Tuesday, November 18, 2014

So Far

Ten days have passed since I last posted here.  Lots has changed.

My new contract is in full swing.  In my professional life I seem to find interesting things to do (my last contract was the exception to that rule).  That's true this time.  I'm managing a portfolio of projects in the IT Risk and Information Security organization at a Fortune 100 company with a beautiful campus here in Charlotte.  I'm loving it, so far.

It requires a bit of a lifestyle change.  My previous contract was only 4 miles from my apartment.  This contract is all the way on the other side of the city - 30 miles each way.  I've learned that my morning traffic window of opportunity ends at 7am - so I've been leaving earlier.  Not a bad thing, so far.

We had an all-day organization meeting yesterday.  Part of the ice-breaker during the introductions was to mention something interesting about ourselves.  I wasn't quite sure which interesting thing to mention.  I suppose that's a good thing.

We've got a very good group.  Two other women and I spent the first couple of days getting ready for a monthly portfolio review for the Chief Security Officer and his direct reports.  It was a good way to get to know one another and I already feel more good mojo with these people than I have with anyone since Nebraska.  It's good.

I'm hoping this is the beginning of a beautiful (long-term) relationship.

I still can't believe it's almost the end of November already.  I've made arrangements to fly to Dallas to spent Thanksgiving with mom next week.  That seems to have become the tradition in recent years.  Her special man-friend spends Thanksgiving camping with his family so she gets lonely.  My brother and sister have families and spend the Holiday at home.  I enjoy spending Thanksgiving with her, but I'll be honest - there are very few people who could motivate me to travel on Thanksgiving weekend.

The next weekend I travel to Denver to spend some time with my son.  He turns 29 next month.  That blows me away, too.

They're forecasting a new record low here tomorrow morning.  It's supposed to get down to 17 degrees overnight so the apartment complex sent an email to all the residents on what to do to keep your pipes from freezing.  Last year at this time I was in Omaha and they were in single digits earlier this week.  As far as I'm concerned we're getting off easy.  I see how cold it's getting elsewhere so this is nothing.

Buffalo is getting crushed by a snowstorm for the ages tonight.  Some places there are expecting 6 feet of snow.  6 friggin' feet!  That's absolutely insane.  I've been having fun looking at all the pictures that people are posting.  The funny thing is - people in Buffalo just take it in stride.  As someone who grew up there I know how it goes.  Anyway - I hope my friends there are safe, warm, and have enough food to wait until things die down.

I'll have some decisions to make soon.  I'm living in an apartment in Charlotte and the lease comes up for renewal in the middle of February.  I don't think I'm going to renew it.  There are several reasons, none of which has to do with this place.  It's a comfortable place to be between going to work and going to Charleston.  The pups seem to like it, too.  And the thought of packing up again and going somewhere else is difficult to even consider.  But in keeping with the goal of ending up in Charleston I'd rather investigate other options.  So, although I may not know what the answer it yet I think I know what it's not.  And, if that's the direction I take, things will get busy (again) in a couple of months.

As I've said before - I typically don't have trouble making decisions.  The decisions I make may not always be the best ones, but they're the best ones I could make at the time I made them.  We'll see how all this plays out - it's just a preview of some of what I expect will be key elements of my world over the next couple or three months.

For now, I'm just glad that things have gotten back on track.  For now.

Monday, November 3, 2014

It's not over....

So much to talk about....

I think I'll go in sequential order.

Last weekend:  There were a number of highlights from the weekend, culminating in the Scooters for Hooters ride Sunday.  It was a fund-raiser for Breast Cancer, and 250+ bikes joined into the fun.  It's the first time I've done something like this and I had a blast.  I just love riding my bike - it's just such an energizing, fun, exciting thing.  And the weather?  It couldn't be nicer.

When I left Charleston on Monday morning I said good-bye to the bike.  I didn't expect to see her again for a while as I had plans to fly to Phoenix to start my new job there on Wednesday.  A number of things happened on Tuesday that changed the balance of opportunity for me.  As a result, after considerable thought I did not make my 5:30am flight Tuesday morning.

There was no one thing that caused that.  Part of it was continued concern over what needed to happen with my apartment in Charlotte and the dogs - some things have happened to complicate matters there.  Part of it was the huge upheaval it would cause in my world to try to make being so far away work.  And part of it was another opportunity in Charlotte that made itself available to me at the 11th hour.  When there is only one option the only decision that needs to be made is to do it or not do it.  When other options become available - well - more thoughtful decisions need to be made.

It's a good thing I deal with stress well, as this entire week has been a stressful one.  I feel like a schmuck for indicating that I'd be in Phoenix this week to start a contract there, and then *not*.  I've called a number of people, including my mom, who all agree that staying here for this opportunity seems like the best long-term decision for me.

So the bottom line is that any celebration about my planned return to Phoenix may be premature.

I don't like not having a job.  It's stressful and the financial pressures weigh on me.  Finding a job becomes a job all to itself and I've already expressed how I feel about that.  I'll be happy when this unexpected "vacation" is over.  If everything works itself out, that'll be tomorrow.

The highlight of this past weekend was the annual Carolina Coastal Fair.  A certain someone and I go there pretty much every year and it has become something of a tradition.  I suppose there's nothing special about it - it's just a fair.  But it's one opportunity to binge on fried food, visit the photo exhibit, and just get out and about.  We only stayed for a couple of hours yesterday but it was very enjoyable.

We rode the motorcycles there.  Getting into the parking lots was a nightmare for the throngs of people who were arriving when we were, but there's a special entrance and up-front parking for motorcycles.  The fact that it was 40 degrees or so when we started over there didn't dampen the ride. It was an overall wonderful day.

And, of course, the annual costume-fest we call Halloween happened this past weekend.  As usual, it was no big deal.  There was a time when it was the only time that my "other" self got the opportunity to express herself and was very important in keeping me sane.  Now - no big thing.

I received an email from someone last week about a blog post I did last summer about dilating (read it here).  Truth be told - I can't even tell you the last time I dilated.  It has been months.  I realize that there are those who say that they've regained a significant amount of lost depth once they started again but I'm fairly dubious of that.  Regardless, I have no reason to regain what I've lost.  As I said in my post it's absolutely fine for what I need it for.

One thing I think would be absolutely fascinating would be a study of people who are 10 or more years post-op.  It'd be interesting to see how their "parts" hold up after some significant period of time and get thoughts after it's not so new anymore.  There is very little attention paid to life after transition which I think is a very unfortunate thing.  Health issues, employment issues, relationship issues, family issues, faith issues, general quality of life issues - I think getting an accurate picture of some of these things would be helpful for all of us.  I'm just sayin'........

Gotta go.  I've got a number of things to do today.  This is already shaping up to be a big week.