Tuesday, July 15, 2014
It's been a really busy time in my life lately. I'm still studying for the bar exam (which is 2 weeks from today!) and working and trying to get myself ready for my move in 2 months. So much going on!
Over 4th of July Weekend, we had a 4 day weekend here at work, which was nice. I did some running, quilting, and studying, but by Monday I was pretty bored with myself. I think that was too much time off just hanging out at my house alone. I did have dinner with my new co-worker and his wife that Saturday, though, so that was something at least. I made a lot of progress on studying and on the quilt I am currently making for my aunt.
Then last week from Tuesday-Friday (and again this Monday) I attended the Transition Assistance Program (TAP) class, which is a federally mandated program for all military members who are separating or retiring. I have to say that I was mostly unimpressed and a lot of it felt like a waste of time. Now, I have a bachelor's degree and a law degree. For my three years of law school, networking / interviewing / resumes etc were forced down my throat. So nothing that was discussed during the first three days of classes was anything I hadnt heard a million times before. I can see how it would be really helpful for someone who didnt have formal schooling or hadnt had to go through the process of applying for jobs before, etc., but it felt like a huge waste of time for me. Especially since the previous week I had already sent out my resumes for jobs I was applying to and I had two interviews this past week (more on that later). Plus, the guy who was teaching the first three days was really condescending to everyone in the room. He also basically told everyone that they would start out in entry level meaningless jobs because most employers dont like military. Obviously not the positive, uplifting, encouraging message you want to hear as you are getting ready for a major life change! So that was pretty awful. The fourth day was probably the best day of the entire week because it was all about veteran's benefits. I was very excited to hear about the all of the benefits available to veterans, including free health care through the VA (not that the VA is the greatest, but it's nice to know I have that option in the future). So Friday was a really good day.
Then yesterday was our last day of the class. The morning was great with a session on budgeting and understanding that losing some of our tax-free benefits can and should affect how we view salaries from potential employers and whether we can lead a comparable lifestyle. And the afternoon session was about filing VA claims, which was also helpful. I really could have done without everything else, though. At least the class is over now.
So, jobs. Right before 4th of July I sent out 10 resumes and cover letters. I applied to 9 county prosecutors offices in NJ and the NJ public defender's office. Of course by Tuesday I was freaking out - why hasnt anyone called me?! Because giving them less than a week to do that makes sense, especially since I snail-mailed them. But on Wednesday morning I got an email from the NJ Public Defender's office (which is the #1 place I want to work) asking that I call to discuss working there. I figured they would want to schedule an interview, so since I was in that class, I called during my lunch break and they actually wanted to do the initial interview over the phone, so we did it right then and there! It went well and the interviewer asked if I would be interested in coming in for a second interview while I am in town, so I now have a second interview with them scheduled for next Thursday! They gave me a hypothetical case that I will have to be able to walk through during the interview and then give a closing argument. I am excited!!
Last week I also had scheduled an interview for a National Guard position at the Atlantic City Air National Guard base. I had emailed the person in charge of the legal office there back in early June to find out information about working there and he had called me and said he might be interested in hiring me for his deputy position and he would get in touch with me. So we scheduled a phone interviewer for last Thursday with him and the Vice Wing Commander for the base. That interview went really well too! The next morning, he called and said they were very impressed by my interview and were 99% sure they would offer me the deputy position (so long as the current deputy leaves like he is planning to). I should know in about a month! It would be a normal Guard position - one weekend a month and two weeks per year. But I can continue to serve, and I get paid for it, and I get my medical benefits, too.
So that has been exciting stuff! I received two letters in the mail yesterday from two prosecutors offices - one said they currently have no open positions but would hold my resume for 12 months. The other said they were very impressed by my credentials and experience, and they would be appropriate for a position there but the county is in a hiring freeze and they cannot hire anyone at this time - they will hold my resume for 12 months, too.
So I've heard from 3/10 places I applied to. Hopefully I'll hear from more, too.
On the fitness front, I started marathon training two weeks ago. The first week went well, with a long run of 8 miles that weekend. Last week I was all out of sorts because of that class I was taking. I skipped my two mid-week runs, but I started PiYo last week and did all of those workouts. I am not a yoga/pilates fan, but I REALLYy like PiYo!! I attempted a 6 mile run this weekend but I only did 2 miles. From wearing heeled shoes last week (I had to wear civilian business clothes to class all week) I had blisters on my feet which made running painful and I kept trying to compensate which was screwing up my form. So week 2 wasnt so great. But I am planning to go to the gym after work today and get back on track!
I didnt really do much studying at all last week so I am feeling really behind. I studied for 5 hours last night and I think this week will be a lot of the same.
My friend Melissa came to visit this past weekend and we went to a quilting expo! I bought a bunch of stuff that I am really excited about, but the reality is that I probably wont get to play with any of it until after I move at the end of September. I go on leave next Tuesday for 2 weeks. I am spending time in NJ, going to Philly to take the bar exam, and then going to Maryland with my college girl friends for a girls' weekend. I am looking forward to it. When I get back, its going to be a lot of last minute things to get my house ready to rent, get a property manager, and start going through all of my stuff figuring out what I dont need, what I can ship back early, and what will end up in storage. *sigh* SO MUCH TO DO!
Thursday, July 03, 2014
Hooray! I have a 4 day weekend this week, starting tomorrow, but really starting this afternoon since I am leaving work early!! I finally called a local lawn care company yesterday and they are coming to my house between 1-3pm to do a free consultation/evaluation of my lawn! I am REALLY hoping they can do something to it, even if it means ripping it all up, laying some soil and grass seed. I just want to cry everytime I look out my window, let alone walk into the backyard! I dont need my lawn perfect, but it needs to be in a better state than it currently is in, especially because I need to put it up for rent soon! I anticipate lawn care will cost a bit of money, but seeing as I have absolutely no idea how to fix it, I am willing to pay the price, and the prices listed on their website looked reasonable to me - comparable to other places I looked at online.
Yesterday after work I was so not in the mood to do a workout. It was a cross-training day on my marathon training plan, and I planned to go to the gym and ride a bike, but that didnt sound very fun. :/ So I went home and on my drive I tried to figure out what home workout I could do. I ended up settling on a cardio barre - beginner workout I found on youtube - so glad my blu-ray player has a youtube on it! Despite having taken dance classes most of my life, I had never actually done a barre workout before (well, in ballet classes I have, but you know what I mean). I have to say, that parts of it were pretty tough! My legs were exhausted 15 minutes in and I was glad when we switched to upper body and core! I thought I would feel more sore today, but I dont right now - maybe it will kick in later, or maybe not. Either way, I thought it was a good workout. But honestly, had it not been for the July streaking challenge in one of my facebook groups, I might have just skipped the workout. So glad for the accountability! Cant quit the streak on day 2!
After my lawn care appointment, I am planning to get in a run tonight. Looking forward to it :) I really need to update my running playlist, though. I am getting tired of the same songs over and over again. Probably becuase I also listen to it while I'm driving, since the only ipod I have currently is a little shuffle. A new larger capacity ipod is in my future, though, especially when I drive across the country :)
This morning I have been pretty productive and scheduled all of my outprocessing medical exams! In two weeks, I will have over the course of 2 days a dental exam and cleaning, a medical physical, and an eye exam. Thats good planning, and then I will be able to request all of my medical records for my VA disability determination. I am not seeking disability but we are required to go through the evaluation. But given all of the injuries I've incurred during hte past 5 years, I could end up with some sort of disability rating anyway.
Yesterday at lunch time I mailed out 10 resumes and cover letters. 9 went to county prosecutors offices in NJ, and 1 went to the NJ public defenders office - which has offices in every county. I am hoping that is enough to have sent out, but who knows. I kind of wanted to vomit after I dropped them at the post office. I am so freakin nervous. I calculated that with the holiday weekend, they wont get to their destinations likely until Monday, and then I know I will be constantly anxious wondering if anyone will even want to interview me! I feel like my resume and cover letters are strong, and I know I am a good lawyer, but OMG job hunting is anxiety-inducing!
I do have a phone interview next Thursday for a Deputy SJA position at the guard base in Atlantic City. The SJA is the head of the legal office so Deputy would be next in importance. It is just an Air National Guard job - so one weekend a month deal, but it's extra income and I can still be part of the military in some way. I feel like if anything it will be good practice for future job interviews, too. I know I need to do some homework this weekend to get prepared, like making lists of things I've done that I can expect to be asked about and things like that. Cant hurt to be prepared! I am also taking my Transition Assistance class last week and I have homework to do for that as well this weekend.
Despite the homework, I am hoping to have time to relax, too. I do need to study a lot, but I also plan on doing an 8 mile run on Saturday, and I really want to get some quilting done this weekend, too! And clean my house up a bit as well. Hopefully I can relax, though!
Hope everyone has a fantastic holiday weekend! This is the first time in 5 years that I dont have *something* planned for 4th of July weekend, which does make me a little bit sad, but it will be a good chance to relax, too :)
Tuesday, July 01, 2014
It's July! Which means 3 months from now I will officially be off active duty! Hooray! Still so much to do between now and then. I am planning to either Reserves or Air National Guard, and I have an interview next week for an Air National Guard position in Atlantic City - it is just a normal Guard position - the whole one weekend a month deal. But it's extra income and as much as the Air Force frustrates me, I dont want to leave it completely. I just need to not be doing it full-time anymore. I need more stability in my life!
Anyway, so excited for July, especially because I'm only working one full-week this month (not including this week). Next week I have my transition assistance class. The week after that I work for a week and then the following Monday. And then I go on leave for 2 weeks, and return to work on August 5th. I am soo looking forward to the 2 weeks off!
Two co-workers stationed elsewhere came to town this weekend for a hearing yesterday. It was nice to spend time with people, but we definitely ate out on Saturday night and last night. Saturday was ok becuase I had run 7 miles but last night I ate wayy too much yummy Italian food.
So yeah on Saturday I ran 7 miles. I hadnt run in 2 weeks and my ankle had been sore all week so I wasnt sure what to expect. I definitely could feel some pain occassionally in my ankle. I ran slower than usual to compensate. It felt great to actually be running, since I had been feeling so blah lately. But my ankle was hurting a lot afterwards. The pain seems to be from my ankle rolling inward. I havent had pronation issues in a long time, and I've been wearing neutral running shoes. I only have about 200 miles on my current running shoes, but I went out and purchased a more supportive running shoe over the weekend. I didnt bother going to get fitted, but I am hopeful I wont have any issues. I am planning a run this afternoon on the treadmill, so that if they dont work out I can still return them since they have no outside wear on them. We'll see how that goes.
This week officially begins my Marathon training! I am running the Atlantic City Marathon on October 19th! Fortunately, for the next month none of my training runs go above half-marathon distance so I can ease into it for now. I also purchased the new PIYO workout program because I thought it might be helpful for my running since it's yoga and pilates inspired. I am excited to get it this week and see if it helps with my running, especially now that dance classes are over.
My new co-worker (who will actually be working in the same location as me) arrives in town today, but wont be actually working for 2 weeks, but it will be nice to have another person here. Plus, I plan to slowly transfer my cases to him over the next few months! I think work will start winding down, though it has been steady recently with phone calls and things to do. Still looking forward to the time off.
I weighed myself on Sunday for the first time since pre-dance recital, and my weight was 150.4 :( I was hoping I would never see 150 on the scale. I really need to stick to a solid plan of healthy eating and exercise. Over the past 2 weeks I ate out a lot, but only sandwiches. I honestly havent had much of an appetite so I've just been forcing myself to eat sandwiches. But when you buy sandwiches out, they can be expensive and very high in calories. So over the weekend I bought stuff to make my own sandwiches and my homemade sandwiches are practically half the calories of what I was eating. Also, I was mindlessly snacking out of boredom and my level of overwhelmingness has been really high which also caused me to snack a lot. Sometimes I feel like I will just never lose the weight becuase my priorities are always elsewhere. I think it will be easier in October when I am back living with my parents temporarily but I dont want to just sit around for the next few months gaining even more weight! *sigh* Just venting. I know I just need to be more mindful and make time for exercise, and with marathon training I kind of have to make the time for exercise anyway...
Anyway, my resume and cover letters are ready to go so I just need to print them on the resume paper and print out the address labels and get them in the mail. I am hoping to have them mailed out tomorrow, which means I know what I'll be doing tonight. Planning to leave work early to go to the gym, first!
I am not setting any sort of goals for the month of July. I just need to get through this month's bar exam at the end of the month, and then in August I wil transition to figuring out everything else involved in moving / putting my house up for rent!
Friday, June 27, 2014
I am so glad it is Friday. I have been absolutely exhausted all week long. It started on Monday when I had to be up early to take my mom to the airport and then spend all day in court. I barely slept that night anyway. I went to bed early on Monday night but still felt exhausted all day on Tuesday, and thats pretty much how its been all week. I had to get back to studying agian (missed days because of rehearsal and recital) but I am still trying to get bed by 10pm at the latest in order to get enough sleep, but it doesnt seem to be helping. Yesterday when I was driving home from work it took all I could to keep my eyes open! I am not sure what is causing this but I need to figure it out.
I did take all of this week off from exercising to let my body, especially my ankle, rest. I know I needed it, but maybe I am so lethargic because I am just not getting any exercise. Hmm. I was supposed to run a half marathon tomorrow - registered and everything. But with pulling something in my ankle last weekend and deciding to take this week off, I am not going to run the race. It doesnt seem practical. I am a little bit bummed, but realistically, I just dont want to cause any additional injury and I dont feel prepared anyway. However, I am going to go out tomorrow morning and do some sort of longish run - shooting for 7 miles, but we'll see how my ankle feels.
Basically, my plans for the weekend include:
some other form of cardio
studying A LOT
working on a quilt for my aunt
beginning to sort through my stuff
cooking yummy eats
I have 3 months before I have to move, so I want to start going through my stuff now so that I am not waiting until the last minute, especially because July is going to be busy and I put in for 2 weeks of leave in conjunction with the bar exam so I wont even be here half of the month. The best part of about moving is getting rid of things you dont need, right? Hopefully the weekend is productive. Then we have a 4 day week next week and the following week because of the holiday, and that second week I am also taking my transition assistance class so no actual work - just sitting in a classroom all week. And my friend Melissa is visiting that weekend to go to a quilting/sewing festival with me! Yay!
Wednesday, June 25, 2014
I definitely have not been blogging much lately, but things have continued to be pretty busy and I think they will continue that way for a while becuase there is so much to do!!
Last weekend was my dance recital weekend, which meant it was a crazy week! On Tuesday I had my last tap class in the evening which was sad. Then on Wednesday evening I had regular rehearsal at the high school theater we would be performing in. I didnt get home until after 10 that night! Then on Thursday we had dress rehearsal - I got home a little after 9pm. But then I had to pick my mom up at the airport...in Denver! She was supposed to fly in to Colorado Springs, but her flight out of Newark was delayed by over an hour, which meant when she got to Denver, she had missed her connection to the Springs and the next flight wasnt until 8am! She landed at like 10:30pm on Thursday night. So at around 11pm I drove up to Denver and picked her up so that she wouldnt be stuck in the airport all night - apparently they werent giving out hotel vouchers. By the time we got back to my house it was almost 3am! So glad I had taken Friday off!
I was not able to sleep in on Friday - probably from the excitement of it being recital day - so I was up at 7am. I had to drop off my work dry cleaning and then I needed to run errands to pick up last minute things. I had apparently forgotten to get fish net stockings for my tap class so I had to stop at one of the dance supply stores to get those. Then we made a stop at Target so I could pick up some makeup for the performances and I needed some accessories for one of my costumes. We also had a really nice lunch at Ted's Montana Grill.
The recital started at 6pm and all of the dancers had to be there at 5pm. We ended up getting there around 5:15 but that was ok. I got my mom to the theater to find a seat and then I headed to the dressing room to get myself situated and changed into my first costume. My hip hop dance was #6, my tap dance was #18 and my jazz dance was #21. So I had some time before my hip hop dance to stretch and hang out with my classmates. And then after my hip hop dance I hung out with my tap classmates until it was time to perform, and then I had a super quick costume change before my jazz dance! And then I think there were about 7 dances after my jazz dance before the finale. I had such a great time and didnt even realize how much I had missed dancing on stage until I finally got out there on Friday night with the audience full. It was AMAZING and it was the happiest I had felt in such a long time! The performance on Friday went really well, too! I think the show ended around 9pm and then my mom and I headed back to my house and watched some dvds before going to sleep.
We had another performance on Saturday. It started at 12pm, but we had to be there at 11am. My mom and I got up around 8am and we went to Ihop for breakfast. Yum! I dont think I've been to Ihop since J and I broke up in December. It was fun to go with my mom! And I knew it would be a while before I ate anything the rest of the day so eating something substantial was good :) The performance was just as great on Saturday but really bittersweet. I was so sad that dance was over! It was definitely one of the best decisions I've made recently - to take dance classes again - and I am already looking for dance schools that offer adult classes in NJ for when I move back in a few months!
After the Saturday recital my mom and I had dinner at Hu-Hot the Mongolian Grill, which is one of my favorite places! Then we drove to the outlets in Castle Rock. I treated myself to a new Michael Kohrs purse and two charms for my charm bracelet. My mom had actually given me two charms as a present when she came to visit, too! Then we spent the evening watching dvds again.
On Sunday we drove up to Denver and went to the Park Meadows mall for some shopping. I really wanted to purchase some business suits for my future civilian life and hopefully some job interviews in the near future... I ended up getting one skirt suit at JC Penneys. I dont love it, but it wasnt expensive. I also got a really nice pair of dress pants while I was there that I kind of love. Then at The Limited I got a suit with both the pants and the skirt and I really love it. They were having a 40% off sale so though it was expensive, the sale really helped! I also picked up a nice button down shirt, too. Overall, a really productive shopping trip. Though, it was hard when trying on suits because its been so long since I wore one, it felt weird! Hopefully that will change as time passes! We also had lunch at the Cheesecake Factory :) yum!
The rest of the day was spent cleaning up around my house, getting ready for the work week, and getting my mom ready for her flight out on Monday. I had to be in court all day on Monday for a motions hearing, so my mom got an early flight back. I had to drive her to the airport at 4am! Luckily, only to the Springs airport and not Denver! I was exhausted all day, though!
Then yesterday I overslept but on my way in to work, despite being so tired, I had this really good feelilng that my separation would be approved. And when I logged into my computer and opened my outlook, I had an email that my separation was approved! Hooray!
I filled out all of the initial paperwork I needed to get started with my outprocessing and this morning my orders were in my email box! Yay! I still have 3 months, but so much to do between now and then! Tons of outprocessing like you normally would when you leave a base, but since I am separating from active duty, I also have to go through medical appointments, VA rating, etc. Plus, I have this week long transition class I am attending in 2 weeks! And I am taking about 2 weeks of leave in July to spend time with my family and friends and take the bar exam. I also need to get things together with my house - finally get the lawn/pergola stuff taken care of. Find a property manager and get my house rented out. I need to set up my households goods pickup and potentially ship some stuff home early. Oh and then of course find a job, too! I am hoping to send out my resume and cover letters this week or next week!
So much to do! But I am so, so excited! Back in the summer of 2012 I wrote a lot about how miserable I was in the military and how I felt stuck but leaving was a scary prospect, etc. It is still scary, but I am so glad that I am taking this step in my life and doing what is best for me. There is a lot of unknown ahead for me, but I am so excited about everything!
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