Pause, reset, trust

I had a meeting scheduled with my bosses yesterday to discuss our recruiting efforts. After what happened on Friday with two hand-picked candidates asked us to meet with (and turned out to be kind of awful people), I was bewildered and confused by the process. Their reaction when I tried to discuss it muddied the waters further as well as left me feeling completely disrespected and on the path to demoralized.

Sunday the scheduled meeting was moved into the afternoon and a management meeting scheduled instead – which is just me and the partners, versus the 5 of us, 2 supervisors, 3 seniors.

The situation was unfortunate, because it made me wonder who these men were and what had happened to the cooperative, creative bosses I had earlier in the week. While I am not a shareholder in this firm, I am typically included and consulted with regard to management of the firm. To be shut out and shut down so completely is awful; had they physically reached out and slapped me I would not have been more shocked and surprised.

And as if they had physically assaulted me, it gave me enough pause to stop and really consider my options and alternatives if this is the way things are going to be moving forward.

My ways of processing things is partly analysis of the situation, it’s possible reasonable (and unreasonable) explanations, and figure out what must happen to make restore peace in my fiefdom that is my day job. While I really love the staff and the role itself, if I wanted to work in a compartmentalized corporate conglomerate where I am a mere cog in the big giant wheel I would have chosen another type of firm. If it took 18 months for the partners’ Dr. Jeckyll to transform in Mr. Hyde, experience tells me the time span between future transformations will evolve into a briefer and briefer pattern.

After leaving my prior employee-based position, I swore not to put myself into another position where I am cleaning up the messes resulting from lack of communication and poor decision making. If I am in a role where I am supposed to be managing something to manage firm resources and personnel, I need to either be part of the solution or my job becomes a cancer that takes over my life.

This weekend, I decided we would resolve this issue or I would be turning in my notice. Sounds extreme, I know, but in truth I have a thriving part-time self-employment business and am routinely having to turn away referrals from existing clients because I don’t have time to take on a lot more new work. While making money is really nice – I am a capitalist at heart and do appreciate my opportunities to make lots of bucks – it is not worth sacrificing my self-respect or feeling undervalued and unappreciated. That said, I am not someone with an over-inflated ego; I so nor believe myself indispensable and beyond reproach for my skills and work habits. I am well aware that everyone is replaceable and there are literally dozens of equally to more qualified candidates out there. But whether those other candidates bring the same level of care and compassion to the work, I have no idea. I do think my empathy coupled with practicality, skill set, and willingness to be fair and balanced in dealing with people – maybe it’s less common.

M and I had discussed this extensively over the weekend, and I had a few in-depth conversations with other friends who are in similar lines of work. I needed a gut-check to ensure I was not massively overreacting. But at the end of the conversations, I would probably still be inclined to walk away if this was the new world order at my firm. Love the people, actually really like and respect the partners as well, but I cannot and will not work with my role and priorities being altered without any discussion or notice.

With this all settled for me, I went into the meeting with a clear head and an open mind. I had my hopes – an explanation at the very least – and was not completely disappointed by the outcome.

There was a genuine apology for their brush off. There was opportunity for me to vent my feelings – primarily anger, disappointment, and betrayal. I felt set-up, walking in blind with a couple of candidates they already knew or were at least familiar enough with to invite to meet with us. No debrief? No advance warning? Or was it the candidate set-up with extended hopes and expectations?

Uncomfortable silence around the table when I laid it out for them in black and white, and I was dimly reminded of reprimanding my kids in their youth. Unanimous agreement all around the process had been botched and that the candidates were unlikely to be a good fit with the type of firm they have created and the professional atmosphere they want to foster.

The why of it all still eludes me, other than the concern of adding more female professional staff looms large in their minds. I point out that yours truly is female and a manager, even if I am not an attorney and even if my male bosses dis me from time to time. However, I agree that another female hires would be beneficial. Alas, finding the most qualified female for the jobs we are seeking to fill has been a challenge as well. In addition to that, our willingness and ability to accommodate the time and schedule requests of the lady lawyers we have extended offers to have been rejected. Not our fault.

But before we dug too deeply into the actual recruiting part of our meeting, I wanted to wrap-up the communication aspect of our discussion.

Bosses agreed they botched this introduction and also agreed it might have been partly an unconscious and on purpose choice to test our mettle. Nope, I did not like that, at all, and we were very nearly back to square one.

Of the 4, all have been married and divorced at some point, although all are presently single right now. I am older by more than a decade and have been with M for more than a quarter century and know quite a bit about trust, betraying trust, and what it takes to rebuild once broken. Just in case you’re curious – it was not infidelity on either side, so much as my child victimization and M sharing it with our counselor without my permission or even telling me first. That lack of communication nearly ended our marriage, and it took a long time and therapy to recover and rebuild.

While their behavior is small-ball in comparison, it is serious enough that I did figure out my options and whether resignation was a viable one. I do not threaten ever, and I did not give them a “my way or the highway” ultimatum speech. What I did say – I am a professional in my own right and in my own field, and I am always straightforward and honest with them about my thoughts, ideas, opinions. This is their firm; they can run it however they see fit. However, if my role in it is as they have described and up to this incident acted like it was what they wanted, the game playing and mettle-testing must cease. Immediately. Tell me it is none of my business. Decide to alter my job description and explain to me that they are implementing changes to my duties and role. But do not treat me like an unknown quantity they cannot or will not trust enough to use her best judgement. Because despite what they thought they were doing or what they intended, this is the ultimate outcome of their misstep.

They are smart men; they got the message loud and clear. There is no double-secret probation, no hoops they must jump through to make it up to me. But my expectation of being treated like a professional was crystal clear.

After a rough day with all that yesterday, it was good to have some space from them and focus on my self-employment workload today.

Life is long and relationships of all stripes complicate everything. But we will sort it out, work it out. Our first big fight; time will tell how it shapes our future.

An awesome day

Today was the actual office moving day, and I am so very proud of my crew for stepping up and getting shit done.

IT guys were already in the new office and hard at work when I walked through the doors at 9 a.m. This new key code locking system we have is fantastic! They have their own code to the front doors and the network server room and can be in the office working on the server without me or another staff person present.

Comcast phone people arrived on the early side of their window and were done and gone by 1 p.m. Phones were down for all of 20 minutes, our auto attendant was in service 20 minutes after that.

Everyone had their offices and workspaces packed on carts, wrapped in saran wrap (or whatever that stretchy moving film is really called) and were working on laptops well before the noon deadline. When the movers showed up at noon – right on time – we were read to move. To get our carts and furnishings that needed to be moved loaded, driven less than 2 miles, unloaded, and some desks rearranged took them 3 hours. They told me it was a small job and estimated 4 hours, but they were hugely efficient and we are delighted with the service rendered.

By the time I left the office at 5:45 (for my 6:30 yoga class), nearly all the carts were empty and the moving boxes folded flat and ready to be picked up tomorrow. The only exceptions were the library, and my receptionist and a couple of the associates were busy putting books away when I left. The phones work, the computers work, the internet works, and we will be back in business tomorrow morning. The biggest issues are with a couple of the new desks – the keys provided do not seem to match the locks. The furniture vendor will be in the office tomorrow afternoon to have a look and get us the right keys or replace the locks.

Also tomorrow the newer and improved copy machine and printers will be delivered and set-up, and our confidential shredding service will be delivering new containers.

My bosses are really happy with the everything going so smoothly, and all is forgiven (if not 100% forgotten) about the many meetings and disagreements that cropped up on our march to make this happen. Majority of the staff are pleased with their new work areas, and the couple who are less delighted are newbies still working at smoothing the chips on their shoulders. We also now have a couple of small client consultation offices and a larger work room for collaborative efforts.

I am relieved the biggest, most questionable aspects of the job are now complete and life will soon return to normal levels of busy for me.

M has been rather surprised at how well I have handled all this stuff the last couple of week, but as I point out to him, the stress load was spread out over most of 7 months. I have also continued with my gym training and practice at least 6 days per week, plus yoga at least a couple of nights per week. I’m on a pretty regular sleep schedule and sleeping very well for the most part – it’s only when I shave sleep staying up late working or engrossed in conversation or a book that I do not get enough rest and am vulnerable to stressure meltdowns.

Having this type of routine is huge, and I cannot stress enough the positive benefits in all aspects of my life.

As much as the exercise and the healthier food choices, I have simply let go of a lot of things that brought some level of additional stress and anxiety to my life. It has been strangely uplifting and liberating to let go of people and things that clutter and impact me in less desirable and healthy ways. I still have quite a lot of work to do in this area, but I firmly believe that getting started and making consistent effort a habit is at least half the battle.

I expected to feel a bit let down now that this huge project and undertaking in now winding down to the clean-up stage, but the opposite is true. I do not feel sad, depressed, or even relieved; I am exhilarated. Not having to think about dozens of tiny pieces and parts of this move every week now frees me to focus on other projects on my work-related bucket list.

And I am ridiculously excited about the prospects of new challenges and projects. I am looking forward to a reasonably quiet December and into January before starting my next big work thing in 2017.

For tonight, though, I’m riding a wave of happy success, where everyone showed up and did their jobs and simply pitched in where needed. My work tribe exceeded my expectations and I could not be prouder or more pleased than with how well they handled the disruptions of the last couple of weeks.

I am also really proud of me. I worked damn hard at this and stayed focused on the end goal and did not get stuck in the weeds or distracted by the avalanche of details. That I can type and post that kind of positive affirmation? Big giant forward progress. Go me!

When bad food happens to good people

It is a measure of my emerging better mental health that I think of and refer to myself as good people. This was not always the case, for most of my life I have thought myself as just okay people on my best days and not so good the rest of the time. Negative girl, when she was in a conciliatory mood, would toss out that such judgments of self worth left ample room for improvement and insulation against the perils of conceit setting up shop in my brain.

Me wandering the streets with an over-inflated ego and sense of self. Pigs growing wings and flying would be only a slightly less wondrous sight.

Despite such fanciful musing, I have reach the Goldilocks tipping point of Just Right in my assessment of me, the person, and how I am doing in progressing through life. It is my assessment that there will always be room for improvement, and being good and content with where I am right now is not the equivalent of unpinning the unobstructed by clouds blue sky overhead today.

Until a random stop at the grocery happened today after practice and in a moment of genuine weakness, the bottle of Mexican coke slipped into my cart AND made it through the check stand and home to my refrigerator.

Where it sits like a ticking time bomb.

I have all sorts of excuses as to why this demon has entered my realm. The long series of unstructured days. The traditional peppermint mocha black Friday weekend. The sense of deprivation. The pumpkin pie and mini tiramisu cupcake on Thanksgiving. The mashed potatoes and bread from Thanksgiving. The feeling of deserving a treat. The lie that I got it for M as a treat. The negative girl effect of slacking on practice.

All such complete and total bullshit.

The demon is in my realm because I wanted it. A moment of weakness? Perhaps. More likely just one of those impulses I have mostly learned to suppress or distract myself from indulging. At worst I will consume it and savor the sugary goodness as much as the caffeine hit it will provide. At best I will hand it over to M to remove temptation from my grasp. Most likely, though, is we will split it before or after dinner tonight. The world will continue, my A1c will not be orbiting Mars with January’s lab work, and my new meal planning discipline will keep me on the straighter and narrower pathway.

This time of year is always a challenge for me, with the uptick in socializing and the onslaught of goodies being delivered left and right. Our office move is scheduled for Thursday and Friday this week, the end game of a very long, hectic, stressful several months. Surprisingly everything is coming together; my obsessive list-making, phone call/email/text badgering communication with vendors and the property management firms paying off with this last week of moving Hell. For someone who abhors moving, I have discovered that I am surprisingly pretty good at working through the logistics and problems and wielding an invisible cattle prod to get everyone moving at the proper pacing to make it happen. By Wednesday night all offices will be packed on the moving carts and ready to moved onto the trucks big burly men will be loading for us. Desks and other furnishings will be taken apart as needed by said big burly men, loaded on the big truck, and delivered to the new space. When we arrive at our new digs on Friday morning, desks, office furnishings, and carts loaded with office stuff will be waiting to get unpacked.

Whether telephones, computer network, and internet will be up and running is one of those mysterious wait-and-see efforts, although my computer folk tell me it will go swimmingly. That we are getting a new network server and telephone system in conjunction with the new space should make the actual set-up, troubleshooting, and debugging happen with fewer issues than moving and reconnecting the former server and telephone system. I am simply going forward with faith and confidence it will happen without any hair-tearing or screaming from me to make it happen.

Essentially, 7 months of work comes together this week. Being a stress eater, my single splurge this morning is really the only bad food in the house I will actually eat. M has a stash of gummie butterflies, which smell really good yet I cannot abide the texture or taste on my tongue. Skinny pop popcorn is not that bad, and I will only eat so much of it in a sitting. The box of oranges, the bags of grapes – good substitutes for the snacking I’d be doing if I allow myself the luxury of stress eating. I have worked very hard to get to this point; I am not going to let my resolve dissolve right now when the clutch finally happens.

I did indulge myself in some retail therapy: new yoga mat towel and mat bag. I have been doing yoga very casually a couple days per week, and chatting with trainer J about yoga last night made me yearn for an additional mat towel so I don’t have to launder the one mat towel I have after each class. At least it was on sale. Not my first choice of color, but for the $10 difference in price I can enjoy a pastel blue-green colored one.

The week ahead will take care of itself, without any additional fretting on my part. In this regard I’m glad to have found my niche at the gym, in the yoga studio. I’m glad to have found some focus on healthier food choices that tend to restrain me from activity other than mindless consumption and search for more sugar, more fat, more junk in times of stress.

For now, I am putting work aside and getting busy reorganizing my gym bag. My Lists have gotten to be quite a mess, with several copies outdated copies and Lists I have not pursued in several months and want to revisit, and others that I feel I have mostly outgrown or that have been replaced by other things.

There is also some work-work, some study on our bigger camera – I am wondering what it might be like to add pictures to the blog more routinely – and some additional work to be done on my fitness-focused blog that has been languishing and needs some attention.

Then there is the usual weekend domestic choring to be completed. How could I be home this much this week and still have to run the vacuum and run a couple more loads of laundry? But oh well. Add to this list a few emails to write and phone calls to make, and I should be busy the balance of the day. And I’d really love to get back to listening to my Scott Abel podcast series and read a further in my book.

Obviously I have plenty to keep me busy and not trying to implement anarchy in the streets.

Hope you all had a fabulous weekend.

 

Tuesday’s feelings

First off, I feel a bit like an invalid. *sad face* My chest muscles feel tender from the biopsies yesterday and make me aware of breathing. Nothing seriously painful, mostly just really annoying. Personally I think these tests should not be so painful, but that’s just me weenie-whining. Must be done, because the consequences are dire. I know this. But I still don’t have to like it all that much. Anyone who thinks “oh goodie! I get to go have needle biopsies (4 to be exact – she had to have a do-over on the second) today!” is insane. Just saying.

But I am either another type of crazy or just a trooper, depending upon who you ask, and I was at the gym going through a leg/lower body List today. Very slowly, with very light weights or none at all, but I was there and persisting with my practice. And in truth it was good for my mental game even if it was just ho-hum to the legs and lower body. Some things I had to substitute – no way I was doing an inchworm today, so I went with crunches on the stability ball and hands/arms across my chest rather than upward or behind my head – and everything I used very light weights. Anything where I typically use a 15 I was using a 5, and if I typically use a 25 or 30, I was using a 15. A couple of things where I have been using 10 lb. DBs are still sort of learning curves, but the 10s worked fine. I felt better about that.

No rows, no pull downs, no chest presses even in warmup. I’m super silly even talking about it, because this soreness will pass quickly. Until then, though, I have choices between at least 3 different leg Lists. I will have super hero legs at this rate. So there is that.

I also have warm and fuzzy feelings because of something friend J did, that just makes me smile and feel so pleased to have this caliber of friend and adopted brother figure. He hates when I talk about him in sappy girl terms – says it’s the same as when I slip as tell people he is so cute. (For the record, all the men in my life kind of hate it when I use the “cute” word about them.) But suck it up, buttercup; or skip this part of the post.

So he and I had a silly little wager on trainer J’s recovery from a medical procedure, and I lost. However, friend J was so confident that he would prevail in this one that he purchased and forwarded a card for trainer J, to accompany his prize winnings I would procure and deliver to the genuinely temporarily medically maimed among us. Friend J did not tell me in advance, so I was really surprised when it arrived in the mail yesterday. And curious, intensely curious. So when I gave trainer J most of his package this morning (I just acquired the last 6 cans of rock star to complete his prize) I included the card, and he kindly opened it and put me out my curiosity misery. And let me just say – it was PERFECT! So much like friend J, so perfect for the occasion, and it made me fall in friendship/brother love for him all over again.

And gives him something else to crow about for the next few years. *smile*

Because while he’s a bachelor guy and loves his single life and lifestyle, truth is he is among the most genuine and generous people I have ever met. He’s profane. He can be incredibly rude. If he knows you and truly likes you, or if he doesn’t know you and figures he will never see you again, he will always tell you exactly what’s on his mind in very plain and simple, impossible to misunderstand sentences. Sometimes he tries for diplomacy … assuming he doesn’t really know you and thinks maybe he might have to see you again in the future. He has hurt my feelings unintentionally (most of the time) through our long friendship, and has apologized and been appropriately miserable about it afterward. But mostly, he’s fiercely loyal, honest to a fault, and does things for others simply because it seems like the right thing to do. For all the teasing I do about his ginormous ego and vanity, he is confident enough to not worry about how things reflect upon him, good or bad. He does kind, nice, generous things for others just because he acted on an impulse without concern for gratitude or how impressed anyone else might be by his actions. Ever since I have known him he has been singularly unimpressed by nearly everything other people think about him. This does not mean he is completely indifferent to the opinions of others; if he likes and/or respects you, the opinions and belief you harbor about him begin to matter. It’s both refreshing and infuriating, and I have wished more than once to be capable of adopting similar attitudes.

While we have been close friends for more than 20 years, the last year he has been more “present” in my day-to-day life since he moved east, primarily because of his interest in my exercise efforts. He himself has run the gamut from runner to physique-style weight lifting to power lifting to cycling and now back to lifting weights just for his personal satisfaction and ongoing good health. His initial suspicion and reserve toward trainer J has done a complete 180, because I like and trust J so much and have been so profoundly impacted by what he has taught me to date. Friend J is intensely proud of my efforts, so much so he has absorbed trainer J into his tribe by osmosis, because they have not actually met yet.

So I’m smiling hugely because of the gesture, and especially the sentiment expressed in the card. So. Perfect. Even M was impressed and amused by the card when he saw it.

Sappy girl stuff now concluded.

And a work-related situation – this is breaking news from this morning.

My former firm remains a thorn in my side. Because I was an officer during my tenure with them (no longer – ensured I updated the corporate documents when I left the firm), they are being sued and I have the good fortune of being named in the lawsuit as well. Wonderful, right? Now working for attorney does have its perks, in that I need not panic or rush out to obtain my own counsel just yet. I was served with the lawsuit paperwork this morning, although I have heard from unofficial sources that it may or may not be coming for me. Since the incident in question occurred after I left the firm, I should be completely removed from this situation. However, I may still be called to give testimony, which will be unpleasant.

Needless to say, it’s both infuriating and frightening, but weighted way, way heavier on the infuriating side of the equation. I have not yet talked to the former owners yet, having just received the documents, but I am going in to see my bosses today and informally ask their thoughts and advice on how to proceed.

Aggravating. Just talking about it here makes me so darn angry.

On another exercise/gym related matter – one of the newer trainers in my club was named trainer of the month out of however many clubs there are in the corporation. I saw it on Facebook, and immediately, jokingly texted J as to when HE had been trainer of the month, how are these things decided (thinking I missed my opportunity to vote), and most importantly, is this a congratulations-are-appropriate type event when I cross paths with this young man in the gym? I mean, I would hate to walk up and spontaneously offer genuine congratulations on this and have him be thinking it’s kind of a joke, everyone knows it’s kind of a joke, and there I am happily, sincerely congratulating him on a joke achievement. I would feel stupid, and worse, kind of as if I were being offensive for taking it seriously as a thing. I mean, I honestly didn’t know. From my personal observations he has a nice way with the clients he’s been working with, and he is the only one-on-one trainer I see in the gym (besides J) at 5 in the morning or at my rare, Friday night appearance he was there working with someone at 8 p.m. on a Friday night.

So yeah, I am genuine in congratulating him on the achievement. But not if it was going to make me appear to be an asshat because the announcement is kind of a joke. I simply didn’t know for sure, and I don’t work for a large firm that does this kind of thing.

I wish things were different, that I could just say “hey, saw you on Facebook. Great job!” and not be second guessing myself as to whether or not it is appropriate. So now J is coaching me on what to say to a coworker of his, one he likes and believes has potential, which is in itself high praise. And I greatly appreciate the coaching, because I don’t know the guy at all. But still, I want him to be successful in his chosen endeavor; I would like everyone to work hard and be successful at their chosen careers. Sappy-happy me believes the world is a better, kinder place when people are mostly content and satisfied with their work and lot in life.

And I’m still waiting for biopsy results – they said Thursday. But everything I hear from friends says it could be later today or more likely tomorrow, but Thursday at the very latest.

Happy Tuesday everyone.

 

Cranky blogging

My posting of late seems to be miss and miss these past couple of weeks. It started when the allergies and such overwhelmed me, but it has somehow devolved into an overall sense of negative headspace that makes blogging an endless and unpleasant experience. It seems if I am not whining I am complaining. If I am not complaining I am bitching. If I am not bitching I am being snarky about other people. My base humanity is truly ugly thing, and I hate to share the wealth of my childishness.

I had these moments of clarity last week that make me realize that full-time work life is on a slow and steady trajectory and is unlikely to reverse itself unless something dramatic happens. I can complain about it. I can rail against it. I can be determined to push forward and make myself be more positive and upbeat about it. But at the end of all that, I alone cannot change what I see has been slowly coming for the past several years. Projects are closing rapidly and not being replaced, despite our best efforts. I have known this for the last 5 years, and while I genuinely enjoy my job and wish it would last another 10 years, I believe 2 or 3 is a very optimistic outlook.

On various levels everyone in the firm is aware of it and adjusting and adapting to it in different ways. My admin has been with the firm for 20+ years and has the ideal working conditions as far as schedule, etc. However, she is also a hugely negative person, an absolutely vacuum that sucks the life out of anyone who gets has to deal with her on a one-to-one basis, i.e., me. Yesterday I realized how much I truly dread interacting with her these days. First there was the venting post on Monday, then there was the conversation yesterday about excusing her children from the health/sexual education film they would be showing today (she was 30 minutes late to work because she wanted to discuss it with the principal). There is her girl scouts activities, her soccer, baseball, school/PTA activities at the office ( her cell phone rings constantly and it is not clients or business contacts calling), her parents’ health and responsibilities … all of THAT plus the rants and venting she does about the owners and their not bringing in new work and spending money on their own lives and pursuits.

It’s truly exhausting.

Today we had a come-to-Jesus meeting about all that, because it’s affecting me and my own attitude and I needed to shut it down. I asked her to do a better job about scheduling late arrivals/early departures in advance, and I told her it was important she limit her personal phone calls during the 20 hours she was in the office. I also told her she needed to transfer her cell phone to a company plan because we are transitioning to reimbursing employees for cell phone usage and that we would no longer be reimbursing her for home internet because all her hours were now performed in the office. Part of me felt like I was being passive-aggressive because she has been getting on my nerves, but reality is this conversation was long overdue and restrained mostly by my local boss liking the relative peace in the office.

There was a frustrated venting about the owner’s golfing and extracurricular expenses versus what the overall cell phone plan and home internet service, but it’s their firm, their money. I also pointed out that we are presently spending $600 over the course of 2 years to replace an iPhone she lost. The local owner had agreed to pay for half of that, but finally agreed that the better solution was partial reimbursement for personal cell phone usage. As you might imagine, it was not a pleasant conversation.

Then again, neither was the one I had with the owners on Tuesday afternoon, where we looked at the first quarter’s financial statements. The need to cut overhead expenses has been readily apparent to me for years, but to their credit our owners are nice, generous guys who like their employees and do not want to cut back on employee perks. At this point I would much rather cut perks than salaries to make it work.

It is no wonder I am clenching my teeth.

But after that bit of unpleasantness this morning, I implemented my own attitude adjustment and resolved to not let her piss-poor attitude continue to grind me down. I spent the afternoon getting focused and organized on my new plan to get files scanned and actual paper files shredded and/or recycled. It’s tedious work, well below my paygrade, but it has to be done and as far as I am concerned if they are paying me to be there I may as well be useful. To my surprise it goes much more quickly than I imagined and gives me a genuine sense of accomplishment. Our recycling bin is full, and I am eagerly looking forward to the pick-up on Monday so there will be lot less clutter.

I find myself wondering what I will do next, once the firm winds down. Perhaps I am reading the tea leaves (and financial statements) incorrectly, but these things are pretty cut and dried. I turn the calendar at 54 next month, and there is enough chatter about age discrimination to give me pause. I do look at job listings, thinking about different places to work and what I might do next, and I must admit to being terribly spoiled by my present situation. I wear jeans, casual top, and sneakers half the year, casual dresses or shorts and sandals/flip-flops the other half (ours is an extremely casual industry and this is typical). The firm is small and the owners quite generous, and I can honestly say I generally like my coworkers, even my troublesome admin. After 10 years the work is relatively easy – accounting is accounting – and nearly all the clients I deal with are pleasant and actually grateful for the things I do for them.

Having been in a large corporate environment, I cannot say I am excited or enthusiastic about the idea of returning to that sort of job and life. If that were the only or the best option for us, though, I would go forth with an eye toward keeping my head down and doing my job. We have been extremely fortunate these last 5 years that M could be out of the workforce. With my 2 part-time jobs, we could and would manage on just my present side gig income. The likeliest scenario right now is that I would take on more work from my side jobs and pursue other work-from-home bookkeeping or accounting work make that my full-time career. I am a planner, though; I like to try and think ahead and have my exit strategy completely mapped out before it needs to be launched. In the last 5 years or so, I have updated and changed my exit plans at least a dozen times. It’s part of what spurred me on to complete my accounting degree and what inspired the list of additional marketable skills I want to acquire or sharpen before I need to actually update and send out my resume.

So this post has turned into a long, meandering braindump of why I have not been blogging as much. I know it when I am missing days, but I tend to weary quickly of blogs that complain endlessly or that present a persecuted face to the world day after day. I so fervently NEVER want that to be me. When I am having bad days, sometimes I write about the silver linings I can see behind the clouds or I completely surrender to the need to bitch and moan. The days when I sit down and open my post window and the only thoughts that come to my mind are everything wrong in the world at large I know it is not the best day or time for me to be posting.