Monday, September 26, 2011
Tomorrow, I go back to work. Things are delayed for a day because the silly drug test last week was delayed by a day (the testing center's computer was down. Sheesh!).
No worries - it's kinda nice to have an extra day to myself, knowing that I am actually going to be making some money, and soon. See, that's the thing - I've had people say to me - isn't it great being out of work? You can do what you please!
Er, no, you can't. You should be watching your pennies. And there are few people to hang out with, anyway (and you should be networking with 'em, not hanging out and watching interminable reruns).
I feel it's a bit like that, in terms of having lost a boatload of weight already. Oh, you can relax! You've already lost over 100 pounds! The rest should be easy, right? You already look radically different!
Well, heh, yes, THAT particular mountain has already been climbed, true. But it does not mean that suddenly life is a festival of hangin' out and doin' nothin', or I'll be right back there. And, by the way, it also does not mean that exercise is easy. It is less painful, yes. I don't have the huge pain afterwards unless I've done a 5K or something comparably strenuous. These days, I pretty routinely walk for about 80 minutes, usually for around 3 1/4 - 3 1/2 miles. I don't need recovery time from such things anymore. But I've still gotta get out and do 'em.
So many of us have no problem (well, we probably grumble about it) getting up and going to work in pouring rain, or when we don't feel like it, etc. Now, we may take a mental health day here and there. But the bottom line is that we usually get up and get out there and do it.
Why is it so hard to do that with our health? Why does a drop of rain, or a little feeling that we don't feel like it, or the promise of almost any kind of alternate activity, derail the good intentions of so many of us?
When it's pouring rain, and we have to go to work, what do we do? Oh, we may want to stick our heads under the covers and return to Dreamland. But we suck it up, and we grab an umbrella and we go.
Grab an umbrella (or its equivalent) and solve the problem that's holding you back, and GO. YOU are just as important as the Holbrook account, as the Davis report, as the patient in Room 123, right? RIGHT?
You are your own most important project.
Monday, September 19, 2011
I had a rather mixed week recently.
Because of getting a job, people suddenly want to see me/us. This is nice, but I was out of work for over a year and a half. I suppose now I have optimistic things to talk about. Shrug. It's fine and I don't begrudge it. It's just that I do actually have to get my act in gear for the job. Some of that work takes longer than other aspects. But doing it does take time or, like today, it involves distance (I am going to Worcester today to wrap up most of my stuff with the 'bot boys).
First, my folks came up, so before that we were in a frenzy of cleaning. Cleaning, of course, needs/needed to be done, but it was a lot to do. Then they got here, and we were both reminded of, well, the changes that are occurring. Don't want to say anymore.
Then on the weekend we went to a friend's (she used to be my boss a good seven years ago) house for a gathering of the people we used to work with (we meaning me and my colleagues; my husband never worked there). That was great fun, with a LOT of laughing but we stayed a LONG time, and I ended up leaving with swollen tonsils that are not yet gone. Whether that was from talking (there was no alcohol at the party) or fatigue or allergies, I have no idea. I have the two hour each way drive to Worcester today, and that is not going to do my tonsils any favors.
I need to stay in bed, or at least close to home, and rest. Plus I need to cook stuff in preparation for not only next week (which is supposed to be when I start working) but for later as well. Oh and I will need to have the plumber come in, and deal with (and pay for) all of that.
Plus somewhere in there I am supposed to get a drug test for this job. No one has even contacted me to schedule it. So that is yet another unnecessary source of stress.
It feels precarious, this job, as if by "forgetting" (I will call them tomorrow if I don't hear anything by the end of business today) to schedule the drug test, they are telling me something about being hired, that it's a will o' the wisp.
I know that that is not true, of course, but it doesn't help matters one iota.
So I feel turned around, and twisted. Things are going to fall into place. I know this intellectually. But I am still feeling like something is nagging at me. I don't suppose anyone else has ever welcomed a drug screening as much as I will once the stupid thing is scheduled.
Monday, September 12, 2011
Well, I got a lovely 49th birthday present, one week late, on the 9th.
I got a job.
Now, it is pending a drug test (I will test positive for Claritin and Unithroid - oh no!) and a background check. Undoubtedly I'll be Googled. Hey, they'll find my weight loss pics on Facebook. Maybe some investigator type will join Spark.
Hey, the Spark's spread in mysterious ways ....
I'll probably start the last week in September although it might be the first week in October. I have no idea how long drug tests and whatnot take. In the meantime, among other things, I need to shop for workety-work-type clothes. I am definitely up a size, possibly two, since I was buying networking clothes. Yeah, yeah, I know, I know, you're not supposed to buy larger sized stuff. You're supposed to lose the weight.
I get that.
I also need decent clothes to wear to this serious corporate job where I will often see the President of the company, and I need them RIGHT NOW.
This is a company of some 20,000 people, a far cry from the four-person startup I am currently at. It is a long-term temp role until the end of calendar year 2012. It cannot be renewed, as the job (and a lot of others) is going to the Southern United States (no specifics, please). I will be looking for work again in a year.
But until then, money will be made, my retirement fund will go back to increasing instead of being in a steady state, and I will do everything in my power to reduce our mortgage debt even more by the end of '12. We are currently, we figure, a little under 4 years until the mortgage is completely paid off. If this employment stint can reduce that time by half or more, that will be terrific. We'll save most of the rest of my salary. I don't intend to live high on the hog although Mr. J and I will try to meet for lunch 2x/week. His office is about 20 minutes away, so it is very possible.
Oh yeah, what am I gonna be doing?
It's a data analysis job. Products are sold by this big honkin' financial services company. The company needs to know how they're trending, what works and what doesn't. Plus the company is transitioning over to a new reporting tool (which I would learn) and people will need help making new reports, and there will be QA work as the transition progresses. There will also be relationship building in order to assure that the maximum number of people are happily cooperating. The reports need to be streamlined, made uniform, documented and gotten organized.
All of this is right up my OCD Virgo mind's alley.
As for social media, I am not out of it, not by a long shot. After all, I will need to find a job in a year. But right now this is a rather comfortable landing during that interim as, hopefully, the economy improves so my reentry into the ranks of the unemployed is shorter and easier in '13. Perhaps that will be a lucky year, eh?
So - thank you all. You helped me change MY world.
Monday, September 05, 2011
A few things have happened recently. First off, I turned 49 on the 2nd (hence the song -- many thanks to Pseudobritchick for reminding me of it). One more year and I will hit a new running division. This is a much smaller division, at least in the 5Ks that I run. And so I have a chance to actually crack the top 3. Keep in mind I don't think I've seen more than 5 women in this division unless I run a really big race but hey, I could use the kudos.
Today I ran my 22nd 5K and did okay, finishing fourth from last and in about 44:10. Official results will probably be posted in a day or 2.
But -- let me tell you about the gal who finished last.
She was, I am guessing, about 225, 250 lbs. or so. Probably in her 30s.
She was also in a regular wheelchair.
The course is uneven and there are wooded portions. There are two bridges that you go over. There are sticks everywhere, evidence of Hurricane Irene.
And things that you or I would not see as hills -- they were hills to her. And, we talked to her afterwards, and she said that the paved portions all sloped over to the right. So even what didn't feel like even a slight hill was still an issue for her. She said she had to steer with her left hand while pushing with her right. It could not have been easy -- plus it was another overly warm and humid day. She was redfaced at the end of it (as was I).
She finished in about 1:06 and some miscellaneous number of seconds.
Results will be up soon, as I stated above. And then I will know her name.
She says she's going to do the Marathon in April. And I want to know who I'm cheering for. I sometimes go to the Marathon. I live pretty close to where Heartbreak Hill ends. I hope I see her.
Hell, when I grow up, I wanna BE her.
Go, CATHERINE, go!
Monday, August 29, 2011
So we did have rain, and a few gusts, and there was some cellar water, but that's all gone and it's a beautiful day. I don't mean to gloat -- I hope it doesn't sound like that -- but we emerged with no issues after Hurricane Irene. Down several streets, though, a tree fell over power lines, and we saw branches on another street that took out a cable line (Mr. J and I went out in it last night).
Otherwise, nuthin'. I am well aware that a number of people are dead and, even in Mass., 700,000 people are without power as of this morning. But we are fine.
And it does make one wonder about hype versus reality. I do not wish to get into a political discussion but some of this was definitely overhyped. Then again, I am certain that the government did not want another Katrina fiasco on its hands. And the original models were rather dire (we were originally told that we could get 6 - 10" of rain. I think we got 1 1/2" or so).
It's a balance. Panic too many people without reason, and they won't listen to you next time. Warn too few people and people die in their homes or engage in foolish risk-taking. Hell, half the time they do that anyway.
And, here in weight loss land, I suppose the balance is somewhat similar, and is as difficult.
Read too many dire warnings about your health and, if they don't come true, you can often find yourself continuing to tempt fate. That is certainly what happened to me for years. I was over 300, but my cholesterol and pressure were just dandy and the doctor's finger wagging felt meaningless. Hey, I'm fine! Pass the butter!
And then no warnings or few warnings, and people think you're uninformed. I had people tell me they were concerned, and give me magazine articles and the like. Well, duh. I know this stuff. Not. Helping.
I see this all the time on Spark, where people want to know how to help their kids, convince their spouse, etc. and I think a lot of them have forgotten what got them started in the first place, on the path to wellness.
I doubt it was a magazine article or an overly dire warning of an event that seemed remote.
I get the feeling it was something truly personal, and I bet a lot of it came from within.
For me, it was when my doctor just sat me down and said, "Look, I have no idea how you haven't become diabetic up until this point, but you are on that path. And it might not happen this year, but it will happen. You are continuing to increase the odds every year. And one day it's just going to happen."
And at that point, I realized that it wasn't just some idle, empty threat, that she really meant it and I was on a pretty destructive personal path.
But I had to come to it on my terms, in my own way.
So -- people ask -- how can I help others to see the light?
Well, I hate to break it to you, folks, but you probably can't, because diet evangelists are just as annoying to the non-dieting overweight as I am sure ex-smokers are to smokers. It ain't personal; it's just that they are not receptive to the message and you are gonna turn blue in the face and no one's going to be helped and all that will happen is that you will both become frustrated and resentful.
Instead, I think, be a good example. Be a resource if someone asks. Don't ram the lifestyle down their throats. Just live it. When I was working, I would eat rather spare lunches. Usually, if the company ordered something in for a lunch meeting, I might take a small salad without dressing, or just have my own soup with me. And I would sit and do that. I wasn't deprived and I wasn't isolated. But people saw.
Or I would go out walking at lunch. And people would notice.
Did they change? A little. Sometimes these things can seem glacial. But I know that when most of those people went out to lunch with me, they would often curtail what they were eating. Did I make them feel guilty? I didn't mean to. I was not trying to. I was just eating my lunch. That's it, nothing more. No lectures, no holier than thou nonsense. Just, "I'd like a salad, please, dressing on the side. And water's fine." If someone sees a lecture or a holier than thou attitude in there, I wish they'd point it out to me.
And people would come up to me and tell me -- because of you, I just started Weight Watchers. Or, you've inspired me. Or, where do you walk around here, it looks like fun. Can I go with you some time?
That's it, folks. No overhyping, but no ignoring of it, either. Is it perfect? Hell no. I'm sure that most if not all of my former coworkers are back to their old ways. I don't promise to change the world, by any means.
I think all that we can hope for is to change ourselves, and hope that that change seeps out and touches others.
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