Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Job Changes

On July 26th, my position changes, well at least, for an interim basis. We can't be promoted outright, but can be promoted to interim positions, that later get officially posted. I have not heard of a time when the person in the interim position, unless they intentionally took it as a temporary assignment, is not given the position permanently, but it is possible. My current program will still be under my management, but I'll have an additional area of oversight, plus supervisory duties, different from my current team leadership role. There was additional juggling in the division, so the "To Be Determined" parts of my new job will stay as such, evolving as needs are figured out. I'm excited and overwhelmed at the same time. A significant project now will fall in my lap, with an aggressive timeline. It's a good thing I'm not taking any vacation in the short term other than a day here and there, because the learning curve will be steep and fast. 

I received the official letter yesterday, confirming my salary and was pleasantly surprised. Rather than be put  lower to mid of the range, my now direct boss advocated to take into account my experience at my previous job. The result was about 6% more than I expected. I'm still figuring out how my schedule will work, mostly having continued flex days where I have a few days off a month, and few telecommuting days, but they may vary. The salary bump couldn't have come at a better time. While June wasn't horrible, July for DH has been very low, on par with last summers drop. Oh, the savings goals will still be laughable, but my increase will ease the gap a smidge. 

Thank you all for enduring my later than mid career crisis I've moaned about. I know I will not be bored on the job, and indeed will be challenged. I'll still have multiple levels of decision makers above me, and I'm good with that. I'll be at the place where I can frame  and shape what the decision options are, and that is what I was hoping for.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Avocado's Three Ways

I can't keep up with health news. I've been eating avocados-a lot of avocado's since I started my new eating plan.Though loaded with fat, the research I did, said it is healthy fat, essential for healthy digestion, overall fullness, and vitamin and mineral absorption. On Thursday, a coworker pointed out that now they are "bad" again. I poked into her theory and learned that for 1 in 1700 people, the high fat in avocado's, well, high fat, even if good fat,  in any food, greatly increases the risk of coronary problems because of a gene mutation. Higher fat diets are also associated with tiredness. Once again, sound bite reporting sending people on a wave of distrust of a good food. My 3-4 avocado's a week, mixed in with other sensible eating, are staying in my diet. 

Nigella Lawson, that classy, but homey, British chef, ran a little south of her audience when she did a show with a recipe in making Avocado toast. I liked the buzz feed story below about it. I like her programs, and as she said as well,  I'm not about to say anything I'll mention is a recipe but just three favorite ways I like to eat mine.

On Toast-Yes, I too love smashed avocado on a piece of god multi grain bread. Lately I've swapped regular bread for whole wheat sandwich skinny rounds. 1/2 an avocado, smashed with a fork, then spread loosely on the two halves of the round, topped with a few twists of cracked black pepper and a little salt. 

With Scrambled eggs-Same as above, though I often eat the whole avocado, smash and season the fruit. My eggs, I crack in a heated pan, and then scramble as their cooking, leaving bits of whites showing. I stop cooking when they are not quite done, and removed so they don't get dry (as the eggs keep cooking from their own heat.) I have low cholesterol and blood pressure so leave the yolks, but you could do this with an egg white scramble as well. This was breakfast this morning and I'll be satisfied well past lunch time.

Guacamole-My easy way is three rough mashed avocados with a can of Rotel, ore Aldi equivalent. The pepper and onions are already there. If I have any, I finish with a squirt of lime juice. Better quac is to combine the three avocado's with 1/2 a medium onion, 1-2 cut up fresh tomatoes, a chopped jalapeno pepper, a tsp of salt and pepper (more or less to taste), and juice from a lime. 


Sunday, July 16, 2017

Making Things Not About Me

Poor DD1. She probably is tired of her mother calling her and talking every Monday on my commute home, but she tolerates me.I try to go hands free, but the sound is bad on speaker, so I turn up the sound to barely recognizable levels, but sometimes, I admit, I've picked up the phone to my ear. These calls will come to an end, probably you will all tell me I shouldn't have been doing it anyway, but on July 26th, no hand held phones in the car by driver. It's a good law-I've contributed to distracted driving so despite my convenience ending, I support this law.

DD1 also has tolerated my mom sounds. This is a beautiful girl with her stuff together, building a career and life for herself. Then every Monday, mom calls, and despite trying not to, I insert little unsolicited advice, suggests, and innuendos that are more about my personal wants, and not necessary what she wants or needs. I need to keep my phone calls not about me! In my rare, but long conversations with DS, I do the same. Maybe he is ready to move back to Minnesota. He can stay with us until he decides what to do. "I live in a place that is like being on vacation all the time, mom. Why would I move back." is the general response. While with DD2 it's a little different because she still is just a kid, as she starts exploring possible college and careers, I know I put ideas out that reflect what I see in her, and need to listen more to what she is pondering.

I've got my own goals, and need to let my kids have theirs. These are mine for the year as posted on January 2nd in Looking Forward to Looking Back.

1. Restore my home to a place of calm and pride
2. At least two music performances that my kid was not performing in.
3. Host no less than six (combination) of women and wine nights, coffee mornings, and get together lunches.
4. Twelve exploration days
5. Receive formal  recognition of my existence as a writer

Meddling in my kids lives is not there and I'm not doing so hot on the things that are. Sorry, kids. I can't help that I'll keep making mom noises, but I'll do better at not making it about me when I talk with you, and instead, listen to what you want to tell me. Then, I'll work harder at getting my own stuff together.

Saturday, July 15, 2017


Wimbledon! I'm not a die hard tennis fan, but I love watching the big tournaments, Australian, US, and French Opens, and of course Wimbledon, my favorite. Of course I know the game originated on grass courts, but all I've ever been exposed to are the standard hard surface all over the place in public parks. I have a few favorites over the years that I like to watch and some new favorites. The love to watch, can't stand the personality of John McEnroe. The tenacity of Martina Navratilova and Steffi Graff. The good guy, buddy, then mentor Andre Agassi. And of course, today, I will be cheering on Venus Williams. What a phenomenal young woman1 Young is a relative term, and in major tennis, she is supposed to be past her prime. Yet at age 37, there she is on the grass court, competing with a woman who may have been in preschool when Ms. Williams won her first major. 

Perseverance. The woman has it. It's obvious she plays for the love of the game, as not many would keep playing when after winning multiple tournaments, you start getting knocked out in earlier rounds. Still, here she is, as if she never had a "slump" ever in her career. Slump, what a word. It's such a negative word to describe a natural human quality of not being able to always be at the top of our game, whatever that game is. It could be career, marriage, family relationships, personal health, but to get through the trials, a person needs to reach down and find that inner perseverance.

With Venus, though, her tenure on the courts has also been partnered with her multiple business projects; I doubt there ever was a slump, perhaps just a different focus.Maybe that's true for all of us, and instead of looking at our down times in one part of our lives, we understand that our energy perhaps was elsewhere. At that point, it is essential to determine if the focus is where you really want it to be. DH and I will be married 30 years in October. No doubt we have had frequent  slumps, points in time when I wasn't sure we should even stay married. I bet if I dissected the worst moments, it wasn't a huge crisis drawing our relationship apart, but probably a misaligned focus. In the career front, my slumps may have coincided with activities and events going on in my family, and quite frankly, my family should be the priority. Perseverance, along with kindness, is a character trait that defines how I want to reflect my life.