I got the sweetest (literally) package from Kelli!  My very talented and small business super woman friend owns a bakery in Little Rock, Arkansas and it is a testament to how much homework I’m doing that I have not spent a Saturday just making a road trip Little Rock, just to get some cupcakes.  Seriously, follow the Sweet Love Bakery on Facebook and once you read the flavors and see the pictures she posts, you’ll want to go with me.  These treats arrived at the perfect time!  I was pressed for time and wasn’t planning on making much of a dessert for a dinner at my house. Everyone loved the choices they got for dessert instead.  My sister was especially over the moon with the cake pops.  You rule, Kelli.

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I went on a tour of the plant where they make Purell.  My favorite classmate works there and before grad school weekend I stopped in Akron, OH for a tour.  I haven’t been in a lot of factories in my day, but it look a lot like I thought it would.  You know, just like this:

laverne shirleyOkay.  It wasn’t quite like this.  But it did have more people in it than I thought.  Not as many robots.  I’ve really only ever been on the AB Brewery tour which is almost all robots, so it was interesting to see production lines with people.  It smells really good in a factory where they make soap.  There are giant tanks of products.  AND, I got this:

IMG_7794I watched this particular bottle go through the filler, the capper, the labeler and then just before it got boxed, my classmate grabbed it for me.  I saw this bottle from start to finish on the assembly line!  I wanted the workers on that line to autograph it, but I was told that was weird.  What’s weird is how excited I am about this bottle of Purell.  I don’t really use Purell, or hand sanitizer of any kind.  I welcome germs.  I wash my hands, I know about food safety, what are we anti-bacterialing ourselves from?  I’m getting old enough where I say “When we were kids…” a lot more.*  But seriously, I’ve lived a relatively healthy lifestyle so far without frequent application of the stuff.  I will admit, seeing this bottle from infancy does create an emotional tie to it…we’ll see.

* Also with regards to people being a few minutes late (“We didn’t have cell phones when I was a kid!”), kids on vacation (“When I was a kid you had to talk to your siblings and look out the window, not play your handheld games!”) and responsibility in general (“When I was a kid there were consequences!  We should feel remorse for making a bad decision!”)