Settling in for the winter

snow covered buildings
I’m actually looking forward to this

It’s going to get cold this weekend. Low double-digits, so I hear.

Good. I prefer the cold weather. I sleep better when my bedroom is cold and I have a lot of blankets on top of me.

I also prefer being cold and warming up with exercise and movement, versus being hot and not being able to get cool. It’s a lot easier to get warm, than to cool down.

Plus, I love the snow.

Good thing. Because I hear we’re going to get a lot of it this winter.

So it goes.

The time change is doing me good. It’s never easy to change up my schedule and routine, but the “fall back” really helps me. It gives me an extra hour in the morning to go about my own business before I dive into work. And I like having it dark-ish, versus having a lot of intrusive sunlight that I can’t get away from.

I rest better when it’s dark.

I sleep better when it’s pitch black.

And when I sleep better, everything gets better.

I’ve been sleeping pretty well, the time change notwithstanding. I’m tired when I go to bed, and I sleep soundly. Even if I wake up in the middle of the night, I can get myself back to bed. And when I wake up, I’m up. I might not always feel 100% refreshed, but I do feel ready for the day.

Especially lately. For some reason, I’ve been feeling more ready for the day, than I have in a long time. And I’m feeling more engaged in what I’m doing, than I’ve felt for a while. This massive deadline that’s looming… it’s going to come and go. And life will go on.

The Main Project I’ve been working on has been rocky and problematic for nearly a year. And there’s a lot of stuff that has just dropped off — including things we really needed to not drop off. At this point, my life is all about just getting to the finish line, tallying up all the stuff that didn’t get done properly, and then doing due diligence afterward to make sure that it all gets reported, and we find a way – somehow – to tie up the loose ends.

I’m working with a lot of people who don’t care about loose ends. All they care about is getting to the finish line, regardless of how it all turns out. That’s unfortunate. But there’s only so much I can do. And I’m not going to ruin my peace of mind over other people’s laxness and refusal to do what needs to be done.

I’m not wrecking my health over this. That would be silly and counter-productive. I’m taking care of myself, protecting my health and state of mind. Doing what I need to do, to stay level and stable. And not getting irrationally caught up in pipe dreams that any of this is going to change dramatically for the better.

I’m putting my resume out there, but nothing is happening. Not a thing.

I definitely need to expand my skillset and refresh some of my abilities. That’s something I can focus on this winter, while I figure out my next steps. It’s probably for the best that I’m not finding another situation quickly. It gives me pause… forces me to reconsider my approach and be more realistic about what I can expect from the job market.

And what I want to do with myself.

I’ve got a lot of insecurity about whether or not I can do it — when I fell in 2004, I lost my ability to focus for extended periods of time, to remember things, even to read and retain what I read. That’s changed dramatically over the past several years, and I’m starting to feel like I can get back on my feet with learning and practicing and re-honing the skills I used to use all the time.

I can use the winter to do this. Now that summer is past, all that frantic running around has tapered off, and the nights are getting longer, I can concentrate. And so I shall. One day at a time. One exercise at a time. One experience at a time… settle in. Get to work. Stead on.

Onward.

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New day, fresh start, woo hoo

A new day awaits

January seems to have flown by. And today actually feels like a fresh start for me. There’s something about today… I’m going to give the new neurologist another call to see if I can get in to see them. They transferred to a new hospital — which is only 30 minutes from my home (score!!) — and their credentials and records all have to be transferred to the new practice. I called two weeks ago, and the deal wasn’t done yet. They told me to call back in two weeks, so I’m doing it.

I’m feeling pretty positive about this. The main thing I want to find out, is if there is something serious going on with me. All these symptoms could be nothing. The tremors, twitching, headaches, dizziness, vertigo, nausea, etc. could be “just one of those things”. Or they could be something more serious. I just want to rule out the “more serious”, so I don’t have a degenerative condition eating away at me behind the scenes.

I’ve dealt with some vitamin deficiencies, which have really helped my head. And I’ve been dealing with my physical fitness to stave off the creeping effects of aging. I just want to make sure I’m not in a situation where things are getting worse without me knowing it. My PCP, as much as I like them, has pretty much checked out of their practice. They’re just putting in time until they retire, it seems like. They don’t like the practice they’re in, they don’t like how they’re told they’re supposed to practice by the insurance companies, and they don’t follow up adequately with me. I can talk to them about most things, and I feel pretty good about our rapport. But medically, I have reservations. They’re just not as engaged as I’d like them to be.

Anyway, yesterday was a very telling day for me. Monday’s are always informative, in one way or another. The changes at work have not worked in everyone’s favor, and there are a lot of disempowered, disenfranchised people walking around the office. The people who are most disenfranchised are the long-timers, the ones who seem to think that they’re “in”, and they don’t have to really do anything special, other than just be their fabulous selves.

Hm. In today’s economy, that will never work. The whole long-term employee thing is a trap in many respects — first, because it is no longer valid. Companies don’t have loyalty to people who are loyal to them. It used to be that being a permanent full-time employee was like being married to the company — there was an expressed bond between the two, an agreement of fidelity and loyalty. But that’s not the way things are anymore. Companies are very quick to shed employees who no longer serve them.

And when I think about it, it’s like the companies are spouses who ditch their partners because they’ve “let themselves go”. I think that tends to happen in companies, where long-term employees stop thinking about how they can keep fresh and current and keep adding value to their employer. They get complacent. And they get lazy. And then when they get “out of shape” and carry on with an air of entitlement, it’s actually really easy to cut them loose. What do they add? The business world is brutal. Companies can’t afford to “sponsor” employees who don’t pull their weight.

That’s how it is, too — companies “sponsor” employees over the long term, covering for them and making it possible for them to keep working, despite getting lazier and lazier and more and more entitled. There’s no more hustle. There’s no more innovation. There’s just more and more complaining, and less and less productivity.

Now, I’m not an apologist for companies that just cut people left and right, because they can’t run their own business. I’ve worked at a bunch of places that couldn’t keep their act together, and wrecked a lot of lives as a result. That kind of stupidity makes me crazy. It’s so unnecessary — and I think it also stems from the same sort of laziness and entitlement that gets employees into trouble. People quit doing the things that made them great to begin with. And then they lose it. And get replaced. And people get hurt as a result.

But sometimes they just hurt themselves. Like these days, with the folks around me having a really crappy attitude and not taking responsibility for their decisions and frame of mind. People running off to huddle and complain and gossip. People gathering in little cliques to “circle the wagons” and protect themselves. I know what that’s like. I’ve done it myself, many times in the past, when I was younger.

It really is a sign of immaturity — I recognize it well. And time will solve that problem, I assume. Right now, though, it’s a pain in my ass. I really need to be surrounded by positive people who have a can-do, entrepreneurial attitude, and who are willing to work.

And around me, there’s not much of that sort of attitude. Just people feeling sorry for themselves.

Well, whatever they want to do, that’s their business. I don’t have to let that bother me. I just take myself and my laptop to the cafeteria and work there. As long as I have a wireless connection, it’s cool. I put my headphones on and put on some tunes, and I can make some pretty great progress. And have a nice view from the table I’m sitting at. I have my ways to get away from the little dark clouds.

I have a great feeling about today — it feels very promising, and I’m looking forward to what the day brings. I have my plan. And I remembered my datebook today, so I can see what I’m supposed to be doing with myself. It’s morning, and the sky is getting lighter behind the hill in the back of my house.

It’s a new day — why not make the most of it?

Onward!

And a Happy New Year to all

I’m really looking forward to 2015. Last year was a doozie in a number of ways, and I’m looking forward to getting on firmer footing this year.

I made a lot of good progress — mainly by clearing out the last of a year’s take-home pay’s worth of debt (over the course of three years, that is), and changing jobs. Two very important things I had been needing to do for some time… and finally got ’em done.

This next year, I think, is going to be about getting my health together and recovering from the extreme stresses of 2014. And before that. I think I need to clear out, going back to about 2010 or so. That was kind of a crappy year, with a cancer scare and drama at work. Of course, 2010 was a far sight better than the year before it… which was actually better than the year before IT… and so forth. So, all in all, I have some catching up to do.

No worries, though. I’m in a good space. I have good support, and I have a year ahead of me to get a good foundation going on.

So, as ever…

Onward.

Welcome 2015 – hope everyone has a good one!

 

Why wait till the New Year? Change for the better – now!

Let’s see what will hatch in 2015…

Like so many people, I am looking back at the past year, thinking about what’s gone right, what’s gone awry, and what I want to accomplish in the coming year.

I’ve had a very full year, with plenty of experiences (for good and ill), and I feel lucky to have come out on the other side in one piece. I’ve “course corrected” a number of things — including my poor exercise habits, the crappy job I used to have, I’ve cleaned up my diet a bit, and I’ve done a lot of work on my marriage to make it stronger. I’ve also figured some things out in my head that are really helping me get through.

I still feel pretty dull and slow at times — I can sense a difference between how fast I expect myself to go, and how fast my brain is actually moving. And I’ve come to terms with that and quit letting that make me crazy. I’ve also gotten better about focusing on what I want and getting on with the things I want to do, rather than putting them off till they are “perfect” and I understand 100% where they’re going.

My memory… I’m not sure if that’s getting better or worse, but if it’s getting worse, it’s not really impacting my ability to just live my life.

I’ve gotten a lot better about detecting when I’m not quite 100% and giving myself some more time to figure things out…. or simply abandoning things that aren’t going anywhere fast. I’ve backed away from a number of “friendships”, because the folks I was involved with are catch-as-catch-can, fair-weather friends who keep in touch whenever it suits them, not when I need them to.

The thing I’m liking about my New Year’s resolutions for this coming year, is that I’ve already started a lot of them. I’ve already taken some good steps towards some projects I want to complete in the coming months. I have a good foundation. I’m not waiting till 1/1/2015 to start down the path. I’m already headed down. And I think I found some good reading material to keep me motivated and increasingly educated.

It’s good.

So, here I am in the final days of 2014, very grateful for all that this past year has brought me. A needed job change. A shorter commute. The eradication of my massive debt. A fresh start, in so many ways.

Seems to me, the big undertaking for 2015 is to keep steady on, and make the most of what I’ve got — stay focused, keep reminding myself of what’s important, and move forward. Sure, I’ll slip back, now and then. That’s to be expected. But I am really on much firmer footing now, than I have been in a long, long time.

And the best part is — because I was in such dire straits before, now I really, truly appreciate it, like never before.

So, yes… onward.