Overriding impossibilities

October 2nd, 2017, 11:05 PM by Goddess

A dear friend of mine from Washington, D.C., posted something on Facebook that moved me so much, I can’t get it out of my head.

Borrowing without permission, but as a tribute:

“The premise of a ‘five year plan’ is complete bullshit. If you’d have told me five years ago that I’d be at another high school back-to-school night for my kid, I would have argued with the impossibility of that statement. Life overrides even the best-planned plans and humbles me by continually redefining what is possible.”

I knew her when she was in her mid-20s and I was 30. Both of us working around the clock. Both of us trying to lose a few pounds. And both enjoying a good craft beer and deep conversations about the world.

A couple years ago, we were a decade older and a thousand miles apart geographically. She’d unfairly lost a job or two and so had I. And she’d written another phrase that haunts me still:

“Things don’t always happen for a reason. Sometimes, they just happen.”

God I miss that girl sometimes. Thank the heavens for Faceypages and connections that predate social media.

In any event, who knew two years ago that this single-in-the-city girl would meet a great guy with a couple of kids? And that she’d transition into being a wife and mom and all that comes with it?

At 42, I still figured that I could/would have a kid. Preferably a daughter. I always wanted a son but that was mostly to ensure the father would stick around. But men don’t stick around for sons any more than daughters. And I like pink and all things girly and shopping for them. So, there you have it.

At 43 — wait, musical interlude …

“I learned the truth at seventeen
That love was meant for beauty queens
And high school girls with clear skinned smiles
Who married young and then retired.”

— Janis Ian, “At Seventeen”

Where was I? Oh yeah, at 43, I apologized to mom for not giving her a granddaughter. She would have been the best grandma. She deserves another little girl. Her efforts have been wonderful, yet wildly wasted, on a girl CAT.

All things pink.

It’s not really that I don’t feel like it will never happen. I just know I have a finite amount of energy and money and TIME GLORIOUS TIME.

The evidence of Hurricane Irma are still ever-present. I have some friends with PTSD from it. And (still!) seeing all the uprooted traffic signs and all the fall leaves on the ground WITH TREES STILL ATTACHED TO THEM makes them relive the sick, sad, helpless feeling every day.

You know, the same feeling normal people have had since the night of Nov. 8.

That’s MY fear. I really think Kim Jong-un of the West is gonna get us all kilt. You cannot convince me that the original North Korean nutcake doesn’t have a map of all the Orange Shitgibbon’s properties and isn’t going to use them for nuclear target practice. Oh and I happen to live within spitting distance of like four of them.

Not pictured: three golf clubs and a pair of buildings that bear his name even though he unloaded them.

So seeing Steph’s post gave me an odd sense of peace. I mean, if and only if I really wanted a kid, I could adopt. Foster. Get drunk and see how fertile these vintage eggs still are. Who cares about anyone leaving. I can do this myself.

Catgirl!

Or — I could do the thing I swore I’d never do — I could date a guy with kids. I do know a hot dad and it’s killing me to NOT open my mouth and see about giving it a whirl.

Anywho, maybe I need to just not underestimate the universe. I’ve been pretty lucky. Maybe I don’t have a finite amount of luck that’s set to run out after all.

Case in point: I’m like 90 pounds lighter than I was a decade ago. MIRACLES HAPPEN.

New official pic with the last of my Delray tan.

Maybe I’ll get whatever it is that I never thought I could have, if only I would let myself think about whatever that is.

Or maybe I always thought I could have it all. But the older I get, the less I feel that way.

There’s a person on my team who always uses age as an excuse. Made a mistake, it’s because they are “an old person.” Does something I asked them not to do (again), “Well I’m old and I don’t learn as fast as I used to.” Argues with me that something should be a certain way after they battled me just a week earlier that we should do it the other way, “I forgot. My memory isn’t what it was.”

My reply is curt and firm. “Don’t give me an excuse. Give me your best.”

I don’t want to be that way. Not just a walking lawsuit, but I give thanks to my body for doing what it can do physically.

I thank the heavens that I can afford vegetables and nutritious food to nourish that body with.

When I get overloaded with tasks at home and work, and worry that I can’t give 100% everywhere,

I exude gratitude that my brain works better than most and I’ll do what I can, where I can … when I can.

And damn, I’m happy to have what I have, while I have it.

And there’s always that part of me that thanks the universe for the good things coming my way that are beyond my control or wildest dreams.

It think that might be what Steph was talking about. That the universe has surprises in store for you that are beyond your mortal comprehension. Forget the bounds of reality — those are about to be redefined for you.

OK fine. I never thought I’d get married. I ran off all my roommates because I hate people being near me. Honestly I want dual master bedrooms when I do meet a mate. I need a Gemini so I know the sex will be great. I want to live on the Intracoastal and have access to a first-class ticket to anywhere, at any time. I want enough of a fortune to want to leave it to someone. Maybe an adopted niece or nephew. I’ve lived alone in the metaphorical sense my whole life. Don’t make me die alone too.

Your move, universe. Don’t let me die alone and/or soon because Russia installed the king of my idiot neighbors as our Pumpkinfuhrer. I know you’ve got a lot of goodness to give, and I am a willing and grateful recipient if you have some more to send my way.



Can’t take it with you. Especially in an evacuation zone

September 12th, 2017, 6:05 AM by Goddess

In the mad dash to prepare for Hurricane #Irmagerd, I had the realization early and often …

I have too much stuff.

Not “good” stuff. Mostly lots of clothes and decorations from (C)Ross Dress for Less.

Mom especially has a veritable shitload of decorations from there and every store in Florida that has “Dollar” (Tree, General, Family) in its name.

And a part of me — the one that knew my “hurricane glass” windows would leak (and they did) — was sort of/kind of hoping most of that shit would wash away to sea.

I’m sure that’s what happened to my overpriced storage unit. (I have two — I pay for mine and mom’s down here, and hers up in Pittsburgh. That one is full of … decorations. Ten years’ worth of payments, for decorations. When I’ve bought her everything she’s wanted since then and SO MUCH MORE. She doesn’t understand my resentment.)

In any event, I’m sure my storage unit (here) is a mess. It’s in a low-lying area, and our area got pretty thrashed with rains and uprooted trees and shit. So that’s gonna be a big wet fucking surprise when I get back there.

I found two dresses I hadn’t worn, while I was there. I was so excited about them when I bought them. But they were too small then. So, into the bin they went.

Took them home this weekend and tried them on. They fit fine. Maybe a little loose. But … they looked kind of atrocious on me.

Didn’t find the dress I really wanted. An expensive one. If I’m lucky, the thing is waterlogged. If I’m not lucky, I’ll hate it as much as the other two.

Here’s the thing. I buy things in hopes of wearing or using them SOMEDAY.

Well, guess what. If this hurricane has taught me anything …

It’s that someday is TODAY. Rather, we should treat it that way.

So all my cute Paris stuff … sugar skulls stuff … DRESSES UPON DRESSES that I am saving for outings that haven’t happened yet …

Well, make ’em happen.

When it came down to it, the only things I wanted to save … if I absolutely HAD TO … were things that still had the tags on them.

You know, this shit …

Well, that and six hot-pink storage tubs of hot-pink sugar skull shirts, cookware, rugs, towels, candles and purses.

Know of any hurricane shelters that take pets and a Noah’s Ark of unused shit for your “someday” home?

And it’s not just that. it’s the good Zum Wash patchouli soap from Whole Foods. It’s the Moroccan lotion from fucking Suave of all things that I am absolutely in love with. It’s the “good” Dove Advanced Care deodorant that I save for when my skin is really in need of some TLC. It’s the Lodi wine that I keep holding onto because the place in Ft. Lauderdale that sells it is an absolute pain in the ass to go to.

It’s all the “luxury” shit I save for when I’m feeling worthy of using it … for when I buy a “backup” (Mom makes me buy two of everything. Including towels, rugs, dresses, shirts, and goddamn DECORATIONS. You ALWAYS need a backup, she says. And don’t use “just the one” if that’s all you have). Etc.

So during this hurricane, I wore some of my new T-shirts with tags on them. Drank the wine that I didn’t have “backup” bottles of. Ate the candy from Disney World that I would normally have saved, on the promise to myself that I will get back sooner rather than later to get more.

I know I need to apply this same attitude to many more things. (Career, car, apartment, etc.) But at least I know I need to let go of the shit that isn’t working … or fix what could be working better … to feel much lighter of spirit and, I hope, indebtedness to what’s mostly only holding me back at this point.

And the fact that I’d rather die than do most of it is a sign that I won’t miss it if only I can find something better to replace it with.



My why, 2017 edition

September 3rd, 2017, 4:02 PM by Goddess

On this latest round of re(re)joining Weight Watchers, when they asked me about “my why,” I struggled.

I mean, I’ve had enough “whys” than China has rice. I just had to look up my last round. Which is kind of cool, really. Because I can cross a lot of those things off the list.

Problem was, I needed that list a couple weeks ago. Because I was totally caught on the spot.

The very first time I joined WW in 2008, it was after a photo shoot at my company. They wanted my face on the website that I had spent a year building.

I felt cute that day. Couldn’t wait to see my face listed as an expert on a website I loved.

Holy shit. I could not believe how fat I was.

I can’t even find that photo online anymore. And thank God for that. I know I have a similar photo from Las Vegas at my storage unit that is equally hideous. But either way, it was a wake-up call.

Here we are nine years later, and my company sent me to our studio to take a photo for our website. This after my last boss didn’t want me to have an online presence at all. Or the title he kept promising me for five years. But whatever. I got the title … now for the bio.

And … holy shit. No I am not putting THAT new pic up either.

I mean, the good news is that I was about 252 pounds in the first instance, and around 165 in the second. So I am OVERJOYED to be the “me” of today.

But at 5-foot-3 (and shrinking, it seems. I was 5-foot-4 just two years ago), I have a tiny frame, it seems.

I have a brand-new office now. The second-best one in the building, it seems.

And even though I miss my office that I was forced to abandon in May (I just went there today. My heart still breaks and nothing is going to keep that from happening every time I think about the place I loved), there’s one wonderful perk.

That is, people keep coming in and saying, “OMG you’re such a tiny person for this big office!”

Heck, I even fit under my desk. With plenty of room to spare.

And no one can see me over my monitors, either. Which has its perks. (That is, it gives me time to DIVE UNDER THAT DESK.)

I like being called tiny. (That’s not “my why.” But it’s a good one!) I like FEELING tiny. Comparatively speaking, of course. I know I ain’t *actually* tiny.

But when I looked up the “my why” post of last year, it feels familiar.

A thousand years ago, I just wanted to open a laptop on a plane. (Seats have gotten so much smaller, it’s a goal AGAIN.)

I want to zip up my calf boots without blowing out the zipper or having calf-sized muffin top.

Etcetera.

I still want to live longer/healthier than my family.

But this year, I have another “why.”

I’ve spent the last 10 years taking care of mom. Whether or not the fact that my social life is in flames is correlation or causation isn’t important here.

(I’m sure I still would have worked myself to death and found other excuses about my single-ness and aversion to “friends.”) Because everything is expensive, money-wise. And no price is greater than wasted time.

In any event, I need to stay youngish and healthy-ish because I lost 10 years. I mean, they’ve been great and fun and all. But I lost out on big vacations. Never got to Europe. Never got out of Florida this last near-decade, really.

Which is fine because people die to come HERE. So we explore it as best we can. But to be fair, we explore it as best SHE can.

And right now I’m feeling like if I don’t get to do the things I want now, what if I won’t GET to … just like when she finally could live her life, her health went to shit?

I am sure I’m not saying it correctly. It’s not that I haven’t been happy. I just know that a day is going to come when I can do whatever the fuck I want, whenever the fuck I want to.

And I want to be healthy enough to enjoy every last second of it.

I’d also like to say hello to a hot guy when I’m walking on the beach and not have him reel in abject horror that I am talking to him.

That was never really a “why” that I consciously recognized. But, you know, I do feel like I deserve someone great. I just need them to LOOK BACK AT ME when I see them.

So I don’t have a number I’m working toward unless it’s a phone number, a wedding date and a move-in date to a beach house with a boat parked outside that comes with a hot man attached. One who wants me to be around for a long, long time so we can see the world together.

And I want to grant that wish.



Viva la resistance

August 24th, 2017, 6:55 PM by Goddess

Major props to Dreamhost for resisting that piece of shit dangling from Pennsylvania Avenue and not providing info about folks who planned to protest the stupid fuck’s latest vanity rally in THE CAMPAIGN THAT NEVER ENDS.

Sorry you have to deal with this DDoS shit that has been fucking up our nation, one day and election at a time. It’s a clear message from President Putin what we’re in for if we don’t behave in a fashion Mother Russia prefers.

Hard to find things to smile about in this fucked-up world. But like they teach you at Weight Watchers, happier people lose more weight. Today they asked us to list three things that made us happy. (And as my cool new leader said, it doesn’t have to be on par with splitting the atom.)

Going to a meeting made me happy today. Losing the same pound and a half that I’ve been losing and gaining for the past three months was a win too. And being a Dreamhost customer definitely rounds out today’s trio.



Promotion, all I ever wanted …

August 19th, 2017, 6:14 AM by Goddess

I’ve been sitting on a secret for a few days. That I was going to get a promotion.

Well, the news is out. My first official day doing the same ridiculous sum of work for a slightly higher salary sum was yesterday.

The news was bittersweet because two people were let go in the same two-sentence announcement.

“X and Y are out — Goddess is your new Queen.”

Not that I plan to give up the Goddess title. I mean, really. It’s who I’ve been my whole life.

But after five years of hollow promises from my former supervisor to correct the record and anoint me queen, it only took three months in the new gig to get my royal robe.

It was the surprise of a lifetime, though.

I figured they didn’t worship me as much as I deserved. And, to be fair, I wasn’t exactly in love either. All my friends had been fired and my BFF and I were waiting our turn.

So when I got a call a month ago to apply for the perfect role (title-wise and money-wise) … and I got that job OFFERED within a day’s time … I was ready to say yes.

But I didn’t. In fact, I said no.

Then they came back with more money. That was a hard one to say no to. I agonized. Literally lost sleep for days.

And when I envisioned accepting it, the only thing that made me happy was that I could deliver the exit-interview soliloquy I’ve been working on since Easter.

My BFF got an offer to leave too … and didn’t exactly have the same gut-punch feeling at the thought of leaving. She’s thrilled with her new salary and job. As my friend upstairs said, her only question was “What day do I start?” My debate was, “Will I be giving up a career I actually love?”

The second no was harder to arrive at. Yet, easier to say. Because, I knew. The job wasn’t for me. Not yet. Maybe not ever.

In the promotion process where I’m at, I mentioned the other offer. (That kind of mention comes with great risk. They don’t play with folks who have their eye on the door.)

But I wanted them to know about it. That I’d said no twice. That the position is still available, and that I’d told the interviewer to go about their business and maybe we can circle back in a month to see where they are and where my head is at.

Who knew that, in that month, I’d have the job I REALLY wanted?

Mom knew. Psychic.

I was badgering her for weeks with “what if” scenarios. Mostly what if I take this new gig and it’s even more of a flaming dumpster fire than my May and June were?

Eventually she said, “What if … you got the job you want at the company you’re at?”

That’s all I needed to call the would-be employer and said so long and thanks for all the fish.

And it’s not that July was any less of a dumpster fire. I just knew I had a ticket out. And I could get one at any time.

Once I had that, I got the perspective I so desperately needed.

That, and I had finally stood up to my new (super-nice but super-micro-managey) boss and told him to pipe down on the micro-management.

He did, for the most part. And life was better in Goddess-land.

Today, I have his job. Which, to be fair, I took over three months ago anyway and was frustrated that he was living on Easy Street while I was (voluntarily) busting my butt.

But the overlords were watching. They don’t miss a trick. And they tell me they had this plan for me since Day One.

Which may explain why they all tortured me so much. Man, getting sent home for my dress shorts, being talked about within earshot, having things I said half-ass repeated/twisted (I mean, talk about me all you want. Just quote me accurately), etc.

They just wanted me to be better, to be ready for what was in store.

Or maybe I’m reading too much into it.

Anyway, I’m happy with the outcome. Terrorized a bit by the process. But as they say, if you aren’t at the table, you’re on the menu. It was nice to be where I was this time, instead of the one guessing.

Congratulations have been quick and hearty. But everybody’s suddenly a two-handed economist:

“Oh that’s great. We love you. We know how hard you work. So deserved …

“But damn, why did (collateral damage) have to be let go?”

Not my boss, who I have to state again was truly the nicest boss I’ve ever had. But one of his friends got let go too. And everyone LOVES the friend. (No one really saw the boss. Least of all me.)

So the victory, as it were, has been hollow.

I was texting with my friend upstairs while all this was going on. She said fuck them. You busted your ass for how many years and didn’t get a drop of recognition before today? Did your superiors’ work and got none of the credit before now? Fuck them, you earned this. You deserve YOUR moment.

I did celebrate, by the way. I walked out and right over to the nearest Weight Watchers center. I hadn’t been to a meeting in YEARS. But that was the night I had planned to return. And damn it, I returned.

My new leader is fantastic. I’ve hated almost all the meetings I’ve attended in South Florida. But I am so happy I picked the leader and the night I did.

She asked what brought me back. I said I was always planning to return. And that I got promoted and I really wanted to go home and stuff myself full of wine and cake. But that my ultimate mental challenge was to stick to my original plan. And this proves I can do it.

She said “Honey, you celebrated in the best way possible. I have no doubt you’re going to ace this, too.”

It’s good to be queen.