Friday, March 2, 2018

I Work a 12-Hour Day & Only Get KFC??

I know everyone says this and it isn't always true, but I am a light sleeper. The alarm on my phone wakes me up reliably. Except for this morning, of course, the morning I had a 7:30am meeting. It's like my junior year of college when the only time I was late to class was the last day of the semester. This morning, I was left with twenty minutes to get up, brush my teeth, use the facilities, run around grabbing scraps of clothes, feed the cats, locate the cats, etc.

Yes, I ended up working a 12-hour day. I don't know what happened, but for the last couple of weeks, I've felt very unmotivated at work. I just wanted to get home and hunt for cute house things I really can't afford on Pinterest. Anyone reading this may think that I'm too hard on myself, and as long as I work a full day, I deserve to go home on time and relax. But I'm not used to even wanting that. Today, though, something clicked. I didn't even flinch about not taking a lunch break (after missing breakfast as well - and I always eat a hearty breakfast of one microwaved waffle or pop-tart.) I was suddenly energized to keep typing on my keyboard! I was inspired.

Or it could've been related to me suddenly having a lot more responsibility since we moved SEO in-house, and who is now responsible for making sure our clients are found on page 1 of Google? Oh, yes, me! And who got scolded for 20 minutes yesterday by a client about his rankings for the past 4 years? Oh, yes, me too!

Sometimes I also assist with HR, which I love, but interviewing hasn't always worked out. I'm mentioning this now because I remember a woman I had interviewed for the Executive Assistant position. She had been laid off recently, but a whole weekend later than she should've. Her company let everyone know that if they were lucky enough not to be cut by that previous Friday, they were safe.

Well, their head of HR had horrible weeks full of letting go of most of the office, and everyone who wasn't called in his office was frequently darting their eyes toward the clock and calendar - waiting to see if they make it until the end of the day on Friday!

On Thursday night, driving home, their head of HR had a heart attack and crashed his car. Dead before anyone could help him. I was surprised the applicant told me this, and that when she told me that, it sounded like she was more upset about the remaining firings being put off until Monday, making her and many others feel safe when they weren't.

I don't think I'm that stressed out yet - plus, my eyes are too bad to drive, so that exact thing can't happen to me anyway - but I'm close. House hunting, house signing, etc., has kept me from my therapist for a few weeks. At first, I was fine. I never used to go to therapy. But then, when I started feeling itchy and anxious at work, I've started wanting to go into the office of my boss' wife and talk to her about what I'm worried about. She's nice, but I need to hesitate before treating my co-boss like a therapist. And treating work hours like therapy, even if I need therapy because of work!

So, this entire post is about how I just need to take my daily crazy pill (what I charmingly call my anti-depressants) and see my damn therapist.

Oh, right, the title of this post? I missed breakfast, worked through lunch, and my fiance is currently out, getting me a $5 bucket from KFC. At least it's coming from his wallet.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

The Sick Packer

What I Do On My Sick Day:

  1. Still insist on working a full 8-hour day, just at home
  2. Attempt to pack up my cluttered apartment and get dust all over me (which does not help the sneezing)
  3. Am so busy I forget to eat lunch
  4. Call companies and beg them to give me a quote for homeowner's insurance (seriously, beg, and they never call me back)
What Teddy Does:

  1. Gets eaten by shark
  2. Naps in shark on-and-off again for 8 hours
I Digress:

I have the only boss who can get mad at you for coming to work sick and for staying at home sick. When an employee calls in, he is immediately convinced that they are faking. We get two paid sick days every six months and if an employee uses both too closely together, they are either:

  1. Looking for a new job
  2. Secretly using it as a personal day
  3. Avoiding responsibility
  4. Or my selection, actually sick
I think it's especially likely that they're sick if they have to use both days in a row because how many illnesses actually are 24 hour illnesses? Wouldn't it be great if they all were?

So, now I'm sitting here after two and a half years, using my second sick day in a row. I went through the first two years hiding when I'm sick and going to work as a trouper, but I was obvious yesterday. And my boss kicked me out because I shouldn't be willing to get my co-workers sick.

As a boss, I'm sure he hears a lot of bull, but now I'm concerned because a) I called in sick today and b) I need to work tomorrow because I can't afford an unpaid sick day now that I have a house to pay for! Especially since I don't think he believes I'm sick, considering he just called me to look up something he could've looked up himself. I have seen him do this to other people, and he was testing to see if I sounded sick (which I have no idea if I do.)

Anyway, I'm well aware that since I am done putting in the 8 hours I didn't need to on a sick day, I should be packing. Or even reading one of my interior design books! No, I watch fixer upper shows that don't even apply to my new house and budget until I'm sick of them (when just yesterday I was riveted - that's how much I watched!) and I keep up with the Kardashians, which is something I didn't used to do, but I find myself very interested in the family, specifically Khloe. She makes me want to work-out, but I'm far too lazy for that. You know someone's inspiring when they make me want to want to change.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

What I Think I Can Do: Bathroom

In the new house, I have one task I want to tackle immediately, after bonding with our new cat, Addy. That is the teeny, tiny, almost useless bathroom across from the basement stairs.

That's it. Look at how small and boring it is. I can tolerate the tile if I change the walls. I want fifty shades of gray (the colors, not the bondage.) However, the cabinet is wood and the tiles are brown, so I, with zero design experience, believe I can convert it into a rustic version of this (without the shower and much smaller):

If it weren't for Pinterest, I may have settled. Once I move in and begin, I'll post how this is going!

Mature Enough to Be a Homeowner?

People who know me know that I have lived in an apartment for the last year. My fiance and I believed it was time (really I believed it was time and he was okay with it as long as he could finish up his schooling and not be expected to pay the bulk of the bills.) Matt and I had the perfect plan: since we both still lived with our parents who were not kicking us out, we (or I) would pay the February 2017 rent and we would move in slowly, luxuriously for the entire month. There would be absolutely no stress. What could be a more ideal way to move in?

The weekend after I paid for our first month's rent, we still had no furniture, no bed, and no cable, which was okay because we were going to move in at our own speed, right? As it turned out, that's not how it went. The animal shelter I volunteer at ran out of things for me to do in the office that Saturday. I still had 30 minutes to go, so they gave me two options: go home, or assist in the cat room. Then I met Teddy.

We just loved Teddy, but we would have to pick him up that Monday, in two days. And now it was time to buy a lot of furniture and move in!

The furniture was delivered in the following weeks, but we had already moved in and were living with our new cat baby. We had a tiny family. The addition of more and more furniture did confuse Teddy at first, but eventually, we made this apartment a home for us three.

Fast forward a year, we have been living here since and have added another kitten, Tip.

What I have wanted for awhile now was a house full of pets. Matt is still in school. but we decided that if he was still able to contribute some, we could get a house. I decided our budget was $139,000 (with him trying to up it to $150,000, but not succeeding.)

Searching for the right home only took a few weeks, but our patient realtor must have shown us at least 40 houses. Some that we walked into and walked right out of (these were just the appointments with me and my dad. If Matt was there, he would take an hour looking at everything even if it was just to confirm how much he assumed he hated that house in the beginning.)

In the end, there was a home I absolutely adored. I wanted it the second I walked through the front door. It was a tiny ranch that didn't have much (or any) curb appeal, but a lot of promise on the inside. The rooms were small, but came with beautiful hardwood floors and the kitchen came with all of the appliances. The basement was really what made me fall in love with it. It was separated into three tiny rooms. The first one had beautiful hardwood, creamy white walls, and a charming gas fireplace. We could add a TV and shelves to make this a nice living area. The adjoining room could be a tiny library, and the next one was unfinished, but large enough to be something one day. The yard was big enough for two dogs and children one day, which Matt and I both agreed that we wanted. It was also the largest yard of the neighboring houses.

Unfortunately, no matter how much I, my father, and his father insisted that this was the perfect home for us, Matt hated it. He wanted a large basement for entertaining with comfy wood panel walls like he grew up with at his parent's house. He wasn't budging and I was heartbroken. It was everything I had ever wanted. I imagined two dogs, a nursery, and a giant fish tank in the living room! I was already painting the upstairs in my mind. It was even under budget, $119,000! I think I cried, but my future spouse hated it. What was I supposed to do?

My father, and even his father, insisted that I still buy the house. That Matt would grow to love it., but our genius realtor had other ideas. She knew of another ranch (my ideal style) that was about to be put on the market. The homeowner had to be moved into a nursing home and her three children were selling it. Currently, her daughter was living in the house until the estate sale. After the estate sale, they planned on trying to sell the ranch that their parents had built from the ground up long ago.

Our realtor, also their realtor, convinced them to let us see the house before it went on the market. She knew what she was doing. It had almost (almost!) the same layout as the other ranch, but it felt huge for us. All three bedrooms were bigger, and the basement was definitely made for entertaining, with wood panels. There are two fireplaces, one upstairs and one downstairs. The living room and halls were a light pink, and the living room had light blue carpet, which actually went well together! Also, once again, all the appliances were included.

Unfortunately, the backyard left much to be desired. If Matt and I stood sideways, side-by-side, we would fill the width of the yard. No room for our future children to make-believe. My backyard was my favorite thing growing up. Our yard wasn't large, but to a kid, it could be outerspace one day and a frontier the next. The swings were perfect for the neighbor boy and I to pretend we were pilots, who sadly had to evacuate our planes, jump, and roll around on the grass to safety. That is just not a possibility with this house, and the homeowners wanted about $134,900, near the top of our budget.

I was also struggling with the space. Was it too large? I didn't want to feel so separated. The tiny ranch meant that the pets, Matt, and I would be together all the time. Was this more space than I even wanted? Matt was thinking of our future kids, though. Yes, one day they would be teens and want a little additional space from us. I wanted a house that would be our forever home, not a starter home, and Matt and our realtor understood that. I wanted a house I would never move out of, unless the day comes when Matt and I can afford a farm with a lot of animals. That is the only reason I would want to move.

In the end, we signed some (many) papers and offered $130,000. The three children snapped this up immediately. They weren't money-hungry, they just wanted someone to take care of the home their parents had built. Also, our realtor who knew how much I wanted a home filled with animals added a feature I couldn't refuse: the children were trying to find a home for their mother's 8-year-old cat, Addy. We had met her when touring the house, so we even filled out a tiny contract for her! I believe this is what made the children say yes so quickly. We were making this move easy for them.

I like to joke that Addy was a $130,000 cat. Now I just have to wait until the end of the month to move in, but that's not all. As much as I love the living room walls, everything else upstairs I want to paint for a rustic-gray look. In one day, Matt watched in a deep boredom as I analyzed color samples from three different stores. I took many swatches and have them lying about the apartment. I have never painted a wall before, but to my dad's dismay, I'm insisting that I can. I have already ready 3.5 design books and I have bought many more to read as well.

Let's see how this goes.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

The Art of Writing, Aging, & Laziness

I tell myself all the time how utterly lazy I am, and how I don't write enough. Mostly, when I finally come home from work (usually after working unpaid overtime-usually my own decision), I just sit down in front of Netflix and binge-watch either an action-packed anime or a down-to-earth, touching romance/drama like When Calls the Heart or Call the Midwife.

I decided today (Easter) that I am going to use today as a more-realistic New Years Eve. I am not Catholic or Christian, so maybe the best way to celebrate today is to use it to review my New Years Resolutions, discuss how I let them drop, and write new ones I will actually follow. One is to write as much as I did as a kid. For inspiration, I decided to read some of my old diaries for guidelines from my young self.

And I found these three, consecutive gems:

Dear Journal (2/10/06),

I have no clue what to write. Nothing important has happened today. Bye.

Dear Journal (3/1/06),

I love David. I love David. I love David. I love David. I love David. I love David. I love David. I love David. I love David. I love David. I love David. I love David. I love David. I love David. I love David. I love David. I love David. I love David. I love David. I love David. I love David. I love David. I love David. I love David. I love David. I love David. I love David. I love David. I love David. 

(Yes, I wrote that 29 times in my middle-school diary that day. Why 29? No idea. That's just when I stopped.)

Dear Journal (3/20/06),

There is no way I'll EVER finish this journal! 

Okay, so they weren't all gems. And maybe I do write better entries in my journal now.

Happy Easter.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Things I Do Instead of Being Productive

When I was an undergraduate, one of my writing professors had us all read a short story about a woman who would do careless things just to amuse her. One thing was buying a house and then wandering around in it, turning on lights, and going Hm, I have a house. It has stairs that go up and down to blank, bare rooms. I have a kitchen primarily not used for cooking. (I only imagine this was the exact dialogue in the woman's head because that's what I would think.)

Everyone in class thought that was ridiculous and unrelatable. Who would buy a house just because it amused them? Completely reckless!

So, here's what my life has become:

  1. I got a promotion and instead of taking the time to consider how my life is progressing, where I wanted to go, and what I should start doing now to get there, I bought the most expensive apartment and new furniture that I could afford.
  2. I made a late New Years' Resolution to start posting more regularly on my blog (we all see how that has gone, right?), and promptly ignored it.
  3. I made a late New Years' Resolution to start spending an hour a day working on my literary journal, and promptly ignored it (as I am doing right now.)
  4. I adopted a cat named Teddy one day while volunteering at the animal shelter because they ran out of things for me to do and said Hey, you can play with the cats in the cat room until your ride gets here. Then they learned not to let me do that anymore.
  5. I bought Teddy Lupin (yes, Harry Potter) a scratching post that he promptly ignored (he takes after me.)
  6. I did not do anymore wedding planning for two months and instead would go to work, walk the 10 minutes back to the apartment, and binge watch any anime on Netflix (in my defense, I'm having a half Great Gatsby / half anime wedding. This is called research. And spending all night in the same position on the couch, staring at the TV, forgetting about every single thing else I was supposed to do.)
  7. I started seeing a new therapist because my first therapist, who diagnosed me with having trust issues, could never show up for our therapy appointments on time. Last time, she didn't show up at all. I wasn't even upset, I laughed. I'm still laughing (and a little bit of crying.)
  8. I don't get paid overtime but sometimes I work 11 hour days (approximately 6:30am to 5:30pm with no lunch break), then reward myself by buying nice things I forget about. Like tickets to Mamma Mia's farewell tour, which was this past Wednesday, and I just did not remember to go.
  9. Rented Good Morning, Vietnam finally and was actually "nice fiance" and helped my fiance with his paper for one of his history courses by watching the movie with him, telling him everything I thought was important about the plot and characters, and making him write it down word-for-word because I am, in my own words from that night, "A complete genius." This, of course, ended up being what we did instead of remembering to finally see my favorite musical live. 
  10. Tried to start volunteering for our local LGBT and interreligious organizations to help out, and was completely blown off. I guess someone isn't "free labor material" anymore.
  11. Walk around my apartment daily, turning on and off the lights, and going Hm, I have an apartment. It has stairs that go up and down to blank, bare rooms. I have a kitchen primarily not used for cooking. I use it to store more action figures and books.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

A List of Things that Have Happened This Week, & It's Only Tuesday

  1. I played cards with my fiance's parents. I view this as a win because, even though I hate cards and anything that makes me feel competitive outside work, I did this for his parents.
  2. Then I told his parents that I didn't like playing cards, as a way to not-so-gently gently-hint that I will not play cards as a family again. I'm not sure if I was rude or not, so I don't know how to view this.
  3. I found The Angry Heart and made a plan to resume reading it. I viewed this as a win since I no longer go to a therapist (she's always late), so I should get help by reading the book.
  4. I put the book back on my childhood bedroom floor and picked up a Doctor Who novel. I viewed this as a loss because I was already in the middle of at least 15 books (honestly.)
  5. I put the Doctor Who novel down after about 6 pages. I viewed this as a win, because I should finish a book before starting a new one. At the same time, I viewed this as a loss, because the book couldn't have been more than 200 pages and, in my mind, I should be able to read that many pages in just a view hours and check it off as read on Goodreads to show up all my Goodreads friends who read less books than me this year.
  6. I resumed Bridget Jones's Diary. I viewed this as a win, if I could finish it.
  7. I woke up Monday for work, ready to be optimistic about my career. I viewed this as a huge win. Very different from usual when I wake up wanting to cry (honestly.)
  8. When I entered the office at 6:35am, I realized how much I forgot needed to get done over the weekend and had about three different min-panic attacks before 8:30am. I viewed this as a loss.
  9. I reviewed a client's file because his website just went from the design phase to the development phase and realized that I forgot he was paying for SEO work. This entire time. And I hadn't been managing any SEO work, so I knew it wasn't going on. I viewed this a death sentence for any possible promotion.
  10. I panicked, tried to find my boss to pathetically apologize, and realized he had just started a meeting. I viewed this as a loss because I wanted to get my scolding over with.
  11. I waited an hour and a half, pretending to his wife that I wasn't fearing for my job while working with her on a focus study, and then, finally came to terms with the fact that I screwed up a few months ago by dropping the ball and that all I could do was start his SEO work now. I viewed this as growth.
  12. When my boss got out of his meeting, I asked if we could talk, sat down nervously, showed him the file, and asked when he had intended SEO work to start. He said after the site was launched. I viewed this as a miraculous surprise.
  13. Practically screamed inside my head because there was a chance I didn't do anything wrong (but did I accidentally have our bookkeeper charge the client prematurely? Should I check?) I viewed this as a possible win.
  14. Decided not to check with the bookkeeper yet. There is always Wednesday. I viewed this as a win because the main problem I had feared had been determined (by my boss) nonexistent.
  15. Came home, wrote some web pages for extra pay, and listened to my mom get upset about work. I viewed this as usual.
  16. Let my mom's anger about work make me angry about my work and life and living arrangement and began throwing soft things in my room, to not make a sound. I viewed this as a loss and a serious problem, because I always let her mood become my mood (when angry.)
  17. Hid in my room at 7pm instead of watching regular Monday family show with my parents out of fear of my mother's anger about her job (which wouldn't be directed at me, but I didn't want to deal with it.) I viewed this as a loss, because what if my parents where upset I didn't watch Kevin Can Wait with them?
  18. Came out of hiding for 7:30pm family show and realized everything was magically okay again. I viewed this as an obvious win.
  19. Went back to my room at 8pm and realized that I had accomplished absolutely nothing with my day (besides finishing optimizing one page of content and writing another page.) I viewed this as another great loss of valuable time where I could've been doing something with my pathetic life.
  20. Went to bed hideously upset with self. Loss.
  21. Woke up at least 5 times over the night in a panic that I hadn't been reading my daily automated project reports enough and probably missed a new task assigned by my boss and was going to get yelled at. BIG loss.
  22. Still couldn't sleep at 2:30am, so I checked my daily project report from the day before and realized that I missed nothing. Win!
  23. Went to the bathroom then lied in bed for at least another hour. Loss of valuable sleep time.
  24. Woke up, repeat. Had the exact same day as before, only with different client issues arising and I actually had time to take my hour lunch break and read more of Bridget Jones's Diary. I viewed this day as neither a loss or a win, overall.
  25. Felt guilty about taking my lunch instead of working. I viewed this as a loss of valuable time I could have been making myself indispensable to the company and ensuring a promotion.
  26. Decided to reward self by letting me watch TV and read Bridget Jones's Diary instead of "doing something productive." I viewed this as a win I deserved for a day of hard work. Surely I would work even harder tomorrow.
  27. Heard from my fiance that he missed a call from the voluntourism company that I had talked to about going to China for a week to volunteer at a Panda Breeding Center. I viewed this as a loss of a great opportunity to make myself, my life, and my possible career life more like something I actually wanted.
  28. Made my fiance call them and tell them that he wanted to help out (which he doesn't) and ask more about the program he was interested in (which he wasn't.) I viewed this as a loss because I was not considering him.
  29. Felt a little guilty about trying to make my fiance go to China to help feed pandas with me, where there probably would be no other volunteers and workers who spoke almost no English, but not really because it's important to help others, especially pandas. I viewed this as something I hoped would work itself out.
  30. Was reading Bridget Jones's Diary and suddenly felt immensely worthless for not reading this sooner. Every other book-loving woman in the world has read this, right? What's wrong with me then? Then I felt immensely worthless for not finishing a book last month. Then for reading so slowly. Then for not reading enough. Then for not working on The Basil O' Flaherty, my online literary journal. I felt incredibly, horribly bad about being worthless and a waste of space for about 30 minutes for about 10 different reasons (and this worthlessness-guilt-I am a waste of space-should die-am abandoning my journal and readers and contributors-feeling is my constant state.) I viewed this as a loss of my life and reputation and future since I obviously don't know how to be productive.
  31. Started talking in my head like Helen Fielding in Bridget Jones's Diary. I viewed this as a humorous win.
  32. Realized I actually had nothing in common with Bridget Jones because I am 23 and already engaged and not living in perfect, perfect London or working in book publishing. I viewed this as a loss for three reasons.
  33. Became tired and wrote this blog post. I viewed this as a win, actually (only if someone reads and comments.)
  34. Decided to buy the $61 Build-A-Bear Charmander stuffed toy my fiance had been pressuring me to treat myself to all afternoon.