72 hours

Our house sold in 72 hours at more than we were asking for. I couldn’t be happier for that. I’m still sad to be leaving our house after nearly three years, which doesn’t seem long enough, but I’m grateful for the time I spent there and the lessons I learned while overseeing projects, as well as seeing to my own projects.

I can feel myself slowly disconnecting from my house, like a love relationship ending.

I just hope they treat you as well as I treated you….

While all of this was happening over the weekend, I actually had three phone interviews for jobs! While I’m ever so grateful for this, it definitely was a challenge to do this, while getting the house ready for multiple showings. I had to clean up the house, get it looking as perfect as possible, turn on all the lights, light candles, etc., get two dogs and a kitten in the car, and keep them happy for hours, all while trying to prep for potential jobs. Luckily two of the interviews I was able to complete before the first showing, but the third was in my running car with two dogs in the back, one cat in my lap, in a library parking lot. The dogs did a fantastic job staying quiet, and little miss Edith slept most of the time.

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Neurotic Stan to my right, beady eyed Arthur behind me, and Edith on my shoulder – right before my interview.

Two of the jobs interviews went well, and the third….I didn’t feel into the company so I think I’ll refrain from that one. I have a follow-up today on my favorite of the three (yay!) so here’s to hoping!!

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Nobody puts baby Edith in a carrier

Now that the house selling is over, we can rest a little more, and just enjoy the house while we have it for one more month. I want to relax in my house, spend time enjoying it, adding any last fun memories I can before I have to fully let go.

This weekend we will be exploring Omaha for houses. I have a list of potential homes we’d like to see, and hopefully we can see all of them, barring that they’re still available by the time we get up there.

Anyone know a great realtor in the Omaha area?? Anyone?

 

 

A home is more than a home

We are looking at listing our house next week. Typing that, plus packing up boxes into a storage unit, makes this feel very real.

I know I’ll miss friends. We’ve made just a few here, but they will be missed. I’ve found a new love of food, especially the smoked meat varietals. Texas knows meat, especially brisket. I’ve found a new love for beer. Austin can brew. I’ve learned to appreciate the hill country and it’s arid, green-dappled landscapes. I’ve learned what it’s like to be a proud Texan and love Texas. There’s a pride going on here that people make fun of sometimes, but only because they don’t understand it. I’ll always remember that.  Continue reading “A home is more than a home”

Working on patience

We would like to move. We’ve been working on moving for a while now. On many occasions I’ve gotten impatient with the progress. I’ve started to focus so much on waiting for news, looking for a place to live, cleaning the house, getting it ready to list….that I’ve forgotten about everything else in life.

As important as it is to have the house looking nice for pictures, I don’t want to look back after we’ve moved (and I know it’ll eventually happen), thinking only about how much time I spent cleaning, not on any of the things we loved about Austin.

We recently made a list of a handful of restaurants we want to hit up one more time before we leave. So far we’ve hit none of them. This week and going forward, we’ll be refocusing our efforts on enjoying our time where we are before it’s gone. I’ve been in those moments of regret, looking back, thinking about how focused I was on the future, forgetting about my present. There will be plenty of time to wrap myself in those moments later.

Less dreaming and focusing on the future, and what may be, and more focusing on the here and now, while I’m still right here.

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Gratitude: Oliver Sacks

This is a collection of four short stories, or reflections, that Mr. Sacks wrote during the last few years of his life. The book read like a reflection on what really stood out in his life and what was important during those last few months on the earth. The musings he wrote were entertaining, insightful and sometimes humorous. For example, Oliver was a scientist by trade and had a love of the elements, so each year for his birthday, he would reflect on the element number of his age. His last one, 82, was Lead.

He also took an uplifting approach to life after learning that his cancer had returned again in his 80s. He reflected on the good in his life, and the gratitude he felt for the years that he had lived.

Even though I had different expectations for this book, it was still a good read and a great reminder to focus on this important things in life, to not worry about all the little piddly things that happen, and to be grateful for the day to day occurrences in our lives.

I’d recommend this short read as a reminder to seek out gratitude always.

Over the last few days, I have been able to see my life as from a great altitude, as a sort of landscape, and with a deepening sense of the connection of all its parts. This does not mean I am finished with life. On the contrary, I feel intensely alive, and I want and hope in the time that remains to deepen my friendships, to say farewell to those I love, to write more, to travel if I have the strength, to achieve new levels of understanding and insight.

Rating: 7.5/10

 

Don’t wait

I got a text this morning that my Grandfather died. To be honest, I wasn’t really sure how to process it. I’m not an outwardly emotional person but this weighed on me, for many reasons.

I only found out within the last couple of months that he had been sick. So sick that they’d put him in hospice care; that dreadful word that everyone knows means you’re on your death bed. My dad or his wife had texted me (they share a phone) as they do almost daily to tell me how the weather is in their part of the state, but this time it told me that he had gotten out of hospice and was doing better. I was taken aback. I hadn’t known that he was sick. I know he is in his 80s, but still had no idea that death had stopped by to loiter. Besides being shocked at this news, I was angry. Angry at my dad for not passing on the news to me earlier. We hadn’t had much of a relationship since he left when I was a teen, but I kind of figured he would have said something, and angry at myself for never checking in as often as I should. It usually was my grandmother calling me, seeing how I was doing and telling me how much she missed me, and me saying how much we want to visit, which is always true.

These moments, although have luckily been rare in my life, fill me up with regret. Regret at waiting for that moment to travel to see them. Regret at not staying in contact. Regret at having my pride get in the way, waiting for them to call me.

Logic can’t always win at these things either. The husband has more reason and tells me to go see them. As my regret hits, my logic fights with me and says it’s too expensive. We have car repairs and new tires coming up. Something is messing with the cruise control in the other car, yada yada. But the husband reminds me that money cannot substitute for seeing family. That I’ll regret not getting out there. As unfortunate as a funeral is, it’s sometimes the only way we see family.

I don’t want to look back at this and add to my regrets. Time to plan a flight.

Encouragement & a Hedgehog

This last week or so has been trying. It seems like everyone has been on edge and people have had a problem with just about everything I did at work. Well last week, I said Enough! And I still believe that now. The week ended badly but the weekend was good and I intend for this week to go well too. Besides getting outside in the beautiful Texas weather, we got the house cleaned up, I sold a couple of items hanging around the house, we worked out, tried a new restaurant, and I applied for a job, and am 90% done with another application (I forgot how time consuming they were). It’s going to be a short week in the office (which is always a good thing), and then we fly out to see some friends in Phoenix!

But until then, I have to go to work, be productive, deal with some nasty attitudes, and work on the final stages of my guard training. Fortunately, no more tests, I’ve passed them all, but now I have writing to do. Not fun writing, like, If You Could Be Any Animal in the World, What Would You Be? (An Eagle or a Hawk), but more like, Write your Biography and Talk about Yourself. Ugh.

But I can make it through this week. I won’t let negative people affect me with their cancerous attitudes and I’ll press on with this writing so I have the free time while I’m on vacation. For some encouragement, I found this great picture.

Enjoy!

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Courage

I have this feeling that there’s going to be a lot of change in 2016. I have a lot of training to go through, certifications to attain, and we may possibly be moving to another state.

Change is curious to me. I can handle change at work just fine, but change in the home life is stressful. Fear overtakes me and every worst case scenario comes crashing down.

I don’t do resolutions, but I do want to change the way approach….change.

Instead of intense fear of something unknown, I want to change it into excitement for something new.

Instead of thinking about everything that could go wrong, I want to think about what could go right.

Instead of cowering and feeling timid, I want to reach out with courage.

Maybe it’s naive to think this way, but sitting in the dark puddle of cynicism and self-doubt doesn’t really come with any benefits, so why not try the high road for once?

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Happy

I think some people are better at being happy on a regular basis than others. Some people have to work harder at feeling good, especially if something doesn’t go as planned. I’m one of those people. I’m not smiley by default and I don’t always go the optimism route when something goes wrong, but this is something I’ve been trying to work on, and I got the opportunity to test it out when I recently found out I didn’t get the job that I thought I was a shoe-in for.

One of the things  I’ve been trying to do more of lately is to stop and think before I react to something that’s just happened. In this case, I surveyed the outcome of not getting this job. On the down side, it would have been a huge bump in pay (around a 25% hike). It was also a few miles closer to the house and I knew who my new boss would be. I heard from him and another co-worker of his, that the employees are friendly and easy going, which I learned first-hand from the board who interviewed me. The interview had gone great and conversation flowed well. These thoughts definitely made me sad and a bit depressed that I didn’t get the job.

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But looking at the not-so-bad parts about not getting the job outweighed the bad. I still had all my vacation. I hate starting a new job and having zero vacation to use for months. I like my free time! We are planning on taking a week-long trip in November and possibly a trip to MN in December. This would have been hampered, if not stopped, if I had gotten the offer and couldn’t choose my start date. Even though the job was technically a few miles closer to my house, I would have to take smaller side streets to get to it, and it would have negated travel time. Yeah, a bump in pay is always nice (especially 25%), BUT we are doing fine as we are now, and money isn’t a top priority on my list when looking for jobs. I certainly wouldn’t take a pay cut, but it’s not the end-all factor when I look for a job.

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So when I weigh out these factors, it stops me from running to my bed and crying into my pillow. There are so many more things to worry about than my next job. Maybe there’s a reason I am staying where I am. I can’t see the future and I can’t see how everything is tangled together so for now, I’m going to sit back, go to work, and work on all the other things I have going on in my life. I’ve been blessed with a lot of positives in my life and a lot of good opportunities that some have not had, so I want to focus on these, because these are what I have. Focusing on what you do not have can only lead to misery and heart break.

Choose what you focus on

Yesterday didn’t go as planned. A lot of things happened, and there are a lot of things that I could focus on, if I choose to focus on any of it at all.

First off, I had to drive almost two hours south to take a test that would take approximately one hour. Not the greatest thing to have to do first thing in the morning on a Monday. The test was early so I left at 5:30am to give myself extra time, which was good because on my way there, the car died twice. Not helpful when I’m trying to stay calm on test day (I don’t do well with tests -lots of anxiety). I finally get to the test center, took the test (pass – woo!!) and headed straight to the dealership to drop the car off. I got to the service station and they told me they can’t get to it til Wednesday (UGH), BUT they have a loaner for me (phew), so they drove me to the rental facility. The rental wasn’t ready yet, so I had some time to kill, so I walked over to a cafe and got some crepes.

When you think about it, I could focus on the fact that my car died multiple times and is in the shop, that I had to spend more time than I’d planned out of work, that I spent more time at a dealership than at a testing facility, that I wasn’t able to get some accounting work done because I had to run my car to the shop, and that Monday overall was just a big mess.

Or I could focus on the good. I passed my test, which was the most important thing I was focusing on. It’s done, out of the way, and I’m happy about that. The people at the dealership were great in helping me almost instantly, got me a loaner, which is wonderful, got a ride over to the rental facility, and even called to make sure that I got over to the rental facility just fine. I had some awesome crepes while waiting for my rental. They were thin and smooth, with strawberries, walnuts and a sweet creme sauce on top. I have a flexible job that lets me work at home, so I still got a lot of work done.

How we approach the day and look back on events can really effect your reflection of the past and your future outlook as well. Remember to try to focus on the good. It definitely doesn’t always come first or naturally, but it’s worth the effort.

Focus on the good