A Very Happy Halloween!

DS called during the noon hour and offered me the position. I answered yes with super enthusiasm!

He negotiated on my behalf and got me the top salary I was looking for. As of November 17th, I will finally be able to fully support my family. AND I will have a career for which I studied and obtained my MPA. Within less than 6 months I will have achieved two of my major goals – one academic and one career.

I am truly stunned. I have heard about these things happening for others and I think some part of me began to see it as myth. I can honestly say that it does happen. All those odd choices I’ve made…. All those missteps along the way…. Here I am, able to take off on this path that I wanted but thought might never really happen.

My honey and I are talking about making some changes now that this major catalyst has happened. We are fatigued with the “student lifestyle” we’ve been living, with the associated emotional, psychological, and financial pains that tag along with it.

For now, tonight, I am simply enjoying the moment. There is much that needs to be done this week – studying, housework, and spending as much time as possible with my boys. Then a week and a half of hard work wrapping up my old position before I head off to frantically reconcile the November accounts in my new position.

This next 6 weeks will fly by and then the holiday break will be here, along with the end of my double classes. I’ll likely have just a moment to stop, assess how relieved I am, then January will pop up and this bright shiny new year, 2012, will start going. I see improved mental and financial health, as well as a fresh degree and a start to my first real career.

Here’s to a very happy Halloween!



Sunday evening and no stress

What an unusual Sunday this has been! No worry. No stress. No frantic completion of homework, while wondering what the work week will bring. It’s an amazing thing to come to bed time on a Sunday night without the tension building in my shoulders and the pressure in my jaw.

That’s not to say I don’t have things going on tomorrow. I’m the “dry ice” parent at my son’s Halloween party at school in the afternoon, so the wee dude and I are going to be off hunting down the stuff, as well as the tongs for handling it. I’m also in charge of punch, so I’ll need to find a drink container that will hold the liquids. And there’s a kitchen to be swamped out, laundry to be done, and vacuuming. Nothing that stresses me out. Well, perhaps the thought of keeping 8,9 and 10 year olds from getting ice burns, but other than that, it’s all cake.

It was another lovely day, starting off with a mother/daughter breakfast, then costume shopping with boys. Got the makings for both a zombie and a kitty at Walmart. Weird place, but handy when you need a lot of different bits and pieces. No driving all over hell’s half-acre!

My honey is studying and the dog is sighing. I’m tired, but not feeling frantic. I’d say it’s a very good day.

I’m going to head off to write my reminder list of things to be done tomorrow and I’ll write up the thank you cards for my Friday interviewing team. That will be one duty for tomorrow morning – dropping off the cards at the office. I’d love to simply allow myself to forget until the official word comes, but I want to tell them that I appreciated the time they took to talk to me.

All is well in this little part of the world. It will be interesting to see what tomorrow brings.


Zombies, kids and a family day!

Wow. It has been a great day! Bren had fun in basketball and we cheered like crazy people. Then it was his chess lesson and then downtime at home for a 1/2 day before we headed downtown to watch the zombies dancing at City Hall. We finished off with dessert for the kids and cheese for the grownups. We got home late to tuck the kids into bed and we’re all smiling, even as we’re exhausted.

It was a beautiful fall day, with a balmy evening. Aidan was a trooper and lasted through the whole thing, which is pretty darned good for a 4-year old!

All of the anxiety, stress and border-line misery of this last week evaporated on the heels of a day with my family. I thought a lot about things and I realized that it will all work out just fine. I’ve got a couple of back-up plans formulating in my mind, so I’m sure that I’ll survive whatever the decision might be. As with all things in this world, there are truly pro’s and con’s to every choice we make. The nice thing is this: I will have some sort of resolution next week. No more wondering, questioning, or worrying about outcomes.

I also get a week with my small guy and two days with my big guy. No work. Just housework, homework and fun with kids. My big honey and I might try for a little “mom and dad” time, but that might just be more fun than my system can handle at this time.

Well. I’m pooped. Time to try for sleep. Two nights in a row of really poor sleep killed me today. I’m hoping that tonight will be a nice change. We’ll see.

Here’s to family, zombies, and the end of the day…

Insomnia blog 400.2

Yes. That would be exaggeration. I’m ok with that since it’s not quite 3 in the morning and I have to be up at 6:30am to start the day. Ugh.

Had the interview. Feeling pessimistic, but there are numerous reasons for that to be the case. I’m trying to turn it around in my mind, but the frenetic week has set the tone for my thinking and it’ll take a day or two to turn it around.

I do wonder if my pessimism isn’t a “pre-coping” tactic that I’m automatically falling into because I’m trying to mitigate the disappointment if I don’t get the position. Too, I wonder if wanting something this much is really healthy? Not sure on that front and certainly open to debate.

I have a wicked headache and working with the cpap has made me bloaty (swallowing air, dammit). I’m calling the doctor’s office this next week, while I’m on vacation, to discuss whether or not I should consider a different mask, even though I like the nasal pillows. I’m finding that I’m very tense trying to go to sleep because of my concern about my jaw dropping open. This is a realistic thing to be tense over, since my jaw does drop open once I am deeply asleep and the chin strap only minimally helps (and it’s hot on my face).

I feel like this can be resolved with consideration of a different mask type, so I’m not concerned. I was warned that it could happen and I’m mentally prepared for it. I also wonder if the pressure is high enough. A smidge more would be more comfortable for me, but he may disagree.

So. The elephant in the room… The interview. I really don’t know. They interviewed 3 of us today and will be offering it to one of us next week. At least this means the waiting and pain will be brief. I am extremely critical of myself, with a high degree of perfectionism about things that I promise I will attempt to lose. For now, though, I find that I have little confidence about the interview as a whole. I certainly feel that I did well in portions, but is that enough to overcome the areas where I was weak?

I am not good with unknowns. I struggle with control issues and beyond the application submission and the interview itself, I have very little that I can do for the situation. Yes, it could be said that is always the case and I agree… it doesn’t mean that I like it. I can’t step up to them and say, “Hey, you need to give me a chance because I can truly do this.”

Unfortunately, my swiss cheese resume is harming me. And from that I could say that staying at financial aid would improve that aspect for me. Truthfully, other than the incredibly high stress and no possibility of a pay raise for an extended period, it’s a good job, with wonderful people. As I told my current boss, it is no poor second if I don’t get this position that I just interviewed for.

It’s more a case of wishing that I had done as well as I know that I could. Then if I didn’t get the position, I could know that it was because the candidate that was chosen simply had better credentials and it wasn’t for a lack in anything I might have done.

Well, we’ll see. This mean headache is not doing much better, but I think I need a bit of sleep before the busy day begins. We have Bren’s first basketball game this morning, then chess (then mum needs to take a nap), then haunting second hand stores for “zombie gear” before going to see the Thriller public performance this evening.

happy Saturday morning,

I got the interview!

I’ve been bouncing off the walls. I’ve got the interview. AND I found out that I got A’s in both of the classes I just finished up – now I hope I can do as well in this next pair. Or rather, in an effort to seek to avoid perfectionism, I hope I can finish them with B’s or better. (Does that work for “avoiding perfectionism”?)

Now I’m torn between the polar ends of optimism and pessimism where the interview is concerned. At first I felt really confident. Then I began to ponder all the ways in which I am not an absolutely perfect candidate (see above). I told my honey tonight that the thing I can lean on to overcome that “lack of perfection” is my ability to learn new things incredibly fast. So yes, I’m not a the perfect, zero-needs candidate, but boy – could I pick up the information I need quickly. PLUS I know where to look for that information on campus.

Friday, 10am, I’ll be interviewing for the position. 1 hour. Three people.

I’m incredibly fortunate that a great friend at work is going to help me practice my answers. Then Thursday evening I will have the chance to meet with my psychologist and work out anti-stress techniques to make it through the morning and the interview.

I’m likely going to head off for some shopping Thursday evening so I can ensure that I have fresh stockings (plus an extra pair because nervous fingers like to punch right through hose) and perhaps a power outfit to make me look like the “sharp tack” I know that I can be.

Or should I use some other image? Maybe. See? I can’t stop picking at things.

Actually, it’s not as bad as I’m portraying. I’m psyched up and happy, yet conservative about how I’m preparing for it. I’ve done research on the group (which is where I worked 1 1/2 years ago, so this is not a huge stretch). I’ve looked into the other two people I will be interviewing with, besides my old boss. Not much info on the one but good information on the other.

I’ve pulled up the grants management information and resources that are available on the university website. I’ve looked over my cover letter, my resume and the job requirements… Still don’t think I’m perfect, but I do think I’ve got a better than decent shot. I want to live up to my old boss’s good impression of me and I want to exceed it. I want the other two people who interview me to see the same potential and to NOT need to be persuaded by DS (if he would even do that – he is very ethical).

At each stage of this, I have been hit with huge doubts: Was it going to be posted? Would I get an interview? Was I imagining how great the conversation was?

Somewhere along the line I developed this lack of self-confidence. I put myself into a box and kept myself there a long time. Even now, with all of the work I’ve put in during my time in the financial aid office, I doubt my abilities there and I feel like I’m not doing well enough.

So in answer to all of that self-doubt, here I go…

I’ve finished 2 1/2 years of working at least, if not more than, full time while working on my graduate degree. I’ve got a decent GPA with a couple oopses due to life. I made it through class while suffering an August in the financial aid office – TWO years in a row (A’s both times). I’ve got two great kids who are sweet and normal and know they are loved. I’ve got a huggy dog who is a tad co-dependent, but he still gets loves and pets from me. I’ve got a husband that I support through a degree program that makes him only slightly crazy. I’ve got a great trio of kids that are my friends and who give wonderful friendship to our kids. I’ve made it from front line staff to professional level and even though I wanted to give up a 1000 times in the last 17 months, I’m still plugging away at it.

I could count all the things that are wrong, from my overweight, out of shape body, to my ridiculously messy house, but the things that matter most to me and my family are good. I have love. I’ve done a lot. I am NOT lazy. And I’m not crazy or moody… I’m just tired and stressed out.

Still, I’ve managed and I’ve accomplished some great things. Today has been a great day and no matter the outcome of the interview Friday, things are good.

Now, please, please, please, let me do a good job! That door has been opened and that hope is present. I would like to see what it feels like when I walk through.


me and my dog

We’re sitting here, me and my dog.  He’s an old guy, with stiff joints and the propensity to sleep for a good portion of the day.  Once in a while, though, he thinks he’s still young and plays with the kids – doing the “butt tuck run.”  He has a really good heart and his fur is still soft, even more so now that the weather is getting cooler.  I like to just sit with him next to me – not the invasive, what are you doing thing that he likes to do when I’m sitting in a “private” spot, but the gentle, hey it’s good to be hanging with you thing that comes at the end of the day.

I know that we don’t have a ton of years left and I keep hoping to ignore the signs that he’s losing the battle with age.  There’s the lightening around his muzzle and the soreness I can see in his back.   Life isn’t the greatest for him these days, with everyone so busy, coming and going.  Still, I hope he knows that he’s loved… that the pats and treats are for him.

He’s watching me right now, wishing I’d put down the laptop and give him scritches on his head.

…so I will.

grant me patience

I have to wait until next Thursday in order to find out what my grades are for this last pair of classes.  Bummer.  My next two start on Sunday.  It’d be nice to have a bit more of a break, but I suppose that’s the price I’m paying to get through quickly.  It does mean that the January session and the March session are going to be relatively laid back, considering I’m doing 1 class per session for those two periods.

So I’ve been laid low by a viral cold.  Miserable thing, with sinus pain and coughing/sneezing/dripping nose.  Very poor timing in my estimation.  I could use time to work on the house.  Instead, I’m feeling miserable and have no energy.


Yeah.  No patience AND I’m sick.  Good times.