Patience! The lesson I am being taught is patience. After years of owning workback schedules and driving results, I have had to lower my expectations to match the rest of the world. Wow! My ‘new normal’ must include patience and acceptance that 90% of the world will miss deadlines and commitments. So sad!
When we bought this house in January, the big item on the inspection report that we chose to tackle this year was storm window replacement.
We bought a 20 year old home that had minimal modifications to the box the builder put up at build time. These storm windows were all builder grade and their effectiveness had dropped significantly with age. We knew they would need to be replaced as soon as possible.
I should have remembered that fact when we were negotiating because rather than ‘being nice’ and going up in my original offer, I would have lowered it. I remember being pissed when the twenty-something real estate girl tried to strong arm me with, ‘Well, if you don’t take this offer, they will just take the house off the market and re-list it next spring.’ **20-20 Hindsight: I should have let them! I could have SAVED $$$ and/or bought a ‘better’ house for less money!
We have spent a lot of money on this house in less than a year. I recognize that a couple of the knee-jerk changes we made are sunk costs as when I get around to doing what I really want to do to this house those changes will go away, but the windows were going to be the first foundational change to the house.
I am a pretty good task estimator and scheduler, but I evidently have no concept of lead and lag times for custom windows and/or window coverings. Guess it is because I have never done this before. I thought I was starting early when I ordered my custom replacement windows in JUNE. We just signed-off on window installation acceptance November 21st.
It is holiday time and we are actively decorating our house. The biggest argument we have had in a long, long time was about tree placement. We MUST leave room for the shutter installation that is promised mid-December. So instead of putting the tree up where my husband really wanted to, our tree is hanging out in the middle of the room. Sigh!!!
Never in my wildest imagination did I consider the little project I started while planning my grandson’s birthday party would be ongoing while planning my granddaughter’s birthday party. This is ridiculous!
For starters, I feel like I have been moving forever! In reality, it hasn’t been more than 18 months, but that is long enough. It all started when I was laid off from my long-term contract. Bitter disappointment followed.
In the midst of coming to terms with my situation, my husband’s company notified him he would be out of work at the end of 2017 as they were moving to Colorado and he hadn’t been with them long enough for consideration. Great! Just what I needed to hear!
I am really proud of us! We didn’t let any of this news actually get us down. We became incredibly pragmatic. We had a date that our whole world would change, now what could we do to be ready when the calendar counted down? We created a list of things we needed to get in order and started working down that list.
I found a new job! It took me a couple of months, but I found one. Turned out to be the best job I have ever had! The drive blew, but at least it was a reverse commute! This was quite a relief and gave us an alternative for when my husband’s job would end. We were blessed!
We had a lot to do before the end of the year.
My eldest child was getting married in New Mexico. Check! I am mother of the bride there is no way I would miss that!
We started packing up our belongings in preparation to put our house, my beautiful house that I planned to die in, on the market. An analysis of our financial situation identified we could downsize without much effort and get out from under the only debt we had – the mortgage.
We are good homeowners. We have a set of basic maintenance tasks that we do every year, which helps to keep the house nicer and definitely increases resale value when you can produce the records. Not knowing exactly what was happening next, we went about taking care of our ‘annual fall maintenance’ tasks, scheduling them around my daughter’s wedding.
Upon returning home from my daughter’s wedding, my husband was asked if he would be interested in keeping his job, the caveat being we would have to move to Colorado.
After that everything went F-A-S-T!
Stuff moved out of the house.
Deep cleaning ensued.
I quit my job.
Find an apartment in Colorado.
All of those annoying things you have to do to move into a new place.
My mother passes.
My best friend rides with me as I drive from Bellevue, WA to Denver, CO. It took a couple of days, but I needed to get home. 25% of why I wanted to be in Colorado has just left this earth and I needed to be there for my father!
As I sit here, I realize this all happened a year ago and I am still trying to settle into my new normal.
Yep, lyrics again. These are very poignant for today. You see, this song reminds me of my mother, for many reasons. My mother passed this morning and I am sad. I am beyond sad, but I don’t have the vocabulary to more accurately express how I feel.
“My Favorite Things” was one of my mother’s favorite songs. She taught me to sing it when I was wee little and she took great joy sitting down to the piano and accompanying me while I sang it.
I remember practicing this song day and night as my audition song for a musical in our local theater. She was precious taking her time to record the music on the great, big, old reel-to-reel for me to use as I practiced.
She worked with me on timing, breathing, choreography, the whole bit. It was special time we shared together. When I didn’t get the lead, I felt like I had let her down somehow, but she never would tell you that, she was always in my corner.
My mother was an artist at heart. She took great pleasure in making the world happy. She had this desire to perform and was disappointed when I didn’t share this talent.
I anticipate there will be more rambling entries like this as the next few days pass and I get a grip on the whole situation.
I get so busy, I frequently forget to update!
What can I say? Focusing on the here and now has become my action plan of late. This week isn’t looking rosy for a lot of update time, either.
We are moving. It will be happening. We don’t have the final when.
I need a job. Money is tight and that doesn’t make me happy.
I need a job. I don’t want all of my skills to get stale, plus it helps solve the above-listed item.
I am having surgery this week. That will slow down the progress on all fronts. It isn’t awful surgery and I have been here before, but it is really annoying that I have to do it.
I have to get in the wedding-mindset. I have a child getting married in a matter of months! I really need to get my head around that one.
Yep – I need to update more often.
Yesterday was stressful enough. Anytime you have to meet a new surgeon and evaluate next steps to fix something you thought was done is annoying. When you have to start over with a new set of specialists, the anxiety level sky rockets. All’s well that ends well, I guess.
Really wish that was the only stress I had to address yesterday, alas, it wasn’t. We learned that my husband’s grandmother passed while we were carrying on with the business of our daily lives yesterday. May she rest in peace.
To be honest, her passing a blessing. She hasn’t truly been herself for years. We would see her every time we were home, but I don’t think she even knew we were there the last few times we visited.
It is painful and sad to watch the vim and vigor slip slowly from a person who has always been vital and energetic. In her latter years, she was blessed to become a Great Grandmother. In many ways, the babies learning to eat paralleled what was happening with Grandma D. There was always a spark of excitement and joy when she would see the babies. In my heart of hearts, I truly believe these babies extended her life by at least a year, if not more.
We will miss Grandma D. There will be hole in the family get-togethers, but she is truly in a better place. In my eyes, Grandma D has not been cognizant for awhile now. She was there, physically, barely. Her daughter dedicated her life to ensuring Grandma D had everything she needed and was well taken care of. The next days will be the first steps of a new reality.
This will go down in history as my year of changes!
Lost my job. Laid off during a reorg. Kind of weird. The calls I keep getting are for another contract to do exactly the same job. I can’t because of the ‘wait’ time shenanigans.
Started looking for other meaningful employment around here – looking at FTE for a change. BAM – husband’s job changes. He will be relocating to a different state. Changes my job search strategy.
Need now is to focus on relocating. There is a lot to do!
We have been in our house for 11 years. That is a long time in one place!
Need to find where we will be landing.
Need to find a job for me there.
Wish me luck!
Since the last time I sat down to blog, I have accomplished a lot. Probably why I haven’t found the time to blog.
Recent events caused a complete upheaval for one of my family members’ travel plans. I am so sorry they weren’t able to make it home to celebrate our mother’s ninetieth birthday, but it has evolved into a full-blown family reunion. First one in almost twenty years!
Seizing the opportunity, I approached the family about planning a get-together to celebrate all of the parents’ milestones this year, but in one fell swoop. It is difficult to get all of us together in one place, at one time.
Quickly, I identified everyone’s schedules to consider. This was so much easier when all of the grandchildren were kids and the parents had a lot more control. Now, everyone is a grownup, taking care of grownup things, so this task has become much more complicated.
I am proud to say that by the end of four days communicating, we were able to get the pillars in place that allow us to move on to the more interesting challenges with planning and executing a family reunion.
This sounds really mundane, but it isn’t. We were able to agree on a date, location, schedule travel and other arrangements for 20 people in less than one week. That is pretty impressive by itself, but toss in the fact this involves 4 different states, 10 professionals, 2 senior citizens, 2 teenagers and a couple of great grandchildren and the breadth of the task starts coming to light.
Family reunion, here I come!
This has been a week. This has been a year and it is only March! Yikes!
Today’s challenges – attempting to convince a corporate IT guy that it is okay to technically break the rules, because my boss said so. Yea, that went about as far you might think it would or should. Why do we have all of these processes and procedures if all it takes is a handshake agreement to get a ‘pass’?
I don’t care and none of this would be bothering me if it wasn’t interfering with the rest of my workload! I am not one of those people sitting on a lackadaisical job here. The woman who reminds me a minimum of 3 times per week to do a task that I have been doing religiously for almost 5 years – she has a lackadaisical job, but I digress.
These are the things that delay my progress in onboarding a new team member. I reiterate, my process works as long as you dot all the “i’s” and cross all the “t’s”. Folks there are no shortcuts. Every step is there for a reason. Each task has a prerequisite. If you skip one or the other, or take a left instead of a right, that will cause a delay in your processing toward productivity.
I digressed again. I think this is bothering me so much because this delay in processing is really putting a crimp in my week. If we had followed the process, we would be done. I would be able to focus on my personal life during my off hours. But no. Not this week! This week, I have to keep noodling on creative ideas to solve this randomly introduced hiccup into the whole process. What pisses me off! (Here comes the truest statement I have written in weeks!) This whole damn thing could have been avoided! I stated very clearly in August that if we did this option, my process would not only break, but I would not be able to use my secret sauce to get ‘er done.
If I wasn’t already annoyed about the whole chaos step introduced into my world at work, my life gets a nasty wrinkle too. Guess this is a reminder to care about what is important. We have an appointment to do our taxes tomorrow – that means homework for me tonight. Then had my nightly family call. The news is the oncologist will be doing additional research, putting together the history and present it to essentially a board of experts. We should have treatment recommendations next week at this time.
Yeppers this has been a challenging week.
I couldn’t believe it, I used the word ‘moist’ today. The bright side is I used it properly. It has been dribbling rain off and on all day long and this is the absolutely appropriate term to describe the day.
Growing up in the high desert, moist was one of those terms we only ever used when describing a washcloth or to create a giggle amongst our friends. Moist was never a term I used to describe the weather. Definitely one that has wormed its way into my vocabulary since relocating.
This is one of my better skills. I listen to what is going on and figure out what the correct next question is to help get us one step closer to a solution. Tonight I figured out why I am good at this.
During our evening call tonight, my mother had me panicked about a power outage and their deep freeze going out. It was a rather eventful day for her and she was still shaken.
If I had stopped listening at her description, I would be panicked and looking to buy tickets home.
Fortunately, my father was there. Repeating the information Mom had shared back to Dad, I was able to ascertain that someone left the door open on the deep freeze which led to a mess and Dad had turned off the power so he could fix it.
It took me awhile to get from ‘the sky is falling’ to reality, but I blessed to have that opportunity.
Thanks Mom for teaching me the listening skills.
Thanks Dad for teaching me the translations.