Tuesday, July 27, 2010


At work last week I took a little class offered through the on-site "university". I'm going to take a minute and say that it is wonderful to work for a company that focuses as much time and energy into educational outreach as this employer does. They have a full training schedule, and employees are required to earn x amount of credits every quarter. They also have a leadership training program for those employees that get promoted from within and maybe haven't had any management experience. Or even if they have some management experience, they still give you leadership training. At my last job it was like getting the promotion was a vote of confidence that you could do the work necessary, so obviously training isn't necessary. HAVE AT IT, AND GOOD LUCK. Sink or swim, and if you sink it's no one's fault but your own.

So, getting back to my story, the class I went to was "Finding the UP in Upheaval". A lot of these trainings have a video, but so far none of the videos have made me want to just lay my head down and sleep. That may partially be because the trainer brings COLORING PAGES AND COLORING PENCILS for everyone. She encourages anyone that feels comfortable coloring to do so, and anyone who isn't comfortable to not feel like they have to. I'm totally one of the people that likes to color, mostly because I find it difficult to focus on a video or a group discussion sometimes when I'm giving it my full attention. I am really one of those people that learns more when I'm listening while doing something else.

We did a little exercise before the video to rate how comfortable we are with change. And while I'm looking at these questions I am thinking back to the end of March and pondering how I could have embraced that change more or better.

I didn't do anything when I lost my job that I wasn't proud of, even writing a blog on here about a former coworker didn't make me stop and say "does this feel wrong? should I be doing this?". I think the part I regret the most is trying to play nice and not bring up all the crap leading up to this and not paint my boss to be the coworker's best friend. Because that's what was going on, in all reality, but it felt like mud slinging to say that someone else got away with more, or get LESS of a slap on the wrist than I did for blatantly not doing their job, when I had been doing the work for mine but not with the attitude one would expect.

This morning I'm feeling the least amount of bitterness towards that boss than I have in a long time. I've thought terrible things about her, hoped that something really professionally devastating would happen to her, and now it's finally, FINALLY starting to dissipate. I'm truly starting to see the UP in that upheaval. It really sunk in last night while I was puffing away on the elliptical with my former-coworker/work out buddy. We were talking about that old job, and I told her I did the math finally that day on how much my income is now compared to when I worked there. Then I also mentioned that there is a direct correlation between your income and the amount of bullshit, pure unadultered bullshit, that you are expected to put up with. Not just your work, but all your employees drama and personal problems, and crap calls, and taking work home, and when you are around a group of employees just bitching and complaining about all the people that you can't stand.

For now, at this new job, I don't have any of that. It may come with time, but I'm not there to make friends. I'm there to kick some ass, set an example to my coworkers, and hopefully work my way up that ladder there too. The boss there has earned buckets of my respect for being on top of things, communicating things clearly, and setting expectations for me that I know are attainable. I feel like she has faith in my abilities, and she wants to see me succeed.

This weekend we spent the weekend relaxing at home, broke but happy. We did family pictures, went to Lake Elmo and went swimming, and watched Pee Wee's Big Adventure. The next couple weekends will be spent camping, maybe a trip to Colstrip for Thad and the kids so I can just have a weekend all to myself, spend it reading books and doing stuff I want to do. That sounds just heavenly.

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Off the wagon 2.0

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Right before I got fired I was seeing a trainer at Oz Fitness. I had paid up front for sessions when I got fired so I continued on with it because I'd bought them in the hope of "creating a good habit". And I did create the good habit, it just became more and more difficult to justify that habit when no income + cost of gas = taking kids for walks to the park to do the economical thing.

So the habit I'd established got put to the wayside. Starting the new job, working 8-5 for 5 weeks, and just trying to mentally psych myself up to go to the gym again have led me to running. Running is my precursor to going back to the gym. Going for a run is helping me re-establish my cardio endurance so I don't pant like a dog in summertime on the treadmill or elliptical when I make it back.

Speaking of the new job, I'm LOVING it. I already feel like there is so much more this company is willing to do to create successful employees than my previous employer ever did. And I'm feeling like I'm "getting" it. I'm learning a little bit about health care reform because my company will definitely be affected by all the upcoming changes. I'm also really interested in learning more about the other departments, and continuing to increase my medical knowledge. When you work in the medical industry, no matter how indirectly, you can't float around on an "ignorance is bliss" cloud and get away with it.

We've spent the summer traveling to Colstrip a couple weekends, and then just vegging out and doing house stuff/yard stuff when we aren't going someplace. We've managed to take the kids camping in the pop up camper we got last year for Memorial Day weekend, and I think we'll try for at least one more trip before summer's end.

Colter is going to be a YEAR OLD in a month and 3 days. I just can't believe it. He's such a little treasure to all of us, his big sister included. She opens her eyes and if she seems him first thing she grins and says, "What are you doing, little man", even if he's just looking at her with the same big grin on his face. They are great together, there really hasn't been fighting yet between them. She does things experimentally, like burping him really hard until he starts crying, and I think she's just curious what he is going to do and doesn't realize the crying is because she is hitting him. I know the day will come that I'll have to force them to *hold each other nicely'* when they've been excessively brutal to one another, but until then she has to apologize when she does something not nice.

Yesterday Elora and I went on a date to the Farmer's Market. Just us two, and it was so nice. We picked up some fresh herbs, and walked around. She didn't like the walking around part at all, didn't seem to enjoy the crowds, but I saw old friend after old friend and ended up just taking up residence under the Skypoint and visiting. I saw my old boss from Hastings, whom I hadn't seen in 7 years, and a friend from high school who I had also not seen in about 7 years. I saw my sister in law with my niece, and that's when Elora started having a good time. Elora LOVES her cousins. She has 4 of them, and she loves them all, but her bestest friend in the entire world is also her cousin, Sophia. Sophia is 6 and they look like they could be sisters.

Elora and Sophia will spend the whole day playing, usually any play that involves Sophia considering herself Tinkerbell and Elora coplaying along with the same premise. They are much less pouty about sharing when it's just me watching them, but Thad's parents were down this weekend and when Gammy and Poppa are here they are SOOOO whiny. It's ridiculous. "She won't share the wings", "She took the bear from me", crying when one steps on the others toe. Yesterday I managed to take both girls to the water park by Sophia's school, and that's when it dawned on me that I might be dubbed "unsympathetic" or "mean" because I tell them both to knock it off and quit whining or tattling whenever they do it when it's just me with them. But I will take that in exchange for reading undisturbed on the grass in the sun for an hour.

Today we're smoking a brisket to take to a friend's house, and doing some laundry, maybe a quick run to the store. I hate going to the store on the weekends, it feels like I'm doing weekday work on my day off. But sometimes you just have to.

But first, a run after I finish my coffee, some breakfast, and finishing Housesitter on my DVR. I love Goldie Hawn in that movie. Maybe I'll sip my last mini bottle of champagne while I fold laundry and watch my movie. I'd consider that my new trifecta.

*The holding each other thing is a reference to my mother forcing my sister and I to hold each other when we'd been excessively brutal to one another. We were also punished at times with standing in the corner with our arms above our head. Not for hours like torture, mind you, but it made standing in the corner that much shittier to have to do it with your arms above your head. Soooooo much shittier. Try it. Let me know what you think.