Challenge Accepted!

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One of my fav TV characters of all times is Barney Stinson from HIMYM (How I Met Your Mother), his catch cry of “Challenge Accepted” always makes me smile, usually because it was attached to something that was never meant to be a challenge.

Well for the next 100 days “Challenge Accepted”* is going to be my catch cry as I take on Belles 100 Day Challenge – no booze until August 1st this year.

Crazy Cat Boy is concerned that this means “no drinking on your birthday” and I’m ok with that.  The next three months possibly could be make or break with me and what I do in my professional life for the next eight years that I plan on being full time.  I need all the focus and energy that I can muster up to make these next moves, and wine needs to be off the table to get me there.  I’ll check in with my progress regularly and I know I can get there, as of today it’s a 97 day challenge as I’ve already done 3 sober days.

What will be the challenge you accept?

*Ironically Barney usually uttered those words in a bar, beer in hand!

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Apparently I’m Irrelevant…

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I was informed very politely and diplomatically, but apparently at the ripe old age of 47 with close to 20 years’ experience in my field I’ve become irrelevant.  Nice hey?

All because I don’t have one skill set – data analysis… I don’t have it because my organisation doesn’t do it, pure and simple.

So, who told me this?  A recruitment consultant.  Yep, I finally got off my arse and did something about the fact that I’m becoming unhappy to go along with my increasing frustration at work.

Apparently, I don’t fit in a box, something that I’m kind of proud of truth be told.  10 years ago you had to be a marketing generalist here in Australia but over the last 5 years that has shifted and specialisation, especially in the data and analytics field has become the norm.  Apparently I’d be the “outsider” if they put me in a room with other candidates.

This is one guys opinion, I hold another entirely.  Opportunity abounds in my city, hell, the world should be my oyster.  Now I need to implement some different strategies to land myself that new job…

  • Demonstrate my understanding of data driven ROI’s
  • Undertake training
  • Learn the actual skill set in my existing role, hard to do but achievable
  • Find an agency that doesn’t want to put me in a box

I knew moving on after 10 years wouldn’t be easy and my age could possibly be against me as well.  In fact the words “decade” and “ten” were used extensively in my meeting with this guy, and not by me.

Hell, I’ll tell you how age paranoid I was shall I?  I decided that I needed to hide my old, white, veiny legs, so in the lead up to the face to face meeting I began putting that gradual build up leg tan on.  It smells horrible and here’s the kicker where you learn from my experience, still won’t cover those blue veins ladies and gentlemen!  LOL

I also had the worst haircut of my life the day before to seem “on trend”, not to mention the new clothes.

I’ll keep you updated on how a washed up middle aged crazy cat lady goes in her search to write a new chapter!

I’ve given up!

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Worry that is. You might remember when I gave up guilt?  Man, what a relief that was!  Now I’m going cold turkey on worry.

I made this decision yesterday and I feel a million times lighter.

It’s not that I don’t care, I do, I always will, but the emotion of worry? That I’ll pass on thanks very much.

Given than I’m an Olympic standard worrier, what’s brought this on? I hear you ask.  Well, it’s a couple of things…

First, a few weeks ago (keep it quiet, I’ve only told you fab internet peeps) I had my first anxiety attack in nearly twenty years.  It came out of nowhere and I think might have been linked to a very bad drinking session I’d had the week prior (yep, booze, the gift that keeps on giving).  It’d been so long that it took me a bit to work out what was happening and get myself under control – I was out in public with someone I don’t know that well. Given that I tend to pass out that could have been somewhat, um, er, “dramatic” and I much prefer a lower key presence!

Secondly, I’m in the middle of major projects with missed deadlines zooming past me and work piling up, so after a sleepless night I got up early, opened my email and my chest immediately tightened up.  Hmm, I was pretty sure at that point that something had to give, and I’d prefer it wasn’t me!

I’ve taken my body’s cues and listened; not only did I decide to give up worrying but I impulsively sent my resume off to several recruitment agencies.

I feel so much lighter and happier and amazingly I’ve been so much more productive.  I think I’ve achieved more in the last two days than I have in weeks.

I’ve told Crazy Cat Boy that I’d given up worrying, and he laughed and then looked startled when he realised I was serious.  It’ll be an uphill battle, but I think I can win this one, time will tell, but I don’t plan on worrying about it … well, not a lot, baby steps!  LOL

 

In case you are wondering, I’ve pretty much not been drinking since that day.  I’ll have one or two with friends over dinner, but that’s it from now on.

The Harsh Truth Of Pencil Skirts

pencil skirt.jpgIt’s been a while, but I’m back baby!

Work and life have been busy and I’ve been stuck in a creative rut that there was no need to subject you to!

The work situation is still up in the air due to our Game of Thrones situation – the Iron Throne is still vacant.  The court rumour mill has it while the seat of power is attractive the gold, or lack thereof is not enough to temp an heir into the citadel.

I’m riding it out and doing as much contingency planning as I can.  I like my job but I need to accept that nothing will change in the short term.  So, I’m putting on my big girl panties, sucking it up and getting over it.

I’ve put myself on the wagon wine wise to try and get fit – ok, lose some weight, my new undies don’t fit and I had delusions of grandeur that I could wear a white pencil skirt (to go with my rashly purchased fabulous jacket that matches NOTHING I own).  Until I tried it on that is.  Why is it that white only serves to highlight cellulite? I had a long and depressing talk with myself in the change rooms at Cue a couple of weeks ago while trying to convince myself that with a bit of spanks action I could get away with the sleek white look.  Fortunately for my bank balance the realist in me won, so I don’t have yet another expensive item in my wardrobe that I can’t wear.

Another reason for the temporary wine wagon is that I’ve been reading Sober Mummy’s blog (it’s fabulous, check it out) and some other blogs in the sober sphere and thought that it would be good for me to take a break.  While I don’t drink every day, when I do I drink way more than I should.  I don’t like the path that this habit could take me down so I’m taking action.

So that’s it for me for today.  I’ll be back soon I promise!

A line in the sand and a new robe

line twoI’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately, that’s why I’ve not been blogging, it’s hard for me to write when I’m not happy.  So I’ve made some decisions…

#1, I set a deadline in my head about a situation that I want resolved at work and emailed off what I need done and by when to the two people who can make it happen.

I got an email back from my boss telling me that one aspect won’t happen until XYZ takes place which is a problem on a couple of fronts;

  1. I’m not sure I want to be involved in XYZ and
  2. There is no time frame around it happening

Unfortunately I know what will happen and I’ll be forced to take action and that will involve giving up my nice comfy telecommuting, cats on desk, sloppy clothes wearing life to get a “real” job which will suck just a bit, however I’ll get better pay as a trade off and that means retiring earlier.  I know, first world problems right?

This lead to decision #2 at some ungodly hour this morning: I got up, turned on the iPad and typed “marketing recruitment my city” into the search bar.  I scrolled through a couple and registered for job alerts with the one that looked like a good fit.

Part of me is secretly hoping that their CRM is so good that they’ll call me to see what I’m looking for. The other part is kind of terrified that they will!  LOL, I’m bad at saying no, and I’m worried that I’ll wind up in a new job before I’m sure I want to leave the old one.

After that I realised that I have another problem.  Who do I get as a referee?  I’ve been eight years in this job, everyone in my old job (which is too long ago for a proper reference anyway) has scattered to the four winds after they dismantled the newsroom. I can really ask my boss*, my colleagues for the most part are his family and it doesn’t seem right to ask my clients.  Sigh, I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.

Now I think about it referees come after the resume part!  Aw man, I haven’t had a resume in over ten years, I don’t even have an old copy kicking around.  Do I even need one these days?  Isn’t that what LinkedIn is for?  Sigh (I’m doing a bit of that today).

So while feeling thoroughly depressed about all that I decided to cheer myself up with a spot of online shopping and I’m pleased to say that after some serious web browsing my new long satin robe is winging its way from Neiman Marcus in the USA to wine country in little old Australia.

Happy days, mostly!

* I will tell him of course, once the deadline (March 30) is past. As long as I walk in with a transition plan he’ll be ok, upset, but ok.

 

Winter Is Upon Us

gotI thought the manoeuvring and strategy around the Iron Throne was extreme but that has nothing on this week at my clients!

Talk about cut throat. We’ve had it all: lies, betrayal, manipulation and the deposing of a King resulting in an empty throne.  The only thing missing has been a poisoning, but we haven’t had Christmas drinks yet, so it’s not too late.

We now have a number of claimants scrambling desperately to fill the power vacuum!

Unlikely alliances are being forged in the dark water cooler corners of the castle, potential raiders are skulking around the walls trying to find weaknesses to exploit using end of year phone calls to probe for intel.  The main plot characters are reminding old friends of long spoken promises of support and posturing with loud public hearty handshaking and holiday greetings in full view of all the offices. Aged advisers* look sombre and concerned as they enter closed door meetings and banner men are being rallied via email and text.

The troops are faithful but rattled as uncertainty on who will take the throne runs rampant.  Will it be a mad king who will destroy the old ways or will a noble leader arise and bring new glory to the realm/department?  Only time will tell.

This warrior consultant will remember her oath to protect the client made when she took the black and strategically retreat to the wall to defend it against those who would destroy our way of life…. I hope that the light I can see coming isn’t dragon fire and that the winter is a short one!

Wish me luck; it’s going to be a long six months……

*Mostly Fiance people** it must be said. They look worried a lot, so it’s kind of hard to judge how concerned they really are.

**A joke I promise, I love all you Fiance peeps, you know just how to advise me to get around the budget when I need to.. Much love 😉

I’ve Quit Guilt & So Should You

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I gave it up about 18 months ago. If you haven’t already done this, give it a try it is liberating.

I was a 3 pack a day guilter so it wasn’t easy.

I always had that feeling that whatever was wrong was my fault somehow. It comes high school where I was bullied everyday then moving straight into a job where the company culture was to sit the staff down and tell us that we should do anything they told us to because no one else would hire us. I already knew from school; comply and conform is the only option for acceptance. Doh, talk about negative reinforcement!

Closed doors, must be talking about me. Something goes wrong on a project that I’m only slightly connected with, must have been something I’ve done. CCB in bad mood, yup, must have been something I said or did. It got to the point where guilt was starting to control my life.

My light bulb moment came after a particularly trying day at work where it was announced that “not everyone will be going” to a long awaited event that I was a critical part of the planning for. I immediately thought; Well, I should take one for the team, I’ll talk to the boss tomorrow and tell him to leave me out. Then I went home and got ready for my walk and CCB got cranky because he wanted me to go and do something with him, he didn’t need me to do it, it was just that what I wanted to do wasn’t about him*

So I went for my walk feeling guilty and then it hit me… why am I feeling this way? I deserve to get fit; I have the right to want what I want.

Then I thought about the work situation. I didn’t notice any of the boys volunteering to step back, so why should I? I’m a key part of this team and I should be at this event. I’m proud of the work I’ve done to get this up and running. Bugger it, I’m not having that chat with the boss tomorrow and I refuse to feel guilty about it.

So that is the day I gave up guilt.

I feel lighter and strangely more confident when I reply “That’s a shame, what is being done to resolve the issue?” instead of immediately trying to find a way that I messed up and jumping in to help “fix” it.

Guilt is a highly addictive, nasty, destructive habit that is bad for your mental health. Giving up is hard, but not giving up is worse. Take a hint from Tay Tay** and Shake It Off, Shake It Off.

* He’s working on that

** I wonder how different my high school years might have been if Ms Swift rather than Mr Farnham was the soundtrack!