Monday, September 28, 2015

25 days in total

...And just like that, I'm re-employed again.  Well, as of tomorrow I will be.  It's funny the way that life tends to throw everything at you all at once, just to see how able you are to sort through things and make sense of the chaos.

Last week was a tempest of interviews.  5 in 3 days, to be exact, with 3 interviews all in the same day.  Of those 5 interviews, I landed offers for 4.  There were even offers to counter-offer against what other employers were offering.  I have never felt so in demand before, and I really was so lost in how to manage the decision of where I would work next.  It's a huge deal for me... work makes up a huge chunk of my identity, and I m at the point now where I really want to make smart decisions with my career, not just take whatever lands in front of me first that offers a reasonable wage.

This was my Wednesday, spent driving all over the greater-Sacramento area for job interviews.  Also, yes, that is a shit-ton of moving blankets in my car.  I put them there the week before to get them out of our apartment, and didn't get them moved over to our garage until yesterday.  #classy

Ammon and I knew on Thursday, after all of the interviews were over, that it was going to come down to 2 job offers:  One was essentially doing what I had been doing before, but on a bigger scale, and in a much bigger department.  The other offer is in an entirely different industry (construction/manufacturing), and was offering all new experiences and challenges starting on day one, simply because there is so much to learn.  So it really came down to doing what I've always done, or going out on a limb to do something entirely new.
This morning, I accepted an offer to try something new.  I start tomorrow.  That means I was unemployed for a whopping 25 days.  It's the longest that I have been unemployed since sometime during college, but I somehow managed to avoid being unemployed for a month or more.  I'm not going to lie, I'm pretty proud of that fact.  I had no idea how long it was going to take me to find a new job, but I had anticipated that it would take much longer.  I'm relieved that I can stop sending out resumes and going to job interviews.  I'm thrilled that I will be contributing to my household in a financial way again.
Next goal:  Start saving up so that we can buy a HOUSE.  I can't begin to explain to you how much this means to us - we had pretty much given up on the notion that we would be able to afford to buy something until after I was done with school.  We're now in a position where we can move toward that dream much sooner, and it's quite possibly the happiest news ever.

California, you are so, so good to us.  I hope we can be equally good to you.

Thursday, September 17, 2015


Unemployed.  It's a terrifying word to me, and yet, it is the exact correct phrase to describe me right now.  For the first time since... Junior year of college (I think???  It's a little hazy in that time of my life), I'm without employment, and I don't know what to think, or how to feel anymore.

So far, it's been 2 weeks.  The first week and a half were a piece of cake, because Ammon wasn't working either, and we were so darn busy.  Then he went to work on Monday, and suddenly, reality hit that I don't have anywhere to be every day.  The extent of my duties are entirely contained to housework pursuits and job hunting.  It's a huge deal if I shower before 3pm, or leave the apartment for any reason other than walking the dog these days.  I know I need to get out more, but why?  We're trying not to needlessly spend money, and I don't know anyone, so where would I go?  Ammon keeps encouraging me to go to the gym, but that sounds about as appealing as going and getting a pap smear.  Not because I don't want to work out, but because I just hate the gym THAT MUCH.  And it's so smoky here from the wildfires that running outside isn't advisable right now.

I really don't know how to start again out here.  I am really hoping that finding a job will help me put down some roots here, because I don't have kids to use as an excuse to get out of the house, or money to spend on doing lots of fun things.  Work has always been my "happy place".  I find good friends at work... heck, I found my husband at work!  I'm just my best person when I'm working... and so having to focus all of that energy and goodness elsewhere has been challenging.  I'm pretty sure Ammon has really appreciated all of the home-made meals lately, and the fact that he hasn't had to do dishes once since we moved in.  I just wish all of that was half as satisfying to me as going to work for 8 hours and contributing in that way to society is to me.  Not knocking the SAHM's or the SAHW's out there.  You all are incredible, and I admire you immensely, because it is no joke being so on your home all of the time.  When you're there 24/7, you notice every single drip, every splatter, every spot, and to keep up with it, and any other responsibilities you have is a huge deal.

And on that note, I need to get to the grocery store pronto, because the cable guy is coming this afternoon to figure out why our internet connection is showing as being poor on their side.  Guys, this is like... the most thrilling thing.  I'm even wearing clean clothes, and I've showered.  I might even eat lunch out instead of eating leftovers.  Grocery shopping is becoming an EVENT for me, not just an errand.

Have you had a long period of unemployment before?  How did it go?  How did you stave off any madness?

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

We survived 22 hours in a car with a cat and a dog

Well, hello...
We made it to California, and after 5 days of "roughing it", we have the internet again!  That was a looooooong 5 days, especially yesterday and today, when I was home all day by myself while Ammon was at work.  Let me tell you, cooking and cleaning are really boring when you can't binge on TV shows, or take Pinterest breaks periodically.  I did, however, get a prodigious amount of cooking done, and a respectable amount of unpacking done, so I guess it might not have been the worst thing in the world.


Our time getting to California, and our first few days here haven't been too bad.  The cat was only moderately awful on the roadtrip, so that is a win?  He was yowling for the first hour and a half, so then I held him for a while, until he started clawing holes into my shoulder, and then he went back in his carrier again.  Aside for a few walks (on a leash!), and a 1am desperate attempt to get him to eat and use the bathroom (unsuccessful in both), he stayed in his carrier.
What a middle of the night break with a cat looks like.  Try to contain your jealousy.
Gunner sat next to Beckham in the back seat, and the two of them got along about as well as we expected they would.
Yup, with Beckham hissing, and Gunner trying to ignore him.  Lovely, yes?

Other than that, Ammon and I took turns driving.  Our total travel time was about 22 hours, substantially longer than the 16 hours drive time that Google Maps had originally forecast.  Oh well, we made it safe and sound, and on time for our Thursday morning move-in.  Oh, and surprisingly, the animals flipping love our new apartment.  We figured it would be touch and go, because it's on the second floor, and the cat doesn't like anything.  But miracle of miracles, they are both happy in this new space, which makes Ammon and I happy.  Clearly, we indulge our animals slightly more than an average person might consider healthy.

I'm off to watch NCIS.  I'll be back in another week or so ;).  What have you all been up to for the past week?  Anything exciting?  Any interesting stories of road tripping with animals to share?

Saturday, September 5, 2015

15 random tidbits

I realize fully that this old blog has been pretty heavy mixed with a dash of depressing lately, and I'm really sorry about that.  I guess my life is pretty heavy, and it's hard to keep that from seeping through into other things.

So instead of perpetuating that, I thought I would just share with you guys some random little tidbits today, because it's Saturday, and Saturdays should be for fun random facts, yes?

1)  I am addicted to the Strawberry Lemonade from Cafe Rio.
2)  I just joined Periscope, and I don't get it.  Not at all.
3)  I got my hair cut yesterday for the first time in 6 months. 
4)  I'm currently bingeing on NCIS, and just started the 4th season.  I forgot how good that show is.
5)  If I think something will be useful in the future, I will keep it, even if we "don't have room" for it.  Like the boxes that our Fiestaware and wine glasses originally came in... PS, they make moving so much less awful.

6)  I own a ridiculous amount of nail polish.  I should probably change the colors on my fingers and toes daily, given the amount I own.

7)  I'm a morning person.  Sleeping past 7:30am is nearly impossible for me.

8)  I dislike wearing pants, especially jeans.

9)  I force Ammon to drop everything and come look at the dog and/or cat most days, because I'm convinced they're doing the cutest thing I've ever seen.

I mean, those eyes...

10)  I find it almost impossible to sit correctly in a chair.

11)  I don't really like watching movies.

12)  Doing the dishes is one of my least favorite chores.  I'd rather scrub a toilet than wash dishes.

13)  I'm extremely uncoordinated... we went to a trampoline park last week, and I managed to get a huge friction burn across one hip while we were there.

14)  I kind of really want to be able to live an off-the-grid, self sufficient lifestyle someday, not be cause we're preppers, but because I think it's incredibly gratifying.

15)  I still have a credit card in my maiden name, and I got married over 2 years ago.  Oops...

Tell me something random about you!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

In the blank pages

Blank.  I keep opening up new posts in Blogger, and then closing them, all because of the pressure of that blank space.  It's a metaphor for my life right now, that empty white text box with the blinking cursor, just waiting to be filled up with this, that, and the other.  But I don't know what should go there.

My last day of work was yesterday.  It was so, so, so hard.  I've never worked at any one place that long before, nearly 5 years, and it's hard to believe that I stuck with one job that long.  Well... technically 2 companies, 3 job titles, and 8 different offices, but... you get the point, right?  It all ran together, and when your company gets bought by a different company, it shouldn't (and doesn't seem to) count as an entirely new job, despite what your resume might indicate.

My co-workers gave me the sweetest send-off imaginable.  There were cards, lunch dates, and even an ice-cream sundae bar.  It's very hard to leave a place when you have wonderful co-workers.  Those co-workers were so sweet, and are so excited for us.  They talk about all of the big things that I am going to do next.  They see all of the potential.

I see blankness.  An empty slate of a life that is about to be re-imagined yet again.  I look at this beautiful life Ammon and I have built together in Fort Collins, and I try to remember that at one time, this was a blank page with a blinking cursor bar too.  That if you don't have a little blankness now and again, things can do one of two things:  1) they can stagnate and become boring 2) they become so complicated and chaotic that it's painful to live that life everyday.  The blankness is just another opportunity to create a new and lovely picture.  To invite new and wonderful people into our lives, yet still bring some past characters into the new scene with us. 

And I look at this page, and after a few minutes of bravery, of putting myself out there, and the blankness has been replaced with life again.  Because life happens, it happens all of the time, whether we're sure about it or not.  But it's only when we choose to engage life can we actually build a life that begs to be truly LIVED.