Sunday, January 7, 2018

If ONE More Person Asks Me When I Am Going to Have a Baby.....

 The Boy just turned 30. I just turned 28.  We've been married for 6 years, together just under 9. 
 We have reared 2 of those most wonderful felines to ever grace this planet....but none of the human species. So as you can probably imagine with all those little facts combined, we get a lot of   "So when are you having a baby????" 

How many times do you think we (ME, as the woman really gets the brunt of it) have heard that?  Well, take that number you just said and multiply it by 403 and you'll have roughly the right count....and my god does it get OLD!  I know we aren't alone in this, but frankly I'm tired of it and I feel compelled to speak up about it. The thing is, I know not a single person means any harm when they ask the question.  I know they aren't trying to upset me, but what they don't understand is that when you are constantly hearing it from someone from each facet of your life it becomes overwhelmingly annoying.

I have been thinking about writing this for about a year now and how ironic was it that the day after I really started to plan it out in my head this post came up in my Facebook memories

So yea.....I was "that" person who lost their ever lovin mind on happens and I'm not even ashamed of it.  I remember wanting to sit down immediately and write a blog post.  It probably worked out for the best that I didn't.  I've had a chance to calm down from the initial trigger (the passing of a year will do that for ya) and really think about how I would want to explain it without (hopefully) sounding like a lunatic. 

"If you wait until you feel ready, you'll never have kids"

"No time is the right time"

Duuuude.  Every time someone says this to me it takes everything in my power not to ask them if they think they are the first person to bestow such profound "wisdom" on me  😒  I've heard it a million times people....a million! And the few times I have told them that their response goes a little something like this.....

         "that's because it's true!"  

Same dialogue, different people.  I just think it's so funny that people think I haven't heard it before.  Or that coming from them the 786th time is going to make the little light bulb appear over my head and I'll say "Gosh, you are right!!" and then ask The Boy to meet me in my sisters laundry room and impregnate me right then and there at the family function. that last line may have been a little much, but really this whole thing is just a little much.

The thing is, I get the point they are trying to make.  I know there is no perfect time.  I get you never feel 100% ready....I'm not a complete idiot believe it or not.(actually, can you just believe it please?) But there's also such thing as not getting yourself into something that you don't feel ready for.  Basically you have to find the middle between those two opposite feelings and finding that middle is for me to worry about and not for you to tell me when to get there.


 This is another great one that very much still applies to the one above.  When I bring up that I don't feel financially ready I get alot of 

"if people waited to be able to afford kids they would never have them"  

Again, I constantly feel the need to point out that I get the principle behind what they are saying.....but my god....shame on me for wanting to feel like I can properly support my kids. What the hell am I thinking? I've seen people have kids repeatedly that they can't afford and I have no desire to do that to myself or the children.

It's not so much the day to day expenses that scare me.  I feel like you can  move things around, cut back on some things, change a few habitsvto buy the food and diapers etc.  What really scares me is the large expenses like daycare.  You know what....daycare in itself is such a big thing let me just go ahead and give it it's own section......


Have you seen the cost of daycare these days? Holy crap!!! I don't know about you, but I am not able to just shit out anywhere between $500-$1,000 a month with just 9 months preparation.  Not unless I hit the lottery big or sell some organs.  It's a HUGE expense that you have to be ready for.  Then there's also the aspect of finding a place/person that you can trust. It's not like picking a restaurant out for dinner (and I struggle to even do that!)  It's a really big deal.

I have had The Boys parents and even my sister that now stays home mention that they could watch the baby....but even that brings me a huge level of stress.  I have seen situations like this with grandparents watching the kids go badly enough times to make it worrisome
  •  One girls in-laws repeatedly said they couldn't wait for her to get pregnant and that as soon as she did, the mother in-law would quit her job to stay home and watch the baby.  About half way through the pregnancy she was still working and then ended up admitting she no longer planned to quit and would not be able to watch the baby.

  • In another instance, the mother of the girl was the one to watch her child while she worked.  Her mom never did complain about it, but when she decided to quit her job and stay home herself after about 9 months her mothers response was "oh GOOD!!!"  So while she had never actually complained about it, she had grown unhappy in the situation and was relieved for it to be ending.  I'm sure the reason she never spoke up about it was because she probably felt guilty because she had offered the babysitting herself.  Imagine though how bad the situation could have potentially gotten 
Basically I think far too often grandparents get caught up in the fantasy of having grandchildren and seem to forget that babies are a lot of damn work.  That watching them day in and day out isn't as magical as it sounds and is very different than just getting to be grandma and grandpa.  It's a HUGE commitment that you have to be completely ready for or it could turn out horribly for everyone involved.

Not to mention that then you are having to work around the schedules of other peoples lives.  The one and ONLY advantage in my eyes of an actual daycare business is that there are very set days and hours and multiple employees for coverage.  When you choose a person in their home you have to work around their schedules too.  If they take off on a week long vacation you have to find someone else in the meantime.  Or if they get sick....whatever it is.  It can have you scrambling to find a Plan B.

The Body Commitment  

One of my big triggers for the above mentioned Facebook rant was that a family member commented to my father inlaw that now that he was retired he needed to sit down that son if his and tell him it's about time he give him some grandchildren. Well The Boy can't give his parents a grandchild on his own, and unless he was insinuating The Boy knock up someone else I'm going to assume he was referring to me.  Let's face it, having a baby is a WAY bigger deal for the woman than the man.  Sorry guys....just is.  We not only have to deal with all the changes to our body and possible misery and possible health issues of being pregnant, then there's the birth and recovery, and lastly breast feeding. I hope to be lucky enough to breast feed as long as makes sense and works, so once you put all of it together you're looking at a year and a half to two year commitment.  Tack on some more time if you need to lose baby weight afterward too.  So while you might think it's my duty to give everyone around me a baby to love on and adore, it's a big commitment that I need to be ready for and won't rush into just to appease those who think it's "time."


A year ago when the shit really hit the fan on this topic and revved me up, The Boy was working a horrendous schedule.  He had been working 6-7 days a week for 3 months straight and 12-15 hour days were the average. I specifically remember that just 2 weeks earlier was the first time we had been out in public together at all in that time (and it was meeting up at a Waffle House at 3am after his shift) The Boy himself was making comments about wanting a baby sooner rather than later, but I had to tell him that I didn't see it happening anytime soon.  If he even got to the point of having 2 days off, because of the nature of his job they would be during the week.  I was (and still am) off on the weekend.  When would we ever get to be a family together?  I get doing what you have to do when you're in it and getting by.  I've been there and done that. But I'm not looking to put myself into a situation where going in I know it's bad if I don't have to.  I refuse to feel like a single mom and never get to feel like a family.

A year later his schedule is getting better at his new job.  Over the last few months he has had better days off than he has had in 2 years and we have been seeing each other a lot more....which is great! It is a definite step in the right direction.  I just need some more time put in at this job and proof of stability before I go jumping in.  We have had a terrible two years where he has lost his jobs unexpectedly at 2 different places (another story for another day).  I'm sure you can imagine how this would give me anxiety and for someone whose personality depends on the feeling of security, it has been quite a struggle for me.  I need more time to feel secure and settled before taking such a huge life step.

Since were just talking about jobs, let's dive into that topic a little deeper too.  After being at the same job for 7 years, I just started at a new company about 4 months ago.  I'm starting back at square one with vacation time so I will need time to build that back up for any kind of maternity leave.  People don't think about the fact that besides the expenses of bringing a human into the world, you also have to be able to afford to stay home if you don't have paid maternity leave (which I don't know anyone who does)  Most people around me only seem to be able to afford 6-8 weeks before being forced to return to work with no time left in their bank.  Then when their kids get sick they are in a tough spot with trying to stay home with them without having the time, or never being able to really accrue much before needing to use it again. And once you have kids you never know what is going to happen.  I mean I know you NEVER really know what is going to happen, but the more lives you bring into the equation the harder it becomes. You never know when they are going to get sick, hurt, whatever.  How often will you have to leave work early or call in all together.  Worst case scenario I've seen it cost people their jobs.  Best case I've seen it create tension and awkwardness with their employer and/or coworkers.  

The Difference Between "when" and "do"

Like I said in the very first paragraph, I know people don't mean any harm when they ask "When are you going to have a baby?"  but I want them to better understand how it can make someone feel.  It's very presumptuous and borderline rude.  Like asking an unmarried woman "When are going to get married???"  Just don't.

  The better question would be "Do you want to have kids?"  I have NO problem at all when people ask me that.  That feels like just a regular question between two people.  It doesn't have an underlying expectation.  It's simply an honest question with a much better delivery.

So think about this the next time you ask a "when" question and see if there is a better way to phrase it.  It could make all the difference.

You Never Know What Is Going On In Peoples Lives

Another reason you might want to keep your mouth shut when it comes to people having kids is  that you never know what is going on in other peoples lives.  

They could desperately want children but be struggling with a fertility.  Possibly running out of money and/or options to make their dream come true.

They could be completely financially unable to even go down that road to begin with...whether naturally or through IVF.  I'm sure people don't exactly walk around saying "I want kids so badly but I'm broke as hell"

Their relationship could be in a fragile state.  Three years ago The Boy and I were in a bad place and quietly spent an entire year in therapy working to save our marriage. Every time I got the "When are you going to have a baby" question during that time I had to fight back tears.  It was a painful reminder of the state of our relationship and how far we were from that.  Six months out of that year I would call the therapy intense.  With such intense weekly therapy and emotions on our hands as it was, we weren't publicly announcing our struggle as we really didn't need the added pressure and opinions of everyone around us.  The baby question really cut me deep during such an emotional time in my life. (I'm happy to say we are in a much MUCH better place now)

Moral here....we all have struggles that not everyone needs to know about all the time.  Your words could hurt without you even knowing or meaning to.  Just be careful and empathetic towards those around you.

Overall....Can we Just Acknowledge That It's a HUGE Fucking Step

Seriously though....can we just acknowledge that?  It's so easy for the outsiders to romanticize it.  I'm not saying having kids won't be rewarding and amazing.  I'm sure it will be...I have no doubts about that.  I know I'll have them snuggled up on my chest as a newborn and shed a tear in disbelief that this cute, tiny, little human is mine.  I know the sound of their laugh will make me melt and that watching them develop a personality will be one of the most fun things I'll ever get to watch.  I know all this.....  But let's not forget what comes with it.  Long sleepless nights, sickness and injuries, self doubt, fear, guilt, financial hardships, stress,...the list goes on and on.  I'm not trying to make having kids sound like the worst thing on the planet at all.  I just want people to recognize that it is a huge lifelong responsibility.  You are in charge of raising a productive member of society for Christ sake!! That's kind of a big deal.....and the people doing it need to feel ready for all of that.  They sure as hell don't need you pushing YOUR expectations, timelines, or opinions onto them. Be mindful of what you say to others.

That is all.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

My Goals for 2018

Some people are anti new year resolutions. They can get pretty attitud-y about it and be overall negative and unsupportive of the people who make them....but consider this:

I have started,bailed, and failed at things at all times of why be so judgmental of the goals made at the beginning of the year?  Because you think it's too cliche? Maybe it is....but who cares! A goal is a goal and we shouldn't hate on it whether it's made in January or June.  Know what I'm saying?

I never used to set goals at the beginning of the year, but I have the last couples years because I really do like the "fresh start" feeling that comes with the new year.  Something about having 12 months ahead to get them done helps it feel less daunting for whatever reason. And for me the first quarter of the year is overall less hectic and an easier time for me to focus on things than later in the year when the craziness picks up.  The timing just feels right.  So here are my personal goals for the year

1.  I figure I will just start out with the ones that will make you roll your eyes first and get them over with.  Yes.....I want to lose weight.  But instead of setting a goal related to a weight number, I'm calling this one "Fix My Brain When It Comes To Food."  My  weight has been a struggle for years, but for a good chunk of time there, about 3 1/2 years I had it well under control and I was at my healthiest in every sense.  With food, with exercise, with my mindset....I just felt good.  Then I had 3 very taxing years and all that went out the window and I lost the strength and self awareness I once had.  I need to get that back which means more than just a "diet."  I have some serious work to do but I feel more ready than I have in years to do it

2. Feel Good in a Swimsuit by Summer.  Yup.....I'm that girl setting a goal in January that has to do with swimwear.  It might sound cliche, basic, and a little annoying....but notice I left it pretty vague.  I'm not trying to get a hot "bikini body".....that ship has sailed and I'm pretty sure even sunk to the bottom of the ocean somewhere.  I'm over it.  Wearing a bikini isn't something I give two craps about anymore.  In fact I don't have any kind of swimsuit picked out at all as a goal.  All I want is to be able to go swimming at my sisters house and not feel like a pale sausage busting out of it's casing.  That's it.

3. Move My Ass-  Last one regarding weight loss.  I just need to move my ass more.  I know myself well enough to know that if I say "work out 4 times a week" that I will bail quickly because I put too much pressure on myself with a number.(plus I hate working LOATHE it)  The first week that ends that I only worked out once or twice I will plunge deep into "fuck it" mode and never start back up again.  Another part of fixing my brain that I need to work on....SO....I am setting a basic goal of just moving more. My one fear is that it is not specific enough so I think I might have to develop this one a bit more.  I need to find that middle ground of not pushing so hard I give up quickly, but also not leaving it so open ended I never even do it.  Any suggestions?

4. Develop a Better Cleaning & Organization  Plan-  So here's the thing, I have realized I need to create better structure for myself.  I tend to not keep up with things very well and then it becomes this huge, massive, daunting project.  I'm trying to get better at keeping up with organization and house cleaning so that it doesn't always have to turn into a whole freakin day of cleaning where I'm pissed off that an entire day off of work was spent doing chores. Like above, I know that if I make a daily cleaning list that I am likely to bail once I miss a day or 2.  My thoughts to avoid this is to create both a monthly and weekly cleaning list that I can hang for both me and The Boy to work on at any given time.  I need to SEE it because I am super visual and I also respond much better to lists.  I love the feeling of physically marking something gives me a feeling of accomplishment.  So my goal is to have this system set in place by mid February so we can keep up with life better  overall in small chunks of time.

5. Downsize-  This isn't referring to where we live....1,100 sq ft. is small enough as it is..Haha!  I need to get more ruthless and get rid of a bunch of crap.  It isn't easy for a person who likes to craft, thrift shop etc.  I see the potential in almost anything and will hang onto it forever.  The problem is I need to actually do something with it in a reasonable amount of time or just get rid of it.  The next problem is that I'm really sentimental.  I attach memories to things so I will feel guilt in getting rid of things....but some of it has got to go!

6. Make a Plan for my School Loan Debt-  I'm not going to get into all the details about my student loan debt.  Not going to talk about how I regret my choice of school every day of my life. How it has financially crippled me for years and years to come.  How it is so far the biggest mistake of my 28 years on this earth....nope.....not gonna go there. We would be here until 2019. But this year I need to work up some sort of plan.  I have put it on the back burner for a while because talking and thinking about it just makes me angry all over I just make the multitude of payments monthly and try to move on for another 30 days.  It's time to finally face it.  By this summer I want to develop some sort of plan. I'm hoping consolidation will help

7.  Moisturize!!-  This one might seem silly, but it's a goal I have that I'm not going to leave out just because it sounds stupid.  I am not super girly and don't keep up with skin regimens at all.  I've never really liked the feeling of lotion either so that's a big reason.  I hate how it lingers on your skin...uck!  I'll take suggestions on the best moisturizer that doesn't leave you feeling sticky and greasy if you have them.  I just know I need to start getting better at this before I get older.  I'm already looking at my hands and legs and thinking "yeesh!" so that's probably not a good sign.  I don't want to look like cheap dollar store crepe paper streamers by 35.   

And coming from a white girl...I think this is hilarious and true. (the truest things are always the funniest)

Aging just isn't really on our side and a little extra moisturizer wouldn't hurt me.

8. Read at Least 8 Books- In reality I would like to read much more than 8 but I kept the number low to keep it realistic for the crazy times.  I love to thrift books but I have a pile of them I haven't read yet...13 to be exact! So while I hope I read all of them this year I will be happy to get to 8.  I love to read but have gotten so used to plopping my ass down in front of Netflix or scrolling, scrolling, scrolling on my phone that I have gotten away from it completely. 

9. Make at Least 1k in Side Money- This refers to any money made outside my regular 9-5 job (7-3:30 if you want get all technical and shit)  Whether it be from blogging, selling off old items, reselling good finds, crafts....whatever.  I kept it lower at 1k because I have never kept track before and I have no clue what is realistic.  I figured this would get me to pay attention more and open the door for bigger goals the next year

So I'm going to be a rebel and leave my goals at 9.  I'm not going to round it out to an even 10 just for the sake of it....even thought I'm fighting the urge as I type.  I do have a few more goals but they are more specific to blogging and not personal goals. I don't feel like they fit here so 9 goals it is!

Tell me some of your goals for the year....I would love to hear about some other than my own.  I'm sick of mine already! (kidding....kinda)

Friday, December 15, 2017

Stocking Stuffing 101 (plus adult stocking stuffer ideas)

(This post contains affiliate links, but don't you worry! I only link items that I have actually bought myself or legitimately think are the bees knees.  I'm not here to push a buncha crap)

I love anything and everything about Christmas.  All of it.  But in regards to the actual gift portion of it all, stockings have been my hand down favorite for as long as I can remember. I was happy they came first Christmas morning and always took my sweet time opening it to make it last longer.
 It's a simple joy that I don't think everyone quite understands or appreciates.....but damn it they should!!  

Rockin' the local radio station shirt, PJ style

My broski inlaw  grew up in a religion that didn't celebrate Christmas.  It wasn't until he began dating my sister that he would celebrate it for the first time.  I didn't know this at first, but I specifically remember the moment I found out.  The first words out of my mouth were "So you've NEVER had a stocking before???"  With my mouth gaping open in disbelief.  Not "so you've never had a Christmas tree?" or "what are you most excited about?"  Nope.  My mind went straight to the sock and trying to wrap my head around the thought of living 30 years of my life without one. 

 As you can see this is serious shit in my world.

As much as I love opening them myself , I think I might love putting them together for others even more.  My deep love for stockings can definitely be attributed to (Spoiler alert: it's not Santa) my mom.  She always put so much time and effort into them and I took notice of it.  She wrapped almost everything in them.  Every chapstick, box of candy, toothbrush, even our cotton pads for our face were wrapped tootsie roll style and tied with curly ribbon.  The simple detail of wrapping each individual thing is what has made it so memorable for me.  Now as an adult I stuff a stocking for her every year and will continue to do so forever.  It only seemed right to turn the tables and now let her be on the receiving end of the tradition she created. Admittedly I've gotten a little carried away with them and they now go WAAAAY past just a stocking. I have to hand her a bag that holds the stocking plus the 4,056 things that don't fit inside.  And the bag may possibly weight around 15lbs...give or take.  But I just can't help myself!  I LOOOOVVVEE it!

So what do you put in a stocking anyway?   Glad you asked......

 An orange- growing up the toe of our stocking always contained an orange.  Once I got older and started stuffing them myself, I have gotten a little more creative and sometimes do avocados. But whatever you choose, a fruit in the toe is a must!

Nuts in the shell- the next layer on top of the orange was some form of nut in the shells.  Some years it was just peanuts, other years it was the fancier mixed nuts that you can buy in bulk.  You can even go wild and mix the is Christmas after all!

Individually wrapped candies- this is pretty self explanatory.  I always looked forward the to Reese's bells, or even better, the Reese's Christmas trees. We also always had a few candy canes hung over the edge of the stocking


Toiletries- every year as far back as I can remember we got a toothbrush, a travel sized toothpaste, and travel sized mouthwash.  Some years we got shampoo and conditioner but not all the time.  Then as we got older we would get cotton pads for cleaning our face, razors, and shaving cream. Deodorant, body wash, and face soap usually made an appearance too

Writing utensils- we always got new pencils and/or pens and when we were younger we would get fun erasers

Misc items: chapsticks, lotions, loofahs, nail files, emery boards, hair ties, and nail polish 

That about covers the items that I would deem "necessary" and can go across all ages.  In general I think kids stockings are inherently easier to fill.  Small toys, puzzles, coloring's just easier to find stuff .  I think people get sort of stuck though when it comes to adults so let me share some of the things I like to use

Snacks: Beef jerky, small boxes of Cheez Its (dollar tree usually has them. They are so much cuter than the small bags because they are an exact scaled down version of the regular sized box), peanut butter cups (not reeses, actual cups of peanut butter), trail and snack mixes, dried fruits, fun cereal, sunflower seeds, popcorn

Coffee and/or Tea - try to get fun new flavors they have never tried before. Bonus points if you get small bottles of flavored syrups

Small functional tools and gadgets- small flashlights, tool sets, keychains, air fresheners, lens cleaning spray or wipes, lens cleaning cloth, 

Alcohol-  yes please

Makeup and/or makeup removing wipes

Shaving cream brush, after shave, beard wax

Hairspray, gel, dry shampoo

Monkey butt powder

Foot spray

Shoe inserts

Face masks

Pumice stone

Funny socks


Sewing kit

Tide stick

Lint rollers

Card games 

Hot sauces

Now that you have been given a decent list to get started, where is the best place to go and get all this stuff?

Dollar Stores-  You can check off a massive amount of your list with one stop at the dollar store.  In fact, be careful or before you know it you'll be like me and be giving someone a $60's easy to do!

Grocery stores/Pharmacy type convenience stores-  these places are great to get the travel size items, but weigh out your options first.  Some items you can get at the dollar store in a full bottle for the same price as the travel.  All just depends on the look you are going for

World Market- they have a great selection of miniature items! I've gotten small coffee syrups, mini bags of coffee, mini bottles of hot sauce, vinegar, and olive oils, mini cheese wheels, as well as various international snacks

Asian/International Markets- if the person you are buying for is a foodie or even just a little adventurous, these markets are a really fun place to shop for stuffers.  You can just browse around and choose the items that jump out at you, or shop the aisles of specific countries that you think they might be interested in.  You may walk away with fun new snacks to try or even some ingredients to cook something new.  I highly suggest it!

Last but not least, I'm going to close this out with some items that are my top picks for this year.  If The Boy is reading this post I"mma need you to exit the page now.

I'll wait.


Get out of here man!

For reals.

Some of this stuff I bought you for go!!


First up is...... 

The WetBrush- I have crazy thick hair that is super knotty.  I bought this brush about 8 months ago or so and it such a LIFESAVER!! I love not having to rip through my hair's seriously the best! (HA! if you are still reading this, I made sure the first one wasn't for you)


Metal Straws- The Boy has a weird obsession with straws.  Like he will save them from QT and put them in the dishwasher and pull them out to put in our drawer.  It's weird.  So I decided to get him some metals ones to see how it goes

Frother- I don't know jack nothin about coffee.  I like it and I drink it daily.....but I'm talking Kcup, a squirt of Stevia, and a splash of heavy cream kind of coffee.  I don't go out for coffee and I don't drink anything too fancy.  A few months back when we went on a mini vacation The Boy ordered me a coffee from a nearby cafe.  I was like OMG why is this soooo good?? He said they frothed it....that's it lol  I guess I am easy to please.  So I came home and instantly started looking up frothers.  Since I don't know anything about anything coffee related I didn't want to get anything expensive to start, so I got this.  I have used it everyday since and I absolutely love it!  

Sphere Ice Mold- Great for drinky dranks

Poop Book- I'm on a mission to bring back the bathroom readers.  Let's not forget where we came from before phones. Will you please join me in my cause?


Phase 10- I had completely forgotten about this game until recently, but I REALLY want it again!  My friends and I went through a real serious phase (merp!) with this game while on a houseboat trip in 8th grade. We were OBSESSED!  I have probably only played it twice since then and it was at least 12 years ago, so I'm ready to get hooked all over again!


 Well I hope this post was helpful.  If I helped one person in this world discover the love that is the Christmas Stocking, then it was all worth it (did that sound convincing?)


Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Cabbage Patch Stew

If you're looking for a nice comforting bowl of stew to get you through the cold winter months, I've got you covered.


If you're like me and live in Arizona and you're looking for a  nice stew recipe to help you PRETEND that  it's winter when in actuality it's close to 80 degrees everyday well into December, then crank the AC and look no further because I've got that covered too.

This recipe takes me straight back to my childhood and is a family favorite.  Except maybe for my sister that threw it up once...maybe not her.....but the rest of us it give it a big thumbs up.

I had been telling The Boy about this recipe for years but had never made it for him.  I figured you can only rave about something for so long without making it before it just kinda gets awkward and kinda starts to sound like a big lie.  Seemed good a time as any to getting around to finally making a pot of it.  After pulling out my grandmas old school typer writer typed bright yellow recipe card, I decided to Google it just to see if other people make it too. 

I was surprised at how many results came up!  But then I started opening them up and one after another they were just all WRONG!

1. Some used kindey beans.....  Nope.
2.I saw lots that used tomato sauce or just canned diced tomatoes.... Hecks to the no!
3.And not a single one mentioned being served with mashed potatoes.  This is just sad

So basically, it's a good thing I'm here to correct such a travesty.  You're welcome.

1.You need to use ranch beans. Yes the ones with the black label that have that tasty sauce
2.Tomato soup is where it's at.  It adds a real richness and silky texture.  Just do it.
3.Serving them with mashed potatoes is a MUST.  Because....
      A.  Mashed potatoes.   Nuff  said
      B. There's just something about the two together that is just amazing.  The key is to make your potatoes true old school "mashed" and not whipped.  I'm not going to include mashed potatoes in the recipe because I (hope) know you can handle that on your own...right?
You want them buttery and on the thicker side....and personally I don't even mind a lump or two.  I like the contrast of the stew with the thick and almost a little dense mashed potato (from not whipping them full of air)  Serve a big scoop of it in the center of your bowl and put a little of each on your spoon and eat them together like so....

And for the love of god, PUH-LEASE do not mix it all together in one giant swirly mess like my cousins used to.  You'll ruin the magic

Cabbage Patch Stew

2lbs. ground beef
1 large onion, sliced
1/2c. diced celery
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 small head cabbage, shredded (looking for about 6 cups)
1 26oz can Ranch beans
2 14oz cans condensed tomato soup
2 14oz cans green beans
Mashed potatoes for serving

Brown ground beef.  Sauté the onions, celery, and cabbage in the fat until softened. Drain off excess fat before adding minced garlic and let cook for one minute.  Pour in soup, beans, and enough water to cover.  Simmer on low for a minimum of 40 minutes, but the longer the better.  Salt to taste and pour in green beans just long enough to warm through as not to break them up into the stew.  Serve with mashed potatoes

Saturday, October 7, 2017

27 Acts of Kindness for My 27th Birthday

It's pretty typical of me to just now be getting around to writing a blog post about my 27th birthday.....when my 28th birthday is only 60ish days away.  But I figured as long as I wrote it at some point within the year it was all good in da hood.

Last fall I was really struggling with what I felt was negativity all around me.  At my job, at The Boys' job, and just in the world in general.  Feeling so smothered by the ick really lit a fire in me to try and be as positive as I could.  I made a deliberate effort to try and appreciate the little things around me and in turn wanted to find a way to put some good out in the world.

Several times over the years I've come across posts on Pinterest about people doing good deeds in honor of their birthday and I LOVED the idea!  I jumped on the bandwagon and started planning.  A lot of people I saw got all of them done on the single day of their birthday.  Kudos to them.....but homegirl ain't got that kind of time....or maybe I'm just a lazy ass?  I'll let you decide on that one.... but being accepting of my own lazy tendencies I decided I was content with getting it done in the month leading up to my birthday. That's how us lazy girls roll.  I'm a big fan of a grace period. 

Anywho....I did a bunch of them on my own, but included my nieces in on a handful of them as well.  I have a Christmas time sleepover tradition with them at my house and decided to weave the two together. We did a few random acts of kindness before going out to see Christmas lights and made a  night out of it.

Here goes!

1. Donated money to a local cat rescue

2. FINALLY....after years of wanting to, I registered to become an organ donor. Now I gotta take good care of these organs so people can get good use out of them someday :)

3.  Brought donuts to the staff at my vet clinic.  I love and appreciate them so much with all they have done for my MoMo over the years that I wanted them to know how much they mean to our family

4. I took a few hours (really!) to sit down and write good reviews for all the businesses and restaurants I could think of that I have gotten good service from.  It may sound small and silly but I feel strongly that far to often people are super vocal when they are unhappy, but don't speak up near enough to give praise.  You never know what it could do for a business just by sharing your good experience.  I was especially happy I had done it when I got this reply on one of my reviews.

It was a pleasure to know that his daughter read this and could feel such pride in her father at that moment.

5. I left money on a vending machine at work for someone to find

6. Picked up garbage around my neighborhood

7. An old neighbor of mine was not a particularly nice person to be quite honest. She was pretty rude for no apparent reason but I couldn't help but notice that she rarely left her house and never seemed to have anyone over.  I worried she might be lonely or unhappy so I drove back to my old neighborhood and left her a little treat and note

8. Donated canned food to the humane society

9. On a particularly hectic day, I bought a coffee for my coworker

10.  Left a snack and thank you note for the mailman.

The funny part is that I never have the mailman bring items to my door, but the very next day we got a big Christmas gift package in the mail so he came to the door and thanked us for what we had left him.  My nieces were at my house still so it was cool for them to be able to hear it from him themselves

11. Left a free coffee card on the mirror of the bathroom at work for someone to find

12.  Did the same with a $5 gift card to buy food in the cafeteria

13, 14, 15.  We had fun leaving lottery tickets in random places for people to find.  We cracked up that we taped one to a bench and stood back and watched a number of people sit right down next to it and not notice it.  We even came back 15 minutes later and it was still there with 3 people sitting on the bench! lol  I wonder how long it took to be found

16. We made Rudolph brownies and left them on the windshields of all the cars on my street along with mini candy canes

17. Went to the movie theater and gave a free popcorn and drink coupon to a family

18. I would round up straggler carts in the parking lot and take them to the "cart corral" to help the employees out

19.  I donated towels, toys, brushes, and treats to Helping Hands for Homeless Hounds

20. When a  new neighbor moved in across the street, I left her cupcakes and a welcome note

21. I left popcorn on a Redbox for someone to enjoy

22. A coworker of mine....actually....technically the manager of the department I worked in seemed particularly stressed.  She had a big project put on her that I knew she had little to no guidance on it and I felt bad for her.  I bought some good chocolates from the gift shop and left them on her desk.  It was small but I was hoping that for just a moment she would feel a little better

23, 24.  On two different occasions when I had great customer service in a retail situation, I made a point to get their name and later called the store to share it with the manager

25.  Totally random....but I came across some library books left out in public (I know does that even happen? lol) and I drove them to the library they belonged to and returned them

26.  I donated snacks to a backpack program for kids (they send less fortunate kids home with non perishable food for the weekend) at the food bank associated with my job

27.  Aaaannnnd I'll be quite honest.  I was one short so I was kinda stretching toward the end there.  But I took 3 days off work to stay with my sister after she had her baby and her husband had to go out of town for work.  I'm counting it! lol

Well there ya have it...27 acts of kindness for my 27th birthday.  I really enjoyed the experience and I think it would be something really great to have kids do.  Instead of their birthday being all about receiving things for themselves, it is a great way to teach them how good it feels to do things for others.  Letting them plan some of the items will really engage them through the process.  Not to mention the prep work for it can be super fun!

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Low Carb Salmon Cakes with Spicy Remoulade

Do you like salmon? 

Do you like cake?

If you answered yes to both these questions then you should try my salmon cakes!  Except they are nothing even relatively close to cake....but it got you to keep reading. Right?

They are super easy and tasty on their own, but it's the remoulade that really puts it over the top.  I LOOOVE  cold sauces. Aiolis, remoulades, cocktail, tarter....any of them!  Load me up! I always make a big batch to have leftovers to eat with anything and everything. I just can't get enough of it 

Here goes!

Salmon Cakes

1/2 C. small diced celery
3/4 C. small diced red bell pepper
1/2 C. sliced green onion
(3) 5oz cans boneless skinless salmon
2 Tb. brown mstard
6 Tb. mayo
3 tsp. old bay seasoning
2 tsp. garlic powder
1 C. finely ground pork rinds)
2 eggs, beaten

Combine all the ingredients together well.  Allow to sit for 10 minutes before forming into patties so it has to to absorb the moisture and stick together better.

Form into patties using a 1/4 c.  Pan fry in high smoke point oil over medium high heat until golden brown on each side.  If you think they have browned before the centers have set, you can always bake them until set and firm in the middle. Serve with spicy remoulade

Spicy Remoulade

1C. mayo
5 Tb. minced dill pickle
1 Tb. chopped capers
2 Tb. minced green onion
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. Tabasco
2 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. lemon juice
Salt to taste

Combine all ingredients.   Best when made ahead of time so flavors can meld

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

I Finally Left a Job That Was Killing Me

So if you know me personally, you probably know that I just recently quit my job of the last 7 years.  And let me make it was FAR more than just the "Seven Year Itch" that prompted me to leave. It's been a build up of emotions and frustrations that brought me to a breaking point.  But it wasn't always like that...........

The Good Ole Days

I first started with the company when I was a wee little lady of 20.  It was back when the economy was shit and I had been applying for jobs for months without any luck.  I was thrilled when they called me....even if it was just a crap pay part time job.  After a few months of that job I got a full time gig, then about 3 months after that I got a promotion to the job I had actually wanted all along when a position unexpectedly opened.  (back then there was low turnover because people stayed put and liked being there....that has since changed lol)  I worked about 3 years where I can say I was genuinely happy being there.  We had a tight knit crew that felt like family. The kind where we all sat together at one long table everyday like it was Thanksgiving. We were invested in each others lives, had little to no drama, and we all seemed to have each others back.  If someone was behind we jumped in and helped without being asked because we knew next week they would return the favor. 

Even with the management team, they may have had their issues with each other, but they seemed to support their staff. I never felt uneasy with them. As I sit back and remember those times....I think we were all pretty content with where we were at. Until........

The Shift

....There was a big change in management.  Some left voluntarily, some not.  And that's when things FIRST started to get a little weird.  I know what you're thinking...."what you couldn't hack some new blood coming in and shaking things up??"  Yea, yea....we bitched about a few things, but quickly adapted to the "small" things and the focus was on what I feel were the big things. It was the way we were spoken to and berated. Even if it wasn't aimed at you personally, it was watching it happen to a person singled out because they were an easy target that wouldn't stand up for themselves.   It was at this time that the negative culture was born.  The once positive and fun environment quickly disappeared and everyone was collectively miserable.  People were pitted against each other and everyone walked on egg shells all the time.  This is when I  made my first attempt to get out.  Almost 4 months ago to the day I interviewed for what I now see was a ridiculous option...I was just so miserable and desperate I didn't even care what it was.  I remember calculating down to the penny how much of a pay cut I could take if I had to and still pay my bills.  When they told me in the interview that it wasn't going to happen (the job was COMPLETELY different than any experience I had on my resume), I remember going back to my car, calling The Boy, and sobbing for at least 10 minutes before even being able to drive away.

The Next 3 Years 

A few months after this first attempt to break out, things began to calm down.  The complete outbursts at employees lessened so the mind set of "maybe things will be ok now" started to creep in.  Shortly after that I was offered a position that gave me a Monday-Friday schedule...something that is nearly impossible to come by in the food industry.  As you can imagine, I jumped at the chance.  Then just a few short months after that, I was offered another new position.  I was only thrown some mere change as a raise, but I would keep the Mon-Fri schedule and get myself out of the kitchen chaos. I took the opportunity yet again.

Much like an abusive relationship, you try to forget the bad times and try to focus on the good.  "Things are different now...right?"  Nope.

These last few  years were some of the most dysfunctional I have ever experienced.  Turn over was so high we could never keep up. We were constantly short in every single area of the department that everyone was just thrown extra duties daily....then they would get bitched at for not being able to get out on time.  Getting pulled to work other areas for 6 out of 8 hours of their shift for days in a row....then they would wonder why their  own job was incomplete.  You could never win.

 Everyone around me was overworked, under appreciated, and treated like crap no matter how much harder they busted their ass.  I saw people who I respected and genuinely felt were excellent workers being completely beat down day after day. Morale was at an all time low and we lost that "family" feel that we all had loved so much.  People were so overwhelmed all the time that everyone sort of went into self preservation mode.  You stopped looking for ways to help out your coworkers because it just didn't even feel possible anymore.  If someone else was in the shit you put your head down and tried to stay out of it.  The complete opposite of everything it had been before. This place certainly had a way of making loyal hard workers not care at all anymore.

 Meanwhile, with my new position I got jerked around far less than them and still got my 2 days off every week.  The entire reason I ever took this job was to afford me these "perks" and yet I as going home at night feeling extreme guilt for not being as shit on as my coworkers.  I hated watching people I cared about being put on long stretches and left with little to no direction, while still being held completely responsible (blamed) at the drop of a dime when anything went wrong. 

The same went for the supervisory staff.  I know that they got just as shit on as we (the line levels) did, but just in a different way.  I know it was hard for a lot of my coworkers to recognize that and they would often just get really angry with them.  Not saying I didn't...I did.  But I was sympathetic to their position as well.  I could see  how they never felt they could hold their head above water.  It became a perpetual cycle of never being able to really solve any problems and just slapping a tiny bandaid on something that needed stitches (how do you like that metaphor there)  I could see how they were just as beat down as us and would give up. It became about just getting through the day even if it was just by the skin of their teeth and to the detriment of their staff.

 I could give you SOOOOO many examples of the dysfunction and toxic environment.....but I would never even get around to posting this.  There is just far too much.  I almost feel like this is doing a disservice to what really went down...and almost downplays how bad the environment is.  But please....just believe me when I say it is not good.

Me Personally 

So like I said....I got jerked around alot less being out of the kitchen....but my own set of frustrations set in.  I actually really liked my new job as the purchaser and took it pretty seriously.  But I quickly became frustrated with never being able to get information out of anyone in a timely matter to do my end of things.  I was always having to rush because of them and ended up looking like a douche with a lot of my vendors at no fault of my own.  Communication was at a zero and I would often find out about major changes through my vendor reps.  They would hear about things before me and it made me look like an idiot (tnakfully they quickly caught on to the dynamic and knew it wasn't me)

Major projects would come the time we took over a property across the street and I got NOTHING out of them until the day before it was happening.  No guidance, no processes, no information.....nada.  I was rushing around trying to make sense of the chaos while the big boss was on vacation that ENTIRE first week.  I openly expressed frustration to the supervisors around me and one of the snakiest ones reported back to him that I was "disgruntled and angry." The next week when he got back from vacation he said to me "if you don't think you can handle this, do you need a new position?"  I think this was the beginning of the end for me.  How douchey of him to throw me (and the workers of that property) into something brand new with no guidance AT ALL and take off for a week. Then you have the balls to come back and the very first thing you say to me is insinuating that I am just not hacking it??? Are you kidding me? It felt completely disrespectful. Not to mention even after that he never showed any interest in that area at all. Getting that place to a point where it could run (relatively) smoothly came at no thanks to him.  It was from us figuring it out on our own and creating a process...and yet there was no acknowledgment of that whatsoever.

I also started to feel mocked for doing my job.  Just a little backstory so you can understand better.  The majority of things I ordered I could completely handle on my own directly with the vendors.  The patient supplements and tube feeds however, required me to go through the network purchasing department.  I would put in what what I needed into a system and it would have to be approved by the big boss before it would even get sent to the purchasing department to order.  He was not "approving" my orders in a timely manner at all.  Orders that should have come within 2 days were coming in 7-9.  I began having to hound him both over email and in person to do his part (mind was just a mere click of the mouse).  I got a lot of half eye rolls and annoyed sounding responses which frustrated me, but I could handle it.  What really sent me over the edge was one time when I was asking about it again he said "you are ALWAYS on my back about that!!"

Oh bad! Sorry for doing my job.  Sorry for not trying to run out of supplements needed for people who can't eat. Sorry I "annoy" you to do your job.  Seriously....fuck me right?  I'm the worst.....

I also felt mocked for keeping my eye on the budget.  I had a spreadsheet that I would track everything bought and the category it fit into.  When they would want me to bring in new products I would point out when we weren't making a profit on them.  Or when we had caterings that used too many items not in regular inventory we would end up spending more to bring them in (say a big case that we only used a small portion of) than we would make off the entire catering.  I would simply point these things out and his response always was "I don't care about the price!."  Ok...that was apparent, but I felt the need to point it out so when we went over budget I had that on my side. I also heard about things he would say behind my back.  He would say things like "Oh...did WHITNEY say it was toooo expensive???" (imagine that in a condescending tone and the upward eye roll emoji)  

It also hit the point where you could pinpoint the exact moments he was feeling insecure about his own job.  He would go on a rampage/witch hunt trying to find anything he could try to spin as being your fault.  (this happened to everyone, not just me)  He would NEVER say it to my face, but would walk my storerooms and walk ins and make comments about how I was overstocked etc.  I would confront him and ask him if he had any issues with me he needed to discuss and of course he would say no and that I was "tripping out" for no reason.  I  made it clear that if he had issues with things pertaining to my job performance he needed to talk to ME about them, not walk around asking and discussing it with everyone else about it but me. Everything there felt like it was handled immaturely and completely unprofessionally. 

The Cycle

So like I mentioned earlier, the last 3 years have been a cycle between "ehh", bad, and REALLY bad.  Something would happen worse than the normal everyday and my mind would start racing about how I needed to get out. Things would then settle back into bad or "ehh" and I would think..."its ok, I can do this" Or at any point the big boss would sense I was really unhappy I would get pulled into his office to have a pow wow.  They were the same thing over and over.  He appreciated and "respected" me and my opinions (eye roll) blah blah blah.  Basically, like an abusive relationship would try to smooth things over.  Sadly, in the very early days I bought it a few times but after a while it just became white noise.  I would speak my peace a little, then just nod my head until I could get out of there.  I was banking on the hope that the really bad times would become fewer and further between and that I could maybe just outlast this until something happened to make things better.  Quiiiiite the opposite happened though.  Things continually got worse.  Morale was at the absolute lowest, and the "this is REALLY fucking bad" times were now closer and closer together.  I would sometimes only even be able to go a week where I felt like I could relax and just do my job.

This Is NOT Normal

My work environment has been a major talking point for me in the last couple years (my instagram followers know lol)  Nearly every family gathering the topic came up.  At first people like my father in-law would say things like "well you get that everywhere you go."  Or... "every job has it's ups and downs."  Believe me...I get this.  I am Rita Realistic here.  I understand that a job will always be a job.  You will always be frustrated at something and things will never be smooth sailing.  I get it. But after 7 years of being there it was becoming abundantly clear that things were never going to get better.  As I would tell my family things that went down at work they would all be shaking their head in disbelief.  I've sat in the kitchens of each of my siblings and sobbed more times than a person should about their job.  It became even more clear to me when they would look me dead in the eye and say, "Whitney...this is NOT normal.  We need to get you out." If outsiders were saying this, I felt it must be true.

I became open to the idea of leaving about a year ago.  The problem though (or not) was that I was adamant that I had to be leaving for better and not just leaving to leave.  I wanted to maintain the same great Mon-Fri schedule.  I didn't want to take a step back or to the side...I needed to go up.

I completely own up to the fact that I don't deal with change well.  At all.  I would find myself thinking things like "I know this place is shitty but at least I KNOW this shit."  The thought of going somewhere else and being just as miserable but in a new and unknown form of shit was terrifying to me. Well meaning friends and family would send me TONS of jobs but I only applied for a handful because I was adamant and not just taking anything just to get out. The job itself needed to also be the right fit. I knew at some point I might be willing to, but right now I was going to hold out for better.  

I'm a Bitch

Hindsight I can now clearly see that that incident where we took over that other operation was when I really began to disconnect and change as a person.  I started to truly hate who I was and how I felt when I was at work.  My stomach would turn the closer and closer I got to work on my drive in. As soon as I walked in the door I was hit with waves of sadness, frustration, and anger.  Sometimes before anything had even happened.  I started to see things in myself I truly hated.  I was snappy and impatient almost all of the time (some deserved it, some didn't)  I was never NOT complaining...EVER.  I just felt like a miserable bitch. I started coming home at night and crying to The Boy about something I had said to someone that day.  How they had asked me a question and I started to raise my voice.  Not AT them per say, but about a situation surrounding the question they had asked me and their response was " Oh WOW" with a look of shock on their face.  In the moment it didn't bother me, but minutes later as I sat alone at my desk it began to eat away at me.  How I hoped they realized that it wasn't about them but this place and situation, but all the while feeling extreme guilt for even getting angry at all.  It wasn't their fault.  But this was just one of many incidents where I just didn't feel myself.  I felt  like I wasn't the kind person I know I can be. Not saying I can't be an impatient and snappy bitch on my own....totally can! But this was far too often and over the top.  The fact that it was spilling so far over into my home life too was not good.  I stopped being able to check it at the front door and became consumed with the anger, frustration, and guilt from each and every day.

I ended up asking one of my coworkers if he felt like 2 different people in and outside of work and he said, " YES!! I'm actually a nice person outside of work" The reason I asked him specifically is because I had already sensed that in him.  He's a nice guy, but much like me he spent the majority of his days angry and snappy. I never held it against him in anyway or even gave it much thought until I started seeing some of the things he posted on social media.  He sounded like a completely different person.  Happy. Grateful. Enthusiastic.....quite different from the person I saw everyday lol  We had a short conversation about it that brought me great relief.  It was nice to know I wasn't the only one who felt this way

My Breaking Point and The PERFECT Timing

Back in July my best friend told me about the PERFECT job opportunity.  It was so perfect I couldn't even believe it! I quickly applied and the waiting game began.  Just a mere 4 days after this, one of the worst situations at this place to date began to unfold.  I won't get too would make this already long novel into a week long read.  Also, it's not my story to tell (errm....cept I already told it in real time on Instagram lol whoops!)  Even though it was not happening to ME directly, it broke me as if it was and I was completely invested in trying to get this person justice.  Without details the long story short was the big boss did something completely unethical that cost a coworker of mine a great job opportunity.  As if his interference wasn't bad enough already, he lied about it through his teeth to HR.  HR per usual was basically useless in trying to handle the situation, along with other people up the chain that were contacted as it felt like nothing was being handled.  They stopped answering the persons attempts at contact and it just felt like they were trying to make the whole situation go away so they wouldn't be in a big mess.  To me it felt like something lawsuit worthy if he had kept going.

As he did with me, he pulled this person into the office and tried to "make nice" by saying he never meant for things to turn out this way.  That he would be happy to help him in the future...even offering up the possibility of my job when I left (mind you, my notice was not in at this point nor had I even told him I was looking elsewhere. Someone had just opened their big mouth about it.  Yet another example of his unprofessionalism that he then "pow wowed" with me over when he heard it pissed me off.  Again I was "taking it all wrong" according to him)

The whole situation was completely wrong and I was broken hearted at how it was now obvious to me  how corrupt the entire place is going up the chain.  I had held out hope before that it was just our department that was so dysfunctional and unethical....but this whole ordeal made it clear that  it was deep rooted and so that meant it would never get fixed.  Nobody was going to come in and "save" us because they were just as backwards.  

One particular night while talking to the person it happened to, they basically told me it was over and they were done fighting it. I was sickened that once again (reminder that there is more stories than I could ever tell) these people were getting away with murder and I just couldn't take it anymore. I repeated to The Boy over and over in between crying and pounding tequila "I need to get that job. I NEED to!!"

Luckily....I did.  

Onward and Upward

After a month of waiting, then multiple interviews....I was offered the job.  In this moment I was so happy I had held out for better, because this will truly be better in every sense.  More money, an exciting new project/position I feel fit for, and a dream schedule that simply CANNOT be beat! In that moment on the phone the weight of the world felt lifted from my shoulders and I was fighting back tears of joy while almost yelling into her ear with excitement.  This is EXACTLY what I needed and at the most perfect time....when I was feeling hopeless (seems appropriate for me to add in that right at this time when the above incident was unfolding, my husband had been laid off from his job abruptly.  So you can imagine how much stress I was under and how unhappy I was)

Actually Leaving

Crazy enough, right as I was applying for all this so was one of the supervisors.  We ended up putting in our notices a day apart from each other, him going first.  After he put it in he told me he had actually gotten a little emotional. He asked if I did and I said no.  His response was basically "wow" and how that showed how much this place had broken me down to be so disconnected.  We reflected on how just 6 months earlier a person who left cried while putting theirs in and they were OPENLY miserable and wanting out for a while.  They had been there less than half the time I had, so my lack of emotion spoke volumes.  I was just DONE.

I worked through my notice and my last day was quickly approaching.  Because of peoples days off I had been saying goodbye for the last 3 days or so I was there.  I didn't get emotional with any of them at all.....until...HER.

One of the cooks came up to me and said "If I don't see you tomorrow I just wanted to tell you good luck and thank you"  I barely held it together long enough to make it to the bathroom before I started sobbing.  Some of you lucky people got to see the ugly cry face in real time on Instagram.  lucky!! lol

The funny thing about her was that we weren't close at all.  Not even a little bit.  She had been there maybe a year and our interaction was minimal.  But as she so genuinely wished me luck I was hit with the guilt of how I had treated her.  I had never been purposely or directly "mean" to her, but I can 1,000% own up to the fact that I was impatient with her..  When she would ask me questions I tended to be very short.  When I explained things to her my voice was not in as kind of a tone as it should have been.  This eats me up inside like you wouldn't believe.  I hate that that "version" of me is the only one that she ever got to know.  As much as this pains me, it was a great reminder of why I was leaving.  I needed to leave before I lost myself completely. Before that became my personality and demeanor all the time.  As much as that moment hurts me and I still tear up now just even writing this, I am also so very thankful for this moment of clarity.  It made me realize that the lack of emotion in leaving up until this point was ok, because in the end I was getting emotional for all the right reasons.  I'm not dead inside yet and I desperately want to be a better person.  I can't do that there.

My best friend suggested I talk to her and apologize for being impatient with her, but I knew I would not be able to get through it without crying and she would probably just think I'm a nutcase considering we never spoke about anything besides quick work related things.  I am truly hoping that the way I talked to her bothers me more than it did her.  

The next day when it actually came time for me to clock out for the last time and turn in my badge, I did so without any tears.  I was so ready to put this place behind me and dive straight into everything that has scared me for the last 4 years.

The Future

Again with the guilt...I feel guilty over leaving some people behind.  I know I have to do what's best for me, but I can't help but feel emotional about some of the people still there.  Those who I know get treated like garbage because they can't effectively defend themselves.  Those that I fear are "stuck" and will never get out for various reasons (pay, experience, benefits, age etc)....only to live out a numbers of years of their life in misery. I want better for them just as much as I want better for myself.  I don't know why I feel such responsibility for their well being and feel so deeply about it, but I do.  I am still trying to work through that.  I don't where I am supposed to draw the line between letting go and freeing myself of that stress or feeling like I need to do something about.  I'll keep ya posted....

I am currently taking time off between the two jobs to relax, recharge, and mentally move on from the last 7 years.  I start next week and can't wait for this new chapter.  It has been a long time coming.

I am most excited to be in a more positive work environment where I can get back to being me.  I am ready to kind again.  Ready to have challenges but not CONSTANT frustrations.  Ready to like myself again.

One last thing...The Boy always says this and it is absolutely true! Management is what makes or breaks a place.  People will stick out a job they don't  absolutely love if they feel theyare supported by and trusting of their superiors.  And vice versa....I liked my actual "job" and would have stayed and done it for years had it not been for the leadership of that entire network


If you made it this far...thank you! I know it was a long one and believe me, it could have been even longer. (like the supervisor that is a legit pathological liar, the secret deal made with an employee to tell HR things in a good light about them, how none of the equipment ever works...oh there is lots!)