challenges

Visual Cues

Today’s visual cue is my time tracker. It’s been in a drawer for a good while now as it had served its need for a past project.

Now here we are today, in the present. A new project of sorts has taken flight. A new visual cue and tracker was just what was needed. The timer was set for 180 days or six long months. It was a pain to reset but it worked. It had be dusted off to get ready for the action.

Now the fun part begins. It’s the journey. The 180 days of possibilities. The many triumphs. The possible failures. Basically everything in between. These days are where memories will be made. Progress to document. Trials and errors to tweak along the bumpy road. Adventures will be had I’m sure.

The point to this story is to share my method. My method of holding myself accountable for a duration of time. A timer I won’t touch or change. A timer I will refer to when I need to know how much longer I must endure. How much success I already accomplished just in the form of time invested. It’s a process. This is just one piece of the accountability pie that’s involved in the new project. It’s part of the vision. The intricacies.

Rome wasn’t built in a day. We have all heard that. Millionaires are not born over night. There is a process. Patience is built into the equation. Time is normally a factor. Measurement is a key ingredient as well in any recipe for success. And we can’t forget the planning. You need to have a plan and work your plan.

At the end of the day I’m chipping away at a tedious task-driven project. One I will want to bang my head against a wall a time or two but I will have my visual cues to help me over the speed bumps. One step closer to the finish line.

We all need a push now and then. Today my push is time. The time clock. Not so much a sprint rather a long-distance race against the mind. Who will win?

My money is on me. I only take the sure bets. I’ve said it before: the mind is a powerful tool. Do you use your mind to maximize your time and efforts?

Did you notice the stickers? They add emotions to my visual cue because I know there will be trying times ahead. To combat that future desire to fail or quit, I hope the humor of the emoji stickers will remind me of why I accepted the project. Just a tidbit of my thought process or note to my future self.

challenges

A New Wall

I hit a new wall today. A mentally exhausting wall. One I didn’t initially bounce off and spring ahead like normal.

This wall was different. It started out as me being tired. Then it shifted to me being irritable. Then technology flipped a few switches that set me off kilter.

Moving on to mid-day a teenager rattled my cage. Then the rain hit. All the while work was super busy. It’s the end of the month. The end of the fiscal year. Emergencies by phone and mail.

I wanted to dish out numbers like they do at the meat counter but that’s not reality. It all needs to get done. You need to be four places at one time. It doesn’t matter if it’s pouring rain let alone if you are tired. 

When you are in the hot seat. The driver’s seat. The most relied upon seat, nothing matters. You are just expected to balance it all. But what happens when you hit the wall and don’t bounce back?

For some it may take one into a dark place in mind and body. Luckily for me I have some friends who can crack me up during the day with a funny text to lighten the load. I have some go-to gals who can be a listening ear when I want to punch everyone.

And then I can always change my scenery. For me, today I took a car ride. Got a coffee. Drank it away from people. Talked to a friend by phone. Took some deep breaths. Ordered dinner to-go. Planned an early bedtime to mentally let my brain rest.

I took to writing. This blog of course. Writing is a therapeutic outlet for me for many reasons but sharing stories of walls is important for people to read. It’s life. It’s real. It’s not filtered. There are no amazing pictures.

My wall is the beginning of what may be a long road of walls. It’s midlife womanly adjustments. The yucky m word. The one you want to be over so your cycle is history but the one you dread because of its uncertainty.

Let me just type the damn word. Menopause. Menopausal. Resident psycho to some. Bitch to others. I’m sure I’m missing a few descriptions but owning the word and its side effects is step one. One of God only knows how many steps.

Pray for me. Think of me. Lift me up in spirits if you see me against the wall. Plastered to the wall. Mentioning the wall. Or anything resembled the wall symptoms. Baggy eyes. Disheveled look. Short fuse.

The worst thing you can do is ignore my hot mess as that will make me want to isolate you. As a giver and doer I help many. Unfortunately many won’t see that need for help. That struggle at that damn wall. 

Is there a magic tea for menopause? And why the hell is the word “men” embedded in the word itself. That is just crazy because they are clueless when it comes to dealing with a menopausal woman. Just sayin’.

mEn-oh-PAuse: your lady friend is about to go batshit crazy. Clear the fuck out now. Don’t pause. Run. Hide. It’s safer that way.
If the DICtionary doesn’t say that it really should. Fun fact!

dare to be different

52 pickup

When I was a kid, I was one of those gullible types. (Ok, I still am, but that’s a different post). My older brothers enjoyed playing tricks on me. “Wanna play cards?” Of course, as the youngest, I always wanted to be invited to play by the older kids.

“Sure!” I replied.

“How about 52 pickup?”

“How do you play?”

Suddenly the whole deck of cards was thrown in the air. Jacks, deuces, aces all fluttering to the ground. “Thats 52 cards, now pick them up!” they’d say, laughing as they walked away.

And with a frown like a sad clown, I did.

Fast forward to adulting. Life is full of chores, duties, commitments. Most days are full of them.

For me, chores tend to become routines.

Grocery shopping Saturday. Meal prep Sunday morning. Cleaning Sunday afternoon.

Even little things have their routines. Every night when I get home I set up the coffee pot for the next day and either set out my gym / work clothes or pack my gym bag before I settle down.

Sometimes it’s almost like a challenge: Laundry goes in first thing when I get home from work on Friday. The challenge? I have to have all my clothes hung to dry by the time I leave for my gym class on Saturday morning. I have to stay alert to get this one done while I’m tired.

Edit the week’s blog posts on Sunday afternoon / evening so “publish” is all that’s left during a busy week.

At times, even my fitness routines become a part of it. 5:30 am CrossFit basically every day for a year. Before that it was working out after work. For a while it was run a 5k after work every Friday. 10 mile bike every Sunday morning.

For many parts of my life, I like routines. I like predictability. It keeps me on track. I get things done. When my meals for the week are packed and in the refrigerator Sunday afternoon, I feel calm and prepared.

Life isn’t stationary. Even in writing this I can see there are routines in my life that have come and gone. Commitments on Sunday afternoons shift cleaning to another slot on the weekly calendar. Waiting at sports practice provides opportunity for exercise of different times and types. Life keeps evolving and I shift and change and adapt. Small changes, small adjustments. What is important still usually gets done one way or another.

Once in a while life is more like a big brother and just asks you to play.

Next thing you know all your routines and commitments are tossed in the air and you get to pick them up, reassemble them into some sort of deck to play with. Chores to shuffle, meals to make, work to be done. But this time I was the one who tossed it all, and by choice.

Joys of weekend farm life shift Sunday’s chores further back. Editing blog posts later weekday evenings. Exercise as early in the morning as possible, sometimes at home. Laundry on Wednesdays and Sundays. Grocery shopping on Thursdays. Those cards are still the same, just shuffled differently.

Then there are the new cards. Furnishing a house. Farm chores. Helping run a new business. And don’t forget a couple of growing volunteer commitments, too. Some of these are wild cards, but they keep the game exciting.

I’m not usually one to gamble, but this new shuffle is keeping me on my toes. Learning, growing, creating a hand I’d bet on in spades.

challenges, working women

Digital Dooms Day

Today was the day. First day back at school, digitally. How did it go? It sucked! It sucked life out of me.

Did my kid get up and do what needed to be done? Yes. Did she have tools to be somewhat successful? Yes. Granted this rant is just my perspective and I know there are many others with a different view but for those who haven’t started back to school here’s a view from my lens.

1st period login was from the car. Yes I’m a bad mom but hey I leveraged technology using a hotspot so I could get my workout in and took my sidekick since I knew she would be strapped to the computer all day. All damn day! This was a requirement due to what was on the plate for the day and my mental health matters, too. First order of business: shirts are required on Zoom. Do not take your laptop to the bathroom. Nobody wants to see that! Wow, just wow. Those were the welcome words from the teacher. That surely took me for loop.

Period 2 was no biggie but I did get texts from others having login issues. First cluster of interruptions. Period three was Spanish so nothing like listening to teens learn a language over Zoom while you are concentrating on your paying job!

Next time frame had screenshot of strange faces on Zoom. Then somebody thought it was funny to post porn on Zoom. Yep just another day a school in 2020. What kind of schooling is this?

Email-text-call from county about trouble with sites. Maybe that’s because 90,000 people are online plus telecommuters. Shake my head in disgust. The school system created this mess.

Lunch. Thankful it’s lunch break but my kid gets 1 hr 20 minutes for lunch. No school lunches. Let me stop and make something. Oh now you want to talk at the counter about all the craziness. Did I mention I work? Did I mention I only have one kid to deal with? How about folks with 3? How about those who work in an office who are not as flexible as me?

How does any adult get anything done? Has any school board member thought about this? In come the work emails. Employees are stressed. Can’t focus with all the interruptions. More stress on the home / work front.

End of the day yet? Well it’s really just the beginning for me. You see I still need to do my work after playing teacher, tech person, email coordinator, etc. How is this good for anyone’s mental health?

Oh just when I thought the day was over in comes the email-text-phone call from the school. Clearly one method of contact isn’t enough. Spamming is required. This message says well, our system sucked today so we are asking you to login in earlier tomorrow. Okay my kid starts at 7am you want her learning at 5am? Sounds logical to me. It also sounds logical to keep kids glued to a computer for 8 hours a day…NOT!

How many parents need Valium after day one? Remember I had it easy in comparison to those who juggle work at a brick and mortar business, or the single mom, or the mom of 5 kids under age 12. And note I mention the word mom a lot. The main reason for that is I would guess 80% or more of those I know have the mom as the token teacher regardless of their full-time or part-time obligations. It’s an invisible expectation. Even those moms who are teachers are expected to take their kids to school while they teach. Hmmm it’s not safe to go to school but the teacher’s kids can go to school. Let the juggling act begin.

I let out a big sigh. It’s time to move on. A new day tomorrow. But I do ask myself: how long will this insanity go on? I have built up tolerance. I have exercised my patience muscles. I have been flexible. I have adjusted. But how long until the seams bust?

Valium anyone? Or maybe Xanax is more applicable. Hope you enjoyed the comedy rant. All you can do is laugh at what we call life today. And of course many make shift momma/teachers are working on fractions hourly to combat stresses. The pic below is a great visual.

challenges

Feeling Violated

I made a mistake the other day. I was careless. I used poor judgment. The list goes on and on. I let myself feel discouraged.

Because of my actions or inactions, I suffered. My wallet was stolen and / or misplaced. If the latter was the case a kind soul would have returned it. However if it was stolen the person would use it for their gain.

How did the situation turn nout? For the worse. Whomever located the wallet found a decent amount of cash, a photo ID, and two credit cards. They could have returned it but they didn’t.  They went to:

The liquor store first. Then the gas station. Then the local Autozone. The local sporting goods store. On to the tractor supply store. Then amazon. Then Boost mobile. A cheap hotel. Hotels.com was next. Then back to the sporting goods store 3 more times. Off to a shoe store. Back to a few gas stations.

All within less than ten miles from the place the wallet was misplaced. I feel violated. Somebody in my community is using my ID and my cards frivolously. Knowing full well it’s not theirs. It’s wrong. It’s stealing. It’s not nice.

The bad part is the business I lost the card at is one I frequent. Can I go back? I wonder if the person behind the counter took it? So many questions. The dilemma of filing a police report. Each place they chose to charge the card has cameras. The amount they charged will surely put them behind bars. Is it worth it for me? For them? For anyone?

At the end of the day, I cancelled my cards. All is okay in my world except for the fact my photo ID is floating around. Or maybe they discarded it. Maybe it’s a souvenir. It makes me feel a bit dirty and violated. Will they sell my information? Will they stalk my address?

Today’s world is full of many different people. People are messy and definitely make bad choices. It’s life.

I will unfortunately trust less now. I will lock everything up without hesitation. I will keep my head on a swivel and take mental notes of who, what, when and where I am and what my surroundings are. I won’t be violated in this way again.

I hope nobody has to feel the empty or loss I did over this situation. Clearly all items could be replaced but there is definitely an emotional scar left. A negative emotion.

Writing about emotions is healthy and why I chose to expand upon this situation. Life isn’t all a bed of roses. In my case it was a field of sharp prickly rose stems that wreaked havoc on me.

This fiasco also almost made me not attend a birthday celebration as I was in my feelings. That is also a fancy way of saying I was pouting. Needless to say I have the best group of friends who made me get my butt in gear so I could shake off the mad mojo and enjoy what was left of the day.

I did just that. I was happy until I saw that the person who stole my wallet was bold enough to hit the over $5,000.00 mark in fraudulent charges. That is more than a petty thief. That’s a habitual offender. Good luck to you whomever you are.

#2020sucks #2020shitstorm #stopthief