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

 

Does all change equal growth?

Ahh, my favorite time to write… after I’m exhausted.

Last night I got sucked into reading my own blog.  (Insert vanity/narcissism jokes here)  I was looking for something from a couple of years ago and then just kept reading.  I read most of Fall 2012.  It was a really exciting time for me.  My first half marathon and working with Team in Training and grad school in full swing, I felt good and was constantly achieving things I didn’t know I could do, didn’t know I wanted to do and I was really happy.

2013 was a big year.  I was laid off, found a new (awesome!) job, moved to a new place, finished the masters, pursued the relationship, traveled to Mexico and Canada…

We’re here at the halfway point of 2014.  And I don’t know what to make of it yet.  Perhaps it’s coming off a couple of big years that makes this one feel tame by comparison.  It dawned on me one morning a couple of months ago – I didn’t feel like I was growing.  I was making changes… bought the house, still figuring out the new job and city… but you can only say you’re “new” to a place for so long.  And I reached the year mark of living in Columbus and working at Nationwide.  This is where I live.  And what am I doing with that?  What am I learning?  What am I doing with my time?  I don’t think I equate making these changes with growing.  If I were to tell someone about me right now it would be limited to my job and what I do.

There’s a bit in The Fault in Our Stars where Gus asks Hazel her “story” and she responds with her cancer diagnosis and history.  Gus responds, with “No, not your cancer story – your story”.  It’s that idea – what’s beneath our obvious story?  Who else am I besides a NW employee?

I need a new goal.  The house redecorating is nice, but not really a goal.  Not something I would tell someone trying to get to know me.  What’s my story?  What am I working towards?  I need it to be something more than working towards watching all of the tv series that Netflix offers.

I did apply for a spot on an Association of Change Management Professionals committee.  It would be good for me and for NW to have a member on that team.  I need something bigger than me, outside of this house.  I thought it was this life I was working towards with the ex, alas, not the case.  So, what’s my story?  How do I make myself interesting again?  How do I make each day feel fulfilled?  How do I get back to the version of me that had something to talk about?

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.

Cheers to a whole new year

happy new yearI do set resolutions (or goals or plans or whatever you would like to call them) every new year.  Some years they are a list of tasks (like making my bed every day) and some years they are broader, like last year’s plan to just believe it was going to be a the best year ever.  I read last year’s New Year’s post this morning.  I had almost forgotten how optimistic and blindly determined that it was going to be awesome.  And the thing is, it was.  I believed in school, took  a chance that a job offer in another state was the right one, believed Doug was just the man for me and waited for him to believe it too.  2013 was a really beautiful year for me and I go into 2014 wanting very little.  I am going to continue the idea of picking a word to prescribe the fate of the new year.  This year it is HEALTH.

health2This isn’t a resolution to be a lower number on a scale, which have dictated years of my resolutions.  This is about overall health, and in some unexpected places.  I have two overall Health goals and then some monthly task goals…

Overall Health

It’s about Financial Health.  It’s time for this gal to get her money stuff together.  I created a budget, set up a tracking system, and am working on the mindset that I don’t need to buy my loved ones off just so they know I love them.

It’s about Mental Health.  This one is embarrassing and personal – and something I’ve said before, which is really why it’s embarrassing.  My friend Claire once told me I’d struggle staying on the “crazy pill”, aka Zoloft, my whole life.  That I’d stop and restart taking it for years.  Eventually I would learn I just need to stay with it.  I thought I’ve been there before – but still spent some significant chunks of 2013 self diagnosing.  That’s done.  I’m a better person on the pills and on them I will stay.

In 2013 I also learned that you can’t throw everything at a wall and expect it to stick.  I read the book The Happiness Project last year and was inspired by Gretchen Rubin’s year long plan broken out into monthly tasks.  I remember wanting to implement her plan, but needed to find a way to personalize it and not just take her initiatives.  I was struck with the idea to explore different aspects of healthy living through 2014 in different month long chunks.  Each month will have a fitness focus, a habit focus and a soul (creative & spiritual) focus.  I’ve started sketching out what the year holds…

wpid-1388105222906.jpgThe fitness column is a specific workout type activity that I want to try, want to get back to, etc.  For example, I’ve wanted to try spinning, so one month I’ll take a couple classes a week and try it out.  Jan and Feb are pre-destined to be running focused because of the 10K/Half Marathons at Disney.

The habit column picks up a healthy habit: flossing!  moisturizing!  1 hr of tv a night!

The Soul column is a strange catch all for creative and spiritual undertakings.  I want to go to Yoga, take another calligraphy class and take pretty pictures of food again.

Most of the rows aren’t in market yet.  I have post-its with ideas and want to keep the plans kind of fluid.  I would hate to commit to Spinning classes in March only to find out the group class schedule doesn’t match up with my work schedule or something.  So, I’ll have to firm some things up as the year goes on, but I also think that’s the right way to do it.  Setting a plan in stone on January 1 may not be the best way to keep this plan up all year.  Hard to plan for a whole year.  Something it’s taken years for me to be able to say.

healthSo, this is how we begin 2014 -

January
Fitness: Running – preparing for the Tink 10K and Half in just a couple weeks!

Habit: Moisturize.  That may sound funny, but I’m not getting any younger and I have so much lotion around the house.  I get super dry skin in the winter.  This was the first thing that came to mind when I thought of general 2014 resolutions in December.

Soul: Nourish self with real food.  I completed the Whole30 in November and never felt better.  Confident, energetic, rested…that’s why this went in the Soul column.  I’d like to start the year by making sure I can reach that inner Sarah stuff and I can’t if I’m mad about what I’m eating or feeling gross.  I can’t say that I’m starting the Whole30 strictly again right now because I haven’t come up with great pre-race or during race running substitutions for whole wheat tortillas, gatorade or Swedish fish candy.  So, 98% of the time I’ll be eating that way.  (Had an awesome thyme braised beef stew with mashed cauliflower tonight for dinner, courtesy of Well Fed 2!)

Be healthy, be happy, be you.

Happy 2014 blog-land.

health1

 

 

 

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

Apartment hunting, thy name is evil

I thought it would be fun.  The universe told me to come here.  I followed every sign that led me to Columbus.  I was clearly putting out job/career vibes to the universe.  Every part of the new job (in the three days I’ve had it) is awesome.  We’ll talk about that later.

Perhaps if I had spent as much time day dreaming about the perfect place to live as I had the perfect job, I would not be in this 6th level of hell that is apartment hunting in Columbus, OH. Who knew it had one of the hottest rental markets this side of New York City?!

It all starts on Memorial Day, aka, my first trip to Columbus ever.  I assume I’ll check out a few places and find something.  The weekend before it started – folks canceling appointments because a place had rented, not having availability at places I wanted to look at…all of a sudden there was pressure.  I was moving here.  No doubt.  I started a job in a week.  I wigged out and took the first place that hadn’t already been claimed.  (Well, I took the 2nd place that hadn’t already been claimed – the first one D walked 10 feet into and decided I couldn’t live there.  The neighborhood is still “transitional”.  Which I kind of like.  Perhaps, not so safe.)  In retrospect, I wish I had just spent those first two days in Columbus exploring with no pressure.  I wish I would have plotted a route that took us through the neighborhoods, walked around, made a progressive food plan (breakfast in one neighborhood, lunch in another, cupcake in another, drink in another, and end with dinner somewhere).  Doesn’t that sound like a lovely way to get to know a city?  I regret that was not my plan.  Instead I got all stressed and panicked.

Once calm returned to me back in St. Louis during my couple of days to pack, I realized the place I applied was not the best choice – primarily due to timing.  It’s not ready until August 1.  It’s June 5.  Temp housing is expensive, yo.  I need it sooner.  So…I decide to pass and keep looking.  I find a neighborhood that feels great to me – Clintonville.  I find a house.  Four hours before I’m supposed to see it – rented.  I find another house – after I’ve applied, seen it, fallen in love with it – they tell me they really don’t want a cat in the house.  (That one really left me heartbroken – there was a movie room in the basement!!)  And PS, owner – my cat is way less mess than the toddlers the current tenants have in your house right now.

So, last night around 11:30pm, when I get the email telling me that the cats are a deal breaker to this woman who has been emailing me for three days now (she didn’t think to tell me this until AFTER I’d see the house and fallen in love with it and the area?!) I give myself a good talking to.

“Self,” I say, “you’re going to have to settle.”

There are some things I know I don’t want: I don’t want it to be a really long drive to work.  And when I say long, I generally mean anything around 30 minutes.  I really hate to drive in traffic and such.  I also didn’t want an apartment complex.  I believe I referred to the one I did look at as “soulless”.  It’s time to pick the lesser of the two evils.  There’s a nice townhouse in a nice residential area very close to a great running/biking trail that is far from work.  OR, there is a pretty well maintained complex, slightly closer to work.  With complex, I get a pool and a 24 hour work out facility.  With complex, there are maintenance people and no yard.  So, I’m leaning towards complex.  I’m heading to see it tomorrow at lunch.  It’s available June 13.  The town house is available now.  Timewise, about the same, since I’ll be out of town this weekend.  Price wise, they are about the same.  It’s time to decide on the lesser of two evils.

The suck-y part is, I like Columbus.  Which means I want to live in these vibrant, awesome neighborhoods.  I want to support local business and walk the community.  I’m kind of buggin’ that I’ll be stuck on the outskirts of town with either place, really.

But, that’s not really what this year is about, right?  It’s about the career, the experience.  It’s about paying off the credit card and finally contributing grown up amounts to the retirement plan.  It’s about getting my PROSCI Change Management certification and going to visit the boyfriend on the weekends now that we’re finally in the same state.  I can become a hip and fun city dweller next year at the ripe old age of 34.

That’s not too late, right?

Above all, I just want to stop lurking on Craigslist.  I’m so over Craigslist.

Moving.

I might be in denial.

I had to email my landlord today to tell her I was moving to Ohio.  We’re both really sad.  It’s really bittersweet to think about moving away from this apartment.

But I’m not ready to write a real goodbye coffee shop apartment post yet.  That will require pictures and poeticism and romanticism and Dadaism.

Except…Probably not that last thing.

I need to get some boxes.  I then need to put stuff in said boxes.  Without knowing exactly where I’m moving to, it’s tricky to think about what to pack.  I’m looking for smaller, loft-style apartments in Columbus – all of which will be smaller than my 3 bedroom apartment.  And that’s ok.  I use one bedroom for laundry and Christmas decorations, so it’s not that I need all this room – I just had it.  Point is, I have to pack for two destinations – my mother’s basement where the not-so-necessary items are going and my new place in Columbus.  I’ve already decided my good china doesn’t need to go to Columbus.  I don’t know that many people there – I’m probably not going to be throwing a lot of fancy dinner parties.  And maybe I only need 2 of the 12 cake plates in my collection.  It will be hard to pick, but I think it’s necessary.  (First world problems, I know.  I know.)

Looking for an apartment in a city I’ve never been to is just a little stressful.  I know I can’t do much about it until I actually GO to Columbus for my location scouting trip, but I’m scouring Craigslist and rental sites like I was scouring job posting sites not so long ago.  I miss when I was just scouring Pinterest.

I downloaded the Columbus Dispatch and Columbus Zoo apps for my phone.  It seemed like the right thing to do.  I want to start reading the news of my new city.  I think I’m really going to like Columbus.  I think I’ve memorized the layout of the area from all the virtual apartment hunting I’ve done.  I don’t have apprehension about moving to the place I’ve never been.  That part really is exciting.  I’m just going to be marginally stressed out until I know where I’ll be settling in.

Send moving motivation and good thoughts my way!

A story. In many, many parts.

I. Vacation

I was on vacation last week.  I took the opportunity to stay away from most social media while I was gone.  It was really nice.  All of it was nice.  It was a vacation in three distinct phases.  I took almost no pictures and I’m going to try and capture the highlights.  Which as I sit here seems incredibly daunting because last week was monumental.  It was a week that goes in the Sarah History book.  That sounds dramatic, but, you’ll see…

My time away started 40 minutes north of Asheville, NC at a big, beautiful cabin at the top of a mountain.  6 bedrooms, amazing kitchen, 5 classmates, 2 facilitators and an emotional experience to beat the band.  A few classmates and I chose to be part of a organizational behavior process called a T Group.  It’s an experience that focuses on feelings in the here and now.  There are only two rules – use “I” statements and you must remain in the present – if the experience, feeling, person, etc isn’t in the room then they are not in the conversation.  It’s intense and there’s a real learning curve for those rules.  I really didn’t know what to expect going in and I purposely kept myself in the dark about the expectations of the weekend so I wouldn’t create biases.

Warning: cheesy ahead.  I can’t describe the weekend.  It was every bit as intense as promised and I love these classmates and facilitators I went through it with in a very special way, as they were witness and participants to this work.  I felt overwhelmed, confused, sad, bad, mad, glad and afraid at certain parts.  I really experienced change and internalized awareness.

I also felt a yearning.  Marcus Buckingham, who presents on the Strength Finders assessment and co-authored a good deal about the topic, says one should pay attention to the yearnings – those intense callings to something.  For me, it was Graphic Facilitation.  One of our facilitators also worked as a graphic facilitator – a tool to visually record and organize a meeting, process, thoughts, etc.  You can go here for some examples.  A friend of mine had recently posted on FB that she was taking a graphic recording workshop and I was really intrigued then.  Once I saw this facilitator complete some of it – I was hooked.

I’m getting off track.  (I could use a graphic recording for this post.)  That was vacation part 1 and it was great. Vacation part 2 was EVEN GREATER!

Mystery Man (actually, it’s not much of a mystery any longer – let’s call him D from here on, shall we?  I shall.) D and I left the retreat and headed to a different cabin atop a different mountain.  It was a belated birthday present – a peaceful trip off the grid and a chance for us to spend time together – no school, no hotels, no classmates, no kids, no pets – just he and I spending actual time together.  The cabin we found was right out of Sleeping Beauty – when the King and Queen send Aurora to live in the woods so the evil lady can’t find her?  It was like that.  A sweet, little, comfortable cabin for two.  We had everything we needed, including lots of dry firewood to make lots of fires while we curled up, played Scrabble and I was introduced to Duck Dynasty.  (Which I surprisingly loved.)  We hiked, and read, and talked, and napped and sat in the hot tub under the stars (more on that later).

Vacation moved on to West Virginia for the next few days, but took on a different tone.  D organized an offsite retreat for the company he works for and I was along for the ride.  I went to a few dinners with them and spent some time at the spa and managed to have breakfast at the Greenbriar with my friend Meg.

II. Boys

So, let’s talk about boys.  One boy, in particularly.  And, man is probably the more appropriate term.  D is in the master’s program with me and we’ve been seeing each other when we can – mostly school weekends.  The more I see him, know him, listen to him, understand him, learn about him, make him laugh, ask him…the more I like him.  He was always my favorite classmate and transitioning to him being my favorite guy has been really wonderful.

This week was something new for us – spending 8 consecutive days together is a first.  And not just regular days – intense retreat days, fairy tale cabin days and then work conference days.  Each of those phases brought different aspects of me to the relationship.  Sometimes I’m good, sometimes I’m a lot to take.  And I’m constantly afraid people are getting tired of me.

There were two distinct and dichotomous moments on this trip.  That shouldn’t seem like blog-worthy news.  Couples have highs and lows.  The intensity of these two moments came in such a short time span that both left me speechless in their own way.  I’m hesitant to describe either of them here because I know we have mutual acquaintances who read me blather on here – and while I opened myself up to public viewing of my thoughts – he didn’t necessarily sign up for that.  So, those are stories going in the old fashioned hand written journal.

III. Lists

If you’ve ever wandered over to the page on this blog entitled List 2.0 you’ll see my list of things to do before I die.  An oddly specific item is this:

Spend time in a cabin in Asheville, NC to recharge, hike and sit in a hot tub under the stars

I know.  Oddly specific.  I attribute it to the blog Peanut Butter Runner.  I started reading a lot of fitness and running blogs when I started training for the half and ran across this one.  Jen lives in Charlotte and gets away to Asheville, NC pretty regularly.  I was reading her Asheville posts – about the great food, funky vibe and the cabin and the hiking and I was overcome with the yearning to do this.  (Pay attention to yearnings!)  Onto The List it went and crossed off it is.  I felt incredibly recharged after just a couple of days at the fairy tale log cabin with D.  Monday night, after Scrabble, after dinner, after some more Duck Dynasty – the clouds had all gone away and there were stars.  I sat outside and tilted my head back so it was resting on the edge of the hot tub behind me and just stared at the stars.  And made lots and lots of wishes.  It was a beautiful moment, and a really romantic one at that.

IV. Wishes coming true

So, then this thing happened where I got a job.  A stars-aligned into the perfect scenario kind of job.  April 2nd I was told my position is being eliminated.  April 15 I was told I wasn’t right for this job.  April 30 – I kind of bombed a technical interview they put me through on a 2nd chance.  May 7 – I have a 20 minute interview with the actual hiring manager and I have the offer 24 hours later.  And it’s not just a job.  It’s a job that will let me do what I’ve been doing and am good at for the last 8 years and combine that with the Organizational Development tools and concepts I’ve been working on with my master’s.  It’s this perfect bridge to the other side of Organizational Change Management – which is what I want to do.  It’s a job where my title is consultant.  It’s a job that will pay me enough to start paying back the school loans I took out to get the legitimate education behind what I want to do.  It’s a job that makes me feel valued.  Like all the steps back in the last few years were worth it – because this is exactly where I’m supposed to be.  I’ll be moving to Columbus, OH in just a couple of weeks.

I’ve never been to Columbus, OH before.  I really need to figure this out.

When I think about the roller coaster of the last 6 weeks, it’s nothing compared to the roller coaster of these 6 days!  Leaving the school retreat content to start thinking about what comes next and focus on what I’m good at and two days later have that job in hand.  I had no idea what the week would bring when it started – but I almost like that it all happened so close together.  We never know when the biggest days (or week) of our life is going to be – and this was absolutely one of the biggest weeks of my life.

I can say this next sentence without it being scary…

I don’t know what happens next!

I don’t know where in Columbus I’m moving, I don’t know what happens next with D, I don’t know who I’ll work with, I don’t know exactly what the work will turn out to be…and I can hardly wait to find out!

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.