Not so social

Hi there! You guys, it’s already January 17th. Next week is the last full week of January. Huh? Although, it has been 70 degrees here in Atlanta for several days now, so I’m in no hurry for January to end 😉

Are you keeping up with your resolutions? (If you made any, that is. I have to say I’m pretty disappointed in myself. I am just really half-assing it right now. I’m doing OK with not spending money wastefully, but my eating habits are awry. Part of that is because I’m trying to eat all the food we already had in the house, rather than buying more food. And a lot of what we had in the house is PASTA. Mmmm, carbs.

But what I wanted to talk about here today is social media. Facebook, specifically. I’ve done a good job staying away from it this month. I do check in now and then, to make sure I’m getting all the notifications for my volunteer work and to see if I have any “important” notifications, but that’s truly been it. And I have to say that I’m really enjoying it! It so doesn’t matter if I miss out on someone’s news or a funny post. Like it totally doesn’t matter at all. Plus I really don’t need to get any kind of validation from other’s people’s comments on my own posts. In fact, I feel a bit happier not looking at Facebook at all. I’ve seen more and more articles about how comparison sucks the joy out of life, and social media is the worst kind of comparison since everyone is curating these false little perfect moments to share. I didn’t realize how bad it was making me feel about myself!

I have no plans to delete my account, because I like that it does allow me to stay in touch with people, and because I have so many pictures saved there. What I did already was go through my Friends list and unfollow a lot of people. It felt good! There were so many random people from old jobs that I wasn’t even really friends with to begin with – why do I need to keep up with whether they’ve sold their condo or had another kid? Same with people from high school that I legitimately don’t remember, or former neighbors that I was following only to keep up with gossip.

I also have no plans to get off of Instagram. I ❤ Instagram. For some reason, those curated moments don’t bother me in the same way as Facebook does. It could be that I don’t follow a lot of personal contacts, but use it more for inspiration and ideas. For awhile now I’ve only been posting on Instagram, not Facebook, anyway, and I enjoy looking back at my photos to remember my year.

So I think that after this month, I’ll continue to mostly avoid Facebook. I hid it from myself on my phone, so I’ll probably go ahead and delete it. It was mostly just a time-suck anyway

How social are you online? Do you enjoy Facebook, Instagram, Twitter? Pinterest is life, though, am I right???

 

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Starting off right

Well, Happy New Year, y’all! Hope everyone enjoyed the holidays and that you’re starting to get back into every-day reality. Did you make any resolutions for 2017?

I definitely had some plans, and tried to give myself a little leeway, since we didn’t have to go back to work until January 3rd. But then I got sick, and am now right in the middle of a really nasty wintertime cold. I don’t know about you, but when I get a cold, I am ravenous. And not for like oranges and chicken soup – nope, I want big, disgusting cheeseburgers and ALLLLL the Oreos.

My plan was to take the month of January off from:

  • Facebook
  • White carbs
  • Spending $$$
  • Drinking much on the weeknights

But that’s kind of already off the tracks. I’m doing OK with Facebook, other than reading some comments on pictures I posted over the weekend. White carbs, well, Jack made some chicken & veggie stew, and then proceeded to dump a box of bowtie pasta in it. GRRR. I’ve done a decent job eating around them, but a few made it onto my spoon. Plus he brought home Oreos, which was just plain evil. I’m proud to say I’ve only eaten two, and that was at night, when I was exhausted and feeling especially miserable. In terms of spending, I forgot we have 4 birthdays this month, so I did get some gifts from Amazon. We also keep having unexpected expenses for the kitchen reno. Good news is I’m not really drinking since I’m sick 🙂

I don’t want to feel like a failure just 5 days into the new year, but I also don’t want to start making excuses. We also have a ton of food in our pantry (like pasta) that I should use before I go out and buy low carb alternatives. Plus I’ve done some other good things, like re-start my 401(k) and start a new Instagram account (blog to follow) that I’ve been posting on daily.

With this in mind, below are my edited January goals:

  • No Facebook
  • No sugar (except for one small piece of dark chocolate allowed at night)
  • No buying any clothes, books, meals/drinks out
  • No more than 2 drinks on weeknights (and only wine then)

 

Did you make any resolutions? How are you going to stay on track? Are you a fan of baby steps or cold turkey?

Finding my place

Now that I am firmly in my 40s, I have been thinking a lot (ok, maybe obsessing) about aging and what that means as a childfree woman. I imagine that raising kids means you have a lot less time to notice every new wrinkle or sag. I do think that it is a more natural shift, to move your focus from yourself to your child. Me, I’m just here, getting more and more selfish and self-involved. I try really hard to be conscious of this, but that doesn’t mean it’s not happening.

I’m at least 10 years older than most people in my field of employment. I’m lucky that I don’t look as old as I am, but I definitely don’t look 25 either. And while before I was at least on a path towards leadership, thanks to some poor advice and my own impatience, that is not true in my current role. I have really gotten obsessive about this lately. I’m starting to believe that my age is becoming a glaring hindrance to getting a new job.

I’ve had several phone interviews that went incredibly well, leading to in-person interviews. At one of those, I could literally see the interviewer’s face change when she met me. And it wasn’t a pleasant change. I spoke with a career coach over the phone, and she was like, “wow, you don’t sound like you’re 40,” so that, combined with my present job title, leads people to believe I’m much younger. Upon meeting me in person, my age is apparently a big surprise to them.

I honestly don’t know what to do about all of this. I see now that I made a mistake when I left my last job and that company. I left more for personal reasons than professional, though I didn’t recognize that at the time. And while I thought I had done my due diligence in making this decision, I really didn’t understand the whole picture at all. I have spent the last year and a half being completed humbled, and now I’m at a place where I constantly doubt myself.

So now what? I know I have to make a change. While I hate to lose the freedom my present job offers me, I know it’s just not sustainable. I have to make some smarter decisions for future me, even if present me might be more miserable. Writing that bothers me though! Like, is that really true? Do I really have to give up working from home and unlimited vacation and a great salary? I think I do. I think that the many hours I have spent lately, awake in the middle of the night, worrying, show me that I do.

All this introspection is killing me! I think that is a lot of why I’ve stayed away from this space for a year. But now the balance has shifted and I can’t ignore it anymore. And I’m certainly not getting any younger 😦

Time for an action plan. I am considering using a career coach, but I’m not sure how helpful that will be. It’s probably a better idea to reach out to old contacts and see if they know of any roles. And maybe get a face lift!

Is this my midlife crisis?

Have you been a middle aged job hunter? Have you used a career coach? Do you have any advice for me? Are you hiring? 😉

 

 

 

Try, Try Again

Wow, I knew I hadn’t blogged in a long time, but I didn’t realize it has been just about a year! How can that be? Apparently my last post was my resolutions for 2016, so it’s kind of interesting to see how those worked out, a year later.

My diet and weight have fluctuated. I actually got below 120 for like 5 minutes, and have been hovering around 124 recently. I’m not hating that. I all but stopped running; I was having some nagging hip/glute issues, and then I got a little elective surgery in June, so I was out of commission for a few months afterwards. I’ve been working with a trainer since September, and I am loving the challenge and the results. It’s so much more fun than running!

We’ve done an OK job with organizing things around the house. Jack started a new job last spring, and now when we’re not on the road, we both work from home. We have our separate home offices up and running, which is super nice. It’s especially nice since we used to both work at the dining room table, which has been in garage for a month now as we’re having our kitchen redone. We still have a lot of work to finish up for this reno, and I feel like it’s going to beget a whole slew of new projects once complete.

Finance-wise, we have spent a lot of $$$, but I’m happy to report that I paid off my personal student loan (let’s not talk about the government subsized ones just yet) and some credit card debt we built up. One of our goals for 2017 is to really cut back on all the superfluous spending (I’m looking at you, Amazon!) and be much more mindful about where our money is going. It’s way past time to get serious about saving for retirement.

What else, what else… Jack became a grandpa for the first time! His daughter had a baby girl this summer. His other daughter moved to San Diego with her mom, and his son and daughter-in-law moved to Amsterdam. Suddenly, his family is so scattered. We are planning some fun trips at least 🙂

We were lucky enough to take several vacations: Cancun, San Diego, Hilton Head, Amelia Island, the Blue Ridge mountains. We now have two Chihuahuas in congestive heart failure (one of whom also has two torn ACLs!), so that has hampered our travel plans to say the least. We’ve taken them with us on our last three trips, which means going to places that aren’t too much of a drive. Still, we’re hoping to get to Europe this spring if we can work it out.

Thinking back over the year, it has been 95% good. Maybe 97%. The main dark cloud is my job, which I just can’t make up my mind about. I kind of hate it, and I don’t trust the company I work for, but there is so much flexibility, and they just switched to unlimited vacation, and my boss is great… Thinking about having to sit in horrible Atlanta traffic and then be in an office in front of a computer ALL DAMN DAY, only to sit in even worse traffic on the way home – I remember why I left a company that I loved to take a chance on my current role. But it is just not where I see myself in the future (partially because I don’t know how much of a future this company has). So there will be decisions to be made there.

But for now, I’m thinking about 2017, and how I want that to look. I’ve been reminded all year about important good health is, and how much I take it for granted. I want to be more devoted to my health holistically, mind/body/spirit. And financially! That’s what keeps me up the most in the middle of the night.

My goals for January:

  • No Facebook (except for the nonprofit work I help with)
  • No Amazon (if I really need it I can drive to the damn store)
  • No white carbs (I can still have honey though, right?)
  • No gin on weeknights (whomp, whomp)

 

How has your year been? Are you happy with your progress? Have you thought about what you want 2017 to look like? Are you relieved that I didn’t even mention how many awesome celebrities we lost in 2016 (RIP George Michael) and how miserable the presidential election was?

 

 

My 2016 New Year’s Resolutions

We’re one week in to the new year already! It’s felt like a funny time to try to make any changes. First, starting the year with a three day weekend is definitely not the time to do a juice fast or anything. Jack and I enjoyed the time off together and with our families, and there was absolutely no cleansing going on 😉 In fact, there was one night that we had pizza and linguine for dinner (along with giant martinis) and then went to a bar, where we had tequila shots and soft pretzels and Oreo cheesecake. I am still a little bit in shock at our gluttony.

So then we headed back to work, but we had Christmas #6 with my stepdaughter, which consisted of more linguine and wine and exciting news that she is moving to California. Now, we’re trying to settle in and behave ourselves, but we’re going to Mexico in a week so I’m kind of like, what’s the point???

The good news is that I’m sticking with my diet (in spite of the previously mentioned carb-a-thon) and am now officially down 10 pounds from my summer chubster-ism. Woo hoo! In my dreams I will lose another 8, but no pressure right now.

In terms of my goals for the year, I’m going to start off by focusing on the first half of 2016. And I’m not going to have as many lofty goals as I did last year; this time, they are more specific.

Fitness/Health

  1. Continue my diet for as long as I can stand it.
  2. Eat primarily vegan meals, but not freak out when I have a cheeseburger or some ice cream.
  3. Learn to use the kickass Garmin I got for Christmas.
  4. Run a sub-25 minute 5k by July.

Organization

  1. Clean out the linen closet.
  2. Clean up, organize, and decorate our home office.
  3. Follow a schedule with my volunteering.
  4. Focus our donations on one nonprofit, rather than giving small amounts to a lot of groups.
  5. Make new passwords for all our accounts (and keep track of them!).
  6. Replant all my sad houseplants that have outgrown their pots.
  7. Unsubscribe to a LOT of email lists.

Reading

  1. Stop buying Kindle books. Reserve books at the library.
  2. Read: On the Move, H is for Hawk, M Train.

Finances

  1. Start using Personal Capital (or something like that) to track our expenses.
  2. Pay off my $8700 private student loan.
  3. Limit our weekly going-out budget to $100. Related: learn the weekly specials at restaurants in our area 🙂
  4. Cancel our credit cards that we never use.

I feel like none of these are overwhelming. I’ll probably do something like take on one of these each Saturday, so that I stay on top of everything over the first half of the year. The second half of the year will see me examining my job and what I want my future career to look like, but for now, I want to keep learning and see how I feel after a full year in this role.

Did you make any resolutions? Do you think it’s more important to make lofty, dreamy goals, or (kind of boring) check-off-the-list goals that are more easily attainable?

 

First Blogiversary

Happy birthday to my little blog! I’m happy to say I have successfully made it through my first year here. I was talking with my husband about this blog the other night. At first, he was reading it, but I asked him to stop because I felt like it was inhibiting me a bit. (After that, I think he’d pretty much forgotten I was writing at all.)

Talking about it with him, I realized that not only do I appreciate how much this space holds me accountable to myself, but also how much I enjoy my little blogging community. I don’t have a ton of readers, and that’s fine with me. This space is way more about me figuring out my life than it is to get a bunch of followers. But those of you that have connected with, it means so much to me! I love following along with your adventures and goals. You guys really inspire me to push myself, and you give me tons of great ideas, many of which I steal to write about here 😉

So, thanks for reading, for commenting, and for your own sweet blogs!