Working at Home: Not Glamorous

Most people think because I work at home my life is put together and organized.

That is so far from the truth.

If you take a peek at what a day in the life of me is you will realize that it’s not glamorous.

I usually wake up around 7:45 am, start the coffee, feed the cats and walk the dog.

Depending on the schedule, I may or may not make it to the shower before sitting down and having my first conference call chugging my first cup of coffee.

Sometimes afterwards I am running a college student to school or work at this point.

Usually then I’m catching up with our team and answering emails and yes, still in pajamas.

Most of the time I don’t have a lot of face to face meetings when I’m working from home and if I’m lucky, I slow down enough to hop in the shower over lunch and change out of one set of pajamas and throw on yoga pants to get me through the afternoon.

Somewhere in there I sometimes throw a load of laundry in and run the vacuum. Depending if it’s a solo dinner or a family one, I’ll prep dinner too.

My afternoon is putting out fires, working on project plans and making sure I get some stuff done before 5 pm hits. A lot of days my day ends astound 5 pm, a lot of days….it doesn’t.

Needless to say once work is “over” I’m still at home. It makes it hard to leave even though I usually need to hit up the gym.

There are days that I go an entire day not seeing a single person (other than my daughter) and sometimes I wonder if that is a good or bad thing.

It’s interesting when you see nothing but the four walls that surround you from 8 am – 11 pm and not much changes along the way.

Life at home isn’t glamorous at all. I don’t get as much done when it comes to being a Suzi’s Homemaker, I’m not at yoga during my lunch hour and I am pretty sure I can’t guarantee a hot meal that may or may not be more than ramen or macaroni and cheese.

Let’s also consider this week coming up – I haven’t known what day it is for a couple of weeks thanks to the crazy holidays. Because of that I have been off my game at work, off my personal schedule and for sure off my fitness and health schedule.

Tomorrow starts a new week and I, for one, am grateful. I have a new journal, better outlook and lots of books to read. My life moving forward is all about personal growth. While I spend countless hours working and am very dedicated to my job, I also recognize that I am slacking in taking care of myself.

I am pretty lucky that for Christmas I got a few things that keep my desk at home feeling cozy and warm when needed.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my desk at work and enjoy spending time there, but the introverted side of me likes the pajama, and lets get real no bra, side of working at home.

As I crawl into this week I am grateful for the mix of being able to work at home and away.

Until next time may you find peace in all you do.

The Year of Me

Here we go, another year has passed me by and another year is starting. In the past I have written about the year passed and the new year, but this year I kind of want to just talk about me. Selfish, right?

I have learned that I need to be selfish sometimes. Do what works for me, what makes me happy and take care of my needs. For example, I started to go to the gym again and have learned that I really like yoga. I mean who says that they like yoga? It’s hard and it’s challenging but guess what, if I don’t go a couple times a week I am so crabby.

As much as I am pretty good about eating right, I have stopped the whole diet merry-go-round. Instead I eat what tastes good, but do it in moderation and it will all be okay and taste good at the end.

I had some rough times, but we all do. I lost some good people and there were some sad times, but I know it is all about how we come out of the hard times and shine into the good times that matter. It was a weird year in so many ways, Sam was away at school and over the summer, then she came back, and so I went from being an empty nester to having a college student back at home. It has been a challenge, but so much fun.

Animals are amazing, I have really enjoyed fostering for DASH this year. We have had copious amounts of dogs and cats and our animals have adjusted fairly well. We lost sweet Logan, but we gained Hildie.

I took some time to collect pictures from this year that meant the most to me. Funny how Facebook shows you all the good that happened, because who posts the crappy stuff, but when I really think about it, 2018 wasn’t all that bad.

Here are some of the highlights of 2018:

  • I turned 40, that was a biggie. I was so grateful for my friends who came out and celebrated with me.
  • Saw a number of theatre productions with Olivia, Samantha and friends.
  • One word – hockey – I love it and I saw a lot of it.
  • Friends – so much time with friends, I cherish them all so much.
  • Checked a few things off my bucket list, meeting a CBJ player, going to Wildlights at the Columbus Zoo, catching an OSU hockey game, volunteer with Easter Seals and taking Samantha on a real vacation to Myrtle Beach.
  • There were some pitfalls, like falling twice in a day and essentially damaging both ankles for a few weeks.
  • Went to my first Bar Mitzvah & celebrated Hanukkah with friends
  • Caught a last minute Cleveland Indians game
  • Enjoyed a lovely Mother’s Day and Easter with family
  • Had a promotion with work to Director of Special Projects with Thrive Peer Support & spent a lot of time talking about recovery at some conferences.
  • Visited Cedar Point for Halloweekends and actually rode some rides
  • Took James to his first CAVS game & Paw Patrol
  • Made a few adult trips to COSI and a couple crafty nights out with the girls
  • Went to Chicago, saw the cutest little boy and hung with Rachel and Eddie
  • Ate some amazing food along the way and made some amazing food too

The strong bond of friendship is not always a balanced equation; friendship is not always about giving and taking in equal shares. Instead, friendship is grounded in a feeling that you know exactly who will be there for you when you need something, no matter what or when. – Simon Sinek

Friendship is really what has gotten me through 2018. If it wasn’t for friends, I am not sure I would be where I am at right now. For the times I wasn’t sure if I could pay bills, asking for help when the car died, taking care of medical bills because I just didn’t have health insurance yet and when I was struggling with my dad being so far away battling cancer. My friends have been there. Good, bad and indifferent, they are there. The small group I call my friends hasn’t changed much in the last 10-ish years, there have been some additions and a few subtractions, but overall they are my rock. We celebrate together, we vent together and we laugh together.

Now onto the goals of 2019…this is not usually my strong suit. I am not a fan of setting goals, I mean I am a project manager so I spend a lot of time creating goals and achieving them for work, I am not what you would say am good about setting personal goals and sticking to them.

*** Drumroll Please ***

  • Find a new class at the gym each month and go to it
  • Set some short term achievable objectives for my health
  • Schedule a mammogram and physical (now that I have health insurance)
  • Check a few more things off my bucket list
  • Travel somewhere I have never been
  • Read 6 books
  • Check in on a friend every day
  • Do better at checking in and helping my mom
  • Stop being so critical of everyone and worry more about my side of the street
  • Blog a little more
  • Cook a little more
  • Take a cooking class
  • Go camping
  • Light a candle, use the smelly lotion and buy the expensive perfume once in a while
  • Eat all the good foods
  • Treat everyone I come in contact with a little kinder and a little gentler

It isn’t much, in fact it isn’t anything really tangible. However it works and they are all things I can actually accomplish if I put my mind to it.

Whatever you may come across, I hope that you succeed. If you need some encouragement to get done what you need to get done, ask. If you just want to sit and be still, do it. There is no right or wrong way to go about your life and now that I am 40, I am truly a firm believer in that.

May you have all the blessings in 2019 and I look forward to sharing the journey with you.

So Many Pictures!

People ask me all the time why I take so many pictures! I’m not sure I have a simple answer, but I caught myself this weekend taking pictures of the animals and wondering, why do I snap so many photos when I see them everyday.

These guys make me smile and fostering a few of them makes my heart full ❤️

Then I realized I take pictures of more than just animals during the day.

I am a fan of my selfie – it reminds me of where I was and how far I have come, even with no makeup and messy hair I find a way to snap an image of myself and be proud of it, own it.

Heck, the other day I was so proud of the fact I found a planner I loved and was using it I snapped a bunch of photos.

I seem to go through life so quickly I can forget about all the good that has happened to me and in my life.

Simple reminders, like an amazing 40th birthday in Michigan with friends, time with my nephew, my talented daughter and family or simple things like a beautiful sunrise or a shot of the city.

You see, I take photos to remember how fortunate I am. I take them so I remember how grateful I am for everyone in my life, no matter how little or how much I see them.

I take photos to make sure I never forget. When I do forget those images are there to remind me.

So, snap away, know that pictures are worth a million words and I love seeing your pictures!

Blog Anniversary

About a year ago I started this little blog. In the last 90 days or so I have lacked in posting absolutely anything to my blog.

You may ask why I have shied away from blogging and my response would be simply, I have so much to say, but yet nothing to say.

When I lived in Cleveland (seems like eons ago) I hung out with a group of people who blogged. We met up once a month and blogged about our experiences and I looked to these individuals for support and inspiration.

Now I am here in Columbus and don’t see much of a blogging community here, so I am on my own when it comes to thinking of ideas and getting out and trying new things.

So for the last year I tried to make sure I blogged and shared recipes, lifestyle hacks and other general things like reviews and places to visit.

Have I been successful? I don’t think I have been unsuccessful, but not sure what I have done is classified as success.

This has been a year of good, bad, happy and sad.

  • My best friend in Chicago gave birth to a beautiful boy.
  • My daughter graduated high school and started her freshman year at The Ohio State University.
  • We lost my brothers cat.
  • My brother bought a new house.
  • My car was repossessed for a short moment.
  • Made many visits to Chicago and on one visit we saw Hamilton.
  • My daughter went to a lot of concerts and I saw Luke Bryan and QOTSA.
  • Friends visited Ohio a few times.
  • Took a trip to Oglebay for a night to see Christmas lights with friends.
  • Continued to be employed.
  • Animals are doing well.
  • Spent quality time with my nephew and family.
  • Saw a lot of hockey games, a baseball and football game or two.
  • Took my mom to her first basketball game.
  • Traveled to Pittsburgh and saw hockey and an old friend.
  • Took a work trip to Minneapolis and saw a long time friend.
  • Drank good wine with out of town friends.
  • Busted my foot royally.
  • Painted, threw axes and went to the pumpkin festival with fantastic friends.
  • Saw the Chinese Lanterns
  • Hosted Thanksgiving
  • Rode on Thomas the Train
  • Participated in the Rally for Recovery
  • Spoke at a few conferences
  • Saw School of Rock & Waitress
  • Cooked and baked a lot

When I look at that list I feel like there are way more good than bad things on it.

Overall 2017 wasn’t all that bad and I am hoping 2018 is pretty awesome and makes way for bigger and better things.

There are so many memories and pictures of what has happened these last 365 days and no way I could capture them all on one blog post.

This doesn’t show my awesome animals, many of my friends or rest of my family. They have all been a big part of 2017 and for that I am grateful.

Here’s to 365 more days of adventure…

Inching Along

I have been getting Facebook messages asking if I was going to blog again and how I was doing, in which case I thought maybe a post with pictures showing what’s been going on since August 14, 2017.

I took a quick trip to Chicago, came home and spent a short bit of time with these two lovelies after work one night. Then it was off to home with my daughter to get ready to send her off to college

After an extensive shopping spree and two car loads, we got her all settled in and I headed towards home.

I had spent most of my summer alone, as my girl was living life in Tennessee. While she was gone I realized I needed to start making some life choices.

After a “last meal” at my favorite place, Condado Taco, I started delving into the lovely world of meal prep. I was edging on a 4-5 day work trip and needed to make sure I wasn’t tempted to go out to eat.

On August 25, 2017, I hit my highest weight in years of 215 lbs. I was devastated and knew it was time to make changes. Meal prep, joining Planet Fitness and investing in an iWatch were all on the list of things to do.

Enjoyed a night out with some girlfriends and started back on the journey of deciding that I was worth it. That someone, somewhere would find me lovable, attractive and worthy of spending time with.

The following week was HELL at work, getting a grant submitted. I got home from that week and wanted nothing more than to sleep for days!

Spent Labor Day weekend visiting family, enjoying good ice cream from a local spot and baking some treats!

Loving on these four creatures as much as possible.

Had a few dates, been to the gym and have continued to cook, clean and declutter my home.

I have an outside cat (or three) who visit my porch frequently that I am feeding and I am set for a couple weeks of busy work and family/friend activities.

Things have really been uneventful, I’ve been up and I’ve been down. I’ve been pretty and I’ve been in pajamas.

Entering into sports season and that makes me happy, especially since that means post-season baseball, football, college football and hockey. I think basketball starts soon, but I’ll leave that to my mom.

Maybe this post will be my catalyst back into blogging and reviewing. Who knows, as I say that often.

Sending peace & love to you!

Living La Vida Alone

Here we go folks.

I am one step closer to being an empty nester.

After having my mini's graduation party this weekend (which was a HUGE success) I am realizing quickly how much I relied on her to be around.

Some say that this will give me time to get to know "me". Others say I will get to focus on my health and wellness. Then the third group says this will allow me to spread my wings and allow the freedom to date and travel.

To all of them I simply say "f**k off" because until you are in my shoes you will not understand the pain of realizing that person you have had in your home almost everyday for 18+ years will all of the sudden be sleeping somewhere 99% of the time.

I have been madly in love with being a mom since 1997. In between I have tried to find "hobbies" like scrapbooking, essential oil crafts, cooking, photography and many more.

Guess what – not successful.

Maybe it's my ADD. Maybe I just get bored easily. Either way I am finding myself cleaning out Rubbermaid tubs of crap that has gone by the wayside.

It has hit me recently, I just like taking care of people. That's all.

I keep busy with work, so my days plus some nights and weekends are full not to mention the animal brigade I have with me. Yet those 3-4 hours that I have alone are sometimes a little much to tolerate.

I think I'm starting to talk to myself people.

I ask the readers, what is it I should do? How have you dealt with being single and an empty nester?

Tonight I am starting with this:

What other thoughts do you have?

Sigh

Tonight I sit at home in pajama pants with the sky darkening and threatening to rain.  The dog is snoring next to me, the cats are scattered and sleeping.  We are all pleasantly exhausted.

Tomorrow brings about Sam coming home for a few days so she can get her college orientation done and a doctors appointment. This week at work is crazy busy, but will be fulfilling as always. 

I still find myself saying “sigh” tonight, even after reading, making a huge bowl of pasta salad, watching Orange is the New Black and straightening up around the apartment.  I feel unaccomplished and like I am not doing something I should be. 

I sigh because my heart is heavy.  I am lost without having my baby girl home every night. Cooking for one has been a challenge.  Pippa misses Sam and so do the cats.  I sigh because I realize how many things my daughter has done to help me around the house that now I am doing.  I sigh when I want to talk about my day and she isn’t here. 

I am grateful that she is heading to college and I am so happy that she has a bright future ahead of her. 

The sigh is because, while I know I have friends, I feel lonely.  Like there is something missing.  I’m ready for the next chapter in my life.  I’m ready to explore and cross a few things off my list.

As a single woman, who is pretty strong, I wonder – am I a superhero? Does being a superhero mean I can’t sigh?

Sigh, I just don’t know.