Monday, January 1, 2018

New Year. New Attitude.

2017 was very humbling.  I'm glad it's behind us as a family.  I have the most supportive spouse and boys, and for that I am grateful.   I have friends I can vent to, and some family that I know is there for me.  I belong to some really great online groups that know just when you need to have a meme war, full of all the things you shouldn't say.  Kind of like George Carlin did.  I love it.

This week will bring a fresh start.  I'm not much into resolutions.  I always seem to break them.  I was lucky enough to schedule several interviews and I know that this is the week that I'm going to land back on my feet.

Despite the way things have been, I tried to stay positive.  Not an easy task when you continuously talk about yourself and get no traction.  I've questioned every interview and interaction I've had in this search.  It's a lot harder looking at 47, then it was even five years ago.

I have read countless books on the Law of Attraction.  I've started changing the way I've always done things.  I spent nine days away from all of this just to get recharged.  I highly recommend it.

Don't ever assume you are safe in your career.  Trust your gut, and if there are red flags, get out while you can.  Take chances.  Embrace choices.  Say thank you to those that help you, and don't be bitter to those that don't.

This is my week.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

New Years Eve Eve

2018 is almost here.  The day before the end of this year.

I'm ready, as is my husband, and a good handful of friends, and some family, to get on with putting this year behind us.  I know I'm looking forward to a fresh start, and to have to stop looking for a new job.  Next week is the week...I feel it (it helps having four interviews).

Everyone says things happen for a reason.  I try to think that, but sometimes life just sucks and you just deal with it.  At least that's what my husband says.

I have friends that swear by positivity and putting good out into the world.  I have others that are stressed and life has left them broken, and all they say is screw the world.  The best way that I know to get through life is be a survivor.  You never know what life has in store for you.  I certainly don't.

What we see on social media is a fraction of what someone's life is really like.  Granted, sometimes there is just too much info shared, but whatever floats your boat.  That's the beauty of scrolling past or unfollowing someone's feed.  There are only so many happy memes I can look at without wanting to gouge out my eyes.  And I'm sorry to say that I just don't care when you post "I can't even" with no context, or decide to share something about someone that you have had not an ounce of interaction with, but feel it's necessary to flood my feed with whatever it is you think your friends might care about.

Our family has spent the last nine days decompressing this year.  Tomorrow night there will be no parties or spending a fortune on dinner.   Midnight will come and go without any hoopla, instead life will go on while we are most likely tucked into our beds, fighting with our dogs to get off our numb legs.

Don't get me wrong, I hope you have a grand old time.  If you find it necessary to go out bar hopping tomorrow night, only to wake up with a wicked hangover on Monday morning, more power to you.  We did it a few years, but we were married young and had kids early, so going out on New Years more or less lost its appeal.  If you decide to stay home, sporting your pajamas while eating pizza straight from the box, have at it.  Or if you decide to go to an early movie and splurge on the large popcorn and pretzels, only to spoil dinner, you might be my spirit animal.  If you do go out, please don't drive.  Even if you think you are sober or you didn't have that much, you probably did, and you shouldn't be behind the wheel, or at the helm of a snowmobile.

Needless to say, enjoy these last two days however you want.  I'm covered in a blanket, nestled at our cottage while my husband watches UFC.   I'm looking forward to putting this year behind me.  2018 promises a brand new career, a 25th anniversary vacation, and an attitude that will stop me from worrying so much about everyone else.

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.