Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The tragedy of jogging

Somehow, I have become a jogger. I used to be a runner, but I am now sufficiently slow that I do not feel that "run" is the verb that accurately captures my forward momentum, or lack thereof.

As you have probably guessed from the title of this post, this is not a development that I am pleased with.

A friend wants to run the Portland Marathon in 2016, a race that I've already completed three times. Immediately after finishing my most recent marathon (not Portland), I swore I would never run another again, but as my running partner prophesied, I'd change my mind. (She didn't. She's still over marathons.) Which means I have a year and 5 months to turn myself not only back into a runner, but back into a marathoner.

I have several books related to running, including anatomy, specific workouts, and even a few memoirs. The first step is, honestly, to lose some weight. Not because I'm trying to be skinny, but because I'm about 25 pounds over my  marathoning weight, and that's a lot of extra weight to carry for 26 miles. (I blame all of the thug muscles I've gained doing CrossFit. And the squats. Don't get me wrong, I still love CrossFit. But for me, CrossFit and marathons are not compatible.)

I'm trying to up my running (and cardio in general) to get to a consistent number of miles a week so that I have a base on which to build a training platform. (At least I sound like I know what I'm doing!) Oh, wait, I do know what I'm doing! I'm becoming a runner again. I'm becoming a marathoner again. I'm transforming my self and my life.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Virginia does not share hot chocolate!

My company is doing a 30-day meditation challenge, in which everyone who is interested is invited to meditate for 15 minutes a day for 30 days. We have some group sessions on campus, and we receive links to online resources, as well as daily inspirations. This is today's inspiration:

As I'm sure you can imagine, I don't find this particularly inspiring. 

I signed up for this meditation challenge because meditating is part of my transformation ideology. And actually, deliberateness is, too. I want my life to be less hurried, less rushed, less frenzied. But I find that whole sentence above to be confusing. 

I don't want to come back to this day, as if it was the final day of my life. This day has been spent at work, doing workish things. I would rather come back to Saturday, when I bought Captain America the smallest hot chocolate in the world because he wanted two sips of mine and I told him that Virginia does not share hot chocolate! (Also, I asked him, remember that time we went out to dinner and I was starving and you finally took me to get something to eat? And he told me, that's every time we go out to dinner. He understands me so well!)
This is so much more inspiring, because it is so silly! And, Captain America reported that it was THREE sips of hot chocolate! He even got a bonus sip!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

This is why I get nothing done at work, even when I don't spend the day in meetings.

I show up at work this morning and immediately attend a meditation session (yes, I work for one of those kinds of companies).

Then I get back to my desk and I sit down to finish listening to the Excel training I started yesterday (by Jeff Lenning--he's crazy enthusiastic about excel. I'm crazy enthusiastic about anything that automates my job and therefore makes my life easier. Or at least allows me to spend less time at work. Unlike writing this blog post.)

Except, I have a friend who's looking for a Conservation Biologist to talk to a high-schooler with leukemia about what her job is like. And I know a Conservation Biologist. So then I spend some time connecting the two of them. The C.B. is currently driving across the country, and may or may not be headed through Spokane, WA, where Cody makes Disney-themed drinks. (I can't make this stuff up. As far as I'm concerned, this might be the only reason to go to Spokane, and I haven't even had one of his drinks.) So, of course, it is basically my civic duty to inform the C.B. of this.

But my new manager wants me to look into getting a company-issued phone, so I start to research that, and I reach out to the woman I'll be shadowing to see if she actually has a company-issued phone, and we get into a whole conversation on when I'll be moving to my new location so I can actually be of some use to my new team.

At the same time, I coordinated a women's group lunch to make sure all of the attendees understand that we have two lunches this week--one with our group and one with another group. Then I had to remove an attendee who TOLD ME LAST MONTH that she wanted to be part of the group, so I added her to everything, and then TOLD ME TODAY that she is too busy. She's an administrative assistant. You'd think she'd have a better understanding of scheduling.

Meanwhile, I'm also taking a Facebook class or something on becoming a Beach Body Coach--which I am killing, by the way--today we are supposed to 1) Make a healthy choice. Meditation it is; 2) Reach out to a friend--nailed it! I've reached out to, and connected, two of them FOR PHILANTHROPIC REASONS, and it's not even lunch; and 3) do something to grow yourself. I guess I could count mediation for this one and then do something else healthy, like not eat out of the snack drawer. If only I could get paid to be this awesome! But, tragically, this isn't really my day job. It's only what I've been doing at my day job.

Monday, June 15, 2015

I might be turning into Marlon Brando. Or not.

Basically this is a post with a lot of pictures. So it's a lot like a children's book, but even more random.

I've lost my voice. Which is generally sub-optimal, but even more so since my instant message communicator at work was causing my Outlook to crash. So basically I had to learn morose code to communicate today. It's a lot like Morse code, except you can also use it to communicate with Grumpy Cat.

(It's a good thing I can entertain myself, since I'll probably have no friends left after I force them all to learn morose code.)

Anyway, a coworker said I sound like Marlon Brando. When I try to talk. With my non-voice. Which I suppose is a step up from yesterday when I sounded like a drowning Muppet.

At any rate, I told said coworker that I was going to take a class at our gym taught by an incredibly enthusiastic 62-year old. This is him playing the role of Cupid on Valentine's Day. Obviously he suffers from low self-esteem.

Coworker says, I don't have the energy to take Cupid's class.

I say, I haven't worked out in a week. I might be turning to mush. Sort of like Marlon Brando when he got old.

Young Marlon Brando was hot. Old Marlon Brando looks like everyone's great-uncle Nelson. Which is fine for the great-uncles of the world, but not so much for a woman.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Career Change: It is hard

Another post, that, for one reason or another, I stored away as a draft.

About six years ago, I graduated from a private university with an MBA in Finance. That I have not used. You see, prior to that I had been an accountant. Being an accountant is very boring, but I liked working with numbers, so I thought finance was a natural transition.

As it turns out, it is much, much harder to move from the world of accounting to the world of finance than really makes any sense at all.

So, I started reaching out to people in finance at my company. They offered the normal suggestions--networking, informational interviews, and taking on project work to gain experience. I've done all of those things. Okay, technically, I have not taken on project work--I've offered my time to a variety of groups, but no one has accepted.

I joined the women's network at my company, the Lean In-style circles offered by my company, and I've participated in a mentor program, all to try to gain exposure to different people, different career options, different options for how I should proceed.

Then, I reached out to someone at my company who has successfully made the transition from accounting to finance. And he had the same advice--namely, informational interviews, project work, and the like. All of the same stuff that hasn't been working for me. He did, however, have some ideas as to what "additional experience" I would need, as well as some of the non-technical barriers to entry. It was actually the most useful conversation I've had on the topic.

While I would like to stay at the company where I'm currently working, I've realized that staying might not take my career in the direction I want to go. I've set up a meeting with a recruiter to see what sort of outside next steps I can take, or what other career options there are for me.

A few weeks ago, I googled how to leave a career in accounting, but most of the advise was directed at people who wanted to leave public accounting--and nearly all of it focused on getting a job in the private sector.

In a conversation with a self-employed friend, she pointed out that women are more likely to say things like "I was very lucky..." and men are more likely to say "I did this..." when talking about how they shaped their career. My company really pushes employees to "own their careers" but it's a little bit of a trap. I've discovered that what they really mean, but don't say, is that they want employees to own their careers within the parameters management prefers.

Unfortunately, I think luck plays a very big part in successful career change. A lot of it seems to be being in the right place at the right time with the right people. I'm still trying to figure out how to make my own luck, but I've stopped working so hard at doing all of the things I'm "supposed" to do--it was too much effort with little payback.

I do have some feelers out there for different prospects, and I've been thinking way more outside the box about what I want to do. I'm trying to make some big changes in my life, which is a little scary, but I also know that I'm more scared of staying put.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

The worst Lent EVER

I found the below post in my "draft" file. I'm not sure where I was going with it at the time, but one of the things I'm working on in my Transform campaign is to figure out a food lifestyle that makes me happy, keeps me satiated, and is healthy. It's a lot of work to eat well, because it involves a lot of planning, and I don't particularly like to cook. But I also know that I feel better when I eat well. As Gretchen Rubin, over at The Happiness Project proclaims, one of her personal commandments is to "be Gretchen." Basically, this means that she needs to do what is right for her, not what she "thinks" she should be doing, and not what is right for other people. 

Okay, so here is the actual post:

My CrossFit gym (I REFUSE to call it a "box") is doing what my friend accurately described as The. Worst. Lent. EVER. It's basically this thing where, for 30 days, you can't eat anything fun whatsoever. I'm sure that if I managed to keep my shit together and not stab anyone ("
stabby" is a real emotion if you're from New Jersey...it essentially means angry, but has the colorful implication that someone might end up in a garbage can. Because that's how we roll), I'd actually lose a ton of weight. But I'd be the bitchiest version of myself, and the reality is that I'd probably gain it all back as soon as I stopped.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Energy Drain

At least once a week, you'll see an article on Facebook about getting rid of "toxic friends." But I have sort of the opposite of a toxic friend.

I had a friend who was nice, and sweet, and generous, and always up for anything. When she asked "how are you?" she actually wanted to listen to an answer, instead of just exchanging a brief greeting.

And somehow, I found her exhausting. I would spend a day with her, and I would come home completely depleted, despite the fact that everything that had happened had been fun and pleasant and nice and enjoyable.

For a while, I felt guilty about avoiding this friend. I couldn't pinpoint what the problem was, and I felt bad about not wanting to spend time with someone who was so nice.

In the end, I decided it mattered less WHY this particular relationship was exhausting, and more that it simply was. I would never suggest to someone else that they should spend time with someone they found exhausting, even if that person was nice, so why should I?

I haven't seen this person in over a year, and sometimes I still feel like I should tell her why I "broke up" with her, although to be fair, she hasn't contacted me, either, so maybe the feeling was mutual. In the end, the conclusion I came to, was it was exhausting for me to be around her because I always felt like I needed to be patient, and sweet, and nice, and basically not me. Pretending is exhausting.