All These Things That I’ve Done

I read an aritcle recently on the 15 Things Every Woman Should Do By 40 – hard to believe that this is something that can be so generalized, but…it’s a good piece.  Let’s see how I’m measuring up:

Change careers at least once.

-I’ve got this one right under control. While I’ve worked primarily in Education, I did spend some time working in the Legal field, which I LOOOOOVED. As well, I’ve had tremedous variety in my Education career, so it seems like I have changed careers, which has been tremendously good for me. Variety is the spice of life, and I’m a girl who thrives on change and movement. Woohoo!

 

image

Do something “crazy.”

-Well, well….needless to say I have excelled in this area!!! Much of what I have done in life has been tiptoeing a fine line between a great idea and batshit insane. Thankfully, nothing too traumatic has happened as a result of my eccentricities, but…I have never met a crazy idea or a challenge that I don’t love. I am all about grand gestures, and while I’ve never really received one myself, I have done more than one for others – and it feels great. I think that doing crazy things feels AMAZING, it makes you feel alive, and brings the sparkles from the bottom of your toes to the tip of your nose. AWESOME. :-) Remember me telling you about Bluefish the other day? Bluefish is the kind of person that does crazy things, I just know it. I don’t mean ‘hey, let’s plan a bank heist’ kind of crazy, but I’m talking spontaneous things that are done just for fun. I want to be a Bluefish kind of person, don’t you?

Live within our means.

-Ah, not my strongest point, I will admit. I have caviar taste, and a Kraft Dinner budget – for realz. (**DISCLAIMER: When I use the z on realz, you know I’m serious) I spend money frivolously, I do things for other people, I’m always giving stuff to others – because it brings ME joy. I know that I need to smarten up, become more prudent with my spending, and do a much better job of planning for my retirement, but….sometimes girls just wanna have fun. ;-)

Me :-)

Me :-)

Learn to be comfortable in our own skin.

-I am certain that I will never have this one licked 110%, but holy hell am I ever getting close. I never imagined that I could be as at ease with myself as I am…but I am. I’ve pretty much arrived at a place where I look at myself in the mirror, and instead of being full of self-loathing, I think, “Eh, not bad for an old bag”…And I go about my day…no fuss, no muss. I wore a dress yesterday that was fitted, sexy as all hell – and instead of feeling uncomfortable and squirmy in my sexpot frock all day, I strutted around like the friggin’ boss that I am. Would I look better in the dress if I was 25 lbs lighter? Of course. Do I care? Hell no. I don’t give a shit what somebody else thinks of my body or my appearance – I think I’m awesome, and anybody who doesn’t can just bugger off. These two quotes are everything to me:

image

image

Be glamorous.

-I work really hard at this one, because it matters to me. I care about my appearance, I never go out anywhere looking shlebby, you’d be hard-pressed to ever find me in pants, even…I dress like someone from the Mad Men era. I’ve often got heels on my feet – and, if they aren’t heels, they are very elaborate sandals. My makeup is always done, my hair is always done…I make the effort – not because I’m trying to impress anyone, but for me. I feel better when I look better – and when I feel good, there ain’t no stopping me!;-)

Chase a dream.

-A lot of my dreams in life have come true – I have a beautiful daughter, a job that I (mostly) love, a home that makes me really happy, a book that I have written….I’ve got a lot going for me. I chased all of those dreams and made them happen. The great thing is, though, that for each one that got crossed off the list, I added another 3. The day I stop dreaming will be the day I die, folks – dreams are what keep us alive. Without them, we are directionless, sailboats tossing in the breeze. Dreams not only give you wings, they provide you with an anchor, a guiding light to find your way. Go on and chase them….what have you got to lose? ;-)

image

Visit another country.

-I love this one – and I have certainly visited some countries. I love to travel, I’ve been loads of great places, but I am nowhere near done seeing the things that I need to see in this world. My ‘must see’ list of places is very long, and my greatest hope in life is that I live long enough to see them. I want to keep visiting the furthest corners of the earth, I want to see things that I’ve never seen before, I want to taste the local food, and meet some fascinating people. You learn so much about a place by walking in its dirt and breathing its air – I love it. :-)

Step out of our comfort zone.

-My adventures have taken me so far out of my comfort zone, and it has been great. I love the feelings of uncertainty, the not knowing what to do or where to go….I had to have someone teach me how to write a check in the post office in England, for goodness sakes! Clearly, I do alright out of my comfort zone – I love the exhileration that you feel when faced with a completely unfamiliar challenge, yet you somehow manage to muddle your way through and figure it out. It’s magic! :-)

Find a cause.

-I support the Alzheimer’s Society – always have, always will. I wish I could do more for them, for they are carrying out very important work. I have hope. :-)

Make and live by a “soul mate wish list.”

-I have always had a soul mate wish list – and, surprisingly, it has changed very little as I have grown up. However, I have not always lived by it – I have made appallingly bad choices in men over the years, settling right left and center, because I felt that I wasn’t worth having the good stuff that I desperately wanted. I always felt like damaged goods….and nobody wants those. Thankfully, I am working my way past this, and am doing a whole lot better on sticking with what it is that I want, and not accepting the deal breakers that I see.

image

Learn not to settle.

-This is part and parcel with the last point I made – I have settled and settled, over and over again, like it was my damn job. Stupid girl….such a waste of time. I finally have discovered the remedy to this situation and actively work to correct it every day, but…this is a tough one. I have some regrets in this department, and I really wish I didn’t. Oh well.

Start over—completely.

-I’ve started over more than once in my lifetime, and I kind of love it. I love a new beginning, I love the new car smell that seems to waft out from my pores when I’m embarking on something new. Love. It. I suppose that I also really dig the opportunity to reinvent myself, to try out slightly different personas, and see if I can maybe become someone a little different. (Just so you know, my attempts at reinvention always fail – I’m a jackass through and through, it is what it is, and I am what I am. I think I’m okay with that.)

Love with complete abandon.

-I am pretty good with this one, too – when I do anything, I do it up BIG. Go big or go home is my favorite motto. No lie. When I care for someone, I care for them 110%, I have no concept of indifference whatsoever. I find myself naturally drawn to like-minded individuals. People who love without restrictions, who dance like no one’s watching (and really don’t care if anyone is watching, truth be told), who do everything they do with their hat in their hands and their hearts on their sleeves….these are my kind of people. I try to live my life that way – and I want to be with people who do as well. I don’t have time for half-assers. (not a word, but it bloody well should be)

image

Tell someone exactly how you feel.

-I usually don’t have problems telling people how I feel about things…I’m a fairly open book. The funniest thing is that even when I try to be mysterious and hold back, every thought/feeling is written all over my face – so I’m telling the world how I feel anyway! :-) I’m also a big believer in sharing the truth of what you feel – and I try to live by that idea. Always. I think that the world would be a much simpler, more beautiful place if we could all just be honest about what we think and feel. It’d end a lot of drama, friends!! Let’s try it!! :-)

Write your story…a story. Just write!

-This is what Pretty Thing is all about, my darlings…I’m writing my story down and sharing it with you. I think through a lot of issues while writing about my life on this blog, and many a problem has been worked out through the simple act of updating you on what’s shaking with me. So….thanks! :-) Your participation in this venture, your belief in me, and your interaction has meant so much – thank you. :-)

 

 

 

So…..while I’m not 100% on track with meeting all of these targets, I think that I am doing pretty damn okay. Whew!! ;-)  Yaaaa me!!!!  How’d you do, friends? :-)

 

xxx

 

Wise Up

image

Have you been watching HBO’s “Girls” this season? I have (of course), and I really liked the direction the show has taken this year – and last night’s season finale was an absolute gem. I don’t want to ruin your day with spoilers, but I have to point out a few highlights for me: three cheers for Hannah for not saying YES to a reconciliation with Adam (although I loved them together and wish they could have somehow found their way back to each other)…her ability to say no to him when he says he wants her back was so strong, so powerful – I doubt I could have done that. Adam has always been a magical, powerful force in Hannah’s life, and for her to realize that he was not good for her, and that them being together was destructive….well, that was just awesome. Three cheers for Hannah – our little girl is growing up. :-)

image

I have always been a huge fan of the character of Ray – I think that he might just be the one of the realest characters on television today. Over the years, he has made some speeches that have pretty much brought me to my knees with their raw emotion (seriously – whoever is writing the lines that Ray speaks is my friggin’ hero and I want to share a pizza with them and talk over beer), and last night was no exception. He ripped the Jackass Desi a new one, letting him know that he wasn’t good enough to be with Marnie (so.true)…and he said this: “I also know that you absolutely do not deserve her. Even remotely….She is a beautiful, fully-formed woman, dazzling in her complexity, maddening in her mystery. And you underestimate her, every fucking day.” Isn’t that just brilliant?? I was so blown away by that speech that he made, so full of love and admiration, that I paused the TV, hit rewind, and kept watching it over and over again…just to be sure that the full power of those words seeped into my soul. Amazing. Who doesn’t want to be described that way??! I sure as hell do! Love Ray! :-)

image

The final thing that I loved most from last night’s episode was the stuff involving Shoshanna – that girl is everything that I imagine I was when I was her age…I just hid my eccentricities a whole lot better than she does. Her wide-eyed optimism is a standout for me on that show, and I loved the scene between she and Colin Quinn, when she is sharing that she’d been offered a job in Tokyo, but wasn’t sure about leaving the new guy she was dating to take the position. Colin Quinn started ranting about reading the most excellent Sheryl Sandberg book ‘Lean In’, and told her, “Grab a seat at the table and lean the fuck in. And if this guy’s worth his salt, he’ll be waiting for you.” Mind. Blown. What I wouldn’t give to have someone have cared enough about me to have given me that advice at various points in my life, when I have made eggregiously stupid decisions based upon the men that I thought were going to be there for me – and they weren’t. And I let opportunities go. Like an idiot. Grr. Oh well….live and learn, eh? :-)

image

 

I know that I am not the target demographic of this show (by about 15 years or so), but I love it with all my heart and think the wisdom of the writing is mind-blowing, regardless of what age you are. Take this line of Hannah’s, for example:

So am I, Hannah...so am I.

So am I, Hannah…so am I.

Isn’t that pretty much what we all are doing? It’s funny….I will be 41 years old in a couple of weeks, and I still feel as if I’m waiting to grow up. There are days when I look around me and see this beautiful life that I’ve crafted for myself, one that is full of responsibilities, events, a maddeningly busy calendar, tasks to be done, places to go…and I wonder how it is that I managed to fall smack into the middle of someone else’s existence, because all of this grown-up stuff can’t possibly belong to me. But it does. I don’t know how it happened. I think I will always feel like Hannah, working hard to try to become who I am. I wonder when I will finally wake up and realize that I’ve been me all along?

xxx

 

Don’t Stop Believing

I watched the series finale of ‘Glee’ today, and felt all the feels, cried like it was my damn job, and LOVED every second of it. While I had felt that the show had done its share of shark-jumping in the last year or so, last night’s finale was just everything. I laughed, I cried, I was happy with the resolution of things, which rarely happens in a series finale (if you want to start a fight with your friends, solicit opinions on the ending of ‘How I Met Your Mother’ – which I really liked, for the record)…and everything ended happily, which you know I’m all about. :-) Good fuzzy feelings everywhere here today, friends! :-)

image

One of my favorite lines from the show was this (Rachel Berry said it during her Tony Award acceptance speech – she was talking about the impact her teacher, Mr. Schuester, has had on her life): Being part of something special does not make you special – something is special because you are a part of it. Don’t you just friggin’ LOVE that???! I know – me, too. :-) LOVE. :-) This is something I have always really believed – the importance of acknowledging the special qualities that other people have. We all get busy, we don’t praise each other, we don’t stop to reflect on the AMAZING things that everyone around us does every single day. Instead, we rush through life, hurrying to do all of the things that are on our never-ending To Do lists…when really we should be taking time to enjoy all of the beautiful stuff that surrounds us. I’ve always been the worst at this – I work too much, I’m always trying to take on too much…when in reality, I need to just slow ‘er down a bit, and breathe. It’s good to smell the roses. Or the candy. Or the bottom of the cereal bag after you’ve emptied the Frosted Flakes into a bowl. ;-)

One of the highlights of the ‘Glee’ finale for me was Lea Michele’s final ballad – a song called “This Time”, written by the loooovely Darren Criss (fun fact – I think he is about the cutest, most talented, and bestest guy on TV) – this article has an audio preview for you to check out (which you should – you’ll love it!), and here are the words, should you care to sing along:

These walls and all these picture frames
Every name they show
These halls I’ve walked a thousand times
Heartbreaks and valentines, friends of mine all know

I look at everything I was
And everything I ever loved
And I can see how much I’ve grown

And though the mirror doesn’t see it
It’s clear to me, I feel it
I can make it on my own

I’m not afraid of moving on or letting go
It’s just so hard to say goodbye to what I know, I know

This time no one’s gonna say goodbye
I’ll keep you in this heart of mine
This time I know it’s never over

No matter who or what I am
I’ll carry where we all began
This time that we had, I will hold forever

This old familiar place is
Where every face is another part of me
I played a different game then
They called me a different name then
I think of all the things I did and how
I wish I knew what I know now

I see how far I’ve come and what I got right
When I was looking for that spotlight
I was looking for myself

Got over what I was afraid of
I showed ‘em all that I was made of
More than trophies on a shelf

For all the battles that we lost or might have won
I never stopped believing in the words we sung, we sung

This time no one’s gonna say goodbye
I’ll keep you in this heart of mine
This time I know it’s never over

No matter who or what I am
I’ll carry where we all began
This time that we had, I will hold forever

I’m looking out from the crossroads
I don’t know how far away I will roll
I take a breath, I close my eyes
Your voice will carry me home

I’ll keep you in this heart of mine
This time I know it’s never over

No matter who or what I am
I’ll carry where we all began

This time that we had, I will hold
This time that we had, I will hold
This time that we had, I will hold
Forever

Forever

image

Isn’t that song awesome?? So. Profound. I love it, it seems to be a perfect description of how we all feel when we are on the cusp of change, leaving behind the familiar, and taking a giant leap into the great unknown – something I’ve done MANY times myself, but it never gets any easier, or any less exhilerating. I am a person who generally thrives on change and loves massive life shifts like nobody’s business – it’s learning to revel in the day-to-day that’s somewhat challenging for me, but I’m working on it. :-)

 

Did you watch ‘Glee’? What’d you think? I hope you loved it as much as I did – well done, Ryan Murphy et al. Well done. :-)

 

xxx

 

 

Viva Las Vegas!

The Spring Break road trip continues for the Wee One and I – we left the beautiful Santa Fe in the wee hours of the morning, and made the drive to the Grand Canyon. Along the way, we witnessed the most gorgeous sunset coming up as we made our way through New Mexico…I doubt there’s a more beautiful way to start a day. Simply stunning. :-)
When we got to the canyon, I don’t think either of us were fully prepared for the majesty of the views. Every direction we turned was more beautiful than the last, and we thoroughly enjoyed the quiet, calm, peacefulness that’s in the air….despite the throngs of people walking around. There was snow on the ground (good news – I still possess mad snowball-making skills, despite the years that have passed since I moved away from Canada!), we took a ton of great pictures, and did a lot of hand-holding. This was a great place!

Gorgeous :-)

Gorgeous :-)

Doesn't this just take your breath away?

Doesn’t this just take your breath away?

My little sass-pants in the snow!

My little sass-pants in the snow!

Love :-)

Love :-)

 

After we left the park, we drove straight through to Vegas, baby! I know it’s a bonkers thing to take an 8 year old to Sin City, but I figured she’d get a kick out of the lights and the sights, and man alive was I right!! She LOVED Vegas, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see her on the ticket during their next mayoral race…she thinks Vegas, in all its sparkle and twinkle, is HEAVEN. She makes me laugh. :-)

 

The view from our room...not too shabby at all!

The view from our room…not too shabby at all!

Us girls ready for a night on the town!

Us girls ready for a night on the town!

This is so pretty :-)

This is so pretty :-)

The lights are so beautiful at night!

The lights are so beautiful at night!

The Wee One was crazy for the Bellagio fountain show...and I'm crazy for her! :-)

The Wee One was crazy for the Bellagio fountain show…and I’m crazy for her! :-)

Her first night on the Strip and she's already eyeing up her mama's beer! That's my girl!

Her first night on the Strip and she’s already eyeing up her mama’s beer! That’s my girl!

A lot of people find the glitz of Vegas to be way over the top and tacky, and there’s something to be said about that. However, personally, I find this town to be brimming with hope and possibility – everyone here is on the cusp on becoming something different; this is a place that celebrates stepping outside of the mundane and embracing a life more glamorous than the one you’re currently leading….now, tell me how that is bad? It isn’t – Vegas is fun. Walking down the street with a cocktail in your hand in broad daylight and not having to endure the judgey stares of passersby is a great thing, the plethora of sequins is magical, and the whole shine of the place makes me believe that God loves us and wants us to be happy. :-) Viva Las Vegas indeed!!!! :-)

 

xxx

Santa Fe

Chili peppers everywhere!  :)

Chili peppers everywhere! :)

The Wee One and I are on a short road trip for Spring Break…and we are having a great time so far!! :) Our first stop – Santa Fe, New Mexico! I hoped that I was going to like this city, but I had NO idea how much….LOVE THIS PLACE!!!! It’s gorgeous!! :) Here are some pictures:

Beads, Beads, Beads! :)

Beads, Beads, Beads! :)

My love affair with light fixtures continues! :)

My love affair with light fixtures continues! :)

My little love :)

My little love :)

0308150853a

Our hotel! :)

Our hotel! :)

IMG_20150308_145602

Around every corner there’s something beautiful to see! :)

I love this place! :-)

I love this place! :-)

So pretty :-)

So pretty :-)

image

Our hotel

Our hotel

Love is all around :-)

Love is all around :-)

 

I am SO SMITTEN with Santa Fe…it’s insane!! Love it!!! Have you ever been here? Tell me how much you loved it, too!!!! :-)

 

xxx

Only The Good Die Young

I received some rotten news this evening – a dear friend from home has passed away. This news absolutely knocked the wind out of me, and has left me feeling very, very sad… I want to tell you about my friend, if you don’t mind.

image

Keith and I went to Kindergarten together – he was the cutest boy in the class. By a mile. All of us girls spent every recess chasing him around the playground, hoping we’d be able to catch him and smother him with kisses. Damn Lisa H was one of the fastest runners in the class and tended to get most of the kisses….the rest of us were bummed. He was such a doll. He was also super-duper smart, which was my favorite part about him. Throughout our elementary school time together, we would pretend to compete academically in school, but our competitions were pretty lame. I wished him nothing but the best, and I believe he always wanted the same for me. That’s an awesome friend. :-)

His sense of humor was LEGENDARY – while one of the smartest, most brilliant people I have ever known, he also had one of the very grossest vocabularies and senses of humor ever. I loved it! This humor followed him in his adult years – a few years ago on his birthday, we exchanged emails and I asked him what he had planned…his response was that he was going to stay home, masturbate all day, watch porn, and eat Cheetos – and he hoped that nothing turned orange. Hahahaha! :-) Keith knew everything there was to know about wrestling, and did a Macho Man Randy Savage impresonation that was SO spot on that it was almost creepy. He loved to laugh, knew a TON about hockey and football, and pretty much any other topic you could possibly come up with. His was truly a beautiful, though thoroughly warped in the best possible way, mind. :-)

While we were in high school, we were in the band together – he played saxophone, and I played whatever instrument was needed that particular year (I played flute, trumpet, percussion, and a bit of saxophone over the years). We spent about a zillion hours on the bus to band performances together, discussing every single thing under the sun…including what we wanted to be when we grew up. I told him that I was planning to go in to Education (which I did); at that time, he wanted to become a doctor (a dream he ended up having to abandon following a serious hand injury). I asked what specialization he was interested in – and, of course, he responded Gynecology….he had to see the goods somehow! ;-)

On May 18, 1996, we sat together at my BFFs wedding – as the evening wore on and we got more intoxicated, we cooked up a plan: if we weren’t married to other people by the time we were 25, we would marry each other. We sealed the deal with an exchange of rings (those little silver metal rings that went around the wedding program scrolls) – I still have mine in a box upstairs. As we neared 25, we changed the age to 30….then 35…. then 40 – it got to be a running joke. However, we always referred to the situation as ‘the Back Up Plan B’ , and we talked about it as recently as a couple of years ago, still laughing about our plan and how hilarious it would be to execute: he who loved wrestling and all things boy trying to coexist with me, the ultimate in girlie stuff. It was a recipe for disaster! :-)

The last message I received from him read like this:

Hey – it’s Keith and Donny, we are drinking in Lundar. Why aren’t you drinking beer with us in Lundar? We are in some kind of temporal vortex where nothing changes. Don’t you want to be in 1992 as well? If we drink long enough we can get breakfast at Sportsman’s. Oh wait, they burned everything, including the building. When are you going to visit so we can dust off the Love Shack? Why has our age group not had a reunion? I have to pee and smoke so Donny can type for awhile.

Now it is me typing can you tell the differance. I was at someone’s little guys b-day today and he got a little corvette that he can drive around. It was so funny to watch. Then I started to think that one day I really have to think about the fact that I will have to raise a kid here knowing about all the things that can be done in this little berg. Any who Keith is back from his peesmoke, its a medical conditon that he is under treatment for now.

Ahh, nicotine addiction and bladder release, an orgasmic combination. Anyhow, I hope this has given you enough nostalgic moments to think of coming home and giving us a hug. Smell ya later.

 

Awesome, eh? I know. These are the words of people who probably know me better than I know myself…and they still love me anyway. There is something so beautiful and so comforting about this – and it makes my heart absolutely ache for my home town, full of the very best people you could ever hope to meet. What I wouldn’t give to be there now. For a small town, we’ve lost far too many people from our little group…and I feel like we are just too young to be having this happen. These friends of mine from home are the ones that I want to be surrounded by when I’m 80 years old and recreating the Golden Girls….I need them to stay around.

Thanks for listening to me talk about Keith – I will never find the words to explain what a lifetime of friendship with this unique, kind, intelligent, FUNNY,  beautiful spirit was like…but please trust me, it was a gift from above. To his family – I am  beyond sorry for your loss. You are the people who raised and nurtured this magical soul – and what a job you have done. He loved you all so much. And, in words that only he could get away with saying (his last name was Lavallee)….. You’ve never been loved until you’ve been Lavved. :-)

 

Rest in peace, my friend – you will always be my first choice for my plan B. I lav you. Smell ya later.

 

xxx

 

 

What Do You Want From Me?

I went up to Dallas for a work conference this week, and my short trip was quite the adventure. I drove up Wednesday (and thoroughly enjoyed the toll road that took me around Austin and the nightmare that is their traffic!), checked in to my hotel, chilled for a bit, had happy hour glasses of wine in my room, then headed out to do some exploring. I ended up getting the most amazing mani/pedi that I’ve ever had (for less than what I’m regularly paying here in San Antonio! I think perhaps I need to find a new place….), had Chinese takeout in my room…it was good. I spent the entire evening alone, and the peace and quiet was pretty great – despite the fact that elsewhere in the h0tel were about 50-75 people that I know pretty well through work. This conference was different in that every school sent a team to it except us – I was the lone wolf: I traveled alone, stayed alone, and ended up spending the bulk of my time alone. It got pretty awkward when we all gathered for meals and general sessions in the ballroom, as the people that I work with most closely (every single day, in fact) were rude, dismissive, and pretty much could not be arsed with me the entire time. It felt weird when the higher ups from Central Office asked why I wasn’t working with this team of colleagues, and hadn’t they invited me to join them so that we could collaborate and strengthen our joint programs – I brushed off the question and didn’t offer an answer. How was I to say that we never work together on anything because they can’t stand me?

using other people

It’s a weird thing to try to be polite to people that you know hate your guts, but I try. I’m not entirely sure why they hate me, but they do. I’ve written before of the troubles that we have going back and forth, and it just doesn’t seem to get any better. These people all flew up to Dallas – while I drove….I didn’t realize that flying was an option, and they most certainly didn’t bother to tell me! The funniest part of the whole week was that yesterday, when the weather had turned to crap, there was a snowstorm and the roads were all iced over, they were calling me for a ride home….their flights had been cancelled. Thankfully I had already left the area and was well on my way, fighting horrific traffic and driving conditions, spending over 8 hours to do a 4 1/2 hour drive….so I didn’t have to come up with an excuse to not drive them home. There was no way that I was going to let myself be used like that – hell no!! Once upon a time, I would have happily complied with their request, and then been upset and resentful about it for ages afterwards, but thankfully I don’t roll that way anymore. I’m generally pretty stubborn, and I do a good job of sticking to my guns. Still, I was disgusted – there are few things worse than people who only know you when they want something from you. Shame on them.

using other people

I would give anything to know what it is about me that is so off-putting. However, we as people rarely tell the people that we are rejecting (regardless of the type of rejection, be it personal, professional, etc) why we are passing them over…and this is a tricky one for me. On the one hand, I believe that it is kind to not tell someone anything that is hurtful – I am not in the business of hurting people’s feelings, and I generally don’t want to have mine hurt either. However, there are times when I really would like to know what it is about me that is wrong…so that I can either do something to try and fix it, or I can quit beating myself up for it and just move on. Don’t they say that the truth shall set you free? I wish I knew who ‘they’ were….and I’d ask. ;-)

 

xxx

 

Woman

women in the workplace

I have been really frustrated with the sisterhood lately…and it’s really wearing me down. Since I have worked in the Education industry for basically my entire adult life, I am well accustomed to working with women – there’s an awful lot of us in this profession. When I worked at the elementary level, it was mostly women…which was more than a bit of an adjustment. When I returned to high school, I had hoped that things were going to improve, and that I wouldn’t be spending my days putting up with the antics of  emotional, judgmental, bitchy women while I’m just trying to keep my head down and get my work done – no such luck. The difference is that the women at the high school level are snottier and more miserable than their elementary counterparts… and I don’t get it.

I’m all for a healthy competitive spirit, I’m full of it, in fact – however, when I compete, it’s against myself. I’ve never been a person who feels the need to build myself up by making those around me look bad – I just don’t roll that way. Never have, never will. Instead, I’m a person who goes about my business, does my thing, and expects nothing in return. If I receive praise/acclaim/the keys to the city, then that’s great – but it’s not necessary. I don’t need somebody else’s shortcomings to make me feel better about what I do – that’s bloody ludicrous. As well, I don’t need constant praise and reassurance to motivate me to keep doing my job – the fact that it is my job and my responsibility is motivation enough. However, it appears that I am amongst the minority these days, as every time I turn around I encounter an insecure, bitchy female who feels it necessary to try to put me down so that she can feel better about herself. I thought I had moved past the point in life where mean girls run rampant – I guess I was wrong. :-(

Let me tell you about what’s been going on lately. I work at a relatively small school, that is connected to a larger school, within a very large district – so, in the course of a week, I will have countless interactions with people from all three levels. Things at my own campus are cool – we all are good with each other. Thank goodness for small favors. However, as soon as I leave the cocoon of my little home base, things get dicey – there’s problems with some of the neighbors, and problems with the larger group within the district. I have long moaned to my boss, begging her to tell me what it is about me that is so bloody annoying to these people (let’s be real, there’s probably a lot to choose from). Her response is always the same: it’s not you, it’s them, they’re threatened by you, we’re in a competitive business. Huh? I don’t want their jobs. Not even a little bit! I want MY job, and I completely plan to stay at this school for a very, very long time. I don’t go out of my way to try to make them look bad – in fact, I am the first person to jump up and praise the work and efforts of everyone else. ALWAYS. I lavish praise on everyone around me – because I think celebrating success is really important. I would never try to make someone look bad on purpose – however, the shabby behavior these women are currently showing to me is making them look bad all on their own. One called and let me know that she and I and another woman were required to attend a training together. She then went on to explain that the two of them had compared calendars and chosen a date that worked for them – and I’d have to go that day as well. My inner response was huh? I found that so bloody rude I can’t even tell you….it was very disrespectful of me and my time. However, in the spirit of trying to be cooperative, I canceled my appointments for that day and attended this mandatory training. When I got there, the two of them were sat in a room, surrounded by other people, no chair/workstation left for me…and they didn’t respond when I said hello. I ended up sitting by myself in another part of the room – I could have attended another session of this training, as we didn’t work together on the material anyway. It was a colossal waste of time, not to mention a massive slap in the face. I felt embarrassed – we were the only team not sitting together….and it was obvious. They had gone out of their way to make me look stupid – and it sure worked. As much as I hate to admit it, that hurt my feelings. :( This story is just one drop in an ocean of things like this….it just keeps happening with this same group of people over and over again.

I want so badly to blow my stack and tell them very specifically where to go and how to get there; however, I know that will be disastrous for me as they will file a complaint against me with HR before sundown. Something has to change, though. I’ve attempted addressing it with them directly – nothing. I’ve attempted working through our mutual supervisors – nothing again. I suppose that I just need to do what I tell students who are experiencing strife like this – grab a straw, Cookie, and suck it up, Buttercup. It’ll all be fine in the end.

 

I just can’t wait until this situation ends.

xxx