Sunday, November 27, 2016

Three Months Later....

Three months ago I posted this blog:  Three Weeks Later

It was the story of a couple that had become empty nesters and how they were handling life.  All in all it was quite a change.

Here we are three months later and things are decidedly different.  Sure, we spent Friday nights at the football field, both home and away, watching our boys team.  It was surreal because we didn't have a vested interest in the players.  Saturday's we traveled to our boys' college and away sites, to watch our youngest and his new team play.   We've adjusted to dinners being small and intimate, and I've learned to cook for two instead of four (I'm not happy about that!).  We have shared time with our oldest's schedule, when he hadn't been home for months.  I'm thankful for those few fleeting minutes in a restaurant after a Saturday game.  Laundry goes fast, dishes can be done in five minutes, and we never seem to run out of anything in the fridge or toilet paper in the bathroom.

The last two weekends have been something special.  The first weekend my husband and boys were at their annual bonding session at deer camp.  He was lucky enough to have both boys for nearly three days straight.  This weekend, we had both for Thanksgiving, albeit not at home, and then had our youngest with us at our cottage nearly four days.   Both are nestled back at school in their dorm rooms, and soon enough they will be home for Christmas.

We will never take for granted the amount of time we get to spend with our children, because before we know it, they will both be on their own, and sadly probably not five minutes from home.  I never realized how much I cherish those nights when I get a "love you momma" text, or they say goodnight without getting prompted with a text from me.

Leading into Christmas, I'm looking forward to our annual trip to the cottage to snowmobile (fingers crossed Mother Nature cooperates).  We've been doing it for about eight years.  If the weather doesn't go as planned, our getaway might change, and we'll spend time doing something else.  All I know is I'll have my boys with me...and that is present enough for me.  

Thursday, November 24, 2016

All The Things I'm Thankful For

First and foremost, Happy Thanksgiving.  I hope today is everything you wanted it to be.  I hope you were able to spend the day with the people you, friends, your pets, or even by yourself.  Whoever or whatever makes you happy.

I'll be honest.  2016 has sucked.  There are days when I wake up and think that karma has taken a big crap right on our house. I've been looking for a new job for 10 weeks.    I took a temp job because frankly you can't live on unemployment, and I can't just sit at home sending resume after resume all in the hopes that someone will call me for an interview.

So, while I will continue to customize and send my resumes out every week, I will change the way I think about 2016, and focus on making 2017 better for every person in our house.

Today, I am thankful for all these things...

  • My marriage.  24 years and counting.
  • My kids.  18 and almost 23 years old.  Smart, strong, and truly nice kids.
  • My dogs.   Even though they drive me nuts, they are part of our family.
  • My house.   The roof over my head, and how 22 years ago we turned a house, into a home.
  • Our families.  Today we sat at a table with 18 people and laughed, and laughed, and laughed.  We aren't all related.  But we are all family.
  • Cars in our driveway.  
  • Meals on the table.  Sure, there are some nights that are full spreads, much like Thanksgiving dinner, but there are also nights where we make due with grilled cheese and soup, or breakfast for dinner.
  • My friends.  Friends from grade school, middle school, high school and college. Friends made from jobs. Friends I met because of who I married.  Friends made because our kids were in sports.  Friends made through marriages and after divorces.  Friends who get me.
  • Our home away from home.  Just a little place where we can go and get away from everything.
  • My Canon. My husband started me down this path years ago, and upgrades me when he can.  I'm always the person behind the camera, and I'm ok with that, because there are times that I can capture that perfect moment in time.  Maybe in 2017 I'll move from behind the camera.
  • Writing something and having it resonate with the reader.  I love when I write something, and people get it.
  • Making people laugh. Social media has allowed me the ability to write a post and have people laugh at it related to my neighbors, or ex-colleagues, or something someone in my house said.
  • Knowing that deep down, behind my sarcasm and the bad luck we have had, lies true happiness for every single person in my house, every single person in my family, and all my friends. 
For the next few weeks before the end of this year, I am going to change the way I think.... everything is going to be turned from negative into positive.  I want to roll into 2017 with a great job, another book published, pictures taken that get turned into Christmas cards, and true honest to goodness happiness.  You might be wondering, how the hell can that be done in five weeks?  I really don't know....but I'll figure it out.   There has to be a better way.  If anyone wants to join me on this journey, let me know.  I can use some encouragement. I think we could all use a better 2017.  

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Putting a Positive Spin on Something Negative

It's getting harder and harder to be positive.  Job searching is exhausting.  I've had dozens and dozens of phone interviews, in person interviews and skype calls.  I have said all the right things, schmoozed the right people, and thanked interviewers until my head hurt.

What I've realized is that companies want that perfect candidate.  They want someone that has exactly everything in the job description that they posted.  No matter it was probably written by a HR partner that really doesn't know diddly about the job at hand.

I truly believe that companies should be more flexible in what they are looking for and maybe take a chance on someone that has 75 or 80 percent of what they are looking for.  

Last week I had a great interview that turned into a second interview.  That second interview lasted two hours and I met with five people.  After we met, two of the interviewers requested me on LinkedIn.  I wrote fantastic thank you letters, that were customized to each individual conversation.

Low and behold, I'm not what they are looking for.  Mind you, when I left that interview I knew in my heart I had the job.  I said all the right things.  I took queue's from them when and how to answer.  I can't figure out for the life of me, why I'm not a fit.  And, surprisingly enough, I'm ok with not knowing why.  It's their loss.  Not mine.

Going into this weekend, I'm feeling pretty low about myself, my background, and if I really do know what I'm doing. I'd like someone to take the reigns and find me that perfect fit.  Sadly, I don't have that luxury.  Recruiters can only do so much, so I feel like I'm on an island.  

Needing to see the positive in this negative time is hard to do.  But here it goes:
  • I've been married for 24 years to the guy I met at my first day at college.  28 years later, we have two incredible boys who are truly the lights of our lives.  Three months ago, we started to rediscover us.
  • I have my health...sure my knees might creak and my back may hurt, and for the life of me my leg won't stop tingling, but all in all I'm pretty healthy.
  • My family is standing by my side.
  • I have a roof over my head, food on the table, clothes on my back.  It may not be the biggest house, it may not be lobster, and they may not be Vera Wang, but they are mine.
  • Our kids got into the college of their choice, and they love every minute of school (even though they may deny it)
  • I went back to school after 16 years away and finished with a 4.0 GPA and graduated Cum Laude.  No one can ever take that away from me.  It might not be an MBA, but it's what I wanted.  I went after it and I achieved it.
  • I've met some really great people at the companies I worked at...and I'm happy to say that I do still have some of them as friends. 
  • I have three awesome dogs, who might drive me nuts, and tend to pick sides, but they are still pretty great.
  • I picked new skills at each job I've held.  Each job has paved the way for my career, and I know that soon someone will realize that I'm perfect for their company.
  • I get to do what I love in my spare time.  Read, write and take pictures.  If I could make a career out of it, I would.
  • I've realized that there is a company out there that will appreciate my candor, my sarcasm, and my need to sometimes be left alone to do my job without interruptions.
  • Sometimes, at the most random moment, I'll see a post on Facebook, or get a text from a friend, that puts it all in perspective.
Time to start each day with a positive attitude.  Time to find that perfect fit.  Time to make the most of the photography jobs I get.  Time to write that next book...this time around, everything will make sense. 

Time to be me.  Only better.