Friday, May 02, 2008

Still Breathing. Added Wine.

At 2 today I made an Executive Decision - I was not trucking back to BFE today. My mother was fine with this. The very nice nursing staff took care of getting her transferred to a nearby ALF, I've talked to her on the phone and she's comfortable, and we will take this day by day to see how she does. Tomorrow I will go over early in the day and plan to stay over, and start tackling the house. Monday is garbage day, and when I leave on Sunday I plan to leave a mountain of bags at the curb. Another night without that two hour drive will help me regroup to face the work ahead.

My phone has not stopped ringing and my ear is aching after days wearing the Bluetooth headset. My ass is here tonight, with wine and knitting and an intensive effort to think about nothing. Or to think about the rest of life.

Like the new job, and how I honestly have nothing to wear for it (oh noes!) and how I really need to squeeze in a shopping expedition or two in the next two weeks. My wardrobe can best be described as "bag lady." A few nice pieces but nothing to put with them, and the rest is too worn out to donate to charity. I spent the past two years in a construction environment where "business casual" standards meant removing facial piercings and not wearing flip-flops and jeans (except on Friday). So I need a real business wardrobe again as well as a few date clothes items, and it would help if I could magically lose 20 pounds in two weeks. Heh.

I was doing really great on the healthy eating and exercise thing, walking 3 miles a day, planning meals, eating 1500 calories a day +/-, and all was good and I felt great, slept great, the body was responding, and then the seminar happened and there wasn't a damn healthy thing on the hotel's menu at any meal, it was a festival of beef and fried things and even the salads were full of fat, so I did my best.

Then then this Mama Drama happened right on its heels. Have you ever heard of a hospital cafeteria that isn't open for dinner? The first night of this drama, when we were stuck in the ER, I asked about the cafeteria and was told that it was closed. At 6:30 p.m. I was directed to the Hardees on the highway. It is not known for its low-fat, low salt menu. It was downhill from there. I am afraid to check my own blood pressure lately, because, damn. Last night I looked at my feet and they were not their usual bony-delicate selves, no bones could be seen in the puffiness. Sitting all day plus salty meals. Not good. And then hormonal issues aren't helping, and that's all I'll say about that. I will do the best I can for the next two weeks, and it does help that right now I am craving fruit and veggies. And sleep, and, ahem, wine. Someone needs to invent zero calorie wine. I remember there was an attempt at a diet wine product a couple of years ago, I never tried it and now I don't see it advertised, so I'm thinking it crashed and burned. I will drink water, avoid salt and fat where I can, and moderate consumption of wine. It's the best I can do in combat mode.

But all of that aside, I do need clothes for work. I also need time to shop for them.

Work. Work at last! Real work at last! In a real office with real people and with real benefits and such! Back to Working for The Man! I know I will complain about it later, but right now, I'm so happy! 5+ months, that's how long it has taken, and I didn't even apply for this job. My resume was on Monster and the HR guy found ME, and then hounded me to interview. I sent resumes to any other promising jobs of course, and never got a call back on a single one. I didn't even see an ad for the job that is now mine. So there you go, it really does pay to put your resume out there. You will get hit with all sorts of scam email "headhunter services" and the like, but this job found ME because I posted my resume.

It's a terribly depressing job market, in a place where $15 an hour is described as a "really GOOD job!" for a paralegal. I am very happy to have landed this job.

Thanks to my dear friend the Lawyer Formerly Known as Boss, I had the option of doing contract work for a very hefty hourly rate that was still cheaper than his other experts. The people running the files knew me and loved me, everybody was happy, but it was itinerant legal work - no benefits and no guarantees from week to week on the number of hours or how long I'd sit around until the corporate entity spit out a check. I still have a check outstanding from over two weeks ago. While on paper that was the "big bucks" option, and I'd always wanted the "freedom" of freelancing, in reality it wasn't all that. It was kind of weird to have to make appointments to go to opposing counsel's office and sit like an enemy agent reviewing files. It's not a strange experience for me, I've reviewed files and interview witnesses and smiled my way into hostile territory for many years. But this was different - as a freelancer, I didn't have the comfort of a home office at the end, I had to take my weird outsider feeling home with me.

I like working in an office. It's not perfect, nothing is, every office is issued at least one pain in the ass personality and another who got there on her back, but for me, and maybe in this kind of work in particular, there's a rhythm of life that is missing in freelancing. So I am happy dancing about a real job in a real company on Forbes's and God's and everybody's "100 Best Places to Work" list, doing interesting stuff, and best of all, still with an opportunity to learn. Much of it is familiar territory, I know the fundamentals well, but this is international work. I will get to learn the quirks of doing business in Europe and Asia, and there is a good potential for work travel beyond the Southern US, and some really good vacation perks. I'm excited. It sounds like an interesting new direction, and it's so cool to have the opportunity to grow professionally as I'm hitting 50.

So yes, I will deal with my mother's issues, I will be cheerful and calm and put it all in perspective. Things are coming together.

May Horoscope. I like it.


KatyaR said...

Congratulations on the job--what a relief! I'm sorry to hear about your mom, but it sounds like you have the beginnings of a plan, and that's more than most people have in that situation (slight comfort, I know). Enjoy that wine--you deserve it!

Donna said...

I am so happy for you that you've found a job! And I'm crossing my fingers that the Mama Drama is just the long around of getting your mother closer to make things easier. Having my own Mama Drama this week, but at least my mother lives 500 yards away!!

Janet said...

So glad to hear about the job. Congratulations! I'm clinking my wine glass to yours!

Anonymous said...

Congrats - and fingers crossed that your mum will enjoy the ALF she's in temporarily and come around more quickly to living in one.

carlarey said...

Glad to hear about the job, and really glad to hear that the Mama Drama happened now, rather than just as you were getting your feet wet in the new office. The stress of having to try and handle that while learning a new set of ropes would not have been good at all.

Maybe someone looked at the Karmic Crap Ledger and realized that Catherine is all paid up.

ChelleC said...

Happy dance! I'm so glad that you finally found a job - or rather, it found you. That's wonderful.

ellen said...

The job sounds good and the Mama Drama something that needed to happen. Looks like that one may have been for the best. Maybe when you "retire" you can take up a career as a professional juggler. My, you do live in interesting times...