I Hit the Treadmill...in Anger

OK, well maybe frustration is more like it but still.  So many things are swirling and whirling about in my head right now.  As of this afternoon there still isn't a confirmed start date for my new job.  Talk about a test of patience!  I know looking back I will probably laugh at why I didn't just chill out and take advantage of all this additional free time and not worry about it but that's not happening right now.  

The good thing is that I've still had a chance to go to the new office, shake a bunch of hands, do paperwork, pick up my laptop and even grab coffee and a walk with a person I'll be working with...once that darn start date is confirmed!  

OK...so maybe it's true that a watched pot never boils.  I tested this theory by breaking away from the home office here and decided to hit the gym.  What a novelty - or at least a recent one!  I don't think I'd been in there to work out since around the Olympics, so ummm...gulp, yeah...a little over two months.  Whoops.

And, sadly, that two-month gap showed.  There's a little bit, um, more of me than there used to be and I could feel those lovely old stomach rolls moving about as I fired up the treadmill.  Not meaning to gross anyone out here - I'm not obese by any means - but if you've ever gained weight you know that feeling.  So, OK, I've burned this off before and I can do it again, right?  Yes!  I started up my iPod and thought I was seeing things because the darn thing looked possessed!  Words on my playlists were all jumbled up like anagrams or missing a letter or two in the song titles or artist names - no joke!  I freaked thinking I'd lost my music files but everything SEEMED to be working and sounding right - just displaying all freaky weird.  I tried not to let that bother me and just finished my workout.  Turns out re-synching it with my laptop did the trick and fixed whatever that psycho glitch was.  Whew!

I felt better after getting my ass moving for awhile, but then came home and the frustration immediately kicked in again.  No new updates.  Nothing.  I know everyone's busting their buns to get everything squared away and it's nothing to do with anything personal.  And I dug myself further into the hole of frustration - so pissed off that this frustration was polluting the overall good news that I'm going back to work!!  Oh and what else?  "Hurry up and wait" totally blows chunks!  HA!

Then I remembered something I'd read that literally clanged between my eyeballs.  And after I read it I IMMEDIATELY calmed down inside and started to breathe much more deeply.

"This is not your problem to solve." 

What a revelation!!  Such joy releasing all that silly tension and worry!  So where did I find this gem of a reminder?  My friend P's blog, which is chock full of amazing things she is working on with quality time, fitness, healthy living - the whole works.  Great stuff.

I'm normally a very sound sleeper but sadly woke up in the middle of the night wondering when things would be getting underway and when I would get back to a new, normal routine - that darn old job start date already!  But then I rolled over, snuggled up in my comforter and concentrated on just letting my body melt into my bed and letting my breathing become more deep, thorough and relaxed.

And I whispered ever so softly to myself...

"This is not your problem to solve."


Furniture, Sushi and Hockey

Yep, it's another random line-up of fun for Sunday - oh yeah, it IS Sunday, that's right!  I still crack myself up on how I tend to forget what day it is.  When you've been out of the Monday to Friday working groove for awhile the calendar in the mind gets a little mushy! 

So first thing up was taking care of business this morning - I decided to put on a pot of coffee and just enjoy it at a leisurely pace.  Just a dash of skim milk in the mug is all I need - no sugar, half & half or anything like that.  I don't understand the reasoning of killing your coffee in order to enjoy it!  But I guess it's a caffeine fix nonetheless.  I've been trying to alternate morning coffee with Lipton cold-brew iced tea so I don't get too dependent on coffee.  And the iced tea is just wonderful.  I just fill up a giant glass Pyrex measuring cup with water, throw in a bag of tea, pop it in the fridge and it's good to go in 5-10 minutes.  Yum!  I could have sworn I had a large pitcher somewhere around in my kitchen cupboards but they are deep and it's easy to lose things in the back corners.  Sigh...just another thing for the "updating" list of home projects - these cupboards need some lazy susan rotating shelves in the corners for sure.  I sat down one afternoon about a year ago and cleaned out all of the pots and pans and was shocked how many I have.  It felt good to downsize and I gave the ones I didn't need to a charity which supports transitional housing.  But yet, I still lose stuff in those cupboards...I swear things must burrow tunnels and hide or clone themselves!

Now that I think of it, one silly way I remember when it's Sunday is that I file my weekly unemployment benefits claim.  It's nice that the funds are there, and even nicer that claims are filed online and the money gets direct deposited.  So much more convenient than the last time I had to do this in the early 1990s...we were still old school, mailing in claim forms in the snail mail and getting hard copy checks to go deposit.  How far have we come in 15 years??  Dang I hope I never have to go through this again.

But even this weekly ritual is wimpering out this week, for after this batch my allocated amount drops to zero.  Could the timing be more aligned or what?  I am going back to work later this week!  YES!  I can't wait - and frankly neither can my wallet! 

Oh, and what happened with the garage door dealio from last week?  I'm sure you were all in suspense wondering.  [That's a joke, people.]  I am now the proud owner of a brand new spanking - and supremely quiet and smooth running - garage door opener!  I never thought of my old one as loud or annoying - well, up until the part when it crapped out - but WOW, this one is amazing.  The guy who replaced it was super nice and pointed out a lot of other things to do to keep the garage door running smoothly.  Love me some Man Help!  While he was working I apologized about the mess of leaves and crud everywhere and he smiled and said don't worry, this garage is CLEAN compared to some he's worked in.  That's a bit scary actually.

Yeah, I've lived in this place a little over seven years and I still feel like a total amateur when it comes to home projects.  Before buying this place I never gave two shits about window treatments.  But soon after I moved in it came time to replace the outdated mustard yellow blinds in the front window and pick out something new.  And pay for them!  Same with the old brown doors - and new doorknobs! 

I'm super excited for randomness this afternoon!  I'm meeting a friend to help her with furniture shopping, we're going to grab sushi for dinner and then watch some hockey!  The NHL playoffs are in full swing and I am a bigtime Vancouver Canucks fan.  Tonight they'll either beat LA and win their first round in the playoffs or it'll go to game seven.  Who knows!  These teams are very evenly matched. 

Sushi flat out rocks.  I could seriously eat it every day and be happy.  And, for awhile, I was doing just that!  A nearby grocery store has a sushi section where they make it right there in the store and I would usually grab a nice spicy tuna roll with extra wasabi - sheer bliss!  Even that picture above makes my mouth water.

And why am I a Canucks fan?  Well, when I took up hockey a few years ago I also started watching it a lot on TV.  And just decided I would start cheering for the NHL team that's geographically closest to where I live.  Honestly, that's it - and I got hooked! 

I am so incredibly thankful, grateful and honored to have such great support through the ups and downs all these months.  I've probably blabbed about that in here ad infinitum but it's worth repeating! 

I met up a few days ago with M, a colleague I've been working with on the pro bono work these past months.  He and I have worked together and known eachother a good 10 years or thereabouts.  He's been a longtime mentor/big brother type to me and always has great ideas and advice.  It felt good to catch up over burgers and beers in a dive bar I hadn't been in since before the smoking ban went into effect around here a few years ago.  [The last time I'd been in that place the smoke was hanging 3 feet off the ceilings].  But dang they've got great food!  

And I even had someone email me about setting up a "mailbag" thing in here, to send in blog post requests or other stuff.  Wow!  That would make it a lot more interactive in here.  And no, I didn't pay this person to write to me either, heh.  If I can set it up in a way that's easy to manage and monitor then I will give it a whirl.

But stay tuned...there's a lot of stuff coming up later this week!


Karma and the Garage Door

I've been joking around occasionally how despite all the time on my hands these last several months I've still successfully avoided a lot of big home projects - cleaning out the garage, for example.  There are several lists on the fridge with notes, scritch scratching - oh and I see my latest version is from sometime in 2008?  "You never stop paying for your house."  Just a few of my grandfather's many, many wise words of wisdom.

As I've probably rambled about before, I tend to focus on home details and decorating accessories and don't necessarily "see" the big items that need attention.  I find some wonderful Italian ceramic figurines in a catalogue or online that would be great for the fireplace hearth - but then remember the hearth itself needs updating badly.  I've successfully done a halfassed paint job on an accent wall in one of my bathrooms -  a deep grapey purple (don't laugh just yet - one more coat and it'll be pretty cool).  I got a wild hair one night and thought it would be fun to use up a quart sample of paint from a few years ago when I was searching for a color for the inside front door...and once that bathroom wall is painted it'll make the puke-y original yellow and brown swirly-colored formica sink countertop even more ready for a sledgehammer and the dumpster, but ahh I digress.  The bathroom floor screams for tile, not the yellow-y beigey vinyl.  The showers wanna be slate, not fiberglass. The vinyl in the kitchen should get swapped out for laminate flooring.  And on and on and on.  Don't get me started on the popcorn ceilings.  And remember my post from a couple months back about falling sheet rock?  Case in point.

Yep, my townhouse complex turns the big 3-0 this year.  We're spacious with great floor plans but dated.  Those who are trying to sell their units here have stiff competition from the newer homes in the area, even those here who have done fabulous remodels.  On the other hand, we've got huge, 2-car garages - rare for townhouses and condos these days.

A couple days ago, Karma and my garage gave me a good poke in the ribs.

It was Friday afternoon and I decided to go run some errands - getting a list of things to do in this soon to be last week of "freedom" before I go back to work again.  I headed downstairs and pressed the garage door opener button as I'd done so many thousands of times before.  This time the door got about a third of the way open, stopped and started making a horrific grinding sound.  What the hell?  I pressed the button again to close the door.  Tried again - same thing.

So, being the resourceful type (but definitely not super mechanical or technical), I picked up a pushbroom and started brushing the metal tracks and roller wheels on each side of the door.  Lord knows there's a crapload of leaves, dirt and debris in the corners of the garage floor so maybe something got stuck and was blocking one of the tracks.

No such luck. And the sound of the motor grinding was painful.  I pulled the manual release latch, got a stepstool from the kitchen and attempted to hoist the door open manually.  I had a sinking feeling this was not going to work, because I had to do this once before during a freak neighborhood-wide power outage and could not get the door to stay open pushing it up manually.  Well, I could get it to "sort of" appear to stay fully open and holding but I didn't want to risk damaging the door or the top of my car backing it out that way.  I've got a steep driveway right out of the garage and I'm visually challenged with all those angles! 

I tried to stay positive here - at least the door opens - and smoothly, right?  Thankfully I was able to get a hold of a neighbor to stop by and hold the door open while I backed my car out.  Too funny!  But so nice to have nice people around to help in a jam.

Something tells me the opener motor crapped out.  And if it's the original one from when the house was built as I suspect, well, 30 years is a good run.  I have someone coming out to fix/replace it later this week, but you know with everything else going on it's nice not to stress about this.  What if this had happened the morning I was heading out to a job interview or had some emergency?  Obviously I would have called a cab, but it would have definitely been more stress than I needed on a morning like that.

So, as you can see, the garage is now whining for attention.  Maybe I will take my friend T up on borrowing her power washer after all.  I've got heaps of flattened cardboard boxes ready to go to the dump, college textbooks, bins of god-knows-what and far too many leaves, cobwebs and debris in the corners.  Hmm, maybe a nuclear bomb might be in order!

Meanwhile, I avoided the garage cleanout even more by spending the entire weekend in a state of relaxed joyfulness - so many reasons to celebrate with great friends!  The people who carry you through the tough times are the ones who can turn around and raise a glass with good cheer and a congratulatory hug.  Love that.

Saturday was lunch at the Bravern with three friends and time to laugh, catch up and drool over amazing shoes, bags and play with makeup at Neiman Marcus. And I loved it when the money'd older lady dripping in jewelry poked her head over my shoulder at Mariposa (the restaurant in Neiman Marcus), asking if my salad had seered tuna in it.  Too funny!  Oh, to have the disposable income again to go crazy in a shopping complex like this!  Luckily it doesn't cost anything to look.  I tagged along with my friend K later as she tried on a few Cartier watches and got majorly distracted by a lady carrying an enormous Hermes Birkin bag.  One so big you could probably carry an infant in it.  I can't even imagine what kinds of five figures are required to tote around something like that.  Hoo doggy.

We stopped in the Hermes boutique to look at scarves, agendas, scarf holders and all.  I even tried on a wonderful necklace made of beautifully polished horn on a thin leather cord.   I admired the workmanship and all, but I just can't fathom spending the $$ required, especially not right now on these items.  But the dashing man purchasing a tie nearby was some good yummy eye candy.

Saturday night was more giggling, food and wine at T's Pampered Chef party.  Good thing she prepped the consultant that we were gonna be like herding cats because that's exactly what happened.  And we had a cheese sampler to DIE for before our amazing penne pasta dinner with tomatoes, garlic and fresh basil - thanks, T!

I had a wonderful dinner tonight with P and her parents plus a bunch of new and old friends.  The restaurant offered to donate 20% of our tab to P's and her Mom's fundraising efforts as they're doing the 3-Day walk to benefit breast cancer research later this year...for the 2nd year in a row!  How incredible is this?  My budget has been extremely tight but I truly believe in...well...continuing to give/donate wherever you normally do, but just in smaller amounts. 

Every little bit helps!


Whoosh...it's Friday!!

...and this is my 50th (50TH!!) post!  Holy smokes, how'd that happen?  A little too much time on my hands being out of work plus a few rocks rolling around in the head last fall and presto...here we are!  And a few of you out there even stop in to read ma shizz!  Bonus!  And thanks.

So let's get right to it - I'm going back to work soon!  I got the news yesterday and probably blasted the recruiter's eardrums with my whooping and yelping (occupational hazard I suppose).  WOOO HOOOOOOOOOOOO!!

Once I adjusted my attitude from whining about interview attire feedback to being open to the whole "check and adjust" thang, plus some tweaks in my phone interview style, well, THAT made the difference.  And I didn't need to do anything unnatural - just be me but hopefully even BETTER.

And sometimes the right next step isn't the one you'd thought it might be!  This opportunity snuck in pretty recently.  I'd interviewed with another team late last month where I'd worked briefly late last year in hopes to come back full-time, but given the need to screen and interview other candidates the timing just didn't work out in the end - at least not THIS time.  I've made so many wonderful new contacts this leg of the job search - love how the spreadsheet continues to grow!

Let's face it - when you've been out of work the entire calendar year to date plus a handful of months last summer, it takes a toll.  I've dug deep mentally and financially.  I've felt strained, burnt out, frustrated, overwhelmed, panicked, sad and angry in all sorts of various combinations of those emotions. But I've also learned strengths about myself I never knew existed.  And I've had friends offer their love, support, shoulders, friendly ears and professional leads in ways that humble me.  Anything from a need to listen to me piss and moan, to time just being silly to relieve stress.  Some of these friends have only really known me in the past year, where it seems I've been constantly networking, interviewing, other than working a very short assignment that was literally a sprint to the finish line of '09.

I spent yesterday pretty much talking my cell phone battery down to zero sharing the good news!  And I ran a couple errands around town and noticed people were SMILING at me!  I was in shlump mode big-time (but I did take a shower earlier, heh, so I wasn't quite down to hermit mode). But still, I looked like crap.  I must have had a happy look on my face or just seemed more relaxed.  I even woke up this morning feeling relaxed and refreshed in a way I'd sadly probably forgotten how to feel.  When you wake up every single freaking day in a state of unknown and uncertainty, well, it wears on you. 

And I've got a bunch of plans this weekend to meet up with friends for shopping (WINDOW shopping for me), eating out and just hanging out laughing!  Some people have joked around (or are they joking?), asking me when I'm going on a shopping spree or what I want to purchase as a gift to myself for getting through all of this.  You know, I'm going to stick with the whole Money Diet mode as best I can.  I've learned a LOT about being frugal over this past year and have funds to replenish!

But ummm, OK, I did make a teeny little reward splurge last night - some votive candles from candlesbyvictoria.com.  Nope, I'm not affiliated with them in any way other than being a repeat, satisfied customer.  My friend S recommended them awhile back; if you are into candles, these are top notch.  Every single one is poured by hand and the scents are truly incredible.  There are hundreds and hundreds of choices! 

I especially like the Clean Cotton scent - my downstairs smells like I did laundry all day.


Check and Adjust Already!!

OK, I admit I was a little cranky about last week's feedback on my interview attire.  I really love that dress and don't feel I have a lot of nice clothing choices right now given my weight gain and my decision to hold off buying more clothes in the meantime.  So I stick with the tried and true favorites.  Turns out that dress doesn't win points 100% across the board given the varied work environments out there. OK, OK, I'm over it.

Another problem/issue/reality in my little world is that I haven't had any official job performance reviews in about four years given my switch to contracting engagements, so I've relied on casual, ad hoc feedback meanwhile to help me grow and improve.  But honestly, feedback is hard to come by.  Often when you ask for it you don't get it. Or it gets documented in a very watered-down "pass/fail" way that isn't really tailored to your specific strengths and weaknesses.  Or it gets coated in a cloud of sheepish bullshit and loses its real meaning.  And sometimes it stings so deep in the core of the DNA that it's hard to process and much easier to retort with a "well, that's the way I roll, sorry peeps."

But I do take the time to mull over feedback, practice, listen and learn.  I went back for an interview today coincidentally at the same place I'd set my Jimmy Choo'd plain black pumps last week, dressed down this time in slacks and a nice blouse (and black suede heeled platform oxfords which are amazing and feel like slippers). I just feel better in heels.  And loved how the manager this morning was in a comfy sweatshirt and jeans.  

I skipped my morning coffee which was a GOOD thing.  I now know that morning coffee + normal interview adrenaline = wayyy too much jittery for ol' fivenineteen here.  We hit it off well and once he handed me a pen and we got to whiteboarding it felt very natural.  The "no caffeine" headache did nail me later this afternoon but luckily a strong cold-brew Lipton tea bag in a pint of water did the trick.  Unsweetened, of course!

I'll be speaking with a peer of his over the phone as a follow up, which I think is a good sign. And later I had a chance to chat (via phone) with another consultant who'd interviewed with this follow-up person to get her take on her style, what to prep for and all.  Bonus!!  I also got some GREAT feedback about my phone screening style after a few mock Q&A scenarios.  Believe me, interviewing over the phone is a whole different animal from in person.  I tend to be pretty succinct in phone interviews but learned it's OK to ramble a bit with this particular person as long as you rope it back home in the end. 

I think it's gonna be a GREAT week this week.  I am so grateful for the time, effort and feedback invested in making sure I rock out and do my best whether it's this spot or elsewhere.

And...so grateful for family and friends' support through these ups and downs!  I'm ready to dig in and get back out there!!


What's the Female Equivalent of "Blow Me" ???

Yup, I'm feeling a little cranky today.  This stupid cold is running its course and just when I think it's past the worst part I wake up again hacking up crud.  Down with The Goo!  I've dodged my usual flu-in-January-for-a-week routine this year so I guess it was time for something even though it's not helping my mood.  I thank the Universe that the follow up interview I had a couple of days ago was over the phone and not in person.  On Monday morning I could dig deep in the energy reserves, clean up, shake hands and put on a good face.  By that afternoon things were going downhill, and it was all I could do on Tuesday to give good phone without worrying about trying to look presentable with a cold. 

Hello, kleenex!

The Universe again is smiling and looking out for me as my next in-person interview is early next week, so the cold should be long gone by then right? Unclogged ears, no more red nose, no more chills and fever on and off - I'm ready! 

I find it extremely difficult to get feedback from interviews where I didn't end up getting the job.  Most of the time there is nothing beyond "we decided to go with another candidate."  So it's up to me to re-evaluate how I did, review my notes and try to be even better prepared and poised next time.

But every once in awhile there are some good, meaty things to mull over:  the other candidate was more qualified due to xyz, you needed to be more technical in blahblahblah or be more articulate about how you handle abc or something like that.  I seemed a tad jittery?  Oh yeah I know what that was from - coffee!  I'll avoid that last swig before getting dressed and out the door next time!  I am so glad I quit Diet Coke earlier this year but I'm still fine-tuning how much coffee I can have before it's too much on the ol' nerves.

I DON'T expect to hear feedback that I was "overdressed."  Screechy record sound anyone??  Are you fucking kidding me?  Since when is wearing a tailored dress and plain black mid-heel pumps with no flashy jewelry and an understated black handbag and coat considered "overdressed?"  I don't know whether to laugh or curse here, people.  And yeah I'm gonna go there and ask/wonder outloud...would the (male) hiring manager have said the same thing if he was interviewing a male candidate in a suit & tie???  I hate to play the sexist card here but I'm all kinds of confused and wonderingwonderingwondering.

So I've been asking around as now I'm curious...is it too old school to dress up for an interview even if you know the place is business casual (emphasis on casual to the point of jeans being OK 5 days a week)?  I love a business casual environment but I admit I also enjoy dressing up occasionally.  Frankly, it's not an effort for me.  I love the dress I wore for that interview because I can get dressed in 2 minutes and it's forgiving of a few extra pounds.

I've always thought you were supposed to crank it up a notch for the interviews and then go with the flow depending on the company dress code.  Don't get me wrong - I can do casual just fine.  Hell, I've worked places where I had to constantly harp on my team members to wear shoes.

Maybe the guy did me a favor in relaying that feedback.  If it's a liability in that particular company then OK, I can role play and tone it down.  I'll have an opportunity at this same place early next week (different group). 

I can't help but laugh at the memory of my first (and only) trip to NYC where I felt horribly out of place (underdressed) in a striped sweater, denim jacket and khakis in a sea of dark suits in midtown Manhattan.  See my "And then Dr. Ruth walked into the bar" post for more on that.  

Yes, the Great Northwest is far, far away from the dark-suited land of Manhattan.


Those Illegal, Ripped-up Leggings

Surprised to see Miley Cyrus as one of my blog post pictures?  Me too!  I was looking around for a picture to capture today's post title and couldn't pass up this hilarious "I got dressed in the dark before going to buy an orchid" outfit.  Maybe her leggings came this way when she bought them. Or maybe she survived a fight and scaled a chain link fence.  Who knows.  My ripped-up leggings took over a decade to perfect, and I've had them since Miley was in preschool. 

Remember the days when buying something online was still a novelty?  Maybe even frowned upon by some as being too risky or dangerous?  When mainstays today like Amazon.com were still getting underway?  When most people with internet connections at home used dial-up?

I remember the first couple things I purchased online, without thumbing through an actual catalogue and calling an 800# to order. I found a wonderful short-sleeved denim dress from Harold's that buttoned all the way down the front.  Yes, yes, it was circa 1997 everyone.  And...a pair of black DKNY leggings from a website I'd read about in Vogue magazine of all places - boo.com.

I just checked boo.com today and it's something completely different from what it was back then.  The magazine article focused on women who were on the cutting edge of technology, discovering the power and potential of the internet.  I've religiously devoured every issue of Vogue since I was about 16 and have subscribed for over 20 years.  This story really stood out! One of the women had launched boo.com - a name she chose because it was short, simple and easily pronounceable for just about anyone around the world.  Great idea!  While a clothing site like hers might be considered quaint now, it was well ahead of its time in providing suggestions on what to order based on your personal preferences and where you could "try on" clothes via the website.  Remember, this is 1997-1998 so not many sites had this feature!

So, those leggings.  They're solid black, slightly bootcut with zippers at the ankles.  The zipper lining is neon yellow-green. And those darn leggings have gone just about everywhere with me - on walks, to the gym, to the beach, to the grocery store, on trips.  They've been with me through weight gain, weight loss and back around again. They forgive.  I probably paid way too much for them given my budget back then, but you know what?  I still have them!  Only now, they're confined to indoors only.

Yes, these leggings are now so worn and ripped I can't even dash outside to take out the garbage in them!  Well I could, but I have some sense of decency and don't want to scare my neighbors.

My uniform lately has been getting a little schlumpy.  When I'm not out of the house I'm often in the trusty indoor leggings and an ancient light cotton flannel shirt (For Joseph brand) that is so soft I can hardly feel it on my body.  Another one of those "I spent too much on it 15 years ago but I still have it" purchases.  I used to watch the show "How Do I Look?" where part of the process is for the friends of the person who's getting a makeover to go through their closet and pull out things they want the person to get rid of.  I cringed at the horrific things pulled out of those closets - and cringed too at how emotionally attached people got to old, worn-out, horribly out of style clothing even to the point of sobbing and tears.  You can bet I'd hang onto these leggings and that flannel shirt kicking and screaming.  I've taken boatloads of old clothes to Goodwill over the years but not those two items.  (I don't think my ripped leggings would even be accepted by Goodwill.  Well, maybe Miley might like them but they're a little too big for her I bet.)

So, the schlump uniform is getting old.  And I've painted myself into the corner of being sick of my current clothes - the ones I can still fit into - but not wanting to go buy new clothes given my larger size and my wallet's smaller size.  Gotta stick with my Money Diet.

I've asked myself how much I'm willing to take a gamble - to roll the dice?  Do I wait an expected 2 or 3 weeks for a job opportunity that I know would be wonderful (if I were even selected)?  Or do I hop on something else short-term meanwhile to keep myself busy for a few months?  I'm ready to get off the contractor merry go round, however it's work I can do well and I can jump right in given my years of in-the-trenches experience.  And I'll be suiting up to interview for one of those opportunities early next week!  It's a good feeling when the phone keeps ringing and the email inbox keeps bubbling and popping. 

But it's hard to stay positive sometimes.  Sometimes I am All Kinds of Angry.  Sometimes even the sunshine outside seems like a feeble attempt to brighten the day.  And making coffee at home in the morning isn't the sexy little novelty it used to be.  The Diet Coke habit is long gone and coffee is now a daily necessity! I grab on tight and relish the steady rhythms at the core of my life that pulse unwavering like a heartbeat:  family...friends...hockey...pep talks...nights out with friends...and nights in with friends.  And even my cell phone and internet connections, for without them I'd pretty much feel like I was isolated and out camping in the woods. 

Oh and let's not forget - how about a shout out to those die-hard, slowly-dissolving "indoors only" leggings.