Post Firing

It has been a few weeks since I have been fired and I have to say, I couldn’t be happier.  Less than 24 hours after getting canned I was at a new job.  Well, somewhat new.  I have been working nights with a long time friend for years.  We actually go way back, about eight years.  When I went in to tell him he said I was now full-time and I haven’t turned back.

The new career is still in insurance, which I hate but there is something a bit more liberating about being here.  I have my own hours, I am my own boss, and we laugh.  I feel free.  I feel like I’m back with a family. I don’t feel chained down and oh my, the stress is gone.  It is amazing how it takes something big happening to tell you what you already knew.

I knew my prior job was slowly suffocating me but I didn’t quite realize the extent of damage it was doing daily to my health, my marriage, my parenting, my social life and really, you name it, it was affected.  The past few weeks have been an awakening and it has really helped me focus every day on actually living and being, instead of just going through the motions of life.  I’ve also noticed that I’ve let go of so much more and I’m not nagging about the little things.  I think I was looking to grasp onto something to have better control since I felt like I was spiraling at my old job.

I’ve had happy hour with old co-workers several times who have filled me in on the news at my old job and we have come to a conclusion on the “why’s” of my firing.  I guess it should make me very upset and as some people keep telling me, I could have grounds to sue them but I have already let all of that go.  I don’t want it leaking any more toxins into my life and I’ll just assume karma will keep doing its thing.  I am more worried about where I am today instead of where I was.

I know, I sound like I smoked something and I’m living with the damn unicorns but I really am just loving life. First month of 2014 down and I feel like I’ve already nailed it.

The weight

 

A Baby Free Life?

In the time we have spent trying to conceive there is this weird thing that has happened.  I don’t know if it is my mind screwing with me due to how long it has taken but there are times I wonder what life would be like if we chose to not have kids.  Every time the stick tells me I’m free to drink wine for another month, I question whether or not I ever really want to give up the wine for 9 months straight.

Rebecca is closing in on turning 12 this year and I’m a long ways from the days of newborns and diapers.  There are no bottles to clutter my counters and no annoying toys going off in the middle of the night.  My home decor is not interrupted by swings with monkeys dancing on them.  Even a lot of my friends are moving away from those days and onto the days of self-sufficient kids.  The Husband and I live in a world where we have spending money, we can come and go as we please, we can sleep in, Rebecca can get her own breakfast and no one has to worry about remembering the diaper bag.  Our friends are finally available, for the most part, to grab drinks or dinner at the last-minute on a Friday night with us.  We are getting into a good groove in our marriage and are enjoying ourselves.  Why would we want to change that?

Add to the fact that raising a baby today is even different from it was 11 years ago with Rebecca.  Social media attacks you, everyone has more of an opinion and you can feel like you are never doing it right. Do I want to enter that world and open myself up to all of that?

I think every parent has these thoughts when they are deciding to get pregnant or waiting for the arrival of a new baby.  Spending so much time trying to conceive means we have a bit more time to contemplate what the hell is coming at us when a little one does come around.

Sure the baby free life is appealing.  We could move on a path in our life that doesn’t have to include putting away more college tuition but instead that money could go towards exotic vacations.  But then there are those moments I know I couldn’t do that.  In fact, I would regret it.  I suggested a trip this summer to Disneyworld with Rebecca. The Ex and I took her when she was 7 and I suddenly felt the need to take her back before she grew up too much more.  Apparently it is too late, she suggested New York City instead.  I’m not ready for this to be it.  It doesn’t feel right or fair.

I figure I made it through the baby years once before just fine and at that time I still kept my college life in tact.  In fact, nothing can be as hard as what I went through with Rebecca.  So when my friends roll their eyes at someone wrestling with a baby stroller and announce “Thank God that isn’t me anymore!” I just realize more and more I’m not ready to make those comments.  Having a baby does not have to end your social life or marriage contrary to some people on social media.  I’ll give up wine for 9 months to get back those nights of rocking a little one to sleep.  I don’t think the baby free life is quite for us.

The day I didn’t claim my dog as my own

When you enter the main area of doggie day care you can look to your right and glance through the window at the room that houses the small dogs play area.  My puppy thinks she is a big dog so she is rarely in there.  Also there was an incident where she wouldn’t quit using the little dogs as hurdles so she is kind of banned from that room.  Instead I have to look up at the monitor to see her playing in the big dog room while I wait to have my turn to check out.

As Fenway is a black lab she can blend in with the many other black dogs on that monitor so it may take a moment for me and the husband to pick out just which one is ours.  I know, bad dog parents.  One afternoon we stood with other waiting doggie parents and one man pointed out his big german shepherd on the screen and asked which one was ours.  Without pause I answered quicker than my husband could and said our dog wasn’t up there.  Nope, not at all shown on that screen.  She must be in her suite for a nap or something.  No dog of ours there. My Husband glanced down at me as I gave him a warning glance.

I couldn’t stand there and admit to the doggie parents around me that ours was the one humping her friends head who was trying to take a nap.  At 6 months old my dog was the horny dog in the bunch right there in the middle of the big screen with no shame in her humping game. I just didn’t know how to apologize for that.  I promptly went home and hid my 50 Shades of Grey books from her just in case that was where she was getting ideas.

Losing a Friend

A little over a week ago a friend of ours, Mike, passed away some what un-expectantly. We live in a small town so over the Holiday’s you tend to run into people more often than not and we continually ran into Mike and his girlfriend and mentioned drinks after the Holiday’s when things calmed down.  Unfortunately those drinks will never happen. He had been having back pain and went to the doctor to find out his abdomen was full of cancer and died a week later at the age of 55.

Saturday was his celebration of life service and I have never laughed or cried so much at the same time at a funeral.  I watched his daughter, my age, stand in front of a packed room and talk about her father with such positivity in her voice.  She wore Mike’s signature hat, smiled, and kept her head held high while she shared stories with the same ease that her father always did.  She had lost her sister 8 years ago and Mike and her stood at that funeral together and spoke.  They made a pact that from there on out they would always stand together at family funerals and speak of the good times, no matter how tough it was.  They had to keep this pact 4 more times  Saturday she had to stand there without her rock next to her side and I looked at her with such awe.  In the midst of such a sad time she urged people to be cheerful and look for the good.  By the end, upbeat music was going and people were singing, clapping and dancing together.

I walked out of the funeral that day feeling something much different from the normal “Life is too short.”  No, it was much more than that. Mike was laughter, a drink in his hand, a great friend, honest, a good family man, full of stories and always there to remind you how to let go and have a good time in life. I just need to put more of that in my life.  Yes, life is too short but it is also meant to be lived in the moment, not for some day when things change, when the house is cleaned, when you get a new job, when you have X amount of money.  Just now.  I need to be more present now.

Mike’s picture is now in my truck to remind me everyday to stop, breathe, slow down and let go.  I’m not waiting for one day to stop by his house to see his girlfriend and share that glass of wine, I’m going tonight.  Because tonight, whatever I had planned or need to do is not near as “busy” or important as talking to her about the love of her life that she just lost.

I can genuinely say that I am blessed to have known this man.  I urge you today to find the positive in something and take a few extra minutes to really breathe in life.  Go out and live.

Doggie Day Care

I’ve discovered having a dog is a lot like having kids.  They whine, they cause havoc, they  need watched constantly, you have to remember to feed them on a regular basis and everyone thinks they get an opinion on how you raise one. 

My neighbors are great at informing me if my dog is outside too little or too much.  Others will comment on the fact that she is tied up while outside versus running amuck through the subdivision.  The vet will question what obedience classes she has taken and friends will wag their fingers because she is required to sleep in a crate at night and not in our bed.  Oh the joys of advise from others. 

Then there is the advise that one can actually take.  The advise I never thought I would take because I was NOT that person.  Against my Husband’s desire, we took Fenway to doggie day care.  Who was I?  Who the hell spends money to take a dog to day care?  This girl.  Some people whispered the idea to me and I knew others had done it. So there Fenway and I stood at her first day of day care, at a place I had carefully picked out.  She jumped on everyone and peed in excitement as she had never done before.  One man stepped back from the check in table with his calm dog and waved me to go ahead of him.  “First day?” he asked me.  Was it that obvious?  Yes, we were those people. 

We haven’t looked back.  Fenway LOVES it.  She happily brings me her leash and jumps in the truck.  Once a week (sometimes more, I won’t lie) she goes to see her friends and teachers.  Once a month they even give her a bath and make her smell like a damn sugar cookie.  You would never know she barks at her own farts. 

The best part is the part where she comes home and doesn’t. move. an. inch.  Not one.  She collapses on the couch and sleeps like a brick till morning because what does day care do?  It wears her the fuck out.  Those are the nights we invite people over for wine and they comment on how well behaved she is.  I wrap presents on the floor and she doesn’t tackle the mess.  I can fold laundry and somehow manage to make dinner all without her helpful assistance.

Yes, I am the person I never thought I would be.  The person I used to make fun of.  I have no shame in this.  Better yet, my husband will proudly tell you he too is now a believer in the day care.

The Day I Got Fired

Sunday night I was crying and having major anxiety.  I had been on vacation for two weeks from work and I just couldn’t face having to go back there.  The stress, the chaos, the upheaval, was all too much.  It was so draining and I just didn’t know how to get out.  I spent my vacation dusting off my resume and applying to any job that didn’t include insurance because I was just burnt out.  I still had to face walking into that office though.

Yesterday I sat there all day and the other girls I worked with were just as distraught about coming back to work.  No one liked the direction of the company.

At 4:00 I was called into my bosses office.  I just sat there 6 weeks ago for a “promotion.”  It was more work on my desk and a new title that didn’t come with more money.  That seemed to be the theme of my department and I was fighting to get us all paid better in the past 6 weeks.

“I’m setting you free.  I’m firing you.  I know you are meant for bigger things than working here and your strong personality doesn’t fit the direction we are taking the company.”

I was fired for the first time in my life.

I had never felt so much relief in my life.  I sat with the biggest smile on my face and he didn’t seem to know what to do with that.  I stood and shook his hand while he stammered, as usual, through his words.  I thanked him and walked with my head held high, out to collect my things.  My office mate sat with her mouth hanging open and told me to meet her across the street at the bar in 10 minutes.  I happily threw my shit in a Target sack and I didn’t look back.

I wasn’t even out of the parking lot and I got a phone call from my second boss.  He had recently sold out his portion of the business to my current boss and is still part-time with no control as he slowly goes towards retirement.  He got choked up.  He apologized. He didn’t know I was being fired and he hates the direction the company is going.  If he could have fought for me, he would have.  I assured him it was the best thing that could have happened to me and I meant it.

And so they came to the bar.  Now former co-workers.  They said they were jealous.  They wanted out.  They said they were nervous about losing their job at any moment.  We laughed, we vented and I had never felt more positive about the direction of my career in my life.  And for those who have read my blogs for a long time know that is saying something.  I have struggled so much with my career.

I came home to my husband who took me out to celebrate and toast the official best news of the New Year.  This is truly the best way to start off.  The new start I need.  I have so much renewed faith in how life works out for the best and I’m ready for my next step.

The End of the Holiday Season

Every year we have several family Christmas get together’s with immediate family, extended family and friends.  I love this.  I love the Holiday’s, the music, the decorations and the magic.  It seems the day after Halloween it is all pushed in our faces and then promptly ends at midnight on Christmas night.  It is that sudden halt that makes me crazy.

I hit up a few stores for sales and returns in the days after Christmas and it seems the Grinch had been there to visit.  Christmas decor was hanging by a thread from store walls, some lay trampled on the floors.  People tapped their feet in those return lines while rolling their eyes at the long wait.  Manners were lost, people were head down, pushing along, dragging over-tired children behind them.  That Christmas spirit was quickly forgotten.  Where does all that good-will go so quickly?

Honestly, I just find it sad.  Wouldn’t it be great if that Christmas spirit lasted a bit more through the year like the carols say?  Not the cold and the money spending that goes with it but just the general cheer.

This past weekend I hosted our last Christmas get together of the season and yes, our tree was still up past my normal New Years Day deadline.  I spent the extra nights soaking up the lights from the Christmas tree along with the last lingering smells.  I was ready to take it down on Sunday and get back to a calmer schedule.  There is always that feeling of emptiness when there are no longer lights casting a glow on us in the evening but I don’t have to vacuum up the tree needles any longer.  I’m just hoping I can carry a little bit more of that Christmas spirit with me until next year.