When one door closes, another opens…I keep forgetting how true this is — earlier this month, I left a situation that was bringing me down. I had no plan, no new job – and decided to approach the situation differently than I had previously with no fear. I recently read a post that talked about Fear –How to relate to fear in a way that makes it ok. In the piece, a dad explained to his son that roller coasters are supposed to scare you — it’s how they are designed. It made the fear of it less scary and being scared is not necessarily a bad thing if you choose to see and understand it that way. That concept resonated with me and I decided not to be scared that I didn’t have a job — embrace the unknown, uncomfortable feeling and dare I say, enjoy the freedom.
This past Monday, 3 weeks to the day when I became unemployed, I began a consulting gig that is much better suited towards my experience. It happened so fast and here I am — doing the work I want to do with people that are much more my style, along with flexibility and freedom to handle my personal life which is getting more and more difficult to keep up with. So there you go: Jump and a net will appear….
Let’s talk about how my fitness/wellness journey is going —
Fitness wise, no issues. It’s such an ingrained part of my life that I don’t even think about it. I can’t imagine at this point, not having exercise in my life. It’s gotten to the point that even rest days are harder to take. I crave the activity mentally and physically. But nutrition wise, it’s a whole different story…
I’ve fallen somewhat off the wagon – No excuses. It’ crazy that I can’t get my head in the game even though I have seen the physical effects of it. Outward My skin is drier, eczema has returned depending on what I eat, acne has revisited my face,. Inward, my energy level has decreased, my monthly visit is miserable. All I want to do is eat sweets, sleep and get angry with anyone near me.
Now that my outlook is looking sunnier and am no longer in a job I can’t stand – I am thinking my head can correct itself and I can once again focus on my nutritional health since we all know that’s 80% of the overall wellness equation to begin with.
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To say I have been challenged the past few weeks would be quite an understatement and it’s the reason I have been absent from Live Fit and Sore for a few weeks. I’ve been stuck in my head trying to make sense of things and hemming and hawing about what exactly I need/what/should do. Let me start from the beginning….
I left with the family on a week long road trip – Myrtle Beach, Orlando, Myrtle Beach, Home. After this road trip, I realized that 6-7 hours is about my limit for road trips. The overall trip was wonderful -aside from getting a bad sunburn (rookie mistake) my first day out on the beach. It was nice to just be able to hang out with the kiddos. When we are at home living the day to day, I miss some of the smaller details of who they are becoming. And to make it more special, I spent a lot of alone time with Nate as we walked back from Universal Studios more than once – talking, seeing snakes and other wildlife. It was really, really nice. He’s usually so closed off when we are at home.
We got back on a Saturday and starting getting ready for the workweek. I was dreading going back into my office on Monday. Not because of the work I missed, but because I have not been able to make this position my own. 7 months in – I was unhappy, uninspired and it was making me miserable. The position I accepted was not in any way the position I ended up doing. Not sure if I had mentioned this before, but on my first day in January, the two company owners took me out to lunch and explained how they are changing the company, laying off 2/3 of their employees and changing the leadership structure. Yikes right? My personality style would not allow me to just quit. I figured it may be better, so let’s give it a try. I approached it with enthusiasm but it quickly became clear that the long held culture and the focus of the leadership was not lining up with my own ideas of creativity and inspiration and there were expectations of job responsibilities that I was not prepared to perform. It was not a good fit – period.
Do you ever have the feeling that something is brewing or going to happen before it does? That’s how I felt when I arrived to my office on Monday. I was looking through emails and as I read each one, I could tell something was different. For example, my boss had met with my team while I was away and had organized a task list for them. Something he had never done previously – things were just off. Well sure enough – He arrived around 915A and about 10 minutes later, called me into his office for a chat. That chat resulted in me parting ways with the company. What’s ironic is that Scotty had suggested I quit a few weeks earlier but I wanted to secure a new position before I left – as I have said before, the universe has plans for each of us. It was time to get my ass kicked out of my comfort zone. No one is meant to waste time being miserable.
This time around I was not as upset or scared. I will be fine. I have an amazing support network who have already given me contacts and leads. And it’s no secret that have the best husband who was relieved when I called him to share the news. He knew I wasn’t happy and had been urging me to leave sooner. I am considering doing marketing consulting for a while – to allow me to have flexibility for the kiddos and an opportunities to explore different roles and companies.
Which brings me to where I have been the past two weeks – Although this particular case has been one of those oh shit/congratulations kind of deals, losing a job isn’t easy mentally. I know the reality of the situation – it wasn’t a good fit: job or culture wise – but it’s still a hit to one’s ego and brings instability to my life. Instability makes me extremely uncomfortable. Every morning when I wake up, I have been reminding myself that I will be OK as the panic starts to bubble up.
And true to form, this latest experience was another learning opportunity for me. I need to work with a group of people who play off each other. I get energy from working with others – and working for a small company where it’s all heads down, stay at your desk – it just doesn’t work for me. I need to work with leaders who have vision and are passionate about the work they are doing. The team can take that vision and create plans and products around it. Without a vision – everyone just flounders. I want to work with leaders who do what it takes to get the work done. I am not willing to put in the work to make someone else’s pockets full if they aren’t even willing to go the extra mile. Nothing deflates my inspiration more than hearing the owner of a company say to their employees “I don’t care what we do, we just need to make money…” There’s no passion or care about the work -the goal is to make quick money. And above all – Nothing kills my spirit more than a leader who watches the clock I have been used to freedom to get my work done and that’s what matters. Just because you aren’t sitting at your desk for 8 solid hours, does not mean you aren’t doing your job. It’s a very old school way of thinking and usually signals that they aren’t focusing on the right things. This latest role has given me more insight into my deal breakers and what will cause me to say “Bye Felicia” and hit the road…
The older I get the more I realize how spoiled I was so early in my career — working for America Online in the mid 90’s. AOL had leaders and employees who changed the world. Steve Case and Ted Leonsis knew how to rally people, inspire them. They had charisma and charm to spare. With each experience since then – I have been hard pressed to find any leader who can compare.
I shared this article from the NYT yesterday on my Facebook page, After Cancer’s Calm, a Daughter’s Emotional Storm, but wanted to expand on it a bit more. This month marks 8 years since Scott’s cancer diagnosis. For those that are new to my blog, you can learn about how cancer changed my family by visiting my original blog Colon C-The Journey.
In the past 8 years, I learned that the life we live now is our new normal. The before cancer life was gone the moment we were told Scotty had cancer. We no longer had the life where we worried about the mundane stuff of life. I’m not saying the day to day struggles aren’t important. They are and we still are faced with them daily. But after July 2008, in addition to those life challenges, our family had to navigate a huge, enormous, mind blowing issue. Scott was 37 years old – he wasn’t supposed to hear ‘you have cancer‘. We were enjoying being parents, our careers flourishing, being with each other, creating a good life and in the blink of an eye we were dealing with the enormity of cancer. It was a real life lesson about life not being fair…
Here we are, 8 years later. Scott is cancer free. Things are great and we all move on, right? Well not exactly. What I have learned is that even though the physical cancer is gone, what my family went through has forever affected us. The entire experience changes you forever – there is a new and different normal to navigate. Some of the new normal is great. I approach life with a different perspective; more appreciative of my life.
My kiddos, who were relatively young during Scott’s treatment, have shown the effects of seeing their father go through treatment. During treatment, we were very open and honest about what was going on in a non-scary and age appropriate way. I let them both know what they may or may not see or experience during the chemo, and made sure to try to keep their lives as stable as possible. They had to deal with changing plans and being comfortable with having to be flexible. We showed them the IV Port and the chemo pack Scotty wore every other week. We didn’t hide what was going on — but didn’t make it scary either. It was a part of our lives for that period of time.
They certainly seemed to weather the storm fairly in tact. But there are signs of how it affected them. Both kids tend to be aware and more sensitive if one of us is sick – even if it’s as nebulous as the common cold. They both display empathy and caring for their friends and offer to help people in need automatically. They ask a lot of questions when they hear someone has died of cancer in our lives or even if it’s someone on the news. They won’t ever really remember the life we had before cancer.
Scotty, of course, has physical and mental repercussions of having cancer. I probably can’t even imagine some of the lingering effects, even 8 years after his initial diagnosis.
Remember even if the cancer is gone from someone’s life, the cancer never goes away…
This past month has been pretty stressful for me – and I’m not going to sugar coat it. My eating has gone to shit. The little excuses I have made have added up and now are full blown standard operating procedure and it’s not good. It’s being triggered by stress and emotional stuff going on but sliding back into old habits is not the path I want to revisit so it’s time to refocus. I am heading out on vacation next week. My long road trip will give me time to think about what’s going on and some much needed time away from what is triggering all of these feelings. Not to go into detail – it’s related to professional career issues and I know it’s only a matter of time before I need to make some hard choices.
But, let’s talk about refocusing on health and wellness…
I have mentioned before that I am a big fan and a long-distance friend of Christmas Abbott. She has always been kind to me and has embarked on an amazing path of helping others in a big way. She recently sent me a copy of her book: The BADASS Body Diet. I haven’t gotten all the way through it but when I am back from vacation, I plan to start the diet and workout plan recommended.
I already am appreciating that she doesn’t write for a one size fits all body type. She identifies three types of dieters -—Modifiers, Gainers, and Maintainers—and the suggested approaches can be tailored depending on which one you resemble. From the reviews I have read, many mention the suggested approach is simple and you aren’t left feeling super hungry. Although I have heard that many times from many other fitness and wellness advocates, I trust Christmas. She comes from the same world I am used to – women who lift and aren’t afraid to be strong.
Some of the book is fluff and entertainment but, that’s all part of selling the approach to those who still believe thin is better than strong. Those that live and die by the number on the scale. Just like any diet or approach recommended, one size does not fit all. My advice is to read the book – ‘meet’ Christmas, learn her story and understand how she approaches diet and fitness. From there, you can tailor it or not – to meet your own health and wellness goals.
I’ll share my experience from time to time as I start to incorporate her advice in my own fitness and wellness approach…
Buy the BadAss Body Diet by Christmas Abbott directly from Amazon and let me know what you think!
Christmas Abbott: The Badass Body Book (Amazon Affiliate Link)
I have had a series of recent light bulb experiences that have thrown me for a loop and served me a helping of reality…
Ack! My Parents Are Getting Old
I have 4 brothers and sisters and we have a half sister that is quite a bit younger. My Dad has been married to her mother since I was 6 – so a very long time. Since the early 90’s, my dad and step mother have lived in the Phoenix, Arizona area. Their health is failing and they have had serious financial setbacks for a myriad of reasons that I won’t go into. The bottom line is they can’t afford to stay in the Phoenix area and none of the family lives nearby. So, they decided to move to Ohio to be closer to their daughter, my half sister and they arrived there last week.
Seeing pictures of them during their drive out to Ohio shocked me. You know how you have this vision of your parents? Well, my vision didn’t match what I saw and it was a jolting reminder that time marches on and my parents are aging. Scott and I are very lucky to have both sets of parents still around – but health problems are starting to creep up and the unstoppable hands of time are spinning.
Seeing them look so frail, was a great reminder to me why taking care of my health and wellness while I am young is important. Exercise, eating healthy and maintaining a positive attitude towards any situation will go far as you age. Trust me on that one! Seeing the differences in how my parents are aging based on their life outlook and how they have taken care of themselves has been very educational for me. It’s night and day.
Oh No! I’m Feeling My Age
Britt’s wedding this past weekend was beyond lovely. Not sure if I have mentioned, but Britt is a bit younger than me – and hence, the wedding crowd was young. It was one of those experiences where I felt old. Not old enough to be a granny or anything, but old in the sense that I really didn’t want to ‘hang’ out. It’s not a bad thing — the wedding guests were nice but I don’t enjoy drinking and getting shit faced and it takes me forever to recover!
On top of feeling old at the wedding, yesterday, my tween daughter sent me pics her friend took of her (included below). Talk about feeling my age – she looks so grown up. How the heck did my little baby become a young woman? And to boot, she is about an inch or less away from being taller than me. She just seems so grown up.
It’s inevitable-we age, grow up, become adults, get old and eventually we will pass. The reminders this past week have left me feeling somewhat blah and melancholy about things around me. I will get out of my funk but it was an abrupt wake up call…
Life is short.
Act with good intentions.
Say what you need to say to those you care most about.
Cherish the moments.
Laugh a lot.