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 ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

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? ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

 

 

Truth!

I enjoyed Slacker Runner’s A Little Truth Time post yesterday. So much so, I wanted to steal her idea and do it myself!

Truth: I woke up at 4:30 this morning and counted down the minutes until my Starbucks opened at 5:00.

Truth: I desperately wanted a Holiday Spice Flat White. Then I saw they are 280 calories, so I settled for a Caffe Misto with a shot of espresso added. Calories saved: 180.

Truth: I have been taking Unisom to help me sleep every night for almost a year. Last night I decided to go without, thus explaining why I was awake at 4:30 this morning ๐Ÿ™‚ Also explaining the super intense dream I had about falling in love with my Uber driver!

Truth: I am loving this warm weather in December. First, we totally got robbed of a nice fall because it rained for pretty much 6 weeks straight. Second, I don’t need it to be cold to be in the Christmas spirit. I’ve always loved the idea of a warm, SoCal kind of Christmas. Also, I read that this warm weather is because of El Nino, not global warming, so we should all shut up and enjoy it.

Truth: I have a Chapstick addiction. I have them everywhere: my car, most rooms in the house, my office, my purse, my coat pockets. My stepdaughter asked for Chapstick for Christmas and I TOTALLY GET IT.

Truth: I am feeling uninspired to go running lately. I am prone to burnout and have learned not to fight it. I have been going on lots of long walks instead, and yesterday I did some intervals, so that was something different at least.

Truth:ย I am late feeding and walking the dogs this morning, and Jack wanted me to wake up him about now, but everyone is sleeping so soundly andย I’m enjoying my quiet time – I don’t want to wake anyone up! Even though my Caffe Misto is all gone ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

Got any true confessions you want to share?

 

My Facebook-Free Experiment

In my last post, I wrote about realizing how jealous I felt when looking at Facebook sometimes. Despite all my deep-seated rationalism, I noticed I was having a lot of negative vibes when seeing what everyone was up to. We had a disappointing Halloween, and the next morning I was almost angry at how much fun it looked like everyone else had had.

I work from home most of the time, so I’m spending a lot more time by myself than I am accustomed. I think I started relying on Facebook more to keep up with everyone, and to take breaks during the day. I can’t just turn to the person at the desk next to me or walk over to my friend’s cube anymore. So instead I was logging onto Facebook a LOT more than normal, thus I spent a lot more time comparing myself to everyone else. And yes, I totally know we’re all curating our social media lives. No one is posting about their routine and dull Tuesday afternoon any more than I am. We’re all on there to brag a little, to show the best/most fun/cutest version of ourselves.

My first step was to remove the Facebook app from my phone. It’s crazy how often I picked up my phone in a moment of boredom or downtime, waiting in a line or annoyed with what my husband was watching on TV, to go check FB. Totally a thoughtless habit. Now I’m checking Instagram, which generally doesn’t give me the same jealous feelings, or playing a game, or opening up the Kindle app to read a book for awhile. I went from Tuesday til Sunday without checking FB on my phone. Then, on Sunday morning, I logged and immediately started feeling jealous and lame. Exit Facebook!

This week, I’ve checked in a couple of times, but only given myself a couple of minutes to read posts. And it’s making a difference. I hate to admit that I’m so shallow, but sometimes I am. Even now, when I’m happy with my job and love my house and my marriage is going well and it’s almost the holidays – I’m still envious of what other people have. Ew.