It’s been a while…

It’s been a year.  I can’t really tell you why I stopped writing or even if I made a conscious decision to stop.  I just know that one day I wrote a post and then I didn’t anymore.  And for a while, that was ok.  I didn’t miss writing and I didn’t feel like I had anything important to say.

But then, something changed and all of a sudden, I started having ideas for posts.  I had things to say.  I had things to share.  So I started to get the itch to come back here.

Sadly, I never could seem to find the time.  There was always something else to do or I was too tired or…whatever.  I made a lot of excuses.

Today, I couldn’t find an excuse.  So here I am…sitting in front of my computer and writing.  I kind of like it.

I thought for a while about what I wanted to write for my first post in a year.  A lot has happened in the past year, but I don’t want to bore you with all the details.  So instead I’ll tell you…

WHAT I’VE LEARNED THIS PAST YEAR

The right boss can make all the difference…If you’ve been here a while, you know that I had a boss that I loved and that he decided to leave my company for a different job.  I was very upset at first, but even more so when I met his replacement…a man I couldn’t dislike more.  He made what was already a difficult job even worse and it got so bad that I cried at work.  Me…crying at work!  In my seventeen year career that had never happened before because I have always followed the rule that there is no crying in baseball…or accounting.  But this guy pushed me over the edge and I lost it.

When you realize just how little your hard work is appreciated, it’s time to move on…Right after the crying incident, I was having a conversation with the woman who was my boss’ boss.  During our conversation it became clear that although she often said that they would be lost without me, she really felt that I didn’t work that hard and though I should “step it up a bit”. The truth was…I was flat out…working 7 days a week, nights, weekends, holidays, vacations, when I was sick.  There were no boundaries and no one was even appreciative of how much I was doing.  So that day I started looking for a new job.

Working from home is the greatest thing ever…My new job is based out of McLean, Virginia and since that’s a really insane daily commute, I work most of the time from home.  It’s fabulous.  I save over three hours a day by not commuting so now I have time to cook and clean the house and exercise…and sleep more.  I spend the entire day hanging out with the dogs and some days I don’t even change out of my pajamas.  If you ever get the opportunity…I highly recommend it.

Being appreciated makes all the difference…Before I would get emails from my boss asking why I hadn’t done something or complaining that I had done it…I just hadn’t done it fast enough. Now I get emails that say things like “You’re terrific” and “I love working with you” and even as simple as “Thank you so much for everything.”  It doesn’t seem like much, but knowing that the things I do are appreciated makes my want to work even harder.

If you are going to drive from Kentucky to New York, you probably shouldn’t do it in the worst snow storm of the year…Let me tell you, West Virginia is hilly and while my Jetta is pretty good in the snow, there were a few moments where I thought for sure I was going to be stuck at the bottom of a hill until the spring thaw.  And truckers will go just as fast in the snow as they do when the roads are dry…which scared the hell out of me.  What should have been a very simple 10 hour drive, turned into an 18 hour nightmare.  Oh…and I ran out of windshield wiper fluid.  I don’t recommend it.

Speaking of snow…Snow accessories are a must…There are certain things I do not like to spend money on…gas for the car, bras, garbage bags…and snow accessories.  I’ve long thought that one cheap snow shovel and a $2 ice scraper for the car were more than enough to get through the winter.  Then we move to CT, land of snow, and I learned how wrong I was.  Seriously…we are 30 minutes north of our old house in Westchester and we get three times as much snow.  We now have two high quality, ergonomically designed snow shovels, a multipurpose snow scraper with padded handle in each car, ice melt pellets that are dog friendly and a snow pusher thingie that removes snow from the top of an SUV.  And this year…we are adding a snow blower because my driveway shoveling days are over.

In general, having the right tools makes life so much easier…J hates to throw things away and he loves to improvise.  So we often end up half-assing things with some ridiculous solution that involves duct tape.  Well…no more.  Now, when I find I need something I don’t have, I buy it.  Doing things is now so much easier.

Amazon always has what you are looking for…Even when you are in the cake decorating aisle at Walmart and you desperately need a cookie cutter in the shape of the number 2 and you’ve looked everywhere and are halfway convinced that this particular cookie cutter doesn’t exist…just hop on Amazon and you can have it delivered the very next day.  It’s like magic.

When you use said cookie cutter to make the coolest birthday cake ever, remember to take a picture…Seriously, three hours of baking and the cake was awesome and out of 35 people at the party, no one took a picture of the multi-colored 2s inside the yellow cake.  I assure you, they were adorable.

This is what the cake looked like before we cut it...it was a zoo theme.

This is what the cake looked like before we cut it…it was a zoo theme.

Be very careful when stepping off the curb because you can lose your balance and fall flat on your face…Which I did, over the summer.  We were going out for pizza and walking quickly.  I stepped off the curb, twisted my ankle and lost my balance.  I ended up landing hard…directly on my nose, which immediately started gushing blood.  Thank God for Allyson and her diaper bag.  Within minutes I was cleaned up with wipes and my cuts were covered with Neosporin.  And I didn’t even break my phone when I dropped it!  I’m far more careful when I’m walking now.

It is not necessary to drink five Diet Cokes to get through the day…In fact, for the last three months I haven’t had any Diet Coke at all and I’ve been just fine.  The first few days were rough, but then it wasn’t so hard and now I don’t even miss it.  It was also the start of a whole new way of eating for me…but more on that later.

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So there you have it.  You are now all caught up with everything that has happened in the last year.  Hopefully, I’ll be back before next year.

What Steven Tyler taught me…

Here’s a short list of what I learned when Mom and I went to see Aerosmith in concert the other night…

  • Steven Tyler might be a little sexy.  I’ve never found him particularly attractive…but he does have a bit of a sexy-ugly thing going on.  Of course, I feel the same way about Kid Rock and John Malkovich…so maybe my taste in men is a little off.
  • Steven Tyler, at the age of 64, has more energy than I do at the age of 36.  Seriously…I was exhausted just watching him run around the stage.
  • It is possible to do so many drugs that you can fall asleep during an extremely loud rock concert.  The woman across the aisle from us spent most of the show out cold.
  • When you mix a classic rock concert with New Jersey you get some very interesting fashion.  There are a lot of ladies in NJ that still think it’s 1987.
  • If you wear sunglasses inside during a concert…where it is dark…you don’t look cool.  Nope…you look like a complete idiot.  Also…you will most likely trip up the stairs on your way to the bathroom and I will laugh at you.
  • Playing air guitar can make even the hottest guy look like a tool.  I was thinking that the guy in front of us was really attractive…until he started jamming on his air guitar.  He played that bad boy for the whole concert.

And the biggest thing I learned…

  • I’m old.  The first time I saw Aerosmith was during my freshman year of college.  My brother and I went to the concert, then out to eat.  Then we stayed up all night hanging out with my friends and I went to work the next morning at 5AM and worked an 8 hour shift on zero sleep.  This time, I got home at 1AM and fell into bed and then I couldn’t even get up the next morning because my head hurt so bad.  I actually had to stay home from work to recover and I still have a bit of a headache.

Have you ever learned anything  from Aerosmith?

I made it…

Before I started NaBloPoMo I was in a bit of a blogging funk.  I was taking days off because I had nothing to write about.  I’d sit down each morning to write my posts and about half the time I’d be completely blank.  I was committed to keeping my blog going, but I was starting to worry that I’d just run out of steam.  I’m coming up on two years and, although I was determined to keep going, I just wasn’t sure if I had the stamina to do it.

Then November came and I undertook the daunting task of writing a new post every day for thirty days.  To be honest…I really didn’t think I was going to make it.  I thought I might lose it halfway through and end up skipping some days.  And I dreaded the weekends…because posting on Saturdays and Sundays was a new thing for me.

I knew right away that if I didn’t have a plan this whole project would be impossible.  So I sat down right away and started planning posts.  Nothing was set in stone…and I did end up changing things up sometimes…but I had a loose idea of what I’d be writing at least a week in advance.  I also wrote drafts of several posts at a time so that all I’d have to do each day was edit and publish.

Now, here we are at the end of the month and I’m happy to say that I made it.  Thirty posts in thirty days.  There are some posts that I like less than others, but I can say that there are none that I hate or find embarrassing.  And the best part is that I’m in love with blogging again.  It’s no longer a chore…it’s now something I look forward to again.

Another great thing…I discovered a few new blogs that I love.  I also found a couple of link-ups that I really enjoy being part of and I look forward to continuing those.

I don’t think I’m going to be able to keep up a seven-day a week posting schedule, but I will definitely be posting on a regular schedule again.  Thank you all for reading every day and for all your great comments.

So, did you participate in NaBloPoMo?  Are you glad you did?  What will you take away from it?