Monday, December 29, 2014

New Goals

As the new year approaches again, I take time to pause and consider. A lot has happened this year. Good things, really terrible things that made me feel small, insignificant and sad, and middling things. From the outside I accomplished a lot: finishing my MBA, running three half marathons, surviving a summer with barely seeing my husband, making it through the first year of marriage, starting a small business, changing jobs...

Internally there's a lot of work that needs to be done.

But it's a new year, and my focus needs to be doing things that make me happy, that benefit myself and my family, and finding my center again. I've felt off-balance for quite a while, and with the New Year I intend to re-focus and re-discover what I need to be doing.

I already proved that "The Doctor Said I'm Never Running Again" wasn't true (and at the same time proved to myself that I'm not what I used to be in terms of not being able to do three half marathons without putting myself through unnecessary pain...), I've left the job that I never wanted in the first place, and left behind the job that I thought would be my saving grace from that other job, and now I'm in a place where I can do what I need to do to be happy.

I need to remind myself what that looks like.

So this year, that's what I'm doing.

Oh, and work on posting more often.

Saturday, December 27, 2014


There are always little points in your life that you can point to and be like "There! That was what I was supposed to do!" Staying with the man who eventually became my husband when our relationship was new, long-distance, and stressful was one of those moments for me. Every time I went to turn away something deep and instinctual went "Nope, sorry, honey. I know it's not the easier route, but this is what you're supposed to do."

Turns out that voice was right.

I expected to have that sort of "come to Jesus" moment when I quit Verizon or when I moved to Bend or really a variety of other things. Were they bad decisions? No, they just didn't have that primordial affirmation that yes, this is right. I believe in a higher power that rarely interferes but will intervene when the choice you are trying to make will affect something bigger and more important.

Maybe my marriage was that bigger thing, maybe not, but I love that I have such a wonderful, affirming man in my life who truly believes that I deserve the world -- even on days when I'm a whiny, bitchy, nagging pain in the ass. Damn it, now I'm welling up.

I had that moment recently, though. And the affirmations of it since then. So we will see where it leads us.

On a Thursday morning in August, I'd had it up to here with a job that I had grabbed like a lifeline to sanity seven months ago. It had brought me peace, better hours, and more time with those I love. It also brought me to a place where I understood that it's okay to want to be doing something you at least like most of the time, as freelance work took me more and more away from being mentally present at the job I was holding like a good little nine-to-fiver. A not-so-unusually-critical day prior, with minor meltdowns from people who should know better and the first respectful, adult conversation I'd had about the job since I started the job made me go, "Wait. Why am I here?"

That stupid voice on the inside nodded sagely.

I sent a text to my husband, asking how he would feel if I told them "So long and thanks for all the fish" and went to California for a long weekend.

"Do it, it doesn't affect me," he said.

"I don't think you read that message properly," I replied, after calming my pounding heart and trying to figure out if he was serious. "I'm asking if you would be okay if I quit my job."

The man replied with a quote from an email I sent him recently about feeling trapped in a box of what I was "supposed" to be doing with my life and that I wanted for once to be irresponsible, take the leap and quit my job and face the world on the strength of knowing I will survive.

His next question was "If not now, then when?"

It's really annoying/wonderful/frustrating/amazing when my inner voice and my husband agree on things that I can't make up my mind about. I put in my notice the next day and it felt right. Then, I got sent home immediately after giving my two weeks in a "that's nice, too bad" sort of gesture, which added a brick of guilt to my heart. Like I had maybe done something wrong, not tried hard enough, not been good enough.

I received a couple phone calls in the week following as I fled to San Luis Obispo for sun, relaxation, and visiting with friends I never get to see asking me to consider returning to the job. That added to the guilt and pressure and even though that deep, internal voice kept whispering, I became unsure.

And then like a gift from God, I received a phone call from a client I had given up on who wanted to send me a check for a deposit for a job.

I knew in that moment that I needed to follow what was in the process of hitting me over the head. Since then, I've found a job at a winery that lends me flexible hours, a sense of family, a calm for my panic-button-ohmygodI'mnotmakinganymoneywhatwillIdohowwillwesurvivewe'regonnabehomeless moments (because having a job that you can just go, okay, this week I'm gonna work a little extra and make a couple more bucks is really a nice feature, especially when you're finding out that entrepreneurial stuff is far from stable...which we knew...we just didn't...know), and I've found a little piece of happiness.

For the first time in my life I get excited to talk about what I do for a living.

For the first time in my life my only complaint about work is that while my boss is wonderful, understanding, sweet, respectful, and interested in what we have to say, her sense of organization is a tad different from mine and that overwhelms me some days.

No yelling, no throwing phones, no saying I'm wrong or don't know what I'm talking about, no one telling me I'm doing it wrong and then repeating back to me what I just said as the right way to do something, no long hours...

It's fantastic.



What's not to like?