Thursday, May 22, 2008

Playing in the Swamp

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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

An Awesome Weekend

Just a quick post to update:

Jeff and I have enjoyed the rare weekend alone. Michael went to visit his grandmother out of town and my mother went out of town on business. Being that those are the two people that, while I love them dearly, also demand the most of my time, Jeff and I actually got to spend the weekend together alone. It's funny, we're the two people that have always made or invented work to do. Neither of us are really capable of taking a real day off. A day of from work usually means an opportunity to clean up the house or beat the yard back into submission.
But not this weekend. This weekend we went for long drives in the country, we walked through a swamp (trust me, it was cool!), we ate out- waaaayyyy too much!, and we took naps. It was awesome!

This week brought the return of work. Because Michael is out of town I am actually able to pick up a few extra hours and work during the day.
Oh, I almost forgot! Guess what Jeff surprised me with?

A cell phone!

I've been without one for the last year and a half because I couldn't justify the expense. Apparently he sat down and determined that of the 1500 minutes he was using on his phone, all but less than 200 were used talking to me. He looked into it and discovered that he could add a second line to his phone for an additional $15 a month. Because he has T-Mobile he put us on the My Favs plan. This means that we can talk as much as we want a month. How cool is that?!! So... for the first time in ages, I actually got to talk to him while I was at work yesterday.

I had forgotten how much I missed having a phone.

Anyway, I'm trying to make the time to construct a much longer post wherein I completely wig out... but that's for another day. Here's a hint: Jeff's job is going to very soon require that he attend opening tour parties and rehearsals for major music stars. Guess who is going to be dragged along kicking and screaming? Yep. Me. And no, I wasn't being sarcastic. I really don't want to go with him. This now introduces a new sense of urgency into my 'I gotta get back into shape' whine. AGH!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Well, we put it off as long as we could, but with gas prices being what they are, economically it just didn't make sense to keep the Expedition any longer. The Green Beast is gone!

In it's place is this:

Meet our new 2007 Prius Touring (aka: Roz)

We really drug our heels on this particular decision because neither of us particularly like the way the car looks. How pathetic is that? But we made the decision a couple of months ago that it just didn't make sense to get anything else. We made a list of options we wanted the car to have (for instance, we wanted a touring model), the color we wanted, the extras that were important to us and we started looking.

Boy were we surprised to find that these cars are in such demand that they simply cannot be found out here!

Until last Thursday.

We drove to Tennessee to look at it late Saturday night. We took care of the financing online on Sunday, and we drove back to Tennessee yesterday afternoon and picked it up. It was exactly what we both wanted in a car. Down to the color and the tint!

Did I mention we got a phenomenal deal on it? We paid about $8000 less for the car than it should have cost. And all because we knew the deal better than the dealer did. He had to go to Florida to get this one (that's how rare they are) and apparently didn't realize that it takes Kelly Blue Book about three months to catch up to changes in the market. YAY us!

Anyway, we averaged close to 60 mpg on the way back from Nashville (we stopped there for dinner), and only used a gallon and a half of gas. Did I mention that the car recognizes its owner? Yep. you don't need a key to unlock the door or start the car. You just push a button! How cool is that?? It even has a rear view mounted camera with night vision to help you back up more safely. Everything is handled on a touch screen monitor on the dash- the audio (with a 6 disk changer), the climate control stuff... everything! You also have the option of taking care of everything from the steering wheel so you don't have to take your hands off the wheel.

I'm totally in love with this car!

We've decided to put the necessary $1000 into my car that it needs (new tires, brakes, timing chain, water pump) and funnel more money into paying off the Prius early. We think we can have it paid off in about two years. At that time, we'll probably just get another one and save the Saturn for Michael to drive. He's about to turn twelve... he'll be driving in no time!

Needless to say, we're totally stoked about this awesome car!

Friday, May 09, 2008

Doing Much Better

This week has been a lot better for me than the last couple. It's still been a struggle, but I think overall, much better.

Jeff was able to get messenger to work on his computer at work so we've been able to have short (think like 5 minutes or less) conversations during the day. I think it's helped both of us a lot.

I found a new WW meeting that I think I like. Don't get me wrong, it's not that I haven't liked the other leaders, I do, believe me, they're all great. And in fact, this new meeting has one of the old leaders in charge of it, but the people attending the meeting are different. I had hoped to find a meeting where the leader was a little closer to my own age... most of them around here are in their 50's. Not that that's a bad thing, I just don't have a lot in common with them.

Anyway, I think for now I'm going to make Friday my WI day and go from there. Weekends are always the hardest for me anyway so that will give me a whole five days to recover if I fall off the wagon. Also, I'm hoping to convince my cousin Lori to help me in the exercise department. I've been running three times a week but I feel like I need to do more. Lori has lost over 100 lbs in the last year and has done it by working her ass off. Literally. She has a friend that has been helping her by giving her assignment workouts and challenges. I'm hoping that getting her to do the same thing will motivate me a little more.

Tonight we're headed out for pizza (yeah, I know! But it's FREE!!!) and then to see Iron Man with Michael. It should be a fun night. I think we could all use the night off.

Next week Michael heads out of town with his paternal grandmother and great grandfather to visit some cousins to our South. He should be gone for about a week... just enough time to grab some much needed extra hours at work. Shoot, Jeff and I might even buy a car. We've been looking at the Prius (also known as the Atomic Easter Egg Car around these parts) for a while now. With gas now at $125 a barrel I think it's time to trade in the Expedition and start saving some money. Gas is just ridiculous and if the price of saving money is driving an ugly car, well, I can live with that.

So... have a great weekend and wish us luck!

Sunday, May 04, 2008

A New Resolve

I've been doing a lot of thinking about what I talked about in my last post. It's really not in my nature to feel sorry for myself (despite what it must seem like right now), and in truth, I've always been a very proactive person. I've always believed that we as individuals are responsible for our own happiness, no one else. It's not up to Jeff to ensure that I'm happy, it's not up to a potential employer to give me a reason to get up in the morning. It's up to me. It's my responsibility.

I've decided that I'm going to try and combat the feelings that I've been having by trying to stay busier. I'm going to start attending Weight Watcher meetings (instead of just doing it online). I'm going to try and make plans to meet up with another stay at home wife that I haven't seen in a long time. I'm going to look for an aerobics class (or something like that), I'm going to start keeping a chart of my exercise and running activities so I'll have something to look back on and see what and where I've accomplished things. Hell, I may even try and learn Spanish.

I don't know if any of this will make watching Jeff leave after lunch, but it can't hurt. And at least I can feel like I'm actively trying to combat the feelings that I've had by doing something.

I hope it helps.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

The Hardest Lesson

I've noticed that I've fallen into a pattern. I start off each week motivated to accomplish tons of things, eager to get started, and satisfied that things are unfolding the way that they're supposed to. As the week goes on, it gets harder and harder for me to maintain a positive attitude, and by Friday, I'm crabby and irritable and frankly, not a helluva lot of fun to be around.

I know that a lot of it has to do with my own incredible frustration at still not having found a good job. Every professional job that I've held so far has contained some level of adrenaline. Law enforcement is known for it's pronounced periods of boredom followed by incredible bursts of adrenaline. I think I got used to that. I know I did.

I have so much to be grateful for right now, Michael has never been happier or more well adjusted. My mother is finally coming out of her grief and is beginning to enjoy life again, Jeff and I are finally together, and I'm finally able to see clearly what things are important to me.
But I'm selfish. I want more. I miss having a job that matters (and yes, I know being a mom is important, but that's not what I'm talking about).
Every day at lunch Jeff comes home and we talk about his day, the decisions that he has to make, the things he wants to work on. My suggestions to him this week have helped him to save one of his employees jobs. Had I not come up with the solution that I did and a way to launch it, an employee of Jeff's that had worked for the company for 18 years, who also has a sick wife to care for, would have been out of a job. Jeff didn't want to fire him, but it comes down to business and money. He wouldn't have had a choice. The President had already made the decision.

It felt good being able to make a difference. Jeff made a change in operations for his company that resulted in a project being completed two weeks ahead of schedule. He has meetings and employees and an office.

And I'm jealous.

That's what it boils down to.

I can clean the carpets and weed out the beds and do the laundry and wash the dishes and home school the boy and clean out the car and fix dinner and none of it fulfills me the way that my career did.

So, by the end of the week I'm depressed and moody and bitchy. I popped off at Jeff yesterday at lunch for no reason. I burst into tears when he had to leave to go back to work- I just couldn't face another day of what has begun to feel like Groundhog Day to me. I just wanted to run away.

Jeff and I went out to dinner last night and talked a lot of stuff out. He really does understand how I feel, that I don't begrudge him this fabulous job, that I don't NOT want to be at home, it's just that my brain is getting stagnant. I miss thinking and having it matter. And then he reminded me of something that I told him several months ago. He was depressed at still working at Target and feeling like things were never going to change. He didn't want to do it anymore but knew that he didn't have a choice, and he said to me "I know that things happen the way that they're meant to, but honest to God, sometimes I don't think I can keep fighting anymore. I'm so tired. I'm so ready for this challenge to be over- I just want to get on with my life..."

And so last night he threw my own words back at me. He told me that sometimes we have to learn to keep fighting but to stop struggling. We have to do everything that we can think of to help ourselves, but let go enough to not be impacted by the day to day.

I know that I was right when I told him that, and this unbelievably perfect job that he now has is proof of it. But I just have NO IDEA how to do it myself.

Somehow I have to figure it out.