Sunday, May 20, 2012

Catching Up ...

So it's a lazy Sunday, and I love lazy Sundays.  The weather is beautiful, yet somehow we are holed up in our house, with the blinds shut (blinds that I paid for, but didn't really want, who doesn't love sunshine streaming more windows than I ever thought possible, except my husband who claims he can't see the TV and it's making the house too hot - which for me, is not possible).  I have a roast falling apart tender in the oven as we speak, chili-rubbed, waiting for tacos or enchiladas, or some carb-addition that I vowed not to eat, but at the same time, it's Sunday and I've been losing weight, I'm eating tortillas tonight.  Where am I going with this?

Oh, yeah, so my posts have been rather lax the past few months.  I think I'm finally settled into a new life, not constantly looking over my shoulder for a boss trying to find fault in my awesome work, not throwing up over the lame restaurants, or drinking myself into numbing bliss, but rather, enjoying a third, well, I'll call it promotion, at my new job, it's really a third hat to wear, and relishing a weekend full of good restaurants, baseball, and Lake Tahoe.  And a house that is a manageable size, even though I still hire someone to clean it.  I'm not superwoman.  And I figure, I'm drinking a whole lot less now, and I am done buying stilettos.  I live life in flip flops, when I bother to wear shoes at all.  One fun fact about working at home is that I don't wear shoes, and sometimes don't leave my house for days on end.  Sure, I risk becoming an eccentric hermit, but I save money in expensive heels. 

So I have three more PhD classes to go, and two semesters of dissertation writing.  I ought to be done in a year.  A year.  Then what will I do?  Well, I guess I need to find a dissertation topic lest I go ABD.  Since my third hat at my job will be an eLearning specialist, I think that's my answer - part of the answer, the other part is narrowing it down enough to write 200 pages and actually conduct the research.  I'm kinda over it.  But I'm too close to give it up now, like I almost did twice now.  Plus, the thought of updating my Facebook and LinkedIn profiles with "Cyndi Johnson, PhD." and making people call me Dr. Cyn really keeps me going.  It's the vanity, really. 

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Opening Up The Door ...

This is it.  We've opened up the door to our new life!  This is our new house, a mere 2 weeks away from closing.  A brand new house, a brand new opportunity.  We've been in Reno over 2 weeks now, and I can say with utmost certainty, casino life has grown old.  But our new jobs are wonderful, beyond anything we thought possible.  I almost feel like I need therapy for the abuse we endured in a growing corporation, under people who didn't fully respect or understand our contributions.  Our new companies have treated us really well.  It is a big adjustment, us not working together, for the first time since we met.  We shared the same companies twice, and the challenges, the personalities, the successes, the setbacks, we don't have that common denominator anymore. 

For me, working from home has always been a dream.  I manage my own time.  And I love my new job!  It is, by far, the smallest company I have ever worked for, at only 80 employees.  Everyone is virtual and scattered across the country, but I have felt such a strong sense of community that already I'm in love with it!  I almost want to be scared that I jumped off the corporate train where I made almost six figures for my expertise, with unlimited advancement potential, but the last couple of years were nothing but drudgery for us.  We no longer belonged to an organization that believed in having fun, building relationships, and treating people like family, it had become an organization that insisted on profit and cost savings, at the expense of loyalty and happiness.  I have potential to earn even more than I did there, with the autonomy to pursue my PhD with gusto, my food passions, my writing, volunteering at a local farm.  It's all so exciting and positive that I can't be scared, I have to be hopeful and jubilant for the future. 

Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Road Ahead

So we're moving to Reno, Nevada.  I never thought my dear husband would leave Wyoming, but it's happening.  He got the opportunity of a lifetime, and well, now so do I.  It's gratifying to know that you work hard and people want you to stay, but even more gratifying that other people want you to be successful too. 

I get to work from home, one of my all-time dreams.  I can work on writing and cooking projects, finish my PhD, and still have a satisfying career helping other people.  It's the best of all worlds that I never thought I'd be able to have.  Today we started the moving process, de-cluttering a few closets, fixing a leak in a shower, and checking up on the house listings we've saved.  I'm so excited for our new adventure, even though I probably will delay my PhD graduation date again.  But it's all good.

I also made a decision to adopt a dog.  Last night I was convinced I wanted to buy a German Shepherd puppy, but after seeing the price tag of $3500 for a "well-bred" dog, I came to my senses and went to the animal shelter website.  There are so many beautiful dogs needing good homes, and I'm going to find one.  I will have the time, love, and energy to give to rescuing a dog, and will probably opt for an older dog, one who will be my companion, if only for a short time.  It's the right thing to do.  I have not had a dog in over 7 years, and I miss it.  

So as we make plans for our new life, I can't help but feel gratitude for our new opportunity, humility for everyone who's provided a reference for me, and excitement for the wonderful team I will be joining soon.  Life is good, and will only continue to get better. 

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Winds of Change

So I'm making tamales and inviting friends over for a celebratory dinner.  I went to Dr. Mike's for some libation ingredients, and as I pulled out of the parking lot, Scorpions' Wind Of Change started playing.  Appro-po. (Spell check never gives me this word!). 

Indeed, the winds of change have arrived for the Johnsons.  I am so proud of my husband, and I can't wait for our new adventure in life.  Many conversations to have, lots of plans to make, but this is one exciting freakin' weekend.  As I made tamales, watched our beloved Cowboys lose, and reflected on all that is great in our life, I realized that it only gets better from here.  You see, while I'm a cynic, I am also an eternal optimist.  I always believe that the road ahead is better than any we leave behind.

I embrace change, always have, because it's always brought me to better places.  My dissertation topic is also changing - again - I know, if you're reading this, you are hardly shocked, but I'm exploring a new learning theory - connectivism and social media.  Exciting as freakin' hell!  And the fact that life is going to get even more interesting, buckle up, baby, this is one hell of a ride!  As the sun sets on our life in Wyoming, I can't feel anything but utter gratitude for our friends here, and the friends we have yet to make.  Cheers! 

Saturday, January 7, 2012

What Will You Do More of in 2012?

For me, I will have more compassion for others.  It is easy to judge other people, blame systems, and throw people under the proverbial bus.  Yesterday was one of those days where everything that could be asked of you in a human resources role was asked of you.  Or, rather, me.  By 12:30, I just had to laugh as the next punch came in. 

One of the people I helped was a widow who was not helped by anyone else.  A young widow.  It could have been me, or any of my friends, whose husbands enjoy sporting in Wyoming.  She was angry and I gave her an outlet.  Then I provided answers, via other people that I've helped before and made connections with, but when I met with her and she hugged me for being the only person who seemed to want to help, I knew that I simply have to live my life with more compassion.  My life is pretty damn easy these days, and it's easy to forget the struggles that you can be given without much notice. 

As the day wrapped up, I was able to talk to my co-chair on my dissertation committee.  She was energetic and positive, and in turn, she gave me the courage and the energy to move forward on my dissertation.  I believe it's true, you get what you give.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Equality is Still a Myth

Today my dissertation topic was validated.  I can't believe that women are still holding back woman's rights.  I fail to see how the "I was punished and made it through - now YOU have to be punished and make it through" philosophy serves anyone any good.  I'm enraged, quite frankly, about the lack of empathy that some women display when other women reach out for help.  And I must say, I'm really proud of one man today who stood right there with me, believing that women need to be advanced right alongside of men. And it wasn't even my husband, who always stands beside me for women's rights. 

This is a different world.  And some companies are falling behind.  It's no longer enough to offer people jobs.  You have to nurture them, find ways to engage them, and otherwise help them develop to advance business objectives.  The companies that don't are going to fall behind. 

I'm sad that my voice goes unheard when I'm trying to help other women.  But I'm going to stand loud and proud to promote the rights of all people in an organization.  I'm no longer afraid.  I may not have much influence, but I can at least be proud to say what I believe.  And someday, I will have the credentials to be heard, to make the difference.  Until then, I'm going to fight a good, strong, fair fight.  That's all I can do.  Stay strong, women, because you can do it, too. 

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Should Old Acquaintence Be Forgot

Harry: [about Auld Lang Syne] What does this song mean? My whole life, I don't know what this song means. I mean, 'Should old acquaintance be forgot'? Does that mean that we should forget old acquaintances, or does it mean if we happened to forget them, we should remember them, which is not possible because we already forgot?
Sally: Well, maybe it just means that we should remember that we forgot them or something. Anyway, it's about old friends.

We rang in the new year with friends both old and new, and as midnight fell, I realized how much I learned in 2011.  I don't make resolutions on New Year's Eve.  It's too easy to break them.  But one resolution I made, and continue to make, is to live life with as much gratitude and fun as I can possibly muster up.  I spend more time on Facebook than I should, but it reminds me of how lucky I really am.  I am living life on my own terms.  I'm following my dreams, and I'm continually renegotiating with myself what it means to be me.  I see many of my old friends trapped in a cycle of misery, and that could have been me. 

Had I not made the decisions I did several years ago, had I not stepped off the cliff without a secure safety net, I wouldn't be where I am today.  I took a big risk and it has paid off beautifully.  2012 may bring another big risk, and I'm ready for it.  I'm ready for the next big adventure, with my best friend by my side, and friends old, new, and yet to be discovered.  Cheers!