Sunday, September 19, 2010

In Search of Happiness

Since I last wrote here (well under a week), life has once again gone all topsy turvy for us. It boggles my mind how rapidly plans can change. Thankfully, I've gotten really good at taking it all in stride. Time was when I would have come unhinged at so much, so fast always coming at me.

Karin has been enduring a job from hell for the past five months. She found this position while looking for a *part time* job; something to supplement her police pension which is on the smallish side. This job however, was full time. But it spoke to her because it was the PERFECT match for her qualifications. Since coming to Tucson this was the very first time such a good fit came along, so she jumped on it. And being full time, the money would be an added bonus, especially since we've done nothing but struggle financially (and by struggle I do mean losing a house and each of us going bankrupt!) since moving here. We were excited to finally have the chance to get caught up and maybe even be able to do some saving for a change. But the dream was short lived. It only took a couple of weeks before she realized what a nightmarish place she had hired into. What was supposed to be a 40 hr work week became more like 50 hrs. Her days off more often than not required her to be there for training or meetings or coverage for short staffing. She went from not working at all to being at work constantly, and while there pretty much running her ass off nonstop doing the work of about three people. Most days she hasn't even been able to take a lunch break. The owner of the company is a micro-manager who can't even manage to run a thirteen employee operation without endless drama. Karin's position has been in existence for less than a year and she is already the third person to fill it. No one has been able to take the stress of the position. Karin is third in command there, but she is treated like slave labor. She is a supervisor but is not trusted to do that job. It's a complete joke. Both she & her immediate boss gave notice about a month ago that they were leaving. But the owner had meetings with them, found out their complaints and promised to make the needed changes to improve the situation. They both agreed to stay. And things were kind of okay for two weeks. And then it all went south again. I could go on and on about just how bad things are there. Makes my job look like an expertly run organization full of good will towards man.   ;-)

I should add that Karin took a big hit physically for the job. Within just a few weeks her stress level was through the roof and she was in pain. She had to see a chiropractor sometimes twice a day for awhile just to get her to where she could tie her own shoes. And then came the need for weekly massage which was so gut wrenching for me due to her level of pain that I had to turn her over to others; I just couldn't emotionally handle working on her anymore. She's much, much better physically now (thank you Lee & Rudi!!!) but still stressed to the max. Several days ago, she reached the end of her rope. I pretty much told her it had to end. The job was going to have to go once and for all. She was beside herself because she knew we wouldn't be able to stay in this house if she didn't have that job. But she knew she couldn't do it anymore. I told her I was fine with moving; her sanity was more important to me. We had to go round and round on this a few times before she believed me! Hell once I said it was fine I was already emotionally detaching from the house. Not a problem. It's just a building. It's a great house and the pool/yard are awesome. But it's been a lot of upkeep too. And up here in Oro Valley we miss being closer to stuff in Tucson sometimes.

So we decided to go out looking at apartments to see what our options were in trying to find something we wouldn't be totally cramped in with our pets! After two different rental houses here we knew they came with hidden costs like yard upkeep and higher utilities. And taking care of a pool? The chemicals alone are more than I want to shell out again if I can help it. We looked at a bunch of places in one day but came back to the first place we looked at. What we love about it: at almost 1300 sq ft it's only 300 sq ft less than this house, it has a decent walled in front yard space that us & the dogs can enjoy, laundry in the unit, rooms almost as big as here, a dog park, two pools (one of which is heated!!!), perfect orientation to the mountains & desert, and the biggie.....should save us about $400 a month between rent, utilities, & gas savings. Now Karin can leave her job and take her time finding a happier place.

There is always a downside of course. Now we have to move....again. Been in Tucson four yrs. now. And this will be our fourth residence here. I hate moving with a passion. And we are going to really have to cut down on our belongings since we won't have garage space for storage anymore. On the one hand I love the idea of thinning things out. We try to do that anytime we move to some extent. But it can be really hard to part with some things. And a lot of our furnishings are family heirlooms of Karin's. So it makes it challenging. One very good thing about this move is that we will have four weeks from the date of possession of the new place until we have to vacate this house. So we can gradually take over car loads of stuff and then only have to move the large pieces at the end. Oh another downside about the move; basically going to have to pay double rent for October. Will be paying for both places! Yuck. That's why Karin will wait to leave her job for a few weeks so we can cover that.

We are done being slaves to a house. We are done being slave labor to those who are greedy with their profits. We are done with not having the energy to enjoy life. We are done fighting stupid battles. Life is too short and we were meant to be happy!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Welcome to my world; have a seat, enjoy a beverage & let the show begin. :)

I decided to start a blog as a way to both stretch my writing muscles and to tear down, brick by brick, the walls I've spent most of my life building. I have lots of secrets!  I've practically made a career of hiding myself from the world. I've decided that all this self-censorship weighs me down; keeps me from being my truest self. I have lots of stories to tell. And hopefully, I'll learn a few new things about myself as I write. I like that idea  very much! When I set up this blog I put it into the adult content category because at some point I will include things of an adult nature. I don't see that being frequent though. When I do, I'll always put a disclaimer of some sort at the beginning....I promise!

So you may be wondering what the title of my blog means. I have this phrase tattooed on me. So I hear the question a lot. My first feeling at being asked what it means is that if you have to ask, you probably aren't going to get it anyway. And I kind of hate trying to explain it. It's intensely personal to me. It's a long story/short story thing where I could just give you the short story but you wouldn't get the depth of it's meaning to me. But to give you the long story would be ridiculously long winded and more than likely boring for you. I'd like to avoid that.

So short story is that while in a group therapy setting, we were given the task of creating a poster board depicting visualizations of our dream life; concrete and non-concrete things. We went through bunches of magazines to find pictures & words that we could cut out and use. I found this ad in a magazine that was for some RV association. The ad showed a couple inside their RV with a huge picture window out the back of it. Behind them was the most picturesque landscape ever. The kind that makes you think "I want to go THERE!". The tag line in the ad was something to the effect that life should be about the "goosebumps, tingly sensations & butterflies"; those moments that make you feel connected to the energy of life. Well, I had just left behind a life of doing the things that brought OTHER people those moments but that mostly missed the mark for myself. Taking those words to heart meant that for me, from then on, I wanted to be sure that I was filling my life with those kinds of moments.

I'm glad I got it tattooed on myself. It really does serve to keep reminding me. Everyday life has a way of distracting you from your dreams and numbing out the "goosebumps". But that phrase keeps me focused on the good stuff; the meaningful stuff. The stuff of my dreams.