Stalker

Short story, for my own accountability.

I was trolling IG and came across Tony’s daughters IG and she posted a photo of them tonight.

He was once again wearing his wedding ring.

I wasn’t shocked by the ring per se, just shocked to see him in a photo as I haven’t seen him since last April or any photo since he lost weight. But, my eyes did go right to the wedding ring.

I tried to dig deep to determine what I was feeling. Why I still troll. Why it matters to me to know what he’s doing in his life.

I know it shouldn’t matter.

The only thought I had was – that’s priceless – he’s wearing a ring after 5+ years of no ring and 15 years of infidelity.

Maybe he’s making a statement that he’s invested back into his marriage. Maybe she’s making him wear it. Maybe his guilt put it back on. Maybe it’s to show a unified front to his kids. Maybe he finally wants to do what’s right. Either way it shows he’s invested himself, somehow, back into his marriage.

And very, very strangely, I have a hope (for Kelly) that she get back the man she deserves because that man, the one I loved, is well worth having. She should get all of that good stuff.

But him, well I hope she makes him suffer for at least a little while and he’s miserable for all he did.

Sweat it Out

I did something disruptive today.

I was soooo tired this morning. My alarm didn’t go off and I had to take the boy to school early so jumped up just in time. But, even after 2 cups of coffee I was getting sleepy again by 10am.

I had an outplacement call at 10:30 and couldn’t allow for a nap, but I didn’t really WANT to nap. I wanted to feel better.

So I tried something else – I got on the Peloton for 10 minutes and climbed a hill!

In 10 minutes my heart was racing and I was sweating and pushing myself!

Woke me right the fuck up!

The best news is that I was lively and engaged in my outplacement call and did really well in my SMART stories for my practice interviews!

10 minutes of sweat changed my entire outlook on my morning.

Something is starting to change, not a habit yet, but I am developing an apathy to being sickly/sleepy/sedentary anymore. I had my sick/down time and I have no reason to take it down so far again.

I’m just thrilled that 10 minutes activated me the the way it did!

I Only Wear Yoga Pants

I’ve become “that” Mom. I have resorted to only wearing yoga pants.

I admit I never, ever saw this coming in my life.

I’ve lost about 60+ pounds and currently the lowest weight I can recall in 2 decades. I needed clothes, and being unemployed, I was careful with my purchases. 2 pairs of jeans, a dress, a few sweaters, some T-shirt’s and a bunch of yoga pants.

I now live in the yoga pants. I don’t even care when my lack-of-ass shows. I go out in public in my yoga pants. I choose my yoga pants over my jeans. Except on dates, dates get jeans.

Of course, I lived in black leggings before because jeans were so uncomfortable. But they were styled with long tunics and work appropriate. Lots of cute dresses. Now I’m thinner than ever and can rock some cool jeans, and I’m opting for Mom-wear!

I also go out with no makeup. Horrors!

I generally do brush my hair.

It’s so easy to get lazy – or perhaps because I’m thin once again I don’t care as much about the other things? Either way, it’s a whole lot of less effort and much more comfortable. Maybe I’m getting more comfortable in my own skin?

I consider this progression from loose pajamas, no bra and 2 sizes too big sweatpants! At least I am presentable should someone ring the doorbell!

However, if my work associates could see me now…it would not go over well!

2 Dates and 2 Duds

I went on 2 dates over the last 2 weeks or so.

Greg was a cameraman for a large network nearby and had a pretty interesting history.  I wasn’t sold on his photos, but we hit it off on text and then phone.  We decided to meet pretty quickly and he had perfect communication skills for me.  There was zero chemistry in person, and I got the distinct feeling that he wasn’t as “nice” as he pretended to be….there were a few comments that just didn’t hit me the right way.  For example, he bought a large home near a local high school and complained constantly about the HS Band playing at all hours of the day.  I laughed out loud and said “why would you buy a house next to a HS with one of the largest award-winning bands?!”  I thought it was a funny complaint, he totally turned off the moment I disagreed with him.

Honestly though, you by a house next to a large public school, do your research and don’t complain about student activities!  I live 2 miles from the school and can hear the band practice based on how sound travels, so get over it.

I was also in the band many moons ago and happened to love it, and was totally dedicated.  He was a cranky man with no kids in my opinion.  I have yet to meet a childless man since Bobby that true enjoys kids.

Jack was a famous basketball player – how cool is that?!  He was very handsome, as fit as you can imagine, and very nice.  The date went well, albeit not a lot of laughter, and there was a nice kiss at the end.  I said Thank You as usual by text when I arrived home, he had already asked to see me again, and I heard from him the next day via text.  I never answered his last text, for whatever random reason, and I never heard from him again.  I don’t know why, nor do I care.  He still lives in his marital home with his x wife and child and has no intention of moving out.  I didn’t quite buy the totality of his story, but it didn’t sit quite right with me.  It was fine he didn’t call me back.

I have noticed that my libido is in the tank, which is really disappointing. There can be so many reasons: the new drugs I’m on, the surgeries, the depression or anxiety.  Maybe even, finally, peri-menopause.  I find it very depressing that nothing is getting me excited and I haven’t had good sex since last April with Tony.  Almost one year.   UGH.  When you start your blog off with a sex blog and you end up in menopause, its definitely cause for disappointment!

Who Goes to the Bank Anymore?

*Rant ahead! Apologies in advance!*

Who actually goes to the bank anymore?! Welp, my Dad does and it frustrates the hell out of me!

My parents had about 4 local banks they frequented. Closer to my mothers death, we reduced everything into 2 banks across the street from one another.

Before my mother passed she was very careful to ensure I had everything in place I needed to manage their bill, accounts, homes etc. When she passed I sent the requisite death certificate and changed all names and added my name as POA. Then again last year, I updated everything.

But there has ALWAYS been that one bank and that one person at that bank who refuses to get it right. And this year I had enough of it.

I have been to that bank for the past two years. With my Dad. And yet, it never gets done correctly. I simply need to obtain the tax form each year.

But this woman at this bank thinks I’m out to get my Dad or something. I swear I don’t know what it is. But she told me (again) last week I was all set up for the internet banking and could access forms there. When I attempted access I found I couldn’t! I wasn’t and called the internet banking line, they said it wasn’t approved by the branch.

Why is this local bank so difficult? Any other bank in the world you can do this shit on line. I have every possible piece of proof they could want and have physically been to bank.

Then I called the bank and literally ripped her a new one. I don’t generally get mad and scream but 3 years trying to get a simple tax document on time has pissed me off.

My father is older so I hate to make him do things he doesn’t have to do. But when I told him how rude this bank was – he ran over and did something entirely unexpected – he withdrew his largest account and brought me the check to manage elsewhere! He claims he stormed into the bank and yelled at the manager for not “listening to his boss!”

I’m not proud that I denigrated into anger, but 3 years of this woman I insinuating I was pulling one over on my Dad was all I could manage – and I guess he got the best of them anyway.

Of course we went back to the bank, once more, together. I politely handed her all the documentation while my father was sitting next to me. She repeatedly asked him if he was sure he wanted to make these changes and he finally got so frustrated he told her if she didn’t do it correctly he was taking out the rest of it! Even then, she remained impassive to his frustration.

Subsequently, we went to the bank across the street where we were able to get what we needed quite quickly – with the same documents. The people at the bank have known my family for years, and treated us like loyal customers – and me like a daughter who was caring for her father as he aged. What a difference. I tried to convince my Dad to move everything into the one bank!

But, that’s his decision ultimately. I like that my Dad feels he has control of his own finances and some responsibility at 83 years old. He’s worked hard for everything he’s got. I only need the ability to access for taxes and the trust we established, it’s not life-altering.

I am amazed how someone at a small local bank is so willing to lose business when retail banks are really starting to collapse. Especially when the bank directly across the street treats you as you would expect when you actually go into a bank!

Girl Code – Addendum

Just a quick little addendum here….

My friend just asked me if I had heard anything more from her guy.

I was a bit surprised, and then realized I felt relief. I replied with the honest truth: he was blocked and deleted and I didn’t assume he had any way to contact me.

I had also removed and blocked him from my dating profile.

She simply sighed “ooh” and said “he wouldn’t know if you blocked him or not.” I felt like she was fishing or at least a bit hopeful that she would hear more. I think she thought he may tell her directly, but he didn’t (or at least I didn’t ask).

It was the right thing to do, side-step that drama.

Follow Through

Did I follow through on the most important goal I set for myself Tuesday?

Yes!

I wrote out 4 SMART stories before my call with the outplacement consultant. Her job is to help me finesse those stories into compelling statements that will say ” this is why you hire me and not someone else.” I actually asked a respected work friend if they agreed on those stories as my strongest in her memory – because I want to be sure this is how others view me as well.

I even sent out one resume and 2 emails for networking. It really isn’t a back-breaker but this morning made me realize it’s something I have to schedule in as a must do.

I was very distracted so it took me a period of 3.5 hours to do this task. The stories are not easy and required a bit of thinking, but I was avoiding them. The emails and networking was a no-brainer. I have firmly decided I am going to be sure to include a FOCUSED half hour each day to be done before 11am.

In my own crazy, cracked way – this upset my flow a little, my mind started thinking “how can we get out of exercise today?” Almost like “we’ve accomplished enough already!” Ummmm, no. That’s become a non-negotiable.

I acknowledge that my mind plays a game of trade-offs “If you do this Mads, then maybe you don’t have to do that other thing you don’t really want to do anyway.” It was fine to start that way when I was tired and broken. It’s not fine to stay there anymore. It’s March and I’ve got to get up off the floor. I’ve lost, I’ve hit rock bottom, I gave up and I gave in. I quit the game as close as possible. But, something (call it a greater power or my own willfulness) kept me around. I’m here. So I can continue to be a wasteful slug, or I can get going.

This is a psychological battle for me that I need to change. Because, seated somewhere deep within is my drive, my desire, to do more.

I can’t quite dig it out from under, my drive, but it’s like digging that never-ending hole in the sand st the beach ….. you know eventually you are going to hit water…. just a little further because you know in your gut it’s there – you can sense it.

As I’m sitting here having my second cup of coffee I realize I have the privilege of time at the moment – a luxury I’ve never had. I’ve already squandered a bunch of precious time in my healing and debilitating obsession and depression, but now that I am almost fully physically healed, I need to strengthen myself both emotionally, intellectually and physically. The only way I can continue to do this is by small changes each day or week.

I’ve committed to adding the half hour work focus at least 3 times a week (I don’t even need 5 days) and believe it’s totally doable to add in before I start my exercise routine.

In order to convince myself, I did find a trade-off I can make, temporarily. If I want a break, a time-out, a pity party or whatever we want to call it – I’m going to take it. But I can’t do it more than once a week. Consider it like looking towards a weekend food or drink binge after a hard weeks work. My brain and body still feel like I’m pushing them too far and too hard and they like to revolt every chance they get – so I’m gonna let them revolt, on a sort of schedule. I’m in the midst of analyzing my last 4 full weeks of effort (I am 26 straight days and refuse to do less than a 30 day streak) and come up with a plan of attack of how I can exercise, work, be lazy, and do life stuff (like any normally human does – but I’m not quite back to normal). I think getting a schedule together after this month is a good idea to begin thinking about how I spend my time and use that time more wisely.

I’ve agreed with myself that a pity party cannot include eliminating the gains I’ve made in exercise. I’ve studied up on active recovery days and that’s how I can use my “lazy day”. I get to shut off my mind and veg if I want, but I’ve got to get in a minimum amount of activity.

I got this.

March Goals (and those niggling carry-overs from Jan/Feb)

Honestly, I didn’t even get to all my January goals, but I got to most. I set a few new goals for February so I could catch up.

Now we are into March and there’s a bit of financial panic setting in, but strangely enough not to light a bonfire under my ass. I am still disconnected. And there’s a part of me saying this is still ok, I’m not fully ready to function in the real world.

Then there’s the part of me that’s saying “get your ass in gear and stop being lazy.”

Let’s see what I did accomplish in February : (J) means it was a January goal, (F) February and so on…

Work

(J) Review and edit my resume and social profiles: complete

(J) Make a list of contacts and actively begin a search: have not started

(J) Utilize outplacement website and webinars: have completed 3, did not not schedule the 2 I said I would.  I need to pay attention.

(J) Ensure all job search sites are set up properly for my searches: have not completed, needs fine tuning – remains the same

(F) Commit to Mindfulness and set a clear intent: I took a bulletproof confidence webinar AND I won a free 1:1 consulting session based on my participation.  This is something to look forward to! Not started.

(M) Create a Personal Value Proposition (PVP) for interview storytelling – something the outplacement advisor has given me to do for OVER a month.  I keep postponing our TB.  I am determined to knock this out on Tuesday March 5.  Period.

*Not a good track record, really.  WTF.

 

Personal

(J) Choose an exercise to stick with and develop a routine: I set up my screen sharing, turned on the Peloton service, bought a small weight set and set the room up for success. Now, just to actually exercise. Done! 22 days straight of healthy, sweaty fitness!

(J) Learn yoga or meditation: I need to keep reminding myself this is good for me. Done! Started a little of both and still in the practice stage but incorporate into my routine each week.

(J) Migrate addresses and birthdays to phone: started, not completed. No movement.

(F) Fine tune Keto eating by logging and watching macros – I was consuming too many calories. Done! Most of my carb cravings are done. There’s some emotional craving when I see bread, pizza and pasta but not a physical craving anymore.

*Big win here!  Hooray!  Go me!  I am making a new habit.

Finance

(F) Remember unemployment Monday’s. Missed one but otherwise on track.

(F) Follow up on Bond processing. Done! It’s in the treasury hands and complete, just waiting on processing.

(F) Sort out parents trust and accounts. Started with their largest accounts, about halfway there.

(M) Taxes: Did Dad, next is mine.

(M) Determine finances for potential 3 month unemployment ahead: yikes.

*Can I avoid this list altogether?

 

 

Home

(J) Deep clean: bathroom floors/grout: still haven’t given this a second thought. Nope.

(J) Put away Christmas decor: some things were still lingering but got this done yesterday. There are 2 things lingering.  I will get to this before the end of this week.  Period.

(J) Help son re-arrange bedroom: when he’s ready, otherwise, I am not pushing. Nope.

(J) Purchase rug for basement and mop floors: haven’t given this a second thought either. Mopped and bleached the floors! Now for a rug.

(F) Deep clean couch in living room. Done! This felt so good.

(F) Purchase new washer and dryer. Done! They come this week.

(F) Call the handyman for a few necessary repairs. Need to do and have hesitated due to money.

(M) Choose 2 cabinets, drawers or closets a week and clean and purge: have started this and it feels great!

*Ok, half done.  I am going to get to the grout because I realize its really good exercise and counts to my daily activity!

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Wow! After assessing my list I actually accomplished so much more than I thought I did! I feel relief and a little bit of pride!

The true stress of the situation is the job search. I need to now incorporate 30 minutes every day for actively searching.  At least an active 30 minutes if not an hour.

I also need to think about a couple more significant  March goals that I should set  (taxes get me so stressed I didn’t think about much else).

Hit a Little Low

A little low, I realized, is much different than where I have been! So that’s good news, right?

I didn’t sleep well, was up and tossing every hour which is unusual as of late.

Wasn’t as motivated to work out as I have been the past 18 days.

Didn’t really want to move from couch.

Sort of depressed I haven’t focused energy on the work search. I’ve put my energy on exercise which I’ve been very consistent with now that I’m in week 3.

It was hard to determine work OR exercise. I didn’t feel like I could do them both yet. But I feel immense guilt that I have no money and no motivation to do something about it.

I am guessing the early phone call with my x about son #1 who is living with him for the past month really set me off. It literally disturbed my mojo and I lost focus. What’s most worrisome about that is – how the hell am I going to actually work if I can’t manage more than one crisis/challenge at a time. I’m not writing about the phone call because my heart rate will spike (it literally got higher than my cardio!). But, am sure to write about son #1’s current actions in another post. The recap is basically he is not coming home and may be dropping out of school.

That one (admittedly very important) thing really threw me down to the ground. I did exercise quickly after that but could not find my center to push myself. Maybe today just becomes an active rest day.

So I’m sitting here writing this post and mulling over when I’m gonna get my ass in gear for the job search. Whole-heartedly in gear. I’m half-assing it at the moment or not doing anything at all.

I don’t even want to get my steps in today. I don’t think it’s good to fall off a wagon 18 days in. I am going to console myself that I still exercised for 35 minutes and I will go on the treadmill for another 30. Again, not a hard effort, but something.

At least I’m doing better than my pre-February self.

How to Become a Morning Person?

How many of you are Morning people?

God knows, I’m not and never have been. I remember when my kids were small fighting through the cries to sleep a little longer, then ignoring the tugging at the side of the bed and making them crawl in with me. I created another generation of late sleepers and these boys of mine can sleep later than anyone I know!

My kids literally do not want to speak in the mornings. They want zero attention and need to be left alone. If they are awake at the same time, they will eat in different rooms with varying light patterns. One likes it dark and warm, the other likes the morning light from a soft couch and a bit cooler. When I say “Good Morning!” I get grunts of acknowledgement and I’ve learned not to push.

I hate waking up early. Anything before 8 am feels like death to me. And most years of my life I have had to be up somewhere between 530am – 630am. My favorite work years were when I could sleep til 730am and take an 830am commute. Yes, I was late every day but my industry gets a late start.

730am feels like a magic number for me, not too early and manageable. I’ve been taking my youngest to school every day just to get this habit going again. I’ve been tracking along my sleep cycles on Fitbit.

I’ve been reading a lot about habits and how the most effective people in this world have very specific patterns. One of them is the 5am wake up call. The thought of that literally makes me gag. But, no matter how many articles I read, one of the core foundations of successful people is early rising.

Ugh.

I’m just starting to work on healthy habits – any healthy habit that I feel I can build and STICK with.

So back to that morning thing…it’s been about just about 2 months that I’ve woken up with the kid and got him to school on time. I feel less internal argument with myself to rise now that I’ve convinced myself it’s a “mom at home” requirement. My older son appreciates that he doesn’t need to drive his brother to school anymore (he did it for 3 months while I was sick) and will do it as a favor for me when I can’t without any arguments. This habit has clicked over to automatic thinking. I read something that said adjust habits slowly, so now I set the alarm clock back 10 minutes. I don’t need the 10 minutes BUT my goal is to eventually train myself for a normal work routine again so I don’t find it overwhelming when the time comes (because EVERYTHING still feels overwhelming to me). So far, so good. The small adjustment hasn’t affected me and the same article mentioned I shouldn’t change my go-to-sleep time, only my wake-time.

I fear I may never be a morning person, but I do believe if I were just to grab an hour or two more in the morning, I could develop a better work/life balance once work kicks back into gear. I’m afraid that the good habits I’m developing now would disappear as I have the ability to basically craft my entire day around my exercise.

Let’s see how the small steps go!