Sunday, January 30, 2011

An up and down few weeks

Some days/weeks/months are just crazier than others. I haven't posted much because it seems that every time I think I have a handle on things, they change again. So, while this post will be a little disjointed, and it won't cover everything, I wanted to make sure I was posting again.

I made several goals for this year. One of them involved hiking. I originally wrote it: Go for a hike at least twice a month. Try to take a friend with me on each hike, and use this as a way to meet new friends or reconnect with old friends.

I have been doing really well with this. I have been on at least two hikes a week since late December, and have made several new hiking buddies. It has been great to get outdoors in the middle of the other chaos of my life, and it has helped to be able to talk through some of that chaos with new friends who aren't judgmental.

Last Wednesday was the final hearing about the kids and custody stuff. The last 7 months have been brutal for our entire little family. Michael and I have decided to separate, and Maddy will be staying with him so she can get the medical care she needs. I will get to see her as often as I can get back to NJ, and she will come out here at least once a year so that she gets to see her older siblings. Michael and I remain friends, but the process was too much for any marriage to survive. I am glad we can still work together to make things as positive for Maddy as possible.

I am starting a new job on the 1st. I will be doing half security guard work and half sales/marketing for the company. I am grateful for the chance to use a variety of my skills. In a job market with very few jobs, I am glad to be working, even if the pay is quite a bit less than I have made in a long time. Being a stay-at-home mom for the last 5 years made a lot of employers antsy about hiring me. The company I am working for is looking for results, and as long as I can produce them, it should be a good fit, and a place I can make a difference.

I have now lost so much weight, that I am wearing a size 10 in pants, and a large in shirts. I bought one skirt, and it is a size medium. I still haven't gotten brave enough to go dress shopping to figure out what size dresses will fit, but only one of the ones from before looks okay. On one hand it is great to be down to the size I was as a sophomore in high school. On the other hand, I wish that I had lost it without quite as much stress in my life. I am now trying to not lose weight so fast, and making sure I am exercising enough to maintain this weight over time.

I have my own place! I am renting a basement apartment in Milwaukie. I have two great roommates. All three of us are in transition periods in our lives, and having two other women who are around to talk with at the end of a long or frustrating day is great. Both of them get along well with the older kids, and Josh especially loves that one of my roommates has a very friendly cat. We all agree that is it nice to have friendly voices and people around, and I feel so blessed to have found a place that is not just a room, but an entire basement so that there is an extra bedroom for the kids and their stuff, and a huge living room for us to all play in. Now I just need a DVD player that actually works. ;-)

As you can tell, there has been a lot going on. A lot of it has been hard and painful, but I see the hand of the Lord guiding me to places and people who are good friends and supportive situations. Every time I start wondering how I am possibly going to survive, the Lord send an opportunity or a friend to help me figure it out.

The last goal I wanted to share is that I am trying to go to an author reading or signing at least once a month. I went to one this week, and it was good to get down to Powell's and hear the questions of other readers and writers. I haven't started making writing goals yet, but I am hoping before the year is out to start writing short stories again.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Corporate Clothes

It has been so long since I had to work, that it is a little intimidating going on job interviews. Maybe the hardest part for me is coordinating outfits, out of what I have left that fits me. All of my suit jackets still fit, but most of the pants I used to wear with them are too big, if I can find them. I have a couple of skirts that match, but really don't want to wear skirts when it is cold out, at least not more than I have to.

So, other than buying a bunch of new stuff, which I can't afford, anyone have any great ideas how to look more "corporate" on a budget? Do I just buy one new pair of pants and try to mix it with everthing else? Does fit really matter and should I try to get the old pants "resized?"

I have five interviews in the next 6 days. I am excited, but also a little intimidated. Hopefully not being too confident will be an asset, since I really do need a job!