Tag Archives: schedule

Moments of 2015-Good

1 Jan

I usually like to post all my reflections by December 31st and all my aspirations on January 1st.  Because of a full-time work schedule, and a holiday visit–it didn’t happen this year.  I’m setting aside more time tomorrow to write, but I did want to get something up on the actual 1st.  Even though I really didn’t have time because I spent the day rearranging the whole living room, organizing all the books, textbooks, class notes, and scrapbook items, and cleaning.  And that was a huge project, which was worth it because it looks so much nicer in here, there is more space (somehow, even though we added a bunch), and it’s less cluttered.  Anyway, so you’ll see the most important items in the countdown are unfinished.  But the post has to be posted on this date, I’m hungry, and times a tickin.  So I’ll edit it after dinner and after Cool goes to sleep, but for now–bare with me.

15-the relief of staying at the Missoula hotel at a halfway point in our move.

We hadn’t planned on spending the money.  Plus, the cats are generally horrible in hotels, and no sleep is had anyway.  But we finished packing, and loaded the Pensky in record time–like it was noon or something equally early.  So we decided why stay in a dusty, empty apartment when we could just shave off some miles.  We made a spur-of-the-moment reservation at our lucky hotel (lucky because they had an opening WITHOUT a reservation on Independence Day and saved me from a major allergy attack.  And from camping at pow-wow in the dust (and allergens).  The cats even slept a little that night and it made it a more bearable two day trip rather than one long haul.

14-getting a full-time position with a schedule that still allowed me to see Cool

You never know when homophobia will rear it’s ugly head.  I wasn’t sure if any work or housing protections are in place for LGBT people.  Besides, this is Utah–known for Mormons more than tolerance.  Also, work has a policy against spouses working in the same department.  Even though we’re not legal or married or domestically partnered in any way, if they want to make a case against you, they can usually find a way.  In short, asking for an alternative schedule to SEE Cool was a touchy subject.  With driving time, her job keeps her away from home from 8:15AM to 3:30PM and mine was supposed to be 4:30PM to 1:30AM.  We would see each other for 1 hour each day–while getting undressed from work (Cool) ready for work (me), and eating dinner.  It just wasn’t going to be enough.  And especially with bipolar in the mix and needing to stay apprised of the situation, it was going to be a major hardship.  I got brave and negotiated a good schedule, then it was promptly reneged (see bad moments blog).  In the end, work couldn’t give that other bitch Sundays, because that left Saturdays empty.  I was still not trained enough to take that day, and the other kid who could take it (and didn’t want Saturday, of course) is a lead–so he MUST work M-F.  So because they couldn’t move the lead, I did end up getting my schedule.  But not because they were doing me any favors.  Still, I’ll take what I can get.  And now I LOVE my schedule.  It’s really ideal.

13-Temple Square at Christmas

temple square christmas

Who knew Mormon Christmas festivity would make my top-of-the-year list?!  No, I haven’t been drinking the Utah koolade, it’s just that spectacular.  Around the temple, every tree, bush, and pond is saturated with lights.  There’s music and wreaths, and a really nice atmosphere.  Both malls have decorations, and all of downtown is dressed up for Christmas.  We took pictures, Cool stood in the middle of someone else’s marriage proposal, and we saw a fountain/light show to Christmas songs.  The best part?  We live within walking distance.  We did not have to fight for parking or make our way through the heavy traffic to enjoy it.  It’s so nice, people come from all over the state to partake.

12-exploring SLC, especially walking around the city

green haze

We didn’t move into this apartment complex to be downtown.  It just so happened that the ONLY apartment in our price range that accepted pets, AND actually called us back was practilly downtown.  We can walk less than a mile and be at both malls, the planetarium, the sports/concert arena, farmer’s market, the rapid transit–all downtown has to offer.  We took full advantage on the warm days, and even some of the freezing ones, walking everywhere this year.  And we’ve explored and taken pictures, and genuinely enjoyed this new city.  I can’t wait to explore more areas while increasing our step counts.

11-getting true weekends off of work

My whole working life I worked weekends.  Kennel work, of course, requires cleaning and feeding the animals.  As an assistant, I had to medicate animals as well.  In janitorial, those are the off-hours available to deep-clean.  I’ve never had a true entire Saturday, entire Sunday off.  Every weekend.  So when I went to a corporate job it was a really nice treat being in sync with the rest of the world (and Cool).  This only lasted for 3 months, but it was MY choice to work Sundays, and I exchanged it for Friday and Saturdays off and a late-start on Wednesday, so I’m still winning.

10-having a larger, brighter, more functional kitchen

kitchen

I knew I didn’t love the galley kitchen in Spokompton.  It was dark and unventilated and there was very little storage.  But I didn’t really how much I hated it until I got a huge, bright, super-storage kitchen that was more open.  All the kitchen stuff fits in it, AND there’s counter space!

9-getting a job in another state, before we moved

Moving is horribly stressful.  And it’s expensive.  I feel like it’s 2015, you should be able to secure jobs and housing online–but we are not there yet.  You pretty much have to be IN the state you’re moving to in order to get the job and housing.  Which is a major problme when you’re not made of money.  Because where do you stay in the meantime?  And how do you pay deposit and rent if you are not working (and you don’t know when you will be)?  It’s very scary and logistically almost impossible.  But, luckily, Cool’s Spokane company had openings within different departments in Utah.  So she couldn’t tansfer, but she was pretty well guarenteed a position in the company.  So she got a job.  Then, they had another opening in her company, and since I have a medical background and a minor in chemistry (and knew Cool), I got a job.  It was one of the greatest moments of my life because I was hired over the phone!  And it was a big relief because it gave some answers to questions and a safety net.

8-the entire Christmas visit to my parents’ house–especially the owl painting.

our owls--mine, Cools, Dad, Mom

We saw my parents a third time–a record–over Christmas.  It was special, because I’ve rarely gotten time off of work to go anywhere.  Especially over a holiday.  And Cool could come again.  So it would be the biggest Christmas I’ve ever had.  When I was growing up, it was just my parents and I because extended family lives in Montana where winter weather makes travel dangerous.  And after I moved out, vet hospitals got busy because everyone else was on vacation so where either boarding pets or using that time to catch up on their appointments, or bringing them in for Christmas-related emergencies.  So I always had to work, and be by myself over the holidays.  So it was special just having the 4 of us together.  But my parents had got Cool and I a surprise.  And they were so excited about  it.  And really building up the anticipation.  We were really worked up into a frenzy about what it could be.  At the very end, I guessed it was a painting session, and I was right!  So we were excited to try it because my parents had a good time with it previously–and you get to keep what you paint.  And my dad especially was all weird when we got there, because he was actually excited to paint, and for us to paint.  It’s a big deal, because he’s usually stoic.  The painting process was fun, and seeing all of our creations was a pleasure that lasted and lasted.  We gazed upon them, commented on their different personalities and styles, and looked some more.  We rearranged them and rearranged them again.  The whole thing was really the best from start to finish!

7-running on the trail with Cool

Aquarium with parents 134

Historically Cool HATES running.  And she’s not fun to run with because she slacks off, complains, and just doesn’t want to be there.  But this summer the stars aligned, she was in generally better shape, the weather was nice, and the trail new and beautiful.  We ran almost every day together.  She (mostly) actually ran, mostly without complaint too.  It was a time we could work on our fitness, then we walked back to the car together.  It was a really good time, being out and nature and having no distractions or screens, so we just caught up and talked to each other.  It was really nice times and now that our schedules are opposite, I miss it terribly.

6-Getting to see Brandi Carlile in concert

brandi and twins onstage

Duh!  Brandi always puts on an outstanding show.  Even though I wasn’t in love with the new album, I loved the way she performed the songs live.  She makes the crowd feel like family.  She gets me jazzed up and also moves my heart.  We weren’t stressed about standing in line or getting a good seat, so I was just able to relax and enjoy myself–unheard of for me.

5-Hope:  Moving to a better, cleaner city with better job prospects and working a job that might offer future (non-veterinary) prospects for me.

Spokane only offered so much.  We had sort of burned through what few prospects it had and were reaching a dead-end.  We didn’t want to get a Spokompton mentality or get stuck and be unable to move out, and unable to move UP in life.  So coming to Utah was amazing.  It opened doors and gave us options again.  Plus it’s a really clean, safe, walkable city where Spokane is not.

4-getting a washer/dryer

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This was a long time coming!  I had been doing coin-op since I moved out of my parents house in 2003.  And it sucked pretty much the whole time.  Taking your laundry out of your house is a burdan.  No matter the sute dorm bags, you still have to haul it.  And not just out to the washer.  You then have to leave the comfort of your house to change it to the dryer.  That’s if you trusted enough to leave it unattended in the first place.  Then you have to make a third trip to collect it from the dryer.  And good luck getting it dry–it’s never dry!  That costs a boat-load of money and forget any special care instructions or color-sorting.  That’s just not practical.  Also, think about if the cat pees on something.  Or you spill something.  Or after camping when everything is all icky.  You can’t always go to the laundry facilities at 4AM or midnight, so you then have to store that ultra-dirty stuff.  And it’s ick.  So getting a washer/dryer was AMAZING!  Now we are real people, and I love it pretty much every time I throw something into the laundry basket.

3-when my parents visited over the summer-especially the aviary day

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It took my parents 5 years to visit me in Missouri.  And we hadn’t seen them since 2010.  So when they came to Salt Lake City almost immediately after we moved here, I was really excited.  Even better, I had a training schedule at work that was only 25 hours per week–so I actually had time to see them.  We visited the aquarium and went to Cheesecake Factory, and showed them a lot of the same sights we had just barely discovered.  Nobody fought the whole time, which was a record!  That hadn’t happened in forever–we had gone through such tumultuous times.  So it was all really special and really fun.  The best was when the 4 of us visited the Aviary.  We got to feed Sun Canards by hand, watch a show, and just look at all the bird exhibits.  I love going to animal places normally, and including my parents and Cool was optimal!

2-when Cool and I had the exact same schedule, and worked together

It seems like Cool and I are always ending up on opposite schedules.  In Spokompton, I worked days, weekends, went to school, and pretty much studied the rest of the time.  While she worked swing shift.  We barely saw each other.  Then, when we got here, we suddenly had the same job, in the same department, and we worked the exact same hours.  We had the same sleep schedule, got to hang out together all day, then worked in the same room.  I loved those few months!  We could do all the errands together instead of 1 person having to suffer through it alone.  We could both clean the apartment at the same time, so it was faster and equal responsibility.  Our runs could happen together.  We had time to talk and hang out. . .  Then at work, it’s independent, but we could take our breaks together.  But then, Cool got an job offer doing billing in a cubicle upstairs which is more tailored to her personality, so in July or August, she went to the day shift and a different part of the building.  But being together was sure nice while it lasted.

1-DMB/Hot air balloons

Reno Balloon Races 065

We visited Nevada and had a great time with my parents!  My mom and I went in some historic railroad cars and got lost in Tahoe.  We were both very scared (we’ve seen the helicopters searching for unprepared stupids on TV many times) and despite that, we never fought!  Which is unheard of for us.  Especially when there’s no buffer person with us.  And very especially when we’re stressed.  So that was a milestone.  We also, on that trip, got to see Dave Matthews Band in Tahoe.  Which our seats were in the perfect spot, and it was fun to have my mom along–since she hadn’t been to a real concert in forever.  And DMB is always one of the best times.  But, the very, very best time was the balloons.  My mom and I had gone in 1994.  And it was miserable.  3 AM is too early, especially when you’re 9 yaesr old.  Even though it’s September, Nevada is COLD at that time in the morning, and we hadn’t dressed for it.  Also, back then, they didn’t sell blankets or sweatshirts, or warm beverages.  We got starving, and they didn’t sell food back then either.  My mom and I didn’t have a blanket to sit on, let alone chairs.  So the whole time we were tired, cold, hungry, cold, uncomfortable, cold, dusty, and cold.  It’s difficult to enjoy even the best things when you’re so physically uncomfortable–and I did not.  So ever since then I wanted a do-over.  I’d be prepared THIS time!  But September and college in no way work together.  Every time the Great Reno Balloon Race came around I was just starting school.  Or in Missouri, and getting ready for the first round of exams.  Or working at vet hospitals and unable to take a busy weekend off.  This year, I was only working a training schedule–and they had screwed me over on that PRN deal, so I didn’t feel guilty at all taking a week off.  I wasn’t in any kind of school for the first time in TEN years.  We could stay with my parents so it didn’t cost a bunch of money to visit.  I packed winter layers knowing I would be cold.  We made our own snacks and took hot coffee in thermoses.  We didn’t have chairs or remember a blanket, but everything else fell into place.  I was ready to enjoy myself this time!  We got a good parking spot and walked to the event, then stood/sat in one of the only empty areas.  We got to see the dueling balloons in the dark, and dawn patrol as the sun was rising.  I got great pictures.  Then, the BEST part was mass ascention.  We had unknowingly sat right down in the middle of the field, so all the balloons were blown up all the way around us.  We were right in the middle of the action!  And I got more good pictures.  It was even greater because my parents and Cool were there and everyone was in good spirits having a good time.  I had anticipated the event so much, and had previously been so disappointed, that this was AMAZING!  Now, I can’t wait to do it again.

our DMB posters

 

Overall, 2015 was a time of doubt and uncertainty.  But it was a very family-focused year and that salvaged things a lot.

 

Moments of 2015-Bad

31 Dec

I see today (New Years Eve) as a day for reflection.  And I can’t say I’m sorry 2015 is over.  It wasn’t terrible, I’ve had much worse years.  But it wasn’t what I wanted either.  I like to know where I’m going, and in 2015 I never did.  I didn’t know if I would continue with school, and I didn’t know where my career would take me.  In the past, I’ve been severely disappointed when career objectives didn’t pan out, but this time I felt a calmness and grace about the situation.  Still, there is a dissatisfaction.  And now I’m left to really contemplate what I want in life.  But that’s a story for tomorrow, New Years Day, a day for goals and new beginnings.  Today I’ll post a few blogs about worst moments in 2015.  Which isn’t just picking the scabs of wounds, it’s thinking and it’s learning.  Seeing the worst times allows me to rearrange the circumstances to make next year better.

And again, I’m posting for the sake of time and forgoing a lot of re-writes.  I’ll edit later (maybe).

12TH WORST TIME OF 2015:  -Bob, at my new job, introducing himself as the janitor.  Trying to be funny, but offending me.  Insinuating of course he was much better than a crummy janitor.  He’s some client services administrator–big deal.  When he didn’t know that janitorial had been my very last job, and my father had been a custodian for 20 or 30 years.  What a D-bag.

11.  -Human drama at the YMCA.  Deb being all weird toward me because ???  and holding a grudge.  The churchy gal acting like a bitch and treating me like a lowly janitor.  Just coldness and unnecessary drama from people with nothing to keep their minds busy.  It was stupid, but even though I wasn’t invested in the drama, I noticed it, and had to DEAL with it.  Lame.

10.  -Rusty’s doors remaining half open in the winter.  Primarily because it rendered my remote start useless.  And obviously I NEED that.  I hate being cold.  So much so, that I had bought my own remote start and fought for them to put it in my manual–which is a liability for them and usually against the rules.  And I had always loved starting the car from inside the warm building.  But now it set off the alarm, because the doors were open just enough. . .

9.  -The unwelcoming, frosty environment at MSCL for my first 7 months working there.  NOBODY acknowledged me, talked to me, or anything.  I felt awkward and alone.  Those duds and douche-bags were the WORST!  Here’s an example:  I walk in as a brand new employee–and nobody (even my boss)  says hello.  Or I sneeze–and nobody says bless you or anything.  It was as if I was invisible.  I guess it’s because they have high turn-over, and they were change-averse.  And because it’s a lab, so people don’t have great any social skills.  But it still made me feel like it was ME.  And that brought back horrible memories of veterinary social problems that plagued my work life previously.  I had wanted new beginnings and to turn a corner in a new field–and this was not the start I’d hoped for.

8.  -Not getting into the UU AuD program, despite getting the 4.0, having extracurriculars, and working very hard on my application.  Was it the gay-themed activities I put on my application?  Bad interview answers?  Being from out-of-state?  I really don’t have any idea, and I feel like I should be in there.  Easily.  But this is toward the bottom of my disappointments (and the top of this list) because I’ve grown as a person, through my veterinary sagas.  I had to future plan, which wasn’t cool.  I still don’t know what I will do career-wise, which is scary and reeks of failure.  But I didn’t totally fall apart this time.  I took it in stride.  I do wonder how in the heck I didn’t get in that class, because I feel like I really deserved it and would have done an excellent job.  But I’m putting it on to them, not beating myself up over it.  And I’m not sure it’s what I want anyway.  I’m very disillusioned by the costs of school.  And I haven’t gotten ANY return on my undergrad investment.  And the forums scared me off of audiology a little, because they said Hearing Instrument Specialists can do almost exactly the same job, with NO school.  And they probably get paid equal or MORE than actual audiologists.  Also people talked about it being kind of a dead-end career, that’s highly redundant.  And I didn’t know if paying for 4 more years would even be worth it in the end.  But I’m still undecided, and haven’t closed the audiology door all the way.  Perhaps being 14th for a class of 12 was actually a favor to me. . .

7.  -When my parents insisted I call Dad’s chiropractor’s son about getting IN at Costco audiology–NOW, at the same time I frantically trying to complete a heavy-duty YWCA-UT job application and get ready for work at my current job.  They get overwrought and crazy and over-emotional, then there’s nothing for me to say or do to stop that crazy-train.  Unless I do what they say, when they say it, things fall apart quickly.  The whole thing just reminded me of every other time my parents tried to control me.  And how they were probably disappointed in me.  And that’s how the big horribleness of 2007 Cabin-Mansion had really kicked off the first time, so I was scared there would be a big blow up and subsequent melt-down of the relationship we had worked so hard to forge.

6.  -The meeting where work reneged on the full-time schedule, hours, and pay we had negotiated 3 days prior.  I had finagled the best schedule for my weekends, sleep, and time with Cool.  Everyone at work had left the meeting satisfied and happy.   They got coverage on a Sunday, which had been difficult to secure, I got Fridays and Saturdays off and a late-start Wednesday.  It was absolutely perfect and I commended myself for taking a chance and asking.  But 2 days later, they called me back in and told me I’d have to take the legit schedule I had applied for.  Because a girl (previously a bitch to me) who had more seniority, and was better at the job wanted to work Sunday.  And trying to please everyone, instead of defending me and the schedule they had promised me, they gave it to her.  So I felt betrayed (again) and like I had a much worse schedule.  But I also felt trapped.  What else would I do?  I needed this job, or it was back to veterinary assisting.  So I had to just accept it and deal with–while being really angry, frustrated, and un-trusting toward management–and that bitch.

5.  -When Cool picked a fight just 2 days after my good knows of getting a full-time job.  Cutting short my celebration.  Depression strikes this time.  Out of nowhere, Cool knocks the figurative wind out of me by acting like a major jerk.  It was awful, because I had just talked to my proud parents and had been super-ecstatic about my new job, and Cool knocked me down to a miserable level.  I was really sad about it, because I’m ALWAYS supporting Cool and she just didn’t have it in her to even pretend to return the favor–her depressive episode made it all about her.  Again.  I wished she could be supportive and celebrate with me, but instead her bipolar and selfishness ruined it all.  The memory of my new job is still tarnished.

4.  -Getting stuck with all the moving logistics, work, and most of the payments, because Cool went manic and in so doing abandoned me in a time of stress and need.  Which was the WORST because moving sucks anyway.  And there is so much to do and plan, and so much heavy physical work.  It wasn’t fair and I felt alone and unsupported.  Mental illness is the WORST sometimes.  It’s hard not to blame Cool, and that’s not really what I signed up for.  Cleaning the Spokompton apartment by myself was awful.  It was messy and there was so, so, so much left to do.  And it wasn’t fun, and I felt resentful that Cool had already started her job and couldn’t come do her share of the work.  Especially when I was cleaning things SHE had messed up.  Driving Rusty, alone, and wanting to come home and relax very badly, after such a tiring trip and no sleep.  Then walking into a messy house full of manic shenanigans, with a Craigslist ill-fitting futon we hadn’t talked about.  And dealing with having to clean and reconfigure everything, while dealing with a belligerent, unreasonable, manic person.  It was BAD.

3.  -Finding out I was just PRN (after they promised me something different in my interview).  I had interviewed over the phone for the job.  They said I was technically applying for a PRN job, but soon, they were posting a job with more regular hours.  That job was the same duties, but it was a year of guaranteed hours.  This PRN job, which had been posted was 25 hours a week for training, but then was substitute only.  Not stable, and not really what I wanted.  So they hired me during my phone interview, but told me they would call me when (slow) HR got around to posting the year-long job.  Then, I was to apply for that to make the paperwork legit, and that job would be mine.  I waited for the call to tell me that year-job had been posted and to complete that application.  And waited.  When I finally got the phone call from MSCL, they were wanting me to pick a start date for the as-needed job.  And pretended not to remember promising me the more stable-year long job.  I had written it down!  And the way my supervisor acted was callous–and I knew she remembered, but had just reneged.  But I had to take the lessor job, because what else was I going to do?  I needed an income after moving to a new state.  And sure enough on my first day of work, I found out they had hired a coworkers daughter for MY year-long job.  Nepotism had been at play, and as usual I got screwed at work.

2.  -The fear-phobia really, of being offered a job at a veterinary specialty hospital.  I had a sense of dread and sick feeling.  I should have never applied to veterinary hospitals, because my resume is just BUILT for them.  But I was feeling a little insecure and desperate about my guarenteed training 25 hours per week becoming true, as-needed.  I HAVE to work a minimum of 25 hours just to meet my bills, and that was soon to end.  And it’s my policy to ALWAYS interview for the practice if one is offered.  And while I know my veterinary experience is a major advantage in that field, I didn’t anticipate them loving me quite so much and being offered a full-time position on the spot.  The trouble was, it did seem like the best case scenario veterinary medicine could offer.  It was ONLY speciality referrals.  It was the BEST veterinarians in the state.  The hospital hirarchy was set up so there was a legitimate office manager and head vet tech to answer to–not the impulses of vets.  There was a true support system and everyone was on the same learning curve and truely didn’t leave you alone to fail.  And they seemed nice.  And said they didn’t yell–and I believed them.  And the technology was AWESOME.  They really had it all, not just the Idexx lab and digital x-ray.  Like ALL the toys, including MRI, and anything else spectacular.  But I had just such bad memories.  And I knew the schedules and the overwork, and the under-pay.  All the pit-falls, that really, I could no longer live with.  And it’s not what I want in life.  And the delimma was feeling like I HAD to take it, because I really had nothing else to fall back on, but feeling STRESS at the prospect of taking it.  In the end, I made the very, very difficult decision on not going backwards.  It was really hard (and brave) leaving veterinary assisting jobs in the first place, and I had done it for good reasons.  I had to keep up that bravery even when times got tough.  So I declined, but left the door open.  And they liked me so well, that they said to call any time I wanted a job.

  1.  VERY WORST 2015 MOMENT:  Thinking Goose might have thrown a clot to the leg, and worrying about his impending death, and worse, knowing there wasn’t a lot I could do to prevent it.  He randomly fell off the couch twice, and didn’t have use of his back leg.  It was too short to be a seizure (maybe) but didn’t have the pain of a thrombosis.  But my reference point was when the screaming cats had been brought to the vet.  Maybe there were precursor incidents at home that hadn’t been painful, and had gone ignored by owners–I didn’t know.  So of course, I thought the worst.  And I remembered the vets at Cats Meow preparing owners if there were any heart abnormalities.  Telling them to just make the decision to euthanize now, before emotions were involved, because once the clot was thrown, prognosis was grave.  And I remember the cats coming in-just screaming in horrible pain.  And owners saying it happened out of nowhere.  One day, the cat was fine, the next down in back and just SCREAMING.  It was awful to imagine that for my Goose.  And it’s still in the back of my mind, because he is a Maine Coon and they are notorious for heart issues.  But I’m hoping he was just being a clumsy dink, since it’s only happened twice, and the episodes were brief.

When It Rains, It Pours: April [house–sHit]

11 Jun

When I was cleaning the OLD apartment, I was dreaming so much of the relaxation of house-sitting for waelthy people.  This was going to be just the vacation I needed after a crazy month of stress and packing and stress and driving and stress and unpacking and stress and planning logistics and.  Stress.

last house-sitting 094This was going to be the restful break, complete with amenities that would rejuvenate me before I had to drive (again) Rusty to Utah.  Ten+ more hours, but by myself.  In a third-hand car with unknown history and not enough maintenance.

Sidenote–I knew I should get Rusty’s oil changed and a tune-up before a big trip.  BUT every single time I took a trip in my Jetta, and went to a mechanic prior to that trip they would deliver some awful news of some sort.  Something was terribly wrong, it costs a lot of money, it would push back my leaving date, and if I did pay an extraordinary amount of money (NOW!) my car would probably die on the way Jetta 1there, leaving me stranded.  Every trip this happened.  And every trip’s dates would be set in stone and strapping me for cash.  So I would never be able to have time or money to fix whatever problem it was.  But I would worry the entire time.  Trips in my Jetta were always full of terror because I was always certain I was just about to break down–without a cell phone.  Or any sort of recourse.  And the problem was especially compounded when I traveled by myself (most of the trips) or worse–with pets.

The point is–NOT knowing was better then panicking the entire time, so I did not take Rusty to see anyone.  This was a gamble.  BUT this time I did have Triple A–just in case.  So I was a little worried.

But the house-sitting was going to be a lovely, easy time.

house-sitting 011

Except I forgot that the animals don’t allow sleep.  Dr. Fletcher makes anyone in the guest room (A.K.A. Dr. SLC-all moved in 004Fletcher’s room) miserable by doing power-muffins, licking, frolicking, opening then slamming the door, scratching with (previously done by another owner) declawed paws on anything, etc. . .  There is no night-sleeping.  The other 2 cats begin to meow and fuss and make a ruckus about 5AM when they usually get their breakfast.  This with the stirring dogs and thought of starving horses mandates crack-of-dawn mornings.  There is no napping, because the dogs run amok during the day, the phone rings all day, the answering machine is long and loud, and packages are frequently delivered.  There is too much going on during the day to sleep.  In the evening the dogs are hyper and need fetching until their legs fall off, and the bulk of the chores must be completed.

In short–I was even MORE tired during and after house-sitting then when I started.  I don’t think I ever slept more then 3-4 consecutive hours.

And then I had to drive from Washington to Utah.  Alone.  And for a second time in 2.5 weeks. . .

A Month Wasted

19 Jan

I finished my last final December 17th. Which meant technically that I was free. And I had have big, big plans to really be productive for this semester off.

-I want to clean/organize/pack everything, donate things, or preferably sell them for a profit.
-go through my school stuff, organize, and consolidate it.
-prepare for an interview by reading news, journals in my field, reviewing lecture materials, and planning what I want to say and how to downplay things I don’t.
-I want to observe an AuD.
-And of course do those pesky little things that always get moved to the bottom of the to-do list, like cook meals, play with my cats, and keep in touch with people better.

And obviously do my taxes, complete the FAFSA, pack, move, secure school funding, and read and outline my 1st semester textbooks before school begins.

bee 3

Unfortunately, I can’t say I’ve maximized this time out of school so far. I went right to house-sitting after classes got out, into Christmas, into New Years, and now I’ve been working extra to afford my interview trip. Also, because of work and tiredness, and I guess just general disorganization from the work/tiredness things have not been happening like I want. BUT it’s not too late to change things! I just need a plan and I need to break things into small, manageable steps.

First, I’m going to log what I’m currently doing with my time to see where I’m losing it. The days just seem to fly past without my knowledge and without much productivity.

Finding energy will be a big step in DOING things. So even if I have to caffeinate, I think it’ll be worth it.

Then, I need to do small tasks toward the big tasks.

turtle family

Also, I need to be happy about what I HAVE done:

-cleaned the pet-closet, reorganized my bookmarks, cleaned the coat closet, wrote Christmas thank you cards, followed through with weekly grocery shopping, organized under the bathroom sink, read my “Get into Grad School” book, started reading “The Alchemist” during my breaks at work, consolidated 6 school binders into 3 (I really need 3″-4″ binders), got through my 2014 albums to write the blog, got my scrapbook up to date, and bought my bus/hotel stuff for the potential interview.  So that’s something–but not enough considering I’m out of school and work part-time.

A Look Ahead–2015 Goals, Not Resolutions

1 Jan

Last year, having a monthly post with my goals already written out was really helpful.  I liked doing a monthly accountability check–even if it was boring for you to read.

This year, I think I’m going to have less goals, but no less important.

Gorge N1 2014

2014 Maintenance Goals–keep these going!

The key is to be specific, but not box myself in a corner.  And to be mentally prepared to do it, have a plan, and establish a routine.

A]  run at least 1 mile 1st thing in the morning every day.

B]  For school I would like to read and outline all my textbooks before school begins in the fall.  Additionally, I think it’s worth mentioning (to myself) that I want to keep up on making my flash cards and study sheets as close after class as possible–for every class.  All semester.

C]  I want to be better about collecting my positive moments in a jar (minimum of 2/mo), as well as listing (in my head) what I’m thankful for daily.  As part of this, I want to appreciate nature, love, and things I already have.  Worrying can only take up a maximum of 15 minutes/day.  EVERY day.  Also, I need to remember to do my very best, but not stress out and look for perfection.  It’s a fine line.

D]  Dental health.  Floss daily, brush twice daily for an adequate time, and find a way to make the dentist happen at least once in the next year.

2015 Aspirations (in no particular order):

#1:  Get the money.  Make it, keep it.money

a)  I would like to do the 365 day money challenge where you save a dollar +1 every week of the year.

b)  Sell a minimum of 1 item on Craigslist per month and have one yard sale.

c)  Apply for every funding opportunity at UU, and go for scholarships once I’m eligible for them.

#2:  All about the AuD.Audiogram-Familiar-Sounds

a)  read the journals, e-mails, forums–and the national news (minimum of average of 1/wk)

b)  practice and prepare for the interview (at least 1 question/wk)

c)  really follow-up on observing an AuD.  I need at least 3 hours for admission to UU, and of course it’s important that I get more.  It would also be ideal to get it in a variety of settings, but I’ll start with the minimum of 3 hours and scale the goal up from there if I can accomplish it.

#3:  Cool.Spring Finals 001

This is highly dependant on Cool’s bipolar, anxiety, and medications.  I want to be more affectionate, dare I say, sweet and less judgemental.  I will look at this as a continuum though since this is very dynamic area.  I’ll try to be one level more than the responsible that I always am then Cool’s current mood state.   I define this as:  tolerant = overlook silliness, don’t engage or poke the bear.  Affectionate = say random I love yous, introduce touching (nuff said, and you get the idea).  Sweet = make a spontaneous grand gesture, do something for her, that I maybe don’t normally like or do.  So if she’s having a terrible month, being a real jerk, irritable, mean, and lazy–I’ll try to be both responsible AND tolerant.  If we’re having an awesome month without problem, I’ll try to not only be affectionate, but go the extra mile to sweet.  So I’ll rate Cool’s behavior on a level of 1 (awful) to 3 (beautiful) and try to be tolerant, affectionate, sweet in accordance with that.  This way the goal is more in my control and works with whatever is happening to Cool.  Mental illness complicates things, but I want to rise above it.

#4:  Make a menu, do a grocery list, grocery shop, and cook. I think if I start out simple in order to establish a routine, this will go better.Easter 022

a)  I thought of the 7 easiest meals I know how to cook:   quesadillas–>tacos, spaghetti–>fancy pasta, mac & chee–>add-ins, PB&J–>grilled chee, oatmeal–>add-ins, eggs–>scramble, pigs in a blanket–>snake bites.  We can start with the easiest version, then move to the more complex as we get into the groove.  If we really find success, we can branch out with new dishes.

b)  I’d like to start with 5 days of cooking per week (with opening a can of chilli, stew, hash, soup, or bag of salad for a cheat day) and hopefully grow it to all 7.  So that takes care of the menu and helps the cooking.

c)  We can grocery shop once weekly, let’s say optimally Sunday morning, but if that’s not possible Sun-Tues (to save time).  I WANT this one, it’s just hard to make it a habit.

#5:  Prepare, but don’t stress out.Laurel's pics 026

I want to do everything in my power to set myself up for the move, for school, and excelling throughout the school year.  I want to work continuously on this one, doing at least 1 thing every week towards the future.  I’ll start with a big 3:

a)  Starting all these goals

b)  Completing my taxes and FAFSA just as soon as I receive my paperwork.

c)  Finally cleaning, organizing, and packing (pick one new area every non-work day).

d)  Then set a monthly deadline for at least one additional task.

To help me accomplish these 5 new goals and maintain the 4 older ones, I’ll do a monthly accountability post like last year and make a poster I can see daily.

Nov Goal Accountability

30 Nov

Short and Sweet, because as you’ve noticed by the lack of posting,  I’m short on time.

coffee owl

Maintenance Goals (from 2013):

-floss daily. D

skipped several days because I got home late and was tired.

-drink water.  B-

I fell short on my 12 cups on 2-3 days, and have been getting them in pretty late most other days.  But I’m usually getting them in.

-read for pleasure.  F-

Not a thing.

-weekly massage.  F-

Not a thing

-abstain from drinking. A++

Not a thing, and no desire to.

-study habits.  B+

That’s mostly what I’m doing.  But I did rebel during Thanksgiving BREAK by procrastinating on both of my assigned projects.

January=fitness.  A+

Still running a mile a day.  And now running it uphill to get ready for the Snow Stomp–snowshoe race uphill.

Feb=have gratitude; say nice things.  C

Neither bad, nor good.

March=straighten out sleep.  F

This night schedule is killing me, and now I’m just waiting for the semester to be over so I can break even on sleep.  I HATE being a night person!

April=save $$$.  F

It’s gearing up for Christmas time.  But I am house-sitting over Christmas and I’ll be taking on more work hours.  So–postponed.

May=volunteer.  F-

Not even close to a thing.  No time.

June=Cool.  A-

The new meds are awesome!  We are getting along famously again.

July=my appearance.  D

I up-graded because I wore a cute outfit today.  Makeup, hair, and jewelry are not happening at all.

Aug=Worry Less, Thank more.  D

My car had many problems, school finances are weighing on my mind, and end of the semester craziness is bringing me down.

Sept=make a list, grocery shop, cook ahead.  F-

I am reaching into a bow of wheat thins.  This will have to wait until the semester is finished.

Oct=don’t over-pluck.  A

No worries, no time.  Probably the opposite.

Nov=Increase eye contact.  F

I have a real problem.

My Beloved PJs

7 Oct

We call it “getting in the dress code” at home.  It means removing uncomfortable clothes, anything heavy, jeans/spandex, taking off bras and shoes–just getting cozy.  And it is maybe my favorite thing in the whole world.  Being in the dress code recharges my battery.  Without time at home to veg out, I feel tired and stressed.  Going out can be fun, but it’s also taxing.  I like a good trip, an outing, a festivity, but it’s an absolute must that rest time be built around that–or I’m a mess.

post surgery

As such, I hate days where I’m scheduled to be in multiple places, have to run from obligation to obligation, or those that keep me away from home for too long.  It wears me out.  And those kinds of days require planning.  You have to carry the right clothes and supplies with you, fix portable snacks, plan water so you’ll be near a bathroom when you need it.  It’s a real pain.

Today was like that.  I agreed to tutor again, had a test in class, then had to rush to meet a work friend for a bike ride.  Those events alone would have been enough, but strung together, I was really bummed out.  I wore my workout clothes, though I felt a little self-conscious at school.  I ate a big breakfast and remembered to bring along my thermos of water.  I packed my bike, my coat, my school things, wallet, sports arm wallet, etc, etc. . .  It was busy.

The tutoring went a little better–I took more control of the situation.  I moved us to the place I liked, asked my tutee the way they studied, took tests, etc, taking the focus off myself, and having to prove my worth as a tutor.  Instead of sharing answers or potential test questions, as my subject kept pressing for, I doled out study advice and test-taking tips.  My tutee–a brazen thing–tried to get me to give my old class notes over and “lend”  all my flashcards.  In my head, I was like “No FUCKING way are my materials leaving my site you lazy little shit!”  But aloud I suggested it would be studious in itself to formulate your own materials.  And recommended getting notes from an actual classmate–so they will be exactly the same.  I think since I took the reigns and didn’t let my subject run over the top of me again, things went a little better, and were more helpful.

Fall finals 123

My tutoring session was cut in half b/c my person scheduled another meeting in the middle and had to leave.  So I was at school with an hour and a half to kill.  I hate that!  Instead of wasting gas and going home, I just took my flashcards and walked the trail studying them.  It was a beautiful day and hot so that wasn’t the worst.  Except I got sweaty before my test.

*pet-peeve:  I can’t stand when I take the time to answer a personal question, sometimes even in writing–and the person I’m communicating with not only doesn’t remember what I said, doesn’t even remember that they should know the answer when they ask all over again.  It’s all I can do not to say–shoulda paid attention the first time.  Annoying.

I took my test, and had some uncertainties–like usual.  We grade them right after taking them, and while we were doing so I became STARVING!  I broke my string of 100% (3 in a row) by missing 3 vowels.  One was dialectual–“bag” sounds like it has a long a to me, but 2 I probably should have known.  I think the hunger and tiredness was at fault.  My concentration and mental abilities were not in top form that late in the day, and after much running around.  Damn.

After class, I of course was motivated to rush to the Y (one of 3 in town) to meet my friend b/c of my lateness phobia.  I knew I wouldn’t be able to bike or have fun if I didn’t eat though.  So despite having only 15 min to get all the way across town to North Y, I stopped at the crowded grocery store for a box of wheat thins.  Protein would have been better, but I had to grab something (quickly) that I could eat while I drove.  And I know right where those are and like them.  Plus, I was in a hurry.  I got there 8 min late–traffic was crap.  And I didn’t see him.  Maybe I was the early one because of traffic?  So I texted the number from the work phone tree 2-3 times, but heard nothing back.  Maybe he was driving and couldn’t text?  I struggled to unload my bike and jumped on it.  The tires felt drastically low–I guess I should have checked that before packing my bike.  Luckily, the bike came with a portable air pump when I bought it at the bike-swap so I went to work on them.  They still felt low, but maybe were better(?) when I jumped back on.  I guessed I could manage a short ride at least.  Except my friend still wasn’t there.  I have no watch and Rusty doesn’t have a clock, so I’m dependant on my FitBit.  Which happened to be on my foot to count my pedals, so it wasn’t that easy to fuss over time.  I just hung out–where usually I’d agonize over every minute ticking by.

Maybe I had an old or wrong phone number and he was somewhere in the parking lot waiting for me?  I rode my bike around looking for his truck.  I still didn’t see him.  Traffic had been pretty ugly and he lives near me, so he also had to go a long way in it, he was probably just caught up.  I looked at the surrounding trail, and figured I’d bike a little ways out, and just come back when he called or after awhile to check.  The trail was dirt and rocky and rugged.  I didn’t want an actual flat, and it felt very perilous like I could fall off at any time due to the slick sand, rocks, grooves, and sudden curves.  This was not the kind of ride I’d had in mind!  I walked my bike back up to the parking lot.

If I wasn’t going to ride while I waited I figured I had might as well study.  As I was sitting in my (hot) car, looking over my notes–it occurred to me maybe we were supposed to meet at the Valley Y, not North that I was at.  I wasn’t certain, but something in the very recesses tugged at my mind.  Did I go to the wrong location?  I doubted myself enough to decide I should go home now (at 5:17PM), because my friend was waiting for me at the other Y, wondering why I had stood him up.  Though I’m not positive that’s what happened.

So I never got to meet my friend and ride, nor could I contact him to find out the misunderstanding.  I drove all the way, and wasted all that time for nothing.  I might have had low blood sugar.  I guess just because I don’t have all the signs, doesn’t mean my mind is super-clear.  And now that I’m home I feel really tired and very fatigued, though I have a ton of things to study, and papers to write.

But at least I’m at home in my jammies 🙂

ugh.