Monday, July 02, 2012
This picture is actually from April. These were apology flowers from gal who, while walking past my house, decided to pick one of my irises (thereby harming the plant) and take it home with her. I had caught her, told her that the flower actually belongs to someone, etc. She came around a few hours later with flowers. Which was, all told, rather nice of her (and my husband and I accepted her apology). A lot of people would have just blown off the crazy woman and walked a different way for a few months, hoping that said crazy woman did not have a shotgun and/or a long memory.
I have the latter, not the former.
Anyway - I keep seeing this, over and over again, all over the place, and not just on Spark.
Sorry I can't hang out, I have to run. Sorry I'm not eating your dessert. Sorry I'm not drinking with you. Sorry I'm not just gonna watch TV. Sorry I'm not who you thought I was before. Sorry I'm not maintaining how big I am, and am striving to get better.
Egad, when did we become such an apologetic culture?
Sure, we are trying to be kind and polite and all of that. And we all have to live here in the world. And if apologizing makes it possible for us to get out and run, or pass on that piece of pie, or decline the alcohol or whatever, then perhaps we should do that.
It's whatever it takes, right?
Wellllll, .... kinda.
See, I think when you apologize that much, and you hide behind it and you make excuses and you sort of giggle without conviction and minimize it - "Oh, this old thing in a size 6?" or "Oh, I ran a 5K, but it's really not a big thing." or "Yes, I drink a lot of water but boy do I pay for it!" or "I cook most of my meals, but it's really because I'm watching my pennies or my husband likes it or I like to stay in (as opposed to: I'm doing this because it's healthier)" or "I strength train but, really, I'm no body builder" - EGAD - WHAT ARE YA DOIN' TO YOURSELF?
You are putting yourself down.
You are minimizing your efforts.
You are putting something else in front of what you need to do.
You aren't believing in it.
You aren't invested in it fully.
And it's easy to look at it and think, "This isn't normal living. Normal living is hanging around and watching TV and having beer instead of water when out and good Lord who runs 5Ks?" and "I can't wait to be done with all of this calorie counting, strength training, water drinking, cooking, exercising business so I can return to my couch and my Doritos!"
But this is a seductive lie.
It's just like the fake apology.
You have lied to others that you are sorry, or that it's not a big deal.
It *IS* a big deal.
It is the BIGGEST deal ever, for you.
Quit acting like it's nothing, like it's no biggie. Even if you've gotten used to it, don't forget how much effort was required to go beyond the initial inertia. How tough it was to roll that boulder up the hill for the first time.
I am not saying that you suddenly become rude to people. I am not suggesting that an occasional little white lie is out of the question, 24/7/365, when sometimes it just smooths the way and gets you where you need to go. I am not saying that you need to become arrogant and selfish.
What I am saying, instead is - people admire you for what you're doing. Say "Thank you." Not "Oh, it's no big deal."
Because it IS a big deal.
And when they say, "Do you want pie?" Your answer is, "No, thank you." It's not a litany of excuses. It is not apologies. It is three little words. No more!
And when they say, "Oh, you run 5Ks?" Your answer is, "Yes, do you want to join me?" or "Yes, they're fun." or "Yes, my next one is in two weeks." or "Once I've completely rehabbed my knee, I'll get back to them." It is not, "Oh, well, it's nothing compared to marathoners." It is less than what marathoners do; that much is true. But don't diminish it. Don't say it's nothing. It is NOT nothing.
And when they say, "Why aren't you drinking tonight?" Your answer is, "I'm the designated driver." or "Too many carbs. Maybe next time, when I've got space in my eating plan." or "I'm happy having water tonight." It isn't "Oh, that looks good. But I'm being a martyr and missing out." 'Cause yanno something? That beer tastes like the beer you had last week or last month or last year. They don't go around changing the formula or anything.
And there's a thousand other scenarios but the bottom line is - you are doing SOMETHING. And you are doing something BIG. Don't tamp it down and hide it in a small box and pretend it's tiny and insignificant.
And for God's sake, don't be sorry about it.
Monday, June 25, 2012
Last week was skeery hot. And while it is cooler here, the humidity does not seem to have let up much. The air is like oatmeal.
It's got fiber in it.
Anyway - aside from a phone screen and a lovely mammogram, my main activity of the week was going to the Red Sox game on the 20th. This was utterly unexpected - someone at Mr. j's office had tickets he was giving away. We sat on the left-field line.
And it was HOT.
Not just hot, but HOT.
Now, I love baseball, and I love the Red Sox and I love Fenway Park. Plus they shellacked Miami and we saw David Ortiz hit a grand slam.
This was all excellent.
Except that, at about 9:50 PM, I checked the temperature by opening up my phone.
And it was still 95 degrees.
Boo, hiss, we left early. Neither of us had ever done that before, but there really wasn't any point in watching them continue the shellacking (when we left, it was 13 - 4. The final score was 15 - 5) as we wilted.
But - despite the monster heat and all of that, there is a connection to this journey, you see. And the connection is the seats.
The seats at Fenway are narrow. Even in the newer sections, they are pretty damned small.
And you can always tell who's too big for Fenway. Those people, regardless of what's happening on the field, they are perched, seemingly expectantly, on the edge of their seats. But it's not home runs or pitchers' duels that keep them from only using 10% of the real estate they have paid for. Rather, they are only using that much because their hips do not fit.
Back in 2006, we went for the first time. And this was about three months before I said "Enough is enough!" and started losing weight. I was easily at my highest, so that's 346 pounds.
I was one of the perchers then.
I loved the game and loved the experience. Hated perching. Hated feeling that the park was not for me. Hated feeling like I was almost an imposter, there because somehow, despite my bulk, I had sneaked in.
But no longer.
I may fret these days about maintenance regain. And believe me, I do. But I no longer feel out of place there.
We'll return later in the summer, for my birthday.
Go Sox, and go YOU.
Monday, June 18, 2012
Well, for those of you who were keeping track of this stuff at home, I batted a thousand on all three jobs.
And ... they went as follows.
The one I really wanted, that one was through a recruiter. He pushed for an early decision, mainly as the Hiring Manager wanted someone in for the first of July. And that's just not gonna happen if the decision is much later than, well, today.
I was sent over, as was another woman. She had rather different experience from me; this was done deliberately as the recruiter really had no idea how the Hiring Manager was going to go.
Anyway, long story short, I was the superior candidate in every way.
And I wasn't hired.
'Cause I reiterated my answers too much.
Am I boring you? Is that it?
I don't recall repeating myself on more than one thing. Seriously. And this came from a Hiring Manager who told me the same story about not finding parking. Twice.
At some point, it becomes Absurdist Theatre.
Then I called the other two jobs. The job I wanted the least (high cachet place, but lousy pay) at least wrote to me, telling me that I didn't get it. Um, okay. Thanks for telling me.
After I removed every tooth in your head to get you to tell me.
The other place didn't even have THAT much courtesy.
They just never called or wrote back. Hence I wrote them off, on Friday the 15th.
And yanno something?
I felt better than I had in weeks.
It had been dragging me down. It had HURT. It had bewildered me.
Now I just see it as Absurdist Theatre. And that's somewhat freeing.
Now, I like to work. I truly do. This is one of the reasons why I am working like a dog on my father's website. I enjoy being productive. I am one of those people who has trouble just hanging out poolside, unless I am either reading or sleeping (sleeping is productive, people!). Doing absolutely nothing tends to not suit me.
Yet I am out of work more than, and more often than, pretty much everyone I know.
I am not dumb. I am not uneducated. I am not just sitting around waiting for jobs to come to me. I clean up well. I am not a fool in interviews (the reiteration thing, truly, is beyond the pale).
In the past, when I've had stalled job searches, I've gone to school. But no school exists for this. Or, at least, for less than a good 3 grand (no lie) in tuition, and there is no certification at the end of that rainbow. Cripes! I'd rather pay 2 months' worth of my mortgage. Silly me! I want a house to live in! How insane am I???
And so, gentle reader, this crap continues.
It's a bit like a stalled weight loss program. You try this, that and the other thing. You try things that seem to make no sense. You ask for advice. You don't ask for advice. You wonder what the hell you did wrong, what kind of karmic debt you owe, and to whom. You ponder whether it'll ever happen again.
Yet of course it'll happen again. Life is not over. There is no need to just up and give up.
The same is true of both.
Reiteration? SERIOUSLY? Are you s****ing me??? You, sir, do not want to hire ANYONE.
Welcome to Absurdist Theatre.
Monday, June 11, 2012
Okay now, all together - make the image in this post ring.
Well, you see, I am still waiting to hear about employment. Argh, quelle pain (yes, I know that in French that technically means "what bread". So sue me), eh?
To recap, for you at-home listeners.
Job #1 - Interview was on 5/23
Job #2 - Interview was on 5/30
Job #3 - Interview was on 6/7
My top choice is #3. It's the only one I have a recruiter for, and he is pushing to get a decision from the Hiring Manager this week as the company is looking to have someone starting by the first week in July. Between 2 week notices and time to set up the still rather spartan cube structure, they'll need this much time. I am thinking, hoping, praying that it'll be decided in my favor by Friday the 15th.
Job #2 is my second choice. I have no idea how much competition I have for that one. As for #3, I only care a little. It's a very low-paying role and, really, that place only gets away with paying what are essentially (I am not exaggerating) poverty wages because their name has a LOT of cachet. If people only knew what they pay!
Anyway - I will make my round of calls on Wednesday if I have not heard anything by then. I'll just go down the line. Top choice, second choice, last choice.
A much as I want work, I also want closure. I want someone to tell me - sorry, we went with someone else - if that turns out to be the case. Or, sorry, but we lost our budget and cannot hire you. Hey, I'm a big girl. I can take it. I have heard such things before and did not crumple. The world did not go careening off its axis.
But I do want to know. And I find it rude, annoying and more than a little unprofessional to not be told.
In the meantime, everything I hear that even remotely sounds like a ringing phone is making me jump. And I've got at least two more days of this if I don't hear before I start my round of phone calls.
And this all got me thinking - here's where the tie to weight loss comes in, folks - is there is patience and there is a bit of insanity. I think being patient enough to understand that it does not all come off in one shot is, well, the mature thing. I started off very, very fast and I still took several months to peel off 100 pounds. Any faster would have been truly unhealthy.
But there's also the part where, well, patience is one thing, but is it also, sometimes, just an excuse for not pushing yourself? Oh, it'll take months - might as well get used to that. Ho hum, another doughnut. After all, doughnut or not, it's still going to take months, right?
Egad, such is the way of the slippery slope, eh?
So my suggestion is, to have as much patience for this process as is necessary to cope and get through day to day and month to month and year to year operations. But also have enough itchiness, enough desire and enough fingers tapping on the dashboard, leg jiggling, key rattling DESIRE to get it all done yesterday. Because patience is the long-term stuff, but impatience, I think, is where the breakthroughs can happen. It's where you realize you should push yourself harder. It's where you dig deep down.
In the meantime, if you hear a phone ringing, hang on, and I'll get it as it may be for me. And woe be to any phone spammer out there (Rachel of Card Member Services or whatever your fake robot name is, this means YOU) who calls first.
But you won't get me tomorrow night, sorry.
I'll be running a little something I like to call my 29th 5K.
And I will not be taking my phone with me.
Monday, June 04, 2012
People ask, at times, what the best bit of workout gear is. And, inevitably, somebody mentions some obscure bit of Danish technology that makes your hips go sideways while an awesome kick-bun song by some band I've never heard of plays, as your metabolic rate is measured in metric doodads and your heart rate is calculated to the nearest nanosecond.
I may be a geek, and even a fitness geek, but I am not that obsessive.
Wanna know my best bit o' workout gear? Aside from comfortable sneakers, decent clothing with pockets that I can close (so I don't lose my house keys), the iPod holder thingie that goes around my bicep and my pedometer - you're lookin' at it.
Yep, it's even zebra-striped, too.
Oh, it's so easy, you know, to look at a grey sky and sheets of rain coming down and think - I don't wanna go out there.
Yet we go when we need groceries.
We go when we need to go to work.
We go when someone needs to be picked up.
We go when there's a concert or a game or a worship service we want to attend.
We open up that umbrella and we go!
So why the hell can't we go when it's about our own health and well-being?
Calories don't care if it's pouring out.
Salt doesn't give a damn if you're getting rained on.
Carbs do not look at your plastered down hair and laugh at you.
So why do a few raindrops - or even a lot - make so many of us lose our resolve?
It's silly, you know. When you really think about it, I mean, c'mon!
You are not so sweet that you will melt.
Wet feet and wet hair do not make you sick. Germs and viruses do. But wet feet and hair do make you feel uncomfortable, so - here's a wild idea - change clothes and dry your hair when you get in from your walk.
And then maybe you can add dry socks to your favorite pieces of workout gear too, eh?
Quick change of subject -- !
I mentioned interviewing in my last entry.
The process continues.
Job #1 - I had an in-person on 5/23 and am waiting to hear. I am not pushing them as this is not my first choice job.
Job #2 - I had an in-person on 5/30 and am waiting to hear. I am also not pushing them as they are a close second to #3.
Job #3 - I sent in a writing sample on 5/24. They liked it. I now have an in-person on 6/7. Hence I am not pushing anyone else until at least 6/8 or beyond.
Anyway, that's the scoop on that stuff.
In the meantime, it's kinda damp and nasty here.
So I get to use one of my favorite pieces of workout gear. Yay!
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