#resolutions #intentions #goals

2014 arrived I really didn’t have anything planned for the future me.

This time last year I was going through one of the toughest times of my life.  It really kicked my butt.  I didn’t have a full time job.  We had to put our house on the market for short sale.  We had to ask our family and friends for financial help.  It felt as if the storm would never end.

But now as I look back on 2013 I see all of the obstacles we overcame.  We made it through the storm.  We reached the goals we had set out for ourselves.   I have a job.  Actually, we both have jobs.  We are able to pay down our debt by maintaining our frugal lifestyle.  Celebrating abundance each time it arrives.  Like making a final car payment.  Receiving an unexpected bonus.  Getting a new customer with chloe and isabel.  I will be at my new job six months this month.  I am thankful every day that I have a full time job.  “My intention is to experience a real sense of abundance, peace and freedom with money and to easily manifest income.”  Mike Robbins

For 2014 I am going to focus on how to have a full time job and maintain the balance in my personal life.  I stayed late at work because I wanted to be seen as a hard worker, valuable and dedicated.  I missed workout after workout.  I went from 6 days a week to 2-3.  I started feeling lethargic, then I injured my knee from trying to over compensate for the days I was missing.   Then I was told I can’t workout for 4-6 weeks.  I decided to stay in on the weekends.  We binged watched more television shows than I care to admit.  My body has paid for it.  I was the fittest I had ever been in 2012 and half of 2013.  I was in the maintenance stage.  Maintaining a healthy lifestyle by eating right and working out and then passing it on.  I look in the mirror now and know that I can get back to that person but I struggle with how to balance work and life.

How do I balance the job with the life I want to live?  Trying new things, traveling, learning new recipes, staying fit, getting together with friends.  My work schedule is 9a-6pm.  I get up early to enjoy time with my husband, make our lunches and make myself presentable to the world.  Getting up any earlier is not an option.  If I go to a workout class after work I do not get home until 8:30pm.  Then I have to take a shower, eat dinner and then I have an hour to “hang” and I am off to bed.  If I leave work even 15 minutes late I will miss half of my class.  I have considered joining the gym for these occasions but lately I have just been going home and spending time with my husband.  More binge watching.

I know you don’t have to have your resolutions at the beginning of the year but I usually have a path to start on New Years Day.  Writing this post has given me the path I needed.

So 2014 watch out!  I am going to crack the work/life balance in my life and I am going to start sharing the “how it’s done.”

Today, I will start by getting my water intake back up to half my weight in ounces and making a plan for those nights when I stay late and miss class.

 

what is your greatest accomplishment?

I interview people all day long.  That’s my job as a recruiter but because I am in sales I am trying to gauge their personality more then their experience.  I ask questions like, how do you make a tuna sandwich?  Describe your favorite accessory?  How would you describe your style?  Are you a fan of Pinterest?

I recently went on an interview for a new position and the COO was the one asking the questions.

What is your greatest accomplishment?

I paused, longer than I probably should have.  I was unprepared for this type of question.  I think it is one of those generic interview questions that people ask who have never interviewed anyone, but surely a COO has other questions up their sleeves.  I guess not.

I don’t have kids so I couldn’t pull out the “mom” card.  I haven’t run a marathon or climbed Mount Everest.  So I started thinking about college.  Seems so long ago and many people have accomplished working a full time job and going to school and graduating top of their class.  It really didn’t seem GREAT enough.  Too much time has passed at this point so I just go to what I know.

My answer:

I have overcome many obstacles in the past 2 years.  They are fresh on my mind.  This question makes me think of a quote, “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it is about learning to dancing in the rain.”

My greatest accomplishment on my mind right now,  was surviving the latest storm and becoming a better person because of it.  Without going into great detail and becoming too personal, every person is fighting their own battle and getting through it is an accomplishment.  You learn from it, you become stronger and hopefully you share your experience so that it makes it easier for others going through a similar storm.

I have no idea if she was impressed or put off by my answer, I am sure it came up in conversation when they discussed whether I was a potential candidate for the position.  But in hind sight, I wouldn’t change my answer.  I feel as if it was a good representation of who I am.  A lover of quotes.  A person that has overcome obstacles.  Someone that enjoys life.  And a teacher.

 

 

 

thanks daddio

Being raised by my dad was definitely interesting.  My parents separated when I was 8.  After an epic custody battle my dad gained custody.  Not really sure how he managed to feed us.  I don’t think he knew how to cook.  But he did make a great chocolate chip pancake.

As we grew, he had to deal with bra shopping and menstruation.  Some of the best family stories come out of these events.

He remarried when I was 10.  Merging 2 families. He spent his weekends making a portion of our garage into a bedroom for my new sister.  I had no idea he was handy.  But he did that so we would all have our own rooms.  No sharing.

My dad is a hard ass.   All of my friends knew that.  I wasn’t able to follow the crowd on many occasions.  I think it changed the trajectory of my life my sophomore year.  He said “no” a lot.  I started to think about peer pressure differently.  He was looking out for my well-being and my future and I guess I thought that he knew better as he was older and wiser.  My friends changed, therefore my path changed.

When we were old enough to work, he encouraged us to get a job.  I am so glad he did.  Learning the value of the dollar.  How to save up for something you want.  How to balance a check book and how to be manage all of your responsibilities.  Work, school and hanging out with friends.  I was a waitress at one of the busiest restaurants in town.  I was bringing home a lot of cash every shift.  By the time I was 16 I had enough money to buy a car.  My car.  Paid for with my money.  Brand new.  Right off the lot.  I had to pay for my insurance and gas.  None of my friends were doing this and I sometimes thought it wasn’t fair.  But looking back he taught me many great lessons and prepared me for getting out there on my own.

I moved away for college and those responsibilities came with me.  I took the first year off from working as I had enough money to carry me through.  But when I got a speeding ticket the following year I didn’t have enough money to cover it.  So I went back to work.  Waiting tables again.  I hated it.  2 weeks of training and they only gave me 4 tables when I started working independently.  I hated the job and the hours so much I quit after I made enough money to pay my speeding ticket.  He found out about the ticket because I was on his car insurance.  I couldn’t get anything past him.  He told me he would have rather paid my ticket than having me get a job.  That my grades were more important.

After graduation my dad and step mom drove from VA to Miami to pack up my stuff and bring me home.  It didn’t take long for them to realize I was sick.  I was falling asleep at the wheel and I wasn’t eating anything.  We later learned I had mono and I was malnourished. I weighed 113 pounds.  My diet was horrible.  A scrambled egg with a triangle of toast for breakfast.  Dinner was a package of Lipton cheesy noodles.

I stayed with my parents, for about 8 months.  I was working and hanging out with them watching more television than I ever wanted to.  Moving home was hard after having so much freedom.  He still had me on a 12:30am curfew.  His house, his rules.

I moved out.  First stop Atlanta.  It didn’t work out.  So I headed south to be with my college friends.  I didn’t work for awhile.  I just hung out.  Then I got mono again.  That’s crazy.  When I told my dad he wanted to know what kind of guys I was kissing.  LOL!  I wasn’t.  After I started feeling better I went out and got a job.  A good job.  With good benefits and a 401K with company matching.  I told my dad all about it and he helped me plan my budget and my future.  I began living in my own apartment, paying all of my own bills and contributing to my 401k.  My company matched to 6% so that was my contribution.  I raised it 1% every year I was with that company and started quite a nest egg for myself.  I continued that plan through my entire career.

And too many years later…I carry those lessons with me.  I share what I learned with young people I have worked with and I hope my nieces and nephews are getting the same lessons.

Hey dad, thanks for getting me ready for the real world.  I know you taught me more lessons than the ones I mentioned today.   But today I want to thank you for teaching me that working hard, saving for your future and making time for your health can get you everything you need.

I blame it on the stress

I have gained 10 pounds since February 3rd.  I know the date because that is the day we met with our realtor to list our home for short sale.  Multiple offers, above asking.  We thought we would have more time.  I read article after article about how long it took people to sell their home.  That they didn’t pay their mortgage for months and months.  I guess we were the lucky ones.  We closed in 11 weeks.  My realtor was ecstatic, we were not.

The list of to-dos was overwhelming.  Look for a job, go on interviews,  pack, have a yard sale, create a new budget, do our taxes, find an apartment, sell some furniture, have another yard sale…

My “cheatends” became my coping mechanism for everything else that was going on in my life.  Sharing a large pizza, eating a 9 in cheesesteak, trying out the new burger joint, McDonalds for breakfast, eating an entire box of Nut Thins in one go.

My Monday through Friday didn’t change, except I started my new job on April 1st.  Which actually put me in front of a desk for 6-8 hours.  I think my butt didn’t know how to react to that.  I did add another workout to my schedule, but I started slacking on my weight lifting.

I stopped weighing myself daily because I didn’t want to accept what was happening.  I don’t think anyone else has noticed the extra pounds, except my husband.

I stood in front of my mirror naked today and decided that I am not going to accept this new version of me.

I have learned new ways of coping with stress.  I preach it daily.  I know how to break this weekend habit.  I did it for over a year.  I know that I can’t eat whatever I want anymore.  My body tells me this every time I put that crap in my body.

I am blaming it on the stress.  We have gotten through the worst part.  I found a job, we sold our house, and we moved.

Now it’s time to focus on ME again.

 

 

 

 

Thursday night dinner/dance party

It’s the same thing every week.  I leave for Jazzercise at 6:35pm.  Class is from 7-8pm.  After class I stand in the parking lot and chat with my friends.  I then rush home to shower so we can start the dance party.  I mean dinner.

While I am at class, Jamey creates a playlist and starts prepping for dinner.  Black beans warming on the stove and a tortilla waiting to be toasted in the toaster oven.

He turns up the tunes and I start making the omelette.  It’s always the same.   I turn on the stove to heat up the pan.  I crack the eggs in a bowl and whisk them with a fork.  I then add fresh cracked black pepper and whisk some more.  I add butter to the pan and swirl it around.  Its a non-stick pan so it doesn’t really need the butter but I like the flavor.

I forgot to mention that we are jamming out to the tunes.  It’s a dance party.  So there is some booty shaking, head bobbing, a few Jazzercise moves and I don’t know how to describe what it is that Jamey  does.  LOL!

Now I add the eggs to the buttered pan and sprinkle some garlic powder and more black pepper. Then I start cutting up fresh baby spinach and adding it to the top of the eggs.  Still dancing.

Now it is time to flip the omelette in half.  Still dancing.

Tortilla is done.  Jamey always adds too much butter and I have to tell him to ditch the rest.    (happens every week)

One last flip on the omelette and we are ready to plate.  I cut the spinach omelette into 5 even portions and then I scoop six tablespoons of black beans on top of the tortilla.  Still dancing.

When the song ends, it’s time to eat.

The best night of the week!

 

 

financially speaking

Basically, we don’t have the money necessary to provide the basic comforts and necessities of life.  Or should I say we can’t afford to pay the mortgage.
It has been really hard to talk to friends and family about our financial situation.  Up until 2 years ago we didn’t carry a balance on our credit cards.  We only used the charge card to track all of our expenses.  It allowed us to see where we overspent in the previous month.  I had 4 months salary in savings.   Since my layoff in March 2011 we have struggled.  We cut back and cut back and cut back but because we didn’t realize how bad the job market was for someone with my experience.  We didn’t cut back soon enough.  I was on unemployment for over a year, after Jamey had been on unemployment for over a year.  Back to back.  The credit card soon began to hold a balance.  Then the balance got bigger and soon we were maxed out.  We opened another card with 0% interest rate just to tide us over until I was able to find a FT job.

In April 2012 my PT commission direct sales job offered me a 3 month contract position with a salary.  By taking this position I forfeited my eligibility for unemployment benefits if the contract were to end and I was not offered a FT position.  It was a gamble but I thought if I worked hard, proving that I was a valuable asset that this would be a company I could see in my 5 year plan.  Unfortunately my contract came to an end and I was left with an option of taking a 100% commission position.   Hiring and mentoring a team of merchandisers.  I have to admit I was scared.  So scared.  Fear racked me to my core.  You see, I had stopped job hunting.  I felt secure.  This was my first mistake.   Lesson learned.
After the first month in this position I made less than I would have made on unemployment. We couldn’t pay the mortgage.  Not even sure how we were going to make the minimum payment on our credit card.  We just got our statement for the 0% credit card and now that is just a few hundred dollars away from being maxed.  We tried to refinance our mortgage but we were denied because collectively we don’t make enough money to afford our mortgage.  Really?  That’s why we were trying to re-finance.  I called my sister in tears.  I really don’t know anyone who has been in this type of trouble.  And If someone in my life was going through this they surely didn’t talk to me about it.  I had no idea where to start.  My sister gave me a bunch of links to different websites.  I am going to psych myself up and try to call and ask for assistance today.  I feel like a failure having to swallow my pride and ask for help.  This is unknown territory for us.  I have always been in a situation where I could manifest income.  We used to joke that I could pull $1000 out of my ass.  But we need a lot more than $1000 this time.  I am looking for another job.  Jamey is looking for another job.  I am trying to sell as much jewelry as I can. I am trying to encourage my team to sell as much jewelry as they can.

I am only writing this post because my life it really great!  I have all the love anyone could ever ask for.  I get to go to parties and meet new people and go to the gym to work off my stress.  But I want people in the same position to know they aren’t alone.  It’s just so hard to talk about it.  I am learning a lot and know when I get through this hardship that I will tell my story and hopefully help someone through their financial hardship.

Wish us luck.

 

If I had a hammer…

I asked my husband what a hammer is used for?  His initial response was too generic, so I asked again.

He replied, “To hammer a person’s skull in!”

That was the moment we realized that the series premiere of The Walking Dead is highly anticipated in our household.

We had just finished binge watching season’s 1 & 2.

What is your answer?