I had another really wonderful day at work, plenty to do and they assume the best of me, that I can do whatever they ask.
I have had to take a few moments here and there and steady myself and to whisper quietly from my heart to my head that I can do everything and anything they ask. This job fits so well with who I am, that I can't believe I didn't find this earlier. My solace is that I did in fact find it. I am here now. Present & ready to start my new career.
I have just arrived home and drove the final mile listening to Barbara singing "Papa, Can You Hear Me" from my i-phone.
Tonight is just one of those emotional nights when I miss my dad a lot. I couldn't stop the tears on the last bit of the trip home. He was a very mushy emotional guy. Tonight I would have called him to tell him about how happy I am at my new job. He would have listened as I bounced from subject to subject. My work day was fabulous. My evening was rough.
Tonight was Girl Scout night.
I got there a little late, so they had already started. I said my hello's to the mom's sitting chatting upstairs and made my way down to where the girls were. I stood four foot away from my ex and listened to their leader explain what they needed to accomplish tonight. He is always standing there. Stern & attentive & ready to point out to everyone that he will be at the event & that he is a judge at the event. He looms over the room. I just can't breathe around him. I always feel so sick.
These are the moments I hear him in my head and he is never kind to me. Do I stand still and not speak or draw attention to myself. Is he going to correct me if I say something wrong? Is he going to start quoting Girl Scout regulations and singing songs that I never took the time to learn?
I waited until I had heard what the plan was and I walked past him and went back upstairs. I wanted to escape. I was debating just walking on out. I felt very unneeded and unwanted. Instead, I walked over to the mom's at the table upstairs and sat down. They graciously let me sit and join in on their silly conversations about school supplies and their older children wanting driver's licenses. It was very nice and soothing. I felt normal again.
I would love to be involved and helping their leader, but not under his gaze. Not with him following behind me redoing everything I touch.
My plan is to push myself just a little bit each meeting to see if I can forget he is looming and watching. It just isn't me to not help and be involved, but when I get involved in other areas of my kids lives, it doesn't go well. Words he says around the kids make their way back to me.
I believe there will be a day when I will feel so at peace that I just don't even notice him. Unfortunately, I still carry so much guilt for creating my current reality. If I had stayed, just made do, just settled, just put my head down and continued to plow forward I would get to be a part of everything as he had little interest in me or the kids. This is still a hard pill to swallow.
My freedom cost me tucking in my children each night. I made this happen. I created my reality.
When I got out of my car and was walking up to the house, I saw what looked like a piece of trash, possibly a napkin that had become stuck in my flower bed. As I got closer I notice that it wasn't trash, but a lily I hadn't even noticed growing on very thin stalk and was laying almost buried in the mess of greens the iris's and day lilies put up when they bloomed weeks ago. I decided to bring it inside and enjoy it.
As awful as being near him was, I got to put my arms around both of my kids and pull them into my face and smell them and tell them I love them. I will put myself back in this awful head space again next week just for 5 minutes of time with my kids.
Tonight I would be telling my dad that I miss my kids so much. In the past few years, when I would make these late night phone calls, my dad would get real fired up and tell me that he was glad I left my sorry worthless ex and then he would get real calm and tell me that my kids love me and miss me too.
Tonight I miss my kids and I miss my dad.
If you had told me three months ago, or even two years ago that life didn't have to be so freakin' hard, I would not have believed you. I still keep pinching myself to make sure this isn't a dream inside a dream.
Far more often than not, life has been very hard for me. There has been far more lack than plenty.
This is what I grew up knowing. There was mostly enough, mostly when needed, but there was never plenty. There was never ease.
That being said, I grew up knowing how hard my parents worked for every thing we had.
This morning I listened to one designer describing the feel of the new Salon that this floral arrangement will showcase. From big hands wafting words like, "Jet-son like, modern, and organic," the vessel was selected and a creation was brought to life.
This is how my morning started. I leaned back in my chair and giggled. This is what I have dreamed of being a part of and never knew existed.
My boss then asked me to start pulling together a draft proposal for a non-profit benefit. Linens and freakin' sequins baby! High end glitter! Table lines of cream and gold glitter chevrons.
This will be a tented event. A tented event for 280 people. The entrance will be flanked with gorgeous white planters with live greenery.
Then my boss showed me the chandelier that will be center stage.
There will be metallic & glass balls and sequin table linens of silver and gold.
I am sitting at work on Pinterest searching for images to show the client how the designer wants the event to feel.
It is truly crazy when you get a taste of what your life could have been like if you had figured out you are an artist, a feeler, a creater, a dream weaver.
This is the vision of the designer for the Salon. The sofa's at the salon are a spring green. The smaller arrangements will go in areas around the reception area.
This center piece is over 5 foot tall and easily 5 foot wide from tip to tip!
Last week I saw and responded to an employment add on Craigslist for a marketing & office admin position. Today was the much anticipated interview.
I came home after the interview light as a feather & excited. My plan was to go out tonight to get a note card to let them know how much I appreciated the fabulous interview. Even if I didn't get the job, the interview had left me jazzed & confident. It has been a very long time since I felt the time slowing, crispness of being in the perfect moment. This interview had a very special feeling to it, an easiness, a flow.
The feeling eased me into a peaceful state that declares I am on the right path. That I am taking the right steps & risks (and getting back up after being knocked down). I can with great clarity envision working with these people and I see myself being very proud of this company. I really like being part of something. I like being able to feel that what I am doing each day is helping my team.
Of course I missed the phone call from them this afternoon.
I had to do a big ole exhale before calling them back. My mind was trying to figure out what had gone wrong. It was too soon for them to call. They still have interviews this afternoon and Thursday. Maybe, just maybe I was going to be asked to come back for a second interview. Instead, I was told that they wanted to offer me the job.
I had to sit down, and boy was I glad I had been hovering near my desk chair.
Then Maria, the Operations Manager told me such sweet things, that I was an excellent & perfect match, that she and the owner had felt an instant connection with me, that I interviewed so confident that I could do the job and that they felt certain that my enthusiasm would help me as I have no industry experience. Between watching Glee reruns of their production of West Side Story and my deep love for the Sound of Music, I have quite the love story for Maria happening in my head! Oh and they want me to start this week.
Starting Thursday, I will be working at a floral design event company here in the Springs who has a very impressive client list of the premier locations to host a wedding, corporate or social event! I am so excited to get to learn about & be part of a creative industry! I am excited to have found a great match for my personality and love of marketing & social media!
Plus, they said one of the perks of working for a florist is that I get to bring home some of the left over flowers after an event. I could get used to having fresh flowers in my house!
Sending a big ole' loud smacking thank you kiss out to the Universe and to each of you who lifted me up this past week!
"There's a critical difference between 'putting food on the table', and nourishing your life." Danielle LaPorte
I have made the commitment to myself to nourish my life everyday. There have been far too many years of just putting food on my table. I am ready for what I "do" and "who I am" all day to fill my soul as much as how I choose to spend my free time.
I had a great interview today with an event design & floral company. The moment I read their ad on craigslist, I wanted the job. The ad read like colors & flowers & fabric. Walking into the building I wanted the job even more. Pretty things, well placed things, flowers, sparkles and people who use words like foam core, stage props, seamstress, textures & patterns. I want this to be the vocabulary of my days. I want to be a part of this team!
I want the people I spend all day to have vision & dreams & I want to see how they bring them to life!
I have read that you are the sum of the small handful of people you surround yourself with each day. I felt the pop & sizzle & whoosh when they toured me around the building. It was like being at Santa's Workshop, magic happening in every room.
I want to join this mystical gypsy family who create new experiences for life's celebrations!
I have whispered my prayer out into the breeze to be carried out for the Universe to hear.
Boy did I have a crazy beautiful Saturday.
I had a 10 mile hike planned with our Boy Scout Troop as we are working (my son says forcing) on the Hiking Merit Badge. The boys chose this hike which is a beautiful hike, but it is all up hill. We chose to hike 5 miles up and then do the return five miles down.
About a mile into the hike, I couldn't breathe. This is prime allergy season for me, so I had already used my asthma inhaler as a preventative measure. I have walked this trail numerous times without any problems. The boys are way faster hikers than I am, but I finally had to stop and take a break. My pack felt like it had 100 pounds in it. I felt dizzy, nauseous, heartburn, and was sweating profusely. Sitting down felt better than standing up.
Because we had several other parents on this hike, I was able to be honest with myself and decide that I did not need to push myself farther up the mountain. I thought I was experiencing Altitude Sickness and the cure for that is to get back to lower levels. It did cross my mind that I really wasn't all that high up to be experiencing altitude sickness, but that is what the symptoms said to me. I didn't see myself at risk for a heart attack.
My daughter stayed back with me. We sat there on the trail for a while as I rested, then we hiked back down to the trail head. The hike down was fine and I did feel better.
At the shuttle stop while we waited for our bus to pick up us and drive us to the parking lot, we had a snack and water. Again, I was feeling better than I had on the trail. I noticed I was rubbing both of my eyes a lot and dug through my pack to find my allergy eye drops. I doused my eyes with the drops and waited. There is that brief time period where eye drops burn like crazy before they soothe. I was still rubbing my eyes after we got on the shuttle.
It wasn't until I sat down in my car and was looking in the rear view mirror getting ready to back out that I noticed how swollen my left eye was. Holy shit, it was barely open.
I dug back through my pack and found my large stash of Benadryl pills. This is the number one item I always have and always have to share with those around me while hiking.
People underestimate their allergic reaction to things that happen while miles away from a pharmacy. While sitting in the car for a while I posted my photos of my triumphant disappointment of a morning. I had been looking forward to this hike. It was going to be an ass kicker, but the views make it worth the pain.
Feeling like I had handled this little emergency of a morning, we headed home.
Once home, the adrenaline rush of worry about how bad I had felt on the trail was wearing off and the Bendaryl was kicking in so I took a nap. When I woke up an hour later, I had a FB email from a friend who is a local Fire Fighter. He said that the symptoms I had described were very in line with heart attack symptoms for women.
Theresa had texted to see how I was feeling, so I told her about the message. She asked if I wanted her to come get me and take me to the ER? "No," I replied. I felt fine now. Then I saw another message from a friend asking me how my "vascular" health was and my blood pressure. You know you are getting old when people as asking health questions on Facebook!
I have no clue what my vascular health is? I smoked for 22 years and didn't start taking care of my body until about 8 years ago. I called Theresa back and told her I had changed my mind and that I would really appreciate it if she would come get me and take me to the ER. I decided that if this was all just allergy related and they had to give me a shot of epinephrine, that I would be happy someone else was driving my shaky ass home.
It is always weird to show up at an Emergency Room. I told them that I wanted to be checked for maybe having heart attack symptoms. 44 year old female carrying 35 extra pounds around her mid section was whisked in and the first EKG was done. Moved from the triage room to another more permanent room. More sticky pads and blood work drawn. Each new person and new question made it clear that I had made the correct choice to come in to get checked out.
Yes I smoked for 22 years, pack and a half a day.
Yes, I am carrying some extra weight.
Yes, I have had a lot of stress this week. I got fired on Tuesday.
Yes, I have been slightly stressed out for weeks, awful work place.
Yes, I my body loves to yell at me via eczema, allergies, irritable bowel, headaches, inability to sleep and cystic colitis.
Yes, I have neck and shoulder pain. So much so that I started getting acupuncture and now I have a massage therapist who twist and contorts my body into various pretzel shapes while digging her elbows and strong pointy fingers into my muscles.
No, I don't sleep well consistently.
No, I don't exercise regularly. I haven't even been able to walk for the past two months due to my heel now hurting.
No, I don't have an outlet for my stress.
Yes, I know I should be breathing.
While I had a very nice long visit (5 hours) with my girl friend, while we waited for the two hours to pass before they would take more blood and compare it to the first test, I would have preferred to have my girl time pool side with sun warming my skin.
Finally the Doctor came back in and announced that I had not had a heart attack. My x-rays of my heart look great. The numbers that would have spiked a few hours after having a heart attack were non-existent. I was going to be released with a pamphlet about stress and needing to relax.
Stress, lack of sleep, and allergies took me down yesterday.
I was released and brought home.
Now, what do I do with this lesson? This is the tricky part. I am fine. It could be months or years before my body screams at me like this again.
I don't know how to make the changes in my life I need to. I am not sure how to hold myself accountable for the changes I need to make and the effort I need to put into my own life, every single day. Even after having a Doctor tell me two years ago to manage my diet, my stress and my sleep or I could lose my intestines I slipped back into not taking care of myself. I have had enough health scares that should have been big enough events to force me to make the changes that bring my body back to healthy and neutral, but I haven't made any lasting positive changes to my life.
I am grateful to have woken up to another beautiful day full of promise, even with a still slightly swollen eyelid.
How do I commit to living my best life? This is a wake-up call for both my physical body and needing to lose this weight and a call for me to put my emotional and spiritual health at the top of my list every day.
How have you made the changes you needed to in your own life? What tips can you give me? What tools have helped you out the best? How have you committed to making yourself your number one priority? What do you do every day to take care of yourself?
Day 2 of my unemployment was fairly productive. I found & applied for 6 jobs. I also decided it was about time I dipped my toe a little farther into the social media waters. As you know, I love my Facebook and recently started Melissa's Colorado as a place to just talk about the things I love to do and eat in this gorgeous state. Theresa told me last week that Instagram will post my photos to Facebook and Twitter at the same time, so I spent the afternoon setting up a second Twitter account for @MelsColorado and figuring out how to switch back and forth between that account and my @strongstarting account.
I love learning new things and adore social media!
That and my children being home with me made the day fly by. No time for sadness. I am good at keeping busy.
Day 3, today, I took my kids back to be with the day for the day and well my house is really quiet. Like, I can hear buzzing in my ears kinda quiet.
Today has been much harder than yesterday. Today I opened the mailbox and my final paycheck has arrived. Knowing exactly how much money I have left until I earn another paycheck really bummed me the fuck out.
I logged on and searched for more jobs that I might enjoy-scratch that-am over qualified for.
I cleaned out two drawers and found my long lost YMCA membership card, at 3 handfuls of M & M's, hung out on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, scrap-booked some souvenirs from my DC trip into my journal and texted with my daughter who we just set up on Facebook. I also polished some of the wood horizontal surfaces in the living and dining room.
Officially 5 pm. closing time!! I can relax now, right?
Command Central so I don't lay on the couch...Journal, souvenirs to scrap book, kombucha for my aching belly, tp for my tears of joy, YMCA card to go to the pool, notebook of companies I have applied to so I can follow up.
"I can't go back to yesterday because I was a different person then." Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland.
Most days at work at my current employer, I feel like I am Alice and that I have fallen down the rabbit hole. I sit down at my desk and wonder what alternate universe I have been dropped in. I wonder what the name of my episode of The Twilight Zone is? I sit, quietly waiting for someone to come around the corner and tell me this was all just a really bad reality tv show, except that hasn't happened.
What happened, is that I was fired today. It doesn't matter that I was turning in my two weeks notice. He beat me to the punch, took the wind out of my sail.
I got to work early. I was dropped off as my car has died again. Boss #1 walked into my office and I said, "Good morning!" He said, "your employment is being terminated."
Well if that don't just beat all. (Snort & head shake) I didn't see that coming this morning. I have a busy week full of appointments. Okay, then, roll with this, RIGHT?! He asked if I needed a box. I replied, "no." Then I told him I needed to text Jason to come get me as I had been dropped off. He asked if I needed him to take me somewhere. I replied, "no."
Turns out I did need the box. I had settled into my space. I gathered my stuff. He collected my keys. I wondered if I should explain the stuff on my desk and my appointments. Then it dawned on my that I have been in his shoes far too many times. He already has access to all of my stuff. It will all be fine.
I picked up my box and headed out the door past both of my co-workers who were just getting to work. I made it to the parking lot, sat my box down and started texting Jason to get back here asap. Standing in the parking lot with your box of shit sucks. Waiting to be picked up sucks even worse.
I came home and got to tell my kids why I was returning so damn early and why I as crying. They were super sweet and reminded me that I am super smart and will find a new job. Interesting is that both of them said they were happy I wouldn't be getting yelled at anymore. Amen, sweet children, Mommy is tired of that too.
4 months ago I ran the daily operations of a property management office. I took payments, applied payments, paid the vendors, paid the owners, answered questions about available rental properties, took applications, reviewed applications, selected good prospects, typed up the lease, walked through the lease with the tenants and put their information into the computer system. I checked who hadn't paid rent and applied fees and created the legal demand letters and sometimes posted them. I did annual inspections and typed up renewal leases. I ran the maintenance for 180 properties. Took the calls & emails for maintenance issues, selected the appropriate vendor and sent the work order. I then received an estimate, copied it to the owner, had it approved and then called the vendor and authorized the work to be completed. I spoke with the vendors every couple of days to make sure nothing fell through the cracks, which things do when you run this big of operation. Then I would receive billing, get it into the system and scanned into the software so the owner's could see it and so we had it saved for eternity. I had 80 owners all over the United States. I had ulcers up every inch of my 6 foot colon from carrying the stress.
"But I don't want to go among mad people," Alice remarked. "Oh you can't help that," said the Cat: "we're all made here. I'm mad. You're mad." "How do you know I'm mad?" said Alice. "You must be," said the Cat "or you wouldn't have come here."
I don't want to be "mad" anymore. Theresa & I just had a huge long planning session on me setting boundaries for how I will be treated at work and what would be unacceptable behavior from my employer. I didn't get to use any of my big girl plans. I didn't get to hand them my official two weeks notice.
This story of the past 4 months is so bizarre that I don't know where to begin.
I started putting out resumes at the beginning of the year because the company I worked for was closing it's doors. No more job for me after working my ass off for almost 3 years. I was terrified of ending up right here, unemployed. Life is a funny.
Out of all of my searching & applying I did, I had one actual interview (other than this job I lost today), over the phone for a company that requires a testament of faith, which I provided. What they really want is the name of the church you attend, that I cannot provide. Then I saw an opportunity to jump to a neighboring property management company. It wasn't ideal, as they have been through two other managers in the 2 years but the owner is a very smart and they have the bank to pay their bills. I knew he was a womanizing relic, but had no clue he was verbally abusive and so mean. Boss #1 is the President and his step-son the Vice President or Boss #2. I am sending out good thoughts for Boss #2 that he doesn't suffer my fate trying to stay two steps ahead of his problem child.
I am grateful they fired me. I wouldn't have left. The pattern I know is to stay, tough it out, not give up. I am learning that when you work with crazy, there will be no success, and very little joy. Employers, much like husbands, don't change.
It is easy to forget how nasty it can be to work for small business. There is no HR department to go speak to. There is no formal complaint process. Fuck, there is no complaint process. Pointing out inconsistencies or errors your boss's make still gets your ass fired. They seem to be most at ease when it is just the two of them screwing shit up. Crazy ass fiefdom & royal court bullshit daily. Never sure what brand of hot mess or crazy was going to walk through my door and insult and belittle me in front of my co-workers. Not in all of my working days have I been spoken to so cruelly. My ex husband spoke nicer to me during our marriage than my employer spoke to me.
On it's best days property management is a hard business. Add a touch of crazy old bastard & a dash of high strung second in command hoping he inherits the business and well let's just say I have done a great deal of crying and losing sleep over this job.
Every day there was another twist, wrinkle or item that hadn't been handled like they wanted it handled. Yet they didn't have much in place in the way of streamlining. I showed them my old lease which was one document that contained everything. Each person gets the same document, no exception. Cross out the items that don't apply. Cuts down on human errors. Standardized forms for declining applicants, security deposits with balance being returned or security deposits with balance due. Days were spent creating letters that were then sent for review. Only to be edited and changed. Just create a draft Mr. I have been doing this for 15 years. Streamline your damn process. Stop making me jump through flaming hoops to crank out form letters.
It took me 17 years and the brief stupid attention of another man to force me to find the courage to leave my abusive, dead, loveless marriage. I think deep down this is the devil I know. I am glad my hand was forced.That being said, fuck, I have to find a new job. I have two children to support and little chance for receiving more than $180 in child support.
This is a blessing in disguise for sure, just a painful, scary, expensive blessing. Never in a million years would I have ever imagined that I would get fired. Not one bad review, ever~until I made a deal with the devil I thought I knew.
Day 1 of unemployment I applied for 5 jobs. Tomorrow I head to the unemployment office to figure out if I can qualify for unemployment and how hard I will have to fight since they feel they have cause to let me go. So much to learn.