Sunday, August 30, 2009

Sleep is for the weak.

It's 3:51am. My head is screaming and my back aches. I'd like to blame it on this cold thing I have going on, but I think it's stress. Oy. I need to learn to relax.

The list
The other day, I thought I'd post a "list of things to do on unemployment." But that gave a bad vibe. Because my employment status is not what defines me. So now I'm creating a "list of things I now have the opportunity to do."

Now, some of these items include the cleaning out of closets, and creating the aforementioned schedule (please read this word in a bad british rendition). But the list also includes things like:
Take the young son to swimming lessons during the weekday
Be home in the afternoon for the man child's return from school
Take weekday naps
Do yoga two to three times per week with the young son

I'm excited about this list. There are some "milestone" items, and some longer term, maintenance items. It's going to be a nice list.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Beautiful People

I just have to comment on the lovely sentiments people are sending me. Emails, facebook, IM/chat... I appreciate you all. I appreciate the quiet support from others. It's nice to know I'm not "alone." It's nice to know I'm wanted or missed. It's nice to know I'm not just a schmuck who was kept around out of pity.

Mostly it's nice to know that I've made some real relationships. I'm not defined by my job title or by having an 8x8 space with my name hanging outside. I'm defined by my relationships with God, family and friends; you remind me of that.

Thank you.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Yay, it's FRIDAY! ...not that it really matters...

So it's Friday. I used to look forward to fridays. Now it's just another day. It's been a rougher day. I have a cold, and the boys are settling back into the old routine after being at Grandma and Grandpa's (x2) and various and sundry other fun locations. I am much less interesting.

We have a park going into our neighborhood. It was (re(re(re)))scheduled to be completed this weekend. Alas. That would have been nice. They could have screamed to their hearts content and I could have mocked up the coma I was hoping for.

Now the sssh-ed-ju-wull has not been completed yet. Okay, it hasn't been started yet. I need to get out our calendar and start filling in menu plans and other daily activities. A prototype model, if you will.

Friday's Itinerary
Because I believe in measurement, and that you can only improve what you measure, here's a snapshot of today's activities:

8:30 roll out of bed (unemployment has it's perks)
9:00 make malt-o-meal for breakfast
9:10 clean up spilled malt-o-meal
9:30 dishes, get boys dressed
9:32 send fighting boys outside to run laps
9:36 send fighting boys outside to run laps again
9:39 give up, lock the back doors, take a shower
10:00, see how the boys behave!
10:05 more laps
10:15 consent to allow the 3 yo to open a box containing a laptop tray thing.
10:20 vacuum up all the bits of broken styrofoam beads on the carpet. Not ready for winter yet.
10:30 7yo watches Indiana Jones whilst the 3yo watches Dora
10:31 Mommy gets to catch up on emails... though really... not much going on in THAT department these days. NOT that I'm complaining.
11:00 unpack

Okay, I confess, I can't remember exactly how it all went down until noontime when we had smoothies for lunch. But what a healthy lunch it was!

1:00 First attempt at naptime -- Sadly, we are growing out of these. It's more like an every other day sort of event. Since we haven't had one in the last couple days, it was very needed. Alas, it was not to be.

3:00 I'm exhausted. Side effect of the cold. Nose needs a faucet to turn it off, and I'm just tired. I let the boys turn on Indiana Jones again, hoping they'd watch it quietly while I laid down. Yeah, didn't work

Cut to the chase--It's not really interesting
Okay, suffice it to say, I don't have a schedule. I need to figure out a couple periods during the day when I can play a bit on the computer or read, and otherwise, I need some little activities for the busy fingers around here.

I miss outlook. I need to just order the new computer and start using the time management tool I'm used to. We are odd creatures, aren't we? Is it me clinging to my worky lifestyle, or is it me really just used to one way of doing things? I'm not feeling like I'm accomplishing much.

No, it is not available on Dish on Demand. In case you were interested. So I need to buy a DVD or something. I'll tell you, though, it won't be as fun as the CLASS. With the instructor. And my girlfriends. But it will be good. I'll do it with my boys instead.

"The Whys"
I'll be honest. I'm struggling with a case of the WHYs. Why me. Why not someone else. How long was my name on the list? Who REALLY was the one who decided my skills were less necessary than someone else's? Intellectually, I know it's absurd. Knowing wouldn't bring me any peace; quite the opposite, I'm sure. I'd really like to pass through this part.

Vitamin D-Day
Friday is vitamin D-day. Huh?? Yeah, I know. I guess I'm severely deficient in the Vitamin D. I had no idea this was possible. My arms are tan. My face is... tannish. (I call my legs "snow cammo," so no sun there). I buy the vitamin D enriched stuff. But yeah. I have to take 50,000 IUs per week. No typo there. Get your Vitamin D checked! I guess here in the Northwest, it's pretty common. The UVB is what synthesizes the vitamin D, and that's what all the sunscreens block out (as it also causes the burn... UVA is what tans), and it's only available during a narrow window of time, even in the summer up here. Evidently, the angle of the sun is an important factor. Next time you have to have blood drawn for some reason, ask for a vitamin D test! It's simple, and there's no need to study. Google it. :D

The boxes
I have a few boxes of desk stuff in the garage. I have no idea what to do with them. Not ready to unpack them yet. Though I'll have to get to them eventually.

Next week
On the agenda: start all the "stuff." COBRA, education benefits??, education options, blah blah blah, phone calls and seminars and paperwork.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Back home

To do
Well, I'm back. Seems as if quite a few memebers of my RIF class of 2009 have taken a little trip recently. It's good to go see family or run off somewhere, if for no other reason than to take the reigns and feel like you are in control of your life...not some HR squint. It's good to be with the people on "your team." Also good to come home.

So my next week is slated to plan out my educational opportunities. See what's out there. Make sure I think I'm on the right track.

Breaking the news
I explained to my oldest that I wasn't going to be working anymore. The boy is smarter than I thought (and I think he's darn smart). But he's all reassured that we'll be fine, and I get to go to school like he does. :) He's a bit bummed that he won't get to go to the sitter's anymore. She's a great lady, and he enjoys playing with her kids.

Scheduling (read: shhhh-ed-ju-ling)
The other daunting task on my list is to create a schedule. I'm going to be home with the little one most of the time (all the time until I am enrolled), and I need some sort of solid structure. Where to begin? Around meal times?? It will prove interesting.

I had been working out with a group of (mostly) women at lunch. Now I don't have access to a free gym... or cheap yoga classes. And I'm a gal who needs to stay on that wagon. I bought a yoga mat. Need some sort of yoga instructional tool. Is that stuff on demand? Need to add this to the list. Might be fun to do this with the boys (7 and 3). Though I am "fluffy," as they say, I take great pride in knowing that the yoga instructor says I'm VERY flexible. It's what I have. Don't laugh.

Feeling the love
You know, it's really nice to know that people you worked with miss you. And that they think you brought value to the organization. Though it's difficult to know that others are hurting in their own way... it's because there was something there. REAL relationships. I know I was touched by so many people in so many ways. I'm a fortunate lady.

Monday, August 24, 2009

One week later...

It's 3:37 am and I can't sleep. Might as well write down what's on my mind, right? Maybe the thoughts will stop spinning around in my head like a mental tilt-a-whirl.

A week ago I (like so many others) was laid off from my job. My "position was eliminated." As my position was to increase efficiency and promote the quality system at 3 locations, I'd like to pat myself on the back and say I'd done SO well that I worked myself out of a job. But we all know that's not true.

Political Ponderings
They say I didn't "do anything wrong." It was just easier to give my tasks to others. But I can't help but wonder what political mistakes (if any) were made along the way? Though I have a hard time believing that the only way I could have changed this outcome would have been to be a "yes man." I don't mean a yes wo/man. A yes MAN.

At this juncture, I'm still going through the "grief process" as we all do when we have a major change to any mental construct... like our identity or role, or our means to support our families. So bear with me while I whine a bit.

At any rate, I've been frustrated (increasingly so) as I look back. Perhaps I should have sold myself more? I own my own marketing mechanisms, and need to ensure people perceive me as valuable. I've never been an "in your face" sort of self-promoter. Not bashing those that are, but I've always been a believer that if you are good at what you do, people will notice. That REAL intelligence doesn't need an introduction or proclaimation. But this isn't so true. It's harder for a woman. It just is. At least in the male-dominated industries.

The balance is tenuous... so hard to find, and when you find it, it moves. I've always been one to speak my mind. I am skilled at presenting a competing thought/idea in a manner that those "above me" will be prone to accepting it. When that doesn't work, I can generally get people to think that my idea was their idea. Pride can be a big inhibitor when it comes to politics.

I can also speak out more directly. The manner in how I present my thoughts depends entirely on the audience, and even their moods that day, their relationships with others that they may be siding with or against... I'm really good at this.

Perhaps too good. I thought people noticed. They used to, anyway.

I've been told I could pass for a man. This because I'm intelligent, and I am not a mouse. It was a compliment, you see.

Aaaaand back to the beginning
How is a woman supposed to thrive in an environment where this way of thinking is accepted? What could I have done differently? Been "louder" about my thoughts and ideas? So I'd be more mannish? Be more demure, and keep my value hidden?

So it's a circle. There's not really a clear answer. And I'm not going to stand on a box and shout "I am a woman, hear me roar." But I do really really want to be valued. Because I bring it.

The other piece of this puzzle that is frustrating me is that in this day and age, dissent isn't just frowned upon... it's punishable by death. (You know, the AXE, the CAN, the pink slip). it is to society's detriment. Mark my words. It's vital for people to offer up their opposing or differing viewpoints. Likewise, it's important for people to listen, REALLY listen to those opposing or differing viewpoints. The most robust solutions are only arrived upon when all contingencies and what-ifs and devil's advocates have been thought out. This doesn't mean there shouldn't be passion, or emotion... just that we need to also listen. People don't have passion and emotion around any subject because they are morons.

Take the whole healthcare thing, for example. Most Americans agree that there's a problem with our current healthcare structure. However, if you were to ask 20 people what the problem is, you'd get 15 different answers. You'd get 50 different solutions. Creating a goal to "solve" the problem is fantastic. But you aren't going to accomplish it in a month or less. And calling the opposing ideas "nazi's" and "unAmerican" is certainly not going to help us arrive at the most robust solution.

The same is true in corporate America. When management becomes an elite group of yes-MEN, and expects their suboordinates to behave in a similar manner... it doesn't speed up the development cycle, it doesn't improve product quality, it certainly doesn't do anything to help the customer, let alone delight them (closing the door to free marketing).

Now that I've gotten out my thoughts and it's 4:08am... we'll see if I can catch a few winks.