My silly life

I’m not sure anyone’s life is truly silly, but sometimes I come here to write about something profound and all too often – I got nothing. Which is probably just as well; my version of profound could be more wool-gathering, navel gazing on the price of avocados … and I don’t even eat the darn things (it’s an M must-have food).

Of late here, I have been massively overwhelmed with stuff. Work stuff. Family and friend stuff. Health stuff. Random idiotic social media stuff. Me and my usual first-world problem stuff. For the most part, the overwhelming load has been serious and worthwhile – serious illness and surgery, potential job changes, health reports (all good!), and just the volume of work-work and with a side of too much having to talk to people whether I want to or not. I do not do well in chaos; I am a planner and at my core, I need structure and organization to be my best and to stay in my happy place. Chaos is what creeps in while I’m not looking, when I am distracted with all the other worthwhile stuff happening all at once. And please, please do not take that as complaint. I am part of a family, a community that makes me feel whole, human, and living up to my best potential, and I would rather have a lot of things going on with people I love and adore who wish to share and receive feedback and thoughts than not. It has just been perfect storm of everyone having things going on all at once and the work-work skies opening up and flooding my schedule.

Sleep remains the great equalizer. If I am getting adequate quantities of good quality sleep, I can handle most anything with aplomb. I know things are getting truly out of hand when I am getting 6 or 7 or 8 hours of sleep and still waking up feeling tired and as if another 6 or 7 or 8 hours sleep would be beneficial. As I tell M, it truly is not the quantity of sleep hours for me so much as the quality of the hours I get. Usually I conk out and am out for however many hours straight, wake up as if reset has been hit, I am refreshed and ready to tackle the challenges of a new day. The last few weeks, I gradually fade and then mind stays awake and thinking and processing rather than resting. Does not leave me at my best come morning.

The past week, I have made more conscious effort to get to bed on time and to be more mindful about going and staying asleep. Did it work? Not really, and I resorted to sleeping aids a couple of nights to help kick-start the process. But today, I can report that I feel more like my usual self and ready to address the imbalance in my schedule and life.

I think there are too many things that sound so fun and so cool and so exciting. I know that work has been crazy and I have been neglecting my “yes, but …” function. Instead, I nod, smile, give an enthusiastic “no problem!” response, only to deflate massively when I remember that this is item number 10,012 on my to-do for tomorrow. Not good. For the most part, I have clients who trust me to manage their affairs in a timely manner so they are not being penalized for tardiness. Part of that is training on my part, asking them about this, that, the other thing on the timeline and ensuring I have everything with enough time to get it done. Every year, tax season and filing deadlines throws everyone into a last-minute tizzy, and last week was culmination of all that.

Thinking about all these things this morning, I am taking steps to reclaim the balance in my time management, which is really all this current stressure is all about. Specifically:

  • Make a list of all presently outstanding work-related project, prioritize, and plan time for the upcoming week.
  • Update my weekend to-do list and finish clearing it.
  • Inventory the pantry and freezer, grocery shop and restock.
  • Reset alarm reminder for getting to bed and being asleep.
  • Pencil in some “me” time for reading and reconsider implementing some cardio exercise to accompany it (whole other blog post).

My need for a fairly structured timeframe for getting shit done is not for everyone, but it tends to work best for me. Because I have both a full-time job and a self-employment business running simultaneously plus a husband and family/friends I enjoy, this is truly the only way I keep my life and projects working and on track. Somehow I have either gotten lazy about my to-do lists or overwhelmed and busy and letting things fall through the cracks until they become an immediate crisis that must be dealt with.

Already, I feel better about things. Already, I feel like a load has lifted and things again look happier. Already, I have a lot more optimism about my ability to get shit done. Balance is possibly possible. But for me it takes a little advance planning and makes the effort less burdensome.

My silly life? Yes, probably. But it’s the only one I have and I need to make the best and the most of my days.

 

In with new, out with something else

It seems I am about to get a different car yet again.

First and foremost, M and I are not frugalistas; we have zillions of ways to waste money and probably do so routinely without giving it a second thought. However, we are also very responsible with money. Big things like savings for retirement, HSA-funding, future spending goals (home and car maintenance and repairs, vacations, birthdays and other gifting events, kitchen remodel, replacement car, etc.), secondary emergency fund investment account all get funded before we start spending each month.

That said, from a purely financial point of view, it makes no sense to sell my 2013 Rav4 and purchase a brand new 2017 Camray. We take care of our cars, and my Rav has less than 35,000 miles on the odometer after 3.5 years in our household and looks pristine. It’s serviced per manufacturer’s schedule and would likely be fine for another 10 to 15 years at the rate it gets driven. Plus, I LOVE that car.

Unfortunately, it has no trunk. The windows are tinted and it is not a simple glance to see whatever I might have in my car (usually nothing but my reusable shopping bags and the plastic box I keep them corralled in when full), but every week I drive and meet with clients and have both personal and business financial documents in my possession. Recently I walked up on a guy trying to break into my car while my work box of files was in the back. I have no idea if he was actually planning to try and steal my car (it has an alarm) or if he was after its contents, but it freaked me out to the point that I now carry my box around with me to meet with other clients.

So there is that.

Add to this that M also drives and AWD SUV, a 2008 Highlander, and it is the go car for us. The Rav commutes to the office, goes to the gym, toodles around town when I go to client offices, but the rest of the time, it’s at home in the garage. M and I are going anywhere, he prefers to take the Highlander.

The Rav has again become “too nice” to take out for a spin on the weekend.

This happened with the first Rav we had, a 2007. I owned it for 4.5 years and sold it with just over 40,000 miles on the odometer because M and I became paranoid about something happening to it. M far more so, but it was infectious. I wanted something older may with a few scratches in the paint to make me feel better.

A 4Runner and a Honda Civic later, and we arrive at the present Rav4. For awhile it was the go car, then we sold M’s older (silver) CRV in favor of a newer (blue) CRV, and in it’s plushy-ness became the go car. Then the Highlander became available, and as it had belonged to my former boss, I knew its entire history and knew it had been well maintained and kept in good repair. So the blue CRV was set aside in favor of it and went off to its next owner. M loves that hulking Highlander beast, so he is set for awhile. But our time with my present Rav4 is about concluded.

Entirely possible the Camray will remain “too nice” to take anywhere, but I doubt it. This would be the ride we choose for coastal adventures where we do not go boonie-crashing down gravel fire roads just because they’re there. And it has a trunk, so I can stash my crap out of sight. I would be really upset if my car was broken into and my gym bag stolen, but I’d be frantic if I lost client documents.

In my life, I have learned that sometimes purchases make no sense on paper or financially. This is another of those occasions. However, as in all things personal finance, it is personal. Yet my inner budget professor is scratching her head trying to make sense of this decision. To her I can only say, the emotional impact of finding some strange man standing next to your car with the slimjim is not to be underestimated. My own sense of personal safety is very well developed, probably overly so, and while this will not advance us financially in any way, shape, or form, it will also not set us back in dangerous ways. So I work another 5 or 6 months before leaving the paid work force, but for me, for us, it makes emotional sense.

On another matter, I have been sorting through photographs from my mom’s house. I’ve taken dozens out of frames and sorted them into me and my kid and my sister and her family. I don’t keep in touch with my nephew, no idea how to reach him, and will keep the pictures in envelopes until I get some motivation to find him.

There is one picture of my oldest daughter, her last school picture. I have dozen of the same photograph, but mom had a wallet framed and kept it in her bedroom. I cannot remove it from the frame and have no reason to keep yet another copy. I am not sentimental; I do not need the framed photo to remember my daughter or my mother. So after 2 weeks of vacillating and trying to decide what to do, I stuck it into the trash and threw it out.

I’m not sentimental at all, yet my stomach aches and I feel out of breath (in the bad ways) thinking about disposing of it this way. It’s not my daughter or my mother. It is simply a duplicate of something I already have and don’t actually need. As for my mom, our relationship was more toxic waste than warmly fuzzy. Thinking about her does not make me happy or sentimental or misty with nostalgia. Frankly, think about mom makes me furiously, irrationally angry, feelings and emotions I would really rather purge from my system and my life.

Even now, 21 years later, I mourn the loss of my child, miss her every single day, and shed a few tears throwing away this single copy of her final school picture, even if I have a framed copy in my family room and dozens of other copies carefully preserved in storage boxes. At the same time, it is one more step in the wall that separates me from my toxic family of origin and the truer horrors of my life.

Life is not fair, and rarely does it balance evenly. But for every bad thing in my history, there is something better, richer, more rewarding.

This week, there will be something new and different, a tool that makes my life easier and work better and strengthens my sense of safety. Out with something else that at once breaks and heals my heart simultaneously.

 

Death and financial train wrecks – different types of devastation

While the post title sounds like related issues, in fact they are two separate soundtracks running through my thoughts the past few days. Nothing pretty to see here, so if you are looking for my usual glitter-bombing unicorn outlook, this may be the post to skip.

Yesterday I spent a couple of hours with my client who lost his 13-year-old son last week; the young man took his own life. While he is a client, most of my self-employment clients are people I consider friends as well, the business just another anecdotal box of experiences we happen to share. Understandably, he is completely broken, destroyed by what has happened. That little boy was the sun and moon and stars in his world, and now he’s gone. Interlaced with grief, though, is this intense, white-hot anger from the circumstances that may time will cool and bring peace. I am not an especially religious person; I offer no platitudes about better places and safe from harm. As a mother who has been through the grief that comes with the death of a beloved child, such statements tend to piss me off even as I know that my children are only on loan, they are meant to grow up and become independent beings well outside my scope of control and direction. But 12, 13 – it is way too soon. Please do not ever suggest to me it’s God’s will, or it’s part of a bigger plan, or they are happier in their place in Heaven. Fuck that shit. Our children – we are good parents; our children should be her on earth with us, getting awkward and hormonal, getting angry and screaming at us, assured in how little we know and growing up into people who again like and respect us for the mere mortals we are as they mature into adulthood and realized that their parents are imperfect, do not have all the answers, but try their best.

In a lot of real and direct experience ways, I am someone who understands. I listened and pretended not to notice when he cried. There are no words of comfort in these situations, and sometimes it is only human warmth that makes us feel less alone and lonely with our tragic losses. As I still think to this day, when there are no words, hugs speak volumes.

Into this profoundly emotional and poignant time with one slice of my life, comes all the bullshit and pettiness of small-ball problems. Comparatively speaking, anyway. There are no universal bandaids that remove physic pain and perceived injustice, and sometimes my patience with those who want to escalate petty grievances into something bigger, badder, much more complicated and time-consuming – let’s just say I’m short and dismissive. Every person I know who works or has any type of relationship with expectation of performance and results has similar stories of such disagreements and less motivated, less first-choice options for bosses, coworkers, worked hired out. So I know I am not the only manager at any level in the world having to deal with people and their problems. And I also know what is a Very Big Deal to them is smaller than small-ball to me. Most of the time, I try to deal with them professionally and compassionately, even while telling them to grow up and get real.

In other words, more drama in the office. And it is not that I don’t care – I care very much, particularly as it impacts perceptions about me and my performance of my job functions – but when you are dealing with a slice of pirated information (salaries) and without complete context, the leg you’re standing on is kind of weak and shaking. When it comes up, I will deal with it. Right now, my head is filled with thoughts of death.

And I hate it.

I hate that my client and friend is suffering so miserably. I hate that another dear friend is thousands of miles away and alone and facing a procedure on his brain. I don’t think it’s just me that gets nervous when people speak of brain surgery, and to not be able to be present and there at this time – it’s really, really hard. While telling myself thousands of times daily that it will be fine, he will be fine, I cannot get my mind to buy the reassurances. Sometimes being a “hope for the best, imagine the worst” version of Pollyanna does not work out all that well for me.

Truthfully, I cannot imagine my life without him somewhere in it. M is far more stoic than I am, thankfully, but even he has his reservations and concerns. It’s BRAIN surgery, and no matter how normal and routine it might be for the surgeon and the specialized team of doctors and nurses, this is someone we love and it is a world-class BIG DEAL to the rest of us sitting on the sidelines and metaphorically wringing our hands and trying not to be consumed with worry.

So yeah, head is kind of stuffed to overflowing out my ears with thoughts of death and what life is like imagining and trying to shut off the imaginings of life after the worst.

Ugh.

Another of my clients asked begged (his term, not mine) me to work with his niece on her finances. I thought it would be relatively straight-forward; after all, my client is very intelligent and sensible, his sister (the referral’s mother) seems the same in the times we have met. I figured at worse she would have student loan debt and need some help with her budgeting.

Oh my, I was so very wrong.

We met yesterday, and after 30 minutes of discussing the state of her life, I put away the green tea I was drinking and order the fully caffeinated, full-sugar version of a coffee-flavored milk drink to fortify myself. It is quite ugly.

She is a college graduate with degrees in chemistry and literature. Her parents paid for college so no student loan debt. Her home was gifted to her from her grandmother along with just over 6 figures in cash. She is employed in the local hospital system, which brings to mind decent wage and benefits. The car she drove up in a later model Camray – nothing fancy or flashy. While she is telling me all this, I am listening and nodding and thinking she needs a financial planner more than she needs a budget coach.

Then she pulls out the sheaf of check stubs, bank statements, credit card bills. I am still thinking, okay, everyone gets into trouble with credit cards; it’s almost a right of passage. I can help her, I’m sure.

It is with the documents that the real story comes out and why her mother and uncle asked me to talk with her and see if I can help her out.

This girl is 29, working at a job that pays about $42K per year, because she only works part-time (20 hours per week) by choice. There is a maxed out line of credit on her paid-off home, she has less than $500 in the bank, and an astonishing amount of credit card debt racked up in just a few years. On top of which – before inheriting her home and money, she had declared bankruptcy because of other credit card debt accrued in college.

I asked her how all this debt came about and got some pretty vague answers about shopping and paying for a couple of fender benders to keep them off her insurance and travel and charitable giving. I asked what happened to her inheritance, and got similar responses, with the addition of … plastic surgery. Did I mention she is turning 30 in a couple of months?

Ugh. Financial train wreck? More like mushroom cloud of financial devastation.

While I suspected this was going to be a huge challenge, I valiantly tried to help her.

Does she have a budget? Yes, but she routinely runs out of money and has to use her credit cards. Okay, can she show me her budget. Well no, because she keeps it in her head. She does pay all her bills when she gets paid and lives on what’s leftover. Except with this much credit card debt, there is a whole lot more living going on than a single person should be doing.

Or so goes the judgmental budget coach in me.

I did not have time to crunch the numbers to even get a sense of where she was, so we set up another appointment for this weekend after I had a better chance to look through her stuff and figure out how truly bad things are for her. And after looking through all her stuff last night, it’s really bad.

Since I know quite a few people in her age bracket, I know it is not just an issue of financial literacy. Yet I cannot fathom how someone could go blow through a just over $100K in inheritance, take out (and then max out) a line of credit on a paid-off home, and run up enough credit card debt to owe just over $150K on a $42K per year salary. And yet, I have seen so much worse through the years.

I know and have heard all the arguments and sob stories about the evil banks and credit card companies taking advantage of the consumer. Bullshit. No one makes us take on debt, although I do know sometimes it’s an uncomfortable only option we have. My sympathy in this is primarily with her family, who – rightly – refuse to bail her out of this mess and merely try to find her resources to help resolve it.

The discord in this is that she is in such a deep, dark place of denial. The typical millennial mindset is stronger than average in this one (and I do apologize to all my very level-headed millennial friends who may be reading this vent).

Either way, she’s in a huge financial bind and it will get worse long before it gets better. I want nothing but success for her, but from conversations with her uncle and her mother, she is not listening to them and is unlikely to listen to me. However, I will do my best.

I think she sees herself as living a life of freedom, whereas I see a young woman anchored by debt and being smother by the increasing interest and monthly payments. She could sell her home – the only assets I see that she has – which would likely clear her debt. But I know already the idea will float like a lead balloon.

At a very minimum, she needs to request a full-time schedule and accept every single hour of overtime that is offered to make more cash. With some negotiation with her creditors we might be able to get her squeaking through each month and with a very strict beans-and-rice type budget.

Buuuuttttt – one of the first comments out of her mouth is that she is unwilling to work more hours. Her debt is a combination of shopping, world travel, philanthropy, and just plain deranged, out-of-control spending. Seriously, I cannot think of another way to describe it.

I cannot save anyone, except perhaps myself. For the sake of my client, I will do my best to create a realistic plan … that she’s unlikely to agree to much less follow through with. When I met her, before we began discussing her finances in detail, I thought she was smart, funny, interesting, and quite physically beautiful. We chatted briefly about fitness – she works with a trainer 3 times per week and does yoga religiously 4 or 5 times per week – and I briefly, VERY briefly, thought she should meet trainer J. Or one of the associates I work with.

No, oh no. I love and adore my trainer, I really NEED my trainer, and I simply cannot do such a horrible thing. And my associates, it’s important to me to maintain my professional relationships. My goodness – what if someone I happened to introduce her to actually likes her? No, just no.

I was actually relieved to find out she likes girls.

The bottom line, at the end of a difficult day on a multitude of levels, what I find almost sadder than the real life agony is this silly, silly girl with the great big entitlement boulder resting on her shoulder.

Some things, some choices, some events are so far beyond my understanding. Where I can help, I try my best to do the right thing and provide what assistance I can. Sometimes it’s out of my realm of expertise, and the eventual outcome is in the hands of others far more skilled and more knowledgeable than me.

I have my hopes for the people in my life – I want what I want for them, whether it peace of mind or recovering their health. When someone new wanders into my midst, if I can help I will try. If they refuse help, I can and will step aside and let nature take its course.

Doesn’t mean I have to like it much, any of it. Sometimes I just wish people did not have to endure so much hardship, and sometimes I just wish people would be realistic and make better choices about their lives.

I’m back!

I had not intended to stay out of sight quite so long, but life happened and time the days slipped away from me. While I have been keeping up with my better health posts on the new blog, I have been trying to scrape off a few trolls and do some housekeeping over here. Still not 100% convinced all is well, but we shall see how it goes.

While I was away, our front yard landscaping was completed.

Our neighbors probably think we are tree haters, but in truth we do not enjoy plants and things that require a lot of maintenance. We do not spend a great deal of time out in the front yard, so we told our landscape designer we wanted something without any plants. As it was we ended up with far more big rocks than I imagined, and the flagstones were a last-minute decision as well, but we are delighted with the way it turned out. This does not mean we won’t change our minds in the future and remove the white dolomite in favor of the salt and pepper that makes up the riverbed.

We do have a large granite bolder near the front that has what appear to be places to set a potted plant or something else. I keep having visions of setting up a GI Joe doll in climbing gear as if freehand climbing up one of its faces. Or some realistic mountain goat or bear figures standing on top the rocks surveying their kingdoms.

Other than the yard, things are good. Very busy with work-work and trying to get things done around the house. If I could just ship M off for a month or 2 and erase his memory I could have this place ship-shape and our possessions dramatically reduced. But since we both live here and want to stay happily married, we negotiate. But me having more minimalist tendencies and he more “I might need this” type frame of reference, it’s hard. Probably a life long work-in-progress.

But the yard is done and looks nice to our eyes. That’s the important thing.

Hope you are all doing well out there!

Good existence

J remarked this morning that if reverse lunges are “the bane of my existence,” I have a pretty darn good existence. And he’s right – I am uniquely and richly blessed in all aspects of my life and have zero reason for complaint.

Today M is enroute to look at and potentially purchase an genuine kit airplane. It is not a complete kit; it is maybe two-thirds of all pieces and parts necessary to create a functional, flying airplane housing, motor and electrical gizmos not likely included. But after talking about to me, many of his aviation building buddies online and on the phone, he is extraordinarily excited about the opportunity and driving 200 miles in our big truck to see it, and as I said, possibly buy it. For $550.

The money is far from pocket change for us, and I am sure several of the honey-do list items will be getting done by paid professionals, thus costing us more money for labor than if M just did the work himself. And I am okay with that. Because getting his pilot’s license and owning his own aircraft are lifelong dreams for M, and I am supportive of his pursuits in this area. The frugalistas in our life will be judgmental and disapproving of such an outlay of cold, hard cash. After all, M does not yet have his pilot license and has never before attempted to build an airplane. I smile and change the subject. If they are really pushy about it, I say this is really none of your business. On one memorable occasion I tried both tactics before suggesting they go f–k themselves and left the business where we were having coffee.

Because money is meaningless if hoarded only for some future need. We spend some, we save a lot. We budget. And we each pursue our individual dreams within the realm of affordability for us. Right now, learning new skills while building a functional aircraft is where M’s passion and attention are focused, and I support him in these endeavors even if it means we have a pile of my trash/his treasure sitting around in-process for several years.

We have lots of stuff, and now it seems we are acquiring even more. Because this is not just a single purchase. Into the future there will be other equipment, other tools, other hobby needs that much be sought out and acquired. I anticipate the workshop shed we have been contemplating will come to fruition next year, along with more concrete and outdoor lighting. Deck building may become a task for our contractor, something I desire anyway. It’s not that I feel M lacks the skill to do the work, but it seems like a larger job that requires more than one skilled set of hands. Deck building is not a skill I want to acquire right now, so I would much rather hire a laborer to help M or our contractor and his helpers to build it for us.

Getting rid of stuff is on my mind, though, especially in our tiny kitchen. An extra popcorn popper and Vitamix are on their way out the door this weekend to new homes, given to other friends who will put them to work. A queen size bed is being picked up on Sunday along with several sets of sheets and a couple of quilted bedspreads. These are things we could likely sell for a few dollars, but we know others who want/need them and will definitely appreciate receiving them. For us, that’s enough. While we can always use a few more dollars, right now we can feel and enjoy the good karma that comes with sharing out wealth more.

It may not always be this way, there may be a point in the future where we really need the few extra dollars. But right now, ours is a good existence. We can share what we have with not expectation of anything more than a simple “thank you.”

Zombie shopping

No, I am not searching for flesh-eating dead folk. Zombie shopping is when I lose my mind and online shop without advance planning or particular purpose and is usually directed a few select stores. This time it was Amazon, where I went to get M’s ginger chews (orange chimes – quite yummy if you like ginger) and somehow ended up with 12 bags of jelly belly cinnamon bears, my 2016 planner, a couple of Under Armor running shirts for M, and 3 pairs of socks. I have no idea why I got the socks.

With the exception of the cinnamon bears and socks, the rest of the stuff falls into the needs category. Except probably not right now. The new year is still a fe months away. The running shirts are definitely needed replacements for a few that are simply rags, but winter is coming an M will be switching over to long-sleeves and colder weather gear. But they were nice, and a decent price. I did not think, just clicked and spent.

The last couple of days have been crazy. Busy with work-related stuff yesterday and all day today, then got my hair trimmed and colored. I am back to sporting bangs again, after 2+ years of long hair all around. I like it better; it gives me a softer look when my hair is pulled back for the gym or just because I am lazy. Ridiculous amount of cash later and I am good for another 6 weeks. Thankfully I do not have a lot of other expensive grooming habits.

I was at the gym tonight working on my health and wellness project. May I just say young men can be incredibly rude? Not all of them, but there was a trio at the gym this evening that just annoyed the hell out of me.

I had been using a specific pair of handles on a cable weight machine, alternating between a leg press and rowing with this cable machine. While I was doing my leg presses, these young men took the handles for another set of cable machines. Okay, I thought, I shall go find another set somewhere. Except it was a busy night at the gym, and everywhere I looked these things were actively in use. So I wander back to my machine and see these men merely standing around the machine, not using the handles. I ask politely if I could use them for a short period – a single set to complete my routine – and was told no, they were using them right now. I shrugged it off and went to the next items on my list, but in the same area. I completed three sets of other exercises and never once did any of them touch those handles. In fact, as I was finishing up my final set and contemplating doing something else in another room, they walked away from the equipment without ever once touching those handles they had been using. Aggravating.

So I took them down and used them for my final set on the cable machine. As I was finishing up, they returned and went in search of the handles again, and seeing me using them, did not have the grace to look ashamed, merely sighed loudly and with impatience until I finished my exercises and abandoned them. Thankfully the did not say anything to me directly.

When I walked out of the gym 5 minutes later, they were still standing next to the equipment and not using either the machine or the handles. I think I have become a temporary magnet for piss poor behavior.

The week thus far

So my plantar facia problem continues. It’s like an ongoing saga that seems to have no end, but in reality it’s only been a few weeks of intermittent pain and less than a week of truly youchie pain. It IS improving and getting better. The biggest problem is I am an incredible baby about the whole process and want it resolved/solved/healed. Yesterday.

I am supposed to ice it twice daily for 15 to 20 minutes. We have frozen a couple of water bottles for me to roll around against the bottom of my foot. It helps, but the actual icing is so unpleasant that I absolutely dread it. No amount of distraction seems to remove my focus on this icy cold thing against the sole of my foot. I have to set the timer to ensure I do the minimum amount. Heaven help M if I something worse ever befalls me, because I definitely become Miss Cranky Pants when sidelined.

As I said, it is improving and getting better. I do some gentle stretches even before I get out of bed, I wear a supportive stretchy thing under my sock while doing any sort of exercise. Still no flip-flops or heels, but I can wear my flats to client offices and meetings and am not completely tied to my various pairs of running shoes. Progress.

I went to the gym last night out of a sense of guilt and desire to work on upper body stuff, but it was jam packed! Seriously, everywhere I went there were crowds of people using the equipment. Every weight bench I saw had one, two, three people using it in rotation. The room where I typically work with J was fuller than I have ever seen it and there was no class in progress. I did some light cardio – treadmill did not hurt the lame foot – and left feeling anxious and overwhelmed. The neurotic introvert in me won that battle.

I am determined to try again tonight. If it’s still as crowded at 7 as it was last night, I will try switching over to early mornings or later nights tomorrow. Plus I do make my own schedule; I can go midday if that seems most compatible with the my nervous system, but the showering/changing burns time in my business day schedule. I guess there is no perfect solution.

In other news, our new bed is being delivered tomorrow. EEEK! I got the call last night and he wanted to deliver today, but we are so not ready. Our bedroom needs to be rearranged and our existing bed moved into the guestroom, the existing guestroom bed moved to someone else’s home. For tomorrow we’re just moving our existing bed into the living room and rearranging the furniture in there. M completely filled our recycling can with broken down shoeboxes he had been piling up in his corner of the room and our trash can is nearly full of trash from various boxes and bags he’d been hoarding storing since our move into this house 3+ years ago. On my side there is a pile of shoes for the donation box and several pairs to be put back into the closet, but that’s about it. M has all day to finish his side of the room and I must admit it’s looking so much better. Nothing like a short deadline to make us get busy and get stuff done.

The condensed timeframe (they told us it would be 4 to 6 weeks and it’s been barely 2) means we are scrambling to buy new sheets for the new bed. We are going from a king size bed to a split California king, so we will need 2 fitted twin XL sheets plus a California king top sheet. I suggested we proceed with a duvet cover instead of a top sheet for now and you would think I had asked M to consider we sleep naked in the front yard from the horrified look on his face; apparently he HAS to have a top sheet, and after this much time I should just know this. In my defense our not having sheets that fit has never before been an issue. It will work out.

I am very excited about the new bed, even if I thought I had more time to shop and acquire bed linens for it.

After three interviews and endless, obsessing over what each turn of phrase in the interviews, the email exchanges, the follow-up conversations with human resources, C (my daughter) finally received a formal employment offer from a downtown law firm. She blew up my phone with very excited texts this morning, so much so that she forgot to actually, formally accept the position.

The compensation was more generous than she expected, the benefits comparable to what she presently enjoys for about the same cost. She did not really understand the automatic enrollment in the 401K plan until I explained it to her, after which she was happy. Most important, though, was that it is a step toward a office/business career and away from veterinary medicine.

While I am losing my part-time, as-needed assistant, she is gaining a foothold into a stable, long-term environment. For now she will also be able to maintain her weekend work at the vet hospital, reducing her status to part-time relinquishing her benefits. I do not believe she can or will continue this 7 day work week schedule indefinitely, but for a few months through the end of the year it should be manageable. She is pursuing a few specific financial goals and the extra income will go toward that.

A busy week for us and our extended family thus far, but good things all around.