Powering Through.

This week is short, and that excites me.  We have a four day work week, thanks to a huge summer celebration event we’re having on Thursday night.  My boss is out of town until Thursday, so I also get a less watchful week to catch up on things before I head off to Alaska.  I am at my most efficient working stride when I can have TV shows on in the background.  I can sometimes work okay with podcasts or books, but the TV shows really make the day fly by and I get so much work done while being mildly entertained by the Food Network.

A couple of weeks ago I strained my calf by rolling my foot on a root while hiking.  The pain subsided, though it was never that bad.  On Saturday, I jumped off the boat using my toes to push off an strained it again.  This time, I was limping and could hardly walk for the rest of the night, through yesterday, and into today.  I’m hoping it stretches out and goes away by the time we fly out Saturday.  I don’t want to be limping through the forests of Alaska!

As I get into the week, I have a lot to do before we leave Saturday.  I’m so glad work gave everyone Friday off this week because it give me an extra day to prep for the trip.  Friday will be cleaning, last minute laundry, copying keys, meeting with our friend who is watching the cats, and hopefully an early morning hike for me!  I’m just trying to stay positive this week, keep an upbeat attitude, and work on making my calf feel better.

I’m going to work on being less critical of others – as I’ve picked up that nasty habit of playful banter turned cruel.  I am going to remember my goals.  I’m going to have a good week, despite any setbacks.  Time to be a big boy and power through it all!  I have a lot to be thankful for.

Six years already? Really?

Six years ago, to the day, I packed up my 1994 Chrysler LHS and set my GPS for Texas.  In a visit one year before the day I left, I had met a bunch of fun people and was told that Texas held plenty of job opportunities for me.  Over the year, I kept applying for jobs in all over the country.  I received rejections from every state, Australia, Canada, and Europe.  So, when 2011 rolled around, I decided to put in for a transfer within Best Buy, get a Texas area code, and just move in with my family until I found something down there.  I was 26, up to my eyes in debts of all kinds, and had nothing to lose in moving south.  I wasn’t even sure after packing my car that it would make it.  I didn’t have a dime to my name so my uncle loaned me $175 bucks to drive down.  I had no credit cards, no extra cash, and no backup plan.  My friend hopped in the passenger seat and away we went.  We made it to Texas on March 31, and I didn’t have to start work til the first full week in April.  It cost me $125 of the money, including food to move to Texas.  My old clunker cruised comfortably the entire way, and we made it without any issues at all.

In six years, I have learned many things.  Those fun people I met in my earlier visit turned out to be anything but fun and the opportunities I had were only if you knew someone.  In late 2011, my old roommate and best friend moved to Houston to pursue a career he said he’d never do but was too broke to say no.  By then, I was also working in an industry I had never intended and was just glad he would be closer than Michigan.  I started as a Best Buy transfer and quickly moved on to work for the same company for the better part of five years.  A sudden layoff sent me back a step and then a giant push forward to where I am now.  I sit here, six years later, appreciative of the family that didn’t even hesitate to open their home to me when I so desperately needed a hand.  I sit here thankful for the jobs I held, and the one I have, in getting me on track financially and saving me from the mountains of debt that started forming.  I am thankful for the people I have met in Texas, even those that turned out to be terrible and taught me a lesson in a way.  I sit here, six years later, still missing my dearest Michigan friends and family knowing I changed the dynamic by abruptly moving away.

In the six years I’ve been in Texas, I have… met my better half, adopted a dog and a cat, moved at least 5 times, met at least four people I could call friendly, met more than two handfuls of people I wish to never see again, and learned how to drive very aggressive/defensively.  Living in Texas brought to realization that I took the people and scenic beauty of Michigan for granted.  I didn’t love it and them hard enough when I was there.  I look at where I am now, a city dwelling thirty-something craving nature, and think I could have been hiking every evening in Michigan without driving more than a half hour.  I could have been cross-country skiing all winter and camping all summer.  But, when I was there, I wasn’t in a place to be doing these things – I wasn’t there mentally.  In Michigan I was depressed, angry, bitter, and avoiding all responsibility because I had fucked my life up and didn’t know how to fix it.  As much as I’ve grown to despise many people here and despite my need to move away, my initial move to to Texas saved me from myself and whatever extremely unhealthy choices I was making at the time.  Now, I’m not saying it’s all because of Texas the state, but moving to the state voluntarily and having people here that knew the right people changed my trajectory in life.

I can’t imagine what I would be doing if I hadn’t moved six years ago.  I can’t imagine if I’d even be alive – knowing how dark things were sometimes – if I hadn’t done something as drastic as moving and accepting the help of family.  Mostly, I try to focus on the present and future now.

All’s I know… I am thankful for what I have and who I know because of Texas, I miss my people and the scenic beauty of Michigan, and I will continue to desire a relocation when it’s appropriate for my better half and I to do so.  I have a new appreciation for the friendships that weathered the years apart, a new affection for green trees and freshwater, and a new view on the value we place on things in our lives.  I’ve learned, by living in the DFW metro area, that I do not desire a city this big and I need some form of public transportation.  I have learned that speed limits outside of Texas are absurdly too slow.  I have realized that this state does have natural beauty, but it takes some time to discover it all.

Cheers to life, the future, and the hope that things will continue to get better.

Monday Motivation, again.

I have to remember my goals. Sometimes, after a nice weekend, I forget what I’m doing and why.*

  • I’m dropping weight and toning up so I can fit into my clothes (current and future), hike further, backpack, fit on roller coasters comfortably, do more, live more, and live longer.  I want to have a hammock, a normal camping chair, and get a new bed.  I want my clothes to fit and I want to be able to buy clothes off the rack from REI.  I want to be able to do a 10 day backpacking trip or hike for an entire day sunup to sundown.  I want those things for my life.  I want to get to a point where I can indulge a bit without total derailment.  I want to run a 5K , 10K, or 25K.  It’s coming. The progress is happening.
  • I’m avoiding frivolous purchases and not eating out left and right because I’m trying to pay off my debts from doing whatever I wanted all these years.  I’m trying to get myself together and save more.  I’m trying to overcome the cycle I’ve fallen into, especially now with my job that pays well again.  I’m trying to potentially buy a house (condo, cabin, cottage, dwelling, maybe not my main residence) in 5-6 years as well as a forever car (Subaru Outback, please).  I don’t want to be stuck with my car as the cheap ass things falls apart – it’s only 3 years old but I’ve had 16 year old cars with less rattles and squeaks.  I want more for me, and that includes saving more and spending it on adventures and living life instead of junk and prepared meals on the regular.
  • I’m doing the 52 Hike Challenge to see more of the state – if not the country.  This challenge is to encourage more activity, to encourage inner peace, and to see what this state has to offer in the positive sense.  So far, I’m learning a lot, but I need to keep those things in mind.
  • There is an end goal.  There is life beyond Texas.  There is life beyond debt.  There is life beyond fat.  I’m quite impatient and need to take a timeout to realize these things all take time.  It took much longer to get to where I am than it will to fix it, so I need to remember that.  With this continued hard work and perseverance, I’ll get there.
  • I need to accept the reality that I may not get to see everything on my wishlist.  I have an extensive wishlist, and it may be time prioritize destinations.  I have a list of things to do once we reach our goal city, that will take years and are all very realistic.  I have a list of more national level things to see and that is the list that will need to be checked and prioritized.  All in all, I’ve been adjusting my reality and doing my best to accept it.
  • I need to get over the fact that I don’t have my awesome schedule (7 days on, 7 off overnight) anymore that allowed me to do all the things I wanted… Benefits of current life are more money, less spending, job security, and better benefits.  Yeah, I lost my time for adventure, but I didn’t have any money to do it anyway which is why I’m in debt.  Living a more simple life is smart for me.  Also, on the same daily schedule as my better half means we see each other more often.
  • Working hard for what you want, paying for things with real money, and going to sleep knowing things are getting easier/better is one of the most comforting things in the world.  I was taught to work hard for what I want, but I strayed from the lesson for a decade.  It’s sad that money can make me this happy, but it’s actually something under control now.  When I’m in control, I’m happy.  This applies to money, what I eat, and what I’m able to do.
  • Someday, when we’re in our goal city and I am working this M-F thing again, I find comfort knowing I will be able to escape quickly to beautiful places nearby as opposed to this disaster that is DFW.  My main motivation for our relo to the goal city is knowing this.
  • If I work hard for another year, I may be handsomely rewarded by my current company (a bonus).  More motivation.  Here’s to me putting my head down, ignoring the bullshit, and working my ass off.

 

*not really “forget” just need a snap back to reality.

Gotta keep going.

Things keeping me on track with my health and financial plans:

  • The idea of living long enough to see things turn around again
  • The thought that I will, someday sooner than later, live in a region in which I can cross-country ski/snowshoe again and learn about other winter sports
  • If everything goes as planned, we’ll be within minutes of beautiful nature instead of hours – more hiking, more camping, more living
  • The whole not having a heart attack idea as well as potentially avoiding any other damage to my vital systems
  • The thought that I could, someday, have a job I don’t despise in an industry I find more interesting
  • The idea that I will get to travel to Alaska and Michigan annually
  • The fact that I have places in Minnesota and Wisconsin to get off grid for a few days when I need to disconnect
  • To know that, in 3  years or less, I’ll own my car (and be able to trade it in for my Subaru) and have little to no debt aside from student loans (which is not nearly as stressful)
  • I’ll be able to run without dying – as well as other physical activities
  • Our dog will be healthier
  • The hiking will get easier, encouraging longer/more challenging hikes and also backpacking!
  • I’ll be able to take more trips
  • I’ll eventually fit, comfortably, on a roller coaster again
  • I’ll be able to donate more money in the future to my causes
  • I’ll be able to participate in charity 5-25ks with greater ease
  • We’ll be able to buy a home and make it our own

Week 1: TGIF 

I’ve made it to Friday.  Friday never meant much to me until 2014 when I started a M-F career and started to enjoy weekends off like normal people!  Fridays and weekends were taken away and replaced with shift work again in 2016.  I missed normal hours and sleeping at night.  Now, I have normal hours and weekends free again and I’m feeling like a human again!  I function my best starting at 5am, despite decades of staying up until 5am.  Since 2012, minus the past 7 months, my days started between 4-5 am and it led me to discover a quality in myself that I didn’t know existed: I’m truly and fully a morning person.  Holy hell! I love the sunrises, the lack of awake people, my alone time drinking coffee, and-if early enough-the morning commute!

Things I’ve realized this week:

  1. Leaving the house at 6-6:30am vs 7-7:30am makes a world of difference.  I left at 6:20, and settled in around 7.  I left at 7, and arrived at 8:15.  The same goes for the afternoon…. Leaving at 4pm vs anytime after 4:15pm changes your life.  Some days I’ll be stuck here until 5pm, it’s inevitable, but when possible I’m sneaking out by 4:10pm at the latest.
  2. Coffee is hard to drink while driving to work. I have a spectacular cup, and it is still hot an hour later when I start drinking it at work – and is even better and more enjoyed at that point.  I have  learned, in 5 days, that it’s more enjoyable and less robotic to savour the coffee at my desk while paging through technical laws and documents.
  3. Making office buddies takes more than a week to accomplish.  This office has around 50 employees? Maybe? I don’t really know.  It’s a tight group.  I don’t need friends, but I want them and I want to make nice to get on the good sides of people.
  4. Lunch in Plano, TX is best enjoyed in your office or break room. Driving to lunch and finding parking at lunch spots is the worst thing I’ve encountered this week…. J/k, commuting after 5 is… But, lunch commuting is a close second.  I’m not going to let myself forget my lunch again…. Unless I go to the café downstairs……. Hmm
  5. I neglected all of my responsibilities, other than dog walking, all week long.  I didn’t go shopping, didn’t clean really, didn’t do any laundry, and didn’t cook all that much.  I am going to chalk this up to life in adjustment.  Next week, I don’t have a choice.  I have guests coming on Saturday and I will not have them visiting a dump.  It’ll be good motivation to get on track.  Now that I know my schedule, my routine, and my route, I can plan dinners, walks/jogs, and chores accordingly.
  6. I’ve come to miss having the. 7 days on/7 days ofF schedule. However, I do not miss 12 hour shifts, night shifts, or mind-numbing tasks.  This place gave me 3 weeks of vacation and I’m allowed to use it immediately which comes in handy for these weddings.
  7. I can’t wait to only have 1 wedding next year. Oh my gods. 
  8. Dress pants are so comfortable. Fuck jeans, cheap khakis, or skinny anything.

I have tasks and I’m ready for week 2.
Also, I’m afraid one day I’m going to stretch and kick this glass plate out…

Blobby feeling.

Okay, dress pants and shirts being tucked in really reveal the gut and butt as well as squish the balls.  I have purchased bigger pants but the real solution needs to be dropping a few thousand pounds.  Motivation – to not feel like a blob at work and in meetings.

In other news, my bored eating has taken a hike – and I’d love to take a hike too.  I’m busy enough and I feel guilty eating all day so I’m on the right track to balance again.

Send positive thoughts to me this week.

If I’m selected for hire, I solemnly swear to:

  • come to work early
  • stay all day
  • learn how to do everything quickly
  • do more than expected, but within reason
  • ask for help
  • do the best that I possibly can
  • stay and grow as long as I’m wanted
  • work well with others
  • bring treats or good coffee to work

The job I’m interviewing for sounds similar to what I’m good at, more challenging than the job I have now, and more likely to offer growth opportunities.