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It’s too cold where you live…

Ever since we moved to Connecticut my family has remarked on how cold it is where we live.  My mother sent me multiple texts this year asking if we had snow.  Every time there was a storm headed any where near us she’d ask if we had snow.  In a lot of cases we did… but not all the time.  Yes, I live in (southern) New England.  Yes, it is quite cold in the winter – downright freezing some weeks.  But that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a bunch to love about this place.  In fact, even on the snowiest, coldest days there is still something to enjoy about our little piece of Connecticut.  Lately though, I’m beginning to think my family will never get to experience it.

A few weeks back I received a text message from my brother’s number asking if they could come for a visit during spring break in April.  I was so excited and almost immediately told them yes.  After a few days of not hearing anything back I reached out to him only to find out that he didn’t send the text, my sister-in-law did.  He acted like he had no idea about it (which is quite possibly true) and remarked on how cold it is where we live.  A little while after that I talked to my sister-in-law about it and told her they were more than welcome to come visit.  I let her know we had room for them to stay here, joked about providing the allergy medication since my brother and one niece are allergic to cats, and made sure she knew I’d be more than happy to cook for them too!  She had mentioned my brother wanted to visit my folks in Florida and while she didn’t mind going to see them, she didn’t enjoy spending a bunch of extra money going out to eat every meal.  From what I’ve heard my mom doesn’t cook as much now that she’s retired, enjoying the good life in sunny Florida.

About two weeks or so ago, I reached out to my sister-in-law yet again to ask if they were planning to come visit us.  I wanted to make sure I didn’t plan anything for that time frame, accept a job without getting approval for that time off, etc.  Still no answer.  I had told myself that they were not coming for a visit and that I was ok with that.  Then last week I got a call from my brother.  I was excited to hear from him – it’s a pretty random occurrence when he calls, sad considering I’ve always loved talking to him – in my mind I was thinking maybe they ARE actually gonna come visit.  After a few minutes of catching up he finally told me why he called.  He wanted to know if the Boo and I would be interested in driving to Virginia to meet up with them and then drive to Florida to see my parents.  At that moment my heart sunk.  On one hand I was happy that he even thought to ask me, on the other it reaffirmed the fact that they were not going to come visit us any time soon.  I joked with him about not coming up here and you know what he said?  It’s too cold where you live.  Seriously?!  It’s April, the temperature hits somewhere in the 50s each day.  True it’s not a heat wave (though when you’ve lived through a New England winter – Southern NE or not – even a stretch of 40 degree temps feels quite pleasant) but it is comfortable, especially when the sun is shining!  So I let him know that I was about to accept a job offer and would have to start working the week after he wanted to travel to Florida and that even without that bump in the road I really couldn’t afford to drive to Virginia and spend a few days in Florida.  With that, we changed the topic of conversation and finished chatting a bit later. I didn’t push about coming to visit us and I didn’t let him know how disappointed I was about it.  But when I hung up the phone a wave of emotion flooded me… as it is doing right about now.  I just sat there and cried.  Even Boo knew I wasn’t happy – she came over to me and said “don’t be sad mommy.”  But I am sad.  And frustrated.  Disappointed.  And pissed off.

I love where I live!  I want to share it with everyone that I love!  I want to show them picturesque spots around town, take them hiking   to one of the nearby waterfalls, share some delicious food at one of our (new) favorite places, possibly hop the train for the two hour ride to NYC.

My family often makes comments about me moving back to Virginia or moving to Florida.  When I am asked how I like it here, I’m honest.  I miss my friends and family but this place is beautiful.  For a good nine to ten months out of the year this place is gorgeous and in most cases the cold hasn’t slowed us down.

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Mr. Handy Man

You would think having known someone for over 16 years you would know how handy they are around the house, cars, etc.  Especially if that person worked on multi-million dollar aircraft for 10 years!  Even with the work my husband had done with our two previous houses I really had no idea how handy he could be until the past couple years.

Lucky for me my husband is very handy.  What he doesn’t know how to do he will research until he’s confident he can do it.  And since we (still) don’t really know anyone here in Connecticut he’s excited to do stuff around the house.

After moving into our new house we quickly realized how much we wanted to do to fix it.  Aside from getting new carpet and a new front door there wasn’t much we had to do right away.  I think everything we’ve done so far has been easy fixes – though some have been frustrating and slightly time consuming.  When we first moved in we changed out the kitchen faucet, the bathroom shower head, and the light fixtures in the kitchen, hall, and basement.

old fixture

old dining room fixture

With each light fixture Brian fixed we laughed about how old and dated they were.  The next fixture that needed to go was the dining room light.  I knew I didn’t want just any light for the room after I found a beautiful multi-colored mosaic pendant light online.  The fixture I found was too far out of my price range, priced at just over $500.00.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t get it out of my mind once I found it.  Since our dining room can be seen from our living room and kitchen I wanted something that we wouldn’t mind staring at regularly.

new fixture

new mosaic fixture

After hours of searching online I found a beautiful satin nickel chandelier with neutral colored mosaic glass; with a coupon and free shipping I was able to get it for under $150!  We tackled the project Friday afternoon while the Boo was at daycare, this allowed us uninterrupted time to put the fixture up and unlike the other fixtures we put up after bedtime there would be no stumbling around in the dark to do so .  We had several frustrations with the fixture, the biggest being a gap between the ceiling and the lighting cap.  After some clever thinking from Brian we were able to add a decorative ceiling medallion which fixed the issue and completed our classy look.  I am completely in love with our new light fixture and am glad Brian didn’t give up on making it look perfect!

In addition to installing the dining room light Brian also spent a chunk of time this weekend working on my car: oil change, installing a new door handle (the original broke off after an icy, snowy and downright frigid day), replacing fluids, and figuring out why my car alarm goes off at random.  I am so thankful for all the time he has spent on the house so far, not to mention the plans he has for it down the line.  I’m very lucky to have such a handy husband around the house!

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Starting off on the right foot

Last week was one of ups and downs!  The biggest “down” being that I found out I did not get a job I had interviewed for the week prior.  It was a HR opportunity with a large and well-known pharmaceutical company in my area.  While I knew I did not have all the experience they were looking for I still had hope that they would take a chance on me anyway.  I am definitely having a tough time lately maintaining my optimism that a good job opportunity will be coming my way… SOON!  

We had a good weekend at least.  We (mainly Brian) were productive around the house and we took Boo out to a local farm yesterday to check out a sugar house to see how maple syrup is produced.  Of course, we HAD to buy some local maple syrup and candies to bring home with us.  That inspired a brinner (breakfast for dinner) of blueberry pancakes, sausage, and eggs that none of us could get enough of!

Last night after Brian went to bed I sat there thinking of the job situation, mainly how desperate I’m starting to feel about finding one.  I also woke up thinking the same thoughts.  Not exactly a great start to this new week.  I decided that instead of staying in bed feeling sorry for myself I would get my ass in gear and start back on my couch to 5k training.  A friend of mine had posted the other day on Facebook that she was going to start training again and wanted to see if anyone else was interested in joining her as a way to hold each other accountable.  Since I’ve been trying to motivate myself to jump back on this for weeks I figured it couldn’t hurt to try.  This morning I rolled out of bed just after 7am and threw on my workout clothes.  My setup took a few minutes – had to get the treadmill ready to go, cranked some Justin Timberlake, and played Sunrise Earth on Netflix (a little added inspiration since I was running indoors).  Thirty minutes later my first day of week 1 was complete.  I did some stretching afterward and was ready to face the day.  The best things about working out first thing this morning (aside from the initial gratification of getting it out of the way) is that I felt energized – no more “just waking up” grogginess for me – and the stiffness that accompanies me every morning was gone!

I literally started my week off on the right foot and am so happy I did so.  After I got Boo up we had a healthy breakfast (fresh fruit, granola, and Greek yogurt parfaits) and took some time to check out a local kid’s fair today.  She was so excited to pet a python, get a tattoo (temporary of course), and a lollipop!

Now I just need to figure out a good dinner and keep this positive attitude and inspiration going forward throughout the week!

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I’m back, again!

Hello there!

I’m back again… for now.  Let’s face it, I kind of suck at this whole blogging thing.  I’m still not sure what I want the focus of my blog to me.  I know I definitely don’t want it to be only a place for me to bitch and vent about all the negative things running through my head – what a downer that would be.

This first new post will be a quick catch up since I last decided to blog and then after that who knows.

So, since my last post a lot has happened.  First, our garden was a huge success!  So much so that we plan to do it all over again, trying out new veggies (Brian has plans for a salsa garden) and growing my favorite flower, the sunflower!  Boo and I have already painted some bird houses that will be part of our garden decoration – along with some awesome gnomes my in-laws sent me.

Next up, we bought a house!  We found out in early fall last year that our landlord had plans of returning to his house once our lease was up.  We spent about 2 months hunting (many hours researching online, long days and many Saturdays spent touring houses) and then another 2 1/2 months getting the paperwork and loan information taken care of.  It was right up to the last minute but we were able to buy our house – guess we plan to stick around for a while.  We now live in Newtown, Connecticut – still a small town though a bit larger in terms of space and population than our previous town of Bethel.  What I like most about our new house is our backyard – plenty of trees, deer, and an occasional fox!  It doesn’t hurt that most of the town is beautiful and once spring hits I have every intention of exploring it to the fullest.

The last big change, and reason that I have time to be blogging in the middle of the afternoon on a Wednesday, is that my job was eliminated in January.  I found out two days before we were scheduled to close on the house (talk about pretty horrible timing) and although I was offered a different position within the company – one that was almost exactly like the one I accepted when I first joined the company – it would have come with another substantial pay cut and eventually a (lack of) work/life balance that I just couldn’t wrap my head around.  I can’t say I was happy with my job or even the company at the time that I found out the news, or even for a while prior to, but it still hurt regardless.  I was two months shy of hitting my 10 year mark with this company and had worked hard in each position I held, which ultimately helped me advance when I was still working in the office in Virginia Beach.  Was I bitter – yeah, you could say that.  Was I angry – definitely.  But, surprisingly, I think I’ve handled it well overall.  In the week or two following the news Brian told me that I seemed much happier and was much more agreeable than I had been recently.  So I guess it’s true what they say… everything happens for a reason.  Maybe in my case it was a chance to give me a break from a situation I wasn’t all that happy with anyway and to give me a swift kick in the ass to really get serious about finding something else that would be a good fit for me.  Of course, that remains to be seen… I am feverishly job hunting… every…day.  I’ve had some interviews here and there along with one amazing offer that I had to turn down due to commute time and the excessive daycare hours that would have come with that.

Outside of job hunting and settling in to our new place I am also now a part time stay at home mom – a job description I never thought I would have.  The upside is that it has given me a lot of time with the Boo – most days we have a lot of fun, some days though are draining and frustrating.  The terrible twos may in fact be real – but just like colic I think we refuse to label it that way.  The worst part though is that it’s winter and it has been downright freezing 95% of time while I’ve been unemployed.  That makes it difficult to find things to do – all I want to do is get out of the house and do things that don’t cost a lot of money.  I’ve been trying to be creative.  I always thought I was creative but as I get older I realize that I really just like the idea of being creative and that I don’t necessarily have the skills to make creativity happen.  Oh well… painting birdhouses and making peanut butter and birdseed feeders has been fun nonetheless.

So there ya have it… my update.   A bit longer than I planned, but it’s been a while.  Til next time!

Danielle

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Check out that Green thumb

Recently, we’ve begun gardening.  When I say “we” I really mean Brian.  He has done everything from researching, ordering supplies, setting everything up, and ensuring that our plants are a success.  I on the other hand like to check them out regularly to see how much they’ve grown and occasionally watering them.  We planted our first seeds about a month and a half ago and are extremely excited with how things are going.  I’m no expert on the topic and won’t pretend that I am so I’m going to leave the gardening posts to Brian beginning with the one below.  I promise pictures of the garden will be posted soon.  Enjoy!

 

To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow –Audrey Hepburn

I’m not the type of dude to go throwing Audrey Hepburn quotes into the wind.  I’m more of a Sun Tzu kind of guy, but in this case it fits.  Lately it seems like the things I gave the most effort to in my life didn’t pan out.  So now I’ve tried to focus on the things with the most tangible results.  Among other things, gardening seems to be something where there is definitely a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow so to speak.  Also, the benefits of hard work can actually be seen at home, which I think will be one of the more important lessons I need to teach my daughter.  Along with an awesome addition to my path towards a healthy lifestyle, there isn’t much not to like. 

I approached my first attempt at gardening like I do most every other hobby I attempt; with way too much speculation and research.  I digested probably every article and study on how to make things grow I could find.  I probably got the creepy IT guy at work that checks out what everyone searches for to say “What the fuck?” with hours spent researching how to get the most yield out of a tomato plant.  This was before even the first dollar was spent.  I quickly found out that most gardeners can be placed at either extreme of the science spectrum and therefore couldn’t offer much sound advice to a person trying it out for the first time.  Either it was some “new agey” hokey stuff that couldn’t be proven, or some very very dense research on soil pH in organic matter.  I learned that it’s probably easier than you ever thought it was.  Try and prove me wrong by putting a seed in some soil.  There are some finer points and some scientific stuff that can be tweaked to get more yield, but overall it’s a simple process.  Seed + Decent Soil + Water + Light = Plant.  Realistically marijuana farmers taught me more about how plants work and how to keep them healthy than most gardeners.  For some reason they are a bit more obsessive over every little detail and are more thorough in descriptions of their successes.  So I modeled my vegetable garden after a pretty simple weed grow, and it hasn’t failed me yet…..actually just the opposite.  (and no I am not growing weed on the side)

I have a mylar tent in my basement with a 400w MH/HPS ballast and light complete with inline fan (with a speed controller) and ducting.  Inside I have a humidity and temperature meter and a carbon filter which help me keep the environment just right for everything I’ve got going on.  I use Fox Farms brand everything, from potting soil down to nutrients.  I decided on a good mix of tomatoes (several varieties), cucumbers, and bell peppers to start with.  I started by planting around 26 seeds, not really expecting them all to sprout.  All but one of the plugs in the tray sprouted, and I’m pretty sure the one that didn’t was planted too deep.  I planted on April 24th and as of right now my tomato plants sit about a foot and a half tall, I have four very long cucumber vines that all bear fruit, and my pepper plants have tripled in size in the last two weeks.  We also just plastered a couple of trays with basil and cilantro seeds, which are beginning to grow.  So far I’m happy.  We’ll see what tomorrow brings.

 

  

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5 days down…

So far I’ve made it 5 days so far on my dessert detox and I think I’m doing pretty good. My husband gave me a hard time at the end of days 2 and 4 because I shared with him that I drank a root beer during the day.  ONE root beer, twice this week!  To me, I don’t believe I broke my detox.  I don’t consider soda a dessert and I don’t necessarily categorize my desserts by the number of calories or grams of sugar they contain.  Maybe I should.  I know that soda is not good for me and I also know that if not on detox I could have enjoyed a low-calorie dessert for less calories than I drank; but I also know I’m not going to binge on soda.  It’s true, I cut soda out of my daily diet many years ago… around 15 or so.  The longest without soda was a year but since then I only drink it every now and again.  I prefer water, to me it tastes soon and I feel good when I’m fully hydrated.  When I did Weight Watchers the first time I only drank diet soda which has made most sodas too sweet for me in general so I steer clear.  But every once in a while I enjoy a full calorie, full flavor root beer.  This week I did so once because I needed to balance out the saltiness of the edamame beans I ate with something sweet and the second time was as a treat for bringing 5 large plant containers inside during a downpour. 

So… are sodas really a dessert?  Should they be banned during my detox?  I’ve given a lot of thought to it and I still don’t consider them a dessert.  I could probably intake just as many calories and sugar from a glass of juice so for me it’s not about that.  One thing that stuck with me after the second root beer of the week was how I felt.  I felt sick to my stomach.  For an entire afternoon my stomach hurt and my body was not happy.  Because of that feeling alone I don’t think I’ll be enjoying too many sodas when I’m detoxing.  I think the amount of sugar was honestly what did it even though I haven’t completely cut sugar out for the past 5 days I have drastically decreased my intake for sure.

Aside from the soda the only other item that could possibly be classified as dessert that I’ve had this week are FiberOne bars.  I prefer the Dark Chocolate Almond flavor and they have been stocking my pantry regularly for the past few years.  Again, I don’t see this as a dessert.  A snack?  Definitely.  The only thing that concerns me here is that it does contain chocolate.  But this detox is about ridding my system of the obsessiveness with which I devour all things sweet (ice cream, cookies, etc, etc.).  The fiber bars, like a chewy granola bar with nuts and chocolate for those who haven’t tried them, are not something I would EVER binge on.  Has anyone ever had more than one fiber bar in a day?  I know someone who has and I laughed my ass off when they told me about it.  The bars actually come with a warning label that explains to increase your fiber intake gradually other “gastrointestinal disturbances” can occur.  I am completely confident that I would only eat one of these bars in a day – chocolate or no chocolate. 

With these two treats in mind I have come to realize that my detox isn’t just about steering clear of certain foods because they are considered (at least to me) to be a dessert.  It’s also about realizing which foods I would actually binge on and which I wouldn’t.  In the dieting world those foods are call trigger foods. 

While the past five days may not be a success from a 100% standpoint I think it’s been a success in being mindful of what foods I’m eating, how they make me feel, and whether or not they could be considered trigger foods.

What trigger foods do you have?  Any thoughts about what is or isn’t considered a dessert?

’til next time!

Danielle

 

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Day 1 down!

I started day one of dessert detox just as planned.  I had a “last supper” if you will on Sunday afternoon when the family and I went to a nearby creamery for a treat (seriously, they make the BEST ice cream EVER – it was well worth the indulgence).  Day one came rather easily – the only dessert-ish thing I ate was toast with cream cheese and jelly and a glass of pre-made, bottled sweet tea.  Neither of these things are items I would over-do it on and I don’t consider them dessert.  During the day I chose healthy snacks and drank several glasses of water which I believe is a great start!

I realized Sunday evening while talking to my husband about this detox that I am excited about giving it a go.  I know it will be beneficial, in fact, I already feel like it is and since I’m posting about it here on this blog I have some accountability… and for me, accountability has always been a motivating factor.  Any time I have to admit I didn’t do something it’s tough.  And I tend to want to take the easy way out. 

So with day one down, I have accomplished a small goal but a goal nonetheless.  What about you?  What goals have you accomplished recently?  What are you hoping to get back on track with?

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I’m thinking it’s detox time…

Anyone who knows me knows I LOVE food and I LOVE to eat.  What you might not know is that a little over a year ago I was diagnosed with having binge eating disorder.  I knew I had a problem but admitting it really was difficult.  I started seeing a counselor for it after I ate almost an entire batch of cupcakes in just two days.  They were low fat but that doesn’t make a difference when you eat all of them!

At the time, my husband was deployed overseas.  I was working full time and essentially being a “single” mom.  There were days where I was so exhausted that I could not wait until Boo was ready to bed so I could relax and “veg” on the couch.  Having struggled with my weight for as long as I could remember (I think I began dieting sometime in elementary school) I didn’t like feeling that I was losing control.  I have tried just about every diet under the sun – Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, South Beach, Slim Fast, prescription and non-prescription diet pills, you name it!  Once I even ate less than 10 grams of fat per day based on some friend of my dad’s recommendation.  I have been successful here and there, dropping as much as 25 pounds at a time.  Each time, I get so excited about how I look and feel and then slowly I loosen up the reigns and I allow the weight to creep back up.

During the year I sought counseling I wasn’t doing anything drastically different and I probably had only lost 5 pounds at the most.  What I was doing though was being more conscious of what I was eating, making better choices (though not all the time), and being more active.  A good friend of mine and I would go walking regularly and we even accomplished the Couch to 5k program and ran our first 5k in December.  I felt great!  And I felt like I was on the right track.  I wasn’t worried about dropping a bunch of weight, I just wanted to feel good about myself and set the right example for Boo.

Shortly before moving to Connecticut I started buying more desserts here and there.  It was all stress related.  For a few minutes I would feel good with what I was eating even though I knew it wasn’t good for me.  I blame the Milano cookies for the start of my downfall.  In fact, when we first moved I think I was eating about a pack a day.  I’ll let that sink in for a moment… A PACK A DAY!  Since then I’ve been shoveling in cookies, or icecream, or the occassional pudding.  I’m eating desserts every single day.  I not only feel like I’m losing control, I know that I am.

I’ve noticed that now I that I work from home I am CONSTANTLY throwing food in mouth and on top of that I’m lucky if I drink even half the amount of water that I’m used to.  Surprisingly enough my weight hasn’t changed much – it’s the same 5 pounds that I lose and gain pretty frequently – but I feel HORRIBLE.  My body feels bloated (rings and clothes definitely don’t fit the same), my skin looks bad, and with every bite I eat I know what I am doing and am pissed off at myself for not even trying to change it.

Last week, after indulging in donuts and pies and other crap while on my trip to Virginia and back, I ended up consuming two pints of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream (one of which I ate in a day!).  At this point, I’m off all regular meds for my anxiety and I haven’t talked to a professional about anything in three months… and it shows.  I’m stressed out, depressed, and over the past few weeks the homesickness has begun to set in (frankly, I’m surprised it’s taken this long).

I don’t normally talk to my husband about my eating habits – mainly because saying it out loud just makes me feel ashamed and makes it feel that much more real.  However, this weekend we had a heart to heart and I shared how I need a dessert-detox.  It sounds silly but when you constantly obsess over food and have a hard time stopping the bad habits once they start, you need something a bit drastic to get your ass in gear.  I’m so obsessed with food that I know for a fact that I once went 40 days without dessert.  It was a challenge I gave myself one year when many folks were participating in Lent.  The first couple days were tough but by the end when I was able to eat desserts again I didn’t really want to.

In an effort to get myself back on track I am planning to start a dessert detox tomorrow.  I don’t have a set time frame this go-around, instead I am going to take it one week at a time.  I figure at the rate I’m going making it even one day without a dessert is better than continuing on the track I’m on.  I don’t expect to be perfect (though I’m constantly trying to be… that’s a whole other blog post in itself) but I do expect to makes strides towards being healthier and to indulging only occasionally.  I don’t plan to give up desserts forever; I just plan to make them a less regular part of my diet.

I’ll do my best to keep you posted on my progress.

’til next time!

Danielle

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Pity party for one

My husband mentioned in my “About Me” section that I am normally all sunshine and rainbows, which is correct – in fact, many of my friends refer to me as their “sunshine” because of my normally positive outlook on all things.  He also mentioned that lately I have been less than sunny, also correct.

There are several things that have been contributing to this overall feeling of pessimism that I manage to shake off for a little bit here and there.  However, for the purpose of this entry my main focus is the unhealthy way I compare myself to others.  Lately I have been doing this more and more and I think it has a lot to do with my upcoming college reunion.

My 10 year college reunion is THIS weekend.  I am so excited for this event and cannot wait to share this experience with my daughter – even though she is too young to remember any of it.  I am looking forward to catching up with old friends and enjoying time at a place that I truly love (it was a love/hate relationship when I actually attended school but boy, isn’t nostalgia wonderful).  On the flip side, meeting up with friends and acquaintances who I haven’t seen in years (in some cases 10 to be exact) is a very unnerving experience.  Everyone will want to catch up about what we do for a living, what we’ve done for the past 10 years, about our kids, etc, etc.  And while social media has kept many of us in touch, these topics of conversations are still sure to come up.  This is where it gets awkward and my brain can’t help but start making comparisons.

I know that I have a wonderful life.  I have some of the best, most fun and supporting family and friends anyone could hope for.  I have an amazing husband who, even with the bumps we’ve encountered, I couldn’t imagine living without.  My daughter, Boo, is the cutest little girl and always puts a smile on my face… no matter how my day is going.  We live in a beautiful area and try to make the most out of it by getting out and exploring things as much as we can.  Even with all this I find myself making comparisons.  Mainly with regards to my job situation and occassionally with my daughter’s development.

Prior to moving to Connecticut my daughter (now 20 months) wasn’t even trying to move much aside from scooting here and there.  She was able to stand on things when we helped her up but at one point just stopped doing it.  She was content to just sit where we put her and play with her toys.  What a difference a move makes!  Since February she has learned to pull up to a stand, climb the stairs, and now – FINALLY – is starting to take her first steps unassisted.  I couldn’t be more happy for her or more proud.  Up until this point I would see pictures of my friends’ kids, mostly around the same age or within a few months of each other, and would be thinking “well their kid did XYZ at such and such months.”  It was disheartening to wonder why Boo wasn’t hitting the same milestones at around the same age.  I think she must have known we were starting to worry because she has said “Screw it, I got this!”  She’s on the move now and we know we’re in trouble!

Back to the job situation.  For the past five years up until we moved I was working in Human Resources.  I felt good about my job, had built some fantastic relationships with the people I worked with, and felt like my education was being put to use (at least to some extent).  Then I found out we were moving.  I told my husband all along that I would support whatever decision he made that he felt was the best for the family.  I had every hope possible that I would be able to take my job with me, after all we have a lot of employees who work from home.  Unfortunately for me, that did not include a member of the HR team.  Since I didn’t have a choice, I gave my notice and starting hitting the job hunting scene.  During that time my company was able to offer a different opportunity to me which I knew would be helpful while we relocated although it wasn’t ideal.  With this new job I would be able to work from home; however, it would require taking what I feel is a substantial pay cut (which is also capped where I’m at), it would not come with a defined career path (my other job didn’t either), and would be doing work that was extremely similar to what I did over 6 years ago in my customer service position.  Everyone I spoke to (outside of my immediate circle of friends) thought this opportunity was amazing!  In the beginning the more people got excited for me the more I got really irritated.  To me it was going to be a step back.  A step back in the type of work, a step back in pay, and a step back in opportunity.  I was pissed that other people couldn’t (or didn’t) see it this way.  But a job was better than no job.  I accepted the position and started thinking of all the positive aspects about it, and continue to do so each day.  However, once my comparison-loving mind starts going it is hard to stay positive about it.  What makes it even harder is that I continue to job hunt, I find jobs almost every day that I KNOW I would be good at and yet, nothing.  This morning I got a call from a job I applied to over the weekend.  I fit the description perfectly, it is in the human services field (hello, psych degree!), and it is located just 5 (maybe 10 minutes max) from my house.  Could this opportunity be more perfect?!  Well, yes, it could.  After speaking with the recruiter for about 10 minutes he told me the salary for this position.  It was the same, or possibly less, than what I am currently making.  I thanked him for his time and hung up.  I cried.  Here was this awesome position, that I KNEW I was a fit for and I actually got called about… and then my happy little bubble was crushed.

So here I am, just a few days from my reunion, throwing myself a pity party for one… complete with chips and ice cream.  Thinking about my friends with their awesome jobs, their graduate and doctoral degrees (which many of them are actually putting to use), and how they are probably not stressing over the day-to-day like I am.  But really, I know that when it comes down to it my friends really will not care what I’m doing for a living.  Yes, they’ll be interested to know what I’ve been up to and of course, folks will ask what I do for work.  But ultimately, they are not going to put as much emphasis on it as I have done for the past several weeks.  We will all be excited that we get to see each other for a few days and catch up on everything we’ve been doing (not just what our jobs are).  And I’m sure, even though I’ll continue to compare myself to others – it’s just what I do – that what I’ll take away from this upcoming reunion isn’t where I stand in comparison to everyone else, but how much fun we had over those few days and how much fun we have had over the years.

What does the comparison really get you?  For me, it’s just an endless cycle of beating myself up when really I’m blessed in so many ways… there’s no reason to take pity in that.

’til next time!

Danielle

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