Goalies in Wonderland

I was never one for goal setting.  I remember in school teachers talking about going home and committing X number of hours to homework a night.  I think goal setting was supposed to be really fulfilling for when you met those goals.  But most of the time I was like just because I have a goal doesn’t make me want to do my homework anymore than if I didn’t… And whether or not I hit them I was a firm believer in the phrase “close enough!”  It’s the same with cleaning – If I commit 20 minutes to cleaning my bathroom… I’m still going to watch the clock the whole time and probably quit somewhere around minute 8.  Or at work when your boss wants to discuss your quarterly goals… I don’t know I want to keep getting paid and eventually find a better job… And working out… “ONE MORE!” No – I didn’t want to do the last 9, I definitely don’t want to do one more.  I had a goal to be a pop-star when I was a pre-teen.  If I had met that goal I bet I would have been pretty darn excited.  But I didn’t and I guess as a result I’ll never recover… That’s a loss for all of us, let me tell you…

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So, as  you can imagine, last week when I set a goal of posting a number of different topics over the course of the week, I watched the days pass by and kept thinking “I’ll have time tomorrow” and it never happened.  To make matters worse, most of the time my phone isn’t accessible, so I’ve lost a lot of my deep and meaningful thoughts that could have been blog posts.

But it’s all okay.  I’m super busy and I started a blog when I was super bored.  Don’t get me wrong – I love The Young and Retired and plan to keep it up until I’m 6 feet under and my fingers fall off (I figure by that point we’ll be communicating virtually with the dead?) but what is fun is that I also love what has been keeping me so busy.  I miss Darcy so much during the day, I wish I had more time to overthink my thoughts to the internet, and sleep deprivation has never been quite so prevalent.

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I am as poor as I was when I graduated college and I can’t remember what the bottom of my laundry basket looks like.  But I’m so happy.  I haven’t been this happy since the last time I was this poor.  And what is poor anyway?  Just a matter of having money?  I can pay my bills, I can go out with my friends, and maybe I’ll set some new “goals” about funding my next European vacation.  But I think I was really poor back when I had a steady income and an awful commute and spent time around worthless people and wore out the snooze button on my alarm clock.

In the last couple of weeks, I’ve felt excited to start my days. I’m meeting new people every hour and a half, I don’t take for granted days off, I don’t dread the week ahead of me.  So many of my anxieties have leveled out – I am ready to make plans for the future.  It’s amazing what a lifestyle change can do for you – especially a scary one where you leave what you thought you were supposed to do forever.

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Preach Tay!  It’s all a matter of perspective!

Maybe without realizing it, my whole “goal” for leaving my job is where I am now.  I don’t plan on doing this forever, but it’s exactly what I need for the time being.  Let me reiterate- I’m really happy.  It’s a nonconventional lifestyle to say the least, but it’s exciting and fun and instantly gratifying.  And I still have a pretty great blog at the same time!

There is more to come on the topics listed before, I promise.  Just stay tuned!

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Penny Pinching for Puppies

Once during an interview a few months ago, someone asked me why I got up every morning to go to work.  I think during the time I was trying to convince him that I truly loved and felt fulfilled with my work and was now looking for a new growth opportunity when in fact I had just left and was actually suffering from serious corporate America PTSD and couldn’t have cared less if he hired me or not.

It was a really difficult question to answer – it was a difficult question to even lie about.  Why does anyone go to work other than to get paid?  If you were told you could be paid to lay on a beach with your dog and a plethora of great books and swarms of gorgeous tanned men who walk by in fifteen minute intervals to tell you how beautiful you look or offer to reapply your sunscreen, and take your margarita order, would you sit in an office or try to sweet talk someone into buying computer software?  I don’t think so…

Over time (the last 20 minutes) I have come up with the following list of answers, many of which wouldn’t be interview suitable:

  1. There is free food in the break room all the time and they don’t pay me enough to eat and I’m hungry a lot
  2. I’m having an affair with someone a couple of cubicals down from me and I love the game
  3. I am the boss and I love to watch people fear how much they love me
  4. My job is super easy and I like feeling smart
  5. No one pays attention to what I do while I’m there so I use the time to catch up on my shows
  6. I have rap battles with the guys in the mail room and I’m so close to winning one of them
  7. I can access my 401(k) in a short 11,315 days and I want to watch it grow until then
  8. I can’t stand being at home with my kids because they remind me too much of my significant other and I only married them because he/she was rich and I didn’t want to have to work
  9. I wouldn’t survive a day on the streets
  10. I don’t want to work but I’m saving up to buy drums that I can bang on all day

I think I used my Public Relations background to respond with words like “the rush” and “the thrill” to make my job sound incredible.  If he believed me I’m disappointed in him because on the inside I was counting down the days until I left on vacation.  But really, other than a pay check and the financial sustainability aspect of it all, why does anyone go to work?  You could have hobbies, you could volunteer, you could have kids to take care of, this isn’t to say anyone should just be sitting at home – you can be successful in other ways.  If you love your job, more power to you – I am beyond jealous.  But why do you love it?  It’s a deep question – why do you go out and do what you do all day long for the vast majority of your life.  If it’s more than that – I’d love to know.

My parents got me this, ironically right after I entered into retirement.  I love it. Mainly because now that I’m leaving for work at random hours and sometimes more than once a day, my dog is furious about it.  But I think it suits me!

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And otherwise neither of us are going to eat.  She is getting better and better at giving me disapproving looks. For example, the other day, when she tried to hide in the messiest part of my closet so I couldn’t find her and then stared at me like this…

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Next job requirements: Dog Friendly Office…

Real World Blog Slacker

I have been the worst blogger on the planet over the course of the last week.  Being young and retired has rapidly changed in to not as young as I used to be, over tired, not even close to organized, moody, hungry, irrationally stressed, Darcy-neglecting, and somehow, still poor.  My third book (since my first is going to be a memoir based on my blog and my second is going to be about my dating life called Mercury Poisoning) is going to be a comparison of working the standard 9-5 job in the corporate world versus working odd jobs around town which take up all of your time, all of your energy, are fast paced and exciting but require there to be more than one in order to make ends meet.  (Fun fact – it was recently that I learned it isn’t ‘ends meat’ – like you would get the end of a cow or something… you’re welcome for that tid-bit.)

I’ve had my first taste of this other form of working for the last week, all of which came to fruition on Friday.  I sent Darcy to camp dog wonderland, also known as my parents house, for a couple of days while I tried to figure out how to manage my new schedule.  I feel the need to mention that so my massive PETA following doesn’t think she was caged up and unfed for three days since I spent about 2 full hours at home.

Back together and it feels so good!!!!

Back together and it feels so good!!!!

On Friday, I worked at my gym job from 5:30 AM until 2:30 PM.  Afterwards, I went home, changed, and decided I should walk to my restaurant job.  I left my house at 3:15 thinking I would get there early, and showed up at 3:52 for my 4:00 shift.  Google Maps said it would take me 23 minutes.  We also learned I’m the slowest walker along with worst blogger on the planet.

Everyone has been saying to me during this entire retirement period “just wait tables – you’ll make a ton of money.”  Just wait tables.  That statement seemed so easy.  Well, this is an apology to any waiter/tress out there who I have ever underestimated.  Waiting tables is difficult.  You have to constantly be watching your customers.  You always need to be moving around.  You have to remember ridiculous orders.  You have to recommend something to people who you know nothing about.  I’m usually that patron too, asking brilliant questions like “What should I get?” to a complete stranger who couldn’t care less what you eat.

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At first, I stood back and waited for direction.  I’ve since been told the other servers don’t have time to give you direction so keep doing what needs to be done.  I find myself so excited when I can answer a question that someone has that I forget what they ordered by the time I get back to the computer.  I messed up an order on Friday night – I put in the wrong type of chicken wings.  I was sent to the back to roll silverware and once the order was remedied the Chef yelled “Hey, New Girl – what table did you F*** up?!”  Talk about a change from the corporate world.  But  It was okay.  I did screw up and his response was scary and I’ll try not to screw up again.  My boss at my old job would have smack talked me to the rest of my team all the while making my life a living hell and never discussing what the real problem was.  So bring it, Scary Kitchen Guys.

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I used to be really good at rolling silverware when I worked in a restaurant in college.  Apparently that’s a skill that I’ve lost over time because someone told me I looked like I’ve never rolled a blunt before.  And much to his surprise, I said in fact sir, I have not.  Another person called me Fresh Meat all night.  Deep down I was slightly flattered, but then realized that wasn’t actually a compliment on my appearance when he would bark as I walked by.

It’s amazing the difference of environment when you aren’t being over shadowed by an HR department.

The gym is entirely different.  There are chipper women who show up before 6:00 AM every morning to get in their high cardio and sculpting classes before heading off to their day jobs or back home to nurse their babies.  The entire place is filled with enthusiasm and positive energy.  I even have the opportunity to work out with them now and then and the classes are up beat and encouraging.  They drink green smoothies and spend full pay checks on week long cleanses and clean eating.  No one is passive aggressive, no one is talking about you when you aren’t listening, no one is miserable.

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They’re both difficult jobs.  The gym because of the hours and the restaurant because of the tasks required.  Do I plan to be at either for a long period of time?  No – and maybe knowing it isn’t forever is what makes them so much more exciting.  But I’m meeting new people, they’re both fast paced and fun and it’s a nice breath of fresh air from sitting in a cubical and wishing the building would blow up to put me out of my misery.

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Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor

Thanks for writing that song for me, America. Retirement is getting exhausting. I decided the first part time job I had wasn’t enough so I picked up another. However, at this point I’m working every day and have still only seen one pay check. I don’t miss my old job at all. I don’t miss my commute. I don’t miss the crazies. I don’t miss the cubical. But I do miss having a normal schedule and regularly getting paid. It’s funny the things you take for granted. It seems so nice to be able to have all this time off now and then but when you don’t work 9-5 jobs you find yourself working at 5:30 in the morning or trying to get your shift covered on Saturday for a wedding. Someone asked me out on a date this weekend and I couldn’t tell you the next weekend I would be free for such an event. It isn’t bad- I’d rather be working than not working- but it is very different and something to get used to as we dive deeper into the Summer of Me. 
This is the only thing I’ve really been able to come up with for posts this week. I’ll think of more but my sleep patterns haven’t done any favors in exercising my brain. I guess I could have gotten pretty elaborate on how fantastic the Taylor Swift concert was or penned some precious story about my dog, but you’ve heard that all before. Basically this is how I have been feeling: 

 
Always leave it to Michael Scott to know the right thing to say! 

Mary Poppins, You Have No Friends

I just had one heck of a Mary Poppins moment.  I’m sitting on my roof deck, over looking the city, drinking a glass of wine, eating cucumbers (read: cheese) and pondering what my next blog post should be about while my dog lays at my feet torturing an ice cube.  ALL OF THE SUDDEN there is this huge breeze – no, not breeze – it was a vicious gust of blustery wind, that comes through and starts to pull the umbrella out of my patio table.  So I held it down and decided to take it out of the table.  BUT – when I did – another life threatening gust came through and started to pull the umbrella, and me, along with it. And it was just like I was Mary Poppins.  Clearly I have my Long Champ sitting next to me filled with everything unnecessary and imaginable. And then my chimney sweep showed up to dance on my roof.

As I floated in the air, clicking together my ruby slippers and falling back to reality, I got to thinking… I don’t think I’ve ever seen Mary Poppins.  Bits and pieces here and there, but if you haven’t already guessed, I was more of a cartoon movie buff when I was little.  She just seems to be like one of those people who has things too good to be true.

Let’s start with the basics…

Her bag carries everything:  That’s not fair.  Even my precious (and officially pee-free) Long Champ can’t carry all of my unnecessary necessities as well as an extra pair of shoes and my dog.  The average American woman goes into work every day with at least four different bags.  You have your purse – obviously – because that’s what carries your wallet and seven tubes of lip gloss and VIP Panera card.  Then there’s your lunchbag, the adult version of a lunch box – which is just cost efficient and makes you look healthy.  Then you have your computer bag – because it needs it’s own bag and combining all of those bags would just be silly.  And then there is the bag that carries the shoes: The flip flops or Uggs (weather depending) for walking from the car to the office, the heels for your desk, the sneakers for your afternoon stroll at lunch and the flats for the drive home.  Nordstrom does not sell a bag that is insulated, with card slots, that has a protected computer compartment and four spaces for your shoes, and a freaking lamp or whatever else you pull out Mary… Get real!

She flies: Do you know how much of my life has been wasted commuting?  My friend sent me an article about it once and it was something absurd.  Like 40 years or 40 hours or something.  Maybe 1 year.  I can’t remember.  All I know is that the normal person starts their day by getting into a vehicle – whether that is a car or a bus or a train – and sitting in it until it arrives at their destination.  Of course Mary Poppins is going to love her job if she doesn’t have an hour in the morning and an hour and a half every night to sit and think about how much she hates it and wishes she was back in her bed.

She is served the perfect job on a platter:  Those kids were perfect.  No one goes into a job knowing everything – I don’t care how much experience you have.  Not to mention, those children would never have been so well behaved.  I’m pretty sure their parents were too rich to have time for them and in reality the girl would have been dating Aaron Hernandez (too soon?) and the boy would have been dealing heroin.  Unless Mary Poppins had a hell of a therapy background, she was not winning them over with a spoon full of sugar… unless it was the kind you snort.  No one has ever gone into an ideal situation at work – whether it’s because they fired the guy before you and you have a mess to deal with or because the company is in shambles.  No one believes your lies, Mary!!

Cleaning with a snap of her fingers:  This is where I get really worked up.  This doesn’t work.  Believe me, I’ve tried.  When my roommate and I moved into our apartment it was a disaster and we kept saying we wished we could just Mary Poppins the place.  But despite what that bitch wants you to believe, Mary Poppins is not a verb.  Every time I have to pack or clean or organize I think about how much I hate her.  It’s like she never had to bend down and pick something up a day in her life.  The rest of us have standing monthly chiropractor appointments and thank God for deep closets and their doors – and she sits in her spotless living room and whistles with the local pigeons.

SO – what have we learned today?  Mary Poppins was an over pretentious jerk.  Set out to make all normal people look bad.  Am I jealous of her? Yes – slightly.  And you are too!  She was always well dressed, didn’t have car payments and could fit her juicer in her purse.  But she was definitely an overachiever who had no friends.  The wind didn’t pull me away – there’s not a creepy, dirty man dancing on my roof (be honest – Dick van Dyke has let himself get creepy) and my room is decently organized (don’t look in the closets.)  And after my third glass of wine I am going to have just as beautiful a singing voice.

So there, Mary!

The Young and the Retired

I am too young to be retired. Let’s start there.  And I don’t mean retired in some fancy Paris Hilton or Christian Grey capacity where I was born into more money than I could ever spend or I was so successful out of college that I now have garages full of cars and sexual fetishes that are justifiable.  I am retired because I have no idea what to do with my life.  I am extremely envious of those individuals who know in the first grade that they are going to be a teacher or realize in college their calling is to be a surgeon.  At this point, I’m even jealous of those who are expected to follow into the family business.  I just don’t know what I want to do.

For a long time, I thought life was designed into a list of steps that were to be followed in some form of the following:

1- Be born

2- Go to school

3- Get a job

4- Get married

5- Have kids

6- Retire

7- Live the dream

8- Die

However, in the last month, I’ve realized it seems to skew a little:

1 – Be born

2 – Master your motor skills

3 – Go to pre-school.  Learn the ABCs, count to 10, be nice to people and to the best of your ability, learn to share

4 – Elementary school

5 – Think you’re excited for middle school.  Get there.  Suffer bullying.  Fail for the first time.  Think you know what love feels like.  Make it out alive.

6 – Journey to high school.  Think you’re ready for it.  Figure out what subjects you love.  Figure out what subjects you hate.  Suffer bullying.  Make your best friends.  Fall in love.  Break someone’s heart.  Learn to drive.  Pick a college and think you know what you’re doing.

7 – Go to college.  Move out.  Miss your mom.  Make your actual best friends.  Fall in love with a baseball player.  Go abroad.  Focus in subjects you think will benefit your future.  Binge drink on the weekends.  Fall in love with a basketball player.  Work part time.  Stress about your future.  Fall in love with a soccer player.  Relish the day when graduation becomes a reality.  Assume things will fall into place.

8 – Get a job.

9 – Start said job.

10 – Wonder why other people like their jobs.

11 – Realize you hated your major

12 – Start a countdown to retirement

13 – Realize how many years that is and instead keep your eyes open for rich eligible bachelors

14 – Date someone awful

15 – Have your heart broken

16 – Move out for real

17 – Learn to share an apartment and bills and pots and pans

18 – Decide you’re adult enough to live alone

19 – Learn how much bills suck.  And buying things.  Because everything costs money. Seriously, everything.

20 – Find a great roommate and a great apartment.

21 – Eventually find a job you like

22 – Start to think breaks come easy

23 – Get bored with the job.  Wonder why your apartment is always leaking. Realize mercury must have been in retrograde during #22

24 – Get medicated.  Thank yourself and wonder why you fought it for so long.

25 – Learn that rejection isn’t the end of the world. It’s not even that bad after a while.  Kelly Clarkson was right – what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

26 – Get a job you think you like more.  Maybe so much that this could be what those adults call “a career.”

27 – Realize you aren’t getting any younger – maybe you should fill the children void with a dog, just to buy some time with your foot-tapping mother

28 – Have the brutal realization that even at work, there is still bullying.  Especially with women. Learn never to work with only jealous, miserable, insecure and nasty women.

29 – Know who you are.  Maybe not what you want to do.  But that you believe in yourself and would rather be bullied by losers than hand it out to anyone.

30 – Take control of your own life.  Leave said prospective career.

31 – Realize who the people are that you really need – and that it’s about quality over quantity.

32 – Go on a really long vacation in the shining light of the United States – the deep south.

33 – Force yourself to get on your return flight.  Get home and spend a lot of quality time with your dog

34 – Try to figure out what you were meant to do

35 – Kill the time by starting a blog

Unfortunately I’m not sure what the next steps are.  Those seem to be the most significant thus far.  I missed a few really important ones like make out with a celebrity, join a book club, buy your first car and run a 5K.  But isn’t it interesting the way it skews from the original plan?  The plan that it seems everyone else is following.  Maybe they aren’t.  Maybe I’m not the only one who has no idea how to get her life together.  But this seems like a good outlet into figuring it out.  I’ll keep tabs on my attempts towards success and clarity and deep thriving life long love and keep the internet posted.  It can’t possibly be that hard, right?