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! 

Things are Tight Right Now

What comes along with the territory of not having a job is not having an income.  And that is fine for right now – but as a result I need to make my savings account last.  So I’m trying to keep the mentality that money is tight and I shouldn’t go out as much, I shouldn’t buy clothes right now and Darcy is going to have to cut back on her days at the race track.  But I’m not worried financially.  Things are tight in other places which has me a little more concerned.

When I first left my job I spent a lot of time being super lazy.  Then, to cheer myself up, I went on a binge eating and drinking tour of the deep south.  I spent two full weeks on the following strict diet:

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Po-boys

Crawfish

Pralines

Beignets

Bread

Shrimp n’ Grits

Cheese (with all accouterments) IMG_3265

Oranges

Omelets

Ice Cream

Oysters

Fish tacos

Drinks:

Strawberry Daiquiris (with an extra shot of rum) IMG_3038

Mimosas (normally a bottomless deal was involved)

Wine

Champagne

Abitas

Green Tea

Purple DrAnk (a slushy mix of grape juice, everclear and ice)

Corona, Corona, Corona

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Upon return home I made the silly decision to step on my scale and I saw that my weight had increased by 6 pounds.  So I thought – well that sucks.  But figured it will drop quickly, I’ll just have to cut back on my favorite food groups of cheese and wine and add in spinach or peppers or something in the mean time.

Last night was when I realized how ‘tight’ all things really were.  This dress was always rather form fitting, but last night we hit our breaking point… literally.

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So yea… diet starts now.  Retirement at it’s finest, ladies and gentlemen.

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Back in the Office

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I finally made it back up to my office today.  It’s been abnormally cold the last week or so and I’ve been confined to the walls of my apartment.  Darcy and I went for a walk down around Independence Hall and the Constitution Center this morning which was when I realized we were back in business.

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It took twenty minutes to actually get up here. Our stairs are so steep that if you forget something it’s usually not worth the effort to go down and get it.  Here’s what I brought up:

A glass of water (I get thirsty)

A bottle of water (Darcy gets thirsty)

A bag of ice (water gets warm)

A hoagie (I get hungry) IMG_4444

Darcy’s bowl (filled with ice cubes for distractions)

My cell phone (for Instagram)

My cell phone charger (necessity)

My computer (to relay my thoughts)

My computer charger (necessity)

A notebook (as you know – I have a lot of thoughts)

The book I am reading (The Girl on the Train)

A blanket (it’s always chilly in Philadelphia)

A sweatshirt (see above)

A bone for Darcy (distractions)

Dog treats for Darcy (distractions)

Speakers (it isn’t an office if it isn’t playing country music)

My keys (otherwise my crazy French neighbors might break in)

So far I don’t think I’ve missed anything. Darcy is chasing a bumble bee despite my warnings (so much for distractions) and I’m laying on the deck writing in the sunshine.  I’m trying so hard to miss my cubical and my boring day job but just cannot seem to get there.  Retirement is a beautiful thing, y’all.


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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?