Something Better

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I was driving to the first interview I’ve had in almost three years. I was driving straight from my current job, trying to haul ass only to have my foot to the pedal at 65 mph. My truck is a work truck but it’s new and somehow already has an issue. It says it needs exhaust fluid but we already filled it up so the 65 mph limit it’s giving me doesn’t make any sense. I would find out later that it was the tank and not the fluid itself.

But I some how made it with a few minutes to spare which I would need to get through security and find the correct office. I still arrive a couple minutes early and the building was.. old. It was an old mobile home or maybe it was always meant to be a mobile office as there were 4 doors on one side and what I would imagine were all very small offices on the inside, lined with old faux wood paneling and dark like the one I had stepped into.

The interview was okay, it wasn’t horrible but I wasn’t shining like I used to do for interviews a few years ago. Maybe it was because I had just worked a full day and the truck problems were wearing on me. But maybe the truth is that I couldn’t get myself excited for this job which was clearly a step or two down from where I am currently working and my usual lies about how much and why I wanted to work there just weren’t convincing. There comes a point in your life where you grow tired of lying. I’m a very honest person when it counts but we all have told those lies about how passionate we are about sitting in an office all day entering data, looking at numbers, talking to customers and at some point I lost my luster and I couldn’t fake it anymore.

I walked out of the office feeling horrible. I wasn’t worried that I probably wouldn’t get the job or necessarily how my performance in the interview wasn’t my best work, but the fact that I didn’t want this job and I didn’t like the job that I’m in. I’ve hit the proverbial glass ceiling and there is no where to go from here. I may have one or two more minor promotions to go but this is not where I’m going to be forever. I’ve hit my limit with this job and looking for another one in my area doesn’t make sense anymore. The sad thing is that interview was for one of the much better jobs in the area and it was horrible.

I went home, ate a bag of chips then rallied my spirits the next day and knew that I’m not done, just done here and that I will be able to move on soon and finding something better.

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How Do You Know When To Leave?

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numone149fer_-_number_one_echo_-_fire_engine_red_1Sometimes the answers you get leave only more questions and you are even more confused than you were before. I used to think I could be happy in the job that I’m in that I could just keep myself busy and find meaningful work in the day to day, that I could be so creative that it wouldn’t matter how boring my job could be or that the restrictions placed on the business wouldn’t matter because I would work around and within them to make it all work and make it all amazing and I would be praised and have my hard work and creativity acknowledged because my God I did try.

Sometimes it’s not exactly that the job is all bad even though it definitely isn’t great and Lord knows it does have it’s awful moments. But it’s that the job just isn’t for you, it’s not meant for you and you don’t have to try to change yourself to try and squeeze into something that doesn’t fit. It’s not that you aren’t good enough, in fact maybe you’re too good. There’s no challenge or growth anymore and everyday is just a boring set of numbers passing on the clock before you are able to go home and think about what has become of your life.

Sometimes you know it time to leave and it’s just a matter of finding another option before you abandon you job and financial security and all those benefits. It’s tempting to stay, but you know it’s not right for you. However, until you find something else you know you have to. Some people can jump and land where they will, they rebuild from passion and hard work. Thriving in life is not an unattainable thing. Happiness is not an unattainable thing. But how far are you willing to go to get it?

Sometimes the hardest part about knowing when to leave your job is not knowing but making it happen. There are so many obstacles if opportunity is not plenty, if jobs are scarce, the town is small and the people are small minded. But have faith that there is something better out there for you. I know there is for me. I have been there but I haven’t been able to stay. It’s not my time yet and there are so many things to do before I can go. But at least now I have the confidence and conviction that I must and will someday leave this job and go.

Good Medicine

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Growing up I went through some anxiety that was genetic. Not knowing how to handle it and not even knowing what was going on with me my parents did the best they could and sent me to a psychiatrist. The first one was the best but after a few sessions she recommended a place closer to where I lived as we were driving about 3 or 4 hours away every visit. So we went and it unfortunately was a huge mistake.

The people there that were supposed to help me only wanted to medicate me. I made a great friend there and fortunately it wasn’t 2 years before we both decided to leave, sick of the side effects and over medication that only made other symptoms that weren’t there before become an even bigger issue. They wanted to medicate us for those too. We were getting better but the psychologist that we had always insisted we weren’t ready for things. Looking back it was clear she didn’t believe in us, luckily it was in us to believe in ourselves.

We often talk now about how that shouldn’t have been their first go to for developing teenagers and anyone under 18 who was especially prone to side effects. For my friend, her medicine left long term effects in the way of her not knowing when she is full after she eats. She gained and lost the weight but even to this day, as thin as she is she can’t tell when she’s full so she just has to measure her meals the best she can.

thXEHMBJYTWe also talk about how they should have taught us coping skills and how that was something we had to learn for ourselves. We talk about how exercise is a huge stress reliever and for me horseback riding is probably the best thing in the world when everything seems to be tumbling down. As soon as I get in the saddle or even if I’m riding bareback everything just melts away and after a few minutes it’s as if life couldn’t get any better. We both love to walk and jog when we have the time and we talk about how it was a big game changer.

The great thing is today we both live perfectly normal lives and the stress and sadness we sometimes feel is very much normal and not out of the ordinary from anybody else.

Living life is hard but nobody ever said it was easy. But if you have ever gone through what I have the best advice I have for you is to get support, whether that’s a good friend, family, or a good psychologist and work through it. I promise you it will be okay. Get up when you don’t feel like it, go do something when you think you can’t and go outside when you want to stay in and get yourself some of that good medicine for yourself.

Coffee and Calculations

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coffeeSipping my cup of coffee I look at all the plans I’ve made and all the numbers I’ve crunched and I feel like I’m just calculating my next move. Each pay period comes with fresh excitement and relief directly followed by a cup of coffee and a notepad full of my calculations of how I’m going to save and spend my paycheck in the next two weeks. Usually I plan it out okay, sometimes there’s an unexpected expense, other times I have a little extra to spend or put back in savings.

It’s usually during this time that I calculate more than money. Somehow time always becomes a factor and an internal discussion with myself begins about how I want to spend that time. Do I have time to pick that hobby back up that I’ve been neglecting for some time now? Do I have enough time and money to take a lesson or book an appointment? Then the topic always eventually changes to when I’ll be able to move and when I’ll be able to change my life into what I want it to be.

So I take another sip of coffee and begin calculating how much money that would take, what I would have to save and how long would it take. I go into what kind of rent or payments we could afford assuming I find another job that pays a certain amount. I calculate what it would cost to feed my animals and what kind of lifestyle we would live.

After writing down my many calculations I make note of only the immediate ones, write myself a list and throw the rest in the recycle bin. I drain my cup of coffee and try to calculate how many more hours I have left until the caffeine wears off.

Building On What’s There, A New Year’s Resolution

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“I don’t have a theme this year. I have some resolutions but it’s hard to top this year.”

I was talking to my best friend seven hours before the new year and I couldn’t figure out what I wanted to strive for in 2018. Because of what my best friend did herself every year, I had picked up her habit of making a theme every year. For example picking a theme of courage or creating gave me something to work on every year. Because each year is fresh start after all. But that was just the problem.

2017 was an amazing year and I couldn’t believe everything that had happened and all I had accomplished. It seemed overwhelming to try and top it and on the other hand I didn’t want to start over. I worked so hard to get this far and I wanted to keep getting better and better rather than scraping the old year and starting everything new.

But what could I put on my resolutions that could be better than last year? Every year I make at least ten new years resolutions. It sounds like a lot but I usually don’t finish them all. However, I do accomplish most of them and that has been where I get my feeling of accomplishment.

And last year I accomplished seven out of ten. Not bad but this year, instead of racking my brain for all new goals, I decided to build one what’s there. So instead of forgetting the past year to move into the future I’m going to build on the past year. I’m going to take some of the accomplishments I’ve achieved and multiply them and make them bigger and harder to achieve and I know I’m going to achieve them.

For instance last year I lost 20 pounds, this year I’m going to lose 30. Last year I learned how to use a sewing machine, this year I’m going to sew three outfits. Last year I read 10 books this year I’m going to read 15.

And then just for fun I’m going to learn how to tool leather because buying  leather products already done is just way too expensive.

Now that the end of the first month is almost over I would be lying if I didn’t say I wasn’t even a little nervous because these goals seem very taunting to me right now. I almost wonder if I bit off more than I can chew, but on the other hand, I already have a good foundation and I just have to keep moving forward and keep building myself up to the person I want to be.

It’s a little late but Happy New Year.

Saying Hello Again

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23794965_10213358775537270_6046750840292526396_nA few posts ago I wrote a poem titled “saying goodbye”. I wasn’t able to express or explain at the time due to grief but I wrote that about my little two year old dog who got hit by a car about a month ago.

It sounds silly but it was a shocking and painful experience with so many horrible firsts. My first indoor dog to pass, the first time I found my own dog on the road dead, the first time I had to carry her little lifeless body off the road onto the lawn only to cry hysterically over her for 10 long minutes before my fiancé showed up, seeing me stroking her body as if it would soothe her. I genuinely lost my mind for a couple of days. I couldn’t stop crying and many people would think it was silly but I would consider this one of my most painful experiences. What she meant to me and what all my animals mean to me I cannot put into words, I can only say that they mean so very much to me and I love them more than most people would understand.

That was a little over a month ago. This past Sunday we were going to my Fiance’s sister’s house to a Christmas party she was hosting. I had blocked out my little dogs death days after her passing and tried not to think too much about her. However that previous week I was missing her and even though I still had my big hound dog I had always had multiple dogs growing up and I was feeling her absence and still mourning the loss of one sweet little life.

This past Sunday we were driving down a quiet county road where there were no houses and hardly any cars around. I saw a puppy walking across the road to a telephone pole surrounded by weeds and watched as it laid down in them. My fiancé wouldn’t turn around at first because we had to go to the Christmas party. We had a nice day but seeing that puppy kept bugging me and I couldn’t get her out of my mind.

Five hours later in the dark we were driving slowly down that road until my fiancé spotted something by the same telephone pole. When he pulled around I got out of the truck and moved slowly over to the puppy speaking sweetly to it. It came over and started whining when I picked it up. It shock in my arms for a couple of minutes in the car until it settled it’s head in my elbow and began to nap. I quickly discovered it was a girl and that she had no collar and wasn’t fixed. It was very clear to me having grown up in the country that this poor little girl had been dumped.

When I got her home I gave her a bath first thing to make sure she didn’t have flees and to wash all the dust off her from laying in the field. She was very sweet and has proven herself to be well behaved. She isn’t housetrained so that has been a work in progress but she overall has been a very easy puppy and has continued to be well behaved.

25354051_10213589332541051_3375486740129818450_nAt first we weren’t sure we should get another dog yet and keeping her didn’t seem like a viable option sense we both have been working so much lately. But something felt right to us and figuring out that we could take her to work with us made training easier. We ended up naming her Kimber and she already has bonded with my five year old hound, Copper, who can’t get enough of her yet somehow still manages to get jealous when he thinks she is getting pet more than him.

Now looking back on our decision it seems silly how much we went back and forth and even trying to find her the right home, because we already love her so much. Saying hello again to another dog turned out to be the best choice we could’ve made.

6 Years Together and 6 Months Engaged

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For six years my honey and I have spent the majority of our time laughing and loving one another having the best times of our life. For six months we’ve been engaged trying to figure out wedding plans. Through all of it we’ve kept our relationship strong and our communication clear and I love him more and more as time goes on.

So today even though I’m working a ten hour work day I wanted to celebrate our life together in some small way until we can go and celebrate properly this Sunday. So I thought I would make a small timeline of some events that I’ve managed to document despite the fact that I usually forget to take pictures in the moment because.. well.. we’re just having too much fun.

20171215_0805021099744966.pngI guess we’ll start here. I met my fiancé while out riding horses with his high school ex girlfriend (It sounds more dramatic than it is). We met and she encouraged our relationship the whole time. She is now married with two kids and still one of my best friends. Anyway, it turns out I lived very close to him and I would often ride to his house to visit, this is a picture from early on in our relationship before I could even predict how amazing our life is now.

20171215_0805321425647966.pngThis next picture is simple but it was valentine’s day (our first) and it was the first time anyone had EVER given me flowers. They were so beautiful and I was so wowed and I still remember how special it made me feel.

The cowboy hats belonged to him and I.

20171215_080317777892356.pngFast forward to our three year anniversary. I just remember being ridiculously happy and in love that day and we decided to go up to Kaweah Lake for a pretty drive and it was very pretty. That’s where we are in this picture. We also drove further up into the mountains just to enjoy the view and being together. I don’t remember if we did much else but I remember being ridiculously overjoyed at being with him that day.

20161003_130229705277880.jpgLast year we went to Arizona where we took our first big trip together. It showed us that we travel well together and that we definitely want to travel a whole lot more! It was an absolute blast and I can’t wait until our next trip! Here we are sitting in a café in Tombstone enjoying our lunch in between the many tours offer there.

 

20171215_0808541428979457.pngThis last picture was taken a week after we were engaged at a friends wedding. It was our first chance to get away somewhere quiet (no cell reception) and just enjoy being engaged and getting to celebrate so much love. I’m so excited to be married to this man and our own wedding will be here before we know it.

I will always love you JB! Happy six years together!

Hiking for Health

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Yesterday I went hiking with a new friend and it became apparently clear to both of us how much we needed it. We had both been stressed from the past couple weeks so we went for a hike in the mountains. Not only did it clear our minds and give us the much needed endorphins to switch our moods from overwhelmed to relaxed but today my body feels better than it has in weeks from the exercise. I came home happier than I had been in maybe a couple months. It was more than the exercise, it was the good company and conversation as well as the beautiful nature that surrounded us. It makes me wonder why more people don’t like to go on hikes. It is certainly one of my favorite things to do.

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But thinking about how refreshed I feel today leaves me to wonder what other possibly health benefits you can gain when you go for a little nature hike. I’m going to start with the obvious one which is cardio-respiratory fitness. Your heart, lungs and blood vessels benefit greatly from any cardio but when you throw some hills into the mix you may be getting a better work out than you expected.

You lower your risk of coronary heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and stroke. This sounds pretty good to me especially sense I have genetics working against me I want to do the best I can to prevent them. You also lower your risks to certain cancers such as colon, breast and possibly lung and endometrial cancer.
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Another one that is near and dear to my heart is of course weight loss. hiking burns around 370 calories an hour of course this depends on the trail I’m sure but still. Today I weighted a bit lighter than I did yesterday and I feel lighter. And because hiking improves your muscle fitness I feel a bit stronger than I did yesterday with a whole lot more energy. But lets not forget mental health. Exercising in general reduces depression and generally gives you a better quality of sleep, not to mention today I feel incredibly happy and have a more positive outlook on the work day ahead.

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Because hiking for me isn’t only about all these other great benefits. As a country girl very little makes me happier than getting out in nature and getting to see all the beauty that surrounds me. Yes, I know that sounds sappy but it’s simply the truth. Plus coming across the local horse herd didn’t hurt either.

Driving Blind

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In the central valley our idea of a white Christmas is a gray fog. It’s pretty darn thick and if you can see ten feet in front of you, well… consider yourself lucky. It’s no joke and it’s probably the most extreme weather we experience here. But the scary part is not the weather or necessarily having to drive in it. No, it’s the other drivers. You see most people drive like they are high on ecstasy most days and unfortunately in the fog they don’t tend to use common sense even when visibility is almost non existent. It’s a rare foggy day when severe accidents are not reported and there is never a day where I don’t see at least one person doing something substantially  stupid with their vehicle.

It makes me grateful that nothing has happened to me so far but some times I feel like it’s only a matter of time. Because with all the drivers who drive without a turn signal, pass me on a country road when you can’t see the other side and overall drive way too fast for the amount of fog there is, I don’t feel too lucky. I wish they would all slow down a little and exercise a bit of caution because the reality is, we are all driving blind out there.