Saturday, December 29, 2012

The bad boy

I've written some about my part-time job.

I'm learning a lot.  I'm re-learning the mistakes I made when I owned my own company.  What to do.  What not to do.  Inventory and employees are huge components of any company. I'm NOT a good manager.

Suddenly, I'm running this company.  Oh, and I don't like this.  He doesn't plan.  He says we can do anything.  We are going to sell this company.  Blah, Blah, Blah.

When I made up my mind to get a part-time job - I was interviewing all over the place.  That's not true.  I had several phone screens.  Three face-to-face interviews, two job offers. 

Company #1:  There were 7 people, the Owner and the Director of Sales had worked together for 17 or so years.  The Owner had gone out on his own about 10 years ago.  She went two years later.  Casual office out in the industrial area of town.

Company#2"  Start-up.  Owner is in the USA on an "investment VISA".  Everyone has been working together for about a year.   Over $1 million in sales since January.  Cherry Creek office.  (close to home)  Casual trendy environment.

Company not even considered:  A Market Research company.  Hiring technical people.  (If you truly get the irony of this company, you know me).

Well, really, only one job offer. The first place was e-mailed.  I let them know I had accepted another position.  I was REALLY excited about that opportunity.   I didn't let the first give me an offer.  They got delayed.  They wanted me back for a second interview, but the second place gave me an offer first.  I jumped.  I took the offer immediately.

Something is wrong with me.

I was SO excited about my part-time job in the industrial environment.  That's the whole point of a part-time job.  I have recruiting.  It's faithful.  It's loyal.  I'm loyal.  This part-time job was supposed to get me out of the house. A distraction

Then, well, the bad boy came along.  Stock-options.  Manufacturing (I get that).  An idea.  Also an entrepreneaur willing to take a risk.  Never mind you that the other guy also took a risk.  That was ten years ago or so.  Heaven forbid it's actually up and running.

I WANT TO TAKE A CHANCE.

Where did that girl appear from?  She was alive for years.  She did it all. She's supposed to be gone.

I work - but work doesn't define my life.  My kids.  My summers in Hawaii define my life.  Not some job.   That girl left us long time ago.

Friday we had a crazy day.  Insane.  Packing, shipping, manufacturing.  I'm running to the road to meet the trucking company to pull off something that could make or break this company.

Yes, I nicely asked them to come back the next day.

Do I really need this drama in my life????  Really? 

No, I don't need this.  I do want drama in my life.  It always arrives in some shape or form:  my boys, guys I like or work.  Right now, two are settled down.  Two out of three ain't bad....








Saturday, December 22, 2012

Open me

I was at Target today.  The Target by the club where I work out.  I don't really like to go to this particular Target.  It's nice, but the parking lot is always crowded - no matter when you go.  I do end up at this Target quite a bit because it is convenient.  I just try to go to other ones.

Today, though, I'm glad I went to this one.

The boys former hockey coach is in town and what started as "hey, coaches, come over for lasagna" has turned into 18 people coming over for lasagna.  Which is fine.  In fact, it's more than fine.  I love it when this happens.  The more the merrier.  I'm going to need to make a couple of lasagnas. More stuff needed.

This is a Super Target.  Groceries, Alcohol, Household goods, etc, you know the drill.  I also needed some stocking stuffers.  Then I'm done.

I've done all the grocery shopping.  The stocking stuffers are in the basket and I'm headed to the check out.  I stop at the little section at the front of the store (the $1.00 area) to see if I need a couple of more things.  On the opposite side of where I entered the store. This is the section designed for you to stop at on your way in.  Oh well.

I'm looking through the bins.  And in one, is a light green envelope marked "Happy Holidays"  (Open Me) both hand-written in red ink.  I pick it up.  I turn it over.  It's sealed.  I look around. Puzzled. Hmm?  I wonder what this is?  It doesn't match anything in the bin and it was facing out.  I open it.  Thinking, well, if I wasn't supposed to open it, I'll pay for it if I made a mistake.  It's a note card.  Opening the card, printed is "Season's Greetings with all good wishes for the New Year".  Hand-written below in the same red ink:  "In honor of Charlotte Bacon".  There was a $10 gift card inside.

Smile. First thought "How sweet.  What a nice thing for someone to do in memory of someone."  Maybe I'll go buy me a little something extra.  Just for me.  Thank you. 

Oh wait, there is a typed folded over slip in here too.  "In honor of the lives of the 26 children and adults that were just taken from us in Connecticut, I offer you this random act of kindness in hopes of bringing a smile to your face this Holiday season."

It didn't bring a smile. I started crying.  There ARE good people in this world.  We think sometimes there is more evil, than good.  BUT, we are wrong.  Good will always win.  Then, I smiled.

On the back, the cards were produced by the "Child Welfare League of America"   Whomever our random act of kindness person is/was, really went out of the way - not only to purchase cards contributing to children (I haven't looked up what the organization is about), but then purchased the gift cards.  Then randomly placed them.

Thank you random person in Glendale, Colorado for taking the time from your hectic life to spread good and happy thoughts.  I looked around to see if anyone was watching a grown woman cry in the middle of the aisle, but if you were there, you didn't let me know it.

I don't know if there were more throughout the store.  I don't know if you spent a total of $260 honoring each and every victim or $10 honoring Charlotte Bacon.  Either way, it's all good. There ARE angels among us.

Thank you for showing this little piece of the world, there is still good.  Lots of good.  

To the family of Charlotte Bacon - she is touching lives still.  Her life wasn't in vain.  Her memory won't be either. 

I didn't spend the $10.  We might have to buy an ornament with the name Charlotte on it, to honor her.  Someone thought she needed to be our angel.  Or maybe, I need to read what she liked and buy another little girl a random gift to donate.

Or maybe, random act of kindness person, we might just take your lead:  we start sharing the joy of life in random little ways too.......

Thank you.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Oh Christams Tree

Our Christmas Tree looks like something out of a bad tourist town drug store.  Tacky.  Musty.  Missing Lights. Leaning towards the front door. We LOVE our Christmas Tree. - it's EVERYTHING we are not.

It's fake.  It's probably 8 years old.  I bought the wrong one - 8 years ago.  And every year, I say "we are throwing this tree away.  Buying a new one while they are on sale AFTER Christmas".  Only every year, I don't really want to spend any money on a tree that is going to go in the crawl space for the next 11 months.  I meant to buy the "pre-lit" tree.  The ones with the lights on it.  Only I purchased the tree with fiber optic lights.  The ends of the tree will light up.  We quit using those lights 3 years ago and now hang real lights back on the tree.  So much for a "pre-lit" tree.

Tree skirt:  Something from when I owned the gift company.  Plaid, with lace, and a "Merry Christmas" embroidery.  Nothing about this tree skirt belongs in our house.  Only, I have it. I should use it and I'm not going to buy another one.

Decorations:  There is no "theme".  No color scheme. Here is where the "drug store" look REALLY takes over.
  • Handmade ornaments: Those from preschool.  Music classes.  Ski ticket holders, all looped in a chain from a weekend in Vail when the boys were little.  Beaded "bells" that go on some of the lights from a great Aunt whom is no longer with us.  
  • Collector ornaments: Nice "Old Worlde Ornaments".  "Real" ornaments.  Mostly gifts from family members. Some family members have given ornaments over the years - a pickle, an American flag, musical shadow balls, a bird, hockey players,  an angel.  Usually in pairs (one for each boy to later take to their homes).  Also, gifts from friends are hanging there too.  Personalized.  Special.
  • Swarovski crystal ornaments:  All in one section.  One every year from I think 1999.  From my Granny.  Every year I think I really should keep them out year round.  They are so pretty.  But then I would have to dust them and I know that won't happen.  Instead they go back in their individual boxes to be stored until next Christmas.
  • My medals:  The "medal" section.  8 Tri for the Cure medals.  Several half-marathon.  Several more triathlon medals.  A couple of 5k's. (Most races only give medals for "distances" - a lesson learned the hard way).  A few years ago, they were all hanging on the back of my bedroom door.  I like hanging them on the Christmas tree every year.  The "First" of every class (first half marathon, first triathlon, first marathon, etc) - those are framed and are out year around.  The rest of them enjoy the limelight for the month of December.  So, no, there isn't a new one this year - the half-marathon I did with Nolan, it's being framed with his.  (I guess - I haven't done this yet, maybe I need to ask - he might want his own medal framed without mine)  In which case, mine will still be framed.  It was my first with him.  The boys medals stay out year around.
  • Ornaments from Carolyn:  We stopped exchanging Christmas presents years ago.  Each year now for, gosh, at least 20 years, we have sent each other a Christmas ornament.  One year, we went to London in November, that year we sent each other the EXACT same Christmas ornament - a snowflake with a picture in the middle picture.  We were in a "bike taxi" in London at midnight after a play.  We were stuck in traffic.  The people in the car next to us took the picture.  We both put that picture in the ornament and sent it to each other.  Smile.  For the next two years, we actually sent each other very similar ornaments to the one each had sent the other.
  • The drugstore ornaments:  Scattered throughout the tree.  Ornaments from all over the world.  When I first got married, we started the tradition.  Instead of a souvenir, we purchase a Christmas ornament.  Or something that would work as an ornament.  I've continued the tradition with the boys.  We always buy a Christmas ornament to remember once a year our journey's.  Vail, Myrtle Beach, Port Aranasas, Hawaii, San Diego, etc. Greece, Germany, London, Mexico and on and on and on.  I think we can stop buying ornaments now.  Only I won't.
  • Then there is "special section".  Only we call it the "Handicap Section".  Smile now.  And please don't tell the politically correct police that we segregate around here.  The "Handicap Section" is well, for the broken ornaments.  (It is okay if you are laughing).  With boys, of course, every year, we break a couple.  Some are too bad to salvage and they go in the trash.  HOWEVER, the ones, well, let's put it this way: we have a ballerina with no legs.  A Sponge Bob with only leg.  A snowball  with only half of one ski.  A surfer with a black eye (only that was intentional).  A martini glass with no stem.  They get hung on the tree. So, we have a "Handicap Section" of the Christmas tree.
The rest of the house looks like you would think.  The monogrammed stockings are hung on the mantle with the NOEL letter hooks.  The real wreath is on the door.  The Nativity scenes are in the bay window.  The Christmas runner on the table. Candles in holiday colors.  The cards from friends and family displayed.

Every year I really think "Oh, we don't really need to put up a tree - it's a lot of hassle".  As I write this though, I can feel the love that our crooked, drug-store looking tree emits.  All the way up to the cracked "Star"fish on top. 



Friday, December 14, 2012

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Moments

As mentioned in the previous post, it's the moments that get me through this time of year.  So, this is going to be like November - only you have to check this post on a daily basis and these are moments that we forget to notice in the scheme of things.

I'm going to post my moment each day, that is getting me through the "organization" of it all.

My moments so far, this month that are getting me through:

  • Attending the Broncos game
  • Doing an errand for my "husband" (he's the guy I work for, only he's not really a boss, so I call him "my husband") - and he's great about saying thank you.  In fact, he left me a bottle of wine on my desk.
  • Watching Nolan roll his eyes when I asked him a silly question
  • Telling Duncan I was taking him to lunch at school for his birthday.  You see, he doesn't want me too.  I told him I would call Kyle (his friend) and take Kyle and Duncan.  Kyle would say it's okay.  Duncan's response?  Please don't call Kyle, you know he will let you take us to lunch.  ;)  Okay, maybe I'll let you win this one.  Although secretly, I wonder if he really wants me to show up to take the guys to lunch.
  •  Having such good friends whom drive from Vail to go to a Christmas party with you.  And they are such good friends, the wife decided not to come at the last minute and she trusts her husband can attend the party with me only.  Such dear friends.  And I had a really cute date to a party.
  • Watching Duncan's arms shake as I let him drive the car down the street.  (I may need some Xanax for this next portion of my life).
  • Girlfriends having drinks and texting Joe in Hawaii, telling him we were coming for a girls weekend.  Him calling twice to confirm our dates. Wants to us to know we are always welcome.  He only pretends to be ornery.
  • Christmas cards in the mailbox every day for the entire month.
  • One of my girlfriends has the most adorable husband - he's been trying to set me up with a guy at the fire station for about a year.  This is the text I receive the other day:  "You and Lynda go work out on Christmas Day then come by the station".  Not sure why we have to go work out first, but it's pretty cute how he's trying to set me up. 
  • The guy at the liquor store whom last year told me "You are really cute, for your age" - that he still flirts with me when I go into the store - even if I have sweats on.
  • A text from Duncan saying:   "I miss Hawaii.  I miss the blue water.  I miss the stupid coral that I cut my feet on!  I miss the stupid lava rocks that I step on.  I miss the sand!  Even the sand with the rocks in it.  I miss Joe and his jokes towards me!  I miss the dog!  Mom, I miss Hawaii everything about it and everything right now seems to be about it"  Granted, the sun is setting at 5pm and it was cold yesterday, and he had a cold.  I'm not sure he misses Hawaii or our unscheduled way of life.
  • Standing in line at the post office.  Auld Lang Syne comes on.  For some reason it was magical - only it wasn't snowing and I didn't run into an old lover.  Other than that, it was just like the song. ;-)
Okay, that's it - and I'll probably just add a new moment each day and each blog instead of adding to this list.  

Monday, December 3, 2012

Color Coded

From September through May, my life is color coded.  We leave, breathe, act, move and play by color coded schedules.  I tried to do a screen shot of my calendar and post it here - I'm not that technical.  I was able to do the screen shot.  I pasted it here, but it won't show up.  And this time of year, I don't have that scheduled, so sorry, you will have to go with words no visuals.

Both boys play Club level hockey.  Duncan also made the high school varsity hockey team - as a freshman.  (yea - I think).  Think two practices per person, per team, per week.  Then add at least two games per weekend, per kid. Then add orthodontist appointments, dentist appointments, well visits, high school shadowing, piano lessons, ukulele lessons and school activities.  Oh yes, then add my work appointments, my appointments.  Everything is schedule this time of year.  It's all color coded.  Blue for Duncan.  Beige for Nolan.  Red for my phone calls.  White for something I want to do, but don't have to be there.  Yellow for school breaks.  Green for when the boys are with me.  Thank goodness they have an incredible involved father - this is only my half!

Oh, wait, then add the holidays, Duncan's birthday and maybe a few unscheduled "fun" things thrown in.  Meals, grocery store, laundry and on and on and on.  Birthday parties, seeing friends, sleep overs.

Honestly - it's not like this September through May.  Mainly just November - February.  My "survival" period.  Four months out of the year.  During this time, I try and appreciate the moments.  The moments that get me through.

"You are going to miss this" we tell people this all the time.  And I can tell you, "No, I'm not going to miss this". The over-scheduled, over-worked, over-everything time of the year?  NO, I'm not going to miss this.

What I am going to miss though:

  • That moment in the car, when it's just two of us and I get told a funny story about practice.
  • Or told a "riddle" they learned in the locker room
  • Having the boys as an 'excuse', not to do something I do want to do
  • Family dinners


Okay, I'm having trouble here trying to think of things I'm going to miss about this "season" in my life.   I know there are moments I do love during the chaos.  Right now, my creative liberties are scheduled.  Ask me in July, I MIGHT be able to tell you what I miss about these months. Or I might just look at you like you are from another planet.

And we do get stolen moments that aren't color coded.  They are unexpected.  They feed my gypsy soul and let the hockey mom stay in charge.

This week for example.  Yes, we had 3 hockey games in addition to everything else.  My running buddy called and asked if I would like his 6 season tickets to the Broncos game on Sunday.

"Yes, yes I would".  Believe it or not, there was only one conflict.  I took my other running buddy, both boys and they each took a friend.  6 of us went.  45 yard line.  32nd row.  Two of the five had never been to a Broncos game (one of those was Duncan).   The guy behind us, bought me a beer.  I was then informed by the 15 year old friend "Leasa, he's flirting with you!".  Smile.   "You think so?"  He wasn't sure I knew, after all they think I'm ancient.

It was a beautiful day. In fact, I was colder at the Rockies (baseball) home opener in April then at a Broncos game in December.  Who woulda thought......

The Broncos won.  Then I took them to Taco Bell.  We all thought we had a perfect day.



We did have a perfect day.  It was unscheduled, it wasn't planned. We did have to put it on the schedule or we would have never made it on time. 

During my "survival" time, it's the moments that get me through.  The moments I can think of.  The moments I will think of later.  The moments not planned, not color coded just appearing when they know you need them.

Looking at the color coded sheet, it's not manageable.  It's over-whelming.  But in all that space that isn't scheduled are moments that keep us going.  Keep us dreaming.  Keep us holding on.

And, if I keep repeating those last few sentences, I might just begin to believe it.

Repeat after me.....





















Saturday, December 1, 2012

Crumbs

A lady worked for me for about 5 years.  She is a dear woman.  I often joke, she was my "therapist" for the five years. 

She had been through quite a bit in her life.  Four kids, a husband whom left her, breast cancer and I could go on and on.  I could go on and on because this is what I knew about her.  It's what she shared with you about her life.  Years of therapy.  We used to joke, her Weight Watchers group would leave the meeting and go to lunch.  She was about therapy.  Only, she was addicted to the therapy, not the getting better.

She taught me much.  Much about me.  Much about life.  Much about other people.  She taught me to listen to what other people are saying.  She needed someone to listen to her.  I needed her to listen to me. She was addicted to the therapy.

When we met, I was recently divorced.  For her, her divorce was dramatic.  Full of angst.  Devastation.  She was the victim. When she spoke of her divorce, you thought it had just happened - not twenty years previously.

I was not the victim.  I had asked for the divorce.  Yes, there was sadness.  Confusion.  Not understanding this next phase of my life.

She was my surrogate therapist/mom/auntie/friend.  We had an incredible friendship/relationship.

We had many conversations about my life.  Her life.  What I wanted.  My hopes.  My dreams.  Her thoughts.  Her notes.  Her experiences.  How her experiences could help me.  My experiences could help me help her.  We were meant to cross paths in life.

A line I remember when we were discussing relationships:  "You are settling for the crumbs".  (By the way, I had to look up how to spell settling - not sure I'm familiar with that word).  Smile.

"You are settling for the crumbs"

Me:  I'm not sure I understand

Her:  You deserve the whole piece of cake.  Don't settle for the crumbs.

Me:  I don't really like cake.  I'm not sure what you are talking about.

Her:  You date.  You have these stories, you have these men all around you.  Only, you aren't letting anyone be more.  You take what you can get.  Then you go on to the next one.  Some is good enough for you.

Me:  Yes, all of the above is true.  What is wrong with it?

Her:  You deserve the whole cake.  Not just the crumbs.  The goodness.  The hard times.  The highs.  The lows.  The whole cake.

Me:  I don't like cake.  And besides, if you take more than the crumbs, you eat to much, then you feel sick.  I just like the edges.  I don't like frosting.  I don't like a whole piece.  I LOVE the edges, the crusty part.

Her:  Understood.  You are cheating yourself the richness of the middle.

Me:  I don't like the middle.  I've been telling you this.  I like the edge.  The pieces.  Bits & Pieces.  I don't want a whole cake.  A whole bag of chips, maybe.  A cake?  No thanks. 

This conversation has played over and over again in my head for years.  "You are settling for the crumbs".  My answer has always been the same:  "I only want the crumbs."  Then I added, "I tried having cake.  It wasn't for me.  I don't like cake".

Recently, though, I think I can finally see what she really meant.  By committing to the "whole cake", you get it all.  Only, I think if you commit to the "whole cake" you might just make yourself sick.  Hence, the reason I don't want the whole cake.  Too much makes you sick.

Everyone else has cake. 

Am I cheating myself out of the middle?  The richness, the moist wonderful part of the cake?

The funny thing? When I eat a piece of cake?  I scrape off the frosting.  Scrape away the crumbs.  Enjoy the middle.  Only really, I don't like cake in the first place.  I still keep making the cake try to fit me, when really, I prefer chips.

Salty.  Crunchy.  Dipped with a bit of salsa.  Chips?  I'll take the whole bag.

So, Judy, I'm not settling for crumbs.  I'm also not settling for cake.  I'm holding out.  But, I want chips.  The whole bag.