Overwhelmed – It’s Finally September (Final)

Following our trip to Ohio to see my favorite band, the next few weeks involved weekends (and a week) away for me.

The kids and I had a great weekend trip to Washington, DC for the final show of Red Wanting Blue/Alternate Routes #SoundsLikeSummerTour. While in DC, Social Diva and I walked all over town, shopping, sightseeing, and visiting one of the museums. Vampire Boy and I enjoyed the show on Saturday night.

Next up, OBX week!  Even though FM and I agreed to keep things on a friendly basis during our OBX trip, he did not deal well with my evening phone conversations with Mystery Man. After a few bumps along the way, things finally settled and we were able to enjoy the week at the beach. The weather was beautiful (and sometimes even too hot!) with only one brief period of rain. Most of the houseguests (myself included) were ready to throw money at our House Leader to book for next year!  It was a (mostly) relaxing week with good friends (with a little weirdness thrown in).

I did my best to enjoy my week at the beach, but I was so looking forward to the month of September. I had overscheduled myself during the month of August so finding time to spend with Mystery Man had been challenging and I promised him that I wouldn’t overschedule myself in September.  While I was away, MM’s mom was hospitalized with the prognosis that her cancer had returned. Her health went downhill quickly during the week I was away, and I was anxious to get to visit her when I made it home. (She’s finally home with hospice care.)

And now September (and my favorite season) is here. Mystery Man and I continue to talk multiple times during the day as well as every evening. Since I’ve returned from vacation, there have been many instances after speaking with him on the phone that I am completely overwhelmed with the curve ball that life has thrown me.

How often are you fortunate enough to be granted  a second chance to correct a major mistake you’ve made in your life, with the knowledge and experience that you’ve gained over two decades since you made the mistake? I’m overwhelmed but in a very good way.

View from the “scenic lookout” as we ascended up the mountain (8/10/14)

Overwhelmed – In a  Good Way (Part 2)

As I mentioned, Mystery Man and I spent an entire Sunday on a motorcycle ride, stopping for lunch, wandering Ohiopyle, and stopping for a drink on our way home. As we were making our way back to our initial meeting point, I remember feeling sad that our day was winding down. We had spent the day as friends, so I wondered how the afternoon would end. Not surprisingly, it ended with a hug; what was surprising was the kiss. I couldn’t stop grinning the entire drive home.

But wait, I wasn’t exactly a free woman.

After Sunday, I knew that I had to officially end things with FM. By my choice, we hadn’t spent much time together over the past six weeks. With two planned trips coming up, I was hesitant to end things prior to the trips, not wanting to make things awkward for our mutual friends. But I was no longer emotionally invested in the shell of our relationship.

My plan was to speak to FM after trivia on Monday night. I had his things in my car that I planned to return to him. However, we didn’t get to talk in person afterwards. I suspect he knew something was up as I was an extra bit sarcastic that night. [Guys – avoiding problems does not make them go away.] As I drove home alone, all I could think about was wanting to talk to Mystery Man before going to bed. As soon as I got home, I sent the email that I had saved as a draft to FM (not ideal, I know, but in person wasn’t going to work out). MM and I traded a few texts that evening, and I learned he was hoping to talk to me just as much as I wanted to talk to him. And as I said earlier, we’ve talked on the phone every night since then.

As the week went on, MM asked me if I had any plans for the weekend or knew of anything going on. Jokingly, I mentioned that my favorite band, Red Wanting Blue, was playing a free show at a Bratwurst Festival somewhere in Bucyrus, Ohio. Initially, he poo-poo’ed my joke stating it was too far to go on the bike. Later that evening, he calls back and leaves me a voice mail that he thought more about it and it might be nice to get out of town for the night, but that he didn’t want to drive up and back on the same day. I said I had no problem staying overnight and splitting a hotel room. He asked me to send him more information about the festival and hotels nearby. Next thing you know, he’s making a reservation. I guess we’re going to Ohio! (and YAY!)

As the week went on, we talked about going to the show and he started checking out the band on YouTube. We firmed up the plans, our reservation, and that he would pick me up and drive. By Friday, the trip was all either of us could think about, and at 11 AM, he sent me a text stating “23 hours!” Laughing, I texted back “I guess that means you’re picking me up at 10?

Saturday morning arrives. I’m up at 5 AM because I’m excited about the trip. We talked the ENTIRE four hour drive. We talked about our lives, our marriages, our kids, our mistakes. At one point, he asked me “If we had stayed together, do you think we would have made it this long?” Sadly, my answer was “no” and he agreed with me. We both thought we were too young and too immature back then (and hard-headed, but that’s another story). During the drive, I was able to tell him that I was involved with someone else when he first called me, and that I (very) recently ended it. I shared with him how his words were always there “Man, he’s got some bad timing”(words he didn’t remember saying). I had wondered what would happen if he had divorced. I always wondered if those words kept my relationship with FM from moving forward?

We enjoyed the anonymity of being in a town where no one knew us. We enjoyed dinner from the food trucks and adult beverages in the beer tent. Our conversation never lulled.

We enjoyed the show by Red Wanting Blue even though I was disappointed to not be up front at stage (The stage area required VIP tickets that were not available for the public to buy.) It was fun introducing MM to a Red Wanting Blue show. After falling for my “hey, let’s drive to Ohio to see a free show,” I was glad he enjoyed their music (and maybe he’ll be up for future road trips!).

Sadly, Sunday morning arrived far too soon and it was time to check out, grab some breakfast, and make the four hour drive home. One might think that we had exhausted all conversation avenues, but we found more things to talk about on the ride home.

I was sad when the weekend came to an end, but on the other hand, I was excited for what the future might bring.

To be continued …

Overwhelmed – In a Good Way (Part I)

It’s been four months since my last post. Since my last post, so much has happened over the summer.  If you recall, I had been offered a new position within the medical center in late spring. The new job is great. While I’ve had a few days where I wondered if I could actually do the job (and I’m sure I’ll have more), I’m getting settled in and comfortable with my responsibilities. (Working until 5 PM still sucks though.)

The summer has gone by so quickly for me. I’ve been able to enjoy a few weekend trips out of town and a week at the Outer Banks just last week (where’s the rewind button?!). I’ve celebrated another birthday. Regrettably, I’ve turned someone’s world upside down. And I have fallen, deeply and overwhelmingly, for someone.

Mystery Man (as my friends initially labeled him) is someone I’ve known for over 30 years. We dated many years ago when I was in high school. We broke up because I was immature, wanting more from the relationship, not because we were ready but because everyone else was doing it. We both ended up marrying others, yet we kept in touch with birthday and Christmas cards from me to him, and birthday wishes by telephone from him to me. Over the years if we actually connected by telephone, we’d catch up on our lives and on our kids.  During the birthday call in the summer of 2001 when I shared that my ex had left me, he said something that stuck with me throughout the years. “Man, he’s got some bad timing.” (He had been married two years prior.)  Since that conversation, I have always wondered what he meant by that statement. And this summer was the year I would find out.

This July, I came home from work on my birthday to a voice mail on my home phone wishing me a happy birthday. Since he calls every year, I didn’t think much of it at the time. But then he called back two weeks later. On this voice mail, he left his number and asked me to give him a call back. When I called back, we ended up talking for over an hour. He had called to share that he was getting divorced, and to ask if I would be willing to meet him for dinner to talk about what he was about to go through (since he knew I had already been through this).

Wait, what?!

I ended up meeting him for dinner later that week. I told myself that we were just two friends getting together for dinner. I didn’t share with him that I was involved with someone else. We enjoyed a nice evening catching up on our lives, our kids, and encouragement for he’s going through. I didn’t think much of it after we parted, but then he called again the next week to see if I would like to go for a motorcycle ride with him. (Of course I would!) Thanks to the weather and a dead battery we couldn’t get a ride coordinated for the next weekend, but we were able to meet to chat again before we headed off to our other obligations (coincidentally, I cancelled my plans due to rain).

Fast forward to the next weekend and our schedules allowed us to plan a ride for Sunday morning. Long story short, we spent the day on the motorcycle, riding up to and around Ohiopyle and the Yough Lake, stopping for lunch and to watch the kayakers over the falls, and stopping for an adult beverage on the way home. I wasn’t sure how the afternoon would end, but was delighted to get a hug and a kiss before we parted ways.

I couldn’t stop grinning the entire drive home.

After exchanging a few texts when I got home from trivia on Monday night, I wanted to hear his voice before going to bed.

And we’ve talked on the phone every single night since then.

To be continued …second chance

Why?

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As my last post noted, I was offered and accepted a position in another department at the Evil Empire (but I’ll be switching employers). While both my current administrator and one of my physicians took the news well, everyone else I told reacted in almost the same way.

Me: “I wanted to let you know that I’m leaving the department.”

Them: “Why?!”

I explained that I hadn’t been actively looking, but that I learned about the opening via social media.

“Why?”

I tried explaining that I had been offered a great opportunity with excellent benefits.

Again, “why?!”

One very dear co-worker teared up. She peppered me with many questions as she tried to wrap her head around the news. She questioned whether it was time for her retire.

“Why?”

Sure, I thought I had another 20 years in this department and was pretty convinced that I’d retire from here. There really  is nowhere for me to go within the Department. As I observe others moving on to other (and possibly better) opportunities, I have frequently questioned myself. Should I stay where I am because I know what I’m doing? Or should I challenge myself with something new? Sure, it’s nice for others to know that they can always call me with questions or for help on who to call, but do I really want to feel like my job is stagnant? The “reformed” position I was promised a few years back never did become a reality. There are concerning issues looming in the future. Two of my physicians are nearing retirement. While this is a really bad time for me to leave my current position, this really is the best time for me to make a change.

While it was a very difficult decision to leave the comfort and flexibility of my current position, I am nervous and excited for this new opportunity. Only one more week before I start!

 

Rants from a Bitch

Photo Credit: http://ow.ly/wtdrP

Photo Credit: http://ow.ly/wtdrP

 

  • Why, oh why, do the trendy “teen” stores have LOCKED fitting rooms without attentive attendants? This is the second weekend I have visited a mall and had to wait around for a saleperson to come over with a key to let Social Diva into a fitting room. Sure, I get that you’re trying to minimize thefts, but if you’re going to lock the fitting rooms, have an attendant nearby to let people in.
  • Related to above, it’s expensive when Social Diva spends a weekend with me. Malls, eating out, etc. I need a weekend to follow this weekend so I (and my wallet) can recover!
  • Sure, you may be in a relationship, but that’s not a valid excuse to think to that you don’t need to communicate your plans (whatever they may be) with your dating partner. You need to vocalize, out loud, the conversations you may be having in your head. It is impolite to assume that you can show up at whatever time or send a last-minute text the afternoon of (and especially so if you’re spending an earlier part of the evening with your mistress).
  • Related to above, one should not have to wait until Saturday afternoon to learn what the weekend’s plans are. When one reverts back to lack of communication, don’t be surprised when one ends up doing things alone again.
  • WTF with Parkway drivers? Why does everyone insist on driving in the left lane at the speed limit? If you want to coast on cruise control at the speed limit, stay in the right lane! Also, get off your damn phone! Unless you’re getting step by step directions to wherever you are going, it is not necessary to be chatting while driving!
  • Also WTF with the two racing Mustangs for the drive home this afternoon?! Was weaving in and out of traffic really necessary? I hope you crossed paths with a State Trooper somewhere along your path.

 

That’s all folks! Happy Monday eve! <groan>

There’s Change in the Air

Change Ahead

 

Well, it happened.

On Wednesday this week, I finally received the call from HR offering me the position. The recruiter asked if I knew my answer or needed time to think about it. I chose to think about it overnight and told her I would call her back the next day.

I talked things over with Social Diva at dinner that night. The new position will require that I work until 5 PM, which means I won’t get home until 6 most nights. I explained to her that she will have to do more around the house but that I would compensate her for it. She’s ok with my working later, was wary about having to do more (typical teenager!), but was happy to hear she could earn some money (she loves to shop!).

So Thursday morning, I talked with my current administrator to let him know that I received the offer and that I was going to accept it. He knows and respects the administrator in the new department and thinks it could be a good move for me. While it’s a bad time to abandon my current position, I’m close enough to help a replacement get through the approaching July 1st hecticness.

On Friday, I had to share my decision with one of the physicians I support. While he’s sad to lose me, he’s happy for my new position.  One doc down, three to go (those I support directly), and two other docs who I consider friends out of the office.

I gave three weeks’ notice, so I have a busy three weeks ahead! I need to make sure everything that needs to be done is done, get my filing done (I’m such a procrastinator!), and pack up the latest 15 years of personal crap that I’ve accumulated since I returned in 1999.

It’s hard to give up my 28+ years with my department (I thought I’d retire from here), but I look forward to new adventures with the new department!

 

Gah! Which Way?

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I’ve found myself at a crossroads and I don’t know which direction to take.

A few weeks ago, I saw a tweet asking if anyone was looking for an administrative position. Knowing this person worked at a local university, I asked if the position was with the university. The reply was “yes,” so I took the conversation out of the public view. I made a few inquiries about the position, the department, and the people, and whether I could confidentially share my resume. I was asked to officially apply and was scheduled for an initial interview which went well enough that I was scheduled for a second interview to be held with the department Chair the following week.

I didn’t stress at all about the first interview. It truly helps to interview for a job when you have a job. The second interview, however, was a completely different story. The more I read about the Chair, the more nervous I got as my interview time came closer. By the time we sat down to talk, I was a nervous rambling mess. The interview went so quickly, I thought for sure I blew it.

Moving on to the next week, I begin to resign myself to the fact that I blew the second interview and that they were moving forward with another candidate. And then I get the email: You are our finalist and we need your permission to talk with your current administrator. I, of course, need to talk to him first to let him know that this call is coming. I am surprised that he actually encourages me and things it would be a good move for me.

HOLY CRAP!

[I should probably also throw in some background that I’ve been fortunate to have only two employers in my lifetime and have 27+ years in my current department.]

Moving forward to this week, I hear from two of my references that they were contacted. That leaves just one more reference for them to hear from … the main physician I support who is only at our location on Fridays. Late in the afternoon, he calls me into his office to tell me that he had a message and asks me how much do I want the job. Awkwardly, I explain that I haven’t received an offer yet, but that it might be a good opportunity. I apologize for not  giving him a heads up about it (I didn’t realize they would contact the references my application rather than the references I had provided on paper).

So moving forward to tonight, I can’t stop thinking about what I am going to do. Do I stay in my current position, where I have built good working relationships with my physicians, where I know my job, and I have autonomy and flexibly? Or do I take a leap of faith at the new position, which will be a promotion, have better University benefits, and will take me in a different direction.

As I recently joked “I don’t do well with disconnecting.”  But I keep telling myself that I need to think about what’s best for me and what’s best for my kids. I just need to figure out what that “best” is.

Are You Fucking Kidding Me? The Office Edition

Happy Monday folks!

A co-worker shared with my cubemate that she got engaged over the weekend.

FOUR MONTHS TO THE DAY OF WHEN THEY STARTED DATING!

Yep, that’s right. I said four months to the day of when they started dating.

D A T I N G !

Co-worker is older and has never been married. She and her new fiance recently decided to move in together, even though she just bought a new townhouse last Spring. She has made comments that “he better put a ring on it” when she talks about her upcoming move into his house.

Are you ready for this? He was engaged to another woman not too long ago, and I believe it may have been over last Summer (2013). I don’t know the details about their split, but I do know that relationship was a long-distance (different states) one.

Granted, my cynical bitch side has eyerolled all day about this news. It’s exciting when people choose to commit to building a life together with someone. Having been married, divorced, and a few unsuccessful relationships under my belt, I don’t have any desire to remarry nor do I have a timeline of how a relationship should progress. But isn’t four months really quite fast?

[I realize when you know you want to spend the rest of your life with someone, you know it. I just don't know that things should be so rushed. (says the woman whose on and off relationship hasn't changed much AT ALL over the past six years, ahem)]

Dinner Conversation

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“We had more fun this year on the cruise as not-a-couple.”

“This was the best cruise for me because I had you all to myself.”

Enlightening …

Road Trip!

I’ve had tickets to go see my favorite band Red Wanting Blue at the House of Blues in Cleveland since they announced a weekend of shows last October. I didn’t plan to go to both nights of shows (Fri and Sat), but definitely purchased tickets for me and Vampire Boy for Saturday night.

I reserved a room at the The Arcade, a hotel right across the street from the House of Blues. I wasn’t confident about my car making the drive from Pittsburgh to Cleveland so I also reserved a car at the airport.

We were a little late in getting started to the airport to pick up our rental, but we were finally on the road by 1:00. Since I was heading to Cleveland and Vampire Boy loves food, I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to take him to Melt Bar and Grilled.

An added bonus of my trip to Cleveland was to FINALLY meet in person someone I “virtually” met a number of years ago. J was able to meet and join me for lunch at Melt, and then gave me a quick driving tour of the frozen lake while showing me the way back to my hotel.

This was my awesome lunch. I was only able to eat about half of the one half!

Melt Bar and Grilled

The Dude Abides: homemade meatballs, fried mozzarella wedges, rich marinara, provolone & romano

We had less than an hour to drop off our bags at our room before the doors opened at the venue. I didn’t have time to explore the hotel, but they were setting up for a wedding.

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It was really nice to just walk across the street to the venue (and would have been awesome had I been imbibing in adult beverages).

After dropping off our bags, laying down for a disco nap (but too excited to sleep), and refreshing my makeup, it was time to head over to the House of Blues. J was able to find a ticket (it was a sold out show) to join us. (Sadly, he wasn’t able to stay too long after officiating most of the morning.)

After two opening bands (who I didn’t care for), it was time!

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Red Wanting Blue | House of Blues 

These guys played for over 90 minutes and had TWO encores! I loved how they threw in some really old stuff (that I haven’t seen performed live) as well as one of their new songs (new album coming out soon!). They’re also going to be on The Rock Boat (but sadly, Vampire Boy doesn’t get to go this year which is why I took him to Cleveland to see them).

I spent a lot of time driving this weekend, but it was totally worth it! A great lunch, meeting a virtual friend in real life, a great show, and getting to spend some quality time with my son! I’m an exhausted but happy gal.

The view of the city and the frozen lake

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