Tuesday, December 12, 2017

No Slowing Down

A month ago I posted about being on the other side of the desk, which is where I still am today.  Can you imagine how frustrating it is to have to talk about yourself constantly, and then question everything that comes out of your mouth?  Did I answer the question to the best of my ability?  Did I answer what they were looking for?  Am I who they want?  Should I just move on to the next instead of waiting waiting for a prospective employer to follow up?

As some of you know, I read a lot.  Having this time off has given me a lot of free time to read books, articles, blogs, posts.   (Please don't immediately think that life is all rosey over here sitting around reading books, eating Ben and Jerry's and playing with my dogs...that isn't the case).  What I've realized is that there are some many of us in similar but different situations. 

Social media becomes white noise after a while.  Everyone posting, but is anyone really listening?  I follow several bloggers and writers, and now much of my feed is flooded with their content, so I miss out on what friends have to say.  Sometimes that bothers me, sometimes it's a blessing in disguise.  All too often we covet what someone else has.  A great vacation.  A new car.  A maid.  Lately, all I covet is a job.  I know once I find a new position, everything else will fall into place.  Maybe I need to flip it and look at it from everyone else's point of view.  How do they perceive me?  Do I post too much about going out of town?  Do I cheer too much for my kids?  Have I flooded everyone's feed with inquiries about taking pictures?  Maybe.  But then again, does that matter?

You never know what a persons life is like unless you are living it.  Sure, it's all glitz and glamour on the outside, because that's what they want you to believe.  I wish that were the case...and frankly I hope that it is, and that they do get to go to Ireland for Christmas, or a spanking brand new SUV, or someone to scrub their toilets.  Maybe there needs to be more transparency...or then again, maybe not.  Maybe I don't want to know when you get something great, because I'm going to want it too.  Maybe I also don't want to know when you are pissed at the world, but decide to vague post and me guess as to who or what you are talking about.  I don't have time for that noise.

I'm thankful for a great support system at home.  My husband is the best and I often don't give him enough credit.  My boys know how hard it is on this end, and they tread very carefully when moms in a mood.  To be honest, sometimes that mood lasts for days.  I'm sorry guys.  

With Christmas fast approaching, there will be no slowing down, I will continue to send out my resume and make calls and send follow up emails.  I know in my heart that a job is right around the corner.  I need to make sure I don't get frustrated when people don't answer right away, because they have their own agenda.  I need to make sure that when it comes to researching the best methods to find a job or employment standards over 40, that I take them with a grain of salt.  Some connections say everything dies down in December.  Others say it is the best time to look since budgets open up in January.  You cannot believe everything you read.  Maybe I'm a cynic and think that there is more to a post, story, blog, than meets the eye.




Wednesday, November 1, 2017

The Other Side of The Desk

As I sit and look for a job, I am once again faced with the question of how much rejection one person can handle.  Family tells me to hang in there.   Friends say it will happen when it happens.  Ex colleagues help with sending me postings.  But I still sit here and wonder why me.  I say all the right things.  I customize my resumes and cover letters.  I answer and ask thought provoking questions.

Years ago I had been unemployed and a high school friend took a chance on me and offered me a really cool job.  I left after a few years because I thought I wanted more. I was burnt out and ready for a change.   He's now in the same boat and looking for his next position.

When I decided to go back to school and finish my degree I thought marketing was the right choice.  It was a toss up between that and human resources.   After I graduated all of my positions were in marketing.  A very hard task to do, given so many people aren't working in their chosen field.

My search has left me listless and frustrated.  I truly believe companies are just looking for that one magic candidate that fits this preconceived mold, and they look no further.  If you garner an interview, you have to not only listen but be able to think on the fly and tell them what you think they want to hear.  You need to make eye contact, but not be overly aggressive.  Be positive, but don't be eager.  Ask questions,  but don't be pushy.

I'm finding that many companies cross post, which can be frustrating for a candidate. Other companies post as feelers and really don't have openings.  Yet more post salaries which are completely unrealistic and blatant lies. So many recruiters don't work for you any longer.  If you don't fit one position, you fall off the radar until you contact them again.

So much what this world has come down to is the notion that you are what you do.  I'm a doctor.  I'm an electrician.  I work with horses.  I support an executive.  How about I'm a mom, or a brother, or a granddaughter.  Do people really care that much about what someone does for a living?  They shouldn't.  They should care that you are a good person.  They should care that you do the right thing.  Asking what you do, or who you are, is often a fishing expedition to see if they are worthy of whatever it is in your head you are trying to figure out.

My last fifteen plus career years have been in marketing.  I'm an RFP Writer.  I'm a Marketing Manager.  I'm the Director of Marketing.  What I've realized of late is I am so much more, yet it is nearly impossible to convince someone on the other side of the desk of that.  


Thursday, October 12, 2017

Pennies From Heaven

Two years ago, we lost an incredible man.  A man that took care of his family and showed his sons how to treat their wives.  He helped shape my husband and knew when to throw the gauntlet down when necessary.  Our boys grew up with him being one of their biggest fans.  He was there when they played soccer and baseball and football, and was there when they learned how to drive.  He would drive out of the way to just say hi, and would be there no matter the time.

Two years and fifteen days ago he went to the hospital because he wasn't feeling well.  We watched him slowly fade away before our eyes.  One night, after realizing he just didn't want hospital food, I took him his one of his favorites: homemade meatballs.  Sadly, he had trouble eating and did what any good dad would do.  He apologized to me that he couldn't eat.  I cried that night, and every night after because the man that filled in for my dad was losing his battle with cancer.  That evil coursed through his body, and took him.

I had 33 years with my dad when he passed away.  I had 27 with my father in law.  Both would do anything for their families.  Both would do anything for me.

I remember meeting my future father in law for the first time in my then boyfriends dorm room.  I was shy (go figure), and both he and my future mother in law came to visit.  He was completely unexpected.  He was a cowboy boot and hat wearing, gray beard sporting, seriously incredible man.  We joked, and both he and my mother in law made me feel welcome.

When you could get him to laugh, his laugh was contagious.  He wouldn't take shit from anyone. He was filled with dad jokes, some so bad you couldn't help but shake your head and make fun of him.

But that man would give you the shirt off his back, or that nasty hanky in his pocket, if you needed it.

As my husband sleeps as I write this, I know tomorrow's anniversary will be hard, as will Sunday when he would have celebrated his dad's birthday.  All I know is it gets easier.  Having lost my own dad 14 years ago, I know there was days I don't think about him.  It doesn't mean I don't love and miss him, it just means I'm healing.

Every time I see a penny on the ground I think of our dad's.  I know in my heart they are both watching over us, and throwing them down as they feast on diet Coke and Pabst, meatballs and potato salad, and lots and lots of memories.  I also know that when something goes wrong, they have had a little part of it, just to remind us to slow down and think before we act.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Next up

It has been a couple of rough weeks.  After the last biopsy and subsequent ultrasound I'm heading back to have second biopsy.  I've been told that results of the first biopsy was inconclusive so I went in for an ultrasound.  No big deal.  Needless to say, they find a couple of minor issues, but still want me to come in for another biopsy, thus leading up today.

My appointment is today and my doc had me take meds to essentially dilate my cervix.  Right now I'm sitting minding my own business and am essentially going through something I've never experienced before.  When our boys were born 19 and 23 years ago, I never dilated.  My water never broke.  They were never coming out. Ever. I had cesarean sections with both boys.  Numb from my boobs to my feet with the first and my boobs to my knees with the second.  I never felt anything but tugging during the procedure.

In my infinite wisdom I decided to google my way through what is going to happen with this med.  The first thing up says its used for abortion.  Well, I can tell you I'm definitely not pregnant.  My husband took care of that possibility 18 years ago.  If I was pregnant, we would be on the cusp of being filthy rich because we would be suing the doc that did his vasectomy. I'm feeling queasy, and now cramping.  I don't cramp.  I haven't cramped in many, many years.  Secondly I read that with being on this med, the biopsy will hurt more than the first.  Much, much more.  Why did I sign up for this?  Is my doctor some kind of sadistic psychopath that gets off on the pain of others?  Lastly, I don't know what I'm going to feel like after she roots up in there to get the sample she needs.  I was told at my ultrasound that it was likely the first biopsy was only in about four inches...they need to get in between 10 and 12 inches.  What kind of fresh hell is that?

For the record, I've stopped googling. Nothing good comes of it, unless you are looking for meme's.  Or menu's. Or movie times.

To be continued...

Fast forward... the biopsy wasn't successful.  Next up a hysteroscopy D&C. This chick is tired.


Wednesday, July 5, 2017

When Reality Strikes. Part Deux.

Three years ago last month, I finally put off the inevitable and went in for my first mammogram.  It was a day before my 44th birthday.  According to my doctor, who badgered me every time I saw him, although I was four years late, he was happy I put myself first and went in.

They found spots.  I wrote about it here and here:   Thankfully, I got the all clear, and after two years of semi-annual mammograms, I'm back to going every year. And I do go every year because it scared the crap out of me.

This time around, it's no longer a mammogram issue.  It's a likely you-are-going-though-menopause issue.  I'll be blunt (please forgive me for any and all men that read this), I've had my period for 50 of the last 52 days.  By all accounts, I should probably be dead. No one should bleed this much! (I'm sorry to my husband and kids too for the fallout from this).

I contacted my doctor like a good patient to ask about what he thinks it might be.  His answer ranged from perimenopause, to although you've lost weight you still need to lose more and that's what's causing it, to I'm sure it's nothing to worry about and it is normal for someone your age.

First of all, doc: Yes, I know it might be perimenopause.  I have hot flashes in the middle of the night, when for the last 40+ years I was perpetually cold. I go through pajamas like my kids go through workout gear. I'm a raving lunatic and everything sets me off on a crying jag - no matter if it is a lost puppy or crying after watching a horror movie.  Secondly, fuck you.  I'm trying. You have me on thyroid meds for my underactive thyroid.  No shit I can't lose weight.  Lastly, had I been in a room with you when you said 'someone your age' I probably would have throat punched you.

A week ago last Monday, he told me I had nothing to worry about, but if I wanted a second opinion, he would recommend a gynecologist.  So he did, and I scheduled an appointment, but they couldn't see me until July 31st.  Ok, fine. I can deal with that.  Fast forward to last Friday morning, and his nurse called me to tell me one of the gyno's had an opening July 5th, and that they want me to come in right away, so I made the appointment.  And then I waited though the holiday weekend.  I tried not to think about it, but I was / am worried.  At any given time when the thought of cancer comes up, it becomes this surreal moment in time.  My father died from colon cancer, my father in law from complications of stomach cancer.  My dad lived with it for years and the day he was schedule to have the tumor removed, he died before they even cut him open.  My father in law had likely been living with it for years as well. He went into the hospital for stomach issues and 15 days later he passed away.

This morning I headed to the appointment, and I was really nervous, which isn't me.  Doctor visits never concerned me; I don't faint when they draw blood; and pain is never really an issue.  Needless to say, one endometrial biopsy later (actually three today because she just wasn't getting the samples she needed), and I fully believe it hurt worse than the the two cesarean sections I had and the stereotactic biopsy I went through four three years ago.  (Side note, that hurt too, kind of like putting your boob in a vice grip and have a stranger take a dozen samples with a tool that sounds like an impact wrench.  I was so black and blue you'd swear I had been run over by a herd of elephants).

Now the waiting game begins again.  It will be at least five days before I get the results.  Am I worried.  Yes.  No.  Maybe.  Whatever it is, it is out of my control.  I'm going to try to have faith that it is nothing serious, that can be remedied with a little more medication.

So why write about this?  Maybe, just maybe, if one of you are on the fence with going in for an appointment, because you push it off over and over again, this might change your mind.


Thursday, June 8, 2017

Life Moves On

It's been 362 days since we watched our youngest walk across the stage at graduation.  Anyone who knows me watched me count down nearly his entire senior year.  I know exactly what some of my friends are going through.  The baby is graduating, what will they do now?

After many tears and hundreds of pictures that day, I realized one thing.  That was the day we were waiting for.  We did what we could to raise him (and his brother before him) to be a good kid.  Work hard in school and he would be rewarded with a high GPA and scholarships to college.  Work hard in football and he would be rewarded with kudos on the field and an all conference nod and then have the opportunity to continue playing the sport he loves in college.  Work hard at your job and they will ask you to come back through college.

I struggled five years ago when our oldest was graduating high school.  It was such a surreal moment.  That kid you raised from birth was now an adult and you had to hope that you did everything (well most everything) right.  You know what I mean.  You have to hope you didn't raise them to be assholes...because, frankly, the world needs less assholes and more kids that are polite to their elders, hold doors for people when they walk through first, and know how to say please and thank you.

Last year, when our youngest graduated, I had an easier time.  It doesn't mean it meant less for him, it just means that we had been through it and knew what to expect.  So many friends have their oldest graduating this weekend, and I can see the panic in their posts.  The others that have been through it take it in stride.

After summer when our oldest headed back to school for one last semester, and our youngest headed to his first year at college, everything hit me like a ton of bricks.  It was just me and my husband for the first time in 23 years.  Having been so involved with not only our kids schooling, but their sports, we found ourselves not knowing what to do.  We were so involved with both, to me it felt like a little part of us died.  That's pretty sad when you think about it.  We spent the majority of ten years involved in the football programs they were part of. I spent countless hours, days, weeks, and months, planning, plotting and executing, along with some of my favorite people.  I've taken tens of thousands of pictures not only of my boys playing football, but baseball and track as well.  I've taken pictures of kids that I could recognize when in full gear, but when they walk down the sidewalk in street clothes, I might not know who they are.  I made many, many friends, and reconnected with some I hadn't seen since high school.  Thankfully, last summer I was asked to still be involved in the sport I so love.  

I often wondered why parents who no longer had kids in programs stuck around and helped out.  It was a foreign concept to me until I no longer had kids in the program.  Those programs and school become your life.  You spend all of your energy jockeying your kids from school to practice to games to sleepovers. You handle snack days. You share interests with dozens of other parents. You sit in the stands and get excited when someone who isn't your kid throws the winning touchdown or hits one out of the park, because your kid is part of the team.  You beam with pride when fans are screaming your kids name when they score the winning touchdown or tackles two lineman to have the game turn in your favor after a linebacker tackles the QB and causes a fumble.  There is such a passion that parents hold for their kids teams, and when it's over, it's humbling.

The one thing I wasn't prepared for was losing friends.  You get so used to seeing people day after day at practice, or week after week at games, and then life gets in the way and you lose touch.  Sure there is Facebook and you can see what they are doing or what their kids are doing, but it isn't the same.   I miss it.  I miss them.  Life moves on.


Thursday, May 18, 2017

Here's to 47

Over the last eight months, I have gone through an emotional roller coaster.  Finding out you are no longer needed, and having to start over again has frankly been a nightmare.  I landed something I think will be ok, albeit, went through some uncertainty during the first couple of weeks, but has since changed for the better (check with me again next week).

My mindset has ranged from feelings of despair and thinking I'm not good at what I do, to trying to be positive to make things go my way.  My support system at home has been a Godsend.  I know I have been less than stellar to live with, and for that I am sorry.  Couple all of this with knowing full well I'm at the age where menopause has gotten his claws in me (yes, menopause is male...no female would ever do this to another female) and has firmly taken control over my body. 

Yesterday I had a doctors appointment for a follow up on my underactive thyroid.  I went in knowing full well I have been feeling off, which I attributed to life and what was thrown at me in the last year.  I hadn't expected the nurse to ask me if I'm feeling depressed.  Hmmm, I hadn't really thought about it, but maybe.  I don't know.  I know I've felt like I've been served shit sandwich for months on end.  I know my bones ache.  I know that I question 'Why Me?' more often than I should.  I know at any given moment I will break out into a sweat, while crying watching a tv show or action movie, only to have a blanket draped over my lap because in two seconds I'll be cold.

After having a heart-to-heart with my doctor (we've seen him for 16+ years), I was feeling a little better.  My thyroid is still off and I know I need to change my diet, so I'm glad I went in to see him.  He also reminded me I have a mammogram to schedule and oh yeah, let's schedule a colonoscopy too.  Why am I telling you this?  I don't want to schedule them.  I don't want to be squished, or poked and prodded.  Someone I love dearly went through a colonoscopy and was put under during the procedure. They came to after it, and said 'Damnit - I know someone was in there!'  Well, if that isn't a visual I don't know what is. I think I'll pass.

I'm writing this just a couple of weeks before my 47th birthday.  Forty Seven. Four decades and seven years.   Shit.  4 F'ing 7.  What happened to 35?  Or 40?  Or even 45?  Next year will be my 30th high school reunion.  When the hell did I get old?  

I guess I need to stop thinking about my age and start embracing the freedom I have as almost-empty-nester.  That doesn't mean I'm going to start acting like a teenager, or even college student...I know enough people that do that already.  Hey, whatever floats your boat.  I know at any given moment, my husband and I can hop in the truck and go away fr the weekend.  Boys, feed yourselves.

I'm going to think about what I wanted to accomplish this year and actually accomplish it. I figure with seven months left in the year, I should finish up my 2017 to-do's right around December 31st, 2025.

Here's to 47.  Here's to thyroids put on the right track.  And to squishy boobs and alien invasions.  And a better eight months than the last.